Sunday, February 28, 2010

S. Korea pledges aid to quake-hit Chile

South Korea said Sunday it was ready to offer relief aid to Chile after the South American country was struck by a magnitude 8.8 earthquake a day earlier.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent a message of condolence to Chile's leaders over the deaths of more than 200 people there and the 400,000 others affected by the earthquake.

In the message addressed to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and President-elect Sebastian Pinera, Lee said, "I would like to convey my condolences to the bereaved families of those people who perished in the quake and to the Chilean people."

South Korea is fully prepared to render its support in helping Chile overcome the difficult times arising from the quake, according to the message.

Earlier in the day, the South Korean government held an emergency meeting with relevant ministries to discuss the possibility of sending a 41-member rescue team and relief supplies to Chile, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

South Korea "expresses heart-felt condolences to the Chilean government and its people in connection with damage from the earthquake," the ministry said in a statement. The massive temblor struck Chile in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday.

"The government will make a decision on the dispatch of a rescue team after consulting with the Chilean government," it said.

Meanwhile, the ministry said it confirmed the safety of two Koreans who had been unaccounted for in the Chilean city of Concepcion, the closest major city to the epicenter of the quake.

All 13 Koreans residing in Concepcion were confirmed safe.

Some 2,000 Koreans living in the Chilean capital of Santiago were reported as safe, according to the ministry.

Foreign media reported that at least 214 people were killed and about 1.5 million homes destroyed by the earthquake, which triggered a tsunami halfway around the world.

South Korea's meteorological body, however, downplayed the tsunami's impact on South Korea, forecasting that it will land on the country's coasts between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Sunday, given its speed and the undersea topography surrounding the Korean Peninsula.

"The tsunami is expected to die out and have no impact on the peninsula after passing through the Japanese Archipelago," the Korean Meteorological Administration said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Japan issued its first "major" tsunami warning in more than 15 years following the massive earthquake in the South American country.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Personal Preference (개인의 취향)

Jeon Jin Ho is a straight guy who pretends to be gay in order to become a roommate to his female friend, Park Kae In. His hobbies include organization and ironing, and he’s known for his stoic poker face. He’s a stickler for cleanliness, but he also has a talent for figuring out women’s feelings. Kae In is very trusting even though she has a habit of being betrayed. However that doesn’t stop her from giving people the benefit of doubt and Jin Ho is no different. How will Kae In react when she finds out that her gay roommate is not actually gay at all and that he has fallen for her?

Main Casts
Son Ye Jin - Park Gae In
Lee Min Ho - Jeon Jin Ho
Kim Ji Suk - Han Chang Ryul
Im Seul Ong. - Kim Tae Hoon

It will be aired on March 31. Running time will be every Wednesday and Thursday 21:55 at MBC ^^ 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Kim Yu-na wins gold and sets new world record

Kim Yu-na glided to another graceful world record-setting performance by scoring a total of 228.56 combined points earlier today.

The 19-year-old entered the free skating program having set a world record in the short program with the score of 78.50 points Kim cemented her win with a flawless performance in the free skating program, earning a score of 150.05 points.

Mao Asada of Japan finished the free skating program with the score of 131.72 points for a combined total of 205.50 points to finish second.

Asada had scored 73.78 points in the short program and closely trailed Kim heading into today competition but Kim’s strong performance proved to be too much for Asada.

Joannie Rochette of Canada scored 131.28 points in the free skating program and to finish third with a combined total of 202.64 points while Korea’s Kwak Min-jung finished 13th overall with a combined total of 155.53 points.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gays, girls, gobs of cash hit airwaves

The month of March may bring a dilemma to TV viewers deciding which channel to watch, as all three major television networks will start new drama series.

For hanbok-happy watchers, MBC offers the period drama “Dong Yi,” while KBS features a present-day show about social climbers, “Birth of the Rich.”

But in the most significant shift this season, both SBS and MBC will offer dramas with characters who are gay - or at least, in one case, pretending to be.

The historical drama “Dong Yi” is drawing attention for its producer Lee Byung-hoon, who had a hand in other hit series including the hugely successful “Daejanggeum.”

Dong Yi is set in the reign of King Sukjong (played by Ji Jin-hee) in the Joseon Dynasty. It centers on a water maid, Sook Bin (Han Hyo-joo), who becomes the king’s concubine and bears a son who will become Yeongjo, a Joseon king.

