Excellence in everything: South Korea

There is no doubt that South Korea became one of the most dynamic countries, by its economy, politic, traditions and culture… But Koreans didn’t stopped here; they targeted excellence in everything even in sports. So many great athletes emerged from such a small country so quickly. Over the last 50, years South Korea has quickly and quietly introduces the world to a new breed of athletics, unique and dominant, from figure skating to football.
Korean athletes don’t just compete they commit themselves completely…

Fun facts about South Korea

Just for fun i’ll give you some facts about South Korea that might be pretty funny for some of you … So here we go 😉

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1. When the first night of the new year comes everybody hides their shoes. This is because there is a belief that a ghost will come down and try on everyone’s shoes. If the ghost finds a pair it likes it will take it. It is thought that the owner of the shoes will then have bad luck for the whole year.

2. Fruit is a luxury item. Fruit in Korea is already absurdly expensive, but especially due to the high levels of rain as of late, it’s costing Koreans even more than normal. (What is one of the most expensive fruits? WATERMELON – at about 30,000 won, which is equal to about $30.00 in Canada.)

 3. Korean taxis are color coded and each color is an indicator of the type of services you can avail. For example, gray and white taxis offer basic comfort, whereas a black colored cab is a luxurious car and a veteran driver. The Korean drivers are notorious for watching TV in the can while driving passengers around.

4. Koreans eat SPAM like it’s going out of style. Why is it so popular? Well, during the war, soldiers were supplied with a lot of canned foods, so they ended up creating something we know now as Military Stew, which has water and spices as broth, with all of the various canned foods and vegetables boiled together to make a hearty feast. The population ended up picking up on the SPAM after this creation and starting adding it to other soups and recipes. It ended Continue reading

Things You Should Know About South Korea

Here’s some brief information that you should know about south Korea!

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 The South Korean flag: The black lines are called Trigrams and they represent harmony. The yin-yang in the center, symbolizes balance within the universe.

 South Korea’s population as of July 2009 was 48,508,972. Its capital, Seoul, is one of its largest cities with a population of over ten million.

 The official language of South Korea is Korean but English is taught widely in the country’s schools. In addition, Japanese is common in South Korea.

 The population of South Korea is composed of 99.9% Korean but 0.1% the population is Chinese.

The dominant religious groups in South Korea are Christian and Buddhist, however a large percent of South Koreans claim no religious preference.

 South Korea’s government is a republic with a single legislative body which is comprised of the National Assembly or Kukhoe. The executive branch is made up of chief of state who is the country’s president and a head of government who is the prime minister.

 Most of South Korea’s topography is mountainous with its highest point being Halla-san at 6,398 feet (1,950 m). Halla-san is an extinct volcano.

 Around two-thirds of the land in South Korea is forested. This includes the mainland and Continue reading

Places you must visit while you’re in South Korea

As you might all know,  South Korea had become one of the touristic countries!!

If you’re planning to visit this fascinating country here’s some amazing places that you can go to.

I’Park Mall

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I-Park Mall, is a large shopping mall in Yongsan Station, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. The shopping center consists of I-Park Department Store; E-Mart Yongsan Store, a hypermarket owned by Shinsegae; CGV IMAX Yongsan, a large cinema with 11 screens; a shopping center for digital goods; e-Sports stadium, a stadium for computer games; many restaurants and clothing shops; and a lot of other incredible things!

Galleria Department Store

Galleria Department Store

Galleria Department Store, is an upmarket South Korean department store franchise owned by HanwhaGroup. It has 8 branches throughout Korea. Two of the branches, namely Luxury Hall West and Luxury Hall East, both in Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, are well known as the most popular luxury-brand fashion malls in Seoul.

Transportation: Take subway line 3 to Apgujeong, station ( exit 1 ).

63 Building

63 building

The 63 Building , officially the 63 City, is a skyscraper on Yeouido island, overlooking the Han River inSeoul, South Korea. It was the tallest building outside North America when it opened in July 1985, and it is the tallest gold-clad structure in the world. It was South Korea’s tallest building until Hyperion Tower surpassed it in 2003 and remained South Korea’s tallest commercial building until the Northeast Asia Trade Tower was topped-out in 2009. The 63 Building was built as a landmark for the 1988 Summer Olympics. 63 refers to the building’s 63 official stories, of which 60 are above ground level and 3 are Continue reading

White Day: Payback time !

