Monday, January 31, 2011

Hahoe Mask Dance Drama of korea's most traditional folk plays.

Hahoe Pyolshin-Gut T'al-Nori is one of Korea's most traditional folk plays.

Handed down at Hahoe-ri, P'ungch'on-myon, Andong-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea, the mask dance drama has been performed for centuries as a village ritual, Until 1928 the shaman ritual had been performed at intervals of three, five or sometimes ten years, depending on the revelation of the local goddess or an local circumstances. The performance began on lunar New Year's Day and continued at various places around the village until midmonth.

The village sacrificial rite was observed at Sonangdong, the village shaman shrine, early on the morning of January 15th.

The drama combines shaman rituals and popular entertainment. The village ritual was intended to please the local goddess and exorcise evil spirits. The village prayed for an abundant harvest and for peace and prosperity, while enjoying themselves performing the play. The whole village took park in the event and enjoyed the satirical story revealed in the drama.

It was said that if you did not have a chance to watch the mask dance performed in your lifetime, you could not go to heaven.

Like most other folk mask dance dramas handed down in rural communities across Korea, Hahoe Pyolshin-Gut T'al-Nori features various allegorical characters, such as Yangban(an arrogant aristocrat), Sonbi(a pedantic scholar), Chung(a depraved Buddhist monk), Imae(a foolish servant), Paekchong(a coarse butcher) and so on, Each of these characters represents a social class.

Conflicts among different classes and individuals were satirized to relieve social tensions among the families in the village.

The Hahoe mask dance differs from others in its more natural movements and simpler costumes. In addition, though the story is satirical and humorous, it does not culminate in the traditional ritual of burning the masks.
The dance is accompanied by non-ak, the traditional Korean farmers' percussion ensemble. Non-ak is korea's most popular and probably oldest dance music. The powerful sounds of the traditional quartet, comprising the kkwaenggwari(small gong), ching(large gong), puk(large drum) and changgo(long drum), pour forth a hypnotic beat.

Originating in ancient times, it was performed to celebrate important rural events, such as village sacrificial rites, rice planting and harvesting, as well as for enjoyment.

On most occasions today, the mask dance is performed simply as an entertainment, losing much of its original splendor and religious and social significance.

In 1980 the government, designated the mask dance drama as Important Intangible Cultual Property No. 69, to ensure its preservation and transmission to future generation. The Hahoe Pyolshim-Gut T'al-nori Preservation Society, Which revived and exclusively presents the mask dance, seeks not only to preserve the drama, but also to introduce one of Korea's greatest cultural treasures to the rest of the rest of the world.


Park Ji-sung Retires From National Soccer Team

Sad news for Korean soccer fans out there Korea's soccer hero, Park Ji-sung has officially announced his retirement from the national soccer team after having played on the team for 11 years.
Speaking to reporters today Park said that he will be forever grateful for having been able to play for Team Korea.

He also praised Korea's young players as talented and skillful, adding that they have a great future ahead of them.
Park played at three World Cups, scoring in each tournament and played for Manchester United since joining the team in 2005.
The source of arirang news

South Korea Investigates Somali Pirates that Hijacked Korean Ship

The Busan District Court arrested the five pirates on Sunday for hijacking the South Korean cargo ship Samho Jewelry in the Arabian Sea and shooting the ship's captain on January 15th.
The pirates who were captured by South Korean special forces on January 21st arrived in the southern city of Busan on a United Arab Emirates' royal jet at around 4 a.m. Sunday and were immediately taken to court.
The court issued arrest warrants for maritime robbery and attempted murder after questioning the pirates for one-and-a-half-hours in Somali, English and Korean.
This is the first time Korea has brought pirates operating outside of South Korean waters to the country for litigation.
Court officials said the pirates whose ages range between 19 and 25 have so far denied almost all allegations and blamed their dead colleagues for shooting the captain.
The officials however said they have enough evidence to prove the charges against the pirates including the South Korean crew's testimonies and video footage from the rescue as well as the freighter's trajectory.
Under South Korean law the pirates could be sentenced to at least five years in prison for hijacking the ship and life imprisonment or death for shooting the captain.
The five pirates were captured and eight others were killed during the rescue operation.
All 21 crew members aboard the Samho Jewelry were rescued unharmed except the ship's captain who was shot in the stomach and is currently being treated at a hospital in Korea
The source of arirang news

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Captain Seok Remains Critical but Stable Condition

South Korean doctors said on Sunday that Seok Hae-kyun, captain of the Samho Jewelry, remains in stable condition.
The medical team from Ajou University Hospital said the condition of the wounded captain freed from Somali pirates is critical but stable after a more than three-hour long surgery.

