Imagine & Explore

100 REASONS TO LOVE KOREA

Korea is a tourist destination that provides endless attractions for all visiting tourists to enjoy.
From Hallyu to Korea’s most famous tourist sites as well as its food, Korea turns each tourist’s imagination to reality.
Discover the following 100 reasons to love Korea and make sure to explore them when you travel to Korea!

Shopping heaven in BusanThe world’s largest department store invite you to buy

Busan City and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism have designated 2013 as Visit Busan Year and will introduce bold policies to bolster the shopping conveniences for foreign tourists. There will be a focus on improving tourism-related infrastructure like transportation, information sources, accommodations and restaurants, with the goal of allowing foreigners to enjoy the city at ease anytime and anywhere.

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Hahoe Village in AndongA traditional village from the Joseon Dynasty

Nestled along the bends of Nakdonggang River, Hahoe Village is the home of the Ryu clan of Pungsan. Seventy percent of the village’s current residents (120 households) can still trace their lineage back to the village’s original Ryus. In addition to being Korea’s most representative clan village, Hahoe is also the birthplace of the famous brothers Ryu Un-ryong (1539-1601) and Ryu Seong-ryong (1542-1607), noted Confucian scholars of the Joseon Dynasty. Visitors to the village will be able to see the house in which the two famous brothers were born as well as a number of other national treasures that epitomize the splendor of the Joseon Era. Not to be overlooked is the grove of Mansongjeong pine trees along the waterfront, which is also considered to be one of the area’s eye-catching highlights.

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Swanky Cheongdam-dong Shopping DistrictMuch of the interesting architectures are here

Like the sexy swish of a runway model’s dress, French architect Christian de Portzamparc’s Dior flagship store in Cheongdam-dong has flowing folds of textured, white concrete draping down along the facade, with risqué slits between them, revealing layers of perforated metal fishnet lattice and glass underneath. Inside, there are three floors displaying US$2,000 sunglasses and US$6,000 dresses, connected by a monumental spiral staircase crafted of mirror-polished stainless steel plate, glass, and fine terrazzo treads. Standing on the ground floor and looking up through the center of the stairway is a truly transcendent experience. An art gallery on the fourth floor showcases artists’ interpretations of Dior handbags and the sidewalk is plenty wide enough to park your Mercedes or Lamborghini right out front.

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Incheon SongdoA City Embracing the Future

Songdo embodies the future of Incheon. Built on reclaimed land, Songdo offers a number of attractions.
A trip to Songdo can start at Central Park, a natural oasis in the city. Because of its proximity to the sea, the manmade waterway is filled with sea water, and water taxis travel through the park. Close by are a lawn and a promenade along a field of reeds. Nearby, there are many futuristic-looking buildings, creating a harmonious combination of technology and the natural environment.

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Jeungdo Island Where Time has stood still

Jeungdo, a renowned ecological tourism destination in Jeollanam-do province’s Sinan region, is the 7th largest of the 1,004 islands in the region. Designated in 2007 as a Slow City, it boasts totally unpolluted land and water and expansive mudflats. Its attractions include Taepyeong Salt Farm, Korea’s largest single salt farm, and the Salt Museum, located by the farm’s entrance, where visitors can learn in detail about the manufacturing process of salt. The observatory at the back of Taepyeong Salt Farm provides panoramic views of the vast seashore and a picturesque village. Around the salt farm stand around 60 weathered salt storage buildings, giving an atmospheric feel.

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Theme cafes in SeoulThe uniquely themed cafes take the experience to a new level

Seoul has had a bustling industry of coffee shops, tea shops and cafes in recent years, and now another trend that is setting a new standard is the theme cafe. Relaxing in a cafe often involves sipping coffee and endless chatting, and the uniquely themed cafes take the experience to a new level. These thematic dining establishments show their creativity not just through stimulating the taste buds, but through all the other senses as well. Here's our list of theme cafes, coffee shops, dessert shops and restaurants that are worth a visit in the areas of Hongdae, Itaewon and Gangnam!

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Korea's History and Culture Museum TourGetting to know Korea’s past and present in depth

Planning for a journey is always an exciting pre-exercise to the actual event, but it can be a tough assignment at the same time, as real-life conditions are always subject to change. However daunting it may sound, this restriction also gives you the opportunity to discover unexpected charms in the area. Seoul is full of cultural tourist attractions that will never fail to fill in when you have to make a sudden change to your schedule. The city has many museums and an array of cultural institutes offering insights in getting to know Korea’s past and present in depth. Here, visitors will get to learn the history of the country as well as have great photo ops with many interesting backdrops. Visitors’ interaction is highly appreciated at some of these places, making for unforgettable memories off the beaten track!

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Royal Guard-Changing ExperienceExperience being a Royal Guard

Since 1996, the Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony at Deoksugung Palace has taken place three times a day except on Mondays and has become a popular cultural event among international tourists in Seoul. Starting on May 1, 2012, the Seoul Metropolitan Government started a special event where foreign tourists can take part in the ceremony by becoming a royal guard. This event allows tourists to go beyond simply watching the ceremony, by taking part in it, which helps tourists to have a better understanding of Korean traditions.

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Korea's Intangible Cultural Heritage Experience the true nature of Korean culture

Seoul Intangible Cultural Heritage Center was established in September 2005 in order to preserve Korean traditional culture and arts and promote them to the public, as well as foreign visitors. It is especially designed to provide various education and training courses direct to the public by the guardians of Important Cultural Heritage, offering a wonderful opportunity to learn about genuine Korean cultural heritage.

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Running Man CourseThe celebrity cast complete missions at landmarks

Where are the places where Yoo Jae-suk won a game, Song Ji-hyo and Gary had an affectionate quarrel or Lee Kwang-soo betrayed his team? Experience < Running Man > achieving great popularity around the world!

