Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Jusangjeolli Cliff (주상절리) is Nature’s Masterpiece of Jeju

What makes Jeju really beautiful is the fact that it is an island made by nature. Who would have thought that a disastrous eruption of magma that formed in the sea that happened more than 1 million years ago has now turned into an island inhabited by thousands of Koreans nowadays? Nature has a lot of masterpieces in Jeju, and one of them is the Jusangjeolli Cliff (주상절리) which is located in the Seogwipo City.

The Jusangjeolli cliff

Jusangjeolli or columnar joints is a rocky cliff, and the reason why it is called by its name is because the rocks in the cliff are formed into polygonal columns. This columnar joints is about 2 km long which runs from the coast of Jungmun-dong up to the Daepo-dong.

Big waves beating against the cliff and the rocks

If you will look at it at one glance, you may think that these joints are man made. The columns are perfectly arranged, some have 5 sides, some have 6 sides and it formed as if some architect or engineers have planned it so it will look that way. The truth is, the nature created this awesome cliff. Some 140,000 to 250,000 years ago, the lava flowed from the Nokhajiak Scoria cone. When the lava cooled down, it was solidified and then these polygonal columns were formed to make an amazing cliff.

View from the trail
When we went to the Jusangjeolli cliff, the waves were so big, and everytime it beats against the rocks and the cliffs, it’s so beautiful, it was like we were watching a show that only nature can do. The cool breeze and the sound of the splashing wave made our visit even more memorable and fun.
At the end of the trail, an ahjumma selling raw seafood is waiting for the hungry visitors. She’s actually cleaning them in front of the customers. While the waves and the columnar joints were busy entertaining the visitors, she has a show of her own too.

Ahjumma cleaning her raw seafood

Entrance to the Jusangjeolli Cliff is only 2,000 KRW per person. It is open all year round, from sunrise to sunset. It is located at this address:

216, Jungmungwangwang-ro, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 중문관광로 216 (중문동)

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Filming Locations of Legend of the Blue Sea (푸른바다의 전설) in Korea and How to go there

The Legend of the Blue Sea (푸른바다의 전설) is the newest Korean drama craze in the world of Hallyu. It stars Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun and the story is all about a mermaid named Sae-Wa played by Jun Ji Hyeon who falls in love with the son of Joseon noble family Dam-ryeong played by Lee Min Ho during the Joseon dynasty. Then they find each other in the modern times as SIm Chung (Jun Ji Hyun) and Heon Joon-jae( Lee Min Ho), a doppelganger of Dam-ryeong from the Joseon dynasty and he works as a skilled conman. As their world intertwined in the modern world, Joon-jae shows Shim Chung the ways of the new world and later on find themselves in love with each other again. It is another love story about two people coming from two different worlds trying to fight the hurdles between them. Will love still wins despite the fact that Shim Chung finds it hard to keep up living with humans in the modern weird world? Will Heon Joon-jae can use his skills as a conman to trick the world and gets in his way to save and love Shim Chung? This Korean drama will show once again that love will always win. 

The drama has been shot at different locations in Korea and even outside the country. They filmed some underwater scenes in Palau, the casts and crews also went to Spain to film in A Coruna, Lugo, Ribadeo and Castell de Santa Florentina. However, the interesting shooting locations are of course the places they featured in Seoul and other parts of Korea. What made it interesting is the fact that the filming locations they selected are tourist spots. So if ever you are going to Korea, you might want to include some of these places in your itinerary.

1. Pocheon Art Valley

From Episode 2, there's a scene where Dam-ryeong shows up on his boat floating in a very beautiful and calm water to meet Sae Wa after hundreds of lanterns appeared all over the area. This location is at Pocheon Art Valley.

To go to this location, take an intercity bus and get off at Pocheon Bus Terminal (포천터미널), then from there, you can take bus number 67 or 67-1 and get off at Pocheon Art Valley Bus Stop.

