Tea: Korean Infusion

Korean tea

Tea was introduced to South Korea from China, around the 7th century — during the late Silla dynasty. Perhaps because it was served on a daily basis it was taken for granted. However, recently there’s been a resurgence of interest in the intricate tea ceremony…

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Santana: Put Your Records On

Santana

It’s not difficult to lose yourself among the titles of the vinyl records and CDs that Mr. Lee has been collecting for decades. I gaze through his extensive collection of music to see what we have in common. I notice a few classics that my…

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Hanji and Insadong’s Stationery Stores

stationery

I gently run my fingertips over the layers of folded hanji and hope the owner will forgive these small delights of mine. When I was younger I desperately wanted to own a stationery store, I think most girls did. South Korea has re-ignited that deep-seated childhood…

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World’s Tallest Art Gallery

63 Building

The 63 Building – which is part of 63 City or 63 Square – is possibly one of South Korea’s most recognisable skyscrapers. You can see its golden glisten as you cross the Han River on the subway. It was the tallest building outside of the…

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Seodaemun Prison

Soedaemun Prison

The sea between South Korea and Japan is called the Sea of Japan, as advised by the United States of America at the International Hydrographic Organisation. South Koreans continue to refer to it as the East Sea because the name change occurred while South Korea…

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Garak Fish Market

Garak Fish Market

I’m the kind of person who could survive purely on chocolate, sunshine, smiles and salmon sashimi – not necessarily in that particular order, but you understand. My friends and I arrived at Garak Fish Market, South East of Seoul Station, in the late afternoon. After…

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Kukkiwon: World Taekwondo HQ

Kukkiwon

I’d really like to think that I have something to do with the fact that some of my friends back home have seriously taken up Taekwondo since I have been in South Korea. But, truth be told, it’s probably due to the rising popularity of…

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Gangnam Cityscape

Gangnam

Marco Polo restaurant is serenely perched above the skyline, on the 52nd floor of the World Trade Centre in Gangnam, Seoul. The glass elevator ride to the top is reminiscent of an amusement park ride as the world shrinks beneath my feet. The glass walls provide…

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Changdeokgung Palace: Seoul’s Secret Garden

Changdeokgung Palace

My wonderful friend, Gina, and I spent the afternoon nobly frolicking around Changdeokgung Palace like we owned the place: quite literally we were pretending to be the daughters of royalty. We suspended our disbelief – no one had to know that we were ACTUALLY part of…

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Incheon Chinatown

Incheon Chinatown

Incheon Chinatown is the biggest and only (official) chinatown in South Korea. Its beginnings can be traced back to the late 19th century when it was opened in an attempt to create a free trade zone for Chinese merchants and settlers. The Korean War, however,…

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Portraits of Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Namdaemun Market is one of my favourite traditional markets in Seoul. Not a fortnight goes by that I don’t visit. There are quite a number of reasons as to why I frequent it so often. You can buy anything here – from jewelry and accessories, to…

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Janggi: Korean Chess

Janggi is a strategic board game that permeates South Korean society. Although Janggi is usually played recreationally, a patient crowd gathers as players begin to bet money. Men huddle around the two opponents. As horses gallop across the board; cannons fire; government officials take their positions…

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Silent Disco, Shhhilence

Silent Disco

Partying en masse with a pair of wireless headphones has become a craze among clubbers, not only in Seoul, but worldwide. It has become such a widespread recreational activity that earlier this year it was added as an entry to the online Oxford dictionary. Now…

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Gaemi Maeul: Ant Village

Gaemi Maul

Captured by an age-old spell, Lilliput – also known as Gaemi Maeul or Ant Village to locals – lies hidden in the hills near Bugaksan. Once I passed through the portal, like the one found in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I was greeted by Magnetism,…

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Hi Seoul Festival

Hi Seoul Festival

‘It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s Icarus!’ This is exactly how Rainbow Drops held our attention by the hand. Perhaps La Fura dels Baus, the Spanish theatre troupe, interpreted the festival memo as reading ‘high’ Seoul Festival.  This non-verbal performance opened with a white-winged Icarus soaring…

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Jindo Sea Parting Festival

Jindo Sea Parting

When someone tells you they’re going to a sea parting festival, you can’t help but think that perhaps they are taking part in a modern-day re-enactment of Moses’ parting of the Red Sea. For centuries the Jindo Sea Parting Festival was surrounded by mystery, now it’s a…

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Nonsan Strawberry Festival

Nonsan Strawberry Festival

Sleepy eyed I hopped onto a bus to travel for three hours to have delectable strawberries for a late morning breakfast. After reading that you might be thinking ‘What the bleep? Couldn’t you have gone to your local grocer instead?’ Hold on a moment, you…

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Club Palm Hongdae

Club Palm Hongdae

If you’re looking to wind down on a Sunday evening Club Palm Hongdae is the ideal place for a chill out session. The jazz club boasts a talented line up of well-known Korean jazz bands, solo musicians, music students (most of whom are studying at…

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