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How to Say ‘House’ in Korean

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Outside of work, your house is probably where you spend most of your time. Knowing how to say house in Korean is very useful as you will probably need to use this word on a daily basis in Korea.

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‘House’ in Korean

House in Korean

The word for ‘house’ in Korean is 집 (jip). In English, there is a difference between ‘house’ and ‘home’, but such a distinction isn’t made in Korean, so if you want to say ‘I’m going home’, you can use the word ‘집’.

If you want to say ‘my house’, then instead of using 제 (je) or 내 (nae) for my, you can use 우리 (uri). Usually, 우리 means ‘our’, but it can mean ‘my’ when referring to your home.

Some words in Korean have a special ‘honorific’ form. This means that if you are referring to someone who is higher than you (like a boss or a grandparent), you should use the ‘honorific’ form of the word. ‘House’ is one of these special ‘honorific’ words. The honorific term for ‘house’ is 댁 (daek).

If you want to talk about your grandfather’s house, or if you are talking to a really old person and want to talk about their house, you should say ‘댁’.

Never use 댁 to refer to your own house.


A word of caution about Romanization

Although you could learn the words in this article by reading the Romanized versions of them, in everyday Korean life you will need to know how to read them in Hangeul. Hangeul is the Korean alphabet, and is very easy to learn. In fact, you learn it in just 90 minutes.

Once you know Hangeul, you will start to be able to recognize the different types of shops and stores on the street, and Korea will seem more like your home than it did before. If you are serious about learning Korean, then start off by learning Hangeul. In fact, why not learn Hangeul today?



Types of houses

Types of houses in Korea

Most Koreans don’t live in a detached, American-style house. Instead they often live in apartment blocks, especially in Korea’s main cities. Here are some special words for the houses that people live in:

아파트  (apateu): An apartment / a large block of apartments.

빌라  (billa): A large detached house, between three and seven floors high, that contains multiple apartments.

주택 (jutaek): A detached house / bungalow

오피스텔 (opiseutel): A large building that has a mix of residential apartments and offices.

고시원 (goshiwon): A small room that students can live in while studying.

기숙사 (gisuksa): A dormitory / hall of residence


Sample Sentences


김 선생님 댁 맞습니까?

Gim Seonsaengnim daek majseumnikka?

Is this Mr. Kim’s house



집 근처에 극장이 있어요?

Jip geuncheoe geukjangi isseoyo?

Is there a cinema near your house?



파티는 우리 집에서 열릴 거야

Patineun uri jipeseo yeollil geoya

The party will be at my house.


Now that you know how to say ‘house’ in Korean, you can invite your friends over and practice speaking Korean even more. Impress them with everything you know about Korea!

*Want more Korean phrases? Go to our Korean Phrases Page for a complete list!


Learn to read Korean and be having simple conversations, taking taxis and ordering in Korean within a week with our FREE Hangeul Hacks series:

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THAAD is Not about Missile Defense anymore

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This is a local re-post of a piece I wrote at The National Interest a few weeks ago. The graphic here comes straight from the Lockheed Martin webpage on THAAD. There’s so much contradictory information floating around about THAAD, maybe it’s best just go to the website and look for yourself. No, I’m not shilling for LM; I have no relationship. I just thought it would be convenient. And yes, I support the THAAD deployment here.

Anyway, this essay is actually about the politics, specifically that China WAY overplayed its hand against the THAAD deployment in South Korea. Now THAAD isn’t about THAAD anymore. The Chinese have ballooned it into such a huge issue, that it’s now about SK sovereignty and freedom to make national security choices without a Chinese veto. If you want to read why I am wrong, here’s my friend Dave Kang to tell you that I am getting carried away.

I still stand by my prediction though: neither Ahn nor Moon will withdraw THAAD even if they’d want to otherwise, because now it would look like knuckling under to China. Maybe the Justice Party candidate would withdraw it, but she is polling at 3%.

The full essay follows the jump:



The South Korean decision to install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system has prompted a major Chinese reaction. The Chinese government has used a wide range of economic pressure against South Korea to reverse its decision. It has severely restricted tourist travel to the country, cancelled cultural events, pursued fatuous regulatory action against the company (Lotte) which sold the land to the South Korean government on which THAAD will be stationed, and, in a move worthy of the ‘freedom fries’ of yore, staged a public bulldozing of bottles of the Korean national alcohol soju.


