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How Korean Valentine’s Day is Different From Other Countries

han-river-749662_1920“Loving is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery


calendar-268592_1920Many of you probably know that February 14th is Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated in many countries around the world, including South Korea. But did you know that Valentine’s Day is celebrated a little bit differently in South Korea? 

Cold soybean noodles, Kongguksu


Kongguksu is the perfect dish to help you cool off on a hot day. Traditionally eaten during the summer, this chilled soy milk noodle dish is hearty enough to eat year round. The homemade soymilk is the center of this soup.

Making soy milk is not as hard as you think. The soybeans are soaked, then cooked and pureed until smooth. The key to making soy milk for kongguksu is not to overcook the beans so that they retain their natural flavor. Add a dash of salt, perfectly cooked noodles and a fresh vegetable garnish to complete the soup. Kongguksu is great for vegans and vegetarians too.

Podcast Report: Koreans Don’t Want to Admit They’re Eating Chinese Kimchi

Store Kimchi

Despite a hundred million dollars worth of Kimchi imports every year, South Koreans don't want to admit they're eating Chinese kimchi.  Korea FM spoke with Dave Hazzan, the author of a new VICE report on the issue, and the foodie behind Korea's first English-language food blog, Joe McPherson, to learn more about China's ever-increasing grip on the Korean kimchi market.

The Hands of Harmony in Pohang

I’ve gone before, but the Hands of Harmony in Pohang was fun to see again. There is one hand in the ocean, and the other (palms facing) on the walkway. It’s at Homigot Sunrise Square (호미곶 해맞이광장) -and the only way to get there is to drive (preferably by GPS).

Maybe it’s only known amongst Koreans, but a nickname for Korea is “the sleeping tiger” because (1) Korea is quite ferocious and (2) the Korean peninsula is in the shape of a tiger. If the Korean peninsula is seen as a tiger shape, Homigot (호미곶), in Pohang is the tail. I share this tidbit with you because you’ll see the shape of the tiger decorating the walkway of the Homigot Sunrise Square.

If you visit, make time to visit the Homigot Lighthouse and Lighthouse Museum within walking distance!

Address: 228 Daebo-ri Homigot-myeon Nam-gu Pohang-si Gyeongsangbuk-do
경상북도 포항시 남구 호미곶면 호미곶면 대보리 228

A Stroll Through Joseon Era

Seoul, South Korea —

On the fourth day of our family trip, Danny and I brought them to Gyeongbokgung or Gyeongbok Palace (경복궁), the biggest among 5 of the palaces in Seoul. In English, Gyeongbokgung (Hanja: ) means The Palace of Shining Happiness. Another name they call it is The Northern Palace due to its locality. Moreover, it is one of the most visited tourist spots in the capital. A great place to strengthen those hamstrings, too.

It was built in 1395 during the Joseon dynasty and had been destroyed by fire, but King Gojong was able to restore it during his reign. I won’t elaborate more of its history because it’s quite long, repetitive and probably boring to some. To learn more about the palace, please visit their website. Link is at the bottom part of this post. wink

Statue of King Sejong (father of Hangeul) at Gwanghwamun Square

Returning to Korea? Why Not?

Let's get stuck in with the first real post back.  Now I have to admit to entertaining the thought of returning to Korea on a number of occasions, my reasons for not doing so I won't bore you with again as I have already touched on them in my post, "The Reasons I left Korea".  All I can say was that the temptation was great.  On each occasion after I left (I did so before, to live back in England for a year), it soon became apparent to me that I had a pretty great time in Korea.

How about a cool Oolong ?

Can I interest you in a cool oolong... with a couple of characters? Chinese to be specific : A tea of character with a wonderful primer on the characters by Licheng Gu.  

Marmot's Hole Podcast: South Korea World #1 For Innovation

2016_01_27 Jeju Flight Delays, American Held In North Korea, Nutrage Law, & Korea #1 For Innovation

Robert Koehler & Chance Dorland discuss Bloomberg's crowning of South Korea as the most innovative economy in the world. Other topics include this weekend's winter storm that left thousands stranded in Jeju, the American tourist being held captive in North Korea & the ROK's new "nut rage" law.

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