All posts tagged: tour

Seochon-dong | Hanoks & Whimsy

  Situated to the West of Gyeongbokgung, Seochon, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seoul, is an obvious treasure. It’s name is simply, “west village,” but that doesn’t embody the liveliness and warmth that you can experience here. Seochon hanoks were under threat of massive redevelopment and destruction up until 2008. The concerned took measures to ensure the preservation of the hanoks in this area, like that of Bukchon, the hanok village on the other side of Gyeongbokgung. And we should thank our lucky stars that this beautiful area has been saved and updated so that generations to come can walk through the streets and buy up all the things. Or just look around, that’s okay too. 🙂 In Robert J. Fouser’s book, Hanok, The Korean House, he explains how this area is an example of the neo-traditional style, or the “mixed hanok.” This new genre allows for experimentation and, perhaps more importantly, the expression of the owner’s personality. Like the city of Seoul itself, they appear similar from afar but sparkle with the color of individuality up close. Not to …

Persimmon Silence | Cheongdo Daejeoksa

The Gam Wine Tunnel was an interesting experience. The tunnel was unique. The wine was crisp. And, it was also very grating on my sensitive nerves because of the overabundance of attendees. Lucky for us that just up the hill a bit sat a quaint (and calm) little temple surrounded by persimmon trees and golden silence. Most temples in Korea look very similar but I was so grateful for this one because of the chaos that reigned just 200 meters away. Enjoy the pictures and feel the silence. 🙂

The King Sejong Story

Last week we celebrated Hangeul Day in Korea. Hangeul is the written Korean language, the alphabet. It was created by a Joseon era king, King Sejong. He is rightly admired to this day as a king for the people, a renaissance man, and an all around decent guy.  So, to celebrate the upcoming day off of work, I visited the museum dedicated to telling his story. To foreigners, creating Hangeul is probably what King Sejong is best known for. Before that time, Koreans used Chinese characters to write the Korean language. It didn’t always work and, of course, only the rich folks knew how to read it. Sejong realized that everyday people needed the opportunity to read and write so he created a phonetic language that made sense and was easy to teach. Thus, the creation of Hangeul. Sejong, however, did many things to help his country. As much as royalty is a disgusting concept, you have to admire him, this was one guy who tried to do right by his countrymen and women. You can …

|Jeju Island’s| Cheonjeyon Waterfall

The Cheonjeyon Waterfalls are a beautiful, cool oasis on a hot Jeju afternoon. It’s an interesting walk to get there. You must cross the Seven Nymphs Bridge, Chilseonyeogyo (칠선녀교), which connects the Jungmun Complex to the waterfalls.  The bridge represents a folk tale in whcih seven beautiful nymphs descend from heaven each holding their own instrument. I don’t know what they do once they get there but they all stand and look pretty on a bridge now. The bridge also goes by the name Seonim.

Shesokak |Jeju Island|

This will be the first in a series of posts on my latest vacation: Jeju Island, Korea. Yay! Shesokak isn’t exactly a river, but it’s as beautiful as one and acts as a gorgeous entryway to the ocean off the black sanded coast of Jeju. Located in the southern area, near Seogwipo-si, this beach boasts smooth, flat rocks, lighthouses, green water and hot, black sand. This isn’t a place for swimming but you can go paddling in the small area of Shesokak in clear canoes, paddle boats or a large pontoon boat (from 5-10,000 won). We were there early and the wait did not seem too bad but I hear it gets quite crowded. Although we didn’t paddle or canoe, the scenery made the trip worthwhile. The walk down the “river” is green and lush.  While the beach looks very tropical, of course, with the palm trees, the land surrounding Shesokak is like a thick forest. It’s an interesting contrast and makes for beautiful pictures. You can see more pictures on my Flickr Page.  Shesokak, Jeju-do …