2. Gangnam

When Sim Chung first set her foot in Seoul in Epsiode 3, she's wandering at Gangnam, the most sophisticated and expensive district of Seoul. This is a place where you see corporate people busy walking in the street, enjoy shopping and fashionable Koreans. 

To get yourself lost in the Gangnam district, when in Seoul, you can take Subway Line number 2 (Green Line) and get off at Gangnam Station.

3. Aqua Planet of 63 Building

To continue her search for Joon-jae, Sim Chung went to Aqua Planet 63 in Episode 3 of the series. She had her buffet in the aquarium and she became an instant star of the mermaid show.

If you want to visit Aqua Planet 63, take Subway Line Number 1 or Blue Line in Seoul, get off at Daebang Station and go to Exit 6. You can either take Bus number 11 or take the free shuttle bus to the 63 Building. 

4. Boseong Green Tea Plantation

A scene taken from outside of Seoul. In the Episode 4 of this series, Sae Wa is seen walking at the green tea plantation during the first snow of winter.

Boseong is actually far from Seoul, it is located at Jeollanam-do. It's address is at 763-67, Nokcha-ro, Boseong-gun, Jeollanam-do 전라남도 보성군 보성읍 녹차로 763-67. You can take the intercity bus from Seoul Central City Bus Terminal (Express Bus Terminal Station, Subway Line 3, 7 & 9), take an express bus bound for Boseong Intercity Bus Terminal. From Boseong Terminal, take a local bus bound for Yulpo and get off at Daehan Dawon Bus Stop. Travel time is about 5 hours.

5. Yeouido Hangang River Park

Another scene taken in Seoul is at Yeouido hangang River Park. Annually, every October, a fireworks festival is held in this park. Joon Jae and Sim Chung witnessed the fireworks at this park located in the heart of Seoul

It is very easy to go to Yeouido Hangang Park when you are in Seoul. Take Subway Line number 5, get off at Yeouinaru Station and go to either Exit 2 or 3.

6. Namsan Seoul Tower

This tower appeared several times in the series. If you are wondering what is that well and beautifully lit tower you see on the background, that is N Seoul tower. If you are in downtown Seoul, it is impossible you would not see it in daytime and in night time. In Epsiode 5, Sim Chung and Joon Jae supposed to meet here during the first snow.

It is easy to go to Namsan Tower, you can read my previous post about N Seoul Tower HERE for the instruction on how to go there and for the fun activities you can do.

7. Vivaldi Park Ski World 

Another scene shot outside Seoul is at Vivaldi Park Ski World in Hongcheon, Gangwondo province. In episode 6, the couple is enjoying the ski park after Sim Chung requested to go to a place where there's snow. 

To go to Vivaldi Park Ski World, from Seoul Sangbong Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, take a bus to Hongcheon Bus Terminal. From Hongcheon, take Bus No. 70-1 or 70-2 to Vivaldi Park (travel time: approx. 1hr 30min)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

10 Trendy Cafes in Seoul You Should Visit (Part 2)

As a continuation of a two part series of my café hopping in Seoul, I will share to you the other half of the 10 trendy cafes I visited as part of the Café Show event at COEX. For the part 1, CLICK HERE

6. Red Plant Coffee Roasters
Tagline: Energetic Roastery Café

There in the corner of the street at Mapo district in Seoul stands a small, cozy and relaxing coffee shop called Red Plant Coffee roasters. If you walk along that street, the building is very small but it’s impossible you can’t see the striking red letters of the shop’s name.

This place is ideal for a one on one talk, there’s also a space outside of the coffee shop where people can occupy, sip a cup of coffee, and talk while watching the passerby. It is one of the best places in Seoul you would love to spend your afternoon.

