Unfortunately, to many across the globe, Korea is a county on the cusp of war. Little is known about the beauty that resides within its boundaries, and what is known about the conflicts here, usually comes from either hyped up media stories or the American comedy show M*A*S*H. That isn’t to say that conflict hasn’t occurred on the peninsula or that learning about it should be pushed aside. In fact, probably the best place to learn about the fighting that has taken place on Korean soil is the War Memorial and Museum of Korea.
The facility opened in 1994, set to offer visitors an educational and insightful experience to the conflicts dating back hundreds of years up through the present era. When arriving on site, one is immediately blown away by how large the museum and grounds are. In fact, the over 13,000 items on display don’t even begin to cover the number of machinery outside that include tanks, submarines, and a B-52 bomber.
Some Korean travel guides say that one should plan on spending roughly three hours at the War Memorial and Museum. In my opinion, there is so much to see, that to really take everything in, one must plan four or five hours, minimally. Outside, the museum grounds are divided into six areas. The Korean War Monument, The Two Brothers, The Clock of Hope, and the Monument to those killed in action being the most moving in my opinion.
Inside, the museum’s exhibits are second to none. The Memorial Hall is dedicated to past patriots that have given their lives for Korea, while epically long War history section takes visitors on an informative and highly educational journey through conflict starting in prehistoric times. The level of detail put into the dioramas is amazing, especially those that are life-sized. What I found especially helpful were the large multimedia displays. These movie kiosks are stationed throughout the museum and show films in Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese, making the visit informative for just about everyone.
Address: 8 YongSan-dong 1(il)ga YongSan-Gu, Seoul, Korea 140-021
Phone: 82-2-709-3139, 3114
Hours: 09:00 ~ 18:00(Entrance closed at 17:00), Closed every Monday (If a Monday is a holiday, then we are closed the day after the holiday is over.)
* Subway: 5 minute walk from the Samgakji Station on lines #4 and #6 (Exit #12); 10 minute walk from the Namyeong Station of line #1
* Bus: Get off at the Samgakji bus stop or in front of the Ministry of National Defense Building
List of bus numbers : 149, 150, 151, 152, 500, 501, 502, 504, 506, 507, 605, 750A, 750B, 751, 752, 110B, 730, 421, 6001