The medical team added that it is too early to know whether his condition is life-threatening and that the two or three days after Sunday will be the most critical time for Seok.

The hospital has been treating the captain since he was flown into Seoul from Oman late Saturday night.

The bullets are reported to have ruptured Seok's liver and large intestine and the medical team has removed two bullets from his legs.
The source of arirang news

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jagalchi fish Market in Busan korea

One of the places that come to mind first when you think of Busan is the Jagalchi Market. Here you can enjoy fresh seafood at cheap prices with a side of history as well. As the largest and one of the oldest fish markets in Korea, you can feel the pulse of Busan simply by strolling around.

Every day, 300 kinds of fish including fresh snapper, flatfish, ear shell and squid arrive at the market in the early dawn. This market is always a cacophony of sounds: the voices of middle-aged women selling and bidding on seafood, live fish flapping in the water and thousands of people milling about.

     During the Korean War,
     women primarily worked and shopped in the market, and the affectionate new term 
     “Jagalchi ajimae” is used to describe them. Every year in October,

      the Jagalchi Festival is held under the slogan “Oheesoh, Boeesoh, Saeesoh.”
      The market is also typically at the top of the list for tourists.

       How to get there: Subway line No. 1, Nampo-dong Station, exit 2 or Jagalchi
       Station, exit 10. It’s about a 5-minute walk from the station.

          Telephone :82 - 51-713-8000

Friday, January 28, 2011

The korean Traditional Dongnae crane dance

Dongnae hakchum
This is a mock animal folk dance from the Dongnae area.
The dancing(hakchum)is in costumes of cranes and had originally been enjoyed by upper class including the royal family since the Goryeo Period.

However, since ancient times, the Dongnae Crane dance has been performed in everyday gala dress(dopo and gat) without the costumes of cranes.

This dance was mainly performed when the Dongnae mask dance play or tug of war was played on the 'full moon day', January 15th of the lunar calendar.
It is divided into two forms, single and group dances.

The dancing motion represents mainly the ecology of cranes, the music is composed of an oral sound, a shaman song and the rhythm of jajinmori.
This dance combines nature and art.

Cultural property : Busan Intangible Cultural Property No.3
Designated on September 19, 1972
Type : Folk dance
Location : San13-3, Oncheon1-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan (Busan Folk Arts Preservation Association)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Myeongseon Bridge in Ul ju-county Ulsan city

The bridge that links jinha and Gangyang .
The bridge that unites the local community .
The bridge that, once walked over, unites people as one heart


Myeongseon bridge was built for mutual development and prosperity of the two villages.

It is support by nuclear power plant special fund.
The tower and cables of the bridge resemble a pair of cranes inflight. Symbolizing the future of Ulju-gun

Dongnae Byeljang in Busan korea

Since the time of King Sukjong three hundred years ago, Oncheongjang has been known as the place of hot spring. This district was converted into a hot spring district by Japanese beginning with the annexation with Korea.

During the Japanese occupation period, more and more villas were being built in this district. In the beginning of 1920s, the building of the present day Dongnae Byeljang was built by a Japanese named Bakkan Bangtaerang and people called the place Bakgantangwon. Right after the liberation of Korea from Japanese in 1945, the building was used by the American military government office. After the Korean War, the place was renamed Dongnae Byeljang.

Dongnae Byeljang that opened last October Dongnae Byeljang has a Korean restaurant, Song Hyang, on its premises, which recreates royal cuisine that has been handed down from the days of kings of yesteryears. The food at the restaurant will trigger your taste bud and yet will transcend the sphere of fare. The restaurant offers not only the plentiful and elegant food but also a venue for music, performance, or wedding in a natural setting where you can find beauty and charm.

You can encounter the taste of royal palace cuisine at Song Hyang, which offers four different dinner courses, pine, bamboo, king’s dinner, and king’s full course dinner. All of the dinner courses serve a wooden container of five dry appetizers, porridge, and assorted sashimi in the dinner course.

Entrees include seafood, hot pot, barbecue ribs, roasted mushroom, and steamed prawns. When it comes to serving rice, mixed grain rice cooked in bamboo stems and traditional bean paste soup are served.

For dessert, rice cookies and fruit are served with tea. Mixed grain rice cooked in bamboo stems is the pride of Song Hyang. It has a mixture of five different kinds of grains, gingko nuts, and chestnuts, cooked with bamboo tree sap. The rice cooked in this manner is supposed to clear one’s head.

