Summer in the Beauty of Eunpyeong Hanok Village

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The architectural beauty of hanok structures continues to awe visitors to Korea, with many people including a trip to a hanok village on their itinerary. If you’ve already been to Bukchon Hanok Village or Jeonju Hanok Village but still want to see more, then plan some time in Eunpyeong Hanok Village! Despite being located within Seoul, this village maintains a slower, quieter ambiance where you can truly appreciate the beauty of hanok along with the majestic Bukhansan Mountain.

Eunpyeong Hanok Village
Eunpyeong Hanok Village was founded at the foot of Bukhansan Mountain in December, 2014. Rather than restoring old hanok houses like most villages do, the area was completely created from scratch, becoming the largest neighborhood of new hanok houses in the metropolitan area. The area has plenty of attractions to fill a half-day itinerary, from walking along forested trails on Bukhansan Mountain to visiting a temple and museum before enjoying a break at a café or restaurant with an amazing view.

Jingwansa Temple
Jingwansa Temple is one of four major temples located around Seoul.


The temple offers many facilities to learn about Buddhist culture, including temple stay, temple food, and traditional culture experience halls.


The walking path, Baekchowon-gil, starting from the temple entrance is highly recommended. The path is named after Monk Baek Chowon, who hid the Korean flag and other patriotic materials during the Japanese colonial period. The path passes a beautiful valley flowing out of Bukhansan National Park.

Eunpyeong History Hanok Museum
Eunpyeong History Hanok Museum is dedicated to promoting the history and hanok culture of Eunpyeong-gu through exhibitions as well as lectures and hands-on programs. The building was also selected as a beautiful representative building of Seoul in 2015.


The museum is largely divided into the Eunpyeong History Hall on the second floor and the Hanok Exhibition Hall on the third floor. The hanok hall shows the changes in hanok structures over time, showing plenty of examples of modern hanok. The Eunpyeong History Hall shows the history and culture of the region where Eunpyeong Hanok Village currently stands.


Many visitors enjoy getting a closer look at the materials used to construct hanok, as well as the science behind the flooring of hanok buildings, such as the ondol (underfloor heating) and maru (wooden floor). The museum holds approximately 7,500 items related to the area’s history and representative cultural heritages.

Hanok cafés and restaurants with a view
One unique aspect of Eunpyeong Hanok Village is that there are hanok tea houses and restaurants with upstairs seating for a panoramic view of the entire village. While they aren’t super high up, the floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to see the beautiful tile rooflines up close with a fantastic backdrop of Bukhansan Mountain.


Take a moment to relax from wandering through the village over a traditional drink and snack or even a full meal. No matter which shop or menu you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a pictureperfect table and view.

Eunpyeong Trail
If you enjoy hiking and trekking, you’ll definitely want to check out Eunpyeong Trail! There are five courses total, with courses three and four passing Jingwansa Temple and Eunpyeong Hanok Village.


Course four in particular is great if you enjoy hiking, as it connects with sections of the Bukhansan Dulle-gil Trail. The wooden deck also passes the natural habitat for boreal digging frogs, an endangered species.


 
 
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Following BTS to Traditional Places

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K-pop group Bangtan Boys, more commonly called BTS, hasn’t let their international fame cloud their Korean roots. In the past, they filmed a music video at Gyeongbokgung Palace while dressed in hanbok, and even appeared on an NBC talk show wearing hanbok. In Korea, they visited many traditional places, creating a wonderful tour course for BTS fans looking to follow in their footsteps.

Korea Furniture Museum
BTS made an appearance in a recent episode of “You Quiz on the Block,” filmed at the Korea Furniture Museum. They aren’t the only celebrities to have visited this attraction. The guestbook includes famous international figures such as Xi Jinping, Brad Pitt, and Martha Stewart!


The Korea Furniture Museum is a unique museum that collects and displays Korea’s traditional wooden furniture. Items are grouped according to their location and use in traditional houses, as well as by material, and region of origin.


The museum takes up ten traditional houses on a hill in Seongbuk-dong that have been restored over fifteen years. By touring the museum, you can also learn about the basic structure of hanok houses, including their typical interior design, flower-patterned lattice work, chimney, and front yard.


Admission to the museum is strictly limited to those with a reservation, and tours are led by a guide, lasting approximately one hour. Through the guided tour, you can learn more about the Korean housing culture, harmonizing the furniture and nature. The museum is a great way to learn more about the beautiful traditional culture of Korea.

Awon Museum & Hotel
Awon Museum & Hotel was a filming location of the 2019 BTS Summer Package. In the film, the members of BTS also visited nearby attractions like Soyang Oseongje House and Uibongsanseong Fortress, quickly raising their popularity. The house itself was originally built in Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do, but was move to the current location within Wanju Oseong Hanok Village.


Despite the move, the 250-year-old house still maintains the dignity of a scholar’s lifestyle from the Joseon era.


Awon Hotel can largely be divided into four spaces, including Cheonjiin – Manhyudang Hall, which was used for the cover image of 2019 BTS Summer Package.


