All posts by daejungseo

Hello, I am currently taking English 160 and my instructor is Mika Turim-Nguyen. I plan on switching my major from architecture to international business or computer science although I am not certain of that decision, yet. At home, my hobbies in summer break were playing on the computer, watching my favorite Korean entertainment television shows, and, precisely, being unproductive. I may seem like a procrastinator as of the hobbies that I've listed above, but after stepping onto the train every morning at 7:00am, I began to develop skills of responsibility. So, my new hobbies are: making new friends, homework, and more homework. Now, this may seem like a tedious student lifestyle but, there can't be fun without bore or happiness without sadness.

Take a Resting Break in Korea!

GyeongBok Palace

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[Image rights: Sébastien Bertrand, CC BY 2.0]

In the city of Seoul, South Korea, there exists a palace known as the Gyeongbok Palace. It was built in 1395, and it is commonly referred to as one of the most beautiful palaces among its counterparts such as ChangDeok palace (east) and GyeongHee palace (west). Another name for GyeongBok palace is “the northern palace” because it is the furthest to the north. Although much of the palace was burned down during the ImJinWaeRan war against Japan, it is still intact and was rebuilt as well.

 

 

Korean Folk Village

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[Image rights: Wwian, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]  and  [Image Rights: MCWNIMC U.S. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

Korean Folk Village is located in GyeongGi-do [2 hours south of Gyeongbok palace] and has many traditional Korean structures that exemplify the architecture during the Joseon Dynasty. This village also consists of many actors and actresses playing their roles to make the past seem more like a reality. Actors acting as horseback riders, marriages, restaurants, shops, seesaw jumping, tightrope walking, and much more are displayed. The environment of the Korean Folk village will give a sense of what it really feels like to live in the past. Sometimes, there are actors pretending to be beggars asking for food from visitors to the village. Additionally, some actresses will pretend to be a nine-tailed fox (the nine-tailed fox was seen as a spiritual figure that attracts men and takes their kidneys in the old times).

NamSan Mountain

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[Image rights: Doug Letterman, CC BY 2.0]

NamSan Mountain is located two hours south of Korean Folk village. The bright green mountain provides a different perspective on the massive city of Seoul. Many of the roadways on the mountain are constructed for convenience. Moreover, this mountain contains many shrines and temples from the Silla dynasty (53 B.C. – AD 935). So, while hiking up the mountain for fresh air, it is convenient to get a glance at the structures that were created nearly two thousand years ago.

 

HanCook restaurant

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[Image rights: Diatherman, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

Loved by many locals and foreigners, HanCook restaurant is renowned for their 30 different types of Korean buffet. The designs of the restaurant are modern but the foods that are served are traditional. This blend creates an intriguing atmosphere for even authentic Koreans.  Moreover, because this restaurant is located in the upper level of the Seoul Tower on NamSan Mountain, you will be able to enjoy the view of the major city of Seoul right beneath your eyes.

Myeong-Dong district

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[Image Rights: Col Ford and Natasha de Vere, CC BY 2.0]

Myeong-Dong district is located at the heart of the capital of Korea, Seoul. This district is, also, one of the greatest shopping malls according to my friends and family in Korea. Myeong-Dong consists of a great number of shops that one can’t imagine. Back when I was in Korea eating at a restaurant on the third floor, it wasn’t easy to see even a tile on the ground floor. Additionally, festivals and concerts by rising singers are held in the streets of this district as well.

Spicy and Sweet Fried Chicken

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[Image rights: KiYong Ahn, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

Here we are, commonly referred by authentic Koreans as the “Chicken god” because of its mysteriously powerful flavor of addiction. This spicy and sweet fried chicken holds a very high title in the diet of Koreans, because the mingled flavors of the seasoning of sweet and spicy pepper paste makes it so delicious. Moreover, many prefer to eat fried chicken with what they call “somek”, derived from the mix of two words: “soju” (Korean alcohol) and “mekju” (Beer). Somek, as my family describes it, is easier to swallow and softer than the individual alcohols alone. Not surprisingly, since many Koreans love this, a chicken shop would be easily spotted in order to grab a bite.

HaeUnDae Beach

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[Image rights: Cecil Lee, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

HaeUnDae beach, located in Busan, is referred to as the number one beach in the nation for its good environment and for holding many festivals and ceremonies. Moreover, there is a folk square for many different games for the community to enjoy such as: neoldduigi (seesaw jumping), Korean wrestling (similar to sumo wrestling), tug-of-war, and yutnori (a traditional Korean game). HaeUnDae beach also provides a free mat for the sand on the beach shore. The best times for this beach would be the month of June to August.

