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Monday, 27 October 2014

Tapgol Park

Tapgol park is located on the former site of Wongak Temple. The Temple was destroyed during the reign of Yeonsangun and Jungjong due to the repression policy of Buddhism. In the late 19th Century John McLeavy Brown, an Irishman and financial advisor/Chief Commissioner of Customs in Korea suggested that a western park be built. Tapgol Park was built sometime in the 1890′s and became the first modern park of Korea. The park was open to the public from 1913.


Tapgol park played a very important role in modern Korea. It was here that on March 1st, 1919 that the Declaration of Independence was recited and began the start of the independence movement against Japanese Rule. From here the movement spread across Korea. In the park there is a tower with the 1,762 word declaration of independence inscribed on it in English and Korean alongside statues of the independence leaders such as Byung Hee Son.

The park is a somewhat open museum honouring the independence movement and displaying treasures from Wongak Temple. National Treasure No.2, Wongak Temple 10 level stone tower is on display in the park.

Opening Hours / Admission:
Open everyday year round from 06:00 – 20:00

Admission is free.

How to get to Tapgol Park:
Take line 1, 3 or 5 to Jongno 3 (sam)-ga station and leave exit 1. Head straight.
Take line 1 to Jonggak station and leave exit 3 and head straight.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Seoul Square

Seoul Square is an area and building in front of Seoul Station. In Seoul Square there are a lot of restaurants, hotels and an ice skating rink in winter. The main attraction is the digital screen that covers Seoul Square office building. The screen is a huge LED display made up of 42,000 LED screens and was installed in 2009. The screen covers the whole width and height of the building which is 19 floors high. The height of the screen is 78 meters and the width is 99 meters. This makes it the largest LED display in the world. Originally the screen was built to promote artwork exhibitions, which over 80 have been displayed. In February of 2011 it was used for commercial use for the first time. This has opened up many opportunities for companies who wish to display an ad on the world’s largest LED screen.

The LED display is lit up from sunset until 11:00 pm. In winter from 6:00 pm till 11:00 pm. In summer from 8:00 pm until 11:00 pm and in Spring and Autumn from 7:00 pm until 11:00 pm. The shows are on the hour, every hour and run for 10 minutes.

Check The Video Below


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Yangnyeongsi Herbal Medicine Market

During the Joseon Dynasty some 600 years ago, Bojewon a medical institution was set up in Jegi-dong. ‘Won’ means an inn that was located along a main thoroughfare. These inns provided food and lodging to travelers with government-related work or public missions. There were numerous inns around the city of Seoul including Itaewon, Hongjewon near Seodaemun and Jeon-gwanwon near Gwanghuimun. Bojewon was not only an inn though as it also housed an oriental medicine clinic that provided medical treatments and advice to the poor and those seeking help in the city. With this historical background it was no wonder that in the late 1960s when the Seoul Government was looking for a place to set up an herbal market, they chose this location. Now Yangnyeongsi (약령시) is the largest herbal medicine market in Korea with over 1,000 traditional medicine related businesses in the area.


The streets are lined with shops that have bags, boxes and buckets of herbs, dried fruits and other plants that spill into the streets. The colorful goods beg the eye to stop and peruse everything high and low. Frog carcasses hang from the eaves next to dried persimmons and bark from trees known and unknown are stacked high. The shopkeepers are medicine men that will listen to your ailments and concoct a tea just for you. Popular gifts from the market include ginseng for energy and Youngji mushrooms that have been shown to prevent a range of adult diseases. Everything from honeycombs with live bees still buzzing around them in mesh sacks, cactus leaves and roots of all shapes and sizes can be found. Seeds, leaves, herbs, dried flowers and more excite the eyes as well as the nose and once they are ingested they are sure to aid  whatever the problem may be.


Seventy percent of the oriental medicine traded in Korea goes through here which means if you head here for your herbs, due to the low distribution costs, you can get most things that you’re looking for for up to 30 percent cheaper than elsewhere. Though some shopkeepers in the area may not want to deal with the foreigners who have no grasp on traditional remedies, many seem more than hospitable and welcome the labored conversations in order to introduce new people to their very old medical practices.