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Hallyu Stamp TourVisit to interesting Hallyu destinations

A total of 16 Hallyu famous tourist sites, including popular drama and TV show filming locations, have commemorative stamps for visitors to capture memorable moments of the tour. Visitor can collect stamps for the Stamp Tour Bingo Board printed on the back of the Hallyu Tour Guidebook. When more than 2 lines of the Bingo board are completed, visitors can get a magnet set with the print of Seoul's beautiful landmarks as a gift.

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Jeju Island's Regional CuisineJeju Island's food is more unique than the ones from other regions

The regional food of Jeju Island, which is located to the southwest of the Korean peninsula, is quite distinct compared to food from mainland Korea. Its established specialties are the result of time-honored culinary traditions, and the food is characterized by the spare use of seasonings to highlight the natural flavors of each dish’s ingredients. This feature makes the regional food of Jeju highly popular among tourists.

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G+ Star ZoneA Hallyu star themed photo zone in subway station

Hallyu star themed space opened in May '13. A donation zone built in collaboration with Hallyu stars and the government as part of the 'G+ Dream Project', a project to help low-income teens. *First celebrity donation by 2PM. Celebrity donations help promote for more donations. All donations go to low-income needs as scholarships.

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The regional food of Gangwon-doSome of the best foods in Gangneung and Sokcho

When thinking about food in coastal towns, one usually thinks of freshly caught fish and seafood. And while delicious, there is much more than seafood to be eat in coastal towns. Read on to learn about some of the best foods in Gangneung and Sokcho, which are beautiful coastal cities along the East Sea in Gangwon-do.

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Traditional DrinksA lifelong companion in times of sorrow and joy for Koreans

For Koreans, alcohol is a lifelong companion in times of sorrow and joy. Korean people have enjoyed making their own liquor from healthy ingredients since ancient times. Traditional liquor is often called yakju (약주), literally meaning “medicinal alcohol,” as light to moderate alcohol use is believed to have health benefits and is offered from one person to another as a way to cherish friendships.

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Korea's Medical TourismReceiving quick and easy medical diagnoses and treatment

Since 2009 when Korean medical tourism was launched in earnest, the number of foreign patients during the 6 year period amounts to 901,470. The average hospitalization period of patients is 13.6 days and the gender ratio of foreign patients shows 39.7% for male and 60.3% for female, meaning more female patients are visiting Korea to receive medical treatment. Foreign patients visit from 191 nations. China takes up a large portion in Korean medical tourism followed by the US, Japan and Mongolia. Foreign patients’ frequent requests are like this: internal medicine, check-up, dermatology, gynecology, orthopedics and general surgery.

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CheorwonThe place that holds sadness over division of Korea

A scene of bloody battles and tense border activity, but also a place of stunning prospects and uncaged wildlife, the frontline county of Cheorwon, 85km northeast of Seoul, is a strange paradox, rarely visited by Western tourists. There are many spots in Korea to visit that are fun, upbeat and enjoyable: casinos and night clubs; theme parks and theaters; spas and bars. But this is a land with a grim and bloody history; a divided nation that lives in the shadow of war. To comprehend the Korean tragedy, this geopolitical reality must be experienced.

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Nightlife in KoreaEnjoy lively and dynamic nightlife in Seoul

Seoul is certainly one of the most lively and dynamic nightlife capitals of the world. Even after midnight, throngs of people wander the streets in major shopping districts and popular downtown areas. The top attractions at nighttime are Dongdaemun Market for late-night shopping and the Hongik University (Hongdae) neighborhood with its concentration of nightclubs. For fabulous night views of Seoul, visit the observatory in N Seoul Tower or Seoul 63 Square on Yeouido. Many visitors enjoy 63 Square’s museums and dining facilities in the afternoon and stay past sunset to catch a glimpse of Seoul at night from high above in the skyscraper.

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PocheonSpend peaceful time inside of nature’s gifted territory

Pocheon is a suburban city located two-hour drive away from Seoul, thus a frequented place by Seoulites as well as visitors from further regions, wishing to spend some peaceful weekend time inside of nature’s gifted territory. Ecological attractions are abundant herein and around, especially near Sanjeonghosu Lake, giving visitors more reasons to take part in this eco-travel afar from bustling city.
The most ideal time for you to visit the lake is during dawn when the fog forms a mystical aura, leaving the air only with quietness and tranquility. A lot of photography-goers come here in the early morning just to capture its mystic scene, yet another group often visits to simply appreciate the beautiful view presented, with a hot cup of coffee in hand!

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24 Martial Arts Trial PerformanceDemonstrated their skills make spectators feel cool

24 Martial Arts(Muye 24 Gi) is the 24 martial art techniques contained in the Muye Dobo Tongji which was compiled by silhak scholars Lee Deok-mu and Park Jae-ga, and expert of martial art Baek dong-su as they were asked by King Jeongjo to do so. 24 Martial Arts were what the soldiers at the Oiyeong of Jangyongyeong, the best troop in contemporary Joseon, practiced. It is a cultural heritage high in value in artistic and athletic as well as historical senses. Soldiers stationed in Bukgunyeong, or North Military Camp, and Namgunyeong, or south Military Camp, practiced the techniques to effectively protect the haenggung. With the restoration of Hwaseong Haenggung, there is the event where the 24 techniques of martial art, which contain healthy gestures and active personalities of the Korean people, are demonstrated.

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Healing, the traditional wayRediscover the meaning of happiness

It's early morning and the pre-dawn air has the refreshing crispness of autumn, with mist hanging in the trees. As the dharma drum rumbles, a procession of monks makes its way to the main hall, where they take their places in front of the golden Buddha statue. You, too, make your way to the main hall and take a seat. The scent of incense fills the room and, outside, the drum gives way to the clang of the gong and the deep reverberation of the temple bell, which, according to Buddhist tradition, calls out to sentient beings suffering in hell to guide them to the dharma. This, too, soon fades and the chanting begins. As the voices in the hall come together in surreal harmony, you feel yourself transported to a higher plane of understanding.

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Follow the Footsteps of Super JuniorTourist Attractions recommended by Super Junior

Bukchon is located between Gyeongbokung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine and the origin of its name related to its location. (It is located in a northward direction of the Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno.) It is the representative residential district of Seoul, where Hanok, the traditional Korean-style houses are gathered in, a lot of domestic tourists and international visitors flocked in everywhere of the Bukchon alley to see historical sites, cultural properties, and folk material.