To go to Red Plant Coffee Roasters, you can navigate to this address:
(Café)53, Yanghwa-ro 7 gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

7. Wangchang Co.

Tagline: Dark Roasted Coffee that Touches You

If you can’t read Korean, you would probably find it hard to locate this shop because the name of the shop is written in Hangeul. This coffee shop is just in front of the Red Plant Coffee Roaster, it’s also small and a little bit congested considering that this coffee shop has a lot of local patrons.

The roasting laboratory is also inside the coffee shop, you can even see the roaster from the outside because they put it in a room with transparent glass, so everyone can actually see what’s happening during the roasting process. It looks traditional because of the wood element. Aside from the paintings on the walls and beautiful lightings, there’s nothing really interesting in this shop.

To go to Wangchang Co. coffee shop, you can navigate to this address:
27 Worldcup-ro 8 gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

8. Namusairo Coffee

Tagline: With a various season Menu

For people who love to experience Korean traditional lifestyle, Namusairo is the place to be. This place is very near Gyeongbokgung palace, so it’s a perfect place to visit after a tour at the palace and the Gwanghwamun Square.

Namusairo is situated in a place where there are a lot of buildings with old style architecture in the neighborhood, therefore you wouldn’t surprise if it appears as a traditional house. It’s a Hanok inspired café with a lot of rooms inside. From the outside, it looks small, and when you enter at the counter area where people order, it is a small area too. I think it can only accommodate up to 6 people. But when you go at the back, there’s a yard where you can sit and relax while sipping your cup of coffee. If you come by group, you can choose one of the room available inside. It is very ideal for study, chit chat and for relaxation.

The coffee at Namusairo are a little bit pricey though, but that’s because they use expensive and aromatic type of coffees. You can’t also underestimate their bakery as it offers a variety of cakes and sweets.

To go to Namusairo, Take subway line number 3 (Orange Line) and get off at Gyeongbokgung Station, go to  exit 7 and walk through the main road to the left at Saemunan-ro 3 gil, then turn right and walk for about 5 minutes. If you get lost, you can also navigate to this address:
21 Sajik-ro 8 gil, Sajik-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

9. Coffee Tour

Tagline: Coffee Guide for your life

At first, the name of the coffee shop does not make sense. The name Coffee Tour, according to the barista, was derived from the fact that people from around the world who have interest in coffee, either for business or tour, have this coffee shop in their itinerary. So I’m guessing that people go to this place to tour and learn more about coffee.

I personally like this coffee shop because it’s cozy and peaceful. They have couches where you can sit and relax while reading the book. I love the classical music they play on the background because it’s so relaxing. If you want to review or study your lessons, you can go to this coffee shop. I like also the packaging of their beverages. It’s stylish and classy at the same time.

If you wish to go to Coffee tour, you can navigate to this address:
1F, Sajik-ro 10 gil 12, Jongro-gu, Seoul

10. Rusted Iron in Dumbo

Tagline: With a various season menu

From the outside, Rusted Iron looks so robust and strong. It’s a coffee shop you think men would love to go. But in the inside, it’s so soft and calm and peaceful. It’s a three floors building, the basement have a cool space for intimate talk or a lazy afternoon coffee session. The first floor is where the counter is located. There’s also a space where you can sit down but most of the room is occupied by the counter. The second floor is another room for the customers.

Aside from the charming atmosphere of this café, the price of the coffee and other beverages are very reasonable considering the fact that the area where it is located is still part of Seoul. I had my hot Mint Mocha Latte for only 4800 won.

If you want to go to Rusted Iron in Dumbo, Get off at Ttukseom Station on Line Number 2 (Green Line) and go to exit 2. Once you exit, turn right and walk down the street. You can also navigate to this address:

656-834, B1, 1F, 2F, Seongsu 1(il) ga 2 (i) dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

10 Trendy Cafes in Seoul You Should Visit (Part 1)

When I arrived in Korea roughly 4 years ago, I was oblivious to the fact that coffee shops exist almost everywhere in this country. As time goes by, as I explored so many places of Korea, I realized how Koreans love coffee. I had once a conversation with a random Korean guy and we talked about the coffee culture of Korea, and he said that the number of coffee shops in this country show how much Koreans value coffee, in fact, most of his friends even prefer to drink coffee than to eat a full meal. If it’s true, then it must be crazy.

