Category Archives: Korea/Korean Culture

I SEOUL U: Love in Seoul Video Series

Last November 2016, Seoul Metropolitan Government had an online event entitled “Love in Seoul” in which you’ll submit touching stories and the prize was a holiday with your loved one in Seoul that included airline tickets to Korea, Seoul tour, and 3-night hotel voucher.

Let us take a look of the Seoul tour experience of the winner, Marie, a French woman residing in Seoul, with her younger sister Camille through the Love in Seoul video series!

Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market

Location: 13-6, Noryangjin-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
Transportation: Noryangjin Station on Subway Lines 1 & 9

The Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market, founded in 1927, is the largest inland fish market in Korea. The market is where 50% of the capital’s seafood transactions occur with a daily volume of 250 to 300 tons. The auction at Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market which starts at 1am is quite a spectacle to watch. Voted the ‘Most Attractive Site in Seoul’ by foreign tourists in 2011, you can see all kinds of marine products and try fresh raw fish at the market.

 

Kimchi-making

Kimchi is a health food of Korea and an important side dish that provided vitamins during the winter when vegetables were hard to come by. Every family makes kimchi right before the winter. The method is different for each region. In the northern regions, kimchi is mild and lightly flavored while in the warmer south, kimchi is made spicy and salty to last longer. The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) hosts the Seoul Kimchi Festival in early winter to provide people with an opportunity to make kimchi.

Visit to Seoul City Hall

Seoul City Hall, unlike municipal offices in other cities, is open to the public. When you step into the City Hall complex, you will first face the vertical garden. The garden, which boosts a height of 28 meters and an area of 1516m², is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. At the basement is “Citizens Hall,” a space for the citizens of Seoul where one can enjoy various cultural events. Visit the Tong Tong Tour website to learn more about Seoul City Hall and make a reservation to receive tour services in Korean, English, Chinese or Japanese.
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Transportation: City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 5
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Tour of Ancient Palaces Wearing Hanbok

Visit the ancient palaces in Seoul to discover the traditional beauty of Korea. The five ancient palaces in Seoul, Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Deoksugung, and Gyeonghuigung, are well-known for their unique beauty. Rent a hanbok from one of the many affordable rental shops near each palace and tour the five palaces for FREE. Touring ancient palaces while wearing a hanbok has become a sensation among Korean female students. Recently, foreign tourists are also joining the trend. Tour ancient palaces in traditional Korean garments and take pictures to commemorate your special moment.

Yeonnam-dong & Hongdae

Come out of Exit 3 at Hongik University Station (Line 2) to get to the Yeonnam-dong section of the Gyeongui Line Forest Park. Created as part of a railway regeneration project, the park offers a walkway for residents on top of a discontinued railway section of the Gyeongui Line tracks. People rest in the park while taking a walk with family or enjoy precious moments with friends and lovers. Enjoy the history of Seoul while walking along the tracks with a hundred years of history or visit hot spots in Hongdae and Yeonnam-dong.

 

Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government website

For updates on Seoul, check out Seoul Metropolitan Government’s official website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Fun Spring Festivals in Seoul

A variety of festivals are held throughout Seoul every spring.

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Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival

The Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival was held from April 1 to 9 by the Yeouido Hangang River when the cherry blossoms came to bloom. This festival is a leading spring destination attracting over 6 million visitors each spring.

Lotus Lantern Festival

The Lotus Lantern Festival is held from April 12 to 29. Visitors can enjoy variety of traditional lantern exhibitions (Jogyesa Temple, Bongeunsa Temple, and Cheonggyecheon Stream), a lantern parade (Dongguk University to Jogyesa Temple), and traditional cultural performances/shows (in front of Jogyesa Temple). The Lotus Lantern Festival is one of the most popular folk festivals, continuing the history of the lotus lantern festival held from the Silla Dynasty to the Goryeo Dynasty and the Buddha’s birthday festival of the Joseon Dynasty with a 1300-year history.

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Hangang Seoraeseom Canola Festival

The 2017 Hangang Seoraeseom Canola Festival will be held in Banpo Hangang Park from May 13 to 14. You can access Banpo Seoraeseom Island from Sinbanpo Station (Line 9) and Dongjak Station (Line 4 and 9).

The Green Barley Festival will be held from May 10 to 20 in Ichon Hangang Park that has a total area of 10,000 square meters. You can reach the green barley field through Ichon Station (Line 1 and 4) after passing Ichon Interchange.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is planning to host a variety of festivals and programs so that citizens can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the country in downtown Seoul.