The other spaces are Sarangchae – Yeonhadang Hall, Anchae – Seolhwadang Hall, and Byeolchae – Cheonmokdasil Room. Each area is open to touring, taking photos, and even spending the night in.


The ground below Awon Hotel is the Awon Museum, displaying modern art in the Oz Gallery. The gallery also serves a limited menu of teas and coffee. For more leisure, you can walk in the bamboo forest growing behind the hotel.

Gyeongbokgung Palace
If you’re a BTS fan, then you have to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace! They recorded a large performance here!


BTS recorded in front of Geunjeongjeon Hall of Gyeongbokgung Palace, registered as National Treasure No. 223 and the main building in the palace. Their performance, wearing traditional hanbok, was recorded for an episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on NBC in September of 2020.


After performing “Idol” in front of Geunjeongjeon Hall, they also performed “Mikrokosmos” in front of Gyeonghoeru Pavilion. Their performance was made even more spectacular thanks to the use of hundreds of drones. The pavilion appears to float atop the pond around it. It is especially popular in spring, when the weeping cherry trees around the pond are in bloom.


In May of 2015, BTS also performed before a brightly lit Heungnyemun Gate for a KBS music show. At that time, they were jokingly referred to as Heungtan Boys.

Korea House
Korea House also has connections with BTS. The cover image for the BTS edition of the Billboard magazine was taken here at Nogeumjeong Pavilion. In addition to group photos, they also took individual photos here.


Korea House is a multicomplex promoting all types of Korean traditions, from traditional food to performing arts, and even traditional wedding ceremonies.


Visitors can try a royal table d’hote, watch traditional performances, and even participate in cultural programs.


 
 
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Explore Ikseon-dong, a Hidden Treasure in the Bustling City

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Ikseon-dong has become a must-visit neighborhood in Seoul. The maze-like streets of Ikseon-dong hold treasures in the form of cafés, restaurants, and handicraft shops with unique concepts and designs operated by young artists and entrepreneurs. Ikseon-dong has enough to see and eat to fill a half-day of touring!

11AM – The charm of 101 years of history, Ikseon-dong Hanok Village
Ikseon-dong Hanok Village, first established in the 1920s, offers a unique mix of modern and traditional elements. The narrow alleyways are lined with uniquely decorated shops and cafes as they twist and turn. It’s no surprise that these alleyways are referred to as “photo zones” as the colorful shops make the perfect backdrop for photogenic moments. The shop signs and one-of-a-kind murals can also help you find you way within Ikseon-dong Hanok Village.

12PM – Lunch break overlooking hanok rooftops at 2storey_house
2storey_house is a French restaurant that overlooks the surrounding hanok village from the second floor terrace. The chef was trained at the famous French culinary school Le Cordon Bleu, and makes classic French dishes using ingredients available in Korea. Try unique combinations such as cream pasta featuring bacon and oyster mushrooms, or squid ink risotto with monkfish and French salsa sauce.

1PM – Café with a view, Cheongsudang
Wander the streets of Ikseon-dong long enough and you’ll come across a small pond with stepping stones, lined with tall bamboo and round yellow lanterns. The path leads to Cheongsudang, a café designed with the concept of an Asian garden. In addition to the interior design, the café’s menu items are also popular. Enjoy stone pour-over coffee, made using stone drippers, or the Castella and fromage cake, baked in square-shaped pottery.

3PM – Get rid of stress at Ikseon Shooting Club
Part of the charm of exploring Ikseon-dong is stopping in to enjoy the shops. At Ikseon Shooting Club, you can relieve stress while also winning prizes! This indoor shooting range provides a variety of BB gun types that feel just like their actual model. Each gun type has a set point goal and if you get over the target goal, you win a prize!

4PM – Sala Daeng BANGKOK, a slice of Thai paradise
For dinner, fly to Thailand. Just kidding! You can enjoy Thai food in Ikseon-dong at Sala Daeng BANGKOK, famous among tourists. The restaurant looks like a resort straight out of Bangkok, decorated with rattan furniture and green plants around a central swimming pool. The menu includes Korean remakes of Thai cuisine for a unique dining option. If you’re looking for the full experience, be sure to order the Sala Daeng Special three-tier tray, coming with dinner and dessert!


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City Exploration to the heart of Seoul, Jongno

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Jongno 3(sam)-ga, Seoul ranked third in “The 49 coolest neighbourhoods in the world” for 2021, selected by the English travel magazine Time Out. What charms does this place, which draws the world’s attention and attracts an entire generation, hold? Jongno is the heart of Seoul, where Korea’s past and present, seniors and juniors, and retro and refined styles coexist.
Today, we’d like to explore the charming area of Jongno 3(sam)-ga!

Gwangjang Market, a Traditional Korean Market
Located in Yeji-dong, Jongno-gu, Gwangjang Market demonstrates the energetic daily lifestyle of Koreans. As Korea’s first permanent market with about 100 years of tradition, it houses numerous textile wholesalers and retailers of hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) material, curtains, and bedding. It has recently become more famous for its unique food street serving small gimbap, mung bean pancakes, and beef tartare. The savory aroma of food draws passersby into the market.