Carribean Bay (Water Park)

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[Image rights: JOOBBY, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] and [Image rights: WhiteWaterWest]

Caribbean Bay, approximately 2 hours and thirty minutes south of Seoul, is Korea’s largest water park and it is visited by many of my family members that currently live in Korea. During the summer time, Caribbean bay opens up the outside waterpark and it is simply just massive. They have upgraded this waterpark since I went nearly 10 years ago (when it first opened). Moreover, the waterpark is more than what it seems like: there are relax rooms for adults that consist of massage capsules and 10 jade beds, a miracle spa, and many different saunas. The wave pools can reach waves of up to 2.4 meters. People around me have talked about it ever since about how it is the “perfect waterpark”. Surprisingly, though, 90% of the swimmers keep their shirts on when they swim; it is just the way Koreans view shirtless as immoral.

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In China: Travel with Precautions

-Issues with China-

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If you are scheduling a trip to somewhere for any reason, you should take precautions that I implore for your own safety. Knowing that you are going to explore regions that you are not familiar with should develop the idea that traveling alone implies danger. Knowing how to navigate around China should be your top priority of planning your visit. China is a dangerous region to visit because it is notorious for its very high population, very low wages for labor. And because of this, people become pushed to taking risks for extra income such as taking your belongings, your organs, and your identity.

-Never let your guard down-2

Let’s say for instance that you arrived at the Beijing airport and you are just amazed by what exists on the other side of the world. As you listen to the different dialogues of the Chinese language and observe some form of transaction made between a Chinese tea shop and a man, you are also involved in a transaction between you and a thief. Thieves in China are not ordinary thieves that you encounter in countries such as the United States of America and the like with guns. The thieves in China have a great deal of expertise with chopsticks since they have used them for so many years. The reason why chopsticks are of convenience to the thieves is because they are thin and have a long reach! A pair of chopsticks entering your pockets as opposed to a hand which is much larger makes a big difference. As it is thoroughly shown on this report of a thief named Wang Honbo had used chopsticks to steal a lady’s phone [2nd video]. As you may have noticed, the lady is riding her bike even after the incident has occurred. Moreover, the report goes on to another case involving chopsticks with “two dark-coated men” whom have also used chopsticks to pickpocket. To elaborate, reach is important when stealing because the human eye can only see so much that their peripheral vision is not able to notice two thin sticks from below and behind. Pickpocketing with chopsticks is an art that can be followed by, simply, most Chinese or, much broadly, Asian people because their culture frequently uses chopsticks as the United States frequently uses with forks and spoons. Although, only a few people have been caught on film, allow me to note that this was not caught on film by the government; it was filmed by casual people, for chopsticks are used by most if not all Chinese people meaning the equal amount can end up pickpocketing in non-urban areas.
-Intensification-

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According to the research conducted by World Population Review, China makes up 19% of the world’s total population numbering 1,392,472,656. This is crucial to know because this is the cause of a great lack of resources. In terms of the medical side of this country, “nearly 1.5 million Chinese patients require transplants each year but only 10,000 legally approved transplants take place.” This surprising ratio of those that are accepted to those who are not is extremely comparable. Because so many are not accepted, you can see why organ trafficking is a major issue within the country of China. There have been many rumors [aren’t always true] about Chinese adults kidnapping teens in its neighboring countries to sell their organs in the black market because teens have, supposedly, good health. In conclusion, people of China seek urgent help on the medical side because of the lack of resources. Organ trafficking is the illegal way of substituting for the lack that they have with organ transplants. Recently, according to CNN and NewYorker, a boy has his eyes gouged out by a his aunt [Zhang] in the Shanxi province of Northern China: “he saw that there were only pits where his son’s eyeballs should have been”  which indicates to us that people are wanting to benefit from utilizing organs to the black market for additional income or perhaps, as a new profession.      The article continues: “According to China’s Ministry of Health, some 1.5 million people continue to wait for transplants” which further indicates the critical need for organs in China, the reason behind this unlawful behavior of the people. This is a precaution that you should have to note that you should be aware of your surroundings and not travel alone without protection. You could be the next victim of organ trafficking so always look out for suspicious people and escape routes.

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