Seoul Rose Festival

The Seoul Rose Festival from May 19 to 21 is known as the most beautiful and fragrant festival of Seoul held in Junghwa Sports Park and Surim Grand Park. The festival is famous for the 5.1-kilometer-long rose tunnel, rose shrine, rose parade, and various photo zones. In particular, the festival provides colorful visual delight using night lighting under the theme of “Nocturnal Rose” this year.

Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government website

For updates on Seoul, check out Seoul Metropolitan Government’s official website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Celebratory Fireworks at the Lotte World Tower Opening

On April 3, 2017, the Lotte World Tower officially opened in Songpa-gu, Seoul as the tallest skyscraper in Korea. The tower boasts an altitude of 555 meters and consists of 123 ground level floors and six basement floors. It is the sixth tallest building in the world after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (828m) and the Shanghai Tower in China (632m). Shopping and cultural activities are located between floors B2 to 11F, floors 42F to 71F houses residential space, and the SIGNIEL Hotel, the tallest hotel in Seoul, occupies the space between floors 74F and 101F. A fireworks display was carried out during the evening of April 2 in celebration of the opening.

  • Address: 300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
  • Transportation: Integrated Exit 1&2 at Jamsil Station (Line 2)
  • Website: www.lwt.co.kr

Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government website

Video Credit: Awesome Video

Video Credit: 피터펀 TV

For updates on Seoul, check out Seoul Metropolitan Government’s official website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Discover Seoul Pass, Enjoy Seoul for 24 hours!

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Discover Seoul Pass allows you to enjoy Seoul for 24 hours!

The Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Tourism Organization have put a lot of time and effort into designing the ultimate tourist pass especially for independent tourists for Seoul!

With Discover Seoul Pass, you may visit any of Seoul’s 16 designated tourist attractions over a period of 24 hours and the pass comes with a map. The Discover Seoul Pass also functions as a transit card (T-money, for paying the subway, the bus, the taxi) and for paying items at the convenience stores, Starbucks, and others. The transit card function does not expire and can be used throughout your stay in Seoul.

The Discover Seoul Pass users can also get a 10 – 20% discount on tickets on the Seoul City Tour Bus’s many tour courses.

Is it possible visit the 16 attractions within 24 hours?

It is possible! Plan your itinerary well by area, maximize your time, and visit the attractions first that opens the earliest and with the latest closing times (like N.Seoul Tower and Grevin Museum) later in the day so that you can fit in all 16 attractions in 24 hours. The pass gives you the freedom to plan your own itineraries, so that you can optimize your budget and time.

Pass Usage Duration

– Entry to tourist attractions : 24 hours (2days/1night). The pass is activated as you visit the first attraction.
– T-money function : No expiration date. Top up as needed and you can get a refund of the remaining balance before your departure.

Price

39,900 won (Save over 70% in admission fees with the Discover Seoul Pass)

Retail Locations

○ Offline

– Incheon Airport : KEB Hana Bank currency exchange booths (4 locations), KEB Hana Bank branch (B1 level), CU convenience stores (3 locations)
– Seoul : Myeong-dong Tourist Information Center, the Hongdae branch of KEB Hana Bank, Seoul City Tour Bus ticket booths in front of Gwanghwamun Dongwha Duty Free Shop and in front of Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP).

○ Online

– Purchase online at the Discover Seoul Pass Official Seller

App Release

The Discover Seoul Pass App is a free smartphone app with service in 5 languages (Korea, English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Japanese). Sync your pass with the app to get useful travel information and the remaining time on your pass.

16 Featured Attractions

– Seoul’s Historical Attractions : Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine, Seodaemun Prison History Museum
– Seoul’s Cultural Attractions : Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art; National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (MMCA Seoul); Museum Kimchikan
– Seoul’s Amusements : N Seoul Tower, MBC World, K-live, Trick Eye Museum, Grevin Museum Seoul, Figure Museum W, Alive Museum

Seoul City Tour Bus : 10 – 20% discount on tickets

How to Use?

1. Plan your itinerary.
2. Top up the T-money.
3. Use the passs as admission tickets to Seoul attractions.
4. Download the app and synchronize it with your pass. Here, you’ll know how much time remains on your pass.

More detailed information at the The Discover Seoul Pass’s official website.