Taste of Korea at Gwangjang Market
When entering Gwangjang Market, you will easily find beef tartare restaurants. We highly recommend trying the “chopped live octopus and beef tartare” dish, a combination of beef tartare and finely chopped live octopus. This delicacy is characterized by the savory taste of egg yolk mingling with the soft beef tartare and chewy octopus. The dish’s Korean name, nakji tangtangi, originates from the sound of chopping (tangtang) octopus (nakji) with a knife.
Kkoma gimbap, highlighted in Time Out, is also known as mayak gimbap, literally meaning “drug gimbap,” because once you taste these addictive rolls with the mustard dipping sauce, you’ll never want to stop eating them. In addition, japchae, a combination of various vegetables, meat, and glass noodles, is a festive dish usually eaten on special occasions because of its complex and time-consuming cooking process. However, this delicious dish is readily available in Gwangjang Market for a reasonable price.
We also recommend mung bean pancakes (bindaetteok) and griddlecake with sugar filling (hotteok). While the griddle cake filled with sugar and nuts is a sweet dessert-like snack, the mung bean pancake, made with mung bean dough, green bean sprouts, and pork, is perfect for hungry tourists and best enjoyed with drinks. The latter has a long tradition and is the most popular food at Gwangjang Market.

Attractive Walking Spots along Seosulla-gil
Once you’ve appeased your hunger in Gwangjang Market, let’s discover more of Jongno’s hidden charms while digesting another delicacy! Seosulla-gil, the western stone wall road surrounding Jongmyo Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a beautiful walking spot with a cozy and peaceful atmosphere. Behind the stone wall, a large old tree’s verdant branches offer a shady resting spot in the summer and become tinged with autumn colors in the fall. While walking along the 800-meter-long road and observing the stunning scenery, you will pass by traditional crafts workshops, jewelry multishops, cafés, pubs, and other interesting shops where you can stop and rest at your leisure.

Strolling along K-Crafts Street
Do you know that the citizen identification tags and ornamental hairpins that appeared in Netflix’s popular K-zombie series “Kingdom (2019)” were made in a traditional handicraft workshop in Seosulla-gil? Also known as a K-crafts street, Seosulla-gil is home to many similar shops. We’d like to introduce you to Space 42, where you’ll find diverse jewelry crafts. This cultural complex offers various products from rising Korean jewelry designers. Its first floor has a jewelry multishop, while the second floor houses a lounge and experience booth where visitors can try their hand at making jewelry.

Enjoying Food and Drinks in Hanok
If you want to take a break from walking around Seosulla-gil, we advise you to visit Café Sasa for a delicious coffee or Seoul Gypsy for an alcoholic drink. Café Sasa, designed like a hanok, was featured in Time Out for its savory mugwort latte. In addition, the Seoul Gypsy, a remodeled 1950s hanok decorated in a unique pub style, boasts experimental microbrews and exotic dishes, including Vietnamese chicken and Thai salad.

Getting a Sense of Traditional Culture
The Seosulla-gil walking tour’s last course lets you discover the beauty of Korean traditions. Korea Saekdong Museum, featuring a traditional hanok-style and modern interior, displays Korea’s old clothing culture. The Korean word saekdong means “clothes with multicolored stripes.” The museum exhibits traditional wedding clothes and children’s clothes for celebrating their first anniversaries made of these colorful, striped clothes. In addition, you can purchase various modern accessories, such as mugs and pouches, made with the colorful stripe design in the museum shop.

Major Gourmand Alleys of the Newtro Culture
Jongno is home to numerous food streets, ranging from old restaurants in Meat Alley and Pocha Street to Ikseon-dong Café Street, which incited Korea’s newtro craze. Let’s explore these gourmand alleys that attract people of all ages, from seniors to hipsters!

Meat Alley Packed with Well-Established Restaurants
Many long-standing pork restaurants serving grilled pork belly and pork skirt are situated along Meat Alley, next to Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station, Exit 6. These old restaurants each have their specialties, and Tongdwaeji Jip, known for its huge cauldron lid–grilled pork belly, is no exception. Grilled pork belly, considered Korean soul food, has become a popular dish among foreigners and is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary. You can enjoy pork belly and kimchi grilled over a hot cauldron lid and wrap them in lettuce or perilla leaf. If you want to properly appreciate trendy Korean food culture, we recommend that you end your meal with fried rice made with kimchi and cheese.

Delicious Dessert in Ikseon-dong
Ikseon-dong Café Street is a popular place among the youth to find exciting desserts. The hanok café “Cheong Su Dang” is known for its delicious desserts, such as soufflé castella, which is made upon order, black sesame cake, and pour-over coffee made from millstoneground coffee. This café is also a famous photo spot thanks to its interior design. Its entrance is embellished with a bamboo lamp and stepping-stones, emphasizing Asian beauty, while its nature-friendly interior is decorated with moss and rocks.

