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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

Seoul’s Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival

For over two hours we watched as gleeful faces, young and old, walked by waving brightly lit lanterns and twirling to the beat of Korean drums. The intricately decorated lantern floats, which were illuminated from within, came in a variety of themes, shapes, colours and sizes.…

Read more

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower

N Seoul Tower is the South Korean equivalent of the Eiffel Tower and possibly one of the most romantic place in Seoul by night. The rails of the viewing deck are clad in hundreds of multi-coloured padlocks, which are engraved with lovers’ inscriptions. So many have…

Read more

Cheonggye: Sleeping Buddha

Cheonggye

Cheonggye Temple is quietly nestled on Cheonggye san (‘san’ meaning mountain in Korean), which is 618 metres high. The 20-minute walk up a fairly steep road runs parallel to a stream. Cheonggye mountain is blessed with beautiful geographical features and it was no surprise to see many visitors ascending…

Read more

Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam

Bonguesa Temple

Bongeunsa Temple is a Zen Buddhist temple that was founded in 794AD by monk Yeon-hoe, who was the highest ranking monk of the Silla dynasty at the time. Nowadays, its location seems quite incongruous among the surrounding high-rise buildings of Gangnam, which tower above it. It is directly opposite COEX Mall…

Read more

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung

I visited Gyeongbokgung Palace so many times during my two years in South Korea that I’ve lost county. Yet each visit brought with it some new insight into Korean culture and its proud people. The palace  is synonymous with Seoul and arguably South Korea; it’s a…

Read more