Built in the Japanese style, Japanese restaurant Seol Hwa is where you can enjoy nice and clean, uncommon Japanese cuisine comprised of dobingmushi, mushroom tea, health bean curds made with hemp and beans, and seasonal varieties.

At Dongnae Byeljang, you can hold a dignified traditional wedding ceremony or an once-in-a-lifetime sacred wedding, or celebrate other important events of your family, your parents’ 60th birthdays, regular birthday parties, and the first birthday. Such events can be accommodated in the large and small banquet rooms.

You may want to cross the small pond by walking over the bridge and passing the elegant pavilion on a path replete with trees. It may not be a bad idea to immerse yourself in a meditation as you are walking alone. Or you may enjoy a pleasant conversation over a sumptuous meal and make a plan for the year.

Location : 126-1, Oncheon1-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan

Telephone number : 051)552-0157~9

Website :

Friday, January 14, 2011

The gate tower(Mangmiru) of the Dongnae Magistrate's office during the Joseon period

This was the gate tower of the Dongnae Magistrate's office during the Joseon period(1392-1910). It was built in 1742, the 18th year of the reign of King Yeongjo(1724-76), by Gim Seok Il who was Magistrate. They say that a new Dongnae Magistrate came from Hanyang and called this building Mangmiru, in order to ease longing for king. It is said that the Independence Movement on March 1 1919 started in this place.

A signboard reading "Dongnaedohobu" was hung up on the front side of tower and "Mangmiru" was also hung up on the rear one of that. After 1895, when Dongnae was upgraded to an administrative unit, it was called Pojeongsa. Originally there was a large drum in the gate tower which was beaten at noon and at the opening and closing times of the four gates of the Dongnae wall fortress. The tower was removed from its original location to its present one when the Japanese re-zoned the city.

 It is an L-shaped building with three rooms in the front part and two rooms in the rear. It is supported by large cornerstones. It was built in the iikgong style. It has a paljak roof(a type of a roof) and double eaves with rafters. This is a typical gate tower of government office buildings in the late of Joseon period.

Cultural property : Busan Tangible Cultural Property No.4

Designated on June 26, 1972

Location : San 25-4, Oncheon-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan

Dongnae Confucian school of Busan city korea

'Hyanggyo' or ''Confucian school'  was a type of provincial educational institution introduced during the Goryeo period, lasting until the closing years of the Joseon period. No records tell the exact time of the foundation of Confucian school here, but it is presumed that this was among those erected in the early Joseon period after the Court decided in 1392(the first year of the reign of King Taejo, the founding monarch of the dynasty) to build and operate Hyanggyo in each of major town across the country. At first a shrine school was built on the outside of the eastern gate in the Dongnae town fortress( the site of Dongnae High school ).

It was burnt down during the Japanese invasions(1592-98). In 1605, it was rebuilt by Hong Jun, the Dongnae Magistrate and was relocated several times thereafter. The present Hyanggyo is the one erected by the Dongnae Magistrate, Hong Su Man, in 1813, in the 13th year of the reign of King Sunjo. The name of this place, Myeongryun-dong, originated from Hyanggyo. Its function was a social enlightenment, with a memorial service for the saints and the teaching of Confucianism.

Hyanggyo usually consisted of a Daeseongjeon shrine dedicated to Confucian saints and sages, a Myeongr yundang hall where lectures were given, and Dongjae and Seojae dormitories for students. There were also other auxiliary structures such as warehouses. The two-storied gate of the Dongnae hyanggyo is called Banhwaru, a name denoting the importance of the cultivation of one's virtues, following the sages, and faithful service to the king .

According to the Gyeonggukdaejeon(a historical book), there were one teacher per seventy students but In the Sokdaejeon, many officers came into being instead of a teacher. Also Hackjeon 7gyeol(a kind of money) was paid to maintain and manage the Hyanggyo.

After the Reformation of Kabo in 1894, its educational function ended as a new educational system went into effect. Now in the Dongnae hyanggyo, the Hyangsa ( a festival held twice a year to honor Confucius ) is held in February and August of the lunar calender.

Cultural property : Busan Tangible Cultural Property No.6

Designated on June 26, 1972

Location : 235 and 321-1, Myeongnyun-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan

Dongnae eupseongji (castle road) of Busan city

This site was a town fortress surrounding the administrative center of Dongnae district in the Joseon period.

It is a typical mountain fortress wall surrounding the mountain at the back of the Chungnyeolsa, Maan mountain, the mountain at the back of the Dongnae hyanggyo and the present Dongnae urban areas. It is representative of town fortress in Korea.