Food Stalls at Night
If you walk toward Nagwon Arcade from Exit 3 of Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station on Subway Line 5, you will find food stalls lining the roadside. In Pocha Street, you can try Koreans’ favorite snacks, such as mussel soup, grilled chicken feet, grilled sea eel, and green onion pancakes, served with alcoholic drinks on a street table. Along with Gogi Alley, Pocha Street also came highly recommended in Time Out. If you want to experience Korean night culture, this is the perfect place to end your Jongno travels.

 
 
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Hottest Attractions on Jeju Island’s Eastern Coast

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Hamdeok Seoubong Beach
HHamdeok Seoubong Beach is located just over 50 minutes’ drive away from Jeju International Airport in the direction of Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone. The beach is perfect for beginner swimmers and touring families as the waters are only waist-high even away from shore.

Hamdeok Seoubong Beach

Delmoondo & Bora Roof
Located at Hamdeok Seoubong Beach, Café Delmoondo is the perfect spot to relax. A sip of an icy cold drink while taking in the ocean view from Café Delmoondo’s terrace is its own reward.
Another trending café near the beach is Bora Roof, newly opened in early 2021. As the name implies, the purple colored roof and window frames are quite eye-catching, quickly becoming a hot spot for social media photos.

Delmoondo & Bora Roof


Gimnyeong Seongsegi Beach
Gimnyeong Seongsegi Beach is famous for its cobalt blue waters. Every summer, the beach is filled with people looking to swim, surf, paddle board, and enjoy other aquatic activities. For something really special, we recommend the yacht tour. Aboard the yacht, you can try your hand at sea fishing, or simply keep your eyes peeled for sightings of the dolphins that naturally swim here.

Gimnyeong Seongsegi Beach

Daesugil Dabang, Sosimhan Bookstore and Bravo Beach
Souvenirs make great mementos to remind you of your trip after it ends. At Daesugil Dabang in Pyeongdae-ri, you will find a variety of gift options, including candles, postcards and dream catchers. In particular, the jelly candles make for excellent gifts as they bear the beauty of Jeju by using seashells and sand collected from Jeju beaches.
At Sosimhan Bookstore, you can find cute items made by Jeju illustrators, ranging from postcards and posters to mobiles. In a corner of the store, tourists can rest with a cup of coffee or barley tea.
Bravo Beach is a new café located near Seongsan that gives off the atmosphere of a beach resort. There are plenty of bed-shaped rest areas in the outdoor garden, spread over an impressive 1,650m2.

Daesugil Dabang, Sosimhan Bookstore and Bravo Beach

The above article is courtesy of VisitKorea, the official website of the Korea Tourism Organization (www.visitkorea.or.kr)
 
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Korea’s Beautiful Script, Hangeul

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October 9 of every year holds a very special place in the hearts of Koreans; it is the birthday of Hangeul, the native Korean alphabet. The Korean alphabet is unique in that it is the only writing system in the world about which both the creation date and creator are known. Before the invention of Hangeul, Chinese characters called “hanja” were used in Korea. However, hanja was difficult to learn, especially for people of lower social status with little to no access to education, and this led to rampant illiteracy throughout the country.
In order to resolve the problem, King Sejong the Great (r. 1418-1450) began developing a new writing system that would be easy to access as well as to learn. The invention of the new script was started in 1443 and Hangeul underwent three years of trials before being official completed in 1446. At that time, Hangeul was disseminated with a thorough explanation of logic behind each stroke of its characters in the text

Korea’s Beautiful Script, Hangeul

What does Hangeul mean?

The name Hangeul is made up of two words: han (한) and geul (글). Han means either “big” or “great,” and geul refers to a writing script; Hangeul, therefore, means “great alphabet.” The original name of the Korean alphabet was “Hunminjeongeum,” which translates to “the proper guiding alphabet of the people.”
When Hunminjeongeum was first created, it consisted of 28 letters. From its original system, four letters have been dropped and the remaining 24 letters are now commonly referred to as Hangeul. Hunminjeongeum, or Hangeul, is not only easy to learn and convenient to use, but also uniquely scientific in its creation. In recognition of such virtues, the UNESCO inscribed the Hunminjeongeum Haeryebon (Guidebook) on its Memory of the World Register in October 1997.
Hangeul is a writing system that involves combining any of the standard 14 consonants and 10 vowels to form one-syllable blocks. Each vowel is made of a line or lines that represent the sky, the earth and people, while consonants reflect the shape of a human mouth during pronunciation. Besides the standard consonants and vowels, there are also 5 compound consonants and 11 compound vowels that make up additional 16 common sounds.

Who exactly was King Sejong the Great?

King Sejong the Great was inaugurated as the fourth king of the Joseon dynasty in 1418. As a leader, he put his passion for intellectual pursuits, love for his people, and keen interest in improving the lives of the common people into action. Consequently, the Joseon dynasty made great strides in various fields during his reign, improving the lives of his subjects in all aspects. Ultimately, the king’s achievements and benevolence led to the coining of the nickname, “King Sejong the Great.” The warm-hearted king is revered today, as demonstrated by his portrait on the 10,000 won bill!