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'Second twenty' Filming locationsWhat it feels like to be a university student in Korea

tvN ‘Second twenty‘ drama aired on Friday, Saturday where Choi Ji Woo starred as a late bloomer university student. This soap opera enjoys its popularity as it describes the story about Hanora(by Choi Ji Woo) who has lived as a wife of a man becomes the student of Woocheon University. Once watching drama, anybody would think. ‘I wish I would live again as a college student’

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Halal Restaurants in SeoulMany restaurants that serve or sell halal food

There are many restaurants, cafés and retail shops around Seoul that serve or sell halal food. You'll find a large concentration of halal establishments in Itaewon, Seoul's best-known multicultural neighborhood. As halal food becomes increasingly popular with the number of Muslims visiting Korea on the rise, there is no doubt that more and more restaurants in Korea will offer halal options in the near future. However, distinction should be made between an establishment serving halal food and a halal-certified establishment. For Muslims, you may wish to inquire whether or not the establishment is certified by the Korea Muslim Federation before visiting.

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Korean Winter Street FoodTastiest way to spend the winter in Korea

With the arrival of winter’s cold bite comes a variety of Korean winter snacks and foods. Savory and sweet winter street snacks like bungeoppang, hotteok, baked sweet potatoes, and hoppang, along with traditional winter dishes such as gimjang kimchi, tteokguk, and manduguk are some of the most loved winter foods. Not only do they bring back childhood memories for Koreans, but they also help everyone forget about the chilly winter weather.

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Vegetarian Dining in SeoulAttract both vegetarians and non-vegetarians!

A growing focus on health and nutrition around the world has brought on greater interests in vegetarian dining options for international travelers in Korea. Also, the rising number of healthy food options in Korea reflects the need of those who wish to maintain their healthy diets even when traveling. With that, various vegetarian restaurants continue to open as the vegetarian community in Korea keeps growing. Read on to learn more about the vegetable-inspired cafes and restaurants in Seoul that attract both vegetarians and non-vegetarians!

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The Sun and The MoonMeet Hallyu stars at the palace

The Moon That Embraces the Sun is a historical drama depicting the first love of a fictional king, set in the royal court of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). It is a sad but beautiful love story of innocent young people, with the story developing around the conflicts and conspiracy of political powers vying for the throne against the king’s efforts for good politics.
The drama is a quality fusion historical drama enhanced by the strong acting of the main and supporting actors, its visual appeal, and the engaging dialogue that draws from the humor on the Internet.

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Fun Korean Language TripEasy way to learn about Korea

The Hallyu phenomenon, which started with K-dramas and K-pop music, is now expanding into the entire cultural spectrum of Korea. So, the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and the Kyung Hee University Institute of International Education jointly organized the ‘Fun Korean Language Trip (FKLT)’ program for a fun and easy way to learn Korean language and culture. This is a good opportunity for foreigners who have a high interest in the Korean language and culture but cannot take the time for a long-term course.

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Korean Folk VillageFolk culture in various traditional experiences

Lying in a spacious site of 990,000㎡ and in nature-given geomantic location ‘facing water and backgrounded by mountains’, Korean Folk Village (KFV) is a village from the Joseon period composed of real houses relocated from provinces of the country. Reconstructed through a long survey of houses remaining in different parts of the country and authentication by specialists, it is a real village from the Joseon period that unfolds in seasonal transformation scenes from everyday folk culture meticulously collected.

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Relaxation in Hot SpringsHealth-oriented relaxation and rejuvenation

Bathing in hot spring water, or oncheonsu in Korean, and partaking in spa activities has long been loved by Koreans even from ancient times. This unique culture is often seen as medical treatment due to the proven effectiveness in relieving stress, as well as helping to recover ones body from fatigue, muscular pain and many others ailments. The long list of benefits of Korean saunas have led to a growing number of visitors from abroad to include a spa activity in their itinerary, and thus more facilities are opening in many regions around the country.

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Explore Korean KimchiOver 1,500 years of fermented tradition

Kimchi, a fermented cabbage, is the most famous traditional food and icon that well-represents Korea itself, as it accompanies almost every meal served in the country. Depending on the main ingredient used, the name of the dish also differs where cabbage, radish, cucumber and/or other vegetables often play the role.

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Visit an entertainment agency of KoreaMusic Powerhouses in Korean

Entertainments Companies
F&C Entertainment, JYP Entertainment, CUBE Entertainment, SM Entertainment

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Experiencing Royal Palace LifeTruly taking in the culture of Korean royal places

Royal palaces like Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gyeonghuigung Palace and Changgyeonggung Palace are some of the many must-see tourist attractions in Seoul. As well as exploring the palace grounds, visitors can enjoy several experiential programs that enable one to truly take in the culture of these royal places.

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Sang Sang GilThe only street of its kind in the world

Sangsang-gil road, the only street of its kind in the world, is filled with names of the general public. This street was made possibly by a special campaign launched by the Korea Tourism Organization. Millions of international applicants entered, among which 23,000 lucky winners were selected to have their names engraved on the road.

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How to Enjoy Jjimjil-bangExperience Korea’s Unique Culture

During your beauty and wellness trip to Korea, one of the recommendations is to visit a Korean spa called jjimjil-bang. Even if you do not fancy the idea of sitting in a boiling hot room, fret not, as most of the jjimjil-bangs are packed with all kinds of great entertainment besides their main sauna facility.

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Unique DessertTaste uniquely Korean desserts

Bingsu, a class Korean dessert, has been around since the Joseon era and in the past, it was only popular in the summer. But as the summer grew longer and food culture changed, an increasing number of establishments are now selling bingsu year round. Originally, bingsu was just broken up ice topped with red azuki beans. This variety of bingsu is the most representative of Korean bingsu even today, but for young people who like to try new and unique desserts, this may not be enough. Read on for the Korea Tourism Organization’s top ten unique dessert treats.