Lee, the producer, is presenting a different take on this well-known story. “Sook Bin’s side of the story is significant because she was the one who raised one of the most honorable kings, Yeongjo. Although he was common by birth, he became a great king thanks to his mother’s teachings,” he said in an interview with Interpark Book&. The show will air Mondays and Tuesdays at 9:55 p.m. starting next month.

KBS’s Birth of the Rich will run on the same days. According to the drama’s Web site, the show intends to “get rid of prejudice against the rich,” claiming to reveal more than 80 different ways to hit the jackpot.

Lee Bo-young will play an heiress who stands to inherit $400 million, while Ji Hyun-woo’s character is a young man who studies how to reach the upper echelons of wealth. Birth of the Rich premieres on Monday.

Viewers will no doubt compare MBC’s “Personal Preference” with SBS’s “Life is Beautiful” for their examination of gay lives. The former, based on a novel by Lee Sae-in, will start airing Wednesdays and Thursdays at the end of March. Actress Son Ye-jin, who stole the spotlight in “My Wife Got Married,” makes her comeback as a woman who yearns for her gay best friend.

Lee Min-ho fills that role after the success of “Boys Over Flowers.” The problem is, he’s not actually gay - he’s lying so he can be her roommate.

The 50 episodes of Life is Beautiful, written by hitmaker Kim Soo-hyun, begin March 13. It follows a large family that includes a gay couple played by Song Chang-eui and Lee Sang-yoon.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lee sets Olympic record in surprise speed skate win

Lee Seung-hoon powered to a surprise victory in the men's 10,000-meter speed skating event at the Richmond Olympic Oval early yesterday.

The 21-year-old crossed the finish line in 12 minutes and 58.55 seconds, winning the gold medal and setting a new Olympic record in the process. Sven Kramer of the Netherlands was the strong favorite to win the race and had finished over four full seconds ahead of Lee with a time of 12 minutes and 54.50 seconds, but he was disqualified for failing to switch lanes during the 17th lap.

"It's all a miracle," said the bewildered Lee in a post-race interview. "It's a miracle that I set an Olympic record but I can't believe that Kramer was disqualified."

The gold is the first for an Asian skater in a long-distance speed skating event, and comes on the heels of Lee's silver medal-winning performance in the 5,000-meter race on Feb. 14.

What makes the win all the more shocking is that Lee is a newcomer to the long-track race. Having skated in short-track events throughout his career, Lee failed to make the final cut at the short-track national team tryouts in April last year. After making the switch to speed skating last July, he competed in the 10,000-meter event twice prior to the Vancouver Winter Games.

At the national championships on Christmas Eve, Lee finished first with a time of 14 minutes and 1.64 seconds, and set the Korean record with a time of 13 minutes and 21.04 seconds at the Asian championships in Hokkaido, Japan, last month.

Skating without any pressure, Lee posted an eye-popping time in the 10,000-meter event, finishing a lap ahead of Arjen van de Kieft. In a race consisting of 25 laps around the 400-meter oval rink, it is rare for a skater to push for a final spurt in the latter stages. However, Lee's 30.29 seconds in his last lap was the fastest time of his race.

It is imperative for skaters in the long-distance events to have endurance and pace themselves well throughout the race. Lee's improbable time in the final lap is a testament to his strong work ethic.

"European skaters have a physical advantage. It's just not easy to keep up with their long strides," explained Lee. "Hence, it becomes imperative for us to maintain a low posture, but this takes a lot of strength. We worked tirelessly on speed and endurance training throughout the summer last year."

Although Lee shocked a lot of people by placing second in the 5,000-meter event behind Kramer, Lee was not projected to reach the podium in the 10,000-meter event. The Dutch champion had posted a time of 12 minutes and 55.32 seconds at the World Single Distance Championships at the Richmond Olympic Oval last year.

"I was unaware of Kramer's mistake until my coach told me about it. It still feels good to have won a gold medal. When my place switched from second to first, I nearly lost my mind.

"I gave it my all in the race and I would like to compete against Kramer and beat him," stated Lee.


Namsan (evening)

Namsan is one of the most famous spots in Seoul or should I say Korea. Whether for dating, for tourists, for friends, for families, to exercise...Namsan is a very good venue. Namsan boost a different scenic angles in all four seasons and the day and night time. This entry will focus on the evening version of Namsan during winter. I went there with my Korean best friend. After eating samgyeopsal, we headed to Namsan Tower (promoted as N Tower but we still call it Namsan not N) which is the main attraction of the mountain aside from the night view.  Namsan, literally means South Mountain, is a 262-meter peak in district of south central Seoul.