Korea’s Beautiful Script, Hangeul

Where can I experience Hangeul?
The breath of living language, National Hangeul Museum

The National Hangeul Museum showcases the history and changes over time of the national script. Visitors can also play and learn Hangeul in the museum’s unique activity zones. See the changes to the way Hangeul is written from 1443 until now, play games using Hangeul toys, and learn to read and write your name!
•National Hangeul Museum
•>> Address: 139, Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
•>> Admission: Free
•>> Website: http://www.hangeul.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

All about King Sejong! King Sejong Story & King Sejong the Great Memorial Hall

If you’re curious about the creator of Hangeul, visit King Sejong Story or King Sejong the Great Memorial Hall. These two exhibition halls display the story of King Sejong’s life, as well as his many achievements, including Hangeul.
•King Sejong Story
•>> Address: 175, Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul
•>> Admission: Free
•>> Website: http://www.sejongstory.or.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish)
•>> King Sejong the Great Memorial Hall
•>> Address: 56, Hoegi-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
•>> Admission: Adults 3,000 won / Teenagers & Children 1,500 won
•>> Website: http://www.sejongkorea.org/ (Korean only)

More info
▶ National Institute of Korean Language website: http://www.korean.go.kr (Korean, English)
▶ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Vietnamese, Thai, Malay)
The above article is courtesy of VisitKorea, the official website of the Korea Tourism Organization (www.visitkorea.or.kr)


 
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A Shopping Paradise Under your Feet, Seoul’s Top Underground Shopping Malls

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Korea’s four distinctive seasons, with cold winds in winter or the sudden downpours during the rainy season in summer, may cause varying levels of inconvenience in having a pleasant shopping experience in Korea. However, the weather causes no problem at the top five underground shopping malls in Seoul, where one can go and fully enjoy shopping, without being restricted by the whims of weather. Not only are these shopping malls lined with shops, but they are also packed with restaurants, cafés, and cultural attractions. Plus, these malls are connected to the subway, allowing you visit the malls conveniently and enjoy shopping while keeping your feet dry even in the middle of a rain storm.

Goto Mall (Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Center) and Famille Station

Goto Mall, a contraction of gosokteomineol, meaning “express bus terminal,” and Famille Station are often referred to as shopping heaven for women. A long shopping aisle connecting Banpo Station (Seoul Subway Line 7) and Express Bus Terminal Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, 7, 9) flourishes with multitude of stores offering various goods, making it the largest underground shopping mall of its kind in Seoul. The latest clothing trends, accessories, cosmetics, interior products and wholesale flowers – there’s nothing here you won’t find. You can also enjoy a delicious meal or a cup of coffee at one of the many popular restaurants and coffee shops, or seek entertainment at a movie theater. In addition, shoppers can move easily around the area due to the expansion of aisles that connect Shinsegae Department Center, Central City Terminal, and Express Bus terminal.

Goto Mall (Gangnam Terminal Underground Shopping Center) and Famille Station

Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall and Times Square

Yeongdeungpo has long been a hub of public transportation in Seoul that is always crowded with people coming and going. Since the opening of the mega shopping mall Times Square, it has been drawing even more traffic. Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall offers a variety of products marketed to different age groups from teenagers to seniors. In addition, visitors can also visit Shinsegae Department Store and Times Square connected to the underground mall for a variety of shopping options.

Yeongdeungpo Underground Mall and Times Square

StarfieldCOEX Mall

Starfield COEX Mall is a well-known underground shopping mall in Korea that houses many brand stores. A movie theater, aquarium, duty-free shops, casino, COEX InterContinental Seoul, and department stores are delightfully connected to the underground mall, making it possible to enjoy shopping and cultural experiences without leaving the building. Famous restaurants and trendy dessert cafés, along with character pop-up stores and kid’s cafés located in the mall provide a fun day for all generations. With the opening of Starfield Library in May 2017 (bottom right photo), Starfield COEX Mall is gaining more popularity than ever!

StarfieldCOEX Mall

The above article is courtesy of VisitKorea, the official website of the Korea Tourism Organization(www.visitkorea.or.kr)


 
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Enjoy Spring Blossom Roads in Seoul

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Central Park in Seoul, Seoul Forest
Recognized as one of Seoul’s premium city-parks, a magnificent sight of giant cherry blossom trees can be found at Seoul Forest. Visitors to the park are welcome to enjoy a light walk or a picnic under the gently fluttering cherry blossoms. Don’t miss your chance to get to see deer and observe butterflies at the Ecological Forest while at the park.
Address: 273, Ttukseom-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (more info)

Central Park in Seoul, Seoul Forest

A Perfect Picnic Spot, Children’s Grand Park
Children’s Grand Park is considered to be most stunning during springtime when cherry blossoms are in full bloom. In addition, other attractions such as the zoo and the botanical garden found within the park offer more to see, making the park a perfect picnic spot. Snacks for sale can be found at every corner and full meals are also available at the park’s cafeteria.
Address: 216, Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul (more info)