The area doesn’t seem to get that much attention from the foreign tourists, but it really should. It’s worth a visit especially if you’re interested in learning more about holistic and natural remedies to whatever ails you.


Monday, 13 October 2014

Seoul to Host UIA Associations Round Table Asia Meeting in October

This month will bring around 200 association member representatives of global research institute the Union of International Associations (UIA) to Seoul for networking and knowledge-sharing as part of this year’s UIA Associations Round Table Asia gathering. During the event, scheduled to be held from October 22-23 at The Plaza Hotel Seoul, attending delegates will have the opportunity to learn practical skills about and share experiences of association-related matters. They will also be able to participate in cultural experience and city tours of host destination Seoul.


Initiated in 2012, the Round Table gathering is held twice a year in different locations across Europe and Asia. The meeting brings together professional societies, service organizations, charities, and other association professionals for knowledge exchange and case studies. Seoul is the third city to host the UIA Round Table, after top-ranking UIA cities Brussels and Singapore.
Following the morning sessions, delegates will participate in excursions to experience first-hand the many attractions of Seoul. On October 22nd, the “Traditional Cultural Experience” tour will take delegates to nearby Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukchon Hanok Village, while the October 23 “City Tour” will visit the recently-opened Dongdaemun Design Plaza, N Seoul Tower, and the highly-popular Myeong-dong shopping district.
The Asia gathering comes at a time of rapid growth and increased global exposure for Seoul’s meetings industry. This was reflected by the UIA itself in June when the organization revealed that Seoul now ranked 4th worldwide as a host destination in its 2013 International Meetings Statistics Report, after three years of the city having also maintained 5th place worldwide in the UIA’s annual reports between 2010 and 2012. Seoul is also becoming an active events destination for UIA-based functions, with the 2017 UIA World Congress set to take place at the city’s Coex convention center in three years’ time.

Founded in 1907, the Union of International Associations is a Brussels-based research institute and documentation center whose goal is to maintain and provide up-to-date and accurate information on international associations and to support and facilitate the work of international associations through training and networking opportunities.

Huge Rubber Duck to appear in Seoul

The beloved 1T rubber duck, 'Lover Duck' is set to make an appearance in Seoul!

It was reported that from October 14 to November 14, the huge rubber duck will be floating on Seokchon Lake in Seoul for visitors and citizens to enjoy. 

The supersize rubber duck made its first appearance in the Netherlands in 2007 and was the brainchild of Florentijn Hofman, a Dutch playful urban installation artist. The duck measures in at 16m in width (around 53 feet), 19.2m in length (around 63 feet), 16.5m in height (around 54 feet), and weighs 1 ton. 
The rubber duck has visited 14 cities across the globe including Osaka, Sydney, and Hong Kong, garnering much love and support from people all around the world. Hofman explained that the duck has the power to make people stop doing what they are doing and start talking to one another.

The artist wrote, "The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn't discriminate people and doesn't have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages."

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The Supyo Bridge

This Bridge is a stone bridge crossing the Chunggwe stream and called as a Supyo Bridge by setting up the Supyo which is a device of calculating the level of water. The bridge on the stream(Current Chunggwe Stream) running through the center of Hanyang was made by soils or woods in the early chosun dynasty but it had replaced as a stone bridge since the year of King Taejong; Supyogyo was also replaced as a stone during the year of King Taejong and King Sejong. It was relocated during the restoration project of Chunggwe stream in 1958 and again found its original place  in 1965. 

The long, width and height of the bridge is 27.5m, 7.5m and 4m respectively and all are granite stones. The low side of the bride has the diamond shape to reduce the resist of the water. The wood rain gauge bad been set up in the western side of the bridge in 1441 (23rd year of king Seojong) and was changed to stones during king Seongjong. In 1760(36th year of king yongjo), the words ´Gyong Jin Ji Pyeong´ was enscribed on the bridge and it became the method of calculating the level of water in for stages; it was evolved as a underwater footnote table which check the water level by itself. The Supyo(Treasure No. 838) was with the Supyogyo but was relocated to the King Sejong Great Memorial Hall. 

