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Busan

Busan's Hidden Gem

With a spread of vividly colorful houses sitting atop a seaside cliff, Taegeukdo Village in Busan (aka Gamcheon Culture Village) looks more like the scenery you’d expect to find in South America or along the shores of coastal Italy even, not South Korea.

This stark contrast to the ultra sleek buildings found in Gangnam, the pale high rise industrial-esque residential apartment towers that swallow most of Seoul and even the traditional Korean Hanok homes, has made the area a popular sightseeing destination for locals and foreigners over the years.

The village, originally formed in 1918 as a community for followers of the Taegeukdo religion, and later refugees during the Korean War, derives it’s name from the ‘taegeuk’ – more commonly known to westerners as the yin and yang symbols, which represent the balance of the universe.


The Red Dragon Diaries and JPD Does ROK Do Live Octopus

Oh, memories.

Pop over to Tom Gates’ “The Red Dragon Diaries” where he has posted the video of our first (and last?) taste of “San-nak-ji,” or live octopus, a popular raw seafood treat for soju-swilling diners in Busan, South Korea.

Footnote: after we’d finished filming, a group of middle-aged folks sat behind Tom and ordered some food, including their own plate of live octopus, which they gleefully began to tear into without much hesitation. Hey, someone’s enjoying it!


The August Expat Bloodbath 2014 Edition: A Preview

Buddhists and motivational speeches have both taught that nothing in life is permanent or guaranteed. This becomes clearer when time is measured in one-year contracts.

With the first semester coming to a close in South Korean public schools, many expats are preparing for their next adventures. Many of them I consider my friends.

I wrote about this biannual occurrence, dubbed “The August Expat Bloodbath,” last year. Much of that remains true, so instead of repeating myself, I’ll just quote myself:


Cheongryangsa Temple – 청량사 (Gangseo-gu, Busan)

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A look through a window at the Minang-gak shaman shrine hall at Cheongryangsa Temple in Gangseo-gu, Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!!

Cheongryangsa Temple is located in an industrial part of western Busan, and it’s surrounded on all sides by neighbouring factories. You first enter the compact temple grounds off of one of the industrial roads, as you pass through the Cheonwangmun Gate. Painted inside this gate are four murals of the Four Heavenly Kings. And adorning the ceiling are a set of swirling Biseon. On top of the gate is the temple’s towering bell pavilion.


Since moving back to Busan, I had to find a new dentist, because...











Since moving back to Busan, I had to find a new dentist, because Chicago Dental in Gwangan is gone. I’m happy to report that I had a good experience with Dr. Kwon in Yeonsan-dong.


Busan’s Dongnae Computer Market

Busan has several electronics and computer markets, but I think that the one in Dongnae is the best! It’s huge, fairly clean and tidy, and has everything you could possibly want. The Korean name for the building is 부산 컴푸터 상가. Busan Computer Wholesale Market! The website for the market is http://www.boocom.co.kr/!

Curious what the place looks like on the inside or on the outside? Check out the video we made!


안녕히 가세요, Korea: Some Things We’ll Miss About You

This week we head back to America, which for all its school shootings and conspicuous consumption, will always be home. We will return to a pretty similar version of the life we left there two years ago, kids a little bit older, location a little more central, but essentially the standard NC middle class teacher existence.

We will always hold this place in our hearts. Korea has been special for us in a ton of ways. Living abroad is challenging, and especially so when transitioning between Western and Eastern cultures. Living here, thriving here, taught us a lot about ourselves, our resiliency, our ability to surmount obstacles together.

And there are a laundry list of things we’ll miss about this place. Here are just a couple:

1.  Cheap, delicious food eaten in the company of good friends (WITH CHOPSTICKS):


Okryeonseonwon Temple – 옥련선원 (Suyeong, Busan)

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A man prays to the massive Mireuk-bul statue at Okryeonseonwon Temple in Busan.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Okryeonseonwon Temple is located in the heart of Suyeong, in Busan, just outside Haeundae and Gwangalli beaches. It has a commanding view of the ocean and trendy neighbourhood apartments.


From Sri Lanka, with Love

by Das Messer

 

AIRPORT GUYairport_waiting

The sanctity of Travel lies in its tendency to command your respect as you set out to peer voyeuristically into other human lives. Navel-gazing at a time like this is over-indulgent and simply uncouth: There’s a time for raw vulnerability, but this isn’t it. Chin up, shoulders back, deep breath: Youre on your own now, Das. Lock it down.

***


The Asia Fail

*This piece may have appeared on the web once or twice before, but we’re publishing it again here because we likes it, yes we do.

by Mr. Motgol

In the Old World, people went to the New World to start anew. Once America became settled, folks would head “out West” to shake away their demons, with destinations such as California and Alaska luring folks with promises of riches and rebirth. These were places where no one cared about your history or imperfect past. You were given a clean slate, and only as good as your current effort.


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