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Have Yourself a Korean Little Christmas

IMG_1782Merry Christmas from Korea! Besides a few twinkling roundabout decorations and lights hanging from windows of major shopping malls, Ulsan unfortunately doesn’t offer much in the way of holiday spirit. However, Busan is a whole different story!


Sunset From Somaemuldo Island in Korea

Lighthouse Island Dongdaeseom or Lighthouse Island is connected to Somaemuldo by a strip of rocks during low tide. But at high tide rocks are submerged and the island sits on its own. Some say the rock formations look like a dinosaur. I say it’s one of Korea’s greatest natural wonders.

Echoes of Jeju: A Photo Essay of Korean Island Life in 1979 (Part 1)

35 years ago my family moved from America to Jeju Island. We lived there for just over a year. I was six then. While we were there, my father took a bunch of photographs. But they got buried away in a pile of boxes, stored along with all the other stuff families collect.

 


Stress, Tears, and Tantrums… It’s Exam Time.

reactiongifs.com
reactiongifs.com

There’s been a pretty negative atmosphere at school during the last week, and there’s one reason why: exam week. It’s the students’ final exams before the end of semester, a time when stress levels peak for pupils and teachers alike. Luckily for us foreign teachers, we are only in charge of one written exam. Apart from that, we’re not too involved in the tests, even the English one. But that doesn’t mean we’re completely removed from the drama when it’s exam season. During our time at the school we’ve seen students crying, parents crying, arguments, breakdowns and complaints.


Namhae, September 6-9, 2014

We decided to go camping in Namhae for the vacation time during the Chuseok holiday. Namhae is a quaint beach town a 2-1/2 hour bus ride from Busan.

From the Busan West Bus Terminal (부산서부시외버스터미), it costs 11,900 to take the bus to Namhae (남해 시외버스 터미널). I recommend camping at Sangju Beach (상주은모래비치). There isn’t much to do or eat there, but it has facilities for camping (including bathrooms and showers in the summer). I highly suggest bringing food, but there are many marts around that sell drinks and instant ramen, etc..


Animal Themes, Hello Kitty Themes… And Study Themes- Cafes in Korea

Shake-on-it

Last week I was reading about a new cafe which is opening in London- a ‘cereal cafe’, with hundreds of flavours of cereal, many of which have been discontinued or are foreign imports. Lucky Charms, Barbie Cereal, Star Wars Cereal- you name it, they’ve got it. They’ve even got cereal cakes, cereal memorabilia (yes, I would like a Kellogg’s Frosties lip-balm), and cereal artwork on the walls. As a cereal lover, it sounds like my dream cafe. Needless to say I was pretty jealous I wouldn’t be able to visit.


Over the summer I became an “expert” on glamping in...


At the end of May, we visited a friend in Tongyeong (통영시) for...


Enjoying the turtle ships


Reenactment of a battle on a turtle ship


Reenactment of a battle on a turtle ship


Concert Hall


Outside the Concert Hall


Outside the Concert Hall


Blatant Pimping: The Worst Motorcycle in Laos

We usually don’t demean the fair cyber pages of this blog by something as base as promotion, but screw it, I’ll shed my secret identity and let the cat out of the bag: I, Chris Tharp, aka “Mr. Motgol,” got a new book out YOU should stop what you’re doing right now, click on the link below, and buy it. Hey, it can’t be that bad. After all, these guys had some nice things to say about it:

“In The Worst Motorcycle in Laos, Tharp takes us on a wild ride from the neon streets of Tokyo to the dirt tracks of Indochina. The essays are insightful, humorous and unflinching. A great read for the active and armchair traveler alike.”

- Michael Breen, author of The Koreans


Beomosa Temple Stay

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When I got asked to shoot Beomosa Temple for an upcoming article in Seoul Magazine, I was really excited. Mostly because I love Beomosa and the other reason was that I really wanted to see what goes on at a temple stay which was the focus of the article. Temple stay programs are a unique way to experience temple life. However, most of the people that I asked about these programs either hated them or did them as a one off thing.

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