During the Samhan period, there were small states called Geochilsanguk and Dokroguk in Dongnae. It is presumed that a wall fortress was already built up at that time. However, the first mention about the Dongnae wall fortress that appears in historical records is that the wall was repaired in 1021, the twelfth year of the reign of King Hyeonjong of Goryeo. It was an ancient town fortress in the area of Mangmi-dong, Suyeong-gu. In 1387, the present Dongnae wall fortress was built to defend the Japanese invaders by Bak Wi.

Dongnaebu was counted as the most important defense center during the Joseon period. So its government offices were big. When the Japanese began their invasion of Korea on April 14, 1592, Dongnaebu became their first target.It was the scene of a hard-fought battle. The wall was repaired and expanded in 1713 by Magistrate, Jeong Eon Seop. It was surrounded by 3.6kilometers. Within the wall there were four gates. Each gate had a tower. A wing fortress was built upon the south gate and small fortifications were erected on the other three gates, too. At present, there are some restored structures inside the wall. including the north gate with a fortification on its top, Dongjangdae, Seojangdae, Bukjangdae heights, Chiseong wall and a fortified small wall surrounding a gate

Cultural property : Busan Tangible Cultural Property No.5

Designated on June 26, 1972

Location : 510-1, Suan-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan

The mock crane folk dance (Dongnae hakchum)

This is a mock animal folk dance from the Dongnae area.
The dancing(hakchum)is in costumes of cranes and had originally been enjoyed by upper class including the royal family since the Goryeo Period.

However, since ancient times, the Dongnae Crane dance has been performed in everyday gala dress(dopo and gat) without the costumes of cranes.

This dance was mainly performed when the Dongnae mask dance play or tug of war was played on the 'full moon day', January 15th of the lunar calendar.

It is divided into two forms, single and group dances.

The dancing motion represents mainly the ecology of cranes, the music is composed of an oral sound, a shaman song and the rhythm of jajinmori.

This dance combines nature and art.

*  Cultural property : Busan Intangible Cultural Property No.3
*  Designated on September 19, 1972
*  Type : Folk dance
*  Location : San13-3, Oncheon1-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan
                    (Busan Folk Arts Preservation Association)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tourist Attractions of Jinju city south korea

History of Jinju city
Jinju is a hub city of southern Korea. From old times, Jinju was a fountainhead of national culture and spirit. As a city that has held 1,000-year-old historical heritage of the ancient city, Jinju has been well renowned as a home of patriotic spirit, education, culture and art.

Jinju was an ancient city of Goryeonggaya in the Gaya Era. This city was called 'Geoyeolseong' of Baekje in the Three Kingdom Era, and was called 'Geoyeolju', 'Cheongju', and 'Gangju' in the Unified Silla Era. Name of this city was changed into 'Jinju' for the first time in the 23rd year of King Taejong of the Goryeo Dynasty(940).

It became 'Jinju-mok', one of 12 moks(local administrative units in Goryeo and Joseon Dynasty) in the 2nd year of King Seongjong(983). In the 33rd year of King Gojong of the Joseon Dynasty(1896), administrative district of the nation was reorganized with 13 provinces. At that time Jinju began to belong to Gyeongsangnam-do, and became capital town of Gyeongsangnam-do. And provincial governor started to reside at Jinju. On April 1, 1925, Busan replaced Jinju as provincial capital.

On August 15, 1949, the government of the Republic of Korea was established and 'the local self-government system' was started. At that time, Jinju-bu was raised to Jinju-si(city) and started to have mayor of the city. On January 1, 1995, in accordance with 'the Law pertaining to the establishment of Urban-Rural Integrated City', Jinju-si and Jinyang-gun became extinct and were merged into one integrated Jinju-si(city).

Jinju Castle
Jinju Castle(area 1,760m2, stone castle) is a sacred ground of Jinju in which history and culture of Jinju are well integrated. Originally it had been a mud castle. But it was rebuilt with stones against frequent invasion of sea marauders in the 5th year of King Woo, Goryeo Dynasty(1379). During the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592, the General Gim, Si-min won a victory at this castle, which was one of three great victories in the war. And the next year(1593), in the second Jinjuseong Battle, about 70,000 militia corps and government troops resisted to the last to die for their country gloriously.