Thursday, 9 October 2014

'Star Trek 3' to Shoot Scenes in South Korea

The Star Trek 3 news is coming thick and fast it seems. After William Shatner teased his return in the upcoming third installment of the re-boot, we have news that parts of the movie will shoot in Seoul, South Korea according to a report in the Korea Observer published Monday.

The Korea Observer cities a Facebook post from the mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, who may have unwittingly let the cat out of the bag regarding the shoot. "Today I met with Jeffrey Chernov, producer of Star Trek 3, at the Paramount Pictures Studio and agreed to film a portion of the upcoming movie in Seoul,” Park said in his Facebook post.

Seoul is presently a popular location for Hollywood, with the Wachowski's upcoming Sense8 to be filmed in the city. Avengers 2 was also partially shot in Seoul earlier this year, with The Korea Observer reporting that the Korea elements of the film will make up 15 to 20 minutes of the run time. 

Seoul Traditional Temple Week!

Seoul Traditional Temple Week!

Seoul's major Buddhist temples, including Jogyesa Temple, the head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, will be hosting "Seoul Traditional Temple Week" from Oct. 10 to 12. Anybody wanting to experience a Korean Buddhist temple is welcome to visit and take part in the event, which will include temple tours and hands-on programs like Buddhist painting. If you post a selfie at the event, organizers will send you a gift, too.
VENUE: Jogyesa Temple and other Seoul temples
PERIOD: Oct. 10--12
MORE INFO: T. 2031-2000,

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

7 Places to be Dazzled by Fall Foliage in Korea

    단풍 (Danpoong) – The Korean Word For The Changing Of The Leaves
In September, the grey skies, choking humidity and stifling temperatures of summer finally surrender to cloudless, cobalt skies and crisp air. It’s wonderfully refreshing and like most Koreans, autumn is, without a doubt, the season I look forward to most.

Take full advantage of the superb weather by spending as much time outdoors as possible. Days and nights are still warm and it’s easy to while away an entire afternoon simply basking in the glow of a perfect post-summer sun.
In October, the nights cool, and it’s time to cuddle up under the cozy comforters that have been stored away all summer. The days feel nostalgic and I start to crave the creamy richness of an expertly stewed seolleongtang.
During this month, hints of yellow begin to peek shyly through the green growths, gingko trees begin dropping their foul-smelling fruits, and blue trucks loaded with persimmons ply the streets with their wares.

In November, the days and nights are equally chilly, the ingredients for kimjang appear in stores, and a wave of colour sweeps its way across the peninsula, dramatically transforming rocky mountains and monotone tree-lined streets into a prismatic orchestra of vivid crimsons, burnt oranges and mellow yellows.



So where can you be dazzled by danpoong in Korea?
Located 2.5 hours east of Seoul, Seoraksan is often one of the first places in the country to be painted in colourful hues. On peak weekends (when leaves are 80% turned), you might spend more time in traffic than on the mountain, so plan accordingly.

The best places to view danpoong in Seoraksan are: Cheonbuldong Valley, Osaek Mineral Spring, Osaek Jujeongol, and Baekdam Valley.

The top of Namsan
From street level, it’s difficult to get a real sense of just how many trees there are in Seoul, but from the top of this mountain in the middle of the city, it’s easy to get a birds-eye view of Korea’s glorious changing landscape.


Gwanaksan, with it’s rocky peaks, deep valleys, and easy subway access, is one of the most popular mountains in Seoul.
On a hike in late September, all I could think about, was how beautiful it would be when it erupted in a rainbow of fall colours, a month later.


The Secret Garden at Changdeokgung
Behind Joseon-era Changdeokgung lies the Secret Garden. Originally used by the royal family and palace women, the garden has a lotus pond, pavilions, flowers and over 100 different species of trees, some of which are over 300 years old.There are more than 26,000 trees in the Garden alone, and that means one thing – an awful lot of leaves changing colour.

Ewha UniversityNamed for the groves of pear blossom trees nearby, the striking modern architecture of Ewha Women’s University (Edae for short) is memorable in every season. In autumn though, the glass curtained campus centre forms a conspicuous contrast with the multi-hued riot of trees surrounding it.

