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Let’s Go Korea

2008 Edition
Copyright © 2008

Published by
Korean Culture and Information Service
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

15, Hyojaro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


Telephone: 82-2-398-1910-9
Fax: 82-2-398-1882

All rights reserved Korean Culture and Information Service


Printed in Seoul
ISBN 978-89-7375-046-7 03910
Korean Government Publication Number
11-1371030-000018-10
For further information about Korea,
please visit: www.korea.net
Korean Culture and Information Service
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Foreword

Have you ever heard about Korea located in the Far East Asia?
Wouldn’t you want to know about the 5,000 years of Korean
history, culture and Korean life style, where everybody loves
kimchi and bulgogi? This book has the solutions to your curi-
osities about Korea.

We, The Korean Culture and Information Service, which has


been created as a means of promoting Korea for those of you
who wish to know about Korea, has published the ‘Let’s go Ko-
rea’ for you, teenagers. This book must be satisfied with your
interests and makes you want to know more about Korea.

We are excited to promote Korea to teenagers worldwide


through our new book, ‘Let’s go Korea’. It has characters teen-
agers can identify with who will introduce the country’s popu-
lar tourist attractions. The emphasis is on showing interesting
places rather than just giving facts and figures. We hope you
learn about Korea in an entertaining way by reading this book
and can visit these places for real some day.

Korea doesn’t just have a rich history it is also well known for
its progressive technology and futuristic architecture and de-
sign. Its IT, mobile, and semiconductor industries are famous
around the world. Korea is a country where past traditions are
interconnected with modern thinking.

To continue its development, Korea needs bright and creative


people. Our future will be shaped by our youth, who will go out
into the world with extraordinary thinking and broad minds.

This book is just a brief introduction to all Korea has to offer.


We hope to see you here soon!
Contents
FOREWORD

LET’S GO KOREA WITH US!

CHAPTER 1. Welcome to Korea!


Invitation to Korea 14
Excited about traveling in Korea 15
Korean is easier than it sounds 17
Hello, Korea 22

CHAPTER 2. Experiencing Korea


Hangang River, heaven in Seoul 42
View of Seoul from Namsan Mountain 44
NANTA!, a performance that really cooks 46
Insa-dong for tradition, Daehangno for young people 48
Shopping in Korea 52
Hahoe Village, discovering our ancestors’ wisdom 56
Dancing along to talchum, the mask dance 57
Barugongyang, way to find enlightenment 59
Make your own mini homepage! 64

CHAPTER 3. The Passion of Koreans


Taekwondo, Korea’s traditional martial art 78
Red Devils, Korea’s national pride 82
Miracle on the Hangang 84

CHAPTER 4. World Heritage in Korea


Dolmen, the secret history of the Korean Peninsula 96
Jongmyo and palaces that trace Korea’s history back 600
years 99
Hanok: centuries-old, eco-friendly houses 104
The Korean Wave: internationally recognized movies and
dramas 107
Kimchi, the nation’s favorite food 111
Hanbok, a harmony of lines, curves and colors 113

CHAPTER 5. Future of Korea


Parents’ devotion to their children 136
Challenges and opportunities in the modern world 140
World famous Koreans:
Nam June Paik, Sarah Chang, and Harold Hongju Koh 143

EPILOGUE 162

VISUAL INFORMATION Facts about Korea 24


Soul of Asia, Seoul 68
Korean Style 88
History of Korea 122
Study in Korea 150

TRAVEL INFORMATION Thumbs up!


The best places to visit in Korea 26
Seoul Tour 70
Festivals 92
Gyeongju Tour 130
Educational Tour 152

KOREA TOUR GUIDE


Transportations 168 / Subway Maps 172 / Accommodations 176 /
Travel Information Center 180 / 1330 Korea Travel Phone 181 /
Tourist Complaint Center 181 / Goodwill Guide 181 / Contact 182
s go Korea with us!
Let’

Im Jaehyun (Jay, Age. 19)


Jaehyun is studying neurobiology at Harvard. He
plans to go to medical school in the future and be-
come a doctor. He is Sanghyun‛s older brother, and
he was in 5th grade when he moved to the States.
During high school years, Jaehyun received the
Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. He involved himself in
sports, music, and scientific research.

Alex (Age. 16)


Alex is from Vancouver, Canada and he wants to be-
come an architect in the future. Alex is also a soph-
omore at Exeter and he is Sanghyun‛s best friend
and roommate. He enjoys traveling very much and is
excited about traveling in Korea.
Im Sanghyun (Steve, Age. 16)
Sanghyun is a sophomore in a high school in the U.S. He moved from
Korea to the States in 2nd grade, and he grew up in Closter, New Jer-
sey. Sanghyun plays tennis on the school team, and he is also involved
in various arts programs as well. He has been selected to play in the
New Hampshire all-state band and played parts in the play “Arcadia”
and the musical “Cabaret.” Sanghyun also enjoys singing in the school
choir.
Four Seasons of Korea
Photo by Jinho Jung
flickr.com/photos/phploveme
Chapter 1
Welcome to Korea!
Hi ! I‛m Alex. Today I‛m starting out on a big trip. My room-
mate Sanghyun invited me to visit him and his family this sum-
mer, so I‛ll have a chance to see many new and old things in Ko-
rea. Korea has a 5000-year history, and it has recently become a
leader in the production and marketing of cell phones, PDP TVs,
semiconductors, and Internet services. It‛s looking like an awe-
some summer, and I hope you will come along.
Invitation to Korea

As I frantically stuffed socks and underwear into my


bags, I had to shout at Sanghyun because he was just
chilling out listening to music through his earphones.

“Sanghyun! Will you help me pack?”


“What? Oh, sure.”

I’m from Canada, and I’m currently a sophomore in a


high school in the U.S. Sanghyun quickly became one
of my best friends after we met last year, so this year
we signed up to be roommates. But there isn’t that
much time left until our plane takes off. If he doesn’t
help me pack right now, we might miss our flight.

“Sanghyun! Hurry!!!”
“Take it easy, dude. I’ll help you.”

Sanghyun was done a long time ago. He


just needed to pack his laptop, mp3,
and passport. He lives in Korea so
almost everything he needs is just
waiting for him there. I, on the oth-
er hand, have to take everything I’ll
need with me. I’m really into travel-
ing and have wanted to visit Korea
since I got to know Sanghyun. I’m
lucky his family suggested he invite
me this summer.
Excited about traveling in Korea

I’ll be in Korea in a few hours. This has been the lon-


gest flight in my life, but a comfortable one, thanks
to the excellent in-flight service and entertainment
on the plane. On my personal monitor, I watched a
Korean movie, then a Hollywood film, played some
games and caught some sleep listening to classical
music. Sanghyun’s always bragging that Korea’s big-
gest airlines, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, won this
or that award from travel mags like Business Traveler
and Global Traveler for great service. Now I can see
why he’s so proud. Their service really is something
special.
◀ AVOD (Audio and Video
on Demand) service
available on Korea’s major
airlines

Welcom to Korea! 15
“Alex, you said it’s your first time in Korea, right?”
“Yeah.”
“Do you even know where Korea is?”
“Sure. It’s east of China and south of Russia! … But,
to tell the truth, I looked it up on a map just before
I got my ticket.”
“Yeah. North and South Korea make up the Korean
Peninsula, which is on the eastern tip of Asia be-
tween China and Japan – in what is commonly called
the Far East.”
“Why are North and South Korea still divided when
Germany and many others have unified?”
Panmunjeom

Sanghyun gave me a quick summary of how Korea


came to be divided into North and South. He told me
that Korea was liberated from Japanese rule in 1945,
and Soviet Russia and the U.S. divided the peninsula
into two at the 38th parallel; Russia took control of
Panmunjeom is located approxi-
the North and the U.S. the South. The Korean War
mately 50km to the north of Seoul.
It is where the Korean War armi- started in 1950, and the demarcation zone (DMZ)
stice agreement was signed of
marked out at the time the two sides reached a truce
July 27, 1953. The 800m- diameter
circle around Panmunjeom marks in 1953 became the current North-South border.
the JSA (Joint Security Area) and
is the only area occupied by both
UN and North Korean forces. “Alex, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind
about Korea?”
“Well, I think about galbi, bulgogi, kimchi, and cell
phones.”
“Cool. Korean food is the first thing I have on my
mind now, too. I’ll show you a lot of great places to
eat, and in Korea, the kimchi and other side dishes
come with the meal.”

16 Let’s go Korea!
Korea lies between ▲
Japan and China
Korean is easier than it sounds

As we got close to Incheon, I realized that I didn’t


know how to say anything in Korean. So I decided to
learn a few phrases before we got out of the airport.

“Sanghyun, will you teach me a few phrases?”


“I was going to teach you little by little after we got
there.”
“I just want to know a few basic ones.”
“Okay. ‘Thank you’ is ‘gam-sa-ham-ni-da’. ‘Gam’ and
‘ham’ rhyme with ‘com’ like in dot com. ‘Hello’ is ‘an-
nyeong-ha-se-yo.’ ‘An-nyeong’ can also be ‘good-
bye’ when talking to a friend. Think of it like saying
‘ah’ for the doctor + ‘n’ + ‘young.’ It’s easy: ‘Alex,
an-nyeong!’” Sanghyun waved bye.
“Then how do you say ‘great’?”
“That’s easy: ‘jjang,’ but really stress the ‘j.’”

Welcom to Korea! 17
Sejong the Great (1397~1450)

the government. During his reign, major


progress was made in virtually every field:
agriculture, literature, medicine, printing,
science.
King Sejong’s greatest accomplishment,
however, is the creation of Hangeul, the
Korean alphabet. Aware that the general
public needed a writing system besides
the complicated system of writing in Chi-
nese characters, the king and his Hall of
Worthies devised a simple alphabet that
could be easily learned.
This was not the only important invention
of his reign: a new calendar; a pluviom-
eter, an instrument to measure rainfall;
an anemo-scope, an instrument to mea-
sure wind speed and direction; sun dials,
water clocks; models and instruments
Only one king in Korean history has ever to study heavenly bodies; astronomy
been deemed worthy enough to have charts; atlases; new printing types—the
been accorded the title “the Great.” He list goes on and on.
was the fourth king of the Joseon Dy- In these ways and many others, King
nasty, King Sejong, who is universally Sejong strengthened and brought to the
regarded as the wisest and most gifted nation peace and cultural vitality, which
ruler in Korean history. The long list of ac- is more than anyone could ask of even
complishments during his reign is aston- a king. He helped shape Korean society
ishing, to say the least, and probably no and culture into what they are today, and
other time in Korean history was quite so his influence on politics, ethics, history,
creative and productive. music, literature, and the sciences, and
As a child, Sejong was a quiet, studious especially the language, is still felt. He
boy who showed an avid love of learn- died on the 17th of the Second Moon in
ing. 1450, after having ruled the nation for 32
Sejong was a practical person, who took years of its most glorious years.
a keen interest in the day-to-day affairs of
government, and sought ways to improve
the lives of his citizens. He reformed the
tax system and constantly tried to refine

18 Let’s go Korea!
Learning Hangeul (Korean Language)

Many languages are written with foreign alphabets: English uses Roman letters, Mon-
golian uses Cyrillic. Korean used to use only Chinese characters. But in the 15th
century a Korean king ordered creation of a new alphabet to make it easier to read
and write Korean words. Great King Sejong worked with courts scholars to make
Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. The vowels are drawn from three shapes “ㅡ” for land,
“ㅣ” for man, and “ · ” for sky. The consonants’ shapes reflect the relevant position of
the tongue, lips and teeth. The alphabet is so easy, most people master it within a
few hours.
- Summary of the Romanization System -

(1) Vowels are transcribed as follows:


simple vowels diphthongs
ㅏ ㅓ ㅗ ㅜ ㅡ ㅣ ㅐ ㅔ ㅚ ㅟ ㅑ ㅕ ㅛ ㅠ ㅒ ㅖ ㅘ ㅙ ㅝ ㅞ ㅢ
a eo o u eu i ae e oe wi ya yeo yo yu yae ye wa wae wo we ui

Note 1 :《ㅢ》is transcribed as ui, even when pronounced as《ㅣ》


.
Note 2 : Long vowels are not reflected in Romanization

(2) Consonants are transcribed as follows:


plosives (stops) affricates fricatives nasals liquids
ㄱ ㄲ ㅋ ㄷ ㄸ ㅌ ㅂ ㅃ ㅍ ㅈ ㅉ ㅊ ㅅ ㅆ ㅎ ㄴ ㅁ ㅇ ㄹ
g,k kk k d,t tt t b,p pp p j jj ch s ss h n m ng r,l

Note 1 : The sounds ㄱ,ㄷ, and ㅂ are transcribed respectively as g, d, and b when they ap-
pear before a vowel. They are transcribed as k, t, and p when followed by another consonant
or form the final sound of a word. (They are Romanized as pronunciation in [ ].)
e.g

구미 Gumi 영동 Yeongdong 백암 Baegam


옥천 Okcheon 합덕 Hapdeok 호법 Hobeop
월곶[월곧]Wolgot 벗꽃[벋꼳]Beotkkot 한밭[한받]Hanbat

Note 2 : ㄹ is transcribed as r when followed by a vowel, and as l when followed by a con-


sonant or when appearing at the end of a word. ㄹㄹ (e.g 울릉) is transcribed as ll.
e.g

구리 Guri 설악 Seorak 칠곡 Chilgok


임실 Imsil 울릉 Ulleung 대관령[대괄령]Daegwallyeong

Welcom to Korea! 19
During the school year I’d hear Sanghyun talking on
the phone with his parents in Korean and thought I’d
never be able to learn the language. But when San-
ghyun taught me syllable by syllable, it really wasn’t
that hard. In a few minutes, I was able to greet peo-
ple and ask simple questions.

“Alex, if you think those words are easy, try reading


Korean. That’s the easiest part.”
“No way.”
“The Korean alphabet is called Hangeul. There are
14 consonants and 10 vowels, and you just need to
know which English sound corresponds to the Korean
letters.”

Sanghyun wrote some Korean letters on a paper. This


‘ㄱ’ is called ‘giyeok.’ When it’s at the beginning of a
syllable, it’s a hard ‘g,’ but at the end it’s a ‘k.’ The
name of each of our letters show how they are pro-
nounced at the front and end of a syllable. ‘ㄴ’ is ‘nie-
un,’ and ‘ㅅ’ is ‘siot.’

“That’s really cool!”


▼ Hunminjeongeum “Yeah, well ‘siot’ can be ‘s’ or ‘sh’ at the front of a syl-
lable. And there’s no ‘z’ in Korean, but our
vowels rock with sounds English doesn’t
have and all are always pronounced the
same: ‘유’ is ‘yu.’ Think about ‘u’: it is
different in ‘usual,’ ‘umbrella’ and ‘until.’
But ‘유’ stays ‘yu.’ 15th century linguists
developed our alphabet. And did such a
good job that Korea has the highest lit-

20 Let’s go Korea!
eracy rate in the world. … Have you heard of the King
Sejong Literacy Prize?”
“No.”
“It’s a prize UNESCO awards to an individual or or-
ganization that makes a big contribution to fighting
illiteracy.”
“But who’s King Sejong?”
“He was the Korean king who created the first ver-
sion of Hangeul.”
“Hangeul 1.0”
“Exactly! He and the scholars in his court researched
writing systems from around the world and the way
Korean sounds are made and created a new alpha-
bet, so people could read and write our language
easily. Before that, only the wealthy could afford to
teach the Chinese characters used to write Korean.”
“Wow, trying to make his subjects smarter and
homework easier. Sounds like one cool king.”

Sanghyun taught me some more letters, and it was


fun sounding out English words used in Ko-
rean like ‘뉴스.’ Got it? … nyuseu, a.k.a.
‘news.’ ‘으’ written ‘eu’ is a Korean vowel
English doesn’t have. But if you ever
set your hand down in something
sticky at a cheap diner, ‘eu’ is like-
ly the sound you made through
clenched teeth. Packing some
phrases and able to read most
of the letters, I was much more
confident and excited about my
upcoming journey.
Incheon International
Hello, Korea
Airport

Incheon International Airport was outstand-


ing. English signs everywhere, so I didn’t
have any trouble navigating through the
spacious airport. Everything was really clean
and well maintained. Speaking from all my
16 years of traveling, I thought it was the
most convenient and cleanest airport I’ve

Incheon International Airport is


ever seen.
one of the biggest airports in East
Asia. 7.8 billion dollars went into
Sanghyun and I took a bus called an ‘airport limou-
the construction of the airport,
which opened in March 2001. sine.’ It had business-class seats and dropped us very
Annually, 170,000 planes come
close to his house where his mom met us. We could
and go from the airport, ferrying
27,000,000 people and 1.7 mil- have taken the subway directly from the airport, but
lion tons of freight. In June 2008, I wanted to see the city. I like Korea already. From
the construction of a third runway
and a new terminal building was the signs in the airport to the public transportation
completed. Incheon International system, everything has been neat and convenient.
Airport will increase its annual
flight-handling number to 410,000
The airport is on a manmade island, so shortly af-
and aims to become one of the ter the bus picked us up, we were heading across a
five biggest airports in the world
long bridge built over the ocean. I didn’t really feel
by 2010.
like I was in an Asian country until I saw the broad
tidal flats and rolling mountains in the distance. About
thirty minutes later, a river and many bridges came
into view.

“Sanghyun, that’s the Hangang River, right? There


are so many bridges!”
“Yup. There are 23 bridges on the Hangang. It flows
right through the middle of Seoul and into the Yel-
low Sea on the west coast. Paris has the Left and
Right banks. Seoul has Gangnam (river south) and

22 Let’s go Korea!
Gangbuk (river north). The old part of the city with
the palaces and big temples is in Gangbuk. My fam-
ily lives in Gangnam. That’s the more modern part
of Seoul.”
“Seoul is the capital, right?”
“Yes, and Korea’s biggest and most populated city.
▲ Incheon International Airport
It’s like our D.C., New York and Hollywood all in one Duty Free Shop
place, and it also hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics
and 2002 World Cup. Look! You can see the World
Cup Stadium over there. It seems like every time I
come back, Seoul is more developed. It’s become
one of the major cities in the world.”

Dusk fell, and the lights on the bridge and surround-


ing buildings started coming on. The lights illuminat-
ing the bridge and their reflection on the water were
especially beautiful. I wanted to hop off and start ex-
ploring Seoul right away but decided against it. There
are so many things to do tomorrow, and I’d better get
some sleep. Incheon International Airport ▼

Welcom to Korea! 23
visual Information
Facts about Korea

• Country Name: Republic of Korea


• Capital City: Seoul (10.1 million)
• National flag: Taegeukgi
• National flower: Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon)
• Currency: won (₩)
• Language: Korean (Written form: Hangeul)
• Location: Strategically located at the crossroads of Northeast Asia. Korea lies
between Japan, the Russian Far East and China.
• Territory: 223,098㎢ (South Korea: 99,678㎢)
• Highest mountains: Baekdusan 2744m, Hallasan 1950m
• Longest rivers: Amnokgang 790km, Nakdonggang 521.5km, Dumangang
521km, Hangang 481.7km
• Major cities: Seoul (10.1 million), Busan (3.5 million), Incheon (2.6 million), Daegu
(2.5 million), Daejeon (1.5 million), Gwangju (1.4 million), Ulsan (1.1 million)
• Climate: Temperate with four distinct seasons
• Population: 48.46 million (2007)
• Foreign residents: 1.1 million
• Political System: Democracy with president elected to a single 5-year term by
direct popular vote. Division of power among the executive, legislature (unicam-
eral National Assembly) and judiciary
• Gross Domestic Product: $969.9 billion (2007)
• Per Capita GNI: $20,045 (2007)
• Major Industrial Products: Semiconductors, automobiles, ships, consumer
electronics, mobile telecommunication equipments, steel and chemicals

http://www.korea.net
Visit korea.net, the official website of
the Korean Government whenever you
want to know about Korea. You can
find

• News about Korea


• Enjoyable places and features
• An extensive directory of websites re-
lated to Korea.

Korea.net provides you with the most ex-


citing and timely information about Korea.
Travel Information

Thumbs up!
The best places to visit in Korea
There are tons of places for teenagers to enjoy in Korea! Amusement
parks, ski resorts, national parks, Jeju Island, and so on. Plan a visit that
you will never forget!
Don’t worry even if you don’t have time to leave Seoul, there are many
great shopping areas to visit. Why not go to Lotte World and COEX? If you
have time, drop by Heyri in Paju, Seoul Land in Gwacheon, or Everland
in Yongin. If you are a big fan of sports, visit Gangwon-do Province and
enjoy rafting in the summer and skiing in the winter. If you get a chance
to visit Jeju, it would be a great opportunity to look at marine life from a
submarine and to try go-carting, horse riding, and hiking.

Seasonal Tour - Winter Sports

Seasonal Tour - Rafting

Special Tour - Jeju Island

Entertainment Theme Park

COEX

Heyri Art Village
Seasonal Tour 1

Winter Sports: Gangwon-do Province is where Korea’s winter season


begins and where it lasts the longest, and therefore the majority of Korea’s winter resorts
are located in this province. There are now a total of eight winter resorts in Gangwon-do.
Each resort is designed under a different theme, and appeals to skiers and snowboarders
for various reasons. Let’s take a look at what Gangwon-do has to offer, and learn about
the various resorts and slopes we can enjoy this winter.