The mountain and surrounding area is a public park maintained by the city government. It is a popular spot for a panoramic view of Seoul. It is also the location of a smoke signal station called Mongmyeoksan Bongsudae' (Mongmyeoksan Beacon Tower, Hangul: 목멱산 봉수대), which was part of an emergency communication system during early times until 1895.

How to go there
* Subway

Subway line 3, 4 Chungmooro Station, Exit # 3, 4 to Namsangol Han Ok Village (200m between Dong Guk Univ. image center and Maeil Economics)

or you can take
* City Bus
Green Bus:Number 0013, 0211,7011
Blue Bus:Number 104, 105, 263, 371, 400, 604 etc.
- Disembark at the front of Namsangol Han-ok Village, Toegyero 3ga


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Korea sets on a search for its own Steve Jobs

Tech gurus take note: If you think you could be the Steve Jobs of Korea, the government wants you.

The government is changing the way it cultivates software professionals, switching its focus from a college education to free competition, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said yesterday.

Under a new program, set to launch in May or June, the government will use a process like the U.S. TV show “The Apprentice” to search for Korea’s own “national software maestros.”

As long as they have innovative ideas, even college dropouts like the much-touted Apple CEO are eligible for the 15-month program, the ministry said, adding that a high school diploma is required.

A total of 100 people will compete through three stages to earn the title, which will be given to less than 10 contenders. Winners will receive a huge leg up in getting jobs or starting businesses and will be employed as advisers for upgrading the nation’s software industry, the ministry said.

The ministry hopes to discover a “hidden gem” who could steer the country in the right direction as the software industry undergoes a paradigm shift, it said in a statement.

“As Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are behind the growth of Microsoft and Apple as top global software companies, the importance of top brains is being emphasized under the rapidly changing industrial environment,” said a Knowledge Economy Ministry official.

“With this program, we hope the year 2010 will be the start of fostering software talent in Korea.”

A panel of IT mentors, comprised of top professionals in the software sector, will select the winners, the ministry said.


Jinro to boost presence in Japanese makgeolli market

TOKYO - Yang Yin-jip, the chief executive officer of Jinro Japan, smiled with satisfaction as Ken Narita carefully checked out the color and scent of a cup of traditional Korean rice wine.

Nartia - the executive vice president of Kokubu, Japan’s largest liquor and food wholesaler - lit up as he examined the sample of wine, also known as makgeolli, during an event at the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on Feb. 16.

It’s just the kind of response Yang is hoping to get from consumers in Japan going forward.

The briefing was organized by Jinro Japan, the Japanese unit of Korean alcoholic beverage manufacturer Hite-Jinro Group, ahead of its move to boost its makgeolli presence in the Japanese market.

Roughly 300 officials and executives from the Japanese liquor industry showed up at the event.

Among those in attendance: top officials from alcohol makers Kokubu, Nishuhan and Itochu.

Hite-Jinro plans to enter the Japanese market in full force with its makgeolli product as the popularity of the Korean rice wine grows. Jinro currently sells makgeolli in Japan, but only on a limited basis.

Starting in March, the group will distribute its liquor to 1,000 wholesalers and 10,000 liquor retailers in the country. Jinro aims to sell 100,000 cases in Japan this year. Each case contains 15 1-liter bottles of makgeolli. The company hopes to raise the number to 500,000 cases annually by 2012 and earn 2 billion yen ($21.8 million) in sales.

“Jinro makgeolli might stimulate the stagnant alcohol beverage market in Japan,” said Shinichi Mizutani, president of Mitsui Foods, who participated in the event.

Recently, Japanese consumers have been moving away from strong alcoholic beverages such as soju and whiskey and favoring lighter alcoholic drinks.

Jinro Japan, which enjoyed 250 billion won ($218 million) in sales and 13 billion won in operating profit in 2008, recently added makgeolli to its line of alcoholic beverages, realizing there is a limit to how much soju it can sell in Japan.

The company said its business partners have been requesting supplies of makgeolli.

Currently there are around 40 types of makgeolli from Korea sold in Japan, and most are distributed through local importers.

