Sunday, October 25, 2020

Spooky Places in South Korea That You Can Visit

Urban Legends, Ghost Stories and Haunted Places are something that you can hardly associate with South Korea’s bright, exciting and attractive tourist places. It is either we are not aware of it or we just want to deny the fact that in every great place, there’s part of it that has a dark story to tell.

Contrary to my other posts in this blog, in this article, I am going to share quite interesting places in South Korea, at least for those who are into horror stories. After all, it’s spooky season and it’s the perfect time to discuss all of that.

1. The Halloween Themed Park at Everland


Let’s start with something light. The Halloween portion of Everland amusement park is more of entertaining rather than spooky. This theme only happens during Halloween season and they take on concepts from horror movies and TV shows. You will see zombies casually walking around trying to scare the hell out of random people and some elements of horror all over. 

How to go to Everland via public transportation:

Take Subway Line number 2 and get off at Gangnam Station. Go to Exit 5, make a U-turn and cross the road. Take Bus number 5002 and get off at the Terminal Stop. From there, you can take the Everland Shuttle Service. This will take you to the entrance of the park, for FREE.

Address: 199, Everland-ro, Pogok-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do

2. The Korean Folk Village in Yongin


The Korean Folk Village in Yongin is a place that could take you back to the Joseon era. It is a very old village and it has witnessed many things that happened in the past, including the story of the women who died as virgins. The urban legend of the existence of Virgin Ghosts believed to have started from this village.

Aside from the dark history of this village, there’s an area here that is transformed into a horror house every summer. I was able to experience the haunted house and it really scared the hell out of me. It features different urban legends and scary beliefs particularly in South Korea. So if you want to be scared, this is a must visit. I don’t know if I was just carried away with my knowledge of the history of the village, or the actors who acted as ghosts and monsters are simply effective.

How to go to Yongin Korean Folk Village via public transportation:

The easiest way to go to this place is to get off the Suwon Station via the Seoul Subway Line Number 1. Go to the Exit number 4 and take a bus number 10-5 or 37 to the Korean Folk Village. There is also a shuttle bus which you can ride for free. Just go to the Folk Village Office which is located in front of the Suwon Station. The shuttle bus runs 5 times a day.

Address: 90, Minsokchon-ro, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do [경기도 용인시 기흥구 민속촌로 90 (보라동) ]

3. Yongma Land Amusement Park


There’s nothing scary about amusement park, right?

Well, it is, especially if it’s abandoned.

And it is even scarier if the reason for abandonment is because of a tragic death. Rumor has it that the park has closed after a girl died on a ride in 2011, and her soul still lingers in the area

Fortunately, the park is still open for anybody who wants to visit it. There’s nothing much you can see except for the abandoned rides, and probably a ghost!

How to go to Yongma Land Amusement Park:

Take a subway and get off at Mangu Station. Go to exit 1 and walk until you see Yongmasan Ro#115, then turn left. Walk until you see Mangu Ro #72, turn right. Walk until you see the Yongma Land Amusement Park.

Address: 118 Mangu-ro 70-gil, Mangubon-dong, Jungnang-gu, Seoul

4. Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital


One of the places that I failed to visit during my stay in South Korea is the Gonijam Psychiatric Hospital. Simply because nobody wanted to go there with me, and I definitely don’t want to go there alone. This abandoned hospital is considered to be the hotspot for ghost hunters in South Korea and definitely the scariest place in the country.

According to the legend, this was once a psychiatric hospital with psychologically unstable owner. How apt is that? He was mentally ill that he held his patients hostage. They were not treated well and died in agony and pain. The owner fled because of the incident and abandoned the hospital.

The ghost of the patients who died in this abandoned hospital still linger in the area to give chill to everybody who will visit it. Will you dare to visit this hospital?

5. Han River


Yes, the ever famous Han River has its own dark story to tell. Accordingly, there are Mul Gwishin (Water Ghosts) appearing in this river because in the early 1900s, a lot of people were killed here. The souls of those who died due to gang hijacked still linger around.

So next time you go to Han River, you might want to add a “Ghost seeing” activity on top of sunset and sunrise.

6. Seodaemun prison


Imagine how many people died here due to torture and execution. This prison was built by Japanese Administration to hold captive of Korean activists who demanded independence against Japanese oppression. 

The dark history of this place would surely raise your hair because of scare.

How to go to Seodaemun Prison:

Take Subway Line number 3, get off at Dongnimmun Station and go to Exit 5. 