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Hallyu Drama Experience CourseImmerse yourself in the world of Korean Historical Dramas

Yongin MBC Dramia opened on June 21, 2011. The name Dramia is a combination of the words “drama” and “utopia.” It is the main filming set for MBC’s historical dramas. The filming set covers 29,421 square meters.
Korean dramas including Jumong, Queen Seondeok of Silla, Yi San, Dong Yi, and The Duo were filmed at Yongin MBC Dramia, and the filming schedule is currently fully booked.
The Daejanggeum Park, another filming set and a popular tourist destination, was closed in December 2011. The facility will be moved to MBC Dramia.

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The Beauty of Korean CeramicsThe half a millennium secret to Korean ceramics

There are various hands-on activities available in Korea and many tourists both local and foreign visit experience-activity destinations just to partake in something new. Pottery-making is probably the most popular activity among all because of its foreigner-friendly services, such as language assistance and reasonable prices. But above all, the fact that they provide nourishing contents in learning Korea's traditional culture best explains its popularity.

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Gongju and BuyeoTracing 1500 Years of history

Buyeo and Gongju in Chungcheongnam-do are replete with ancient legends that continue to live beyond their time. There are many attractions bearing the history of the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C.–A.D. 660) and the lives of members of the royal family along with places manifesting a genuine harmony between man and nature. Consequently, visitors must take in the style of Baekje by seeing, hearing, and using their other three senses to truly get to know this ancient kingdom.

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Youthful Energy in KondaeEnjoy youthful exuberance

Seoul has a great number of downtown areas across the city. In particular, university streets or the so-called ‘towns’ designed near schools are full of liveliness and energy, much thanks to the vast number of young crowd. One good example is the area surrounding Konkuk University Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 7) located in the east of Seoul, where it has long been serving as a center for commercial activities. However, the district serves just more than that. Also often referred as Kondae, it provides a chance to see for oneself the fast-changing trends of Korea in all sectors, including fashion, beauty, dining, and more. Hop on a trip to Kondae, the rising hot place among youngsters today!

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Korean-style Street FoodKorea’s unique street foods

In Korea, university towns are always full of energy and excitement. One of Korea’s most well-known campus towns is the Hongik University Station (Seoul Subway Line 2) area, often referred to as the street of youth. There are numerous clubs that are popular among young Koreans and a variety of street performances taking place every day. The bustling streets are flanked by clothing shops selling original items, as well as inexpensive yet tasty restaurants for students with a tight budget. In particular, the Hongdae (Hongik University) area is famous for its unique street food. Read on to take a look at some of the popular kinds of street food sold at the food alley near Exit 9 of Hongik University Station, where many of the area’s great restaurants are clustered together.

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SMTOWN STUDIOExpereince a day as a K-pop star

The city of Seoul presents a K-pop experience program designed to allow foreign tourists to enjoy K-pop more directly. It is a great opportunity to learn the newest hit K-pop dance choreography adapted for beginners and to visit the Hallyu star experience zone free of charge. We request the keen interest and active participation of tourists who love Hallyu.

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Handicrafts for Fans of KoreaExpereince Korean craftsmanship

An interesting and creative way to learn Korean culture will be experiencing the Korean art and crafts. Craft workshops in Insa-dong and Gahoe-dong, the Korea house and Bukchon hanok village are places where the Korean tradition is well and alive. These venues offer a variety of programs that you can choose, ranging from making accessories with Korean knotting method to making household items with traditional Korean paper, hanji.

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Seoul Fortress Wall Footpath Walk along the history and natural beauty of Seoul

The fortress wall surrounding the city of Seoul displays Seoul's past and present along with its urbanization and nature. It adds grandeur to the city and provides people with a chance to rest in nature. The Seoul Fortress Wall Footpath consists of four walking courses that include Course 1, the Baegaksan/Bugaksan course, Course 2, the Naksan course, Course 3, the Namsan course, and Course 4, the Inwangsan course. In an effort to vitalize the walkway, Jongno-gu District of Seoul provides a tour guide service. Tourist groups that consist of four or more people who make reservations three days in advance can walk along the pathway with trained tour guides. This program will help tourists who want to enjoy the relaxing side of Seoul and make a special memory while doing so. There is also a stamp map on which visitors to the courses can collect stamps at the end of each course and redeem them for special commemorative prizes.

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Enjoy Sweets in ItaewonA Guide to Pleasure

Desserts; An irresistible concoction to satisfy our sweet tooth. No other words can be sweeter and alluring to our taste buds than this. A mellow cup of hot Americano is undoubtedly a good complement with desserts but new trends has it that they can go along with a pint of cold beer or even served solely as entrées.

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Unique Korean NoodleWarm or cold, always satisfying

Noodles owe their popularity and longevity to a combination of intrinsic advantages. They also symbolize long and happy lives in a marriage. That is why, in Korea after a wedding, bowls of noodle soup (or guksu) are served to guests who've come to celebrate the newly married couple.

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International Film Festivals in KoreaGreat films from all around the world come to Korea

Out of the many great and small film festivals that are held in Korea each year, the three international festivals, Busan International Film Festival, Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival and Jeonju International Film Festival are not to be missed. As the locations and times vary by festival, the charms and the excitements of each festival are unique.

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TaekkyeonThe art of kicking and tripping

Taekkyeon is a traditional Korean martial art. The movements are graceful and gentle rather than straight and rigid. Taekkyeon also requires enormous flexibility and inner strength.

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Jeju OlleHikers’ paradise in Jeju island

Jeju Olle has soon proved to be an instant hit among Korean hikers who’ve been looking for an alternative way to enjoy the island. In its first year, some 3,000 hikers visited Jeju to enjoy Olle trails but the number soon exploded to 30,000 in the 2nd year of the program's inception.

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K-Beauty How to make yourself up in a Korean way

BB cream, an essential beauty product for many women, was initially used for skin regeneration and protection. More recently, it has become a must-have cosmetic item, for its superior ability to conceal skin blemishes and correct skin tone, much like a makeup base.

