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Seoul’s Ban of Uber is a Classic Example of Asian Mercantilism

 

So this is a blog about Asian security, but regular readers will know that I write a lot about political economy too. And nothing drives me up the wall so much as the endless NTB gimmickry so common in Asian to prevent free-trade outcomes that national elites and entrenched mega-corporations don’t like. If you live in Asia and want to know why everything is so outrageously expensive, or why you can’t get technologies/products your friends take for granted in the West, here it is: endless crony protection, tariff or otherwise, to block imports that are superior and/or bring price competition. If the US has had too much deregulation, Asia desperately, desperately needs it. Romney for president of Korea!


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.


Criminal Justice in Korea: Jury Trials

We have continued our column from two weeks ago regarding criminal justice, now discussing the relatively new jury trial system in Korea.  We thank the Korea Herald and remind you to read the disclaimer.
 


Yo soy coreano

Latin America (South America), Here We Are !

Today, we’ll explore the brief rundown of the migration that occurred which only depicts a handful of events and occurrences amongst a sea of information.  The aim of this article is to promote a general understanding of how the mass emigration occurred, how the Koreans survived and made a living, and anything interesting that we did given our unique circumstances.  Enjoy.

How Did We End Up Here ? 

In 1962, the Overseas Emigration Law was enacted by both countries with a huge intention to strengthen the textile trade.  However, migration to Latin America occurred on a sizeable scale (120,000 Koreans) in Paraguay between 1975 and 1990.

Also, this Law aimed to specifically send Korean farmers and peasants to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Bolivia.  This was the plan anyway.


Fully Booked - Busan's Used Bookstore Closing Sale (July 22~30)

Date: 
Repeats every day every Sunday and every Tuesday and every Friday and every Saturday until Wed Jul 30 2014 except Thu Jul 17 2014, Fri Jul 18 2014.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 16:00

 

From: https://www.facebook.com/fullybooked1

It's the end of the world as we know it!! 


Sadly, Fully Booked must announce it will be closing its doors on July 31st! 

All books are on sale starting today! 

Fiction/Self-help paperbacks - $1, Fiction/Self-help Hardcovers - $2
Non-fiction paperbacks - $2, Non-fiction Hardcovers - $4

We will be open July 22, 25, 26, 27, 29, and 30. So get in here soon to stock up.

Hours
 Weekdays:  Open at 7pm  

  Weekend: Open at 2pm 


Budget Travel Tip: Gangwon Shuttle Service

Traveling in Korea doesn't have to break the bank. It's also easier than one might imagine, even for foreigners. Especially for foreigners.

In an effort to increase tourism in their regions, many provincial governments have begun to offer special services to international guests. Lucky us! One such example is the Gangwon Shuttle Service sponsored by Gangwon Province. This shuttle bus is a great way for foreigners to experience Korea's most breathtaking natural landmarks as well as some of its best festivals.



Habanero TexMex Restaurant (Nampodong Busan)


  While living in Texas, I fell in love with Tex-Mex food.  After returning to Busan, I missed being able to eat real Mexican food, so I decided to open Habanero TexMex Restaurant in the heart of Nampodong.  I have done my best  provide authentic Mexican food options while also experimenting with some fusion options that might appeal to local tastes.  
  I also enjoyed drinking a lot of tasty beer in Texas, so have made sure we've got great beer options (on tap and bottled). Habanero also has a full bar, dart boards, and lots of food specials. My goal is for this to be a place where all Mexican food lovers can come to enjoy a great meal and have a fun time. I'd love to hear your feedback, requests, and ideas.  Hope to see you soon at Habanero. 


Top 10 Attractions at Everland Theme Park

Everland is, without a doubt, Korea's best amusement park. Modeled after Disney World- albeit on a much smaller scale- the theme park consists of plenty of fun attractions that draw in more than 7 million visitors a year. With those attendance numbers, one can only imagine what the weekend crowds are like, particularly at peak times, such as summer vacation.

Which is why I was happy to learn on on my most recent visit with my blogger buddy Ken that the park is actually delightful during the week. In fact, we weren't even bothered by the scorching summer temps, as there were practically no lines for the rides. This allowed us to see a lot of the park comfortably and at our own pace. Additionally, the shuttle bus we booked with Funko made getting there easy as pie.

Longer Ways To Go



IMG_20140413_170613It is a rain-filled Thursday and my last day of teaching at this school. We are doing a K-Pop quiz – the students have to guess which K-Pop song the English lyrics are from, and then I play part of the song. They get nearly ALL of them right, and then sing and dance along. Where they find the time to memorise so much I don’t know. But then, after three days I am humming and nodding along, so maybe it’s not too surprising… It’s not bad this K-Pop stuff.

I will miss these girls – their grins and shrieks, their uniqueness and the long black hair that sheds daily all over the floor. Their giggled hellos; their thoughtfulness and sense of duty. It has been wonderful to be part of their lives for a while.

I have started saying goodbye, to people and also to places. Goodbye to this town, this little neighborhood of mine – the flat green roofs and hidden temples, painted brightly in browns and reds and turquoise. The looming, mist-covered mountain and the narrow back streets that night time fills with the hum of cicadas and distant dogs barking their territory.

The homesickness that grabbed me a few weeks back has passed. Now I am too busy to be anything other than busy. The days that are not wet are hot, and the mountain paths grow with leafy abundance. The cascades of small rocks, dry all winter, have become streams again, and as you trek along damp earth, underneath a green ceiling, you can hear water trickle somewhere in the undergrowth. Dragonflies are back in full force, playing dodge the humans back and forth over the red river-side paths. People carry umbrellas in sunshine and collect herbs from grassy banks.

It is very kind this country. Kind and peaceful. I didn’t expect to love it here, but I do, very much. And I’m sure a new kind of homesickness is coming – the kind that sends me to London’s Korea town in search of Bibimbap, the background murmur of Korean conversation and maybe someone who has heard of Yangsan, or singing lampposts, or both.

 


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