I would like to believe that I am exaggerating, but you walk at random streets in any cities of Korea and you will find a coffee shop in every corner. In Seoul alone, there are hundreds, or maybe thousands of coffee shops exist. I personally categorized these coffee shops into mainstreams, themed and trendy. Mainstream cafes are the ones with known names like Starbucks, TomNToms, Angel in Us, Twosome and more. Themed cafes are coffee shops with, well, themes. I’ve been to Camera Café in yangpyeong, I also tried Bau House dog café. I know there’s cat café in Myeongdong, there’s even Hello Kitty Café, Sheep café, Raccoon Café and a lot more. Then there comes the Trendy cafes, the one I like most. Forget about the mainstreams, forget about the themed, because for me, real coffee lovers go to trendy coffee shops.

Trendy cafes are nice because you can see an aspect of personality in the coffee shop. These cafes offer not only a quick relief for the thirsty, or a treat for the sweet tooth, or a quick fix for the caffeine addicts but a different kind of ambiance unique to the characteristic of the shop. That is why in this review, I will focus more on the ambiance than the coffee and food aspect.

I was able to visit 10 trendy coffee shops in 2 days in Seoul as part of the Café Show event at COEX. They offered a free tour bus to bring people to different spots in Seoul for coffee shop visit. They provided a map and a list of coffee shops to visit in downtown area. The tour bus only brought us to the destination, and we have to locate the coffee shops on our own. The google map was a great help for us to navigate to the destination of the coffee shops we chose to visit.

Without further adieu, here are the top 10 trendy cafes in Seoul you should visit if you are in the area.

1. Anthracite Coffee Roasters

Tagline: Small Steps to Big Change

From the outside, it looks bland, rusty, old and uninteresting. But when you get inside the coffee shop, there’s a welcoming feeling that magnetize people to get inside, have a cup of coffee and relax. The moment I opened that heavy, rusty sliding metal door, I smelled roasted coffee. Their bakery offers interesting set of cakes for the sweet tooth. I like the carrot cake, it tastes just the way I like it.

Anthracite for me is like a time machine, once you entered, you will be taken back into the past. I like the transparency though. You can see everything inside the café, from the roasting process of the beans to the way the barista prepare your coffee. You can sit in front of the counter and patiently wait for your orders while watching the staffs make your coffee. Nothing fancy about the tables, the chairs, the interior design and everything inside the coffee shop because they’re all old and recycled but interesting and beautiful. They serve their coffee as fresh as possible as it is being roasted right within the coffee shop using the big old roaster which you can see while sipping your hot coffee. The second floor of the building looks like a very old building and the owner didn’t mind to renovate it because in all fairness, it looks unique and interesting the way it is. The thatched roof, the broken cinderblock walls and the whole old school ambiance add to the whole coffee shop experience.

To go to Anthracite Coffee Roaster, you can get off at Sangsu Station which is in line number 6 (Brown Line),  go to exit 4, once you exit, continue to walk until you reach 7 Eleven convenience store, from there, turn left and walk down the road. When you reached the corner of the road, turn right and walk about 15 meters. You can also use Google Map to Navigate to the location of the coffee shop using this address:

Tojeong-ro 5-gil, Hapjeong-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 마포구 토정로5길 10

2. Bean Brothers

Tag Line: Your Personal Coffee Guide

Bean Brothers is another interesting coffee shop in the area. From the outside, you will know that the feel would be Industrial. It’s plain, rusty and what else can you expect from an old garage converted into coffee shop.

The interior design is so cool though. It is a place where you would want to bring tons of your friends to drink coffee or tea. The barista are all accommodating, the counter is strategically located in the middle of the room so people from any side of the shop can see the baristas taking orders, preparing the drinks and even the roasting area has transparent glass for people to see. I also like how they put quotes or words of wisdom or whatever you call it all over the café.

