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Seoul

Itaewon Reborn

The gates to the famous district in Seoul, South Korea

The gates to the famous district in Seoul, South Korea

I must admit that I never really liked Itaewon until now. It just seemed like too wild of a place. I think that it stems from a night where I tried to find a hostel there and found myself walking up Hooker Hill. I was then promptly grabbed by a large Russian prostitute and almost dragged into a seedy bar. Her Schwarzenegger-like accent demanded me to “have a good time” but I broke free and ran like hell.


Welcome to Hagwon Hell

Welcome to Hagwon Hell

Welcome to Hagwon Hell, Public School Teachers


Trazy’s 5 Step Guide to Understanding Korean Subway Culture

Korean metro systems are unquestionably some of the best in the world, acclaimed for its speed, proximity, convenience, cleanliness, and multilingual announcements. With approximately 9.8 million daily riders, Korea has developed both a written and unwritten decorum to keep most people happy while traveling on the trains. Politeness and manner counts!

Here are several suggestions that will make your subway journey in Korea more pleasant:

   1. Efficiency starts with YOU!

Avoid gridlock! Especially in Seoul, it’s highly possible that you’ll encounter waves of people at subway stations. So, when entering and leaving the exit, both the subway and the station :


Eulalia Festival 2015

Seoul, South Korea — Danny and I visited Haneul Park 2 weeks later after its annual eulalia (silver grass) festival last October 10 to 17, 2015. Haneul or Sky Park (하늘공원) is one of the 5 theme parks in Nanjido, where it has been known to be the city’s dump site around 1978 to 1993.

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There were still quite a large number of visitors although a couple weeks had passed the festival. Upon arrival, there was no entrance fee but, we purchased a round-trip ticket ride for both of us. Hiking is another option and it could take at least 40 minutes to do that while the ride is only for 10 minutes.


2015 Jarasum Makgeolli Festival – Wrap up


6 Ethnic Enclaves of Seoul

Not all of Korea feels Korean.

Korea is approximately 96% ethnically homogeneous, but also serves as one of several central business and international relation hubs for all of Asia. Similar to large cities in the USA, Seoul also has different ethnic enclaves with authentic foods, residential housing and services dedicated to their respective nationalities.

Here’s a short description of where to find these ethnic enclaves and some things you can find there:


Night Parade at Lotte World

Seoul, South Korea — After Danny’s work, we agreed to meet up at his workplace because he wanted to show me something. Unknowningly, he drove us to Lotte World to watch the night parade. It’s not that I don’t like surprises, don’t get me wrong I really do. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera and visiting Lotte World is a luxury. Although, they offer discounts after 5 in the afternoon and 7 in the evening. So, I had to endure once again my phone camera’s photo resolution.

The night parade starts at 8:30pm and while waiting for it, we strolled around the indoor amusement park.


Meet the Latest Hot Alcohol Drinks in South Korea

Perhaps, you know that South Korea is one of the heaviest drinking countries in the world. You will either witness or experience the wild drinking culture of Koreans for once during your stay. But, please let’s not over drink and pass out on the street! So the question is, what kind of alcohol do most Koreans drink? It’s ‘soju’, of course.

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You just can’t imagine how much Koreans love soju. To help you get the picture, here’s the figure. An average Korean adult drinks 9.16 liters of alcohol each year, which is around 60 bottles of soju. And 1.5 million bottles are consumed in just a month. Unbelievable!


Ihwa Mural Village

Seoul, South Korea — After church service, we headed straight to Hyehwa to see the Philippine Flea Market which happens every Sunday. By the sidewalks under the tents, Filipinos sell instant cooking mix, chips, shrimp paste (bagoong), canned goods, soaps, deodorants, and even Filipino dishes such as adobo, banana ques, and many more. Surprisingly, some Filipino sellers were even talking in Korean among themselves and, we ran across some more Filipinos buying goods with satisfaction painted on their faces.

Walking around the area, we also spotted an ice cream stand selling ice cream that form into a flower just like this:

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The National Museum of Korea

Seoul, South Korea — Sculptures, paintings, relics and artifacts always come to mind everytime I hear the word “museum”, just like how I pictured the National Museum of Korea. It’s recorded as the largest museum nationwide and keeps about 15,000 precious pieces from the past to modern age.

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Seoul Subway

In my hometown, the means of public transportation around the city is by jeepney only and buses are for long distance travels. Although, I’ve also experienced riding the LRT in Manila and subway in Hong Kong, some things that one isn’t familiar with gives this scary and exciting feeling at the same time.

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Seoul Subway Map in English, Japanese and Chinese ©SMRT (click to enlarge)

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Bi-Weekly Top Trazy Contributors (Sep 24~Oct 07)

Congratulations Mini EFat Girl, newcomer Tae-Hyun for making it up to Top 3!! :)

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Cut your Luck and Draw your Face!




I was just shocked out of my socks when I read this report on today's The Korea Times! The gist being that young jobseekers in Korea have resorted to plastic surgery to look more appealing to the interviewers and now have also started to cut luck lines on their palms to make their palm lines stand out to induce luck. They even have resorted to injecting botox into their vocal cords to make them sound confident!

