The most important festival in South Korea is Seollal, the lunar new year. This 3-day holiday, which is centered around the family, compels an estimated 28 million Koreans to return to their hometowns every year and visit their relatives to partake in several rituals as the new year approaches. Train tickets are reserved a month in advance by many people traveling home on the same days, while food and gift purchases are highest during this time, making it the busiest time of the year for many Korean department stores and malls. Road traffic to provinces becomes a mess, and all radio stations provide frequent live updates on traffic conditions to assist with the migration of the masses.
Archive for the ‘Korea’ Category
South Korea is, to many, a largely avoided vacation destination. With such close proximity to North Korea, many travelers fear that a trip to South Korea may end up disastrous. Sadly, this mindset is causing thousands of travelers to miss out on the unique culture and history that South Korea has to offer. Are you ready to take a trip out to South Korea? Here are 5 incredible destinations you may want to consider.
Proper etiquette varies from country to country and even the aspects of life you think are the same from place to play may be startlingly different. Such is true with Korean dining etiquette.
There are a few things you should and should not do to ensure you present the best manners possible without offending your hosts. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not uncommon to visit an Asian country and find that the people have carved a niche of some sort for themselves. In Korea, especially, you’ll find that different cities or provinces attach themselves to specific cultural habits. Some have special festivals while others boast intense cuisines. In the end, despite each area having much to offer, they’ll only become well-known for one or two.
The Korean Wave has brought worldwide attention to South Korean culture, through its movies, tv shows and music. Many TV shows are known throughout Asia, but did you know that the locations where these Koreanovelas and filmed can actually be visited by the fans?
Here are 6 Korean TV show locations you can visit:
Pojangmachas literally mean “covered wagons.” At night, the streets of Seoul and other South Korean cities become enveloped by makeshift plastic tents, while trucks and vans are converted into kitchens where all kinds of greasy food are prepared. These street vendors are so commonplace that they are regularly featured in Korean dramas as theyÂ feed the nightlife of Korea, from the party-going teenagers to the white-collar workers out for late night drinking sessions.
The Korean Wave, dubbed Hallyu by Chinese journalists, is the export boom of Korean pop culture to Asia and the rest of the world. From TV dramas to music, video games and fashion, a substantial audience for Korean-made entertainment is deliberately being courted in countries like China, Japan, the South-East Asian nations, and even in North America, enabling South Korea to be one of the top ten cultural exporters in the world.
Back in 1998, the community leaders of the small town of Boryeong, South Korea, tried to market the rejuvenating properties of their mud in the form of cosmetics. Rich in Germanium and other skin-nourishing minerals, the mud was planned to be the central focus of a festival designed to draw the country’s attention towards the cosmetics. But amazingly, the visitors raved more about the muddy activities of the festival, which brought people together in a messy, friendly way. And so the idea of cosmetics gave way to the annual mud festival in Boryeong.
South Korea has its own share of traditional snacks, from baked goods stuffed with bean paste to the steamed silkworm pupae. If you find yourself adventurous for some exotic delicacy or just hungry from a dayâ€™s sightseeing, then head for the nearest street food vendor (pojangmacha) and order up some tasty Korean treats.
Beondegi - stewed and seasoned silkworm pupae served by street vendors. They are also popular accompaniments to liquor in bars and are available in cans for grocery purchases.Â The canned versions have a boiled hotdog aroma, which does not help in making the product appealing, but the deep-fried variety tastes like deep-fried peanut skin filled with a woody foie gras-like paste.
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Gyeongju is a small city south of Seoul which once served as the historical capital of Korea. Much of Korean Buddhist art is concentrated here in the form of sculptures, reliefs, pagodas, temples and palaces. It is said that if you go to Korea without visiting Gyeongju, your understanding of the country will be incomplete.
Here are the major landmarks you must visit in Gyeongu:
Bulguksa Temple â€“ regarded as a masterpiece in Buddhist art. Like many Korean temples, Bulguksa has the Gate of the Four Guardians, deities whose expressions range from smiling to teeth-gnashing. Together, the guardians symbolize the triumph of wisdom over ignorance. Two famous stone pagodas, Seokgatap and Dabotap, stand in front of the main rayer hall. Bulguksa has been destroyed and reconstructed over the centuries, the most recent one occurring in 1965.
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