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Marinated Blue CrabNot only tasty, but also nutritious

Blue crabs are in season during spring and autumn. The abundant, creamy roe of the pre-spawning female crabs are best enjoyed in the spring, while the flaky, plump meat of the male crabs is a delicacy best enjoyed in autumn.

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'We Got Married' CourseFollow the course of 'We Got Marriage' couples

This course consists of film locations of the popular TV show < We Got Married>, which features imaginary marriages between Hallyu stars. Let’s enjoy a sweet date in Seoul while visiting the date locations of the featured couples.

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NamsadangnoriTradition rooted in the life of the common people

The Namsadangnori repertoire consisted of various types of music and dance. Pungmul, a type of farm music (nongak) performed in rural communities, is played on traditional Korean wind and percussion instruments accompanied by dance and acrobatic performances.

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Daraengi VillageVillage along the coast

The landscape of Nam-myeon in Namhae-gun is mostly composed of coastal cliffs, exposing it to the rough sea and leaving its land barren.

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Popular Outdoor ActivitiesThe best types of exciting outdoor sports in Korea

One of the most popular summer activities in Korea is whitewater rafting. Get together a group of friends and head to Donggang River, Naerincheon Stream, Hantangang River in Gangwon-do or Geumgang River in Muju, Jeollabuk-do to participate in this exciting summer sport.

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Healthy Food in SummerThe best chicken soup for your summer

Summer in Korea is in full force, bringing with it muggy weather and bouts of heavy rain. As temperatures rise, people try to escape the heat by heading to the beach, the swimming pool, or air-conditioned cafes and malls. In Korea, however, staying healthy and cool during the summer is all about what you eat. Many Koreans try to beat the heat and counteract summer fatigue by eating cold dishes and healthy foods that are known for their restorative powers. Keep reading to find out exactly which foods to eat to restore your strength and refresh your spirit Korean style!

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Experience Korean AnimationThe Most Popular Korean Animations

The Seoul Animation Center was established in May 1999 by the Seoul Business Agency with the aim of providing comprehensive support to Korea’s animation industry. It is home to the first movie theater in Korea exclusively devoted to animated films, a themed exhibition hall, an animation studio experience hall and the Cartoon Museum.

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Confucian AcademyUnique experience at a confucian school

Confucianism was originally a religion and political philosophy from China. However, modern Korean society still follows the philosophy of Confucianism on a daily basis, far more than China. The tradition and legacy of Confucianism in China was rejected by the Communist party after it took over the country in 1949.

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Beaches of White SandA beach packed with soft white sand

Gyeongpo Beach (경포해수욕장), one of the largest and the most beautiful beaches on the east coast, attracts many visitors throughout the year. A beach packed with quality, soft white sand, it’s the perfect place to give yourself a sand massage or take a barefoot stroll along the water’s edge. The beach is surrounded by a thick forest of pine trees and is just a short walk away from Gyeongpoho Lake (경포호) and only 1km away from Gyeongpodae Pavilion (경포대), a famous sunrise observation point.

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Hanok CaféCafé with unique traditional ambience

At Bukchon Hanok Village and Insa-dong in downtown Seoul, there are a number of coffee shops and tea houses renovated in hanok (traditional Korean house style). These hanok cafés serve a variety of delicious drinks from coffee to traditional Korean tea, but what sets them apart from standard coffeehouses is their beautiful architecture. Some even have jangdokdae (traditional Korean earthenware pots), daecheong maru (wooden-floors) and giwa (traditional roof tiles), all of which come together to create a unique traditional ambience. Read on to learn more about hanok coffee shops in downtown Seoul.

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Korean's Late-Night MealHigh-protein, but low fat

The modernization of the yasik culture has resulted in the tendency of many restaurants to offer delivery services—bringing food from kitchen to doorstep with just one simple phone call. There are dozens of yasik menus to choose from, ranging from light meals like porridge or salad to more filling items like fried foods, tteokbokki, sundae, and bossam.

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Experience Korean WaveFind hallyu celebrity's hand printing and tour information at once

Gangnam is about the glitz and glamour. Seoul’s poshest district is also the driving engine of the Korean Wave, the remarkable global success of Korean pop culture. It’s to this cultural heritage that the second floor of the center is dedicated. In the K-Wave Experience Zone, you’ll find the center’s “killer content”: visitors gyrating on mock stages, professional hairdressers and makeup artists doing up tourists to look like their favorite K-pop stars, faux music video sets, and—of course—lots and lots of photos of K-pop stars.

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Traditional Hand-woven ClothesRamie Fabric Cultural Festival celebrates the high quality clothing

Hansan Ramie Fabric Cultural Festival is held in Seocheon-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, a region famous for producing ramie, a flax-like plant whose fibers are used to weave cloth. Visitors can attend a fashion show featuring ramie fiber clothes, try on ramie clothing, or watch the creation of ramie fabric.

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Summer Trip to YeongwolThe best place for summer view of nature

During the summer months in Yeongwol-gun, Gangwon-do, you can spot rafts lining the banks of the Donggang River. Visitors taking part in the rafting trips will have a relaxing opportunity to cool off while rowing down the smooth waters of the Donggang River and navigating the occasional rapids. Along with Naerincheon Valley in Inje and Hantangang River in Cheorwon, Gangwon-do, Yeongwol’s Donggang River is widely recognized as one of the best rafting spots in Korea thanks in no small part to its scenic landscape.

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Underground Shopping MallsA large number of products with reasonable prices

Korea’s four distinctive seasons might be appealing to visitors from a country with a tropical climate year-round; however, cold winds in winter or the sudden downpours during the rainy season in summer may cause varying levels of inconvenience in having a pleasant shopping experience in Korea. This is precisely why Korea Tourism Organization has prepared a list of the top five underground shopping malls in Seoul, where one can go and fully enjoy shopping, without being restricted by the whims of weather.