A Perfect Picnic Spot, Children’s Grand Park

A Scene from a Fairy Tale, Seokchonhosu Lake
Every spring, Seokchonhosu Lake boasts a splendid view of approximately 300,000 cherry blossoms and wild flowers in bloom. In particular, the sight of Lotte World nestled in the middle of Seokchonhosu Lake creates a fairy tale-like picture. The annual Seokchonhosu Lake Cherry Blossom Festival is also held here, offering various events and programs for visitors to enjoy.
Address: 180, Jamsil-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul (more info)

A Scene from a Fairy Tale, Seokchonhosu Lake

A Park Nearest to the Sky, Haneul Park in World Cup Park
Haneul Park (Sky Park), located within the World Cup Park, stands at the highest elevation among the other parks. Colonies of forsythias can be found along both sides of the trekking paths, creating the mood to enjoy spring to its fullest. Man-made structures are rarely found around the area as the park was formed as a restoration project to preserve ecological environment. Visitors are recommended to prepare a few drinks and snacks in advance before visiting.
Address: 95, Haneulgongwon-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (more info)

A Park Nearest to the Sky, Haneul Park in World Cup Park

A Romantic Getaway, Noeul Park in World Cup Park
Noeul Park offers a pleasant sight of forsythias and royal azaleas in early spring and changes its colors to lovely shades of purple around May to June when the iris are in bloom. In addition, metasequoia trees path is well sought by couples as the trees that stretch down along both sides of the walking path set a romantic mood perfect for a relaxing stroll.

A Romantic Getaway, Noeul Park in World Cup Park

Address: 84, Haneulgongwon-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (more info)

A Fabulous Flower Party, Seoul National Cemetery
The cherry blossoms cultivated at the Seoul National Cemetery resemble willow trees with their branches hanging down towards the ground as they age, giving one an image of waterfall of flowing flowers. Although Seoul National Cemetery is popular for its fascinating cherry blossoms, other spring blossoms such as forsythias and fringe trees serve as welcoming sights. In addition, the annual Seoul National Cemetery Event with Weeping Cherry Blossoms is held every April, offering various entertainment and experience opportunities.

A Fabulous Flower Party, Seoul National Cemetery

Address: 210, Hyeonchung-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul (more info)


 
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10 Summer Beach Destinations

https://korean-machinery.com///inquiryIf you’re planning on vacationing in Korea this summer, be sure to check out at least one of the following beach destinations! Korea is surrounded on three sides by water, giving it plenty of beaches in a variety of shapes and sizes that offer a welcomed escape from everyday life. Since most beaches in Korea officially open in June or July and close towards the end of August, visitors have only a few months to splash around in the water and soak up the rays. But don’t worry if you miss out on the official summer beach season, as there are plenty of sightseeing activities that you can enjoy all year round!

Map of major beaches in Korea

Guryongpo Beach in Pohang-si, Gyeongsangbuk-doat ongpohang
Guryongpo Beach is about 24 kilometers away from Pohang and 1.5 kilometers from Guryongpo-eup. Thanks to the gentle slope of the ocean floor and the clean seawater, Guryongpo Beach is a favorite vacation spot for swimming enthusiasts. The beach is also popular among fishermen, many of whom troll their lines in Yeongilman Bay.

Sokcho Beach in Sokcho-si, Gangwon-dokcho Beach
Sokcho Beach is well known for the picturesque pine trees that stand proudly along its white sandy coast. One of the perks of this particular beach is that there are many tourist attractions in the surrounding area, including Yeongnangho Lake and Seoraksan Mountain, one of Korea’s most famous mountains.
Given the beach’s range of facilities and nearby accommodations, Sokcho Beach is a convenient place for a weekend trip. Visitors can even rent a fishing rod and go fishing at nearby Jodo Island, or walk towards the pier to get some fresh hoe (sliced raw fish) at one of the local fish markets.
One of the biggest draws of Sokcho Beach is that it is located near Sokcho Express Bus Terminal, making it easy to find for even first-time visitors. Festivals held at Sokcho Beach include the Sunrise Festival on January 1 of every year, and other events that take place during the beach swimming period between July and August for all visitors to enjoy.

Gyeongpo Beach in Gangneung-si, Gangwon-doyeongpo Beach
Gyeongpo Beach is the largest beach on the east coast, and is only about a kilometer away from Gyeongpodae Pavilion, famous for its sunrise view. Perhaps the most striking characteristic of Gyeongpo Beach is its fine powdery sand, which is perfect for barefoot walks along the beach. There is also a beautiful pine tree forest nearby for leisure walks. Beach activities such as banana boating, Jet Skiing, and waterskiing are popular as well. In addition, Gyeongpo Summer Music Festival is held every evening between the end of July and early August, featuring performances from famous bands and hip-hop groups for a beachside party atmosphere.

Naksan Beach in Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do
With a sandy beach stretching over 1,810 meters, Naksan Beach is one of the top beaches in Gangwon-do, drawing in countless visitors each year. The beach runs along clean waters, bordered by rows of pine trees. In addition to its natural beauty, Naksan Beach also has a variety of water activities such as riding on a banana boat or Jet Ski for those looking for more adventure.
The beach is also a top pick for those who are interested in Korea’s traditional culture, as it is close to Naksansa Temple and Uisangdae Pavilion, which was built to commemorate Great Monk Uisang. As an added bonus, the pavilion is also one of the best places in the area to view the sunrise.

