After visiting Seoul in November 2018, I had the chance to attend the QS Subject Focus Summit on Dentistry “Changing Paradigm in Dental Education for Future Excellence” at Kyung Hee University in April 2019. I presented on "Why is innovation so hard in dentistry?”. Kyung Hee University is one of the best private universities encompassing an educational system from kindergarten to graduate school. Kyung Hee University has 24 colleges, 82 departments and majors, 65 master’s and 63 doctorate programs, 18 professional and special graduate schools, and 43 auxiliary research institutions. Kyung Hee was founded in 1949 by Dr. Young Seek Choue, first president of Kyung Hee University, whose founding philosophy was “Toward a New Civilization.” In 1993, Kyung Hee received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education.
Gisela and I arrived Monday night, and then we explored the area surrounding our hotel on Tuesday. We visited the Jogyesa Temple, one of the main temples of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism which was built in 1910.
We admired the modern architecture and street art in Seoul.
Finding your way around in the city is complicated given the signage is mostly Korean.
We visited a local market that presented many opportunities to buy brushes for writing, or painting, the Korean letters.
Then, we visited the Unhyeongung Palace--house of Yi Ha-eung and his family. It is the only palace that includes mannequins depicting how the people lived in these palaces. The majority of the palace was built in 1864 during the time of King Gojong’s reign.
During our visit to Seoul, spring arrived with many flowering trees throughout the city.
We ate a traditional lunch, experimenting with the various spicy dishes.
In the late afternoon, we visited Lotte World Mall and Tower and its 9 floors of shops and restaurants.
We had a glass of champagne on the 123rd floor admiring the sunset over the outskirts of Seoul.
We concluded the day with a dinner at Saint Maison, World Gourmet Seafood Dining, enjoying a 6-course dinner.
On Wednesday, we visited The Secret Garden enjoying the beautiful scenery during the sunshine.
In the afternoon, we strolled around in the traditional neighbourhood of Hanbok where many signs remind tourists that this is actually a residential area asking for quiet conduct—with not much success.
In the evening, we had a traditional dinner.
The next day, after a Cherry Blossom Tea and green-tea cake at Starbucks…
...we went to the Seoul tower, an observation tower located more centrally than the World Lotte Tower.
The tower is located on Beacon Hill in Mongmyeoksan, also known as Gyeongbongsu. The beacon system, created in the Joseon period, used fires to warn of an enemy invasion approaching the borders.
We were amazed by the tradition of placing a padlock somewhere on the structure to demonstrate lifelong attachment to a loved one. The area is so full of locks that Christmas Tree like structures had to be placed there to permit more visitors to place their locks.
In the evening, Gisela and I attended the opening event of the conference at the Westin Chosun Hotel featuring a keynote by Prof Young Guk Park, Acting President of Kyung Hee University.
The evening concluded with a Jazz performance by academics of Kyung Hee University.
On Friday, I attended the QS Subject Focus Summit at Kyung Hee University's Grand Peace Hall, delivered my speech and enjoyed the conference.
The day concluded with a Gala Dinner at a Korean Restaurant, Samchcheonggak.
On Saturday, the conference started in the morning with more presentations. At noon, students from the local dental school took us on individual tours through their city.
We first had a traditional lunch with our students...
... followed by a tour of the Gyeongbokgung Palace.
The day concluded with a visit of the memorial stones, statues that honour civil officials.
Afterwards, we explored a gourmet supermarket—shopping for an in-room dinner after a long day.
On Sunday, we explored the city further until our lunch departure. First, we visited the Namdaemun Market where one can buy anything.
Then, we walked to the futuristically-shaped Design Museum and the Design Exhibition Hall.
After lunch, we walked back along the Cheonggyecheon Stream and saw a Blue Heron catching a fish and flying off.
In the evening we departed for an overnight flight returning to Sydney.
Here are more pictures.