Author: Natalya Nimitz

Sky Park (하늘 공원): Korea’s MOST BEAUTIFUL Park!

 

 

Haneul Gongwon is absolutely one of Seoul’s most beautiful parks! Haneul Gongwon    (하늘 공원) in Korean directly translates to “Sky Park” in English; this translation is very true to is name. All year round this park has the most stunning city-overlooks and rolling field scenery. With over 22 city-over-looking points, you can see the main city-scape of Seoul: Seoul Tower, Hangang River and Bukhansan Mountain. Haneul Park is actually 1/5th of the World Cup Park: Pyeonghwa(Peace) Park, Noeul (Sunset) Park, Nanjicheon Park, and Nanji Hangang Park. Generations ago the World Cup Park was once a place of disposal, waste and for a lack of better words trash; it contained over 90 million tons of waste.

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Whether you plan to visit Korea in the Spring, Summer, Fall or winter I assure that Haneul Gongwon will retain its beauty, charm, and peacefulness.

In the spring and summer, the seemingly endless fields of Silver Grass are growing or in full bloom (greenery galore!), but in the spring and winter the grass turns dry (as seen the pictures) and leave behind fuzzy tops that are very fun to play with. Because I visited this park in the winter the open views across the fields gave me a eerie feeling of a place where meditation is welcome and where dreams take place! Scattered throughout the park are sculptural installations that are interactive and fun. I

n addition to the sculptures, there are large metal windmills that are strategically placed to capture wind energy that is used to power the facilitates in the park! How eco-friendly is that!? Who ever decided to put windmills in the park to capture energy was on to something BIG. In the fall and winter seasons, the wind can literally sweep off your feet or at least knock you down. Due to the park’s high elevation and Seoul powerful wind speeds, I would recommend wearing scarves, hats, gloves and anything that is insulating.

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Do not let the strong winds sway you from visiting this dreamy wonderland! When exploring the park there are two method of travel: bus or foot. You can buy a bus (cart) ticket, which costs about KRW 3,000-4,000 round trip (per person). On the other hand or should I say foot, you can take the stairway that is exactly 291 stairs from start to finish. Getting to Haneul Park is not hard, just take a camera, follow these directions and get ready for a adventure. Follow the instructions below:

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  1. Take the Subway from Seoul city center, get off at World Cup Stadium Station (Seoul Subway Line 6) and take Exit 1.
  2. After exiting there should be a huge map of Seoul World Cup complex close by.
  3. You can take a picture of the map on your phone to follow or use Kakao maps (I highly recommend this method)

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For more information about Haneul Gongwon (Sky Park) click here:

World Cup Park (Haneul Park)

Check out my other posts:  South Korea

My Story: About Me

The City of Mokpo and the Bamboo Village

 

There is a calming and serene sensation that you get from the southernmost districts; that feeling of being home and welcomed. While visiting a friend that lived in Mokpo, she was kind enough to take me and her family on a trip around her beautiful sea-side city, as well as the surrounding areas. Mokpo, set on a small peninsula located on the southwest corner of Korea it is known for their bustling seafood markets, city sites, sea-nic views, and sunsets. This city is definitely a must if you are either passing through to get to Jeju island or to visit the southern coast.

Located not too far from Mokpo is Juk-nok-gwan, otherwise known as Bamboo forest park. Walking through a forest of bamboo may sound like a bore, but it is rather unexpectedly interesting. In America, I only saw bamboo when it is small and in little decorative glass vases, but a forest full of bamboo was a different experience indeed. While walking through the park, I felt as if I was in an old Asian warrior movie! With various props and figures that are placed around the park, I definitely had more fun than I thought I was going to have.

For more information about Mokpo and the Bamboo Forest Park please visit:

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1963066

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=815386

The Coastal City of Wando: Beaches, Seafood, Good Vibes

A trip to Wando is not a common one for a foreigner to take. Think of a cute and quaint country town with the sweetest people, but near the Sea! Wando is a beautiful province that is sure to calm the senses and satisfy the taste-buds for all of the seafood lovers out there.  More specifically, Wando County (Wando-gun) is a county in South Jeolla Province. Wando is a great place to visit during the spring and summer months because of their warm beaches, several large fresh seafood markets, and scenic farmlands.

My best experiences in Wando was definitely walking along the sandy beaches and stopping by what seems like the world’s best seafood restaurants. Sushi and Sashimi lover’s this is your calling. Try different sea creatures that you have never seen before or try a Korean Classic seafood dish; Raw Octopus (Nakk-ji). Nakk-ji is so fresh that you can still see the nerves in the tentacles wiggle. This delicacy may seem odd, but the taste is not so odd. Try it for yourself (with shots of Soju of course)!

How to get there:

The best method to get to Wando is by car or by ferry.