Winter Sonata’s Home Ground, Yongpyong Resort


8 www.yongpyong.co.kr ☎ +82-33-335-5757
P 130 Yongsan-ri Daegwallyeong-myeon Pyeongchang-gun Gangwon-do

Water Theme Park with Daemyung Vivaldi Park


8 www.daemyungresort.com/vp ☎ +82-1588-4888
P Seo-myeon Hongcheon-gun Gangwon-do

Snowboarder’s Heaven, Phoenix Park


8 www.phoenixpark.co.kr ☎ +82-33-333-6000
P 1095 Myeonon-ri Bongpyeong-myeon Pyeongchang-gun Gangwon-do

Fun for all at Sungwoo Resort


8 www.hdsungwoo.co.kr ☎ +82-33-340-3000
P 204 Duwon-ri Dunnae-myeon Hoengseong-gun Gangwon-do

Only One Hour from Seoul, Gangchon Resort


8 www.gangchonresort.co.kr ☎ +82-33-260-2000
P 29-1 Baekyang-ri Namsan-myeon Chuncheon-si Gangwon-do

Ski Train Tour to Hansol Oak Valley Snow Park


8 www.oakvalley.co.kr ☎ +82-33-730-3500
P 1016 Wolsong-ri Jijeong-myeon Wonju-si Gangwon-do

Enjoy the Casino & Ski at Kangwon Land High 1


8 www.high1.co.kr/eng ☎ +82-2-1588-7789
P San 1-17, Gohan-ri, Gohan-eup, Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do
Seasonal Tour 2

Rafting: Rafting is a challenging recreational activity. Gangwon-do is a place


where many people visit for this exciting adventure. Rafting is usually done on white water
to thrill and excite the passengers. Gangwon-do is a place where you can enjoy rafting
in a safe environment. Experience rafting in the summer for more fun, and enjoy the view
during the spring and the fall. Come and explore beautiful Korea.

Donggang River
The Donggang River is 72km long and runs across Gangwon-do. The River has an abundant volume
of water, which provides perfect conditions for rafting. The Donggang is well known for its beautiful
scenic views and its well preserved ecosystems. Discover the Donggang today!
☎ +82-33-370-2091 8 www.ywtour.com/eng

Hantangang River in Cheolwon


The Hantangang River is located in Gangwon-do, Cheolwon-gun, about an hour away from Seoul.
The Hantangang is a great place to go for rafting with amazing views of little falls and valleys. If you
want excitement, why not visit the Hantangang?
☎ +82-33-450-5365 8 www.greengangwon.com

Injae Naerincheon River


Originating from Odaesan Mountain, the Naerincheon River winds its way into the Soyanggang River.
Known for the clarity of its water, the Naerincheon is a fascinating place for various types of leisure
sports including rafting, paragliding, mountain biking, and bungee jumping.
☎ +82-33-249-2706 8 www.greengangwon.com

Pyeongchang Geumdang Valley


The Geumdang Valley is located in Gangwon-do, Pyeongchang-gun. Enjoy rafting without rowing
due to the rivers rapidly flowing water. Rafting is available in small and medium sized boats. Enjoy
great views of Geumdangsan Mountain.
☎ +82-33-332-5533 8 www.greengangwon.com

Gyeonghogang River in Sancheong


The Gyeonghogang River, located in Gyeongsangnam-do, Sancheong-gun, is one of Korea’s most
beautiful areas. The outstanding volume of clear water makes the Gyeonghogang a thrill of a life
time and a perfect get away. Nearby attractions such as Jirisan National Park, Jungsalli Valley, and
Daewon Valley are located within a 30-minute drive.
☎ +82-55-970-6000 8 tour.sancheong.ne.kr
Special Tour - Jeju Island

JEJU: Within an hour’s flight from Seoul, Busan or Daegu, travelers in Korea can
reach a land of a completely different character. Recognized as the best-preserved area
in the nation, Jeju Island is Korea’s only island province.
The island is Korea’s most popular honeymoon destination. Known as “Little Hawaii” for
its volcanic landscape, picturesque subtropical scenery, sandy beaches, waterfalls and
hiking trails, it is one of the world’s top ten tourist attractions with over four million visitors
a year.
The blue sea, Mount Hallasan, Seongsan Sunrise Peak, Dragon Head Beach, Cheonji-
yeon Falls, paragliding, Horseback riding. Come to green and tropical Jeju Island, when
you just want to get away from it all.
P Jeju Special Self-Governing Province 8 www.jejutour.go.kr ☎ +82-64-710-2114

Horseback Riding
The fantastic island, Jeju, where green atmosphere is all around. Among all other attractions, Jeju
is best known for its small horses. Come and run on the grassland along with the Mother Nature on
horseback. The panoramic view and refreshing breeze you can feel upon hills of Mount Halla. It’s
where you can take a rest looking down the green grassland and the blue sea.

Kart Racing
Go-karting or mini formula racing is an easy to learn motor sport. Because go-karting doesn’t require
a driver’s license, young and old are able to race! The cars and race tracks are safely designed.

ATV Experience
ATV (All Terrain Vehicle), or quad bikes, are able to run on any road no matter how bumpy or rugged.
The ATV is a trouble-free vehicle that can easily run on all terrains, even hills! Quad biking is much
more exciting than any other amusement ride. Try quad biking today and experience excitement that
you will never forget.

Submarine Tour
Jeju, a designated blue belt area, has amazing maritime scenery. Take pleasure from seabed explo-
ration where you can find famous damselfish and variety of coral reefs!

Hiking Jeju
Jeju has excellent hiking, with flat, esay pathways and more adventurous courses. Also, stop by a
beach where you can bask in the sunshine.

Scuba Diving
Jeju is known for its clear pure water. Many divers visit Jeju especially in spring and autumn, when
underwater conditions are perfect for scuba diving. Good scuba diving areas include the coast of
Seoguipo, Chagui-do, and U-do.
Entertainment Theme Park

Lotte World
Lotte World is the perfect spot for entertainment and sightseeing. It is a theme park filled with thrilling
rides, an ice rink, different kinds of parades as well as a folk museum, a lake, and much more. Lotte
World is divided into an ‘Adventure’ theme once you are inside the building, and outside is a ‘Magic
Island’ theme next to Seokchonhosu Lake.
☎ +82-2-411-2000, 4000 8 www.lotteworld.com

Seoul Land
Seoul Land is Korea’s first theme park, with beautiful scenery surrounded by Mt. Cheonggyesan.
Seoul Land has an area called ‘World Square’ where one can glimpse traditional architecture and folk
items from all over the world. You can view traditional Korea at Samchulli Hill, a western frontier at
Model Land, and Fantasy Land. Seoul Land is a popular destination as it also contains Seoul Grand
Park, Forest Bath Resort, the National Modern Art Center and other great attractions nearby.
☎ +82-2-504-0011~6 8 www.seoulland.co.kr

Everland
Located in Yongin, Everland is a large theme park boasting a zoo, snow sledding, and botanical
garden. The park also contains three distinct themes which are Festival World, Caribbean Bay, and
Speedway. Festival World includes Global Fair, American Adventure, Magic Land, European Adven-
ture, and Equatorial Adventure, each created with is own unique style. Caribbean Bay is the very
first water park in Korea. The park is well laid out with convenient walkways, which can accommo-
date about 35,000 spectators. Everland also features the Glen Ross Golf Club, Automobile Museum,
Sportspark, and Hoam Art Gallery.
☎ +82-31-20-5000 8 www.everland.com
COEX

COEX is prominent landmark in Seoul. Located in the central business area, COEX is a
destination for business, shopping, entertainment, and more. With a world-class con-
vention and exhibition center, Asia’s largest underground shopping Mall, restaurants and
entertainment facilities, COEX is a great place to go in Seoul.

8 www.coex.co.kr ☎ +82-2-6000-0114
P COEX, World Trade Center Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

What can you do at COEX? You can


Visit a trade show or exhibition
Shop for the latest fashions in COEX Mall
Explore the undersea world at COEX Aquarium
See a movie on one of 17 screens at MEGABOX Cinema
Eat great Korean or International food at one of the over
200 restaurants in our complex
Shop for books at Bandi & Luni’s, a giant bookstore
Play the latest video games at our video game arcade
Find luxury and namebrand goods at Hyundai Depart-
ment store
Buy top-quality gifts and souvenirs at COEX Duty-Free
Shop
Watch live performances at COEX Art Hall
Exercise or enjoy the sauna at a fitness center

And more!
Heyri Art Village

Heyri is an art village that communicates culture through a variety of genres. At first, this
village was designed as a ‘book village’ linked to Paju Publishing Town in 1997. But in
the process of building the project, lots of artists in various cultural fields joined it. And
the concept of the village was expanded to ‘cultural art village.’
Now over 370 members: writers, artists, directors, architects, and musicians are building
their artistic spaces, houses, work rooms, museums, galleries.

Museums
There are more than thirty small or medium-sized
museums in Heyri with subjects such as interna-
tional folk instruments, toys, butterflies, magazines,
traditional foods, Buddhist art, figure paintings,
stamps, films, film posters, etc.

Art Galleries
There are six galleries in Heyri: The Gallery Cheon-
gam, Nam-Kyu Lee’s Memorial Hall, the Kwang-
Young Gallery, BaekSoonsil Gallery, the Korean Ce-
ramics Museum, and the Vietnam Museum.

Music Halls
There will be numerous small concert halls and re-
cital studios for chamber music. Classical music
cafes and jazz cafes will also feature high standard
concerts throughout the year. Now Heyri has the
Korea Music Hall, VR Concert Hall, and the Cam-
erata Music Hall.

Art Shops
Around one hundred art shops and antique shops
will keep articles of contemporary artists and an-
tiques in stock to sell and exhibit. Yu-Sook Park’s
Gallery, KAIS Gallery, Sumi Gallery, The Gallery
Focus, and Jin Ad are some of the locations with
shops.

8 www.heyri.net ☎ +82-31-946-8551
P Heyri Tanheon-myeon Paju-si Gyeongi-do
Chapter 2
Experiencing Korea
Hi ! This is Sanghyun. My home country has a lot of things to
do and see. Korea has internationally renowned theater, such as
“Nanta,” “Jump” and B-boy shows, and traditional performances
like mask dances that our hundreds of years old and percussion
bands that literally make heads spin. I hope that my friend Alex
can experience some of the best that Korea has to offer during
his stay.
Hangang River, heaven in Seoul

I knocked on Alex’s door to say good morning. He was


already awake and looking out at his first morning in
Korea.

“Did you sleep well, Alex? It’s a new bed. I hope it


was okay.”
“I had no trouble falling asleep. The bed was great.
But because of jetlag, I was dead tired by 11 and
wide awake at dawn. Were you able to sleep nor-
mally?”
“Sure, I cross the Pacific once or twice a year. I know
how to deal with jetlag. Ready to go?”
“Of course!”

Alex seems to be in a really good mood. I’m relieved


that he’s in a better condition than I thought he might
be in. He’s used to traveling a lot. Maybe that’s why
▼ Hangang River Citizen’s Park he’s not that bothered by jetlag.

42 Let’s go Korea!
◀ Water Sports
on the Hangang River

“Sanghyun, where are we going first?”


“I want to show you the river.”

For Alex’s first full day in Korea, I decided to show


him Seoul’s two biggest natural landmarks: the Han-
gang River and Namsan Mountain. I have many fond
memories of both places. When I was little I used to
go there a lot with my family for picnics or to play
soccer.

Hangang River
“Wow, there are a lot of people here already!”
“The Hangang is a great place to come any time of
the day. In the morning, lots of people come here
to exercise. They can jog, rollerblade, bike, or play
basketball or soccer.”
“It’s great. So much open space in a huge city.”
The Hangang is the river with the
“And when it gets really hot during the summer, largest basin area in Korea, and
it flows for 481.7km across the
the pools open, so you can cool off in them. In the
middle of the Korean Peninsula.
fall, there are big fireworks shows at night, and all Currently 23 bridges span the
year, you can take inexpensive river cruises, day and Hangang, along its banks are 12
parks and various facilities for rec-
night.” reation and sports.

Experiencing Korea 43
Namsan Mountain “It’s really awesome that a super busy city like Seoul
has a place where everyone can come and relax.”

I think Alex really likes the Hangang. It’s too bad


that we didn’t bring a basketball. We could have got
a game going. Next time, we’ll definitely bring a ball
and play a pickup game with other people.

Namsan Mountain became impor-


tant after King Taejo, the first king
of the Joseon Dynasty, selected View of Seoul from Namsan Mountain
Hanyang (present day Seoul) to
be the capital city. Namsan was
originally called ‘Ingyeongsan We’re in the cable car that takes us up Namsan. Alex
Mountain’ but its location to the
south of the royal palace gave it is amazed that Seoul has a big river like the Hangang
its present name. Namsan Moun- and mountains scattered around the city. Now that I
tain rises 262m above sea level,
and it is loved by Seoul citizens
think of it, not too many cities have both a large river
as a place of respite. Namsan has and mountains inside its limits.
a botanical garden, a library, and
the N Seoul Tower stands tall at
the top of the mountain. “What a view!”
“It’s great, isn’t it? I’m glad we decided to take the
▲ Seoul Millenium Time Capsule Plaza at Namsangol Hanok Village

cable car instead of walking up. There aren’t too


many places where you can get a view of Seoul like
this.”
“I’m so glad we came here. I like the fresh breeze!”
“Yeah, it feels so cool up here on the mountain. It’s
another great place to escape from the summer heat!
Namsan has a lot of evergreens, cherry and maple
trees, so every season it looks beautiful. From the
top of the mountain you can enjoy a view of Seoul
spread around you in every direction.”

We walked up to the base of N Tower to be able to see


across the river.

“Why are all those locks on the fence?”


“Couples leave them here to show they will always
be together.”
“What if they break up?”

N Seoul Tower ▶
Samulnori “They get a new date and new lock and hike back
up.”
“Spoken like a man of experience. How many of
these are yours?”
“Yeah, right. I never had much time to date.”

I haven’t been up here since I was in elementa-


Samulnori is a percussion ensem-
ble of four different instruments: ry school. Coming back has made me realize what
kkwaenggwari (small metal gong), a valuable resource Namsan is for the city and its
jing (large metal gong), janggu
(hourglass-shaped drum), and buk people. They come here to get exercise, meditate, or
(barrel drum). Samulnori started as even just to breathe some fresh mountain air. A busy
a band of farm music performers
and has become widely known
city like Seoul is really lucky to have natural recre-
nationally and internationally. ation spots like the Hangang and Namsan.

Nanta!, a performance that really cooks

As we looked down at the city spread out before us,


we both took a big breath as if we were getting ready
▼ NANTA performance to plunge into Seoul.

46 Let’s go Korea!
“Where are we going now, Sanghyun?” NANTA
“My brother got us tickets to Nanta!”
“What’s that?”
“It’s a nonverbal performance. Mainly cooks pound-
ing out very funny and exciting rhythms. It comes
form samulnori, the traditional percussion band I
was telling you about. People of all ages and nation-
alities enjoy this show. It’s easy to understand the
plot and humor because the beat and facial expres-
sions reveal the moods so well.”
“Isn’t that the Korean show on Broadway? I thought
it was called ‘Cookin’.” ‘Nanta’ in Korean means to ‘beat
“Yeah. We talked about going before. It’s the first crazily.’ NANTA is a nonverbal
performance that uses the rhythm
Asian performance to have its own theater on Broad- and beats of samulnori to comical-
way.” ly dramatize different things that
can happen in a kitchen. NANTA
“I’m glad I get to see it on stage in Korea!”
made its international debut in
“It’s been a big hit here for around 10 years. There 1999 at the Edinburgh Fringe Fes-
tival, where it received the best
are even two theaters in Korea that are all ‘Nanta,’
performance award. It has been
all the time.” staged in Japan, Germany, U.S.,
“I can’t wait to see it.” Russia, China, Netherlands and
other countries. In 2004, NANTA
became the first Asian program to
When we arrived at the theater after taking the bus have a long-term performance on
Broadway. It ran for 449 shows.
and subway, Jaehyun, my brother, was already there,
waiting for us. BTW, in Seoul, you can use the same
metro card to pay for the bus, subway and taxis. And
transfers are free for public transportation if you get
to the next bus or subway before too long.

“Sanghyun! Over here! Let’s hurry inside. The per-


formance is about to begin.”

Experiencing Korea 47
Insa-dong for tradition, Daehangno
for young people

Alex wouldn’t settle down after the performance. He


was half walking and half bobbing up and down as if
he were still listening to Nanta.

“That was a lot of fun, wasn’t it? I’m so glad I saw


Insa-dong
Insa-dong is a street located in it again.”
the heart of Seoul and is a place
“Yeah. That was the most fun I’ve had in any perfor-
where Korea’s traditions are pre-
served and artifacts are sold and mance. I want to see some more Korean shows.”
traded. Insa-dong is home to “Hmm. Hyeong, where do you think we could go?”
many art galleries, craft stores,
traditional teashops, traditional “Tomorrow we can go to Hahoe Village in Andong.
restaurants, and cafes. No cars Many traditional performing arts are well preserved
are allowed to enter Insa-dong
every Sunday from 10 am to 10
there. We could see a mask dance.”
pm, making Insa-dong further vis- “Can we go now? I really want to see it.”
itor-friendly. You can see various
“Dude, Andong is three hours by bus. Let’s see some
street performances and special
exhibits on Sundays. more of Seoul today and go there tomorrow.”

48 Let’s go Korea!
Insa-dong street ▲
“Then where are we going now?”
“Hyeong, how about Insa-dong?”
“Sanghyun, you told me your brother’s name was
Jaehyun. Why do you keep calling him Hyeong. Is it
short for Jaehyun?”
“No, Hyeong means ‘older brother.’ It’s from Con-
fucianism. It’s a way to show respect for those who
came before us. You’ll hear many titles like ajumma
(aunt), halabeoji (grandfather). It can get really de-
fined. Even with twins, the second one out calls the
first ‘hyeong’ all his life.”
“But Jaehyun just calls you Sanghyun.”
“Younger brothers and sisters usually don’t get any
respect.”
“Oh, so Canada and Korea aren’t that different after
all.”
Daehangno
We headed to Insa-dong, an area between the main
palace and Jongno, the biggest street of old Seoul. It
has many shops and vendors that sell antiques and
traditional items. There are also many galleries, ar-
tisans, and teashops there. It’s like a movie set for a
Running from Jongno 5-ga to Hye- Korean bazaar. In fact, you’ll sometimes see profes-
hwa-dong Roundabout, Daehang- sional film crews shooting here and always see many
no is centered around Marronnier
Park. Daehangno is a street full of local and foreign tourists walking around with cam-
numerous dance, play, and mu- eras.
sical theaters, art organizations,
and street performers.
Alex is becoming more and more fascinated with Ko-
rean culture. He talked excitedly about each item that
he saw in Insa-dong. He seemed especially interested
in fans. He bought two already. We were all tired from
walking all around Insa-dong, so we decided to break
for a meal. We shared bibimbap, pajeon, and sun-

50 Let’s go Korea!
dubujjigae. Alex really liked the pajeon which had a
lot of seafood in it.
With our bellies full, we got on the bus and headed
for Daehangno. Now that we’ve seen Insa-dong, Jae-
hyun (a.k.a Hyeong) suggested that we check out a
place so geared to students its name means “Univer-
sity Street.”

“Alex, many artistic groups, small theaters, and gal-


leries are on and around Daehangno. So there are
lots of street performances each day.”
“Jaehyun, do you think we have enough time to see
a play?”
“Maybe, I’ll check if any are in English. There are also
lots of other things to see outdoors. Little concerts
are always being staged around Daehangno.” Marronier Park, Daehangno ▼

Experiencing Korea 51
When we arrived at Marronnier Park, many people
were handing out brochures for different plays. Jae-
hyun explained that often the performers and even
the producers of small plays come out and advertise
their shows. We saw actors in funny costumes and
artists drawing some pretty good caricatures before
we headed off.

Shopping in Korea

I can’t believe that after all the things we’ve done


today and the places we’ve been to, I’m here shop-
ping for clothes. Even after strolling around Daehang-
▼ Shopping center entrance no, Alex didn’t want to go home. Jaehyun suggested
at Dongdaemun

52 Let’s go Korea!
that we go to one of the wholesale markets that stay
open all night. So here I am at Dongdaemun, walking
through a bustling street full of other teenagers look-
ing for cheap, hip clothes. I hear some loud music and
people cheering up ahead, so I’m going to go check
it out.

“Wow, what’s that?”


“Some of the big clothing stores in Dongdaemun
have small stages near their entrances, where B-boy
bands, dancers, or singers come to show off their B-boys are professional break-
skills. These mini-concerts provide entertainment for dancers who are becoming more
and more recognized throughout
the people walking by and also attract customers.” the world. Korean B-boys have
“Those guys are wild. How can they come up with won the four biggest B-boy battle
awards and are acclaimed as the
those moves?”
world’s best.

Experiencing Korea 53
B-boy ▲
“Korean B-boys are famous for having powerful, cre-
ative moves. Even though breakdancing hasn’t been
around in Korea for long, Korean guys are already
dominating the stage at international competitions.”
“They’re really good! How many times is he going to
spin on his head like that? Do they usually perform
in places like this?”
“B-boys like to perform outdoors just for practice and
to show off their skills. This most likely won’t be your
last time seeing a performance like this in Korea.
Let’s go in one of the complexes.”

Alex is really enjoying himself. He’s already been to


every floor and every booth in a shopping town, and
he’s headed to a different building now.

“I think Alex would prefer Myeong-dong.”


“Why?”
“It has some big world brands, department stores,
and jewelry shops. And there’s more to do than just
shop. There are coffee shops, restaurants, norae-
bangs (that’s like Korean karaoke), movie theaters.
Most foreigners are struck by Myeong-dong’s energy.
It’s a very popular destination.”
“Then we should definitely check it out!”

I’m really glad that Alex is having a fun time in Korea.


I’m also happy that I got to revisit many places that I
haven’t been to in a long time.

54 Let’s go Korea!
Night scene
Experiencing at Myeong-dong
Korea 55 ▲
Hahoe Village in Andong Hahoe Village, discovering our
ancestors’ wisdom

We got up early to catch a bus to Andong.


We ate breakfast in a hurry and left for
the bus terminal. Alex must’ve been really
tired from all the shopping yesterday. He
fell asleep as soon as we took our seats on
the bus. I tried to wake him, but I gave up
Hahoe Village is a clan village of because I was too tired myself. As soon as we arrived
the Pungsan Ryu family, and it
preserves the traditional Korean at Andong, we transferred to a local bus. Jaehyun had
way of life. Andong became fa- reserved a temple stay program at Bongjeongsa Tem-
mous when Queen Elizabeth II
visited on her birthday in 1999. ple for us, so we had to hurry.
Hahoe Village, however, is more
famous for the ‘Hahoe Byeolsin
Gut’ and Hahoe masks. The An-
We first decided to take a look around the village.
dong International Mask Dance Jaehyun explained that it’s not exactly certain but the
Festival takes place in Hahoe Vil-
village probably dates all the way back to the Goryeo
lage every October, and Korea’s
traditional mask dances and other Dynasty, the kingdom that ruled the peninsula from
performances are demonstrated.
918~1392. The name Korea comes from Goryeo. By
the time traders carried the kingdom’s name back to
Europe, it had passed through so many languages
that it came out ‘Korea’ on English
tongues. And the name ‘Ha-
hoe’ comes from the way the
river makes an ‘S’ shape as it
curves around the village. The
village became really famous in
1999 when Queen Elizabeth II
visited it.