This castle was used for the provincial office of Gyeongsangnam-do from 1895 to 1925. From 1969, the first Jinjuseong Restoration Project was started. In 1972, Chokseongmun was completed, and in 1975, fortress repair was finished. From 1979, the second Restoration Project was conducted. Removal of 751 private houses was promoted and was completed in 1984. In 1992, as the third project, outer wall of castle was improved.

There are many historical relics on this site such as Jinju National Museum, Jinju castle Imjindaecheop Gyesasunuidan Altar, Changnyeolsa Temple, and Hoguksa Temple.

Location : Bonseong-dong, Namseong-dong, Jinju-si
Size : 176,804m2
Construction Period : Goryeo Period (1079-1229)

Nongae Uiam

Located under the rock wall of Chokseongnu, Jinju Castle, this rock was called 'Uiam(Dangerous Rock)' before the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592(Imjinwaeran). This rock has become famous for Nongae, a women who suicided by drowning on this rock, holding a Japanese general to kill him during the Imjinwaeran. After the Imjinwaeran, it was named 'Uiam(Righteous Rock)' in memory of her self-sacrificing spirit. Top surface of this rock is flat, 3.65m wide and 3.3m long, and rises above the Namgang River.

Hoguksa Temple
Hoguksa Temple was built during the Goryeo Period and originally named 'Naeseongsa'. This temple appears to had been built with reconstruction of Jinjuseong Castle to keep off the Japanese invaders and raise monk soldiers in it. It was a base of monk army during the Imjinwaeran War. It is said that King Sukjong ordered to reconstruct the castle and named 'Hoguksa'(means defense of the fatherland) after the war, in appreciation of the monk soldiers who sacrificed their lives to defend the castle during the 2nd Jinjuseong Battle.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jeonju Bibimbap, Hanjeongsik and Kongnamul - gukbap of Korean Food

he fame is won not dnly by its excellent taste but also plenty of kinds, because
Jeollabuk-do is a rich treasury of agricultural , fishery,livestock,and forestry resources produced from wide fields, a lot of hills and mountains, and vast open sea, Dishes and delicacy of Jeonbuk could be intrepreted as its history and culture, Having the precious opportunity to taste its unique dishes would be unforgettable experience.

Jeonju Bibimbap
Jeonju Bibimbap is well known as one of the three best dishes with Pyeongyang Naengmyeon and Gaeseong Tangban during the Chosun Dynasty. Nowadays, you can enjoy it even in trains or planes, thanks to user-friendly products. Bibimbop is one of the best dishes wanted by most of visitors to Jeonju.

The word, "bibimbap" is combined with "bibim(; mixing many side dishes)" and "bap(; bowl of warm rice topped with many vegetables)". Its excellent taste is believed to come from soybean sprouts and other vegetables raised in crystal clean water in Jeonju, especially with fresh sliced beef.

Jeonju Traditional Hanjeongsik
If you want all kinds of delicious dishes at one table, the Jeonju traditional Hanjeongsik would never fail to satisfy you.
The full-course table could be understood as a masterpiece of Jeonju dishes, as it is usually set with 15 or 16 sorts of side dishes including Jeonju's 8 or 10 best cuisines and furthermore 3 or 4 specialties added.

In the era of Chosun Dynasty, Jeonju Hanjeongsik was enjoyed only by Yangban(; upper social class) but today it helps brass wares
                               Jeonju Kongnamul - gukbap

The dish is made boiled in earthen wares by topping a variety of spices on rice and mixing them with soybean sprouts and its unique flavor and refreshing taste has been loved by habitual drinkers as one of main Jeonju cuisines.

Soybean sprouts are well known as one of nutritious vegetables, especially it produces nutritions rich in vitamin-C as it pushes out new shoots.  

Monday, January 10, 2011

Grilled Galbi of Korean Food

Grilled Galbi (Seasoned ribs)
Ingredients: Beef rib (or pork rib), sugar, soy sauce, diced green onion, minced garlic, sesame oil

Description: Ribs of beef or pork are sliced into easy to eat portions, then marinated in seasonings before being grilled. Suwon galbi is popular.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

History of Kimchi [ The Basis of Korean Food]

Koreans traditionally believe that the taste and quality of food depends on its spices and sauces, the essential ingredients to making a delicious meal. Therefore , soybean paste, soy sauce,red pepper paste and kimchi are some of the healthiest and the most important staple in a Koren household.

• Origin of Kimchi
For as long as humans have been cultivating they have enjoyed the nutritional elements of vegetables. However, the cold winter months, when cultivation was practically impossible, soon led to the development of a storage method knowns as 'pickling'. Rich in vitamins and minerals, kimchi was conceived in Korea around the 7th century.