Jinro Japan’s efforts to tap into the market represent the first time an alcoholic beverage company with a nationwide distribution network has made a concerted effort to penetrate the Japanese market.

“In recent years, the makgeolli market in Japan has been enjoying annual growth of 40 percent,” said Jinro Japan CEO Yang. “The alcohol market is spreading to wider a consumer group that includes women in their 20s and mid-30s.”

Jinro Japan introduced a makgeolli that is sweeter and heavier in Japan, catering to the needs and tastes of Japanese consumers. The company is also planning to air commercials as well as host parties to get the word out about its makgeolli.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Super Junior, TVXQ Albums Bestsellers in Philippines

I never expected that K-pop would become very popular in the Philippines. Before coming to Korea, Korean dramas were already popular but K-pop was still limited to some circles of students or should I say fans. However, when you go to Philippines now, you would probably feel the gravity of K-pop's power as it tops album sales and also the most requested in local music channels.

A news today from a Philippine correspondent of Korea Times says that albums of Super Junior and TVXQ are selling quickly in the Philippines, edging out international artists such as Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.
Super Junior's live album ``Super Show 2'' is No. 1 and TVXQ's ``The Secret Code'' No. 4 on Astrochart's top selling foreign albums from February 8 to14.
Taylor Swift's "Fearless" is at No. 2, Lady Gaga's "The Fame Monster" is at No. 3 and Susan Boyle's "I Dreamed a Dream" is at No. 5.
The Astrochart reflects the collective album sales from more than 30 retail stores of Astrovision and Astroplus in the Philippines.
On retail store Music One's Top 25 albums for February 8 to 14, "Super Show 2" and "The Secret Code" debuted at No. 2 and 3, respectively, beating out "Grammy Nominees 2010" and "Glee: The Music."
"Super Show 2" contains 39 tracks recorded live from Super Junior's Super Show 2 concert tours. "The Secret Code" is TVXQ's fourth Japanese studio album.
TVXQ is enjoying popularity in Asia, especially in Japan.
TVXQ's new album, "Best Collection 2010," topped Japan's Oricon chart, selling 228,542 copies on the first day of its release to become the sixth best-selling album in Japan since 2007 based on first-day sales.
Filipino fans are buying Super Junior's albums ahead of the boy band's "2nd Asia Tour: Super Show 2" concert in the Philippines scheduled for April 10 at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Super Junior members are currently in Taiwan for their Super Show concert at Taipei Arena.
This is the third time a Super Junior album has topped album sales in the Philippines.
The group's "Sorry, Sorry" album debuted at No. 1 on music charts within three days after it was released last September.
Also, "Super Girl," the album of Super Junior-M, a subgroup of the band, topped the Music One and Odyssey Records album charts last November.
Super Junior's single "Sorry Sorry-Answer" topped music channel MYX's Hit and International Top 20 charts for the week between February 13 and 20, beating out artists such as Adam Lambert and Kris Allen.
"Sorry, Sorry" was the bestselling K-pop album in the Philippines in 2009.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cambodia bans marriage to Koreans

The Cambodian government has imposed a provisional ban on international marriages with Koreans, citing fears of human trafficking, an official at the Korean embassy in Cambodia said yesterday.

“The Cambodian government has informed the South Korean embassy in Cambodia early this month that it will suspend receiving applications for international marriage between Cambodians and South Koreans,” the official told Yonhap News Agency by phone. “The government again confirmed this in a formal document sent to the embassy on March 5.”

The restriction pertains only to South Korea because nearly 60 percent of international marriages in Cambodia involve Korean nationals, and most of them are arranged through brokers, the official said. Cambodia has banned marriage brokerage since 2008, allowing only “love matches.” Yet the number of Cambodian women marrying Korean men still more than doubled from 551 in 2008 to 1,372 last year.

The latest measure came amid news reports in the Southeast Asian nation that a clampdown on marriage brokers in Vietnam has made neighboring Cambodia the new destination for Korean men seeking to “buy” wives. They denounced the practice of men choosing mainly poor women as wives, calling it human trafficking. Last September, a Cambodian matchmaker was sentenced to 10 years in prison for arranging meetings between a Korean man and 25 prospective brides.