There were lots of small and


big straw-roofed houses
and huge clay tile-roofed houses in Hahoe Village.
Walking around Hahoe with its pristinely preserved
houses made me feel like I was walking through an
old architecture museum.

Dancing along to talchum, the mask


dance Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ visited ▲
Hahoe Village in April, 1999
on the occasion of her 73rd
birthday
When we were about halfway around the village, we
heard samulnori from afar and the sound gradually
approached us. Jaehyun told us that the procession
of mask dancers playing samulnori and letting the vil-
lagers know that there is about to be a show is called
gilnori. We ran over to watch the procession. Musi-
cians in traditional performing clothes led the way fol-
lowed by mask dancers waving their arms to the mu-
sic. Behind them, many Koreans and foreigners were
also dancing and following the troupe of samulnori
musicians and the mask dancers. We also joined in
and followed them to the stage by the river.

“The shaman ritual of praying to the gods for prosper-


ity and peace in the village is called a ‘gut.’ Hahoe Vil-
lage has a unique version of this ritual called the ‘Hahoe Panorama of Hahoe Village ▼

Experiencing Korea 57
Byeolsin Gut’.”
“What makes it special?”
“It’s unique because the performers wear masks called
‘tal’ and dance. This is to entertain the gods and ap-
pease their anger.”
“They must be starting now. The crowd’s getting quiet”

A dancer wearing baekjeongtal entered the stage


wielding an axe and a butcher’s knife and danced to
the beat of samulnori. He laughed out loud and the
▼ A scene from music stopped. He shouted a few things to
Hahoe Byeolsin Gut
the audience and resumed
dancing to the music. From
one side of the stage, a
performer bearing a cow
mask entered and started
dancing an
Various masks of Korea, Tal ▲
antagonistic dance with the butcher. After this perfor-
mance was over, dancers wearing jungtal, yangban-
tal, seonbital, and gaksital came out and danced a
really fun number. Even though Alex couldn’t under-
stand what the dancers were saying, he still thought
it was comical. He took a lot of pictures. The masks
all represent stock characters, a bride, a monk, etc.,
so Koreans familiar with the art know the character’s
personalities before they speak.

Barugongyang, way to find enlighten-


ment

After the performance was over, the audience was in-


vited onto the stage to join the dancers for a final
dance. Even though we wanted to stay a little longer

Experiencing Korea 59
and watch, we had to leave to get to Bongjeongsa
Temple on time for the temple stay program.

“Alex, how was the mask dance?”


“I thought it was great. Too bad I couldn’t under-
stand the Korean though.”
“I thought you said you learned Korean on the way
over?”
“Haha. I said I learned how to read Hangeul. That
doesn’t mean I know the words I’m reading or hear-
ing. Still, it was really fun! I liked dancing along to
the music, and the masks looked cool.”
“I’m glad you liked it. We have to head over the
Bongjeongsa for the temple stay now.”
“What’s that?”
“Temple stay is an overnight program that lets you
live like a monk and experience what it’s like to be in
a place in harmony with nature and the teachings of
Buddhism. Even people who aren’t Buddhist or even
religious feel refreshed and uplifted by the environ-
ment and chamseon, a kind of meditation.”
▼ Barrel drum at
Bongjeongsa Temple “Chamseon? Isn’t that the really boring kind where
you just sit down and do nothing?”
“Well, do you know any exciting kinds of meditation?
The important thing is to keep an open mind and
give it a shot.”

We left Hahoe Village and got on the local bus. When


we arrived at Bongjeongsa, a monk came out and
greeted us. He showed us to our room and around the
temple. Bongjeongsa was built in 672, and Geung-
nakjeon, National Treasure No. 15, is part of the tem-

60 Let’s go Korea!
Temple Stay
Temple stay is a cultural-experience program designed to help Koreans and foreigners alike under-
stand Korean Buddhism better by observing and practicing the life of a monk. Temple stay offers
various unique experiences such as chamseon (Zen meditation), dado (tea ceremony), calligraphy,
barugongyang (communal Buddhist meal service), and an introduction to temple culture. The program
is open for everyone and lasts from 2-10 days.

Chamseon (Zen meditation)


All Buddhist traditions include some form of
meditation, and chamseon is way to practice
meditation in Mahayana (Great Vehicle) Bud-
dhism. This meditation brings an end to the
‘monk mind’ that we all experience so that our
minds become clear and we can return to our
original self. There are many other terms for this
return to the original self, including enlighten-
ment, awakening, and realizing one’s Buddha
nature.

108 Bows
The bow represents a desire to lower one’s self
and serve others. The person bowing brings
his or her forehead all the way to the floor and
raises the palms skyward. The number 108 has
to do with the sins Buddhism warns against
and the possibility of one committing them in
the past, present and future.

Barugongyang (Communal Buddhist meal service)


These meal offerings are the embodiment of equality, with everyone receiving the same meal and the
same portions. In addition, these meal offerings are completely environmentally-friendly, since they are
highly efficient and produce no waste or need for detergents. Thus, this ancient method has become
a model for contemporary society.

Experiencing Korea 61
ple. You might have noticed rank-
ing is really important in Korea:
the lower the number, the more
important its cultural significance.
Geungnakjeon is the oldest exist-
ing wooden building in Korea. The
monk also told us the story of how

▲ The main building of


Bongjeongsa came to be. The leg-
Bongjeongsa Temple end is that a long, long time ago, a wise monk created
a phoenix out of paper, and he built a temple where
the bird landed. He named the temple Bongjeong,
which means the place where a phoenix stayed.
After the tour, we unpacked our stuff and learned the
code of conduct in a temple and barugongyang, the
mentality that we should maintain as we eat.

It was time for barugongyang. Alex seemed a bit ner-


vous about his first stay in a temple. He’d learned
all this stuff a little earlier, but we all just watched
the monks to make sure that we did everything right.
During barugongyang, we ate in accordance with the
signals given by a bamboo stick called a “jukbi.” There
was no talking, no clattering of plates, or even the
sound of chewing. It was a moment of absolute si-
lence. The meal was entirely vegetarian. The food was
filling and super fresh because the vegetables come
from nearby gardens. But it wasn’t easy to clean off
the plates with pickled radish and wash down the
leftovers with rice-cooked water. Alex hesitated but
carefully followed suit. We did the dishes with the
other monks and brought our first barugongyang to
its end.

62 Let’s go Korea!
“Jaehyun, why do we eat all the leftovers?”
“That’s for us to realize the preciousness of the love
and the effort that went into preparing the food and
also to cleanse our minds like the food plates.”
“That’s right,” the monk added, “Barugongyang isn’t
just eating. It’s also a kind of training for everyone;
a process for cultivating one’s mind.”

We rested for a bit as we chatted with the monk. Then


it was time for praying before the Buddha. We had
to do 108 bows with the monk. Not a simple bend-
your-waist bow. I’m talking drop-to-your-knees-lie-
flat-on-the-floor-raise-palms-to heaven-lift yourself-
up-with-your-toes-and-calves-and-repeat bows. At
first it seemed doable but as we approached the final
couple of dozen bows, we began to sweat, and our
bodies felt heavy from fatigue. But by the
time we were done with the 108th
bow, my mind felt really tranquil
and light.
We participated in chamseon next.
Arirang-2 Satellite It was a time of looking back at our lives and redis-
covering our self-ego.

Next morning, everyone woke up super early at 3 am


for more praying in the temple, and then we went hik-
ing with the monk. Hiking along the mountain trails,
The Arirang-2 satellite was in- relying only on the moon to light our path, was a fun
vented in Korea and launched in and unique experience. In fact, for Sanghyun and
July, 2006. Its actual name is The
Korean Multi-purpose Satellite-2 Alex, everything that they did at Bongjeongsa from
(KOMPSAT-2). It has a high reso- the barugongyang service to working on the farm and
lution camera so the satellite has
the ability to record and recog-
joining a tea ceremony was a new experience that
nize black and white images to they’ll never forget.
a 1m pixel resolution and a 4m
pixel resolution for color images
in space.

Make your own mini homepage!

After we left Bongjeongsa and said goodbye to our


host monk, we stopped by a hot spring near the Na-
kdonggang River and got home near midnight. We
were somewhat tired, but I turned on the computer to
update my blog and Minihompy with the pictures that
I took on the trip.

“Why do you upload so many pictures? It must take


a long time.”
“Well, Korea has really fast Internet connections, so
it’s easy.”

I showed Alex how to upload photos onto my personal


page, but he was more interested in the fast Internet
connection with download speeds up to 100Mb per
second.

64 Let’s go Korea!
“Korea has highly developed services and technology
for the Internet, cell phones, DMB (digital multime-
dia broadcasting), and WiBro, so you can always ac-
cess various services while on the move.”
“I know. I’ve seen people watching TV on their cell
phones in the subway. But what’s WiBro?”
“WiBro is short for ‘wireless broadband.’ The service
provides fast Internet access for people constantly
on the move.”

Alex’s questions seemed to never stop. I told him that


approximately 90% of the Korean population uses a e-Sports
cell phone, and that it’s really easy to access the In- e-Sports (electronic sports) re-
fers to competition among online
ternet or watch TV through portable media players
gamers. They compete in a vari-
(PMP) or laptops. Before going to bed I helped Alex ety of game genres ranging from
make his own Minihompy and upload some pictures. real-time strategy games such as
Starcraft, first-person shooting
By the end of his trip, his personal page will be full of games, sports games, and rac-
interesting pictures and fun posts, and I can introduce ing games. There are currently
12 pro-gaming organizations in
all my friends to his Minihompy through mine. Korea. There is also a video game
arena in Yongsan i-park.

Experiencing Korea 65
Digital Life in Korea

Mobile DMB

Korea is a world leader in mobile and PDA tech- DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) allows
nology. Korea is at the forefront of the develop- users to receive audio and video broadcasting
ment of mobile technology. Mobile services in while on the move. DMB was developed to re-
Korea include mobile banking, gaming, traffic place the radio, but it has improved since then,
information, GPS, navigation system, and us- and now it can not only trasmit audio but also
ing a cell phone as a ticket or coupon. DVD quality video.

WiBro IPTV

WiBro is the wireless broadband Internet tech- IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) uses high
nology developed by Samsung Electronics speed Internet to supply video and information
and the Electronics and Telecommunications onto the television. This allows those unfamiliar
Research Institute. In October 2007, 3G wire- with the computer to home-shop, watch mov-
less services in Korea became an international ies, do online banking, play online games, and
standard. Currently most users are from the listen to MP3 files on the television.
metropolitan area, but the usage of the WiBro
technology is expanding throughout Korea.

66 Let’s go Korea!
Blog Minihompy

An amalgamation of the words “web” and Minihompy is a Korean online community net-
“log”, blog refers to online posts describing work service. Minihompy makes uploading
one’s thoughts and feelings. Blogs allow shar- pictures and videos simple, and the personal
ing, interaction, and discussion among those pages are extremely customizable.
keeping up with the fresh blog posts.

Game Community Mobile Community

Korea has a highly developed online gaming in- With the development of mobile communica-
dustry. Gamers review games and share gam- tion, mobile communities are expanding. Based
ing strategies with others through online and on the world’s leading mobile networks, Korea
offline communities. is starting mobile community services in fields
such as marketing, religion, and trade.

Experiencing Korea 67
visual Information
Soul of Asia, Seoul

Seoul, the capital city of the Republic of Korea, is locat-


ed in the central western part of the Korean Peninsula.
The Hangang River and the Bugaksan Mountain Range
add to the magnificent scenery of Seoul. Its geographi-
cal location also makes Seoul the political, economical,
and cultural center of Korea.

◈ A city of the past and the present ◈

Seoul has previously been the capital city of Baekje and


Joseon for 500 years each, and it holds a lot of heritage.
It is a city in which skyscrapers and technology com-
N Seoul Tower plexes coexist with ancient royal palaces and historical
sites. Seoul is a city of ‘nature and people,’ the past and
the present.

◈ Korea’s leading brand ◈

Seoul’s strong international competitiveness in digital


and knowledge industries makes it a business hub of
East Asia. Seoul’s land area is only 0.6% of the total
land area of Korea, but Seoul is responsible for 21%
of the annual GDP and more than 50% of the financial
market of Korea. High technology venture funds also in-
vest heavily in Seoul. 27% of all the colleges in Korea
are located in Seoul, which makes it easy to find quality
job applicants. Korea also has relatively high labor pro-
Gungdo (Archery) ductivity among the OECD countries.
In addition, Seoul is home to many leaders in various
fields such as politics, business, and the arts.

Hi Seoul Festival
◈ The economic center of East Asia ◈

The Republic of Korea is located between China and


Japan. Its geopolitical position has enabled Korea to act
as a bridge for cultural exchanges and trade between its
neighbors. In this regard, Seoul is an optimal location Cheonggyecheon
for doing business with China (the largest market in),
and Japan (the world’s 2nd biggest economy).

Northeast Asia is home to 25% of the world’s popula-


tion and generates 22% of its GDP (forecasted to in-
crease to 30% by 2020). Seoul boasts a wide array of
transportation networks. Forty three cities with popula-
tions of a million or more are within a three-hour flight
from Seoul (via Incheon International Airport). Incheon
Port is also in close proximity to Seoul. When the inter-
Korean railways (Seoul-Wonsan Line, Seoul-Sineuiju
Line, Yangyang-Anbyeon Line) are restored, Seoul will
be directly connected to Siberia and Mainland China by
land. This will make Seoul an international hub of busi-
ness and logistics.

Daehangno

Main street of Hongik University


Travel Information
Seoul Tour
Travel Information
Seoul Tour

Gyeongbokgung Palace Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon


 yeongbokgung Subway Station (Seoul
G  nguk Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line
A
Subway Line No.3), walk for 5 minutes. No.3), walk for 2 minutes.
Gyeongbokgung Palace is arguably the Chandeokgung served as the principal pal-
most beautiful and remains the grandest ace for many Joseon kings and remains
of all the five palaces. The National Pal- the best preserved among the five royal
ace Museum of Korea is located south of Joseon palaces. The rear garden that was
Heungnyemun Gate, and the National Folk used as a place of rest by the kings boasts
Museum is located east within Hyangwon- a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a
jeong. small pond, and a pavilion.
☎ 82-2-732-1931 ☎ 82-2-762-9513
8 www.royalpalace.go.kr 8 www.cdg.go.kr

Changgyeonggung Palace Deoksugung Palace


Hyehwa Subway Station (Seoul Subway City Hall Subway Station (Subway Line No.
Line No.4), walk for about 10 minutes. 1), walk for about 2~5 minutes.
Located in the heart of Seoul, Changgyeo- Deoksugung Palace is famous for its ele-
nggung Palace was first built by the 4th gant stone-wall road. It is also the only pal-
ruler of the Joseon Dynasty, King Sejong ace that sits alongside a series of Western
(1418-1450), for his retiring father, King style buildings that add to the uniqueness
Taejong. It often served as residential quar- of the surrounding scenery.
ters for queens and concubines. ☎ 82-2-771-9952
☎ 82-2-762-4868~9 8 www.deoksugung.go.kr
8 cgg.cha.go.kr
Jongmyo Royal Shrine Namsan Park
Jongno 3(sam)-ga Subway Station (Seoul Seoul Station (Seoul Subway No.1)
Subway Line No.1), walk 10 minutes. City Hall (Seoul Subway No.2)
Jongmyo Shrine is the primary place of Mt. Namsan is a symbolic mountain locat-
worship for the kings of the Joseon Dynas- ed at the center of Seoul. At the top, there
ty. Jongmyo Shrine is registered as a World are various facilities such as Palgakjeong
Cultural Heritage because the customs (an octagonal pavillion), N Seoul Tower,
such as the memorial services and tradi- Maritime Aquarium, fountains, and Nam-
tional music are very well preserved. san Library.
☎ 82-2-765-0195 ☎ 82-2-753-2563
8 jm.cha.go.kr 8 parks.seoul.go.kr/namsan

Hangang River Citizen’s Park Namsan Hanok Village


Exit 2 or 3 of Yeouinaru Subway Station Chungmuro Subway Station (Seoul Subway
(Seoul Subway Line No.5). Line No.3), walk for 5 minutes.
It is a huge area that is dedicated to the The houses belong to various social ranks
citizens, providing areas for sports and re- of the society from peasant to king. The
laxation. You can see many people strolling furniture in the houses are situated to help
or jogging along the paths, in-line skaters, guests understand daily life in the past.
bike riders, and soccer fields or basketball You can also tea and refreshments. On the
courts. The river cruise is especially good grounds, there are traditional games you
in the evening. may want to try.
☎ 82-2-3780-0701 ☎ 82-2-2264-4412
8 hangang.seoul.go.kr
Travel Information

Insa-dong 63 CITY
Anguk Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line Free Shuttle Bus Daebang Subway Station,
No.3), walk 1 minute. Yeouinaru Subway Station, Yeouido Subway
Station
Insa-dong, located in the middle of the city,
is an important place where old but pre- With 63 floors and measuring a height of
cious and traditional goods are on display. 264m, the 63 CITY is one of Korea’s tallest
Within these alleys are galleries, traditional and most recognized building. The 63 CITY
restaurants, traditional teahouses, and ca- boasts spectacular views of the Hangang
fes. River and the surrounding mountains of
There are traditional performances and ex- Bugaksan, Namsan and Gwanaksan. The
hibits as well. Insa-dong is especially pop- 63 CITY’s basement floor boasts conve-
ular with foreign tourists. This is where they nient facilities, including 63 Sea World, 63
can experience and see traditional Korean Sky Deck, 63 IMAX theater.
culture firsthand, and also purchase pieces ☎ 82-2-789-5679
of fine art. 8 www.63city.co.kr

Apgujeong Seoul World Cup Stadium


Apgujeong Subway Station (Seoul Subway World Cup Subway Station (Seoul Subway
No.3) No.6)
Apgujeong is a mecca for shopping among In 1996, Korea and Japan were chosen by
trendsetters in their 20s and 30s. Shortly FIFA to organize the World Cup. Seoul, lack-
after Rodeo Street came into being during ing a soccer marketing pitch big enough to
the 1990s, unique fashion shops, bars, and hold what is probably the biggest media
cafes began to open one by one, drawing event on the planet, was soon to possess
young people en masse to come create a brand new purpose-built stadium, the
their own fashion codes. There are many Seoul World Cup Stadium. Here is a pre-
shops specializing in secondhand luxury sentation of this stadium that symbolized
items. Multi-shops, which purvey various the hopes and aspirations of the whole na-
brands, also seem to be gaining popular- tion during the 2002 World Cup.
ity. ☎ 82-2-2128-2000
8 http://www.sisul.or.kr/sub04
Myeong-dong Namdaemun Market
Myeong-dong Subway Station (Seoul Sub- Hoehyeon Station (Seoul Subway Line
way Line No.4) No.4)
Located in the heart of Seoul, Myeong- Opened in 1964, Namdaemun Market is
dong is a representative shopping district the largest traditional market in Korea with
in Korea. It also houses the headquarters various goods in store. All products are
of banks and securities brokers, and many sold at affordable prices and the stores in
Western and traditional restaurants. Com- this area also function as a wholesale mar-
pared to Namdaemun and Dongdaemun kets. Most of the goods are made directly
Market which sell products at low prices, by the storeowners. The Namdaemun
Myeong-dong is lined with quality brand Market sells a variety of clothes, glasses,
name shops, while mid-class brand name kitchenware, toys, mountain gear, fishing
shops and no-name brand shops are lo- equipment, stationery, fine arts, accesso-
cated in the side alleys. All kinds of shops ries, hats, carpets, flowers, ginseng, and
and restaurants are densely located on the imported goods.
main street. ☎ Tourist Information Center 82-2-752-5728
☎ Tourist Information Center 82-2-774-3238 8 http://www.indm.net

Dongdaemun Market Itaewon Shopping Street


Dongdaemun Stadium Subway Station Itaewon Subway Station (Seoul Subway
(Seoul Subway Line No.1, 2, 4) Line No.6)
Ever since its opening in 1905, Dongdae- Itaewon is the most exotic place in Seoul
mun Market has been one of the major representing fusion culture with a distinc-
markets in Korea. Specializing in whole- tive atmosphere. Many people say, “You
sale clothing, the market has grown large, may not know Seoul, but you should know
having more than 20 shopping malls. A full Itaewon,” showing how renowned a shop-
range of fashion items that cover head to ping district Itaewon is. The area has a
toe, are found in Dongdaemun Market at vibrant ambience with shops, restaurants,
inexpensive prices. bars and street vendors. Most signboards
☎ Tourist Information Center 82-2-2236-9135 are written in English, and English speak-
ing people are often seen on the street.
☎Tourist Information Center 82-2-3785-2514
Chapter 3
The Passion of Koreans
Today, I‛m just going to hang around the neighborhood with Alex
and talk about the Korean spirit. It is a mix of passion and tran-
quility. At times Koreans can be wildly excited – like when the
national team‛s Red Devils soccer fans got the whole nation out
on the streets dressed in red during World Cup 2002. But there
is also a tranquility that has endured here for 5,000 years. Ko-
reans have always relied on strength and endurance to overcome
great challenges.
Taekwondo, Korea’s traditional
martial art
Taekwondo
Developed two thousand years
Exhausted from traveling so much in the last few
ago, Taekwondo is Korea’s na-
tional martial art. Taekwondo is for days, Alex and I ended up oversleeping. After break-
everyone to learn and it teaches fast we settled on the couch. While my mom prepared
defensive and offensive moves
using hands and feet. Taekwondo tea and fruit, I opened up the family photo album.
is a sport that trains the body and
the mind. A demonstration sport
at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, it “Is that you, Sanghyun?”
has been an official Olympic sport “Yup, that’s me doing taekwondo.”
since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
“Do all Korean kids study taekwondo?”
The World Taekwondo Federation
comprises 188 countries. “Sure. If not in private school, they are bound to have
some instruction during gym classes. Taekwondo’s
an excellent way of training one’s mental strength as
well as physical defenses.”
“How so?”
“The codes of taekwondo emphasize great patience
and strong willpower. All Korean guys take taekwon-
do training during their military service. The impor-
tance of patience and willpower is even in Korea’s
creation myth.”