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Healthy&delicious BibimbapIt has everything you need

Bibimbap, a bowl of rice mixed with meat and assorted vegetables, is one of the all time favorite meals of the Korean people, regardless of age or generation. Its popularity has also grown internationally with the spread of hallyu, or Korean “wave.” Even some Hollywood celebrities have praised its nutritional value and talked about how it has helped them maintain a healthy diet.

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GangnamK-Star ROADHallyu stars’ favorite hangout spots

The K-Star ROAD is the first project of the K ROADs, listing Hallyu stars’ favorite hangout spots and their management agencies located in Cheongdam-dong, Sinsa-dong and Nonhyeon-dong. Walking along the K-Star ROAD will be an interesting and invaluable experience of Gangnam tour.

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Gangneung Danoje FestivalCultural Masterpiece of Korea

The Gangneung Danoje Festival is a traditional Korean festival which UNESCO designated as a masterpiece of human tradition and intangible cultural heritage on November 25, 2005. A Confucian sacrificial rite is performed at the Daegwallyeong Ridge Tutelary Deity Temple as the central event of the Gangneung Danoje Festival, the representative Korean festival held on Dano, the 5th day of the 5th month on the lunar calendar. The festival is held all over Gangneung City and Daegwallyeong Ridge; it stretches from the Danoje Festival grounds by Namdaecheon Stream which runs through the city of Gangneung - from the 20th day of the 3rd month on the lunar calendar when sacred liquor is brewed for the rite, to the 6th day of the 5th month on the lunar calendar when the rite finishes.

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Jeonju Hanok VillageA welcoming Korean Experience

About a 2 hour KTX train ride from Seoul, Jeonju welcomes visitors with its charming and relaxed atmosphere. No better place encapsulates the particular atmosphere unique to Jeonju like the Jeonju Hanok Village nestled in the heart of the city. From the train station, the Hanok Village is only about 20 minutes by taxi, and once you arrive, you will come face to face with the time-honored streets lined with traditional hanok houses and wonderful landmarks like the Jeondong Catholic Cathedral.

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Seoul's Top Flagship StoresFashionable shops in fashionable manner

Shopping is one of the major activities undertaken by tourists at their destinations. As one of the most popular destinations in Korea, Seoul is home to many fashionable neighborhoods. Seoul is often considered as one of the most fashionable and trendy cities in the world. The global success of hallyu has also paved the way for the increasing popularity for Korean fashion. There is definitely no shortage of trendy spots for a fun and enjoyable shopping experience.

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Korean BBQsMore dishes than you can imagine

Korean cuisine offers an endless array of meat dishes with flavors and cooking methods to suit every taste. If you are used to cutting into a large broiled steak with a knife and fork, you’ll find eating Korean meat quite unique. The pieces are bite sized but incredibly tender and juicy. Grilling is the most popular form of cookery.

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SMTOWN CAFELimited edition desserts inspired by SM artists

EXO are chatting at the sofa next to me, and I am having EXO's Dessert.
It was hard to decide whether I should have SHINee’s Dessert or EXO’s Dessert.
But seeing JONGHYUN standing beside the jukebox next to me, I have decided to have SHINee’s Dessert!
While enjoying the dessert, I found EXO chatting and drinking coffee on the sofa nearby.
I should have another dessert… I don’t want to worry about gaining calories for now!

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Jongmyo Jerye The grand royal ceremony

Jongmyo Jerye is a ceremony held for the king and queens of the Joseon Period in the shrine where the ancestral tablets of theirs are preserved. Jongmyo, along with the rituals where services for the Gods of Earth and Corps were performed, is considered as an important symbol which is the foundation of national survival. It has Jeongjeon(Main Hall), enshrined 49 tablets in 19 spirit chambers, and Yeongnyeongjeon(Hall of Eternal Peace), enshrined 33 tablets in 16 spirit chambers.

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JuknokwonBamboo Garden of Calmness

Looking to beat the heat this summer but don’t want endless lineups and crowds? In the heart of Jeollanam-do rests the peaceful town of Damyang. While not as well-known as many other Korean cities popular as summer destinations, it is home to some very appealing attractions that make a trip here worthwhile.

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HanbokIndulge in style, color and tradition

While traveling throughout Korea, there are many ways to get a glimpse of the nation's ancient traditions and culture. Learning history can often feel like homework, and many agree that actually experiencing the tradition hands on, like sampling traditional cuisine, will give you an easier way in.

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Seoul’s Night MarketsThe feasting never stops

After sundown, Seoul's famous markets really come alive. From shopping and people watching to eating and drinking, everything is more fun in the city's markets after dark.

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Psy’s MV Filming Location Where Gentleman goes Gangnam Style

Psy is taking his role as a Korea tourism ambassador very seriously. After making the filming sites featured in his Gangnam Style music video popular places in 2012, he is now doing the same with a number of places through video for his new song Gentleman. The explosive popularity of the music video is accompanied with rising interest in the celebrities, filming locations, and brands featured in the music video. In particular, the sites that appeared in the video have been featured in various parodies, resulting in new tourism destinations. Some netizens and fans are raving about Psy's new release by visiting the boutique in Cheongdam-dong, the Seoul Metropolitan Library at Seoul City Hall, and other locations featured in the video. Read on to learn more about the filming locations in Psy's Gentleman music video.

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Temple stayDiscovering yourself

First started in 2002, Temple Stay is a unique opportunity to experience Korean Buddhism, its lifestyle, rituals and spirituality. It generally entails staying at a traditional Buddhist temple, and engaging in daily monastic activities. Between 2002 and 2011, more than 750,000 Koreans and 110,000 foreign nationals participated in temple stay programs across the country. Today, temple stay remains one of the most popular programs among locals and foreigners for experiencing Korean Buddhism.

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Ihwa Mural VillageA picture-perfect place

Perched at the very top of Mt. Naksan, Ihwa Mural Village is an unlikely attraction in an unlikely setting. Only a decade ago, the neighborhood was set for demolition to clear away what was considered an aging and unattractive slum to make way for new development. Today, it’s a lively and thriving neighborhood that welcomes artists and visitors while still preserving the charm and intimate bonds of its long-standing and tight-knit community. It’s a surprising success story, and not one without challenges, but the Mural Village illustrates the ability of art and human ties to bring new life to the city.

