Tag: explore

Fun Outside of Seoul! Chuncheon: Dak Galbi and Hanbok (닭갈비 & 한복)

It is easy to get distracted from visiting other smaller cities in South Korea due to all of Seoul’s magnificence, endless activities, glitter, and glam. Seoul is a city with over several millions of people. Who wouldn’t want a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle? Do not get caught up in the mirage. Seoul is a city where there are bottomless things to discover, yet you must take the time to visit various other smaller Korean cities that hold so much history and tradition. Chuncheon is a city of the old-fashioned; with traditional Korean houses, temples, tea houses, Hanbok, and DakGalbi.

Dak Galbi: The food of Chuncheon

Chuncheon (춘천 ) is located in the north-east section of South Korea. It is the largest city in the Gangwon province and it rests at dip that was created by the Han and Soyang river. This peaceful city is widely recognized in South Korea for it’s Korean dish called DakGalbi. Dakglabi is a delicious dish (my personal favorite Korean dish hands down) that is made on a large type of open-faced skillet and consists of chicken, onions, cabbage, sweet potatoes, carrots, dok (rice cake), gochujang (red pepper paste), and other seasonings.

spicy Korean chicken-galbi

Usually, perilla leaves, lettuce wraps, grilled garlic, and rice are eaten alongside this lip-smackingly good dish. If you love this dish as much as I do, you must go to Dakgalbi street in Chucheon. Yes, a street. It is said that the DakGalbi restaurants on this street make the best Dakgalbi in all of Korea and I must say that my stomach agrees.

To make this dish at home follow Holly’s recipe! It is as tasty as the restaurants in Chucheon! Dak Galbi Recipe

Hanbok Rentals!

In Chucheon, you can also live out your Joseon Dynasty fantasy. By renting beautiful handcrafted traditional Korean Hanbok clothing for a day! Hanbok is the traditional Korean attire that was worn by every citizen, about 100 years ago. These days, Hanbok is still very much a part of Korean Culture and it is still worn today for more traditional events such as a wedding or holidays, such as Budda’s Birthday (check out my post about the Lotus Blossom festival). Not only are these stunning clothes pieces of wearable artwork, but were also symbolic of a person’s social status, marital status, and age.

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Hanbok attire

For example, Hanbok with light and bright colors, for example, were usually worn by children and girls, yet more dull colors were worn by middle-aged men and women. Upperclass citizens wore a wide variety of colors, while the lower-class were required to wear white. As seen in the picture above, I wore a yellow chima (치마: skirt), white and blue jokki (조끼: vest)! In this Hanbok, I felt like I was born in Korea during the reign of King Sejong.

There are various Hanbok rental shops in Chucheon! Almost too many to chose from. Sadly I do not remember which shop that I rented from but for about 4-5 hours the rental price of about 30,000 won($27).  That might seem like a high amount, but the particular shop that I went to had other rentable accessories such as hats, fans, purses, and shoes (I am wearing the hat and purse).

Beautiful Hanok Villages

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Hanok village

If you are looking to spend little money, but still have a good time, have no worries. Chuncheon is full of iconic traditional architecture. Hanok (한억)  are traditional Korean buildings/architecture that is very iconic to the Korean culture. Hanok’s are heavily recognized by and crisp liner lines thier pointed cornered roofs. Often times they have beautiful painted designs that cover the upper edges and ceilings of the buildings. Be sure to take a stroll through these streets and soak up the culture!

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Small garden in hanok home

Other attractions outside of Seoul: The Coastal City of Wando: Beaches, Seafood, Good Vibes

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

The Coolest Museum in HONGDAE (SEOUL): TRICKEYE Museum

Check out my personal story: About Me

 

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 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