Alex is cracking me up. He’s looking at my old tae-


kwondo pictures and trying to imitate the moves, but
he’s doing them all wrong.

“Here, let me show you.”

Alex watched with curiosity as I demonstrated basic


taekwondo moves.

“Wow! It almost looks like a dance. It’s subtle, but

78 Let’s go Korea!
I can definitely feel the energy. Can you teach me a
little?”
“Of course!”

I taught Alex the very first set of taekwondo moves,


‘Taegeuk Il Jang.’

“Am I doing this right? This is kind of difficult. I can’t


believe most kids in Korea grow up training like
this.”

As I watched Alex practicing taekwondo moves and


wiping sweat from his forehead, I thought to myself
that it would be good to take him to a performance
of ‘Jump.’ I’m sure he’ll be more than excited from
watching all the fancy martial arts moves that come
from not just taekwondo but from taekkeon and oth-
ers. Kyorugi ▼

The Passion of Koreans 79


Taekwondo System

Poomsae
Taekwondo poomsae are the basic successive defensive and offensive move-
ments one does with an imaginary opponent to improve form, flexibility and con-
centration. Taekwondo is about mastering proper hand and feet techniques but
also building self discipline and respect.

As taekwondo students master the poomsae taught by their master, they are certi-
fied and can advance to the next dan (level). Poomase training gets more rigorous
with each level, and it can take well over 25 years for a student to become a mas-
ter at the highest rank, 9th dan.

Kyorugi
Kyorugi means sparring. It can be in the form of practicing with a partner or actual
bouts that put all the poomsae training to test as opponents try to strike one an-
other while at the same time using defensive techniques to avoid or deflect blows.
Kyorugi is at the center of taekwondo training, and a large part of the sparring is
an unspoken dialogue of movement to size up the skill, power and weaknesses
of the opponent.

80 Let’s go Korea!
Kyukpa
Kyukpa is one of the methods that is used to measure the power and speed of the
practitioner by applying a variety of taekwondo skills to boards, bricks or any cho-
sen material with application of physical force and mental concentration.

The Passion of Koreans 81


Red Devils Red Devils, Korea’s
The Red Devils are the official sup- national pride
port group for the Korean national
soccer team. This group was orig-
inally called the “Great Hankuk I wanted to teach Alex
Supporters Club.” The name “Red
Devils” originates further back more about the spirit of
from the 1983 FIFA World Youth Korea. But it wasn’t easy
Championship when the Korean
youth team reached the semi-
trying to explain intangi-
finals. The international media ble ideas. Then I thought of the 2002 World Cup and
dubbed the team and supporting
began to sift through the photo album.
fans “Red Furies.” Through trans-
lation, it became “Red Devils” and
was selected in 1997 as the offi-
“Alex, take a look at this picture.”
cial name of the organization. Be-
fore the 2006 World Cup, anyone “That’s a lot of people. Why are they all wearing
could be a Red Devil, but now the red?”
policy has been changed so that
only a member of the club can be “It’s a picture from the 2002 World Cup. It was the
a Red Devil. first World Cup of the 21st century, and also the first
to be hosted in Asia. Korea and Japan were the co-
hosts, and that was also the first time the event was
co-hosted by two countries.”
“Are all these people here to go to the stadium?”
“No, those are the people that cheered from the

2002 FIFA World Cup


The 2002 FIFA World Cup was
held in South Korea and Japan
from May 31 to June 30. The
two countries were chosen as
joint hosts by FIFA in May 1996.
For the first time in its history the
World Cup was held in Asia and
organized by two countries. Brazil
won the tournament for a record
fifth time, beating Germany 2–0 in
the final.

82 Let’s go Korea!
streets because they couldn’t get tickets. The Red Taegeukgi
Devils received as much attention from the interna-
tional media as some of the big teams.”
“The Red Devils? Who are they?’
“They are the support club for the Korean national
football team. But during the World Cup, anyone
wearing a red shirt and cheering on the national
The Korean flag is called the Tae-
team was a Red Devil. I still remember when mil- geukgi. Its design symbolizes the
lions of people gathered in the streets and shout- principles of yin and yang. The
circle in the center of the flag is
ed ‘Dae~han min guk’! That’s the country’s official divided into two equal parts. The
name in Korean.” upper red section represents the
proactive cosmic forces of the
“Sanghyun, what’s that mark on the shirts and the Yang. Conversely, the lower blue
headbands?” section represents the respon-
sive cosmic forces of the Yin.
“That’s called the taegeuk. It is the symbol of harmo-
The two forces together embody
ny and coexistence of the yin and the yang. It holds the concepts of continual move-
ment, balance, and harmony that
the meaning that the universe was created and grows
characterize the sphere of infinity.
from the interactions between the two. This mark is The circle is surrounded by four
trigrams, one in each corner. Each
also drawn in the center of the Korean flag.”
trigram symbolizes one of the four
“So much meaning for such a simple symbol. Yang is universal elements: heaven, earth,
the active side, right? I feel a lot of yang just from fire, and water.

The Passion of Koreans 83


Mugunghwa looking at the picture. It’s amazing so many people
(National Flower) got together in the streets for this.”
“The 2002 World Cup wasn’t just a simple sports
event. It was a grand festival that drew people to-
gether. The tendency to unite during times of diffi-
culty or great joy is a longstanding shared sentiment
and one of the forces moving our country.”
The Rose of Sharon is special to
the Korean people. According to
records, Koreans have treasured
this heavenly flower since ancient Miracle on the Hangang
times. There exist more than 100
cultivars of the Rose of Sharon in-
digenous to Korea, and the “Dan-
Alex seemed interested to know what motivates Ko-
sim” (flower with red center) vari- reans.
ety serves as the national flower
of Korea. A Rose of Sharon bush
can have some 2,000 to 3,000 “Can you explain more about Korean cultural be-
flowers and is strong enough to
liefs?”
be transplanted or cut for decora-
tion and flower arranging. Thus, “Sure. Koreans have always pulled together and
the flower represents the wish for
worked with others. The country was a farming
lasting national development and
prosperity. nation just a few generations back. Serious mat-
ters such as a marriage or death in the family also
brought people together. We always celebrated and
grieved with others as if the matters were our own.
It is no surprise that Koreans have always displayed
great unity during national crises.”
“What are some of the difficult moments that Korea
▼ Geobukseon (Turtle Ship)
replica
faced?”
“Korea has a really long
history. There were times
of peace and prosper-
ity, but there were also
critical moments. One of
them occurred 400 years

84 Let’s go Korea!
ago when Japan launched a major invasion of the
peninsula. Korea’s military and the civilians joined
forces and fought off the invasion.”
“There must’ve been great leaders to help the people
out of times like that.”
“During the Japanese invasion Admiral Yi Sun-sin
helped defeat the Japanese by creating a fleet of
ironclads called turtle ships because the their upper
decks were covered with an iron plate like a shell. He
demolished the Japanese fleet with brilliant tactics.
But the more important fact is that everyone took Statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin ▼

part in the war. Even women contributed to saving


our country.”

I told Alex some of the hardships and difficult bat-


tles that Admiral Yi faced. I also explained
the meaning of Admiral Yi’s most famous
quote, “Those who wish to live will die,
and those who wish to die will live.” Alex
is a big history buff and was delighted to
have found out about such a great figure.

“Were there any other times of great dif-


ficulty?”
“Korea was under the rule of Imperial Japan
from 1910 to 1945, and we also suffered
the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, and
the 1997 Asian financial crisis. But as we’ve
always done, Koreans were able to become
united and overcome the challenges. I think
our cohesiveness is Korea’s greatest strength
and what has kept the country going for 5,000
The begining of Korea

The “Lord of Heaven” Hwanin had a son, Hwanung, who yearned to live on the
earth among the valleys and the mountains. Hwanin permitted Hwanung and
3,000 followers to descend onto Baekdusan Mountain, then called Taebaeksan
Mountain, where Hwanung founded Sinsi (City of God).
A tiger and a bear prayed to Hwanung that they may become human. Upon hear-
ing their prayers, Hwanung gave them 20 cloves of garlic and a bundle of mug-
wort, ordering them to eat only this sacred food and remain out of the sunlight for
100 days. The tiger gave up after about twenty days and left the cave. However,
the bear remained and was transformed into a woman.
The bear-woman (Ungnyeo) was grateful and made offerings to Hwanung. How-
ever, she lacked a husband, and soon became sad and prayed beneath a sin-
dansu (divine betula) tree to be blessed with a child. Hwanung, moved by her
prayers, took her for his wife and soon she gave birth to a son, who was named
Dangun Wanggeom.
Dangun ascended to the throne, built the walled city of Unknown, near present-
day Pyeongyang, and called his kingdom Joseon (known today as Gojoseon or
Ancient Joseon).

86 Let’s go Korea!
years.” National Anthem, Aegukga
“I can’t believe that such an advanced country like
Korea had so much trouble in the near past.”
“Me neither. That’s why other countries call what the
Koreans have accomplished until now the Miracle on
the Hangang. Just around fifty years ago, Korea was
one of the poorest countries on earth, and now it The Korean national anthem is
“Aegukga.” Before the birth of
ranks as the thirteenth most economically powerful the Republic in 1948, the words
nation. It is also a great feat for Seoul to have hosted of the anthem were often sung to
the tune of the Scottish folk song,
one of the most successful Olympics ever.” Auld Lang Syne. Maestro Ahn
“When were the Olympics held in Korea?” Eak-tai (1905~1965), then living in
Spain, felt that it was inappropri-
“Before I was born; in 1988. The Seoul Olympics
ate to sing this patriotic song to
brought together over 150 countries. It was the first the tune of another country’s folk
song. So in 1935, he composed
time in twelve years that the U.S. and Soviet Union
original music to go with the lyr-
were both at the Games.” ics, and the then exiled Korean
Provisional Government adopted
it as the national anthem.
I explained to Alex that the spirit of Korea can be
red-hot, like the enthusiasm of the Red Devils, but
1988 Seoul Olympics
also deep and broad like the waters of the East Sea. The 24th Summer Olympic Games
He nodded as I told him that the taegeuk mark in the were successfully held in Seoul
from September 17 to October 2,
middle of the Korean flag is the symbol of such dual- 1988. The games concluded after
ity. a 16-day run under the themes of
peace, harmony, and progress.
The largest Olympiad up to its
time, more than 13,000 athletes
and officials from 160 countries
gathered to promote the ideals
the Olympics uphold while tran-
scending the barriers separating
the East and the West and the
North and the South. The first
boycott-free Olympics in twelve
years, the Seoul Olympic Games
rose above international hostilities
and national interests and shed
light upon the founding ideals and
principles of the Olympic Games.

The Passion of Koreans 87


visual Information
Korean Style

Hangeul: Korean Language


That all Koreans speak and write the same lan-
guage is a decisive factor in the forging of strong
national identity. Great King Sejong commissioned
the creation of a Korean alphabet during the 15th
century. Before the creation of the standard alpha-
bet, Hangeul, only a small percentage of the popu-
lation was literate; few could master the difficult
Chinese characters used by the upper class.
Hangeul consists of 10 vowels and 14 consonants
that combine into numerous syllabic groupings.
The writing system is relatively simple, systematic,
and comprehensive; it is considered one of the
most scientific writing systems in the world. Han-
geul is easy to learn and write and has contributed
greatly to Korea’s high literacy rate and advanced
printing industry.

Hanok: Korean-style Housing


From the Three Kingdoms period to the late Joseon
Dynasty (1392-1910), the traditional Korean house,
Hanok, remained relatively unchanged. It incorpo-
rates ondol, the unique Korean heating system first
developed in the North. Smoke and heat generated
from the low-lying kitchen stoves were channeled
through flues built under the floor. Hanok were built
without using nails. Instead, they were assembled
with wooden pegs.
Since the late 1960s, Western-style high-rise apart-
ment buildings have sprouted all over the country.
However, modern ondol systems, heated water
pipes running under flooring, still remain popular.
Hansik: Korean Food
Korean traditional food, Hansik, was developed for
the purpose of healthy eating throughout the four
seasons. One of the special traits of Korean food is
its attempt to preserve the natural tastes of the in-
gredients. Another trait is the storing and ferment-
ing of food in order to strengthen and enhance its
taste and nutrition. Fermentation of soy, kimchi,
and salted fish has been Korean culinary staples
since early times. Hansik was scientifically devel-
oped by the ancestors to preserve and enhance the
tastes of different seasons and climates.

Hanbok: Korean Clothing


Koreans wove cloth from hemp, arrowroot, and
silk. During the Three Kingdoms period, men wore
a short jacket, trousers, and an overcoat with a hat,
belt, and shoes. The women wore a short jacket
with two long ribbons tied to form a knot, a high-
waist dress, an overcoat, white cotton socks, and
boat-shaped shoes. This attire, known as Han-
bok, has been handed down in the same form for
hundreds of years with little change except for the
length of the short jacket and dress.
In the 1970s, Hanbok use declined sharply. A few
Koreans still wear traditional Hanbok but mostly
on special holidays like Seollal and Chuseok and
family festivities such as Hwangap, a parent’s 60th
birthday.
visual Information

Hanji: Korean Paper

Since the method of papermaking has


crossed the border, Koreans have de-
veloped a unique way of making even
sturdier and more durable paper. Hanji
is made by boilig mulberry tree bark and
then drying the extracted fibers. Com-
pared to Japanese or Chinese paper,
which is made from a mixture of mulberry
bark and other materials, Hanji is sturdier
and preserves the texture of the mulberry
bark. As the Korean adage “Paper lasts
for a thousand years and silk lasts for five
hundred years” tells us, Hanji is a valuable
cultural asset that reflects the implicit te-
nacity of the Koean people.
Han-guk Eumak: Korean Music

Traditional music is composed for traditional instruments and ex-


presses the values and beliefs of the Korean people.
Traditional Korean music is categorized into two parts: gugak (lit.
‘national music’), which has been passed down for centuries, and
changjak gugak (lit. ‘newly-composed national music’), which incor-
porates Western musical practices into a song performed by tradi-
tional musical instruments.
A popular form of traditional Korean music, samulnori (percussion
quartet) was created for stage music in 1978. In this sense, samulnori
is categorized as changjak gugak.
Travel Information
Festivals

1 2

Anseong Namsadang Baudeogi Perfor- Chuncheon International Mime Festival


mance ▶ Oct. ▶ May
Anseong-si, Gyeonggi-do Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Anseong had been the center of entertainment in The Chuncheon International Mime Festival is the
Korea. Since 2001, the festival has been held to leading performing arts festival in Korea. Each year,
celebrate and further develop the traditional culture renowned artists give outstanding mime perfor-
of Namsadang and the art of Baudeogi. mances.

3 4

Yangyang Pine Mushroom Festival ▶Sept. Boryeong Mud Festival ▶ July


Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do Boryeong-si, Chungcheongnam-do
The Yangyang Pine Mushroom Festival to be held The Boryeong Mud festival is filled with fun where
in Korea’s representative pine mushroom produc- visitors enjoy mud massages with quality mud
tion sites is a festival centering on pine mushroom, powder from Daecheon Beach and a nearby tidal
which is known as Song-i mushroom in Korea. flat. Various programs are available such as a mega
mud tub, mud wrestling, mud sliding, a mud prison,
mud military training and so on.

5 6

Geumsan Insam Festival ▶ Sept. Gimje Horizon Festival ▶ Oct.


Geumsan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do Gimje-si, Jeollabuk-do
The reputable ginseng from Geumsan is featured at The Gimje Jipyeongseon Festival was launched
the annual festival from Aug. 29 through Sept. 7 at to promote the natural beauty of Gimje and its
Geumsan Ginseng Center, Plaza and the Ginseng rice. There are many programs to enjoy, includ-
& Herb Street. ing a samulnori contest, rural landscape drawing
contest, celebratory performances, street parade,
ssireum, and a traditional wedding.
7 8

Hampyeong Butterfly Festival ▶ April Gangjin Celadon Festival ▶ Aug.


Hampyeong-gun, Jeollanam-do Gangjin-gun, Jeollanam-do
The Hampyeong Butterfly Festival has five main The Gangjin Celadon Cultural Festival is a great op-
themes and operates a General Ecology Experi- portunity to see Korean celadon of artistic value,
ence Hall where you can watch rare butterflies and it includes modern celadon produced by lead-
close up. ing artists, as well as traditional works that have
been designated as national treasures.

9 10

Andong International Mask Dance Festival Jinju Namgang Festival ▶Oct.


▶Sept. Jinju-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do The Jinju Namgang Yudeung Lantern Festival fea-
Troupes from 15 countries stage high-level perfor- ture an exhibition of lanterns representing the sym-
mances, and 13 mask dance troupes in different bols of different countries and a wish lantern where
categories like the Hahoe Byeolsin Gut Talchum in visitors write their wish on a piece of paper and at-
Korea add to the fun and diversity of mask danc- tach it to a lantern.
es.

11

3
2

9
4
5
6

Jeju Cherry Blossom & Rape Flower Festival


▶March ~ April 7
10

The annual Jeju Rape Flower Festival is held dur- 8


ing April. The flowers in this festival are absolutely
stunning. And Jeju is the first place in Korea to see
fully bloomed cherry blossoms. Jeju’s cherry blos-
11
soms are known for their large pink petals. The Jeju
Cherry Blossom Festival is a great reason to visit
Jeju.
Chapter 4
World Heritage in Korea
Hello, I‛m Sanghyun‛s hyeong Jaehyun. Today I decided to
visit some UNESCO World Heritage sites with Sanghyun and
Alex. We‛ll first go to the Jongmyo Shrine and nearby Changdeok-
gung Palace in central Seoul. The shrine has a solemn look and at-
mosphere, and the palace complex is more elaborate with archi-
tecture that reflects the surrounding nature. We can talk more
about Korean heritage as we walk around the historic sites.
Dolmen, the secret history of the
Korean Peninsula

After breakfast, Sanghyun and Alex came into my


room to ask what we were doing today. I was looking
at a guidebook showing Korean World Heritage sites.

“Jaehyun, what’s that? It looks like some kind of


Stonehenge.”
Dolmen “It’s a dolmen, a prehistoric grave. Ancient tribes
Dolmen is a type of stone tomb would bury their dead leaders in these tombs.”
made in prehistoric times. It is
called a ‘goindol’ in Korean.
“A little breezy for a tomb, don’t you think?”
Dolmens are one of the most “All that’s left are these stone tables now. But con-
prominent types of tombs from
sidering people drug these huge slabs around and
the Bronze Age, and approxi-
mately 30,000 of them are spread packed them in dirt mounds as far back as 2,000
throughout Korea. Dolmen sites in
BC, I’d say they built them to last. Guys, know which
Gochang, Hwasun, and Gangh-
wa contain valuable information country has the most dolmens?”
about the formation and the evo-
“Egypt?”
lution of dolmens. The sites are
currently listed as UNESCO World “Is it China?”
Heritage sites.

96 Let’s go Korea!
“No, actually you’re in it. This says approximately Seokguram Grotto and
30,000 dolmens are scattered around Korea. The Bulguksa Temple
The Seokguram Grotto contains
ones in Gochang in Jeollabuk-do, Hwasun in Jeol- a monumental statue of the Bud-
lanam-do, and on Ganghwa Island in Incheon are dha looking at the sea in the bhu-
misparsha mudra position. With
UNESCO World Heritage sites.”
the surrounding portrayals of
“Really?” gods, Bodhisattvas and disciples,
it is considered a masterpiece of
“Yeah. Another Korea World Heritage pop quiz: What’s
Buddhist art in the Far East. The
the Jikji Memory of the World Prize? I’ll even give you Temple of Bulguksa (built in 774)
and the Seokguram Grotto form
a clue, Jikji is short for Buljo Jikjisimcheyojeol.”
a religious architectural complex
of exceptional significance.
Sanghyun stared blankly, but Alex tried to come up
with something.
Buljo Jikjisimcheyojeol
“From the temple, I remember ‘Bul’ means ‘Bud- Buljo Jikjisimcheyojeol contains
the essentials of Zen Buddhism
dhism,’ but you lost me with the rest of it.”
compiled by priest Baegun in late
“Not bad, for someone here for only a couple of days. Goryeo period.
But Sanghyun, I’m voting you off the peninsula.” This book was printed at the old
Heungdeoksa Temple in Cheon-
“Oh come on. Did gju, using movable metal type in
you know what it July 1377. Jikji is the world’s old-
est example of movable metal
was before you saw type printing in existance and
it in the book?” shows us an important technical
change in the printing history of
“Contestants don’t humanity.

World Heritage in Korea 97


get to question the MC. Just pack your things and
go. Alex, Jikji is a Buddhist scroll that is the old-
est remaining written document printed with metal
type, and the prize goes to an individual or group
that contributes most to the preservation of docu-
mentary heritage.”

In addition to the dolmens, Jongmyo Shrine,


Changdeokgung Palace, Seokguram Grotto and Bul-
guksa Temple are other World Heritage sites in Korea.
And the Hunminjeongeum, the official declaration of
Hangeul, and the Tripitaka Koreana woodblocks are
official UNESCO Memory of the World items.
We decided to visit some of Korea’s World Heritage
Jongmyo Shrine sites.
Jongmyo is the oldest and most
authentic of the Confucian royal
“Hyeong, I’ll go look up how to get there.”
shrines to have been preserved.
Dedicated to the forefathers of the “Okay. Ask Alex what he wants to see and get the
Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910), the directions online.”
shrine has existed in its present
form since the 16th century and
houses tablets bearing the teach- After browsing the web, Alex said he wanted to go to
ings of members of the former
royal family. Ritual ceremonies
the Jongmyo Shrine and the Changdeokgung Palace
linking music, song and dance
still take place there, perpetuating
a tradition that goes back to the
14th century.