Click on the links below for more information on Wando and for transportation methods

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1803467

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/south-korea/jeollanam-do/wando

 

The Coolest Museum in HONGDAE (SEOUL): TRICKEYE Museum

 

Things are not as they appear! This especially true for in the case of this odd, yet interesting museum that is smack in the middle of the youthful Hongdae area in Seoul. Hongdae is the hot-spot for all things trendy, fun, party, and booze. Easy to miss, the Trickeye Museum is a major tourist attraction that is sure to leave you with countless devious and mind-blowing photos. By playing with the depth-of-field, hidden objects, and other hidden features this museum is full of backgrounds and props that create an awesome photo.

Getting eaten by a shark? Done. Floating in the air? Check. Being micro-sized with a giant friend? Impossible? I think not. Be sure to check out this place! In the same building, on different floors, there is a Ice Museum and a Love Museum (adults only). There is a discount if you buy a ticket for all three museums, but a ticket for the Trickeye Museum is about 15,000 Won ($13 USD).

For directions and more information, please visit:

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1324865

Exploring Gwanghwamun Square at Night

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Gyeongbokgung Palace

When you first visit Gwanghwamun Square you will definitely feel the unique and highly valued history and tradition of Korea. Gwanghwamun Square is comprised of the breath-taking Gyeongbokgung Palace (one of my favorite places in Korea), the statue of King Sejong and the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin. All three landmarks are very important to the history and development of Korea, not to mention that they are beautiful to look at! The large golden statues, unique and bold designs, this place is heaven for those who love history. This was my first “trip” into the heart of Seoul. My friend (in the picture) was so kind as to show me around this plaza and he gave me a bit of history about each statue and the palace.

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King Sejong Statue

Here is a glance into each them; Admiral Yi Sun-sin, a Korean naval commander became famous for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty. The mighty King Sejong the Great, was the creator of Hangeul (the Korean alphabet), and ruler during the Joseon Dynasty.  Lastly, Gyeongbokgung Palace was built in 1395 and was the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty. The largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon dynasty, Gyeongbokgung served as the home of Kings of the Joseon dynasty, the Kings’ households, as well as the government of Joseon. Gyeongbokgung Palace is normally open everyday of the week for Korean Nationals and tourists to explore the inside, which can take up to 3 hours.

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Gwanghwamun Square is a must see for all who are visiting Korea! It is a great place to learn about the history of Korea and to take memorable pictures. It was and still is one of my favorite places in Korea.

How to get there:

Directions 
[Subway]
1) City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 & 2), Exit 3.
2) Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6 & 7.
3) Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 1, 2 & 8.
* Connected to the underground exit.

For more information about Gwanghwamun Square please visit:

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=929909

Locks of Love at Namsan Tower (Seoul Tower)

Located at the top of the formerly and famously known Namsan Tower (now called Seoul Tower) are the hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions of LOVE LOCKS. These ‘locks of love’ are added by couples that have the desire to secure their love by writing their names, initials, or a short message onto the lock and adding to these colorful, yet somewhat overwhelming walls of ‘eternal love’.

In Korea, some couples believe that if they “lock their love” at Namsan Tower then their love will last forever. I am not too sure if this is taken seriously or for fun, but either way, it is definitely a sight to see! I would like to find one of the first couples to locked their love to see if this myth is sound!

There are many walls, shapes, and sculptures with these locks. In addition, at the top of the tower, you are able to see, what seems like, all of Seoul. Miles and miles of city; a literal concrete jungle.  From my many travels in Korea I would place ‘Locks of Love’ at Namsan tower at the top of the ‘must see’ list. Even if you are not visiting Namsan Tower with the love of your life and are with friend or family, you can still make your own personal addition to the locks. If you have a burning hot love for let’s say…. your favorite KPOP group, go on and lock it up! If you forget to bring your own lock, do not fret there are a large variety of locks that are sold in the tower’s gift shop.

How to get there:

Get off at Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) and Exit 3.
Walk for about 15 minutes following the street on the right side of the Pacific Hotel. The cable car boarding place will be seen ahead.

I would recommend taking the cable car up to the Tower unless you would like a sweaty workout! The cable car will cost about 8,000 Won per person (one-way).

For more information please visit:

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264550

My first blog post! Welcome

I am a newbie in this blogging/social media world of writing and posting my experiences and opinions for the public eye to see. Therefore, I would imagine that my writing style is a bit ‘stiff’ I guess you could say, but as time goes on and the more I share I hope to have the ability to open my mind and share my thoughts. After all, I started this page as a way to express myself, build my image and share my life with other people.

As I mature and grow into a professional woman, I started to learn how life works and how much value each day has.  Life is so unexpected and unpredictable. You might not always know what is coming or if you will like the next stage you are headed towards, but that’s the beauty of it. If we always knew what was coming life would be bland and boring. For example, January 10, 2016 my father and I packed up our belongings, sold the house and got on a plane to live in South, Korea. Months before the move I had no clue that I would have one of my many dreams come true. Like this experience, I know that I have many more to come. My intention is that this blog will help me capture and preserve those memories.

Enjoy!

Embrace the unexpected

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Welcome to my blog