Daecheon Beach in Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
Daecheon Beach is the largest beach on the west coast, and is known for its shallow and calm waters. The sand on the upper shores of Daecheon Beach is especially soft and easy to wash off because it is composed of finely eroded shells. Closer to the shoreline, the sand is hard packed. These two varieties of sand allow visitors to enjoy both leisure walks and sand scrubs. Daecheon Beach is also home to the annual Boryeong Mud Festival. In the winter, the beach draws large crowds again as locals and tourists flock to the shores for the annual Sunset Festival.

Eurwangni Beach in Jung-gu, Incheon
Eurwangni Beach, located near Seoul and Incheon International Airport, is a popular beach, both for its gorgeous views and clean white sand. The beach’s shallow water also provides the perfect place for children to go swimming. Amenities nearby include a number of lavish resorts and restaurants that serve fresh seafood. Having dinner outside on the terrace of one of these restaurants is the perfect way to watch the final rays of sunlight as they disappear over the horizon! Beachgoers can also rent a fishing boat or a fishing rod to fish off the side of the pier. A variety of beach festivals take place at Eurwangi every summer.

Muchangpo Beach in Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
Muchangpo Beach is particularly famous for what is known as the “Moses Miracle,” a natural phenomenon in which extreme tides reveal the seafloor for only a few short hours two or three days a month (around the 15th and 30th days of the lunar calendar). The exposed sea floor makes a path about 1.5 kilometers long that reaches all the way from the beach to Seokdaedo Island. The Muchangpo Mystic Sea Road Festival celebrates this occurrence every year in August or September, with the exact timing varying each year. The beach is also known for its scenic coastal drive, clusters of pine trees, and beautiful sunsets.

Haeundae Beach in Haeundae-gu, Busan
The slope of Haeundae Beach is shallow and there is little change in tide, making this beach perfect for swimming. The beach is famous for its views of the sunrise and moonrise as seen from Haewoljeong Pavilion atop Dalmajigogae Hill. Haeundae’s Dalmaji-gil Road, which is located between Haeundae Beach and Songjeong Beach, is another recommended spot for a romantic view of the moonlight glistening off the water’s surface.
Haeundae Beach is also extremely well known for its many cultural events and festivals that are held throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy Haeundae Sand Festival in summer; Busan International Film Festival in fall; and the New Year Festival and Polar Bear Swimming Contest in winter.

Hyeopjae Beach in Jeju-si, Jeju-do
Hyeopjae Beach is one of the best beaches on Jeju Island for swimmers, since the waters are shallow with no sudden drops. Tiny shells in the sand give the beach a silver sheen and make for a firm feel that is perfect for walks along the water’s edge. Once you get into the water, you’ll be pleased to discover that the water is so clean that you can clearly see your toes!
Hallim Park, a major tourist attraction, is only 5 minutes away on foot, and is well worth a visit. The park is landscaped with an abundance of subtropical plants and topiaries, and serves as a cool escape from the summer heat. A pleasant beach with plenty of space, Hyeopjae is all the more beautiful for its view of black basalt rocks to one side and Biyangdo Island standing out in the distance.

Jungmun Saekdal Beach in Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Jungmun Saekdal Beach within Jeju Jungmun Resort is a unique beach comprised of a gradient of black, white, red, and gray sand, as well as the famous black volcanic stone of Jeju Island. To the right of the sandy beach is a natural cave that was created by coastal erosion. Rare plants flourish near the cave, offering a convenient spot for some eco-focused sightseeing. The waves and tides can be rather rough along Jungmun, so while conditions are great for wind surfing, Jet Skiing and other water leisure activities, non-swimmers and young children are advised to stick close to the shoreline under the careful watch of lifeguards.
Jungmun Resort is also home to an aquarium, Yeomiji Botanical Garden, Cheonjeyeon Waterfall, and a luster of traditional houses typical on Jeju Island. Various events are held along the beach and within the resort complex throughout the year.

* Swimming season and available facilities subject to change.
* This column was last updated in June 2019, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.

The above article is courtesy of VisitKorea, the official website of the Korea Tourism Organization (www.visitkorea.or.kr)

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Beginners’ Guide to: Dongdaemun

https://korean-machinery.com///inquiryDongdaemun is a top attraction that is constantly crowded with international visitors! Tourists who visit this area typically only spend an hour or two here, but there are so many things to do or see that you may even spend an entire day exploring. Some of the most representative attractions found in this area include the nation’s first designated treasure, Heunginjimun Gate, the all-time favorite Cheonggyecheon Stream, as well as the notable landmark of this district, Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP).
The area of Dongdaemun is bigger than most tourists know and thus, several hidden attractions are often left unexplored. Read on for our very own one-day guide for first-time travelers to have a productive time in the Dongdaemun district!