As the whole world know, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th every year. It’s the most romantic day on earth where couples would buy gifts to their better halves. In Korea however, only women  would buy chocolates and give them to their partner. S like that,
everyone will be happy 😉

It’s like a ‘payback’ time. On White Day, women expect to receive the chocolates in return of what they’ve given the men on Valentine’s Day. Sounds weird to you? But that’s how it works in Korea. If the guys receive chocolates on V day, they are expected to return the ‘favor’ on W day. Whatever it takes, they must.

Origin:

White Day was first celebrated in1978 in Japan.It was started by the National Confectionery Industry Association as an “answer day” to Valentine’s Day on the grounds that men should pay back the women who gave them chocolate and

Continue reading

Do You need a reason to go to south korea ?… well there you go!

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South Korea is an amazing country and I’m sure no one can deny that. The reasons why you should pack your bags buy a ticket and fly to S.Korea are many, I’ll try to give you the main reasons … so here we go!

  1. First of all FOOD ! Many of you will say that Korean restaurants are every where no need to fly to south Korea just to eat their food. Sorry guys but eating Kimchi in your country may look as delicious as the one in S.Korea, but it’s not! Original spices, local vegetables, Korean chef, traditional Korean restaurants … Trust me all of these factors affect the food taste, you will never be able to find the same flavors and variety of Korean cuisine as in Korea itself.There are combinations of flavors , spices and recipes that you can not find anywhere else.
  2. PEOPLEI’m sure that you’ll be amazed by the kindness of the Korean people. They are friendly, very kind and willing to help you if they can ( There are some exceptions of course ).I watched their dramas for over 8 months and you can not believe how it has affected my behavior ( positively ) so imagine if you could meet Korean people in person and learn from them.
  3. The Korean sauna: When I first heard about it I thought it’ll be a small , maybe, individual room ( like Hamam or spa ) where you can relax for little time and that’s it, but actually it’s a whole different story than I expected ! In their sauna you find three rooms or you can call them halls: The traditional Korean kiln sauna, The steam rooms and dry saunas. they offer different services like body scrubs and traditional Korean massage… But the thing that caught my attention is : If you can not find where to sleep go to the sauna, you can find  people there sleeping, eating… all I can say is go and see it by yourself it will be an amazing experience !
  4. Shopping !! Let me say this : Seoul is a 24/7 city. You can go there and do your shopping at any time of the day or night. Plus you have a variety of malls, shops, articles that match everybody’s taste. Also the many shopping centers are built next to amusement parks, places of interest for tourists, so make sure when you finish shopping go there and have some fun ;).

© Copyright Sanaa Ouhessaine.

Festivals and Performances in Seoul

 Seoul , the capital of South Korea annually hosts a number of festivals, among them are:

 Changing of the Royal Guards Ceremony:

Every day visitors to Gyeongbokgung palace can watch a reenactment of the “Changing of the Royal Guards” ceremony, which takes place at the Gwanghwamun and Heungnyemun plazas.

The royal guards of the Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910) were in charge of protecting the gates of the capital city and the royal palace. The royal palace guards, who were known as the ‘Wanggung Sumunjang’, had the very important duty of protecting the king. They were in charge of opening and closing the palace gates, inspecting all visitors, and maintaining a close surveillance of the palace. They were divided into day and night shifts, and this ceremony used to take place whenever the shifts changed over.

The ceremony is reenacted exactly as it used to be held, with guards wearing the Joseon uniforms, carrying traditional weapons and playing instruments. The ceremony takes place every hour on the hour from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

Visitors can also try on the historic uniforms of the royal guards and take photographs in front of Gyeonghoeru, thought to be the most beautiful pavilion in Gyeongbokgung palace.

Lotus Lantern Festival 1,600 Years of History:

the Lotus Lantern Festival, celebrating the birth of Buddha, dates back to the Three Kingdoms Period (57 B.C. – A.D. 676). During the Goryeo Dynasty (918 – 1392), when Buddhism was the state religion, colorful lanterns were strung and festivities were held across the country from palaces to small villages.

During this festival, there will be performances of Korean traditional percussion instruments and the Foreigners’ Traditional Dance Show offer much to see. Visitors can also take part in making lotus lanterns, experience of traditional straw utensils, and a variety of other Buddhist-related activities. Additional activities include Continue reading