Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wanna Visit Korea for FREE?!!

Just checked an announcement from KBS World regarding an essay writing contest and the prizes are really cool! It's called "Discover Korea" Check this out!

Write an essay about a three-day trip to hidden travel destinations in Korea, and what you would do during your trip. The winner will be given a chance to visit the destination and take part in various cultural activities.
▷ Eligible Applicants: All non-Koreans around the world (Foreigners living in Korea and Koreans with foreign nationality may also apply)
▷ How to Apply: Write an essay about a three-day trip to hidden or unknown travel destinations in Korea that you want to visit (additional user created contents also accepted)
▷ Accepted Language: All 11 Languages Broadcast by KBS World Radio
▷ Application Period: June 1 ~ July 15, 2012 (through e-mail or postal mail)
▷ Judging Criteria: originality, creativity and how informative the content is
▷ Prizes
Grand Prize: One winner will win an all expense paid trip to Korea including round trip airfare
▫ Other Prizes: 2nd and 3rd place winners as well as eight other top essays will win digital cameras, MP3 players etc. (prizes subject to change)
▫ Other participants: Approximately 100 other participants will be given small memorabilia
▷ Please Note: All pictures, sounds or videos used in user created contents must not violate copyright infringement laws

For more information please visit or email them at

Hanwha Aqua Planet at Yeosu Expo

Apparently, Hanwha is not just the maker of the tallest gold-cladded structure in the world, the 63 Building in Yeouido, Seoul. It's also now the proud maker of the biggest aquarium in Korea housed inside Yeosu Expo. If you are visiting Yeosu Expo, the aquarium is a must stop but make sure you reserved a ticket because it is probably the most popular spot inside the expo. The color of the building is orange signifying a very Hanwhaish color.

The Aqua Planet is a four-storey building covering 16,400 square meters and equipped with 6,000 ton main tank. It is said that it's size is two-three times larger than the existing aquariums in Seoul and Busan. I personally like these tiny fishes (see picture below) since they know how to tickle. hehe

A total of 33,000 marine animals from 280 species including some endangered animals like the Beluga whales, Baikal seals and sea dragons. It has also the famous scary piranhas. Jellyfishes area is also the favorite picture-taking spot for visitors. Plus the fishes I call Angelina Jolie Fishes which are always pouting their lips like the picture below. hahaha The 360-degree view of underwater environment is another outstanding feature of Hanwha Aqua Planet which gives you an illusion of being under water with all those beautiful marine creatures ^^

Sungha Jung to visit Philippines for the first time!

YouTube star and labeled as Korean guitar prodigy Sungha Jung is finally visiting the Philippines for the first time. At his young age he has been travelling the world to perform and spread 'love' through his guitar jaw dropping performances ^^ As a reporter I had a chance to interview and mingle with him last year Christmas. Sungha Jung will be performing for the Philippine International Jazz and Blues Guitar Festival on June 2nd at Sunset Pavilion Sofitel, Pasay.

For tickets click HERE

Before going to the Philippines he will be in Singapore (again for the nth time) on the 26th, Malaysia on the 27th. He will also be having his Japan Tour from June 9th  to 17th in 5 different cities. You can check his world tour schedule on his official website  Anyway here's his guitarlele version of Big Bang's Blue for some awesomeness ^^

Who are the big 5 at Big 5 Concert in Yeosu Expo?

As I mentioned in my previous post (K-Pop Concerts at Yeosu Expo) the Big 5 Concert tomorrow will be purely loads of awesomeness! If you will be in Yeosu Expo tomorrow (May 25th) then you can enjoy performances from SE7EN, MBLAQ, 2AM, John Park and Lee Seunghwan plus the winners of K-Pop Star Audition Park Jimin and Lee Hai! And one more plus, a group called Lollipop F from Taiwan.