The official said the embassy will try to make the Cambodian government understand that many of the Cambodian wives voluntarily come to Korea. Yonhap


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Seoul Delights: 63 Building, 육삼 빌딩

63 Building, 육삼 빌딩 is a landmark skyscraper on Yeouido Island, overlooking the Han River in Seoul. At 249 meters (817 ft) high, it was the world's tallest building outside North America and Asia's tallest building when it completed construction in 1985. It served as South Korea's tallest building for 15 years until Hyperion Tower surpassed it in 2003. It is said that the 63 Building, 육삼 빌딩 remains an iconic landmark of the Miracle on the Han River, symbolizing the nation's rapid economic achievement in the late 20th century. 63 refers to the building's 63 official stories, of which 60 are above ground level and 3 are basement floors.
Me and my friend went to the Wax Museum. It was impressive although the price was more impressive. haha. Everything in the building is expensive. So it's not a perfect place for people who just wanna explore Seoul. Maybe for couples having something to celebrate or something special but definitely not a perfect place for backpackers and budget travelers.

The lower floors house a large shopping area with approximately 90 stores, an Imax Theater, and an aquarium. A convention center and banquet hall are also housed within the building. The observation deck (known as 63 Golden Tower) on the top floor is a popular place to go to see a good view of Seoul. Special observation elevators are also available; they are equipped with windows to enable their passengers to view the city as they ride up to (or down from) the observation deck. (Wikipedia)
Important Link:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Integrated Office Planned to Solve Foreigners’ Problems

The Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) is considering establishing an integrated office to address complaints and petitions of foreigners, its chairman said.
If newcomers to Korea have visa- and immigration-related problems, they should contact the Korea Immigration Service.
If multicultural families have trouble settling down here, they should seek help from the Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs.
Even though nearly one million foreigners are currently residing in Korea, there is no single department to manage all of their problems.
Thus, the commission is planning to establish an integrated department to help foreigners troubleshoot.
He pointed out that some functions were overlapping since several government offices deal with matters facing foreigners.
The commission is currently in consultation with ministries and other offices, he added.
The ACRC's recommendations are not legally binding but since its foundation in February last year, government offices have accepted most of its suggestions and improved unreasonable systems, an ACRC official said.
The civil rights panel has offered a hand to foreigners by visiting areas where foreign workers and multicultural families reside.
ACRC officials listened to their difficulties, such as overdue wages, and suggested revising related systems to government agencies. Additionally, the agency has begun to provide language services on its online petition center ( and call center (110) in order to help foreigners register their complaints without language barriers.
Eradicating corruption among public officials is another major task for the ACRC.
Chairman Lee stressed that people tend to take small cases of corruption for granted, which placed the nation 22nd among the 30 OECD member states in terms of transparency.
Lee also said that the most frequent complaints were over minor things that caused slight problems.
In 2010, the commission will make more efforts to elevate its rank in transparency by endeavoring to spread transparency in all walks of life.
"Given that Korea is one of the largest economies in the world, I think it is such a shame that the country ranks 22nd in transparency level among OECD countries. We have to move up to at least 15th," he said.
"This year, Korea placed 39th out of 180 nations on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index. I think we should move up to rank 35 next year."
In the Southeast Asian region, Korea is regarded as transparent as it was gauged as the fifth most transparent country among 13 states.
"We should go up to second or third place. I believe that will raise the national status," he said.
The commission was launched after the inauguration of President Lee Myung-bak in February last year through a merger of three agencies ― the Ombudsman of Korea, the Korea Independent Commission against Corruption and the Administrative Appeals Commission.
The agency under the Prime Minister's Office provides one-stop service of addressing public complaints, deals with administrative appeals and conducts anti-corruption campaigns. So if you have complaints in Korea contact them through the ACRC.

By Kim Sue-young

2010 Asian Games

Star player-turned coach Hong Myung-bo has seen his managerial career continue to rise as the 40-year-old was hired to direct the Korean football team at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, Tuesday.
The region's quadrennial multi-sport event is slated for Nov. 12 to 27 next year.
"Hong will lead the Korean team at the Asian Games in China. He will be given complete control over running the team,'' the Korea Football Association (KFA) said.
The appointment is the third of Hong's relatively short coaching career.
The former South Korean international was hired as the skipper of the under-20 team in February and led the team to the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Egypt in September.
The accomplishment earned him the reigns of the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
Both the Asian Games and the Olympics are under-23 tournaments, which allow three exceptions per team.
"The Guangzhou Asian Games are an extension of the 2012 London Olympics, so we have given Hong the stewardship,'' the KFA said.
The Asian Games gig represents even more pressure heaped onto Hong's shoulders, but he says he is up to the task.
"It's a big responsibility to take over the Asian team," Hong said Tuesday in Changwon, South Gyeongnam Province, where the Olympic team is training in preparation for a friendly against Japan, Saturday.
"As the Asian Games are related to players' military service, I plan to select the best players available."
South Korean athletes can be excused from the mandatory service if they win any Olympic medal or an Asian Game gold medal.
"I plan to organize a team that will have a core of under-23 players, who will be complemented by some under-20 players,'' he said.
Meanwhile, the football governing body has tabbed Lee Kwang-jong to train the U-18 team in place of Cho Dong-hyun, who recently resigned..
Lee, 45, led Korea to the quarterfinals of the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria in October.