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A Day in GangnamFind your own Gangnam style

Where is Gangnam?
With the name literally meaning “south of the river”, Gangnam is a mainly commercial area located south of the Hangang River. The district is lined with a dazzling array of shops selling everything from expensive designer items to unique vintage clothes. The young and fashionable gather here in force, and celebrity sight ings are common.

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Chicken & BeerA perfect match

Crispy fried chicken is said to have been first introduced to Korea in 1984 with the opening of the first KFC store in Jongno, Seoul. Over the years, various types of fried chicken have evolved using gochujang red pepper paste, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, garlic, and other ingredients that delight the Korean palate. Riding the wave of this new trend, fried chicken franchises continue to pop up, offering an even greater choice of fried chicken varieties. These days, chicken lovers can choose from among fried chicken covered with sweet and spicy sauces, sauces with a soy sauce base, and much much more.

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K-Pop Music ShowHow to Apply for Tickets

KPOP Music Shows: How to Apply for Tickets

As Korean K-pop continues to spread worldwide, there have been an increasing number of inquiries on how to take part in TV music programs produced by major broadcasting companies in Korea.

Music programs are incredibly popular since audience members can see a number of their favorite singers perform all in one place. One big bonus is that, unlike concerts, tickets are free to those who apply online and are picked in the lucky draw. Let’s take a look at how you too can apply for tickets from each broadcasting company and attend some of your favorite TV music shows!

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Incheon Pentaport Rock FestivalCheering guaranteed

Pentaport Rock Festival is an emerging rock festival ardently supported by not just local rock fans, but by music fans worldwide. The festival takes place normally in early August, in Songdo City. Overseas rock bands will be playing in the lineup with local rock musicians for an energetic rock music festival that’s out of this world!

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Boseong Green Tea PlantationFrom the field to your cup

Daehan Dawon Tourist Plantation is an area located in Boseong, and its main specialty is green tea which originated from the mountain valleys south of Boseong. Boseong has been a tea plantation area since the days of the Japanese occupation, and with its long history comes large plantations, their traditions, and highly skilled workers. The most famous of these is the Daehan Dawon Plantation. The site has gained popularity as a film making destination after a huge success of the commercial for a telecommunication company. It also host ‘Dahyangje Tea Festvial’ each year in May.

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Duty Free HeavenOne stop for the top shops

The Duty Free Shop section of Korea's Incheon International Airport covers a large area. It is divided by products and each store has a different theme to ensure easy, efficient shopping.

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Korean Buddhist CuisineThe freshest take on soul food

A long with the chaotic energy of the city comes the occasional craving to center the soul and mind. Buddhist temples dot the cityscape as idyllic oases of contemplation; then the tummy rumbles, disturbing the quiet. Korean Buddhist temple cuisine presents a realm where tradition meets trendy, where even an unapologetic carnivore can find enlightened satisfaction in a vegan meal.

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My Love from the StarGo deep behind-the-scenes

Korean drama My Love from the Star first premiered on December 18, 2013, and tells the story of an alien who landed on Earth some 400 years ago during the Joseon Dynasty and falls in love with a top star actress in the modern era. In this sweet and animated fantasy romance, extraterrestrial Do Min-jun finds himself falling in love with top star Cheon Song-yi, and saving her when she finds herself in perilous situations multiple times. The drama ended with lots of buzz about top stars Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun. Read on to learn more about the drama’s filming locations, which have drawn a lot of recent attention among the show’s fans.

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Korean Baseball LeagueIt's a home run all the time

Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Korea. Since its introduction in 1982, the sport has drawn a total of more than 100 million spectators. In 2012, the number of baseball fans flocking to the stadiums made headlines by surpassing 7 million. Although the figure slightly decreased to 6.75 million in 2013, it still exemplified the enduring popularity of professional baseball in Korea.
After the Korean national baseball team won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and second place in the 2009 World Baseball Classics, many lukewarm fans became avid spectators and the popularity of the sport continued to grow. Over time, spectators took on a greater passion for the game, turning stadiums into popular gathering spots serving as an outlet of energy for fans of all ages.

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GunsanA town behind the modern times

Gunsan of Jeollabuk-do is a city with one of the richest modern cultural heritages in all of Korea. Following the opening of its port in 1899, the city became a hub of modern cultural heritage from the Japanese colonial era (1910–1945). Although the city is a symbol of the painful history of Japanese exploitation through its shipping of rice to Japan, it has now transformed into a fascinating cultural destination, offering a wide variety of things to see and do in addition to retaining traces of its colonial past. Moreover, Gunsan has become a popular walking tour destination, owing to the proximity of its historic downtown areas, which are located around Jangmi-dong, Wolmyeong-dong, and Sinheung-dong, with the city’s inner port at the center. Gunsan will allow you to travel back in time while you enjoy its diversely themed excursions, such as the old downtown walking tour, the modern cultural heritage stamp tour, and the Gyeongam-dong Railroad.

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Shopper's ParadiseThe best way to shop big in Seoul

Located in various suburbs of Seoul, mega shopping malls are reinventing themselves through continued innovation to keep pace with the ever-changing needs of domestic and foreign consumers. These places are breaking away from the traditional role of shopping malls that simply meet the basic needs of shoppers; they are designed to cater to a broader array of services, such as fine dining, a wide-range of entertainment, and much more! These huge recreation-integrated shopping malls are truly a one-stop destination for all, and have been fervently welcomed by people of all ages and backgrounds.

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Tasty Ocean BreezeThe freshest seafood for your mouth

Situated in the coastal region of Jeollanam-do, Mokpo and Haenam are renowned for their seafood dishes. Mokpo's representative dishes include hongeo-samhap, sebalnakji, mineo-hoe, galchi-jjim, and kkotge-muchim, while Haenam is known for its han-jeongsik, haemul-tang, chicken dishes, and sanchae-jeongsik.