98 Let’s go Korea!
Complex, which are both in Seoul. I wanted to take Jongmyodaeje
him to Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, but
there wasn’t enough time to travel down to Gyeongju
in the southeast part of the country. Maybe when he
comes back to Korea the KTX bullet train line going
there will be finished, and we could make a day trip
out of it.
Jongmyodaeje is a grand ceremo-
ny honoring the past kings of Ko-
rea. Five times a year during the
Joseon Dynasty, the king himself
Jongmyo and palaces that trace Ko- used to conduct the ceremony in
rea’s history back 600 years Jongmyo, where Jongmyojerye
and Jongmyojeryeak were per-
formed. The Japanese banned the
We took the subway because Alex liked to find his ceremony during their rule of Ko-
rea, but the ceremony resumed in
own way around and practice reading the names of
1969. Now Jongmyodaeje takes
the stations in Hangeul. He kept talking about how place every first Sunday of May.
convenient and well maintained the system was and
how much he liked the bus-subway free transfer sys-
tem since he never had to worry about having the
right fare. When we got on a train, there were a cou-
ple of empty seats.

World Heritage in Korea 99


Changdeokgung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace was con-
structed in 1405 after Gyeongbok-
gung Palace was built. This palace
was located to the east of Gyeo-
ngbokgung, the main palace, so
it was also known as Donggung
(East Palace). Changdeokgung
Palace burned during the Japa-
nese invasion of 1592 and was
reconstructed in 1611 by Gwang-
haegun. It became a UNESCO
World Heritage site in December “Why aren’t people sitting in those seats?”
1997.
“They’re reserved for pregnant women, the disabled
and old people.
“Korea really treats its elders well.”
“Yeah, If you’re over 65, you don’t even have to pay
to ride the subway and you have a reserved seat.”
“Cool, I’m definitely coming back to Korea in 50
years.”

As we came out of the subway, I thought of a good


way to explain the importance of Jongmyo Shrine.

“Alex, remember how you said you were surprised


that our grandma lives with us and everyone gets

100 Let’s go Korea!


along so well and that we won’t start eating until an Seokjojeon in Deoksug-
adult takes the first bite?” ung Palace

“Yeah.”
“Jongmyo can be better understood if you think
about such Korean culture. It is a place for honoring
the past kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty. A
big ceremony takes place here in May every year.”
Deoksugung Palace, just across
“Sort of like the way you said your family serves food from City Hall, was originally a
and drinks to your ancestors at their tombs on Lunar prince’s home, but later designat-
ed as the king’s temporary home.
New Year’s?” It became a full-fledged palace
“Right, but this ceremony is much bigger with hun- during the reign of King Gojong
(1863~1907), who led many build-
dreds of musicians, officials and relatives of the last ing projects, including Seokjojeon,
royal family all in Hanbok.” the largest stone building in Korea:
it was once used as a museum of
I think it’s cool that Koreans want to show their old
modern art but now houses royal
kings they remember them even though the monar- relics.

chy is gone.”

Gyeongbokgung Palace
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the
largest and most historically sig-
nificant palace of the Joseon pe-
riod. It was built by King Taejo, the
founder of the Joseon Dynasty,
in 1395, as a symbol of his new
reign. Like most other palaces, it
was damaged during the Japa-
nese invasion of Korea in the 16th
century. One of its most famous
structures is Gyeonghoeru, the
pavilion where kings held recep-
tions and parties.

World Heritage in Korea 101


Changgyeonggung Palace
Changgyeonggung Palace was
built in 1418 by King Sejong for
his father, King Taejong. King
Sejong named it Suganggung
Palace at first, but it was later re-
named Changgyeonggung Palace
after King Seongjong built Myeo-
ngjeongjeon and Munjeongjeon.
Changgyeonggung was turned
into a zoo during the Japanese
imperial rule, but it regained its
original status in 1987.
On the way, I explained how Confucianism is still strong
in Korea and children are taught to respect their par-
ents and elders. We walked past Hyangdaecheong,
the place where they keep the items for the ritual,
and Eosuksil, where the king used to prepare for the
ceremony to honor his ancestors. We then entered
Jeongjeon’s courtyard.

“Jaehyun, is this where they keep the ancestral tab-


lets with the names of past kings?”
“Yeah. This is the oldest existing royal Confucian
shrine.”
“But it looks rather plain.”
Hwaseong Fortress “Palaces have elaborate designs, but the plain archi-
When the Joseon King Jeongjo
tecture of Jongmyo is a good match for the rituals
moved his father’s tomb near Su-
won at the end of the 18th cen-
tury, he also built a strong fortress
nearby. Laid out according to the
precepts of an influential military
architect of the period, the struc-
ture brought together the latest
developments in the field from
both East and West. The massive
walls, extending for nearly 6km,
still survive; they are pierced by
four gates and equipped with bas-
tions, artillery towers and other
features.

102 Let’s go Korea!


that take place here.”
“The elaborate court music played during the ritual is
called Jongmyojeryeak and it’s a UNESCO-designat-
ed Intangible Heritage,” Sanghyun said proudly.

He must’ve looked up the information before we left


in case I gave another quiz. After exploring Jongmyo,
we headed for Changdeokgung Palace, and I explained
how it’s different from other palaces.

“Changgyeonggung and Gyeongbokgung are laid out


on grids that follow pung-su. That’s Korean for feng-
shui, the ancient Asian concept of drawing on subter-
ranean energy flows in architecture. But Changdeok-
gung’s structure is a much freer form. It was built
to blend visually with the natural surrounding. It’s
smaller than the main palace but many people like
it more.”
“Everything seems to be so well in sync in Seoul:
nature, people, traditions, and the present.”
“For 600 years, Seoul has been the capital of Ko-
rea, so we honor that heritage. On the other hand,
we want the city to have global business appeal, so

Namsangol Hanok Village ▼


there are plenty of tall buildings all connected by a
high-tech infrastructure.”
“The palaces and temples are impressive, but how
did regular people live?”
“Oh, you should see Namsangol Hanok Village.”

Hanok: centuries-old, eco-friendly


houses

We took the subway to Chungmuro. There were a


lot of foreigners looking around the village. When-
ever Alex heard them wondering about the design,
he’d start up a conversation and pass on what he had
picked up so far.

“Alex, how do you like Hanok?”


“It looks awesome – very elegant and at the same
▼ Interior of hanok time relaxing.”

104 Let’s go Korea!


“You’re thinking about study-
ing architecture in college, right?
You should study how Hanok were designed
to blend harmoniously with nature. The mixture of
curves and edges on the roofs of Hanok can be car-
ried over to modern architecture as well.” Eave at Naejangsa Temple ▲

Sanghyun had clearly done his homework. He told


Alex, Haeinsa Temple
Janggyeongpanjeon

“Hanok are also good to study because the buildings


are very efficient. For example, they use an ondol
system that takes heat and smoke from a kitchen
fireplace built low to heat the entire
house. They were ingeniously
constructed to let breezes cool Haeinsa Tample is home to the
Tripitaka Koreana, the most com-
the house in the summer plete collection of Buddhist texts,
and use the energy from engraved on 80,000 woodblocks
between 1237 and 1248. The
cooking fires to heat
buildings of Janggyeongpanjeon
the rooms while cook- from the 15th century, were con-
structed to house the wood-
ing meals. Koreans
blocks, which are also revered as
still use ondol but now exceptional works of art.

World Heritage in Korea 105


boilers heat hot water that circulates
through pipes encased in concrete
floors.”
“That’s amazing.”
“Korean architects have been thinking
scientifically about how to use and pro-
tect against nature for a long time. An-
other good example is the Janggyeo-
ngpanjeon at Haeinsa Temple, which is
also a UNESCO World Heritage site.”
“That’s where the Tripitaka Koreana
is, right?”
“Daeng, ding dong: You win the bonus
round. The Janggyeongpanjeon is the
▲ Experience of Neolttuigi world’s oldest conservation deposi-
tory. Since the fifteenth century it has preserved the
woodblocks by factoring in the surrounding environ-
ment, temperature and air flow.”
“Thanks Jaehyun. I have a much deeper appreciation
for Hanok and Korean architects.”
▼ Tuhonori

Namsangol Hanok Village is in the heart of the city,


we had caught a glimpse of it at the bottom of Nam-
san when we went to the top of the mountain. And
Alex excitedly took many close-up shots of traditional
architecture. Old Korean games like neolttuigi, tuhon-
ori, and yunnori were set up for visitors to play. We
tried tuhonori. You have to throw sticks into three
vases lined up next to each other. It sounds and looks
simple, but believe me, it’s not.
We slowly walked up the hill and reached a park con-
taining a time capsule. It was buried to commemorate

106 Let’s go Korea!


the 600th anniversary of Seoul becoming the capital. Hallyu: Korean wave
An inscription said the capsule will be opened in 2394
to mark the 1,000th anniversary. Looking down from
the plaza, all the Hanok clustered below looked like
models made by architecture majors.

“It must’ve been so nice to live up here during the


Hallyu is the spread of Korean
Joseon period. The gardens, the houses, everything popular culture into foreign, usual-
feels natural. I want to live in a place like this.” ly Asian, countries. Around 2000,
when Korean dramas started be-
“I’ll study Hanok and build you a house like this ing broadcast throughout Asia,
someday, but it’s not going to be cheap,” Alex said the popularity of Korean actors
and actress, and Korean enter-
with a grin. tainment soared overseas. The
popularity of Korean dramas, pop
songs, and movies has led to in-
We visited the crafts museum and pond before leav-
terest in kimchi and red pepper
ing the village. paste, Korean ramen, and Korean
home appliances. Hallyu is inclu-
sive of foreign interest in not only
Korean popular culture but also
The Korean Wave: internationally Korean food and products.

recognized movies and dramas

I looked at my watch and saw we still had some time


before dinner. While I was trying to figure out where Korean singer, BOA ▼
to take Alex next, Sanghyun asked,

“Hyeong, why don’t we see a movie


before dinner since we’re at Chun-
gmuro?”
“Okay. That sounds like a plan.
Chungmuro’s the center of Korean
filmmaking, and Korean dramas and
movies are gaining international at-
tention.”

World Heritage in Korea 107


▼ “Old Boy” one of the Ko- “Yeah, Sanghyun’s always talking about Koreans
rean films to take awards at
international film festivals who picked up awards for directing and acting. We
watched ‘Old Boy’ because it won the Cannes Grand
Prize, but it was so dark. I liked that Korean western
better. What was it, Sanghyun?”
“In English, ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Weird,’ but
Koreans just call it ‘Nom, Nom, Nom.’”

Sanghyun said, as he used his phone to go online and


see what movies were playing nearby.

“Yeah, I liked that too. It was playing in China when


I was there, and our family watched Korean dramas
in Thailand when we were on vacation. Remember,
Sanghyun? So Hallyu has really spread Korea’s im-
age around.”
“What’s Hallyu?”
“It literally means Korean Wave. It’s a term the Tai-
wanese used to describe the big influx of Korean pop
culture that started sweeping Asia around 2000. Chi-
nese and Japanese media use that expression, too.
▼ Jeon Do-yeon receiving Koreans like to hear it because it shows our cultural
Best Actress Award at 2007
Cannes Film Festival products have advanced enough to compete glob-
ally.”
“I’ve booked three seats for a Korean movie at Dae-
han Theater. We can walk there from here. I’ve heard
its good.”
“Will it have English subtitles?”
“Oh, I didn’t think about that. Want me to see if
there’s a Hollywood film playing?”
“No, it’s ok. I’ll sit between you and get translation in
real-time and in stereo.”

108 Let’s go Korea!


As we walked to the theater, we talked about Korean films that have been
remade in Hollywood versions like “The Lake House” and “A Tale of Two Sis-
ters.” Alex wanted to see the originals, so I told him I’d get DVDs or down-
load some films with subtitles. The Korean Tourism Organization screens

Seoul Cinema theater ▼

World Heritage in Korea 109


Internationally Renowned Korean Film Festivals

Pusan International Film Festival


The Pusan International Film Festival (PIFF) be-
gan in 1996 and takes place in Busan (or Pusan)
every fall. It is Korea’s biggest international film
event and also one of Asia’s most important
film festivals. The Festival is a noncompetition
event, and it is divided into section by subjects.
PIFF is focused on
introducing new,
unique movies and
debuting third-
world directors. In
1999, PIFF estab-
lished the Pusan
Promotion Plan to
help a new direc-
tor find a funding
source.

Puchon International Fantastic


Film Festival
Bucheon (or Puchon) has developed into a city
of 800,000 in the past two decades. Now it is
working on its self-image as the representative
of culture in Gyeonggi-do with much empha-
sis on visual art and music. PiFan, starting in
1997, has grown into one of Korea’s most re-
nowned festivals and symbolizes Buchoen, a
city of culture, and a visual festival to quench
the thirst for sensibility and experiment of the
film manias in Korea.
PiFan has enjoyed with various movie organi-
zations such as the European Fantastic Film
Festival Federation (EFFFF), Yubari Internation-
al Fantastic Film Festival, and is now regarded
as the biggest genre film festival in Asia.

110 Let’s go Korea!


movies with English subtitles and one or two of the
big theaters do at special times, but I want him to be
able to keep them to remember his trip.

Kimchi, the nation’s favorite food

As soon as we got home from the movie, the smell


of food coming from the kitchen made our mouths
water.

“I’m starving from walking around all day. What’s for


dinner, Mom?”
“I made bibimbap and bulgogi. I wasn’t sure what Alex
likes, so I thought this way he’d have a choice.”

As we ate, we talked about Korean food culture.


Making baechu kimchi ▼

World Heritage in Korea 111


“Mrs. Im, I don’t think I’ve ever had a meal in Korea
without kimchi.”
“You’re right. We eat kimchi for breakfast, lunch and
dinner, any time of the year.”
“I like kimchi, but I’ll stick with cereal for break-
fast.”
“You should eat all the kimchi you can while you’re
here. It’s good for you. Because of the fermentation,
kimchi contains a lot of beneficial bacteria, kind of
like yogurt.”
“I heard many Asians started eating kimchi because
Koreans had so few cases of avian flu.”
“We think it’s because kimchi is so nutritious and
boosts the immune system.”
“But I wouldn’t want to eat the same thing all the
time.”
“There are hundreds of kinds of kimchi.”
“Great, so long as I’m here, but American super-
markets just have the main cabbage variety. Our

▼ Traditional full-course dinner school cafeteria serves Vietnamese food but no Ko-

112 Let’s go Korea!


rean dishes. If they were more widely available, I’d
eat bibimbap, bulgogi and kimchi every week. I think
students back in America would love Korean food.”

Alex showed a little too much interest in Korean food.


He gave Mom a brilliant idea to help him and her.

“Tomorrow is Sanghyun’s grandmother’s birthday.


How about you guys help out by cooking tomorrow? I
think it would be a great experience for all of you.”
“Oh, wish we could, but we don’t know how to cook,”
I said, trying to make a save.
“That’s my whole point, go online and find recipes in
English, so Alex can learn how to make some Korean
food when he goes back home. I’ll make sure you do
it right.”

Unfortunately, after dinner, Alex went online and


found a recipe for bulgogi and a blog with clear pic-
tures and detailed instructions. He seemed so happy
to learn how to cook some Korean food and do some-
thing for my family, so I printed out the pages and
said I’d help him.

Hanbok, a harmony of lines, curves


and colors

Alex was up early in the morning, getting ready to


make bulgogi. I helped Sanghyun and Alex prepare
the vegetables and the seasoning. The instruction
page that Alex found was actually very detailed. While

World Heritage in Korea 113


▲ A holiday reunion he was having fun cooking the meat on the grill, San-
ghyun and I went inside and changed into Hanbok.
We only wear it on very special occasions, and Mom
had decided this was one of those times.

“Wow, that looks really cool! Why don’t you ever


wear that back at school, Sanghyun?”
“This is just a treat for you and my grandma for her
birthday. There are no pockets in this, where would I
put my mp3 and phone?”

Before eating breakfast, we gave a big bow to Grand-


ma. Alex, remembered the bows from the temple,
and asked me to show him how to do this new one.
He followed my lead and even though he looked very
clumsy, my grandma’s face lit up with appreciation.
We ate the bulgogi that Alex prepared and the galbi
and japchae that Mom made. The bulgogi was a bit
salty but still good. It’s hard to go wrong with grilled
meat.

114 Let’s go Korea!


I brought out the family photo album after the meal
because I wanted to show Alex when Koreans normal-
ly wear Hanbok. I showed him pictures of my parents’
wedding, Sanghyun and my first birthday, and Lunar
New Year’s Day.

“Wow, those colors are wild. It’s like the mix in the
Korean spirit you were talking about. The ceremo-
nies are so formal and serious, but the clothes much
more expressive than Western suits and dresses.
Colors that I’d never think of putting together look
great on Hanbok.”
“I think the appeal comes from the curves and edg-
es. They blend the bright colors well.” Traditional robes of ▼
the king and queen of
“It’s too bad that Koreans only wear Hanbok on spe- the Joseon Dynasty

cial occasions. Designers could get as


much inspiration here as architects.”
“Nowadays there are modern Hanbok.
They aren’t as baggy as the old style
and the men’s versions even have
pockets.”
“That’s great!”
“Yeah. It’s our responsibility to keep
traditions but also make them fit in
modern times.”
“I know what you mean, Jaehyun.”

World Heritage in Korea 115


Korea’s Traditional Games

Ssireum
Ssireum is a Korean form of wrestling in which two con-
testants grab a cloth band that wraps around the waist
and one leg and try to knock over the other. The bout
is over when any part of the body other than the feet
of a contestant touches the ground. Unlike most other
sports contested in a ring, ssireum is a nonviolent sport
that requires a combination of strength and skill.

Talchum (Mask Dance)


Mask dance is a form of traditional performance. There
are different types of mask dances such as the San-
daenori Mask Dance, Hahoe Byeolsin Gut (Hahoe Byeo-
lsin Exorcism Mask Dance), and Bongsan Mask Dance.
The Sandaenori Mask Dance is especially colorful be-
cause it uses 18 different masks.

Kite Flying
Kite flying is enjoyed by many cultures around the
world. Korean kites are rectangular, and thin bamboo
strips provide sturdy structure.

Geune
Geune is a swing made by hanging ropes from two re-
ally tall pillars or trees and attaching a wooden board at
the bottom. On Dano (lunar May 5) geune contests were
held, and the winner was decided by measuring who
could swing the highest.

Jegichagi
A Jegi is made by wrapping thin paper around a coin
with a hole in the middle and shredding the paper to
make it look like a shuttlecock. Jegichagi is a contest to
see who can kick the jegi multiple times and keep it in
the air the longest.

116 Let’s go Korea!


Let’s Play Yunnori

This game is ever popular during major holi- chip lands on a space occupied by the other
days. Yunnori is basically very simple. team’s chip, the captured chip must go all the
Instead of dice or a spinner, the combination way back to the beginning and the capturer
of four sticks determines how far to move on gets another turn.
the board. The board can be set up anywhere The board is set up with shortcuts. Normally,
with chalk or a magic market. The bigger the the chips must move around counterclock-
board, the better. wise. There is a special circle, so that diagonal
The sticks are shaped like small canoes, flat shortcuts are possible depending on where
on one side and rounded on the other, with your opponents lie.
tapered ends. On the bottom (flat) side of one Each team is given only four chips no matter
stick is a special mark, called baekdo. Each how many are in the group. The captain of
team has four chips, either black or white. All each side must coordinate the strategies of
four chips of one color must go around the avoiding, attacking, and doubling to bring all
board once for the team to win. four chips around the fastest.
The number of spaces which a player can
move depends on how the sticks land after be- Yunnoripan ▼
ing tossed. When one flat side is up and three
rounded sides are up, the combination allows
one step forward. Two up and two down al-
low a forward movement of two spaces. Three
flat up and one rounded up is good for three
spaces. If all the sticks are flat side up, the
move ahead is four spaces. Finally, if all the
sticks are rounded side up, it allows a move
of five steps.
Chips move separately, unless two of the same
color land on the same space and then move
together. It is possible for all four to travel in a
pack, but the danger lies in being caught and
“eaten” by the other team’s chips, whenever a

World Heritage in Korea 117


Important Korean Holidays
New Year’s Day (January 1) Chuseok or Harvest Festival Day
(Fifteenth Day of the Eighth Month by the Lunar
Some Koreans celebrate the New Year on this offi-
Calendar)
cial holiday, while many more celebrate on the lunar
calendar’s New Year’s Day, Seollal. This is one of the great national holidays of the year.
On this day a feast is prepared and families hold
memorial services at family grave sites. Viewing the
Seollal (First Day of the First Month by the Lu- full moon is a feature of the evening.
nar Calendar)
It is one of the most important holidays in Korea like
National Foundation Day (October 3)
Christmas in the Western world. Family members
who live scattered around the nation reunite on this Called Gaecheonjeol Day, this is day when Dangun
day to spend time together. This holiday features founded the first Korean kingdom.
family rituals honoring ancestors and many tradi-
tional games.
Christmas (December 25)
Christianity took hold in Korea only in the 19th cen-
Samil Independence Movement Day
tury, so this day has less religious significance. Just
(March First)
as everywhere else, though, it is a time to exchange
This day marks the beginning of the independence greetings and gifts. Grandfather Santa, as he is
movement against the Japanese during their colo- called in Korea, is somewhat smaller in build than
nial rule. On this day in 1919, leaders of social and his Western counterpart.
religious circles gathered at a park in central Seoul
and declared Korea’s independence from the Japa-
nese colonialists.

Buddha’s Birthday (Eighth Day of the Fourth


Month by the Lunar Calendar)
Solemn rituals are held at Buddhist temples across
the country. The day’s festivities reach their climax
when monks and laymen march through city streets
with beautiful paper lanterns.

Children’s Day (May 5)


Children are the center of attention on this day as
their parents shower them with presents and take
them on outings.

Liberation Day (August 15)


Taegeukgi, the Korean national flag, fly from nearly
every building on this day, which marks the end of
the 35-year Japanese colonial rule in 1945.