"Hong Myung-bo to Lead Korea at 2010 Asian Games"
by Kang Seung-woo ( )

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How will 2010 be for Korean Sports?

The year 2010 is shaping up to be big for Korean sports. The Winter Olympics, the World Cup and the Asian Games will all take place in the next 12 months. Also, FIFA will name two more World Cup hosts and four Korean teams will vie for the Asian Champions League crown. Here are five of the biggest questions on the minds of sports fans for 2010:

1. Will Korea Win Its Bid for the 2022 World Cup?
South Korea, the co-host of the 2002 World Cup, has been bidding to bring the tournament back to the Asian continent.
The nation, which declared its bid in February, will compete against nine candidates - Australia, England, Japan, the United States, Russia, Indonesia and Qatar, along with joint bids from Belgium and the Netherlands, and Spain and Portugal.

2. Will Korea reach the 2nd Round in South Africa?
With the exception of the 2002 World Cup held on home soil, South Korea has had little to show for its seven trips to the tournament. The nation has never advanced beyond the group stage on foreign soil and had just one victory, a 2-1 triumph against Togo in Germany, four years ago.
But South Korea has received a manageable draw at the South Africa World Cup in June, as Huh Jung-moo's side will face Argentina, Nigeria and Greece.

3. Can Choo Shin-soo Lead Korea to Victory at Asian Games?
Cleveland Indians' budding star Choo Shin-soo is expected to provide a big boost to South Korea's drive for its third gold medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in November.

4. Will Korea Win More Medals than Ever Before at the Winter Olympics?
With an emerging long track speed skating team and a gold medal favorite in women's figure skating, South Korea could record its biggest medal haul ever at the Winter Olympic Games this February in Vancouver.
5. Which Korean team has the best chance at winning the AFC Champions League?
Four K-League sides ― Pohang Steelers, Jeonbuk Motors, Seongnam Chunma and Suwon BlueWings ― will compete at the 2010 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, scheduled to start on Feb. 23.

Full Article: 2010 Shaping Up to Be Big for Korean Sports
by Kang Seung-woo ( )


I've been wanting to post this entry as soon as I can but I couldn't. I went to Cheonan to visit a friend whom I met in a camp. He's preparing for college so this year is very important for him. With his limited time he was still kind enough to tour me around Cheonan for one day.
I took the the subway (blue line/line no.1) which took me 1 and half hours. There are also other ways like bus and KTX which cost more but not really expensive since Cheonan is not far. I met my friend 윤관 at the 천안 station an immediately headed to Gagwonsa.

Gagwonsa Buddhist temple is located on Mt. Taejosan. The temple has a bronze sitting Buddha, one of the largest. The Buddha is 15m high, 30m in circumference, and weighs over 60 tonnes. The Buddha sits with the peak of Mt. Taejosan directly behind it, and faces west out over the city and valley. Worshippers and tourists alike climb the steep stairs from the base of the mountain.

Then we had lunch. We had Samgyeopsal ^^ since it's one of my favorites in Korea. lol Our next stop was The Independence Hall of Korea.  The Independence Hall of Korea is a visual history of the struggle for independence in Korea. Opened on August 15, 1987 and made possible by private donations, it is a meant both as a reminder of Korea’s colonial past and as a means of building nationalist spirit. The hall stands on 980 acres of landscaped grounds. As well as the exhibits, visitors can see the Grand Hall of the Nation, the Monument to the Nation, and the Unification Bell. The place is like a summary of all independence halls in Korea. When we finished the tour, it was snowing so hard.
Since the hall was really big, it consumed our afternoon. haha. After that we went to a sauna. Sauna was perfect since it was very cold.