Sources: Visit Seoul website and Discover Seoul Pass website.

Follow Seoul Tourism Organization (Visit Seoul) on Facebook and their website for more information about Seoul.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.

Five Reasons Why You Have to Take the K-Travel Bus in Korea

UPDATE: K-Travel Bus stopped its operation in December of 2016. I will update once operation resumes.

Last August, I blogged about the launched of K-Travel Bus with Hallyu Star, Jung Il Woo, as the Honorary Ambassador, and the subsequent campaign of 2016–2018 Visit Korea Year, offering a foreigner-exclusive coach bus traveling a 2-day round trip from Seoul to South Korea’s famous local attractions in Daegu, Gangwon Province, Southern Jeolla Province, Northern Gyeongsang Province, the Southeast Region, and new courses being added or changed when the season changes.

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You probably don’t want to miss this great opportunity to travel beautiful regions of Korea and here are the five reasons why you have to take the K-Travel Bus!

✓ Affordable Price!
✓ Substantial Discount Promotion!
✓ Can find out hidden attractions of Korea!
✓ Can enjoy fun experience!
✓ Can make new friends!

Every K-Travel Bus package is 1 night 2 days tour! Hotel is included and it’s going to be a shared room (2 people). If a person wants to use a single room, there is additional charge of 60USD!

Personal expenses and meals (except breakfast on the second day) are the only things that are not included.

Here is my favorite among the offered tour courses, the Jeollanam-do course!

For more detailed information on the courses, promotions and discounts, and how to reserve a seat on the bus, visit the official website. You can also follow them on Facebook for updates and promos.

Follow Imagine Your Korea on Facebook  and Instagram (@imagineyourkorea), and their website.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.

K-Ribbon Selection Exhibit in the Philippines

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In an effort to increase Korea’s culture and brand awareness, Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korean Embassy and Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines (KCC) held its “K-Ribbon Selection” Exhibit, a 10-month long worldwide promotion, from November 2 to 8, 2016 at the Shangri-La Mall Plaza Grand Atrium, Mandaluyong City.

The K-Ribbon Selection, Constancy and Change of Korea is the Korean government`s recognition of excellent cultural products that convey the cultural value of Korea. Its unique Logo is inspired by the Hanbok coat string (Traditional Korean Clothes).  It is aimed at creating a “Korea Premium” concept through systematic management and brand marketing activities. Its implementation began in November 2015, and covers cultural products that can represent Korea, including Korean food, handicraft, Hanbok (traditional Korean dress), and cultural contents.

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Korean traditional premium handicrafts were displayed of wood crafts, metal and ceramics mostly used by the royal and noble families in Korea and up to now. A Royal Heritage Crafts Exhibition was also held which was managed by Korean Women’s international Network and Korean Women’s Association in the Philippines. The exhibit for Korean handicrafts was supported by the Korea Craft Art’s Association and sponsored by Korean Royal Heritage Gallery. In this area, traditional and modern designed pots and vases were displayed.

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Vibrant colors of Hanbok welcomed the guests. Hanbok is Korea’s traditional clothes and is made up of layers of different colored textiles perfect for festivals and important events. Aside from the usual designs, modern twists for the traditional clothes were introduced. Just beside the Hanbok displays was the photobooth where you could try Korean traditional clothes! You just need to select the design you want, fit your face on the screen, and you get a printed copy of you wearing a Hanbok!

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A wall that played music videos of renowned KPOP groups was situated at the center of the venue dedicated for the Korean-pop enthusiasts. A Virtual Reality Experience Zone let you walk under the moon and check on the paintings during the Joseon period. The Moon vol. 2 was designed to show Koreans’ practices in the Joseon dynasty including their beliefs that praying to the moon would give them blessings and protection.

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Korean food products with seal of excellence were displayed so that guests will be familiar to premium brands. A K-Food Open Kitchen also gave a complete experience of Korean foods, with few recipes and food samples handed out. An authentic taste of Samgyetang (Chicken in Ginseng soup), Bulgogi (marinated beef) and seaweed rice rolls were few of the samples!

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The event was a must-see event for all Korean culture enthusiasts like me to truly see the beauty of Korean culture and products. Hope there would be more Korean-related exhibits here in the Philippines in the future.

For Filipinos, you can follow Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines for more updates and future events, KCC’s Official Facebook Page and KCC’s website. They are located at the 2F Mancor Corporate Building, 32nd Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

You can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.