118 Let’s go Korea!


Making Korean Food
Kimchi
Kimchi, pickled fermented vegetables, is a
staple of Korean food. The spicy relish can be
made with a number of different vegetables but
is most commonly made with cabbage, turnips,
and cucumbers. The vegetables are mixed with
garlic, onions, ginger, salt, red pepper, and salt-
ed fish or shrimp and allowed to ferment any-
where from a few days to many months. In late
November, Korean housewives used to pickle
great vats of kimchi to feed their families during
the long winter months.

Recipe - Baechu kimchi

1. Ingredients for kimchi. 2. Slice and wash Chinese cab-


bages and soak in salt.

3. Clean the bottoms of cab- 4. Mix seasonings with salted


bages. and fermented fish.

5. Spread seasonings evenly be- 6. Wrap the whole cabbage and


tween leaves. store in cool place.

World Heritage in Korea 119


Bulgogi (marinated, grilled beef)

Because beef was so rare in the past, dishes preparing the sauce.
like bulgogi and galbi, marinated short ribs, · Pour the sauce over the beef and rub so that
were served only on special occasions. To- each piece is thoroughly covered.
day, a trip to a galbi house is the equivalent of · The more you knead the meat in the sauce,
going out for a nice steak dinner. Fortunately, the better it will taste. Marinate for at least an
bulgogi is easy to make at home. hour in the refrigerator. And that’s it!
· Korean restaurants use a dome-shaped grill
that let’s the juices drip off to the sides when
Recipe
grilling. Save the drippings. They are delicious
· Marinate 2.5kg of sliced beef sirloin, with 3
mixed into white rice.
tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of rice
wine. The sauce is made of 4 tablespoons of
soy sauce, a dash of black pepper, 1.5 table-
spoons of minced garlic, 3 tablespoons of
chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons of ses-
ame oil, and 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds.
· The secret of making delicious bulgogi is to
tenderize the meat with sugar and wine. If you
don’t have rice wine, try sherry, or even cola.
· Let the beef marinate for half an hour while

120 Let’s go Korea!


Bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables)

Bibimbap is a meal in a bowl. Bibim means to to remove water. Cut, and saute lightly.
mix, which is how to eat the artfully arranged · For protein, place an egg sunny side up on
layers of julienned vegetables, egg, and meat each serving. Beef, sliced into small strips and
with sauce over rice. Bibimbap is the rep- sauted with minced garlic, chopped green on-
resentative dish of southwestern Jeolla-do ions, a few drops of soy sauce, and a couple
Province, famed for its arts, culture, and cui- of pinches of sugar can also be added.
sine. But there is no geographical boundary in · Make a bed of rice in each bowl. Arrange
Koreans’ love of bibimbap. some of each ingredient carefully in sections
The beauty of bibimbap is that almost any radiating from the center. Top with the ground
vegetable can be used. Cucumbers, spinach, beef, and over that lay the egg.
carrots, Korean radish, mushrooms, water- · To eat, mix all the ingredients vigorously.
cress, and other leafy vegetables, anything Add red pepper paste and sesame oil to taste
that can add to the mix of color and texture. to keep everything moist.

Recipe
· Wash all the vegetables. Peel and julienne
all root vegetables. Saute them separately in
a lightly oiled pan and season with a pinch
of salt and pepper. For spinach, boil it briefly.
Drain, and then saute as above. Leafy veg-
etables can just be cut into bite-size strips.
· Remove mushroom stems and julienne and
saute them. For the cucumber, peel and salt

World Heritage in Korea 121


visual Information
History of Korea

Korea’s history started from Gojoseon (2333 B.C.). Three Kingdoms Era
Through its 5,000-year history, Korea has developed Silla (57 B.C.- A.D. 935)
Baekje (18 B.C.- A. D. 660)
a truly distinct culture while interacting with the larger Goguryeo (37 B.C.- A.D. 668)
nations surrounding it.

Confederated Kingdoms of
Samhan (Three Han States)

Hunting Scene in Dancing Figure Tomb


(replica)
Paleolithic Age
Neolithic Age This scene portrays warriors on horse-
back hunting deer and tigers.
Hunting was a very important activity for
the welfare of the state during the Gogu-
ryeo Kingdom (37 B.C.-A. D. 668)

Gojoseon Iron Age Gaya Kingdom


Bronze Age Buyeo (42-562)

KOREA

B.C. 5000 2000 1000 500 200 100 A.D. 200 300 400 500

CHINA

Bronze Age Warring States Era (475-221) San GuoEra Sui Dynasty
Qin Dynasty (221-206) (220-280) (581-618)
Western Han Dynasty Jin Dynasty
(206 B.C.-25A.D.) (265-420)
Shang Dynasty Nan Bei Chao
(166-1046) Dynasties
(420-589)
Zhou (1046-256) Spring and Autumn Era Eastern
(770-476) Han Dynasty (25-220)
THE WEST

Early Mesopotamia Julius Caesar Birth of Mohammed


Egyptian Kingdoms (101-44) Jesus Christ (570-632)

Socrates (470-399) Anglo-Saxons


Alexander the Great (356-323) established in
Greek Civilization First Punic War (264-241) Britain (449)
The Foundation of Rome (735) Second Punic War (219-201)
Third Punic War (149-146)
Christianity Established as State
Religion of Roman Empire (392)
Roman Empire split in two (395)
Unified Silla Kingdom
(676-935) Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910)

Seokguram Grotto
Hunminjeongeum 2002 Korea-Japan
Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392)
A primer for teaching Han- World cup (2002)
geul, the Korean alphabet
created by the Joseon Dy-
nasty’s fourth ruler, King
Sejong the Great (1418-
1450)

24th Olympic games,


Seoul (1988)
The Deposotories for the Tripitaka Ko-
reana Woodblocks
Korean War
Tripitaka Koreana is the oldest and (1950-53)
most comprehensive compilation of
Buddhist scriptures in existence today.
It was carved on 81,340 woodblocks The establishment of
during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). Republic of Korea (1948)

Balhae
Kingdom
(698-926) Daehan Empire

600 700 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1800 1900 2000

Tang Dynasties Song Dynasty Yuan Dynasty Qing Dynasty Establishment


(618-907) (960-1270) (1271-1368) (1616-1911) of the People’s
Republic of China
(1949)
Wu Dai Dynasties Ming Dynasty
(907-960) (1368-1644)
Establishment of the
Republic of China
(1912)

First Crusade The One Hundred World War I (1914-18)


(1096-99) Years’ War World War II (1939-45)
(1344-1434)
American Civil War (1861-65)

Charles the Great crowned Marco Polo(1254-1324) American Revolution (1776)


first Holy Roman Emperor (800) Mangna Carta (1215) French Revolution (1789-1793)
The Thirty Years’ War (1618-48)

Hegira (622) and beginning of lslamic era Matin Luther launched the Reformation (1517)

Gutenberg’s Press (1434)


Columbus discovered America (1492)
visual Information
Korean Historical Remains

Pre-historic Period
(700,000 years ago – 400 BC)

Jumeok Dokki Bronze Ritual Artifact,


(Hand axe), Paleolithic Age Bronze Age

Bitsalmunui Togi Bipahyeong Donggeom


(Comb-pattern pottery), (Mandolin-shaped dagger),
Neolithic Age Bronze Age

The Three Kindoms and Gaya


(57 BC - AD 668)

Hunting Scene, Goguryeo

Bangasayusang
(Gilt-bronze Maitreya), Goguryeo
Geumjegwansik
(A pair of gold ornaments for
diadem of the king), Baekje

Baekjegeumdongdaehyangno
(Gilt-bronze incense burner), Baekje

Horse Rider-shaped Vessels, Silla

Gold Crown, Silla


visual Information
Unified Silla and Balhae
(668 - 935)

Mugujeonggwangdaedaranigyeong
(Pure Light Dharani Sutra), Unified Silla

Inmyeonmunuiwadang
(Eolgulmunuisumaksae),
Unified Silla

Statue of the Main Buddha


of Seokguram Grotto,
Unified Silla

Dabotap
(Many Treasures Pagoda),
Unified Silla
Goryeo
(918 - 1392)

Palmandaejanggyeong
(Tripitaka Koreana woodblock)

Buljo Jikjisimcheyojeol

Celadon Pitcher
in the Shape of a Tortoise

Inlaid Celadon Bottle

Wine Ewer
visual Information
Joseon
(1392 - 1909)

‘Clearing after the Rain on Inwang Mountain,’


by Jeong Son (1676 - 1759)

‘A Beauty,’ by Shin Yun-bok


(1758-?)

‘Portrait of Chae Che-gong (1720-99)’


aged 70, by Yi Myong-ki (1760-1820)

‘Evil-repelling Tiger,’
artist unknown, 18 C.

‘Puppies, Birds and Flowers,’


by Yi Am (early 16 C.)
Uigwe (The Royal Protocols)

Blue and White Porcelain Vase


with Bamboo and Pine Tree
Design

Buncheong Flask with Peony


Design

Seungjeongwon Ilgi Joseon Wangjosillok


Travel Information
Gyeongju Tour
Travel Information
Gyeongju Tour

Gyeongju National Museum The Divine Bell of King Seongdeok Cheomseongdae


At the Gyeongju National Mu- This bronze bell, called “The The Cheomseongdae Obser-
seum, one can get a complete Divine Bell of King Seongdeok” vatory, one of the oldest as-
view of the Silla Dynasty at a was cast in memory of King tronomical observatories of its
glance. Seongdeok and having very kind in East Asia. The obser-
The museum contains 100,000 elegant and tense looks, to- vatory consists of 362 stones
pieces of valuable relics recov- gether with a crystal-clear and which correspond to the days in
ered in and around Gyeongju. eloquent sound, it is by far the a year and the number of basic
Among them, 2,500 items are best of its kind. stars.
always on exhibit.

Anapji Pond Hwangryongsa Temple Bunhwangsa Temple


This pond was a splendid deco- Hwangryongsa Temple is the Bunhwangsa Temple was the
ration for the Silla palace. About largest one from the Silla Dy- home of many Silla monks,
30,000 treasures, including roof nasty. Among its treasures such as Wonhyo and Jajang. It
tiles, earthenware, metallic hand- were a nine-story wooden pa- was founded in 634 A.D. (in the
icrafts and images of Buddha goda, Geumdong Buddha Triad, 3rd year of Queen Seondeok).
were excavated from this pond. Geumdang mural by Solgeo, On the temple grounds, you can
and a huge bronze bell. All that find a stone pagoda built with
remains is a giant protective rocks shaped like bricks and the
stone, to remind people of the Hwajaengguksabi Monument in
magnificent scale of that time. Wonhyo’s honor.
Daereungwon Cheonmachong Bulguksa Temple Seokgulam Grotto
the tombs recall the atmosphere Bulguksa Temple, built with a Seokgulam Grotto consists of
of the ancient capital of Silla. combination of stylish architec- a square antechamber, a round
The tombs create a panoramic ture, Buddhist spirit and natural chamber and a passage con-
scene in their clusters. They surroundings, symbolizes Bud- necting the two chambers. It
were constructed during the dha’s land on earth. Bulguksa represents the universe, with
early stages of ancient Silla and Temple was built in the 10th year heaven round and the earth
have yielded many treasures. of King Gyeongdeok,751 A.D. square.
by Kim Dae-seong, in memory Sculptured in relief on granite
of his parents. It was restored to slabs, flanking the wall Bud-
its original condition in 1973. It dha and the Buddhist world,
was designated as a UNESCO are eight guardian demons, two
Cultural Heritage on December Vajurapanis (guardian gods of
6, 1995. the temple) and four ferocious
guardians.

Tomb of General Kim Yu-sin Daewangam Rock Yangdong Folk Village


Having made great contribu- Daewangam Rock is the un- Old-fashioned, pantiled-roofed
tions to the unification of the derwater tomb of King Munmu houses remain intact in this
three main kingdoms of Korea, who promised to become a sea quaint little village, with the at-
General Kim was posthumously dragon to protect Silla from Jap- mosphere of Joseon Dynasty all
awarded the honorary title of anese invaders. King Munmu around.
King Heungmu and was buried began construction of Gameun- As a typical village of Yangban
in a tomb as splendid as that sa Temple and it was completed (nobility) during the Joseon
of kings. The tomb is encircled by his son, King Sinmun. King Dynasty, there are more than
with stone lions and stone rails, Munmu willed that his body be 150 households, pavilions,
engraved with the twelve animal cremated in a simple funeral schools of Joseon and ances-
figures of the Oriental zodiac. ceremony and that his remains tral shrines. They are all laden
be buried under the large rock with antiquity.
off the east shore at Gampo.
Chapter 5
Future of Korea
From talking to Sanghyun and Jaehyun, I learned that Korean
students‛ passion for education and their parents‛ strong sup-
port and encouragement have helped transform Korea into a
global player today. Korea is full of possibilities.
Parents’ devotion to their children

I’m having a blast in Korea. Sanghyun’s family has


been awesome, and Jaehyun especially helpful. He’s
always willing to talk to me and answer questions
when Sanghyun isn’t sure about something. I’m going
back to the States in a couple of days, so we decided
to stay at home today and relax. Today we’re watch-
ing a Korean league baseball game on TV and eating
watermelon.

“You know, they didn’t teach much about Korea in


Canada and the States, but I’ve learned just how far
the country has come since I came here.”
“I’m glad.”
“When we studied Korea it was mainly a few para-
graphs about the war, but I’ve seen just how modern
and energetic the country is and how proud you are
▼ Korea leads the world in ship
construction of your heritage and how far back it goes. It’s amaz-

136 Let’s go Korea!


ing how the Korea covered in school books is so dif- Hyundai car plant ▲
in Alabama
ferent from what I see.”
“When I studied about Korea in the States, I had a
similar feeling. But I think I know the reason. The
country was dirt poor after the war, but now our
economy produce more than Australia. The growth
has been so fast that many countries’ textbooks just
couldn’t keep up. And coverage has always favored
the biggest East Asian players, China, Japan and
Russia.”
A human-like robot, HUBO ▼
“Why do you think Korea was able to develop so
quickly?”
“I think it is mainly due to Korean parents’ great pas-
sion and willingness to sacrifice for their children’s
education. No matter what the circumstances, they
have always prioritized education.”
“I saw a story on the news about Korean parents liv-
ing apart so their children could get a better educa-
tion. I can’t understand why. Isn’t the happiness of
the family also important?”
“The 21st century is being built upon knowledge. The
countries able to compete intellectually will become

Future of Korea 137


Zeal for education the global forces in the future. Korean parents know
that well and are doing everything they can to make
sure that their children grow up confident and able
to compete. We get family happiness from that se-
curity.”

Korean parents strive to provide As I listened to Sanghyun, I came to think of Korea as


better education and better op- a country whose people share a common desire and
portunities for their children and
many end up sending their chil- can accomplish much together. They bring the coun-
dren to a hakwon for extra study- try immense power and potential.
ing. A hakwon is a supplement to
the public education and provides
lectures for English, mathemat- Now I understand why there are so many Korean stu-
ics, and other academic subjects.
dents in the United States. I think it’s amazing how
Some parents send their children
abroad in order for them to ac- many come to the top schools in the States, consider-
quire better proficiency in a for-
ing South Korea is not a big country. After listening
eign language. Though in the past
most flocked to the United States, to Sanghyun, I came to appreciate Korea’s intangible
Korean students are traveling to power.
diverse countries depending on
the academic subject of interest.


138 Let’s
▲ Semiconductor go Korea! Scene
Manufacturing
KOREASAT 5, also knownofasKorea
Future MUGUNGWHA
139 5, ▲
a South Korean geostationary satellite was
launched at 03:27 UT on 2006 August 22
Traditional Korean Schools Challenges and opportunities in the
modern world

On Saturday afternoon, Sanghyun and I came to Jam-


sil to buy souvenirs. We visited the theme park Lotte
World and its museum of traditional Korean culture
Seodang, Seowon, and Hyanggyo before heading for the rides. As we waited in line, I
were education institutions in the
practiced my Korean with the kids around me. They
countryside. Seodang was equiva-
lent to the present day elementary were excited and complimented and encouraged me,
school; Seowon and Hyanggyo
but when my Korean came up short, they switched to
were similar to middle and high
schools, respectively. Also, Seowon English.
and Seodang were private schools,
while Hyanggyo was a public in-
stitution. Seowon and Hyanggyo “Sanghyun, a lot of Korean students are good at
were not only places of education speaking English.”
but also memorials for great past
scholars such as Confucius and Yi
“Of course. It’s also another product of education.
Hwang. They learn English for many years in school and take
evening classes in private schools. Even though it’s
difficult, many students give up their free time to
study till late at night. Their English is the result of a
lot of time and energy. It’s not just English; Korean
middle and elementary school students are often at
or near the top on international tests that measure
problem solving and math skills.”
“At our school, Korean students are best at math. I
didn’t know there was so much effort behind that.”
“Nothing is free in this world. Korean students really
work hard to gain an upper hand. Even in Korea,
many science and math classes are taught with Eng-
lish textbooks, so they will always be at a disadvan-
tage to native English speakers unless they learn the
language well.”

140 Let’s go Korea!


While I was talking to Sanghyun, I heard some lan-
guage that I didn’t recognize.

“Sanghyun, that doesn’t sound like Korean.”


“Yeah you’re right. I think he’s a student from Mon-
golia. The most popular study abroad destination for
Mongolian students is Korea. There are over 1,500
Mongolian students studying here. That’s a huge
number considering that the entire population of
Mongolia is under 3,000,000.”
“It must be hard to study in a country that speaks
another language. I think you guys are brave.”
“They’re not that different from you. Even though it
might be difficult at times, there is fun in challenging
yourself in a foreign country. Students in Korea are
going abroad to China and Southeast Asia as well
as the States. Of course, some students come from
those countries to study in Korea.”
“Sanghyun, it’s starting to feel like the world is re-
ally becoming one global community. Students are
studying abroad more than ever.” Village school at ▼
Cheonghak-dong Folk Village
“Yeah, I really feel it because I can
just video chat with my parents in
Korea when I’m back in school and
see them from halfway around the
world.”
“I’m glad we live in these times.
It’s exciting to think that in ten
years we’ll be working to improve
an even more globalized world.”

Future of Korea 141


▲ Many Korean students are
proficient in English
World famous Koreans:
Nam June Paik, Sarah Chang,
and Harold Hongju Koh

Sanghyun and I talked about what we wanted to be-


come in the future and different people that would be
good mentors.

“Sanghyun, who are some Koreans that you consider


global leaders?”
“You said you wanted to study at Yale, right? Well Harold Hongju Koh, Dean ▲
the Dean of Yale Law School is Harold Hongju Koh. of Yale Law School

He’s an expert in human rights, and he’s lived with


the mission to service the needy around him. He’s
a brave man who places the dignity of man before
everything else.” Nam June Paik Art Center ▼

Future of Korea 143


“I’ll do a Web search on him when I’m back in the
States. I thought you’d say the secretary-general of
the U.N. He’s Korean, isn’t he?”
“Yup. Ban Ki-moon is a great inspiration. He had
dreamed of being a diplomat since he was a kid, and
now he’s working hard for world security and peace.
He also pushes hard for human rights in troubled
countries.”
“Most famous Koreans that I know are artists. My
father majored in visual arts and was a big fan of
Nam June Paik. He said that all artists should always
challenge themselves like Paik to stay creative.”
“Oh, then you should see the memorial hall built here
for Paik and his art. As the father of video art, he
was one of the leading experimental artists of the
last century. I agree with your dad: There’s a lot to
learn from him.”
“I’m also a big fan of the soprano Sumi Jo and the
violinist Sarah Chang. I think such people that are

▼ U.N. Secretary-General, very active overseas broaden our perspective of the


Ban Ki-moon world.”

I learned about many


more prominent Koreans
and realized something
important about achiev-
ing your dreams. People
who succeed often have a
desire to serve others as
part of their goals and ef-
forts. When I said this to
Sanghyun, he looked at

144 Let’s go Korea!


me as if I had said the obvious. Korea International Coop- ▲
eration Agency (KOICA)

“Korean parents always stress one thing as they raise


their children. It’s the message to become someone
who helps others.”

I thought to myself that the world needs people who


are creative and open-minded. I also felt the im-
portance of being tolerant of other people’s cultures
and ideas. Through this trip, I felt and learned many
things. My world view has broadened to include this
country in Asia’s Far East.

“Sanghyun, I think this trip was very valuable. From


now on, the world will need more people with open
minds and hearts. And I now know that these quali-
ties come from being able to accept and understand
cultures and heritages different from our own.”

Future of Korea 145


146 Let’s go Korea!
Sanghyun and I have been sitting here for hours now talking our future
plans. I don’t think either of us will get a clear answer from this, but we
both agree that we’re one step closer to becoming a successful adult be-
cause we understand and have tolerance for others.

Future of Korea 147


Famous Korean Artists

Nam June Paik (1932~2006)


Nam June Paik was born in Korea in 1932 and studied
abroad in Germany and Japan. This innovative artist
came to be known as the first video artist. In June 1996,
Nam June Paik had a stroke, which paralyzed the left
side of his body. Despite his condition, Paik continued
his artistic career, and the German monthly magazine
“Capital” named Paik the eighth most prominent artist
in the world. In 1998, he received the Kyoto Prize for
his work in combining video and modern art. In January
2006, Paik passed away in his home in the U.S.

Sumi Jo (1962~ )
Sumi Jo, a Korean soprano, made her operatic debut
in 1986 as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto. In 1993, she won
the La Siola d’Oro Award as Best Soprano of the Year,
and in 1992 she received a Grammy Award for her lead
role in “Die Frau ohne Schatten” (The Woman Without a
Shadow). Recently in 2008, Sumi Jo was also given the
Puccini Award.

148 Let’s go Korea!


Sarah Chang (1980~ )
Sarah Chang started playing the violin at age four, and
less than a year later, she was playing in orchestras
around Philadelphia. When she was eight, Sarah audi-
tioned for Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti, who request-
ed that she play with the New York Philharmonic and the
Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1992, Sarah Chang became
the youngest person ever to win the Avery Fisher Career
Grant, which helped publicize her incredible talents.

Ahn Eak-tai (1906-1965)


A classical composer and conductor, Ahn Eak-tai was
born in Pyongyang. He studied music in Japan and the
U.S. and conducted for many esteemed orchestras such
as the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic.
In 1936, he composed the Korean national anthem. Ahn’s
most prominent work is “Symphonic Fantasy Korea.”

