Annyeong Asseyo! 안녕하세요
You may have been wondering where I have disappeared...Actually, I have been lucky to win a trip to Seoul, South Korea, from KIA motor company- all this thanks to my KIA Optima and a draw I entered online through their website!
So, I have spent 4 beautiful days in the capital of Republic Of Korea going on tours organized by the company, visiting different cultural & historical places, traditional cuisines, shopping streets, KIA & Hyundai Factories and HQs, and making friends with other winners from all over Middle East, Asia and Africa.
Obviously, I have made loooooooooooooads of photos- both on my iPhone 4s and Canon 550D. I have shared some of the iPhone photos on my Instagram, which you can check in the widget on the right, and I must say I'm very proud of how they came out!
Here are some along with my interpretation and description.
(Traditional Korean architecture- this was in the Korean Culture Village, something like an open-air museum)
A lot of Korean culture was influenced by Japan and China. For example, the social structure was affected by the Confucius philosophy, which emphasized separation of women from men at social gatherings, at home, etc. Women were not allowed to receive education, therefore, were pretty much left in shadows.
(A traditional Korean restaurant located at a mountain- will update the name latter).
King Sejong is one of the most important rulers, having created Korean alphabet- Hangul, as before this the Chinese characters were used in writing. There are two grand statues of King Sejong in the main square of Seoul, not far from the Gyeongbok palace, Sejong's residence. Unfortunately, it was raining heavily the day we visited the palace, and so I didn't get a chance to make photos of the King's replicas. Below you can see a lake view from inside the palace grounds..
I have to say, that I was immensely impressed by Republic of Korea as a nation and country- so neat, so clean, so organized! People are always helpful and SO hardworking!
The story of KIA was amazing- only truly hard-working dedicated people could achieve such growth and success within such a short span of time. KIA stepped its game in all aspects- design of their cars, quality of the finished products and customer care! Tell me, have you heard of ANY OTHER automobile company which invites more than 80 people from different countries, arranges airplane tickets, provides them with a stay in JW Marriot Hotel and all the food, takes their customers all around Seoul in comfortable buses?! No! ONLY KIA!
(The new luxurious KIA Quoris- K9 in Korea)
I am amazed at the thought and organization that has been invested into KIA Loyal Customer program 2012, and very thankful of course! On the last day (which was very sad!), we were given a group photo and a DVD with a short movie and photos, which were made by professional photographers, who were following us everywhere during the trip! A great way to keep these 4 days of fantastic experience in Korea in our memory forever! :D
Mind you, this program will be taking place EVERY YEAR! So get your new KIAs and wait for the new program to kick off next year! ;)
(A shot from the Korean Culture Village)