Gangpul Cartoon Alley

Seoul, South Korea — If we ask about a mural village in Seoul, many would suggest and are familiar with Ihwa Mural Village in Hyehwa. But, in a quiet neighborhood of 성안 (Seong-an) in 강동구 (Gangdong) district, which literally means East of the Han River, a colorful village also exists. The 50 paintings are actually from a famous Korean webcomic artist named 강풀 (Gang Pul).

Due to time constraint, I only got to see about 20+ artworks. Enjoy my snaps:


101 Guide to 11 Must Have Korean Cosmetics

 

South Korea is known for its beauty. We’re talking known known. People from all over the world flock to Korea in an effort to achieve the flawless skin of so many K-pop stars and actors. You wanna know how it’s done? An impeccable skin care routine. Korean cosmetic stores line the streets of Seoul like no other. There are literally 4 or 5 on each block brimming with the latest skin care innovations and make up.


Unique wedding ceremony in Seoul


I miss the Indian weddings. The colorful clothes, the delicious food, the gaiety of the relatives and friends! It is a wonderful feeling to get together, celebrate the couple, share their joy and indulge in ourselves.Traditional weddings conducted in wedding halls for three whole days, though must be a tense time for the parents of the couple, but a time of delightful cheer for the others. Though I might be missing the most expected weddings of two of my cousins this year :(, I got to witness an interesting wedding ceremony in Seoul. 

Bi-Weekly Top Trazy Contributors (Sep10~23)

Congratulations Mini EFat Girl, newcomer Ellie P and Jennie S. There were a lot of new participants this week although they couldn’t make it to the top 3. :)

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All that has been so far... in Seoul

Oh, it has been so long since I wrote in my blog. I blame the awesome food in India, unnatural weight gain because of that and the excellent outdoor weather we are having now in Seoul for my tardiness.

Having said that, the past few months have been so memorable in my life, I just want to preserve it in words.

The India trip was amazing. Met with a lot of people, feasted on all the good things I was missing, spent some time with my parents (and a lot of time shopping) which was so soothing. Bad things did happen, but I am moving on with my life and I will naturally cry about it in the upcoming posts.

All about the Korean “Room” (Bang) Culture

Rooms, or “bangs” as it’s translated into Korean, form a huge part of the entertainment industry in Korea. Koreans love to spend time with their friends, lovers or family in these rooms that offer much more privacy. Some of the most popular of these are places like noraebang (Korean karaoke), or PC bang, which is an Internet cafe where people mostly enjoy computer games.

1. Noraebang 

This is probably the most common, and the most popular, form of bang in Korea. This is a place where people can sing their hearts out for a minimum of 1 hour (the time depends on the place). Usually, the noraebangs will charge per hour (costs about 15,000 won to 25,000 won per hour, depending on the area and the timing of the day).


Baesangmyeon Neurin Maeul Brewery Tour – September 6th

 

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Date: Sunday, September 6th.

Time: 9am – 6.30pm

Place: Pocheon City, Gyeonggido.

What:  Transportation, Lecture, Guided Tour, Lunch, Unlimited Tastings


How to become Love Birds in Han River Park.

Have you ever been to Han river? with whom? It’s pretty known that Han river is one of the best places to go on a date!

It is romantic enough to just walk along the river with your lover but there are also special activities which will make your love bigger. :p

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I love you…for sentimental reasons♡

Here are Top 6 Things you can do in Han River Park with your lover.


Outdoor Lessons (야외 수업)

Registration For August 22nd Open!

So Mamas & Papas it’s that time again. Another 3 weeks passed since out last meeting at the lovely Manjok in Hongdae, and It’s time for us to go out and enjoy the brews and review another Makgeolli bar.


The Manjok (The 만족)

 

3 Things you need to know about Gwangbokjeol (Aug 15), the National Liberation Day of Korea

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August 15 is one of the most meaningful days to Koreans. It is Gwangbokjeol, the National Liberation Day of Korea . You can see many Korean national flags “Taegeukgi” hung in the street or on the windows of the houses.

1. Why is Gwangbokjeol so special?

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Off to Incheon!

Im going on a short trip with my boyfriend today. I’ve been so busy the past month enjoying...

Top 6 Reasons why traveling Seoul is SUPER convenient!

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Han river cruise in Seoul

When you travel outside your country, don’t you have to take care of so many things? From small details like currency to important matters such as housing and flight, there are so many factors making you want to throw away your travel plan even before you start packing. In that sense, we can say that Seoul is your perfect vacation place because Seoul is fairly convenient to travel. Make sure you know the 6 reasons why Seoul will make your trip easier, giving you more time to concentrate on the quality of travel.


Market Makgeolli Tasting Class 1 – Registration Open!!

Bi-Weekly Top Trazy Contributors (July 16~29)

Congratulations once again Fat Girl, newcomer Ellie P and Jennie S. There were a lot of new participants this week although they couldn’t make it to the top 3.

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5 Survial Tips not to get ripped off when using a taxi in Korea

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Recently there was an accident in Busan where a Japanese woman was ripped off by a taxi driver. When she asked for a receipt, 39,000 won was written on the sheet while the number on the taximeter was only 19,000 won. She asked the driver about the extra fee, knowing that the extra 20,000 won was added out of nowhere. The driver told her that it was a mistake. Luckily she only had to pay 19,000 won eventually, but she got enraged by how she was mistreated.

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