Future of Korea 149


visual Information
Study in Korea

Korea continues to attract international students who are


inspired by the beauty and traditions of Korea or want to
deepen their knowledge about the country. Some come to
Korea for a short time, just out of curiosity or to study Ko-
rean language; others enroll in a regular academic program
for an undergraduate, graduate, or a Ph.D. degree. Numer-
ous scholarship programs are available in Korea to help
international students finance their studies.

Admission Procedures
Since academic programs and the school year start in
March in Korea, students must check the academic start-
ing date the previous year and make necessary arrange-
ments a year prior to the start of the academic year. Infor-
mation can be obtained through Korea Study Fair or from
the websites of the Ministry of Education and Human Re-
sources Development (www.studyinkorea.go.kr) or individ-
ual universities. After deciding which university to attend,
students must submit their application package before
being admitted by the school. Then, after admission, they
can visit the Korean Embassy or a Korean consulate for a
visa. For more information on visa requirements, visit the
website of the Korea Immigration Bureau (www.immigra-
tion.go.kr).
Korea Education System

Curriculum
Cumulative School
AGE Major Special
Years General Year
Curriculum Curriculum
3

4
Pre-school
Kindergarden Special School
Education
5

7 1 1

8 2 2

9 3 3
Primary Elementary
Special School
10 4 Education School 4

11 5 5

12 6 6

13 7 1
Special School
Middle
14 8 Civil Education School 2
School
Various Middle Schools
15 9 3
Secondary
Education Special School
16 10 1
National Open High
17 11 High School School Technical High 2
School Various High
18 12 Schools 3

19 13 Junior College (2-3years) 1


Industrial University
20 14 University University of Education 2
(Bachelor
21 15 Technical University 3
Degree)
Distant University National
22 16 Open University 4
Higher
23 17 Graduate 1
Education
School Special School
24 18 (MA Dgree) 2

25 19 1
PhD
26 20 Special School 2

27 21 3
Travel Information
Educational Tour

DMZ Tours

A s part of the armistice ending the 1950-53 Korean War, South and North Korea agreed
to pull their troops two kilometers away from the truce line. This created a 4-km-wide
demilitarized zone (DMZ) running 248 km (155 miles) across the peninsula. It has become
the most heavily armed border in the world. As one of the last relics of the Cold War, the
DMZ attracts a great deal of public interest. Korea DMZ tourist sites have been created
to quench peoples’ curiosity on this unique area where tension and peace coincide. These
sites are especially popular among foreign tourists.

Dorasan Station Imjingak Imjingak Pyeonghoa-nuri Park

Location: Paju-si, Imgingak, Gyeonggi-do


Program
· Imjingak
Imjingak was built in 1972 with the hope that someday unification would be possible. Three-storied
Imjingak is surrounded by Unification Park and North Korea Center.

· The 3rd Tunnel


The 3rd tunnel was discovered on October 17, 1978. It is located 52km from Seoul. Approximately
10,000 soldiers could have move through this tunnel in 1 hour.

· Dorasan Station
Dorasan Train Station is the northernmost Gyeongui-seon (Seoul-Sinuiju) Line train station in South
Korea. From this observation platform, North Korean military personnel are visible.

· Bridge of Freedom
The bridge is the only remaining legacy of peace in the Korean War as it holds the symbolic signifi-
cance of the “Return to Freedom.”

( Paju City Hall 82-31-940-4114


8 en.paju.go.kr
Cheonghak-dong Village School

T he village school camp at Cheonghak-dong is centered on learning manners and re-


spect for elders. Since its inception, a Korean village school wasn’t just a place of
academia for children; it was a place of learning the virtues of life, self, and community.
Jirisan Mountain gave a great environment for learning the science and philosophies of
living amongst nature. Cheonghak-dong camp is a modernized version of the traditional
Korean village schools, and it offers a variety of programs such as a meditation course
and an etiquette learning class. The program is available during summer and winter vaca-
tions and as an alternative school as well.

Experience of Gungdo Cheonghak-dong Museum Folk Village

Location: Hadong-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do


Program
· Etiquette: learning how to deep bow, phone etiquette, tea-ceremony etiquette, dining
etiquette
· Humanity: meditation, calligraphy, mental training, candlelight ceremony
· Language: Fundamental Chinese
· Experience: tour of Cheonghak-dong Simsungung, pansori, balsam nail dyeing, water
recreation, bamboo water pistols, farming, baking potatoes and sweet potatoes, natural
dyeing, pottery making
· Traditional games: kite flying, seesawing, board game, Chinese chess, swing, jump
ropes, arrow-toss game, taekkyeon
· Miscellaneous: insect collecting, talent show
Yennal Seodang Myeongsim Seodang
( 82-55-882-7177 8 www.chenghak.co.kr ( 82-55-882-7042 8 www.myuongsimseodang.com
Gomokdang Seulgi Seodang
( 82-55-884-1020 8 www.gomokdang.co.kr ( 82-55-882-7075 8 www.islgi.org
Gounwon Seodang Susinjeong Seodang
( 82-55-884-7002 8 www.kounwon.co.kr ( 82-55-884-6179 8 www.susin.co.kr
Cheongrim Seodang Punggyoheon
( 82-55-883-8077 8 www.chunglim.org ( 82-55-883-5970 8 www.chunghag.co.kr
Unbong Seodang Munhwawon
( 82-55-883-5142 8 www.iseodang.co.kr ( 82-55-883-5152 8 www.cheunghak.co.kr
Travel Information

Ceramic Art Village in Icheon

I n Icheon (or Ichon) an hour’s drive from Seoul is a large community of ceramic artists.
Tours to this art village provide visitors a chance to make their own piece of pottery
while learning the steps needed to turn a lump of clay into a beautiful piece of art. If un-
satisfied with your own handmade souvenir, there are plenty of shops carrying a range
of ceramic goods large enough to satisfy all tastes and budgets. Icheon is also home to a
major ceramics festival and museum.

Firing a Piece Ceramic Kiln Creating Ceramic Art

Location
Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Program
· Presentation on Korean traditional pottery (history, characteristics)
· How to make ceramics with a potter’s wheel
· Making your own pottery under the supervision of a potter
· Lunch –a visit to an exposition hall and shopping
· A Visit to the Ceramics Museum or World Ceramics Center

( 82-70-8232-2299
 ichontour@ichontour.com
8 www.ichontour.com
Suncheon Bay

S uncheon Bay on the south coast in Jeollanam-do Province is gaining popularity as an


eco-tourist destination. The pristine estuary is the winter habitat to rare birds like the
hooded crane, white stoke, blackfaced spoonbill and a white heron. In addition thousands
of migratory birds make stops at the bay.
The Marine Fisheries Department declared the area protected wetlands in December
2000 and had it registered in the International Network for Preserving Cranes in 2004. In
January 2006, Suncheon Bay became the first Korean wetlands to be part of the Ramsar
Convention, an international agreement to protect swamps and wetlands vital to the pres-
ervations of migratory birds.
The dense reeds and tidal flats teeming with life along Suncheon Bay not only provide
birds important shelter and nourishment, the habitat is strikingly beautiful. Korean pho-
tographers have voted shots of the fading sun reflected in the sinuous curves the streams
that feed the bay make across its mudflats at low tide one of the best sunset shots on the
peninsula.

Suncheon Bay Crab at Suncheon Bay Suncheon Bay at Sunset

Location
Suncheon Bay, Jeollanam-do

Program
· Sensational watercolor trip
Ecological Park, making natural art, Suncheon Bay cruise, making kimchi, Experience
Suncheon Bay S sea road and sunset, Nakan-eub Fortress, Korean paper art experience,
Seonamsa Temple, tea ceremony experience .
· Biology study Trip
- Environment Experience Course: Seonamsa Temple, Nakan-eub Fortress, Dolmen
Park, Myeongseolwon tea ceremony experience.
- Biology Experience Course: Suncheon Bay Ecology Hall, mountain village experience
at Cheongsogol.

( Suncheon City Cultural Publicity 82- 61-749-3328/82-61-749-3742


8 www.suncheonbay.go.kr
Travel Information

Cheonsuman Bay: Heaven of Birds

C heonsuman Bay is Korea’s largest habitat of about 320 species of 700,000 migratory
birds (max. per day). Cheonsuman Bird Watching Fair held in an ecological treasure
chest field with a tremendous array of beauty.
Wild geese filling a field, a beautiful dance of about 300,000 Baikal Teals, a bewitching
figure of some 50 Eurasian Spoonbills, mallards, and storks will show you an incredible
world of birds. Your spirits will also soar in Cheonsuman Bay amid all the beautiful flying
scenes.
You will see a new world of nature in Korea’s best bird watching fair. Show your children
the mystery and preciousness of life in living observatory.

Seosan Cheonsuman Bay Migratory Birds Seosan Cheonsuman Bay

Location: Seosan, Chungcheongnam-do

Program
· Visit Cheonsuman Ecological Center
· Birds watching tour
· Tea party
· Enjoy local delicacies
· Make sotdae
· Kite making
· Earthen totem pole making

Date: October

( 82-41-669-7744
8 www.seosanbird.com
Taekwondo Tour

T he Taekwondo experiential program for foreigners is held three times a day (10:30,
13:30, and 15:30, except Mondays) in Gyeonghuigung Palace until December. Each 90-
minute session accommodates up to 40 people. The sessions each offer a different pro-
gram: the 10:30 session covers basic taekwondo moves; the 13:30 session, self-defense
techniques; and the 15:30 session, breaking techniques. Participants can choose one or
more sessions or take part in all three. Everyone receives a taekwondo certificate and
badge upon completion of the session.

In addition to the taekwondo experiential program, why not try the Taekwondo Cultural
Performance, which is staged on the lawn of Gyeonghuigung Palace every Wednesday and
Saturday from 13:30 to 15:00 until December this year. Events include nori madang (tradi-
tional folk performance), taekwondo demonstrations and classes, and Korean traditional
music. In particular, the Taekwondo Program features a group of top taekwondo masters
from Kukkiwon who will demonstrate breaking and self-defense techniques. Prior to the
event, taekwondo photos will be exhibited from 10 am, and visitors will have a chance to
try on a taekwondo uniform.

Taekwondo Tour Taekwondo Show Taekwondo Show

Location: Gangnam Subway Station ( Seoul Subway No.2) walk for 15-minute

Program
· Meditation
· Basic Techniques
· Self-Defense Skills
· Breaking Skills
· Matching

( Kukkiwon 82-2-567-1058
8 www.kukkiwon.or.kr
Travel Information

Temple Stay

T o play a leading active role in the cultural age of the 21st century, the Jogye Order of
Korean Buddhism’s Temple Stay Division concentrates activities on traditional cultural
affairs and on the development and fostering of resources. The division is making rapid
progress in fulfilling this role on the basis of Korean Buddhism’s history and cultural re-
sources, both tangible and intangible. In particular, through the Temple Stay program, the
Temple Stay Division offers participants the opportunity to experience traditional Korean
Buddhist culture. Simultaneously, the program provides a solid foundation for the popu-
larization and appreciation of traditional culture in daily life.
Currently there are 43 temples participating in the program nationwide. The basic 24-
hour program (including overnight stay) can be simplified to half-day program (3.5 hours),
or extended to 3- and 4-day experiences. Six temples are always open to individual par-
ticipants while groups may make reservations at any temple all year long.

Program

Devotional Chanting at Yebul, Communal Buddhist Meal Service


Ceremonial Service (Barugongyang)
Yebul is a ceremonial service to praise Barugongyang is a unique and special way
Buddha. This solemn ceremony is held of eating in Korean temples. At this com-
three times a day munal meal practice the meal is eaten in
total silence, and not a single grain of rice
is wasted.

Zen Meditation (Chamseon) Tea Ceremony (Dado)


Zen is known as “Chamseon” in Korean. Making and enjoying good tea is one of the
Chamseon is a form of meditation that al- practices of the Buddhist religion.
lows a person to reflect about oneself.
Resevation: eng.templestay.com

Beomeosa Temple Busan 82-51-508-3122~5 www.beomeosa.co.kr


Beopjusa Temple Boeun 82-43-543-3615 www.beopjusa.or.kr
Bogwangsa Temple Paju 82-31-948-7700~1 www.bokwangsa.co.kr
Bongeunsa Temple Seoul 82-2-511-6070~4 www.bongeunsa.org
Bongjeongsa Temple Andong-si 82-54-853-4181 www.bongjeongsa.org
Busuksa Temple Seosan-si 82-41-662-3824 www.busuksa.com
Chooksersa Temple Bongwha-gun 82-54-672-7579 www.chooksersa.org
Daeheungsa Temple Haenam-gun 82-61-535-5775 www.daeheungsa.co.kr
Gangwha Lotus Lantern Incheon 82-32-937-7033 www.lotuslantern.net
Gapsa Temple Gongju-si 82-41-857-8981 www.gapsa.org
Geumsansa Temple Gimjae-si 82-63-548-4441~2 www.geumsansa.org
Golgulsa Temple Gyeongju 82-54-744-1689 www.golgulsa.com
Haeinsa Temple Hapcheon 82-55-934-3110,5 www.80000.or.kr/eng
Hongbeopsa Temple Busan 82-51-508-345 cafe.daum.net/CulturalActivity
Jakwangsa Temple Daejeon 82-42-822-9220 www.jakwangsa.org
Jikjisa Temple Gimcheon-si 82-54-436-6084 www.jikjisa.or.kr
Jogyesa Temple Seoul 82-2-732-5292 international.jogyesa.or.kr
Magoksa Temple Gongju-si 82-41-841-6221,6 www.magoksa.or.kr
Mihwangsa Temple Haenam-gun 82-61-533-3521 www.mihwangsa.com
Naesosa Temple Buan-gun 82-63-583-3035 www.naesosa.org
Pyochungsa Temple Milyang 82-55-352-1070 www.pyochungsa.or.kr
Samhwasa Temple Donghae-si 82-33-534-7676 www.samhwasa.or.kr
Sileuksa Temple Yeoju 82-31-885-2505 www.silleuksa.org
Sudeoksa Temple Yeosan 82-41-337-6565 www.sudeoksa.com
Whaeomsa Temple Gurye-gun 82-61-783-7600 www.hwaeomsa.org
Whagyesa Temple Seoul 82-2 900-4326 www.seoulzen.org
Woljeongsa Temple Phyeongchang-gu 82-33-332-6664~5 www.woljeongsa.org
Yongjoosa Temple Hwaseong 82-31-234-0040 www.yongjoosa.or.kr
Yongmungsa Temple Yangpyeong 82-31-773-3797 www.yongmunsa.org
Youngpyungsa Temple Gongju 82-41-857-1854 www.youngpyungsa.org
Travel Information

Daejeon Science Tour

Expo Park
8 www.expopark.co.kr
The Expo Park, with its focus on science and the future, enhances the consciousness of
the importance of science in many young people’s minds and upholds the spirit of the ‘93
Expo. In the park, there are many popular pavilions, such as the Space Reconnaissance
Flight Hall, the Technopia Hall, the Hanbit Tower, the Earth Hall, the Expo Memorial Hall,
the Information and Communication Hall, the Electric Energy Hall, the Natural Life Hall,
and the Energy Hall.

Daedeok Science Town


8 www.dtv21.co.kr
Daedeok Science Town is an incubator of advanced research in science and technology.
Various government and private industry research centers located here are leading Korea
into the 21st century, as a high-ranking scientific research nation.
In this area of 6849.5 acres in Yuseong-gu in Daejeon, there are many science and educa-
tion institutes and culture centers, such as the National Central Science Museum, the
Currency Museum, Chungnam University, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and
Technology. With the newly reopened Expo Science Park, this complex has developed into
a home for science, education, and culture in Korea.
Daedeok Science Town was officially named Daedeok Valley in September 28, 2000. Dae-
deok Valley is expected to play an important role as the ‘Silicon Valley of Asia.’

Daejeon Observatory
8 star.metro.daejeon.kr
The Daejeon Observatory offers people opportunities to observe celestial bodies. This
observatory is the first of its kind in Korea in terms of accessibility for ordinary people to
observe astronomy. The observation of the sun can be made during the day, and during
the night observations of other celestial bodies such as planets, nebulas, and clusters of
stars, the Miky Way are available through its astronomical telescopes.

National Science Museum


8 www.science.go.kr
The National Science Museum plays a role as the cradle of scientific education. It has
a standing exhibition hall, a special exhibition hall, a research-control hall, a celestial
sphere hall, a movie theater, an audio-visual room and a computer room. These facilities
contribute to scientific knowledge, to education of people by the accumulation of science
and technology, and to popularization of a living science.

Currency Museum
8 www.komsep.com/museum/
Located in Daedeok Science Town, the Currency Museum shows not only the 100-year his-
tory of national currency but also Olympic commemorative coins and present currency. It
was opened in 1988 with almost 80,000 coins and bills from different currencies.
Daejeon Institute of Education Science
Located in an area of more than 49,500m², this Research Institute has training facilities
for teachers and various pavilions for exploring life, the universe, solar system, and com-
puters as well as a pavilion for experiencing fundamental science. It offers rich sights to
see and enjoy through such imaginary experiences as functional structure of the body, a
growth of the fetal life, and a sensor robot.

Daejeon Science Festival


The Science Festival, the largest-scale ever in Korea, is to be held at the Expo Park in Dae-
jeon in August. It will provide a variety of events for visitors with a curious and enthusiastic
mind toward science, some of which are science-experiencing programs. As the festival
includes programs ranging from practical science to traditional ones visitors, regardless
of gender and age, can enjoy the festival.
There are about 50 events to attract our interest in science. These events offer opportuni-
ties for children and adults to enjoy most scientific fields such as popular imaginary life,
three-dimensional film, basic science, and space science. Through the Health Life Event
and the Bio Engineering Experience Exhibition that shows the genome of human beings,
the festival makes science easily accessible and fun.

Entrance to the Expo Park Science Festival Tower of Great Light

(  Daejeon Tourist Information Center: 82-42-861-1330


Tourist Division of Daejeon Metropolitan City: 82-42-600-2433
Daejeon Tourist Association: 82-42-226-8413

8 tour.daejeon.go.kr/english
Epilogue

yun,
Dear Sangh
ll.
I h o p e e v e ryone is we
a so much! all my
I miss Kore y a n d tried to c
s u b w a y
th e r d a y I was in the r o u g h , s o I thought m
The o going th service bar
I
e n ts . T h e c all wasn’t h e c k e d m y
par when I c sub-
h o n e w a s b roken. But ’ t w o r k in New York’s
p don a, I’m
cell phones mer in Kore
remembered t a w h o le s u m
re.
having spen s around he
way. After us e d to th in g
ble getting ’t
having trou K o r e a n food. I didn
craving is , but
n o th e r th in g I’ve been w h il e I w as in Korea
A much e more
ked it this h there wer
realize I li te s , I w is
a t I ’m b a ck in the Sta e k m y p a r ents visited
now th Last w e er
e a n r e s ta u rants here. n d b ib im b ap. The wait
Kor galbi a ered
n d I to o k them to eat r e a d th e m enu and ord
a nI why he
pressed whe ht have been
was really im k th a t m ig t
th in g in K orean. I thin e v e th a t I still haven’
ever y an’t beli ibly
v e u s f r e e dessert. I c I t’ s r e a ll y an incred
ga angeul.
e n h ow to read H er.
f o r g o tt
t to le a r n and rememb
e to a
easy alphab s a b le to develop in
e a w a t
ld m e b e f ore that Kor o n . B u t I r ealized tha
You to f educati just
o n g n a ti o n because o d im p r o v e ment isn’t
str ent an e you
o r e a ’ s r a p id developm a b le to f e el it becaus
K ot be
You might n
about that.

162 Let’s go Korea!


were raised
in that conte
thousands o xt, but I wa
f years of s able to de
into the eve history and tect the
ryday lives h eritage emb
of Koreans. edded
I had an e
ye-opening
a chance fo experience
r me to bec this summe
countries’n ome more a r. It was
cultures, ph p preciative
ilosophies, of other
Do you kno and lifesty
w that Dus les.
Man?”Watc tin Hoffma
h it if you h n movie“L
stand that aven’t. If y ittle, Big
I mean this ou do, you’ll
Korea is Lit as a big co under-
tle, Big Cou mpliment w
ntry. h e n I say
Thanks for
being a gre
gards! at host. Giv
e your famil
y my re-
See you in S
eptember, d
ude.

Alex

Welcom to Korea 163


Epilogue

Dear Alex,

the letter! at time when


Thanks for e m b e r e d th
and rem the first tim
e.
a s e a ti n g lunch today p s ti c k s f o r
Iw cho iated
s e d K o rea’ s thin metal u t I r e ally apprec
y o u u a fo r k , b
e just used re.
You could’v e xp e r ie n ce our cultu
nted to t time in
that you wa u had a grea
th a t y o !I
r e a ll y g la d to hear n g w it h you as well
I’m un trav e li . We
o r e a . I h a d lots of f ta k e n a li king to you
K also ust’ve
andma has y, and she m
think my gr lu n c h to d a he
g a lb i a n d japchae for w h e n y o u were here. S
had g both
m e m b e r e d you devourin
re
ses you. t. She
said she mis o r c h e stra concer
f our la s t ang.”
r the DVD o e was“Arir
I showed he e f in a l p ie c it
r e a ll y to u ched that th n o w s , b u t she thought
was orean k students we
re
s a s o n g that every K a t f o r e ig n
It’ ing th part
a s p a r ti c u larly touch e d s e v e r a l times the
w watc h ying the
piece. She and I’m pla
playing the c la r in e t h
e y o u ’r e p laying the m e . I w a s watching wit
wher same ti ony
m p e t to g ether at the e d iv e r s it y and harm
tr u at’s th erent
realized th in g that diff
her, and I sr e a ll y m o v
about. It wa
that we talk

164 Let’s go Korea!


instruments
producing th
gether to cr eir own sou
eate a beau nds could c
tiful harmo ome to-
The summer n y .
is almost o
time for tra ver already
veling. May ! I wish we
ada during be you can had more
winter brea show me aro
to visit and k! I would lo und Can-
learn abou ve to have a
And Jaehyu t a differe chance
n says hello nt country
. as well.
Enjoy what’
s left of s
school. I’m ummer and
looking for I’ll see you
go easy on ward to you back in
the soy sauc c ooking bulg
e this time. ogi, but
Later, dude
.