If you are crazy enough to take the crazy idea of visiting these spooky places, go ahead and enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Travel Korea with K-Travel Bus


When I had the privilege to explore South Korea, my mantra would always be “So many places to visit, so little time”. This little island has too much to offer than its size. In order to maximize your time, you should do a lot of planning when it comes to the itinerary. Every city and every province has something different to offer to the tourists and for us to really get to know the characteristics of the provinces in South Korea, there must be a strategy to get the most out of the experience. 

One of the most time-consuming parts of traveling to South Korea is the commute. I can attest how public transportation is very efficient in this country, but even at its excellence, I must admit that commuting takes a lot of time in the itinerary. Buses and trains have schedules to follow; transferring from one mode of transportation to another also takes time and identifying what train lines or bus numbers to take to get to the destination you want are definitely a party-pooper.

The good news is, Korea has this thing called K-Travel Bus

What is this thing? 

Well, K-Travel bus will take you to must-go places in the selected provinces in South Korea. They work with professional agents, drivers, and local hotels, restaurants and provides a unique trip to one of the 7 locations for a night and two days.

K-Travel Bus can take you to Daegu, the third-largest city in Korea. You can experience the different tourist attractions in this place like the oldest traditional spot called Yakreongsi, the Seomun market, the Daegu Modern Street, and of course the Food Street. 

Daegu cafe food street

K_Travel Bus can also take you to Gangwondo. There are a lot of National Parks in this place like Mt.Sorak, Mt.Tebaeksan, and Mt. Odaesan. There are also a lot of beautiful beaches in Gangwondo like Sokcho, Naksan, and Yangyang.




How about, walking down memory lane to Chungcheongbukdo? This place will tell you the history of three different dynasties, Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla. Experience and feel the ambiance of ancient Korea in this province.

You can also take a side trip to Jeollanamdo where you can go visit the Suncheonman and Nakaneupsung in Suncheon and also the Odongdo and Leesunshin Square in Yeosu.


Go take a look at how people live in the Silla Dynasty era at Gyeongsangbukdo. You can do a lot of historical and cultural heritages and sightseeing in this province.



K-Travel Bus will also take you to the historical city called Gongju where you can see the lifestyle from the Paleolithic age,

And lastly, you can visit Changwon, an artistic city. There’s so much art you can see here like literally, every corner and every alley has a touch of art.


So imagine visiting all the must-go places in one of these awesome provinces in South Korea in a span of two days. Isn’t it amazing? You can only do this with K-Travel Bus. 

And here’s one more good news for you. You can be one of the 500 lucky travelers who can win a 30% discount on your trips. Please CLICK HERE  to participate in this event.

Next time you go for K-TRAVEL, why not take K-TRAVEL BUS to maximize your Korea Trip Experience.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Namsan Tower- Seoul’s Center of Attention




You’ve seen it in a lot of Korean Drama. You’ve probably seen it too in your favorite K Pop music video. I am not surprised if it’s in a Korean Movie. And if I am not wrong, you’ve heard about it and all its glory. 

Standing tall and proud in the heart of Seoul, you will see a majestic tower that you could probably see it from any perspective within Seoul, the Namsan Tower.

It is located in the famous tourist spot in Seoul, the Namsan. While the place offers so much fun and a lot of activities, the tower is one of the main reasons why people ko to Namsan. 

At daytime, you will see the tower beaming with its charm as it watches the whole city of Seoul all throughout the day. Little did he know that the whole of Seoul is watching over him too. 

At nighttime, the tower is glowing with its flashing colorful lights enticing every human eyes it catches.
For me, if there’s one thing that symbolizes Korea, it’s not the Hallyu wave, not the kdrama and definitely not Lee Min Ho. The star of the city really is no other than the Namsan Tower. 

Next time you go to Korea, go visit the Namsan Tower and get a glimpse of the whole city of Seoul from a higher perspective. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Exo-SC Teases Return With The Album "1 Billion Views"




Followers of EXO-SC have something to celebrate this July 2020 because their favorite idols are set to come back with their first full album 1 Billion Views.

The group teases their comeback over EXO-SC official website at SM TOWN web page where they show different still images taken from what looks like a scene from the music video. The group is brewing something awesome for the fans.

For their grand comeback, fans are set to enjoy 8 new tracks from the 1 Billion Views album and 3 new music videos to enjoy. It looks like the album title is a premonition of what is coming to the group because fans went crazy after they found out that their idols are set to come back in the music spotlight.

