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: Seoul’s colourful ant village

Gaemi Maul

I updated this post in December 2017. :) Captured by an age-old spell, Lilliput – also known as Gaemi Maeul or Ant Village to the locals – lies hidden in the hills near Bugaksan in northwestern Seoul. Once I passed through the portal, like the one found in The…

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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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Free Hugs: On Being An Earnest Hugger

Free hugs

For my 24th birthday I decided to overdose on… wait for it: endorphins! Yes, you read that right! What better way to celebrate than to give out free hugs and smiles to remind myself NEVER to grow up. Giving or receiving a hug releases a surge…

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Sinsa Dong, My Lovely

Sinsa Dong

High-heeled strides along Sinsa Dong’s Gingko-lined promenade are a popular pastime for many Seoulites. You’ll be forgiven for momentarily thinking that you are ambling along a bustling boulevard somewhere in Europe, when you encounter it at first glance. The main street, Garosu-gil, is lined with…

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Arty Naksan Park

Naksan Park

The murals, mosaics, metal statues and quirky illustrated road signs make Naksan Park intriguing, especially if you have a curious gaze. It is nestled on a granite mountain, quietly observing the bustle below. Naksan Park resembles a camel’s hump: ‘nakta’ in Korean means camel, while ‘san’ means…

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Samcheong Dong: Just Splendid

SamcheongDong

I wrote this article for Neh Magazine as part of my freelance work. I wander wide-eyed along the eastern wall of Gyeongbokgung Palace, beneath the Gingko trees. You should visit Samcheong Dong with the intention of getting lost among the narrow paths and alleyways. It’s the…

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Busan: Why You Have To Go

Busan

Now that you’ve read Busan on a Budget, here’s my advice on where to go and what to do while in Busan. Beomeosa Temple At over 1,300 years old, Beomeosa Temple, which was built in 678AD, is Busan’s oldest zen Buddhist temple. Its ancient artifacts epitomise…

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Busan On A Budget

Busan

Busan Busan is one of the most popular beach resorts in South Korea, due to its premium location on the south-eastern most tip of the peninsula. The subtropical climate has thousands, nay, more accurately millions flocking to claim their square metre of beach during the summer months.…

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Seoul Fireworks Festival

My magpie gene – the uncontrollable weakness to stare at or buy all things bright, shiny and sparkling – was temporarily satiated by the 8th Seoul Fireworks Festival held last night. Yeouido Island was the ideal location. Despite the crowds (this is Seoul we’re talking about after…

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Udo Island

Udo Island

While on holiday on Jeju Island, I couldn’t resist the chance to visit Udo Island for a day trip. This smaller island is named after its shape (it resembles a sleeping cow) and is located on the east coast of Jeju, only a 15-minute ferry ride away, which only cost KRW…

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