For K-Pop concert schedule atYesous Expo please check this out K-Pop Concerts at Yeosu Expo

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The "Big O" at Yeosu Expo

Everybody's wondering what's the ferris wheel structure like inside the Yeosu Expo. The first time I saw it I thought it was a ride but since it's located in the middle like it's the main attraction, then there must be something more special about the structure. Well it makes the scene more dramatic in pictures. And it makes the expo look more interesting and happy but there must be really something that would surprise me.

Big O Area
Apparently you call the structure as the "Big O." And "O" stands for Ocean. The area itself is automatically the Big O Area...So what happens here? Well it's the place where you can see spectacular performances. During day time you could see a different and unique performances from foreign and local performers. I saw my long time Uzbekistan friend who's working as an interpreter for the performers so I assumed that the foreign performers must be from Russian speaking countries. The performance is really amazing. They've utilized the air, water and the whole Big O area too. I am not sure but I guess it's usually at 2pm. In the evening, the area transforms into a K-Pop concert venue or local performances from different performing groups.

The "Big-O" Show
During day time the Big O structure does not do anything but the water fountain beside it works hard. hehe. There's a water fountain show during day time which you can enjoy maybe after walking for a long time. In the evening the Big O transforms into something super cool, amazing and breathtaking. Together with the water fountain, it will be giving you a superb show ^^ I remember some Korean kids after the show saying, "It's worth a penny...even if we did not see the K-Pop concert and other pavilions...we're happy that we've seen the Big O show"
So it's really worth watching ^^ Anyway, my suggestion, do not sit right in front because you'll be wet and I think the best location is the bridge facing the Big O. It would give you good angles for pics and videos and your view will be perfect. Make sure you charge those batteries and empty some spaces for your memory card because it's really wonderfrul to watch and record for some expo souvenir ^^ Here are some video clips of the show

K-Pop Concerts at the Yeosu Expo

Probably Korea's most popular destination this year, YEOSU Expo, gives you one more reason why visiting the place is a must...K-Pop Concerts ^^ There are scheduled K-Pop concerts from May to August.

Actually even before the expo was officially opened there were many concerts or K-Pop related events already being held in the area. Anyway so during the pre-opening of the expo, IU graced the event together with the President himself, Lee Myung Bak. FYI: IU is Yeosu Expo's honorary ambassador.

During the official first day of the expo Wondergirls, Simon D and Dynamic Duo were the ones who performed for the concert. This coming Friday is called a Big 5 concert sponsored by Hyundai. I remember the last time I went to a Big 5 concert the groups were kinda big kkkk Talking about Infinite, U-Kiss...

K-Pop Concert Schedule
Here's a schedule according to Korea Tourism Organization (KTO). All concerts will be held in front of the "Big O" inside the expo and starts at 7:30pm. However, I would advise you to be there super early and reserved your seats.

Once you get a ticket for the expo you can watch the concert for free. Depending on the artist who will perform, the seats may be occupied by their superfans in a blink so if you are dying to see your favorite idols make sure you come early. Don't expect to see the stars super close too. The stage is relatively far from the audience seats so if your seats are already far, you might need binoculars too. Unless the idols would come near to the audience and shake hands with them.  

Hitting Two Birds with one stone: Expo and K-Pop
Visiting the expo for K-Pop purposes is not actually advisable. The place is relatively far from Seoul and you may have to spend a lot for transpo, entrance fee, lodging, food etc. But if you really want to go to the expo and also witness K-Pop stars at the same time then the place is perfect. Try to make your visit on the dates when your favorite stars are performing. I would personally advised you to visit on August 1 since the schedule says SBS Inkigayo. This means many K-Pop stars will go and perform on that day. Or you can also choose the other dates with many groups or dates with only your favorite groups. And since you're already inside the expo, might as well enjoy all the pavilions. Yeosu Expo is beautiful so take your time and enjoy the place too ^^


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chanhu Lee in a TV Commercial

Some of my friends I  featured in the Power Korean (Power Korean) section of my blog are already relatively successful in their own fields while some are starting to make their own dreams a reality. If you remember I featured my friend Chanhu Lee (Chanhu Lee), the one I called the "Prince of Hyehwa" last year October. Now he just finished filming for a TV commercial of Paprica. Here's the video. 