Here are the tracks included in the EXO-SC’s new album “1 Billion Views”

1. 1 billion views 
2. Say it 
3. Rodeo station 
4. Telephone 
5. Jet lag 
6. Fly away 
7. Nothin’ 
8. On me 
9. 1 billion views instrumental version

On a scale of 1 to 1 billion views, how excited are you for the come back of exo-sc?

Monday, June 22, 2020

“The World of The Married” Fanboy Reenacts Scenes at the Actual Filming Location





Nelson Obrador, an Overseas Filipino Worker based in South Korea, had his fair share of fun when he went to the actual filming location of the recently concluded Korean hit drama series “The World of the Married”. The series is an adaptation of the British drama “Doctor Foster” and became a big hit not only in South Korea but also in other countries like the Philippines. For more information about this Korean series, you may want to check out my review of The World of the Married in my previous post.

The main setting of the series is in a small town in Korea called Gosan. However, the actual setup for the residential house of our protagonist, Dr. Ji Sun Woo, is in the city of Goyang in Ilsan. For those who want to check out the area, here's the complete address in Korean and English:

Address: 85 Seonghyeon-ro 29beon-gil, Seongseok-dong, Ilsandong-gu, Goyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
경기도 고양시 일산동 성현로29번길 85
(성석동 1227-14)

To go there via subway, take Gyeongui-Jungang Line, and get off at Unjeong Station [운정역].

With Nelson's permission, I am sharing here some of his photos from Dr Ji Sun Woo's house where most of the events took place in the series.

This is the neighborhood of Dr. Ji Sun Woo.



The epic staircase where we frequently see our doctor protagonist.


How about a little chit chat in front of SunWoo's mansion?



How epic it is to see yourself in a location where familiar scenes happened in the show?



And the mailbox is actually not just for the show. It is actually there for real.


I hope you enjoyed our little virtual tour with Nelson at the infamous abode of Dr. Ji Sun Woo.

If you plan to go there, you might want to take note of the following:

1. Observe silence as there might be real neighborhood in the area.
2. Behave properly, remember you are just a visitor.
3. Don't go rush in the house without getting any permission. You don't want to get charged of trespassing right?
4. Take nothing but photos only. Not even plants. OK?


Thursday, June 18, 2020

Racism in South Korea. How Bad it is?




When a Korean friend asked me about my prejudice of Koreans, racism was at the top of my mind. I'm just being honest because it's all over the internet. If you don't live in a cave, you would've probably read a lot of horror stories about racism in South Korea. However, I have to justify my response because as much as I am aware of this existing issue in Korea, for my almost 5 years of stay in the country, I never experienced it. So if ever I read posts about this issue, I always come forward not to defend Koreans but to tell my story about how I was being treated well when I lived in their country. I mean, a coin has always two sides, and if we highlight just the other side, it would be unfair, right? Let's just say that more people are talking about their bad experience in South Korea, we couldn't take that as absolute data because we don't know how much percentage is that when compared to the other side who don't experience it.

My point here is, it's true that racism does exist in South Korea. The truth is, it does exist everywhere, including the Philippines. The way other races judge Koreans as racist is a form of racism itself. Look at the irony of it. It's just like judging somebody that they are judgmental. Although we can't deny that Koreans are prone to be associated with being racists, I believe that they deserve a benefit of the doubt.

So for all of you saying to stop watching Kdrama or patronizing the K-pop music because of this reality, I just think that it's a shallow reason. I mean, why would it matter if you enjoy the entertainment aspect of it? Always think that not all TV series reflects reality.  If your oppa is so sweet and caring in the series, don't expect him to be exactly like that in real life because he is just portraying a character. To cut ties with the Hallyu wave just because you read some Koreans commented something bad about Filipinos or other races, then I think you need to read more, you might find some Filipinos commenting something bad too about Koreans.

Believing what we read about other people's comments will lead us to run the risk of coming up with sweeping generalizations. I believe this is something we don't want other races to do to us. The reality is, as much as there are racist Koreans, there are also racist Filipinos, racist Americans, and whatnot. I guess this is not just the debate about who is more racist or not. The issue needs a little bit of understanding that we all have a diverse culture, and if we learn to accept that, we also accept other people's shortcomings and that we are all not perfect.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

The Real Meaning of Korean Greeting “ANNYEONGHASEYO” (안녕하세요)





ANNYEONGHASEYO” or 안녕하세요 in Hangeul, is unarguably the first word you would probably encounter when you enter the world of Korean. Whether you live in Korea, or you visited Korean once in your lifetime, or you’re one of those crazy Hallyu Wave fans fangirling over oppas and going gaga over Kdrama, you would probably know by now how to say Annyeonghaseyo and when do you usually say that.