They serve hot coffee, freshly roasted right within the premise, some non coffee beverages and freshly baked goods for the coffee goers to enjoy while talking.

Bean Brothers is located very near Anthracite Coffee Roaster. The nearest stations are Hapjeong Station or Sangsu Station.  Use your google map to navigate to this address:
35-1, Tojeong-ro, Mapo-gu , Seoul 121-897

3. Café I Do

Tag Line: Italian Coffee and a Dessert, A Perfect Couple

If romantic place is your thing, then Café I Do is definitely the place you should visit. The big red gate is a head turner when you walk along the street where it is located, so it is impossible you would not notice it despite the fact that it is squeezed in between offices and some regular buildings.

After entering the red gate, a different kind of feel welcomes you. If the red gate and the name of the shop imply a romantic feel, the wooden element of its porch would definitely remind you of a home in a province. When we entered the shop, the interior design, the tables, the chairs and everything inside gave a cozy feeling of home. This is a perfect place if you want some small talk with a friend.

To go to Café I Do, the nearest station is Exit 6 of Hapjeong Station. Use your Google Map to navigate on this address:

 1F, 410-10, Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

4. Five Brewing

Tagline: The Very First Brewing Coffee Shop in Korea

From the outside, it gives a youthful vibe. It looks like a coffee shop where students or young people would love to go.

Just don’t mistake this coffee shop as a library though because there are a lot of books inside. The wood element is so strong in this café, making it appears minimalist, but with all those displays and decorations, you can’t deny the artistry of the interior design.

The coffee roaster is sitting happily right in the counter area where everybody could see. It is indeed a perfect place for an afternoon coffee delight.

5Brewing is just near Exit 6 of Hapjeong Station. Use your Google Map to navigate on this address:

55-12 Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

5. Belief Coffee Roasters

Tagline: Specialty Coffee to Please Your 5 Senses

Right in the corner of the street near Hapjeong Station, there stands a spacious coffee shop where you can study, talk and just sip a cup of coffee. With accommodating baristas and staffs, Belief Coffee Roasters is a place where you can get a much needed welcoming feeling.

As what they promised, their coffee is not only for the tongue but for all the 5 senses of the body. Their bakery is something you should try too, the macarons are selling like hot cakes.

To go to Belief Coffee Roasters, use your Google Map to Navigate to this address:

50, Yanghwa-ro 11 gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

I will feature the last 5 trendy coffee shops I visited in Seoul in the part 2 of this post.

CLICK HERE for part 2
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Friday, November 25, 2016

Korean Girl Group 2NE1 Has Officially Disbanded

Can you still remember the first time you heard FIRE on the radio? Or the last time you danced to the tune of I DON’T CARE? The Korean girl group responsible for making those songs famous is now officially disbanding. Yes, it’s a painful truth, but members of the group CL, Sandara Park, Park Bom and Minzy decided to go on their separate ways. According to YG, CL and Sandara Park have signed separate solo contracts. Minzy left 2NE1 and Park Bom has not resigned yet with YG.

This is the official statement of the 2NE1’s agency, YG:

 “2NE1’s exclusive contract expired in May 2016, and with Minzy leaving 2NE1, we have come to the decision to officially disband after extensive discussion with the remaining members.
“As 2NE1 was YG’s official girl group for seven years, we cannot begin to express how we feel, but we determined that it was too difficult to continue. Rather than waiting an unknown amount of time for 2NE1’s next promotions, we have decided to focus on the members’ solo activities.
“We sincerely thank all the fans both in Korea and abroad that have loved the group and their music for all this time.
“We would like to officially announce that after last May, we resigned with CL and Sandara Park. However, unfortunately, there is no new contract with Park Bom.”