Sanghyun

Welcom to Korea 165


Korea Tour guide

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Arriving in Korea

International Flights
There are nine international airports in Korea:
Incheon, Gimpo, Gimhae, Cheogju, Daegu, Gwangju, Yangyang, Muan and Jeju
International Airports.
Incheon International Airport services flights to all parts of the world, but the oth-
ers only service Asia. An airport tax of 17,000 won for international flights and
₩4,000 or ₩5,000 for domestic flights is included in the ticket price.
For more details, visit www.airport.co.kr or call 1577-2600

Korea City Air Terminals


City air terminals can be found at the World Trade Center in Seoul and Gimpo
Airport. They Provide check-in service and passport inspection.
A limousine bus operates between the city air terminals and Incheon International
Airport. For further information, visit www.kcat.co.kr

International Sea Routes


Busan in the country’s largest port and second largest city. This international
seaport is Korea’s main maritime gateway (mostly to and from Japan). Another
international port is Incheon, which operates services to China. Temporary entry
is permitted for private cars with the proper documentation belonging to visi-
tors that arrive by ferry. There are also high-speed hydrofoils plying the Busan-
Fukuoka route.

168 Let’s go Korea!


To and From Incheon International Airport
Built on an extensive reclaimed tidal flat between two islands. Incheon Interna-
tional Airport is situated 52km west of downtown Seoul and some 15km off the
coast of the port city of Incheon. It operates 24 hours a day. The international air-
port code is ICN, which is abbreviated “iia” or “IIA.” Limousine buses may be the
best way to travel at a minimal expense to and from various places around Korea.
Information and tickets are available at the Transportation Information Counters
near exits No. 3, 12 on the arrival floor of the passenger terminal.

Domestic Flights
Korea has a well-developed domestic flight network served by Korean Air and
Asiana Airlines linking 15 major cities.

Korean Air 82-1588-2001 www.koreanair.com


Asiana Airlines 82-1588-8000 www.flyasiana.com

Domestic Ferry Boats


Boats are one of the most interesting ways to travel around Korea. Ferries ply
the waterways between Busan and Jeju, Mokpo and Hongdo, Pohang and Ul-
leungdo, etc. For further information on sea routes, times or fares, please contact
the Korea Shipping Association (Tel: 82-2-6096-2000) or ferry terminals below.

Busan 82-51-660-0256 Tongyeong 82-55-648-1887


Incheon 82-32-880-7573 Mokpo 82-61-240-6011
Pohang 82-54-245-1800 Yeosu 82-61-663-0117
Geoje 82-55-682-0116 Jeju 82-64-720-8500

Korea Tour Guide 169


Transportations

Trains
Passenger trains operated by the Korean National Railroad are fast, reliable and
very inexpensive by international standards. There are the KTX, a super high-
speed train operating at speeds of 300km/h, super express Saemaeul and ex-
press Mugunghwa.
Trains are usually full on weekends and holidays, so reservations and advance
purchases are advisable at railroad stations or tour agencies such as Hanjin
Travel Service (Tel: 82-2-726-5541) at the KTO Tourist Information Center. Some
of the major railroad stations have special ticket counters for overseas visitors.
Timetables and fares are available at Korail (www.korail.go.kr).

Buses

Long Distance Express Buses

Three express bus terminals serve Seoul: Seoul Express Bus Terminal (Gangnam
Gosok Terminal), Dong Seoul Bus Terminal and Sangbong Bus Terminal. Seoul
Express Bus Terminal is the main bus depot for trips between Seoul and other
major cities. It is on Subway Line 3 or 7 at the station of the same name. Dong
Seoul Bus Terminal operates similar routes but with less frequent service and
fewer destinations, adjacent to Gangbyeon Station on Subway Line 2.
The Sangbong Bus Terminal serves Cheongju, Daejeon, Jeonju or Gwangju and
is near Sangbong Station on Subway Line 7. Deluxe express buses are some-
what more expensive than regular buses, but they are popular for their spacious
seats and facilities such as mobile phones and in-route movies.

Intercity Buses

Korea has an extensive intercity bus system connecting almost every city and
town. These buses do not provide special facilities for foreign travelers, there is
no English timetable, and the seats are more cramped than express buses, but
for adventurous visitors they are an interesting way to get closer to the spirit and
lifestyle of the Korean people. Intercity bus terminals are usually located within
express bus terminals in major cities and near the downtown area in small cit-
ies.

170 Let’s go Korea!


City Buses

The bus system differs slightly from city to city in Korea. There are two types, reg-
ular local and seated coach buses, and both are numbered according to routes.
The bus system is so extensive that buses go virtually everywhere in every city.
Since bus signs are written only in Hangeul, finding the right bus can be confus-
ing for the first-time visitor.
Hotel staff can assist in choosing the correct bus and bus stop for your destina-
tion. Fares can be paid as you board with ₩1,000 or a transportation card.
To stop the bus at your destination, push one of the stop buttons located along
the interior of the bus as you approach your stop. It may be better to let the driver
know your destination. Ask someone to write It down for you to hand him as
you board. City express coaches called jwaseok buses stop less frequently and
travel more rapidly through congested areas. The fare for the city express coach
is about ₩1,800.

Subway

There are excellent subway train systems in Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do Prov-
ince, Busan, Daegu and Gwangju. The subway is the most efficient and conve-
nient way for travelers to get around the city. Station names, ticket windows and
transfer signs are all clearly marked in English.

Regular taxis

Fares are ₩1,900 for the first 2 km and 100 won for each additional 144 meters.
If the taxi is going 15 kilometer per hour or less, the charge is 100 won per each
35 seconds. The fare between Incheon International Airport and downtown Seoul
is usually around 45,000 won, and 55,000 won for the jamsil area (although it
could be higher in heavy traffic), plus a 7,400 won toll. Fares increase 20% be-
tween midnight and 4 am. Taxi stands are ubiquitous around the cities, and they
may also be hailed almost anywhere on the streets except at a bus stop or a
congested area.

Korea Tour Guide 171


Subway Map Seoul

172 Let’s go Korea!


Korea Tour Guide 173
Subway Map Other Cities

Busan

Daegu

174 Let’s go Korea!


Daejeon

Gwangju

Korea Tour Guide 175


Accommodations

Guest Houses for Backpackers

For foreign tourists visiting Korea, guest houses offer quality lodging services at
low prices (around ₩15,000-40,000 per night). Convenient facilities such as mi-
crowave oven, gas range, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner, TV, PC
are available for use and complimentary breakfast will be served. Also, one can
experience various cultures and languages with friends from many countries in a
friendly atmosphere.

An-guk Guesthouse 82-2-736-8304 www.angukhouse.com


Arirang Gusethouse 82-2-3136-2503 www.guesthouseinseoul.com
Beewon Guesthouse 82-2-765-0670 www.beewonguesthouse.com
Guesthouse Korea 82-2-3675-2205 www.guesthouseinkorea.com
Happy Road Guesthouse 82-2-3672-0579 www.ihappyroad.com
HEY Guesthouse 82-2-948-8810 www.heyguesthouse.com
Holiday in Korea Guesthouse 82-2-3672-3113 www.holidayinkorea.com
Hostel Korea 82-2-762-7406 www.hostelkorea.com
Myong Dong Guesthouse 82-2-3672-3113 www.mdguesthouse.com
Namsan Guesthouse 82-2-752-6363 www.namsanguesthouse.com
Seoul Backpackers 82-2-3672-1972 www.seoulbackpackers.com
Stay Korea 82-2-336-9026 www.staykorea.co.kr
Traveler’s A 82-2-2285-5511 www.travelersa.com
Young Home 82-2-927-5546 www.guesthouse-homestay.com

Homestays

A homestay, called minbak in Korean, is a great way to experience Korean cul-


ture firsthand. There are many families who are willing to share their home and
lifestyle with foreigners and in turn, learn about foreign culture and form inter-
national friendships. Host families are available who speak English, Japanese,
Chinese, Spanish, French, and German.

176 Let’s go Korea!


Go Homestay
Tel 82-2-6092-8147 Fax 82-2-6092-8150 www.gohomestay.com
Korea Youth Exchange Promotion Association
Tel 82-2-2665-6717 Fax 82-2-2665-6312 www.kyepa.or.kr
LEX Youth Korea
Tel 82-2-538-9660 Fax 82-2-568-6738 www.lex.or.kr; lexkor@unitel.co.kr
LABO Korea
Tel: 82-2-736-0521 Fax 82-2-359-0527 www.labostay.or.kr; labo@labo.or.kr

Hanok Stays

Visitors also can stay at a hanok (traditional Korean house). It is a good opportu-
nity for overseas visitors to experience traditional lifestyle. All furniture, windows
and interior structures are reproductions of a traditional Korean house. Traditional
sleeping pads and quilts are provided. Jirye Artists’ Colony and Suaedang in
Andong have beautiful natural surroundings. Rakgojae, Woorichip Guest House,
Seoul Guest House, Tea Guesthouse in Seoul, and Saehwagwan and Yansajae in
Jeonju are located inside a hanok village. For Rakkojae, rates are over ₩150,000
per room (breakfast, laundary service, tea ceremony, house made spirit included),
but for most others, rates are under ₩100,000 per room (breakfast included).

Bukchon Guest house 82-2-743-8530 www.bukchon72.com


Friends House 82-2-3673-1515 www.friends-house.com
Jirye Artists’ Colony 82-54-857-2590 www.jirye.com
Rakgojae 82-2-742-3410 www.rkj.co.kr
Saehwagwan 82-63-287-6300 www.saehwagwan.com
Seoul Guest House 82-2-745-0057 www.seoul110.com
Suaedang 82-54-822-6661 www.suaedang.co.kr
Tea Guesthouse 82-2-3675-9877 www.teaguesthouse.com
Woorichip Guest House 82-2-744-0536 woorichip1043@hanmail.net
Yangsajae 82-63-282-4959 www.jeonjutour.co.kr

Korea Tour Guide 177


Accommodations Youth Hostels
There are 69 youth hostels in Korea. All are members of the Korea Youth Hostel
Association. They offer reasonably priced rooms for economy-minded travel-
ers and students. The charge for one night ranges from about ₩12,000-25,000,
which is much cheaper than any other accommodations.
Korea Youth Hostel Association (02)725-3031 (02)725-3113; www.kyha.or.kr

District Name Tel. Fax. Location


Dreamtel (02)2667-0535 (02)2667-0744 Gangseo-gu
Seoul International Seoul (02)319-1318 (02)319-1314 Jung-gu
Olympic Parktel (02)410-2114 (02)410-2101 Songpa-gu
Ganghwa (032)933-8891 (032)933-9335 Ganghwa-gun
Incheon
Kanghwa Namsan (032)934-7777 (032)934-7782 Ganghwa-gun

Daejeon Yuseong (042)822-9591 (042)823-9965 Yuseong-gu

Gwangju Gwangsangu (062)943-4378 (062)943-4379 Gwangsan-gu

Busan Busan Arpina (051)740-3212 (051)740-3205 Haeundae-gu


Bearstown (031)532-2534 (031)540-5075 Pocheon-gun
Blumonte (031)472-8106 (031)472-8106 Anyang
Gangchon (033)262-1201 (031)262-1204 Yangju-gun
Goyang (031)962-9578 (031)962-9579 Goyang
Greencamp (031)582-5304 (031)582-3324 Gapyeong-gun
Home Bridge Cabin (031)320-8841 (031)320-9747 Yongin
Home Bridge Hillside (031)320-8849 (031)320-8843 Yeoncheon-gun
Gyeonggi-
Imjingang (031)835-0057 (031)835-0067 Gapyeong-gun
do
Iryeong Shalom (031)835-8011 (031)855-7085 Yangju-gun
Kimpo Riding Club (031)987-1110 (031)987-2978 Gimpo
Korean Folk Village (031)285-6994 (031)286-4051 Yongin
Kwanglim Seminar House (031)544-0515 (031)544-0519 Pocheon-gun
Sangcheon Eden (031)581-3900 (031)581-3900 Gapyeong-gun
Songchu (031)871-4900 (031)876-4144 Yangju-gun
Yangji Pine (031)338-2001 (031)338-7897 Yongin
Chiaksan Dreamland (033)732-1600 (033)732-6888 Wonju
Dunnae (033)343-6487 (033)343-6487 Pyeongchang-gun
East Seoul Respia (033)732-4282 (033)732-4282 Sokcho
Hyundai Seong-U (033)340-3000 (033)340-3171 Jaecheon
Gangwon- Kiwa (033)263-1151 (033)263-9692 Hongcheon-gun
do
Mt. Seorak (033)636-7115 (033)636-7107 Sokcho
Naksan (033)430-7847 (033)671-4620 Hongcheon-gun
Pyeong Chang (033)332-7501 (033)332-8003 Pyeongchang-gun
Utopia (033)344-3456 (033)345-7812 Hongcheon-gun

178 Let’s go Korea!


Vivaldi Park (033)732-3700 (033)435-8304 Pyeongchang-gun
Yongpyeong Hostel (033)335-5757 (033)335-6600 Pyeongchang-gun
Sobaeksan (043)421-5555 (043)421-3860 Boeun-gun
Chung Sokrisan i-Sarang (043)542-5799 (043)543-3634 Boeun-gun
cheong-
Suanbo Sajo Maeul (043)846-7661 (02)3446-7144 Jaecheon
buk-do
Yellimwon (043)542-9992 (043)542-9991 Jeungpyeong-gun
Cheonan Sangnok (041)560-9011 (041)560-9019 Cheonan
Chung Gongju (041)852-1212 (041)852-1240 Gongju
cheong-
Gyeryongsan Gapsa (041)856-4666 (041)856-4666 Gongju
nam-do
Samjeong Buyeo (041)835-3102 (041)835-3791 Buyeo-gun
Gohanggun Seonunsan (063)561-3333 (063)561-3448 Gochang-gun
Jeolla- Gyeokpo Chaeseokgang (063)583-1234 (063)584-8098 Buan-gun
buk-do Jirisan (063)625-1961 (063)625-1961 Namwon
Moaksan (063)548-4401 (063)548-4403 Gimjae

Jeolla- Haenam (061)533-0170 (061)532-1730 Haenam-gun


nam-do Suncheon (061)755-5522 (061)755-6298 Suncheon
Bulguksa (054)746-0826 (054)746-7805 Gyeongju
Chilgok Joil (054)971-0602 (054)353-6572 Chilgok-gun
Dongyang (054)748-6577 (054)748-7624 Gyeongju
Gyeong- Gyeongju Four Season (054)743-2202~5 (054)743-2206 Gyeongju
sangbok-
Gyeongju Jeil (054)746-0086 (054)746-4215 Gyeongju
do
Hangukgwan (054)746-4761 (054)745-0001 Gyeongju
Mungyeong Saejae (054)571-1988 (054)571-1990 Mungyeong
Tohamsan (054)777-5522 (054)777-5526 Gyeongju
Cheonghak-dong (055)867-4510 (055)867-4216 Hadong-gun
Chungjuho Woraksan (043)651-7001 (043)651-7004 Hadong-gun
Geoje (055)632-7977 (055)632-4806 Yangsan

Gyeong- Geoje Haewanaru (055)637-4950 (055)633-7840 Geoje


sangnam- Haeun (055)384-0068 (055)384-5545 Yangsan
do Hallyeo (055)867-4510 (055)867-4261 NamHae-gun
IL_yang (043)846-9200 (043)845-9107 Geoje
Jeung Pyeong (043)836-4877 (043)836-4806 Namhae-gun
Namhae (055)867-4848 (055)867-4850 Geoje
Beach Vill Seogwipo (064)739-0114 (064)739-7552 Jeju-do
JEJU C&P (064)784-7701 (064)784-5810 Jeju-do
Jeju-do
Jeju Fitness Town (064)799-8811 (064)799-8821 Jeju-do
Jejusi Myeongdoam (064)721-8233 (064)721-8235 Jeju-do

Korea Tour Guide 179


Travel Information Centers

Information and assistance are readily available at the KTO’s Tourist Information
Center (TIC) or at information counters in international airports and at major tour-
ist sites. They provide city maps, brochures and information on tours, shopping,
dining and accommodations.
The hours of operation differ some what around the country, but the KTO’s TIC is
open every day from 9 am to 8 pm On the Web, visit www.visitkorea.or.kr

Region TIC Telephone

KTO Tourist Information Center 02-729-9997/9

Seoul City Tourist Information Center 02-731-6337

Itaewon 02-3785-0942

Myeong-dong 02-757-0088

Seoul Dongdaemun Market 02-2236-9135

Namdaemun Market 02-752-1913

Deoksugung Palace 02-756-0045

Seoul Express Bus Terminal 02-6282-0600

Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Infonet 02-735-5678

Incheon Incheon International Airport 032-743-2600/3

Gimhae International Airport 051-973-2800

Busan Busan Railroad Station 051-463-5783

Busan International Passenger Terminal 051-465-3471

Gyeongju Railroad Station 054-772-3843

Gyeongju Bulguksa Temple 054-746-4747

Gyeongju Express Bus Terminal 054-772-9289

Jeju International Airport 064-742-8866

Jeju-do Jeju Port Passenger Terminal 064-758-7181

Jungmun Tourist Center 064-739-1330

180 Let’s go Korea!


1330 Korea Travel Phone

When you need English assistance or travel information, just dial 1330 and a
billngual operator will help you. If you want information about another region,
press the area code for that region before pressing 1330.

Seoul 02 Incheon 032 Daejeon 042

Busan 051 Ulsan 052 Daegu 053

Gwangju 062 Gyeonggi-do 031 Gangwon-do 033

Chungcheongnam-do 041 Chungcheongbuk-do 043 Gyeongsangbuk-do 054

Gyeongsangnam-do 055 Jeollanam-do 061 Jeollabuk-do 063

Jeju-do 064

Tourist Complaint Center

Visitors to Korea who experience any inconveniences or who simply want to offer
some advice should call or write to the Tourist Complaint Center operated by the
Korea Tourism. Organization: 40 Cheonggyecheonno, Jung-gu, Seoul, 100-180,
Korea (Tel 02-735-0101, Fax 02-777-0102)

Goodwill Guide

The KTO Goodwill Guide Service provides interpretation assistance as part of its
free tour guide service. Reservations are usually required, but this can be very
helpful if you need special help of any kind in Korea. Visit www.goodwillguide.
com

Korea Tour Guide 181


Contact

Government
Korea.Net www.korea.net 82-2-3981-800
Korean Immigration Service www.immigration.go.kr 82-2-500-9111~2
Ministry of Culture & Tourism www.mcst.go.kr/english 82-2-3704-9114
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade www.mofat.go.kr 82-2-2100-2114
National Quarantine Service www.nvrqs.go.kr 82-31-467-1700

Travel

Korea Tourism Organization www.visitkorea.or.kr 82-2-7299-600


Korean National Parks Authority english.knps.or.kr 82-31-441-8511
Seoul Culture and Tourism www.visitseoul.net 82-2-2171-2461

Accommodations
Homestay Korea www.kyepa.or.kr 82-2-2665-6717
Temple Stay Korea eng.templestay.com 82-2-2011-1972
Youth Hostel Korea kyha.or.kr 82-2-725-3031

Transportation
Korean National Railroad www.korail.go.kr 82-2-1544-7788
Asiana Airlines us.flyasiana.com 82-2-1588-8000
Avis Rent A Car Korea www.avis.co.kr/eng 82-2-862-2847
Gimpo Airport gimpo.airport.co.kr 82-2-2600-2114
Korean Air www.koreanair.com 82-2-1588-2001
Kumho Rent A Car www.kumhorent.com/en 82-2-797-7000
Incheon International Airport www.airport.kr/eng/airport 82-2-1577-2600

Cities & Provinces


Seoul Metropolitan Government metro.seoul.kr 82-2-1577-1234
Incheon incheon.go.kr/inpia_en 82-32-440-3009
Busani english.busan.go.kr 82-51-120
Daejeon www.metro.daejeon.kr 82-42-600-3114
Daegu english.daegu.go.kr 82-53-803-3265
Ulsan english.ulsan.go.kr 82-52-229-2000
Gwangju eng.gjcity.net 82-62-613-2114

182 Let’s go Korea!


Gyeongi-do english.gg.go.kr 82-31-249-2114
Gangwon-do eng.gwd.go.kr 82-33-254-2011
Chungcheongnam-do www.chungnam.net 82-42-255-9104
Chungcheongbuk-do www.cbtour.net 82-43-220-4674
Gyeongsangbuk-do www.gbtour.net 82-53-959-0114
Gyeongsangnam-do english.gsnd.net 82-55-211-2114
Jeollanam-do english.jeonnam.go.kr 82-61-247-0011
Jeollabuk-do www.provin.jeonbuk.kr 82-63-280-2114
Jeju-do english.jeju.go.kr 82-64-710-2114

Culture
Kimchi Museum www.kimchimuseum.co.kr 82-2-6002-6456
Korea House www.kous.or.kr 82-2-2266-9101~3
Korea Taekwondo Association www.koreataekwondo.org 82-2-420-4271
Korean National Heritage Online www.heritage.go.kr 82-42-481-4650
NANTA nanta.i-pmc.co.kr/en 82-2-739-8288
National Museum of Korea www.museum.go.kr 82-2-2077-9000
Seoul Art Center www.sac.or.kr/eng 82-2-580-1400
Seoul Selection www.seoulselection.com 82-2-734-9565
WorknPlay www.worknplay.co.kr 82-2-568-7536

News & Media


Arirang TV www.arirang.co.kr 82-2-3475-5000
KBS www.kbs.co.kr 82-2-781-1000
Korea Herald www.koreaherald.co.kr 82-2-1588-0533
Korea Times www.koreatimes.co.kr 82-2-724-2715
MBC www.imbc.com 82-2-789-0011
SBS www.sbs.co.kr 82-2-2640-3000
Yonhap News www.yonhopnews.co.kr 82-2-398-3114

Education
Ministry of Education www.mest.go.kr 82-2-6222-6060
Science and Technology
Younsei University Korea www.yskli.com 822-2123-8550~2
Language Institute

Korea Tour Guide 183