If you say that Annyeonghaseyo means hello or hi, yes you are correct!

If you think it means Good morning, Good afternoon, Good noon or Good evening, well, guess what? You are right!

So you see, Annyeong haseyo could actually mean any kind of greeting when you meet somebody in some random places. That’s how versatile it is.

In an informal setup, you can simply say “Annyeong” which basically conveys the same meaning as “Annyeonghaseyo” but less polite. Also, Annyeong can also mean Goodbye as an additional meaning.

But do you actually know the actual meaning of “Annyeong haseyo”?

This word actually is composed of two words “Annyeong” and “Haseyo”. Haseyo is a standard ending for words in korea to mean “to do” or “to be”. So basically, it means “to do Annyeong” or “To be Annyeong”.

The word “Annyeong” means “peace”. So if we have to literally translate it, when you say annyeonghaseyo, it’s actually wishing well to somebody “to be at peace”. If you say it with question mark, it means you are asking somebody “are you at peace?

So there you go. I hope I explained it well. Next time you say that greeting, you know the real meaning of that.

Annyeong!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Seoul Based Pinoy Develops Online Platform for Filipino Cloudworkers




The COVID19 pandemic is causing millions of Filipinos lost their jobs.  In order to augment income to feed their family, Filipinos are looking for alternatives to earn money in this trying time. One of the many ways to become productive while on quarantine is to get an online job. There are a lot of platforms available online to apply for homebased setup jobs and one of these is the newly published platform called Cloudworkers.ph.

Nash Ang, a Filipino based in Seoul, South Korea, led the development of this platform. The intention is to provide a venue for Filipino Freelancers to showcase their portfolio and apply for various jobs posted in the website. It’s like a medium where employers and employees could meet to find the perfect fit for the position available.

Cloudworkers is derived from the term “Cloud Work” which is also known as remote or online work. This is an environment where people work at the comfort of their own home. This is not a traditional office setup where workers have to commute to work everyday. Tasks may vary depending on the requirement of the employers who wish to participate in this setup.

You can signup for an account at cloudworkers.ph. Signing up is so easy, you just need to fill up the form with your basic details and confirm your account. Once your account is setup, you can post your portfolio by going into the Profile Settings. You can enter more details about you including your work experience, skills and education. After you do this, your profile will be posted in the roster of Freelancers where employers can check, view and save your profile for future references.

If you don’t want to wait to be discovered by employers, you can browse through the job adboard or the list of Employers who registered in the website to view their current job offering. You can choose the available jobs that best suit your skills and experience.

You can also search for jobs based on categories, locations, skills and Project Length. The search function could definitely provide you the details of the jobs based on the parameters you setup. You don’t need to go through each job one by one because of this feature.

However, the site is still new and there’s not much opportunity posted yet in the website as of this writing. As they populate the website in the coming days, you might want to register now and post your profile so that when there are already a lot of job choices in the website, you can easily apply.

For those who want to signup, you can go to cloudworkers.ph and start uploading your profile.


Monday, May 11, 2020

The Voices that Matter in the KDrama “The World of the Married” (부부의 세계)


Another Korean Drama that tackles the issue of infidelity is making its way to the list of the most watched series in the history of Korean Television. Unlike any other infidelity themed drama, “The World of the Married” is different because the story is not just about infidelity but about what happened after the divorce. Just because the married couple has decided to settle through the divorce doesn’t mean the issue is over. The series shows the effect of cheating in a relationship not only to the couple but to all the people around.

The premise of the show is all about an established doctor Ji Sun-woo who looks successful in any aspect of life, i.e. family, career, etc., but things has changed when she found out that her husband Lee Tae Oh is having an affair with a younger woman. At first, it’s like any other cheating story, but wait, there’s more. Things started to become even more complicated when she found out that everybody knows, including her trusted friends and colleagues, about the affair of her husband. What happened next is a series of adrenaline rush triggering events that could capture the attention of the viewers and would make them want to see more of the show. I guess that’s the reason why the show keeps getting high ratings every episode.

Aside from the no dull moment on every episode of the show, “The World of the married” shows what really matters when it comes to relationship at least in the context of Korean Culture. In my opinion, the show reveals the sentiment of Koreans (and maybe other culture too), when problems like this arise in the family. Everybody has an opinion, everybody wants to speak, everybody wants to be heard, but here are the voices that really matter as depicted in this show.
 