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Philippine Lanterns Shine Bright at Seoul Lantern Festival (서울빛초롱축제) 2016

The annual celebration of lantern festival in Seoul, South Korea has finally ended for this year 2016. It was a month long display of bright and colorful lanterns at Cheonggyecheon Stream. Every year, the Seoul Lantern Festival opens every first Friday of the Month of November and ends on the third Sunday of the same month. There were various displays of eye enticing lanterns from the Cheonggyecheon Plaza all the way up to the Supyo Bridge. It took me one hour to check out all the lanterns in the 1.2 km stream and it was indeed an epic sight to look at.

The theme for this year’s Seoul Lantern Festival was “Lightened Hangang River Where History Flows”. It’s a homage to the infamous Hangang River, or “Large River”, which is considered to be the lifeline of Seoul . The lanterns they exhibited were all about the historical, cultural and the stories surrounding the Han River.

There were displays of lanterns about Seoul’s surrounding areas in the past and during the Neolithic ages. The lanterns served as the life size dioramas of what Seoul looks like in the past and how people lived during the pre historic era.

Some interesting stories, legends, beliefs and folklores from the past were also featured in the exhibit. So basically, it’s all about telling the history of Seoul and the Han River in the guise of fabulous lanterns and colorful lights.

Aside from that, there were lanterns from some parts of the world too. I saw one from Japan, from China and of course, from the Philippines. The Philippine proudly showcased its colorful Parol shining brightly on top of colorful lanterns. People were so amazed with the Philippine lanterns as it looked jolly and attractive.

There are also various activities at the Gwantonggyo Bridge and Gwanggyo Bridge Gallery. The hands on activities included were floating of wishing lanterns, writing of wishes at the Hanji, and a lot more. There were booths in the area where people can buy the materials needed to participate in the event.

If you wish to experience Seoul lantern Festival next year, make sure you visit Seoul in the month of November.

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Reading “No Couches in Korea” on a Couch in Korea

I received a copy of “No Couches in Korea” from the author himself Kevin Maher who sent it all the way from Macau. As soon as I received the book, I immediately opened it and read the first few parts of the book. The premise of the book is all about the journey of an English teacher in Korea in the year 1996 when English language was still new to Koreans and white foreigners were being stared at like a star in a circus. I was excited to read the book because I know as a migrant worker in Korea, I can maybe relate to it. While I find myself ironically reading the book in the comfort of a couch in Korea, I read some parts of the book during a subway ride, and everytime I read something about Koreans, of how the characters described them in the bad light, I felt like reading them aloud in the public just so Koreans know how foreigners generally think of them.

However, as the setting of the story was in the mid 1990s, I didn’t put a high expectation on the book because I know for sure that in the past two decades, Korea has changed a lot. Although there are some parts of the book that made me think I experienced the same thing, I found most of the details in this book about living in South Korea in the 90s interesting but not applicable in the modern age. I guess Maher has intended market for this book, and although I am a foreign worker here in South Korea, I just think I am not a market of this book. If I remove all the dramas and love story, picking only the parts that detail the character’s journey in South Korea, I guess English teachers in South Korea would find this helpful. This will give the overview to the first timers of what they will about to experience as soon as they arrive in South Korea. But then again, this was in the 90s, I don’t know how much has changed since that time.

The book only features two major places in South Korea, the Busan and Seoul. Other places like Seoraksan and Gyeongju were mentioned but not really detailed. If there are other places mentioned, then I may have missed it, which means this book is not for the wanderlusts. I’ve been to Busan twice and I’ve been to some of the places Kevin mentioned like Haeundae Beach and the Nampodong Street. I must say that while he did not really talk that much of the must visit places in Busan, his story makes me want to go to Busan again and check out the places and bars he mentioned especially the Blue Note. Next time I go to Busan, No Couches In Korea will surely comes first to my mind which means the book did  a great job introducing Busan to me and maybe to the other readers. However, it would be good if instead of the work dramas and ordeals with roommates and the little western community, the author could have allotted more pages about his experience in other places aside from Busan.