Grab a chance to “Enjoy Mobile Korea” for FREE!

Visiting Korea? Here’s your chance to “Enjoy Mobile Korea” for FREE!

The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) has collaborated with Samsung and SK Telecom to provide international visitors to Korea with a free smart phone rental experience.

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Chosen participants of 250 people every week will be offered free rental of a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 for five (5) days including free data, local voice calls and SMS messages, and the pre-installed Visit Korea app to make traveling to Korea more convenient, to access useful and latest information such as themed travel, directions, discount coupons, and more! International incoming calls and messages can also be received.

For more detailed information, please visit the official promotion website (http://emk.visitkorea.or.kr/).

Follow Imagine Your Korea on Facebook  and Instagram (@imagineyourkorea), and their website.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.

Korea Grand Sale 2016

Korea Grand Sale is back again! It will run from October 1 to October 31, 2016.

For those who are traveling to visit Korea in October, you’re just in time! Held throughout the month of October, a variety of benefits, promotions, and discounts ranging from shopping to transportation, entertainment, beauty and health, food and more will be offered to all international tourists.

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Don’t miss #KoreaGrandSale’s updates and follow them on Facebook. Check out their website for more detailed information.

Have a great time shopping and enjoy exploring Korea too!

Follow Imagine Your Korea on Facebook  and Instagram (@imagineyourkorea), and their website.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.

KTO Manila’s Korea Travel Night 2016

As one of Korea Tourism Organization Manila‘s Top 3 WOW Korea Supporters 2016, I was invited to the  Korea Travel Night 2016 held last September 22 at Fairmont Hotel Makati. KTO Manila organized the event to promote Korea Winter Tourism.

A B2B session was held before the event with 7 land operators and 5 regional tourism offices namely: Goyang City, Busan Tourism Organization, Gyeongsangbukdo Tourism Corporation, Jeju Tourism Organization and Gangwondo Provincial Government which aimed to promote the beauty of each region in Korea.

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Mr. Inshik Park, Director of Korea Tourism Organization Manila made an opening remark at the seminar. Ms. Hyejin Jang, Senior Assistant Manager of KTO Manila, together with the 5 regional tourism offices presented during the seminar namely Ms. Minjeong Lee, Marketing Manager of Gangwondo Provincial Government; Ms. Namshin Sung, Assistant Manager of Goyang City; Mr. Jinwoo Kim, Manager of Gyeongsangbukdo Tourism Corporation; Mr. Wooyong Kim, Assistant Manager of Busan Tourism Organization; and Ms. Dahye Choi, Assistant Manager of Jeju Tourism Organization.

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After the dinner was served, there was a presentation and we had a glimpse of the Korean nonverbal performance called Fireman which has shows at Cecil Theater in Seoul. The anticipated part of the attendees was also the two-part Raffle Draw which prizes include Round-Trip tickets to Korea. Luck was not in me that night as I did not win any.

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Here are the brochures and gifts given during the event. Thank you KTO HQ, KTO Manila, and to the 5 Regional Tourism Offices for these. Hoping to attend your future events too! Looking forward to visiting Korea soon!

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Follow Imagine Your Korea on Facebook  and Instagram (@imagineyourkorea), and their website.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.

2016 Korea Tourism TVC of Song Joong Ki

Enjoy your Creative Korea’ is a new TVC by Korea Tourism Organization featuring Hallyu star, Song Joong Ki.

‘Enjoy your Creative Korea’ introduces a variety of creative attractions you can experience in Korea.

Meet the creative people
Taste the creative cuisine
Feel the creative vibe
Love the creative nightlife

Enjoy your Creative Korea!

Here is the full 60 seconds Korea Tourism TVC!

 

Watch the special scenes of Song Joong Ki that were not shown in the official TVC, the online exclusive!

 

In 2014, a Korea Tourism TV ad featured global KPOP group, BigBang (watch it here) and in 2015, it featured Hallyu star, Lee Min Ho (watch it here).

Follow Imagine Your Korea on Facebook  and Instagram (@imagineyourkorea), and their website.

Follow Korea Tourism Organization on Facebook and Twitter, and Visit Korea’s website.

For Filipinos, you can follow the Korea Tourism Organization – Manila Office’s Facebook page, Twitter, and KakaoTalk (@ktomanila) for more local updates on Korea tourism, events, and promos.