Use of Hot Red Pepper Powder
Many years ago, kimchi was merely regarded as a salted vegetable. Yet, throughout the 12th century, with the addition of several spices and seasonings, it grew steadily in popularity. It wasn't until the 18th century that hot red pepper was finally used as one of the major ingredients for making kimchi. In fact, the very same kimchi as we know it today has retained the same qualities and cooking preparations that prevailed ever since it was first introduced.

The Origin of the Name, Kimchi
It is suspected that the name kimchi originated from shimchae (salting of vegetable) which went through some phonetic changes: shimchae - dimchae - kimchae - kimchi.

Reasons Why Kimchi Was Developed in Korea
Few fermented vegetable foods are found worldwide. Some possible reasons why kimchi was developed as a fermented food especially in Korea are as follows: (1) vegetables were popular to the ancient people in Korea whose main industry was agriculture; (2) Koreans had a remarkable technology for salting fish which was frequently used as a seasoning; (3) cabbages (brassica) appropriate for making kimchi were widely grown.

Major Historical Periods of Korea
The development of kimchi is reportedly rooted in the agrarian culture that began before the era of the Three Kingdoms on the Korean Peninsula. Due to the cold Korean winter, they had to come up with the storage technology for vegetables as a means of securing food.

- Kimchi in Ancient Times
It is difficult to identify the development of kimchi throughout ancient times, as historical records remain scarcely available. We can only assume that they simply salted vegetables in order to preserve them as long as possible.

- Kimchi during the Goryeo Kingdom
Although there are records that clearly indicate the root of kimchi's discovery, cabbage was first mentioned in an oriental medicine book titled 'Hanyakgugeupbang'. There were two types of kimchi - jangajji (sliced radish preserved in soy sauce) and sunmu sogeumjeori (salted radish). In this period, kimchi began to receive new attention as a processed food enjoyable regardless of season as well as storage food for winter. It is suspected that the development of seasonings at that time enabled spicy kimchi to appear.

- Kimchi in the Joseon Period
It was after foreign vegetables, in particular, cabbages (brassica) were introduced and used as the main ingredient that the current form of kimchi was conceived. Hot red pepper was imported to Korea from Japan in the early 17th century (after the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592), but it took roughly 200 years until it was actively used as an ingredient in kimchi. Therefore, it was only during the late Joseon period that kimchi became associated with its red color.

Royal Court of Joseon  - Kimchi in the Royal Court of Joseon
Normally three types of kimchi- whole-cabbage kimchi (jeotgukji), diced-radish kimchi (kkakdugi) and water kimchi, were served to the kings of Joseon. Jeotgukji for a good deal of pickled fish was added to the kimchi. A cooking book of Joseon, Joseon massangsansik yorijebeop, explains how to make jeotgukji as follows:

First, cut well-washed cabbages and radishes into small chunks and salt them. Second, mix them with chopped hot red pepper, garlic, dropwort (minari), leaf mustards (gat) and some seaweed. Third, boil fermented fish in some water and cool it. Fourth, add the fish to the above mixture. Fifth, store it in a pot and wait till it is fermented.

Even though the main ingredients of water kimchi (dongchimi) are radish and water, more garnishes were used to enhance the taste in the royal court of Joseon. The radishes used for water kimchi should be of a wholesome shape. In addition, they should be washed and salted for a day before being stored in a jar buried under ground. There is an anecdote that King Gojong, the second last king of the Joseon Kingdom, liked cold noodles in dongchimi juice mixed with some beef juice as a winter-night-meal. Hence, special water kimchi was prepared with pears, which were exclusively used for the cold noodles.

                                     - Modern Kimchi
Kimchi has been scientifically proven to be high in nutrition and is often recommended as a valuable food source both at home and abroad. In fact, there has been a significant increase in kimchi exports in recent years. Korean immigrants to China, Russia, Hawaii and Japan first introduced kimchi abroad, and have continued to eat kimchi as a side dish. It gradually gained popularity even among foreigners. Accordingly, kimchi may be found wherever Koreans live. In America and Japan especially, where relatively many Koreans live, packaged kimchi is easily available. In the past, the production and consumption of kimchi was confined to Korean societies, however, in recent years it has become a globally recognized food.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Korean Country rice planting [ Suyeong Nongcheong-nori ]

Suyeong Nongcheong-nori is oriented around work songs of rice growing farmers.

As modernization quickly progressed, such songs disappeared. Some of the residents, and Suyeong relics and folk arts conservation association put an effort to preserve such traditional elements by reproducing the farming process and expressing them in an art form.