Heunginjimun Gate & Dongdaemun Seonggwak Park
Heunginjimun Gate is the official name but due to its position on the east side of the outer wall of Seoul Fortress, it is also commonly referred to as Dongdaemun Gate. At that time, four large gates and four small gates were built in the Seoul Fortress surrounding the city. The four main gates (East, West, South, North) each had a Hangeul character attached, indicating benevolence, righteousness, propriety, and wisdom respectively. The east gate of the fortress was formerly named ‘Heunginmun Gate’, but was later changed to ‘Heunginjimun Gate’ with an addition of the Hangeul ‘ji (지)’ which was added to invigorate good energy.
Heunginjimun Gate is the largest gate in Seoul, surpassing even Sungnyemun Gate. It has a semicircular ongsung (a small wall built in front of the gate for complete protection) that differentiates it from the other fortress gates.
There is an uphill road behind the Heunginjimun Gate and it leads to the Dongdaemun Seonggwak Park. Due to the strong presence of other tourist attractions, as well as the small scale of the park, visitors to this area tend to miss out this hidden gem. Here at the park, you can catch a bird’s eye view of Dongdaemun where one can observe a harmonious blend of Korea’s traditional architecture with the modern skyscrapers.
▶TIP) Enjoy night views from Dongdaemun Seonggwak Park
Dongdaemun Seonggwak Park is especially known for its nightscape. Enjoy a spectacular night view of the soft lights glowing from Heunginjimun Gate, along with the vibrant lights emitted from the modern buildings in the background. In particular, the headlights from the countless cars passing on the roads below somehow create an even more dynamic atmosphere.

Cheonggyecheon Stream
Cheonggyecheon Stream flows through Jongno-gu and Jung-gu districts. It is an all-time favorite leisure place for anyone to rest or simply hang out with friends in the heart of the capital.
Though Gwanghwamun is the main entrance to Cheonggyecheon Stream, visitors may also get to the stream from Dongdaemun Station. There are a total of 22 bridges that cross over Cheonggyecheon Stream, with the bridge in Dongdaemun being Ogansugyo Bridge. The bridge is located at the spot of the previous Ogansu Gate, where five streams flowed out of the old capital. Due to urban development, the old gate can no longer be seen, but its memory lives on in the name of the bridge.

Dongdaemun Shopping Complex•Dongdaemun Shopping Town & Pyounghwa Fashion Town
Fashion and shopping are two of the most highly associated words with Dongdaemun. The area was designated as Dongdaemun Fashion Town Special Tourist Zone in 2002 and it gives a completely different vibe from typical shopping malls. Here at Dongdaemun, visitors may enjoy a unique experience of both traditional flea markets, as well as modern shopping complexes.
Although international tourists tend to visit the modern-style shopping malls, Dongdaemun Shopping Complex and Pyounghwa Fashion Town are also highly recommended. Visitors may experience a different vibe from usual shopping, and feel a sense of the traditional flea market instead. Dongdaemun Shopping Complex mainly sells fabric, buttons and other similar materials while fashion-related goods and commodities can be found at Pyounghwa Fashion Town.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)
The landmark of Dongdaemun, Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) was designed by world-renowned architect, Zaha Hadid. The DDP is shaped like a swirling spiral, representing the dynamics of Dongdaemun Fashion Town.
The most outstanding feature of DDP lies in its curves and atypical architecture. Neither straight lines nor right angles can be found in the entire structure. There are seven floors (three basement levels and four aboveground levels), but astoundingly, the floors are not exactly distinguishable from the outside.
The structure itself is not only unique on the outside but is also full of fascinating attractions on the inside. The complex is convenient and makes exploring enjoyable as it is divided into four segments namely ‘Art Hall’, ‘Museum’, ‘Design Lab’ and the ‘Oullim Square’. The park next to the DDP is installed with 25,550 LED roses that make a beautiful scene at night. It’s the perfect location for a romantic date night.
▶TIP) Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market exclusively on Fridays & Saturdays
Do not miss out on the exclusive Seoul Bamdokkaebi Night Market. The night market is ongoing until the last week of October, on every Friday and Saturday from 6pm to 11pm. Visitors can enjoy various street foods and even unique fashion shows directed by young designers!

Dongdaemun Night Market (Sebit Market)
As the sun goes down, a night market appears behind Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Street stalls with yellow tents spring up in a row and the place begins to come alive after 11 pm. In the past, this scene was often referred to as “nota,” a compound word formed from ‘noran’ (meaning ‘yellow’ in Korean) and ‘tawol’ (‘tower’ pronounced in Korean), since the market scene is located in front of Doosan Tower. Recently, the name was changed to Dongdaemun Sebit Market.
At the entrance of the Dongdaemun Sebit market, you will be greeted by a cute owl mascot, followed by a row of seemingly countless street stalls selling a wide assortment of items. Besides shopping, you can also enjoy diverse street food for a late-night snack such as gimbap, tteokbokki, and sundae.

* This column was last updated in March 2018, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official websites before visiting.

The above article is courtesy of VisitKorea, the official website of the Korea Tourism Organization (www.visitkorea.or.kr)

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