1.    The voice of society

I must say that in Korea, whether in reality or in drama, society has a say. For them, the voice of the society is very important. That is why a lot of Koreans are so pressured because they have to keep up to the expectation of the society. In this drama, it was depicted for so many times.
What would the society say to a kid with divorced parent?
What would they say to a husband who has a wife more successful than him?
What would they say to a single middle aged woman?
What would they say if you are a son of a convicted murderer?
What would they say if you are a single mother?

All these and more are the questions pertaining to the perspective of the society, because whether we like it or not, their opinions weigh more than our own.

2.    The voice of money

Money talks, and yes it does. Although it’s not new anymore, if you have money you can be anything you want. You can control a criminal, you have a say in the society and everybody is after your approval. There are a lot of situations in this show that involve money and how it plays vital role in executing your plans. We need to say no more about this because I believe this is true not only in the context of Korea but all around the world.

3.    The voice of rumors

Let’s admit it, we love listening to rumors than inspirational speech, right? I mean, who does not love to listen to some juicy news? Regardless of your status in life, you are prone to listening to rumors because gossipers are all around the corner. In this show, the concept of rumor is inevitable because this is all about infidelity and the topic of a cheating husband is a treat to talk about. Regardless of how you ignore the rumors, it will always have a direct effect on you and your family.

4.     The voice of the mothers

The show also depicts how far the mother will go to protect its children. Things may get complicated and mistakes cant be reversed, but mothers will always be mother. When it comes to the love for their family, they will go an extra mile even at their own expense.

5.    The voice of the kids

The adults have all the say to everything and there’s no way for the kids to voice out their sentiments, so sometimes they speak through their actions and often result to rebellions. We may not see it at first, but in the long run, there will be psychological effect to them. 

What is good about this drama is that, the depiction is close to reality. There’s actually no real definition of antagonist and the protagonist, you judge based on your perspective. With its last two episodes looming this weekend, will there be any happy ending to the characters of this show? Or will there be more bloods to shed, tears to cry and life to destroy to fix what appears to be a chaotic society of Gosan.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

How to Make Korean Dalgona(달고나) Cocoa

dalgona_cocoa

No doubt, Dalgona Coffee is the official quarantine drink of the world. I don’t know if it’s because of the boredom or people just want to go find something new to cook, but Dalgona coffee, just like Kdrama, is invading everybody’s kitchen in the world.

But do you know that Dalgona is actually a Korean Sponge Candy? It’s a crispy and light sweet candy made with Honeycomb Toffee, Sea Foam candy, sugar and baking soda. Through the element of heat, the ingredient is molded into different shapes until it is crispy and ready to eat.

For the love of coffee, Koreans integrated it with Dalgona and came up with a very refreshing beverage that is Dalgona Coffee (Korean: 달고나커피). From Korea’s streetfood corner, the beverage has traveled so far around the world with different version and style. From coffee, people started to develop a Dalgona Choco so that non coffee drinkers could participate.

As for me, I tried making a different version and I called it Dalgona Cocoa. Here are the ingredients:

dalgona_cocoa_ingredients

    ·  2 tbsp Milk Powder or Fresh Milk
    ·  2 tbsp Cocoa
    ·  4 tbsp white sugar
    ·  1 egg (white only)
    ·  1/2 cup hot water

 

PROCEDURE:

COCOA MIXTURE:

    1. Mix 2 tbsp (or more) cocoa with 2 tbsp white sugar.
    2. Add ½ cup hot water
    3. Stir well until the mixture is smooth and fine
    4. Set aside


Dalgona_cocoa_mix


MERINGUE MIXTURE:

1. Add 1 tbsp sugar to egg white
2. Use a mixer to make a meringue
3. Set aside

Dalgona_cocoa_meringue

MILK MIXTURE:

1. Mix the remaining 1 tbsp sugar with the 2 tbsp milk
2. Add small amount (probably ¼ glass) of hot water to dissolve the powder
3. Add cold water up to ½ of the glass only
4. Set Aside



Dalgona_cocoa_milk

TOPPINGS MIXTURE:

1. Now, add your cocoa mixture to meringue
2. Mix well
  1. Dalgona_cocoa_toppings
3. Pour the mixture on top of ½ glass of milk
4. Add more ice

 

Dalgona_cocoa_finished_product

 How about you? Have you tried making your own version of Dalgona Beverage?