The nori depicts various farm works. It is comprised of farmers-songs such as, rice preparing, rice planting, weeding, barley threshing, cow-fighting and more.

A regular performance is given every June at the Suyeong Folk Art open theater.

Budget Tour. "Sightseeing on the Most Frequented Streets of Busan!”

Budget Tour. “Sightseeing on the Most Frequented Streets of Busan!”

Oiso, boiso, saiso (Come, see, and buy)! — Busan’s common expression, which has become a trademark that originated from the female vendors selling fish at Jagalchi Market. The Busan budget tour focuses on Jagalchi Market, Nampo-dong street, and Yongdusan Observatory, where you can see the lives of the local people. This course also includes Haeundae and the coastal landscape of Taejongdae during the daytime and a sauna at a jjimjilbang and a hot spring at night.

▶09:00 Departure from Seoul, 14:00 Arrival in Busan
The trip takes approximately three hours by KTX from Seoul Station to Busan Station (about 48,000 won). There is a train leaving every 30 minutes or every hour. You can also take a Saemaeulho train (39,000 won) or a Mugunghwaho train (27,000 won), which take 4 hours and 15 minutes and 5.5 hours respectively. There are 5 to 15 trains a day. Express buses leave from Gangnam Seoul Bus Terminal between 06:00 and 09:00 every 20 to 30 minutes and the ride takes about 4 hours and 40 minutes.

• Travel Tip: If your hotel is located close to Busan Station, check-in before you start sightseeing, but if you are staying near Haeundae or downtown, which is farther away, put your luggage in a public locker inside the train station and start your tour immediately. It takes about 30 minutes from Busan Station to the first destination, which is Nampo-dong.

• Travel Tip: Have a simple lunch at Busan Station. The restaurant area in the station offers Korean, Chinese, or Western cuisine. There are also a number of restaurants outside the station. If you want to save more time, buy some sandwiches, gimbap (rice roll), and drinks before you leave Seoul Station and enjoy them on the train.

14:00~18:00 Sightseeing at Nampo-dong street ~ Yongdusan Park ~ Jagalchi Market

Well known for ‘Jagalchi Ajimae,’ the women vendors selling fish and seafood, Jagalchi Market is the venue for the annual Jagalchi Festival. The area includes a sushi center where a number of restaurants cater to the needs of visitors during lunchtime.

Across from the market is Nampo-dong. This area is also famous for the PIFF Square where the Busan International Film Festival is held every year. After you enjoy some sightseeing on the streets of Nampo-dong, make your way to the nearby Yongdusan Park, go up the Busan Tower Observatory in the center of the park or enjoy a view of the city.

Noodles at Nampo-dong Meokjagolmok!
The meokjagolmok (food alley) in Nampo-dong has a long history stretching over 50 years. It first started with a few cart vendors who catered to refugees after the Korean War. Today, there are about 30 to 40 vendors lining the alley to sell snack foods such as noodles, japchae (Vermicelli mixed with vegetables), gimbap (rice rolls), tteokbokki (rice cakes in hot sauce), and sundae (Korean sausage with a casing of intestines). With prices ranging between 2,000 and 3,000 won, travelers are sure to find delicious local food for a very affordable price.

18:00~21:00 Walk on Gwangalli Beach
Located adjacent to Haeundae Beach, Gwangalli Beach is famous as a dating place for many young couples in Busan. At night, the arch-shaped beach is more romantic as it is illuminated by the surrounding buildings and Gwangan Bridge. Then go to Gwangalli area when the sun sets for a walk on the beach and a great night view.

▶09:00~12:00 Visit to Taejongdae Park’s coastal cliffs
Famous for its oddly-shaped rocks and cliffs, Taejongdae Park offers a great sightseeing course along a 4.3-kilometer coastal road. The sites include Taejongsa Temple, a lighthouse, and an observatory, which are accessible on foot or by tram. The most popular is the Yeongdo Lighthouse Maritime Culture Area. First opened in 2004, this site offers views of the sea from a white lighthouse, which also has a maritime theater, a library (free Internet), a natural history gallery, and a coffee shop. After visiting the lighthouse, walk down to view the sea. You can easily access Taejongdae by taking a Danubi tour tram.