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Korean Pop PhenomenaWhere the movement all began

The Korean Wave has been heavily touted by the Korean government and press in the last few years as an influential cultural phenomenon both in Korea and largely across Asia. Yes, K-pop music blares from practically every source imaginable, celebrity faces are plastered on nearly every advertisement and whenever you spot a TV it’s either broadcasting a drama or a music show. But is this force nearly as powerful as the entities involved in its creation and promotion would like us to believe? Is it really responsible for bringing people from across the globe to Korea? One visit to hallyu ground zero in Cheongdam-dong answers that question: absolutely.
Cheongdam-dong is an affluent area nestled between the river and Apgujeong Station, home to most of Seoul’s high-end designer flagships. If you’ve got a loaded wallet or are carrying heavy plastic, it’s a shopper’s paradise. It’s also the base of many of the major entertainment companies responsible for churning out all the K-pop. If you are a fan, it should be the first stop on any hallyu itinerary. And if you aren’t, it is worth the trip just to see the unfolding of an intense cultural craze and get a glimpse into the curious and slightly absurd world of Asian fandom.

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HangeulAs poetic as language can be

October 9 holds a very special place in the hearts of Koreans. It is the birthday of Hangeul, the native Korean alphabet invented by King Sejong (reign: 1418-1450).
The invention of Hangeul was no accident, but rather the culmination of a methodical and logical process. Before Hangeul, Chinese characters called “Hanja” had been used in writing. However, Hanja, for its sheer plethora of characters, was difficult to learn, especially for people of lower social status with little or no access to education, and this led to rampant illiteracy throughout the country. In order to resolve the problem, King Sejong began developing a new writing system that would be easy to access as well as to learn. At last, on October 9, 1443, Hangeul (Hunminjeongeum) was invented and was disseminated with a thorough explanation of logic behind each stroke of its characters. It was published for the first time in 1446. The invention of Hangeul contributed substantially to reducing illiteracy in Korea.
Today, Hangeul is regarded as one of the most systematic alphabets in the world, and is annually celebrated on October 9, designated as Hangeul Day. This coming Hangeul Day, we invite you learn and celebrate Korea’s valuable cultural asset, Hangeul.

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JongnoA street that lights up the night

Jongno was where the kings and royal families lived hundreds of years ago. The area also played a key role in connecting the capital city with the other regions. In the present day, Jongno is a place where the ancestral heritage and modern cultures coexist. Jongno is a hub of tourist activities in the daytime, but nighttime is when you’ll discover its special charms. Keep reading to find some things to see and do in Jongno after the sun sets.

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Urban SophisticationEvening breeze of youth

Hongdae is an area that’s full of youthful energy all year round. When the sun sets and the lights come on, things get even livelier, especially on weekend nights. Hongdae is short for Hongik University (홍익대학교, Hongik Daehakgyo) and the area surrounding the university is also generally referred to as Hongdae. The Hongdae area is widely known for its eclectic and artsy vibe, a quality that could be attributed to the influence of Hongik University, which is one of the nation’s top fine arts colleges. Step into the Hongdae area to discover its indie spirit, urban arts, and lively culture.

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BingsuA cold way to cool a hot summer

Bingsu (shaved ice with toppings) is a popular snack food found almost everywhere in Korea during the summer months. Believed to date back all the way to the Joseon Dynasty, the original bingsu was simple, served as finely broken ice chips topped with sweetened red bean porridge. In the years following its debut, the popularity of bingsu exploded across the nation, bringing with it an almost endless variety of bingsu types and flavor combinations. Today, many bingsus shy away from the predominantly bean taste and some even omit the red beans altogether. From the traditional red beans and ice “patbingsu” to complex mixes of ice cream and fruit, bingsus can easily be found in almost any coffee shop or bakery in Korea. Here, we’ll introduce you to the best of both worlds, giving you plenty of places where you can indulge in a sweet and delicious bingsu treat.

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KliveMeet K-pop stars on demand

Klive, a place where visitors can watch K-pop stars’ hologram performances anytime on the 9th floor of Lotte FITIN in Eulgi-ro, Seoul.
At the standing area, audiences will be able to see three-dimensional images of singers on stage as if they are in front of an actual concert stage.
Tickets can be purchased from the ticket booth next to the information desk on the main floor of Lotte FITIN or directly from the Klive ticket booth on the 9th floor lobby.

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TaekwondoThe best way to kick it

Muju Taekwondowon opened in Muju, Jeollabuk-do in April of 2014, and offers visitors a facility where they can see, learn, and experience everything about Korea’s traditional martial art, Taekwondo. This facility was built specifically for Taekwondo to act as a dedicated space for international competitions, training, education, research, and all things Taekwondo. Muju Taekwondowon’s grounds cover an area of 2,314,000 square meters and are equipped with a variety of facilities including the T1 Arena (main stadium), Taekwondo Museum, Sculpture Garden, Observatory, monorails, and more.

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GyeongjuThe soul of Korean buddhist culture

Situated in the southeastern part of Korea, Gyeongju in Gyeongsangbuk-do was the capital of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC – AD 935), which was ruled by 56 kings over 992 years, the longest period of any dynasty in the history of Korea. Over the course of almost a thousand years, Silla transformed itself from a small tribal nation to a kingdom occupying more than half of the Korean Peninsula. During that time, Gyeongju had steadfastly remained its capital. Gyeongju had previously been called Seorabeol and Gyerim, and the name Gyeongju first appeared on record in AD 935. These days, Gyeongju continues to show its importance even though more than a thousand years have passed since the fall of the Silla Kingdom.

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Korean Make upExpats chat about Korean cosmetics scene

The Korean cosmetics market isn’t exclusive to Koreans anymore. ”K-beauty” is apparently more than just shallow hype. To get an idea of how Korean cosmetic products are actually viewed by non-Korean consumers, Seoul invited four ladies just mentioned to MAP Studio (Makeup and Photography) to meet up in Seoul’s Nonhyeon-dong, a trendy and fashionable part of town. There were also samples of new products available for them to try.

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THE LIST WILL GO ON AND ON. STAY TUNED TO SEE THEM ALL!