Lined with majestic gingko trees, Garosu-gil is the place to enjoy danpoong, if mountains aren’t your thing.Located in trendy Sinsa-dong, you might end up sipping a latte and shopping for designer clothes, instead of watching the leaves.
Seokchon Lake
In springtime, delicate pink Yoshino cherry blossom petals romance those walking along the shores of Seokchon Lake. In autumn however, the 306,000 Yoshino Cherry and pine trees ring the water with a dramatic kaleidoscope of colour.

             So whats your favorite spot in Korea in Autumn ??

Historic Seoul Building Reopens as Art Museum

One of Seoul’s modern architectural treasures has reopened as a contemporary art museum.

The downtown Space Group building was bought in a surprise purchase last year byKim Chang-il, an art collector and founder of Arario galleries. The Arario Museum in Space opened its doors this month with an inaugural exhibition of Mr. Kim’s personal collection, which features over 200 pieces by 43 international artists.
The Space building, which overlooks Changgyeong Palace, is steeped in the country’s contemporary history. Constructed in 1971 (a separate glass building was added in 1997), the structure was designed by the pioneering South Korean architect Kim Swoo-geun, and housed his Space Group architectural firm.
Kim Chang-il purchased the building last November for $14.6million after Space Group put it up for sale after filing for bankruptcy protection. The Seoul city government and Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. also mulled buying it. Many observers had feared the building might be demolished.
The building incorporates elements of traditional Korean hanok architecture and is comprised of an ivy-covered four-story dark brick structure, which houses the museum. The adjoining five-story glass building features various eateries.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Seoul City to Promote “Cool Roof” Initiative

In order to reduce the urban heat island effect and save air-conditioning energy, the Seoul metropolitan city government will commence on a campaign to paint the rooftop in white color. To this end, the city government on August 28 appointed “Rooftop Moonlight,” a female duet, as honorary ambassadors for the cause. 
Painting the rooftop in white can substantially reduce energy requirements for the building by taking advantage of the heat reflection effect.
The U.S. federal government is also actively encouraging this as a way to conserve energy. American President Barack Obama once remarked, “Cool roofs are one of the best greenhouse gas reduction strategies.”
Some U.S. local governments such as the state of California and the city of Dallas have introduced bills to mandate cool roofs for newly built or renovated buildings. The New York City government also made it obligatory to install cool roofs in more than 75 percent of newly built buildings in terms of rooftop area.
Cool roof initiatives have gained so much momentum in the United States that 13 states have offered financing programs for building owners while 14 states provide subsidies to owners who implement cool roof projects. Cool roof is applicable to all kinds of roofs while tree planting on the roof is only possible when the roof is built with concrete. In Korea, the Changwon city government (South Gyeongsang Province) has implemented an experimental program in its roofs.

Seoul Station Overpass Opens to the Public Only for One Day, October 12 !!

The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that an event to open the Seoul Station overpass will be held for the public to take a stroll and enjoy a breathtaking panorama of Seoul, with traffic entirely blocked from the noon to 4 P.M. on October 12. The overpass has never been allowed to walk for 44 years since its construction.
The best place to relish a scenic view is the 450 meter-long section from the building of Seoul Square to West Station, which has a find view of Seoul, including skyscrapers, a highway along with the Han River, Seoul Station Square, and even Mt. Gwanak.
“The Seoul Station overpass that features its narrow, tall, and short path offers an open and spectacular view, whereas the High Line in New York as a wide, low, and long walkway runs through skyscrapers that block a fine view,”
Along with the scenic views, this event will be inundated with pleasant and informative activities. For instance, as a main event, there will be a series of parades along the road paved with flowers. Street performers will entertain visitors all over the venue. Numerous professionals will take part in this event, explaining the cultural heritage and historical sites of the area.
Also, there will be a photo exhibition in which the public can enjoy the photos of the Seoul Station overpass in the past, along with those of Promenade plantee, a famous walkway in Paris, and the High Line.

In 1970
“This event will be the only chance that the public can see whether it deserves its preservation as a cultural and historical heritage as they talk a walk along and feel the Seoul Station overpass,” said Oh Hae-young, the director of Green Seoul Bureau in the Seoul Metropolitan Government.