Make sure you check his Power Korean story here (Chanhu Lee) ^^

Robots at Yeosu Expo (DSME Marine Robot Pavilion)

Yeosu Expo will also take you to the world of Transformers through the DSME Marine Robot Pavilion. The pavilion is run by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. and it's clustered together with the other big Korean companies inside the expo.

We were told that the pavilion houses a total of 73 robots. Some of the famous ones are the first American humanoid robot CHARLI, which happens to be also fluent in Korean hahaha. British robot Thespian, French robot NAO, Korean tallest robot Nabi, female warrior robot EveR with dozens of faces. There are also robots who play soccer and some robots make their own cover dance of K-Pop songs. There are also cool fish robots ^^ Please watch the video below for a preview. When you visit the expo, mark DSME Marine Robot Pavilion as your priority ^^

Monday, May 21, 2012

International Pavilion at Yeosu Expo

I have friends who asked me what can they do in an expo...and why do people talk a lot about it. To be honest, I never knew anything about expos too if I did not visit Shanghai Expo last 2010. I think there's no need to pretend you know something about the event but I would say it's worth visiting. Going back to the question above, I normally answer them with "It's like visiting Disneyland or Everland (in Korea)." Literally it's a fair but in a world/global scale. There are many rides in Disneyland but in expo's case there are many pavilions. What you can see in the pavilions and to the whole expo itself depends on the expo's theme. And this year's host city Yeosu, being a marine port city in the southwestern part of South Korea, the theme is marine ^^ so all pavilions and activities inside the expo are related to the ocean, marine. Anyway, so this entry will be featuring the international pavilion.
International Pavilion "ideally" is the main attraction of an expo and probably the biggest building inside the expo since it is composed of many countries' exhibits.

What to see?
At Yeosu Expo, countries show visitors their own marine/ water/ ocean good practices. They try to share what kinds of technologies, practices etc. they do related to marine life, ocean. They also show the diversity or the condition of the ocean that surrounds their country. And of course, they also try to sell some of their own local products. For example, USA's exhibit had an impressive way of telling spectators that being a big country with a long coastline, they have different definitions of ocean. People from different coasts saying "This is my ocean" was pretty catchy line. The Philippine exhibit on the other hand was a simple showcase of the diversity of marine life in the country.

Where to go?
Of course this will always depend on the time you have, your interests and if you're not tired of walking yet. If you happen to start visiting other pavilions then the tendency is that you get tired and probably just prefer to sit. That is why, I personally think you need 2-3 days to fully enjoy the expo. Anyway, back to the international pavilion, some popular country exhibits are Japan, Singapore, Thailand, USA, China, Australia, Russia. I based this on the long line of people waiting outside the exhibit rooms. Of course the line would also depend on the exhibit room schedules, since some country exhibits have short movie showings or have guides who would explain the things inside the room so they need groups as audience. On the other hand, there is no need to fall in line in other country exhibits. The International Pavilion is right in front of the gate from KTX Yeosu Station so you could start your journey with this pav.

More about exhibit rooms and what's more to see

Exhibit room sizes are also different. I don't know why but someone told me it depends on the country's budget. USA, Japan, China have relatively huge exhibit rooms than Malaysia's and Philippines.' "Architectural" designs are also impressive. For me France and Philippines have good interior. Thailand and Cambodia's exterior designs were amazing. It would make you want to get inside their exhibit. My personal favorite is Thailand. Even if you don't get inside yet, it has a big screen outside showing different sites of the country plus a talking "palace guard." There are also many stores and restaurants in the pavilion so you'll never get hungry.

The main reason why countries exhibit at the expo is nation branding. Since world expo is one of the biggest events for many countries happening in one place, together with sports events like Olympics etc. many countries invest a lot of money and effort for this event. So you can expect good and quality presentations. When you visit Yeosu Expo make sure you drop by at International Pavilion ^^

I'll be writing more about the other pavilions at Yeosu Expo in my next entries so stay tuned ^^