As I’ve said, the setting of the story was in the mid 90s, so I considered this book a history book rather than a guide book because some nuances in the Korean culture have changed already in the past two decades. For example, they don’t call it Pusan anymore but Busan, the travel time from Busan to Seoul is no longer 6 hours, Koreans are no longer staring at the foreigners and so much more. But I must say I’m glad I read the book because Kevin’s account about the 1990s Busan could probably not be seen in any Korean History books. It was an actual event, actual people and actual places narrated in the perspective of a foreigner. While you can’t use this book as a guide for living in Korea in this era, it’s a perfect manual for somebody who wants to know the event that took place in the city in the earlier years.

Overall, I think it’s an interesting read. Although it’s not 100 percent all about Korea, I still find it interesting because reading the book brought me to the time no one in this era would have known.  It’s like making a pathway to an unknown street. I rate this book 7/10 for an effort to illustrate Korea before the kpop, k dramas and hallyu wave entered the scene.

If you are interested about this book, check KEVIN MAHER's homepage.

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Friday, November 18, 2016

The War Memorial Museum of Korea (전쟁기념관)

The war memorial of Korea
Just recently, I had the chance to visit War Memorial Museum in Seoul. I had been to the War Memorial Park which is located just outside the building of the museum for the nth time, but never had the chance to enter the war museum. Before, I don’t understand why there’s a need to have a war museum. I just thought it’s too violent and unusual, but things had changed when I visited the Indepence Hall of Korea in Cheonan. I now understand the information that war museums would like to convey. The Independence Hall of Korea showed what happened during the Japanese-Korean war, but The War Memorial Museum in Seoul is all about the North and South Korean war as well as war against the Chinese communist. I just realized that South Korea has been through a lot of war in its history, no wonder why they require Korean men to undergo military service, maybe in preparation of whatever kind of war that may come to them in the future.

Our tour guide, a Korean guy named Jaemin of Loving Korea, in his military uniform, diligently explained to us what happened during the North and South Korean war. I was late during the tour, so I think I missed a lot of his explanations and fun (or not) facts about the war that has transpired ages ago. The war museum is a huge building, or should I say a huge military history museum.

The tourists with the tour guide

The museum is divided into different halls. I shared the tour with several other foreign nationalities and Jaemin took us to the Exhibiton 6.25 room and to the adjacent halls which hold different documentations, statues, interactive demonstration and dioramas of what really happened during the war. We also watched a 4D documentary footage in black and white showing the main battles and the events that happened during the war. It was a terrifying footage because we didn’t just see it, we also felt it. The cold, the eerie surrounding, the fear and the struggle, I felt it by just watching the documentary.

Actual photos captured during the war

There are also activities and interactive amenities inside the museum, it’s still all about the war but it will help you learn in the fun way. The actual photos, maps, artifacts and footages are all over the hall, you could not miss single information if you will just take time to check it all.

Statues depicting the war

The good thing about the War Memorial Museum in Korea is that, you can enter for FREE. Our tour guide, Jaemin, said that their government spent a lot of money just to establish a museum like this because it will help reminds Koreans about the war that happened before. However, this may look like a history museum, but it is still relevant nowadays seeing that South Korea is still not in good terms with North Korea. In short, the war is not yet over. Although there’s an on going negotiations and both countries are currently in agreement with establishing a Demilitarized zone, one single mistake may ignite the fire between the two warring nations. The way Jaemin described the ordeals in the Demilitarized zone, I can say that the war between North and South Korea is still on going. The war museum is the living reminder of the real struggle of this war.

Interactive amenities at the war memorial museum

I’m glad I was able to enter the museum. Just outside the building, there are other things you can see. Aside from the statues, buildings and different symbolism, you can see the display of different military equipment. If you want see what’s outside the war memorial park, you can CLICK here to visit my previous post about it.
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