Visitor Information
Hours : April~October: 09:00~24:00 (Ticketing until 22:00), November~March: 09:00~21:00 (Ticketing until 20:00)
Fare : 19 years old and above: 1,500 won, 13~18 years old: 1,000 won, 12 years old or younger: 600 won
(Free for children 4 years or younger and seniors 65 years or older)

Visit to Haeundae on a City Tour Bus
Budget travelers can take a city tour bus and enjoy some of the major tourist destinations of Busan for just 10,000 won. The bus tour, which is becoming more popular, offers both one-story buses as well as the double-decker buses. It offers the Haeundae, Taejongdae, and night tour programs, which all start from Busan Station. The tours take about two hours. If you buy a one-day pass, you can enjoy a leisurely tour and get on and off any time during the route.

Each seat is equipped with a personal moniter showing information on each tourist site. The audio service is available in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese. The best seats are usually the front seats on the top deck, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information on the schedule of the double-decker bus, please visit their website.

* Taejongdae Tour: Busan Station ~ Yongdusan Park ~ Coastal Ferry Terminal ~ Taejongdae Park ~ Jagalchi Market ~ PIFF Square ~ Busan Station

* Night Tour: Busan Station ~ Gwangan Bridge ~ Haeundae Beach ~ Dalmaji ~ Busan Station

* Haeundae Tour: Busan Station ~ Busan Museum ~ UN Memorial Park ~ Gwangalli Beach ~ Nurimaru ~ Haeundae Beach ~ Municipal Museum ~ BEXCO ~ Busan Station

Visitor Information
Fare: 20 years old and above: 10,000 won; ages 5~19 years old: 5,000 won
For inquires: +82-51-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese), +82-51-464-9898(Korean)
Website: (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Location : Buses are lined up in front of the Lawn Plaza of Busan Station.

 Relaxation and accommodations at Vesta Jjimjilbang
To wrap up your trip, spend the night at a jjimjilbang for a uniquely Korean cultural experience. Vesta Jjimjilbang is located on Haeundae’s Dalmaji Hill. The side of the building facing the sea is all glassed in and so visitors can enjoy a fantastic night view of Haeundae and Gwangalli while taking a steam sauna.

This 5-story building has an information desk on the first floor, a women and men’s sauna on the 2nd and 4th floor, a jjimjilbang on the 3rd floor, and a fitness center and open-air bath on the 5th floor. Don’t miss the fabulous view of Haeundae from the open-air bath. Swimsuits are required. It is open from 11:00 to18:00 on weekdays and 09:00~21:00 on weekends and holidays.

Rejuvenate your skin at the skin treatment center
The skin treatment center on the 1st floor is popular with female customers. This space offers a nice retreat to soothe skin that has been exposed to ultra-violet rays and is a relaxing way to wrap up the day. Reservations are required. Couple rooms are available for friends and couples.

Business Hours: 10:00~22:00, the fee for a facial treatment ranges from 60,000 won to 150,000 won. For reservations, please call +82-51-742-8867 (Korean, English)

Visitor Information
Hours : 24 hrs
Price : 8 years old and above: 7,900 won, 8 years old and under: 5,000 won (price includes jjimjilbang dress)
For inquires: +82-51-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese), +82-54-743-5705(Korean)
Website: (Korean)
How to Get There: Go to the Haeundae’s Dalmaji Hill

Day 3

▶08:00~09:00 Breakfast
Enjoy a simple breakfast of eggs and a drink at the jjimjilbang. If you have a heavy bag, ask if you can leave it at the reception desk.

▶09:00~13:00 Visit to Yonggungsa or Beomeosa Temple
Because of their unique geographical surroundings, Yonggungsa Temple and Beomeosa Temple have totally different features. While Yonggungsa Temple, located on a coastal cliff, offers a beautiful view of the sea, Beomeosa Temple, which is nestled deep in the mountains, has a different ambience. You can choose either of the two temples depending on personal preference.

A round trip to Yonggunsa takes an hour by taxi (public transportation is not recommended) and two hours by subway to Beomeosa, so make sure to allocate enough time for a temple visit. If a temple tour isn’t how you want to spend your time, you can top off your Busan trip with a leisurely shopping trip to a duty free shopping center.

▶14:00 Departure from Busan

▶19:00 Arrival in Seoul

Good Sightseeing Option!

Ride the ferris wheel with a view at Meworld

If you are visiting Busan with your family, make sure not to miss ‘Meworld’. Of the few amusement parks in Busan, this is the newest one. While it is relatively small with only about ten amusement rides, it has all the essential rides. This is a great day trip option. Meworld’s greatest advantage is the excellent view of the sea, thanks to its location near Gwangalli Beach. Take the 103.5-meter high ferris wheel to get a birds-eye-view of Haeundae and the yacht center.