Hwaesong Fortress- Suwon

One of our biggest priorities from this move is seeing as much of Korea as we can. Over the October 8th weekend we took a family trip to see the Hwaesong Fortress in Suwon. After walking around a bit and not really seeing where the fall festivities were we decided to hike up to the top of the fortress.

When you first drive into the fortress entrance there are brand new buildings and from what we were told it sounds like it is going to be a new welcome center. DSC03208.jpg

Here is the the entrance from the inside of the Fortress, with a beautiful painting on the ceiling of the entry way.

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Just outside the entrance and to the left you can walk up a nice big hill and get a nice view of the city!

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But to get to this pretty view you have a little bit of a hike. And it’s no easy task when pushing a double stroller! And not really thinking that we would be doing any hiking we forgot to bring our baby carrier to make it easier to tote Caroline around instead of carrying her around on Hillary’s hip. So if you have small children we HIGHLY suggest you baby wear! It’ll be much easier and you won’t have to worry about leaving the stroller parked some place so you can do some sight seeing! On the plus side, it’s Korea, so you don’t have to worry about anyone messing with/jacking your stroller.

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Now that we have gone out several times to explore the beautiful South Korea our children are starting to get used to random Koreans coming up to them giving them hugs and patting them on the head.

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Making our way to the top! Of course the kids had to make it into a race to see who would get to the top first. As usual, Hillary is wearing flip-flop. But if anyone knows her well, you know she wears them all year round no matter where we are going.

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Once at the very top, which according to the FitBit we walked a total of 30 floors, you get a beautiful view!

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At the top you can enjoying sitting at the command post to see the city surrounding the fortress. And we were lucky to have gone when it was a beautiful clear day and could see all the way to the mountains. Just behind the command post there is a crossbow platform that you can climb up another 15 stairs for higher view.

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While sitting and enjoying the scenery and taking a break from carrying Caroline, a young boy came over to Nataliya and Olivia and gave them what looked like a giant rice cake. Nataliya wasn’t sold on eating it so she gave hers to Caroline who thought it was quite the treat.

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While munching on her rice cake she made some new friends! A little girl about 1-2 years old just loved coming over to see the baby. Which got the attention of the little girls family and Nataliya and Ian.

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Once at the top you can walk along the path to a secret gate and the Sentry Post where you can strike the bell of Hyowon.

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Strike the bell once for the health of your parents, twice for the health of the family, and thrice for your own development.

They also had a card board cut out for the kids to put their face in so they could be a warrior of the fortress. So each kid had a turn getting held up by mom so that dad could take their pictures.

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Us walking on the path back to the command post and  crossbow platform to head back down to the bottom of the fortress. To think the wall is over 3.5 miles long and we only walked about a quarter of it!

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Walking down we walked by one of the defense towers.

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After walking a small portion of the wall we walked around inside for a bit to try one more time to see if we could figure out where any of the festival activities were. We heard music playing so we followed the sound of the music to come across a group of Korean performers and that was about the extent of what we saw of the festival.

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Oh and got to see another one of the main gates, of which there are four.DSC03295.jpg

Here is a picture of the map!

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All in all, it was a good field trip and one we would recommend.

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