Campy, yet Serious

This effort is simultaneously ridiculous and clever, campy and serious. On the one hand, it is preposterously obvious that these ‘protests’ are staged. Once again, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated how woefully out of touch it is with modern democratic opinion. The same apparatchiks who mistake ‘praise’ of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in The Onion as the real thing are those who think that a video of a bulldozer driving over soju bottles might somehow appear authentic. If China’s increasing bullying of South Korea over THAAD were not so serious, these hijinks would be comedy material. Indeed my students here in South Korea laugh over this in discussion even as they worry about it.

On the other hand, this a wise way to pressure South Korea if the CCP is absolutely dead-set against a THAAD emplacement in South Korea, which it appears to be. South Korea is a mid-size economy with a few very large exporters selling to a few very large markets. This makes it highly sensitive to the politics of its biggest export markets, of which China is one. Japan too has been targeted in this way by China, but it is more diversified economically than South Korea and so had more flexibility to ride out Chinese displeasure. China has also used these tactics in southeast Asia.

The CCP also retains plausible deniability by routing this pressure obliquely through nongovernmental actors. There has been little overt, ‘track 1’ pressure, likely because Beijing is hoping South Korea will back down without an open breach. But the mercantilist-dictatorial state can ‘encourage’ patriotic action in an economy where something like 80% of firms have some amount of state ownership.

Countries with an open media can surely see through this charade of independent action. But in China itself, this can be marketed as the outrage of the Chinese people, rising up against encirclement by the Americans and their lackeys. And in global public opinion, there is surely enough hostility to the US in places like Russia or the Middle East that this will sound somewhat plausible, or at least be marketed that way by anti-American elites.

Now South Korea Cannot Give In


In South Korea, the recent impeachment of conservative president Park Geun-Hye has opened the door for the left to take power in the upcoming special election on May 9. The left has broadly opposed THAAD. In the wake of Park’s final approval of it last year, several opposition parliamentarians jetted off to China to express their discontent (or ‘appease’ as the conservative press howled). The likely winner on May 9, Moon Jae-In, has expressed skepticism over THAAD before. The other left-wing candidates – there are no serious right-wing candidates given just how badly the Park scandal has discredited the right – have been even more hostile.

Yet I am very doubtful that Moon or any of the candidates, barring the least likely winner on the far left, will remove THAAD. There is indeed still a debate over THAAD’s technical merits. While I believe the case for THAAD is solid, and South Korean opinion generally supports it now given the sheer velocity of North Korean missile testing, there remain coherent arguments in opposition. For example, that it is merely symbolic, because North Korea could use other weapons to devastate South Korea, or that it might simply encourage North Korea to build even more missiles to overwhelm THAAD.

But such technical issues are increasingly irrelevant. The time to debate that was a year or two ago. Back then, the US and South Korea had made extensive track 1, track 1.5, and track 2 outreaches to China on THAAD, to explain its capabilities and consider China’s concerns. All were rebuffed. Instead China has dug in its heels, rather deeply, on this. It has been signaling to South Korea for more year not to deploy, threatening all sorts of retaliation. This has increasingly turned THAAD from a technical-functional issue of missile defense to an expression of South Korean national security sovereignty: does South Korea have the right to make national security decisions without China’s approval? The South Korea media, even on the center and left, are increasingly framing the tussle this way.

Hence the curious, but deserved, outcome for Beijing. Just as a South Korean government which agrees with China on THAAD is likely coming to power, Chinese bullying has painted it into such a tight corner that a leftist president will likely retain THAAD. For at this point, THAAD is not about THAAD anymore; it is about whether China has a veto over South Korean foreign policy. No South Korean president can assent to that.

Filed under: China, Defense, Elections, Korea (North), Korea (South), Missiles/Missile Defense

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University




China warns “No Winner” In North Korean Conflict, Vice President Pence Coming To Seoul, ROK Exports To China Increase [Korean News Update]

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China warns there will be “no winner” in an armed North Korean conflict that could start “at any moment”, Vice President Mike Pence will arrive in Seoul on Sunday, & despite an economic boycott over THAAD, South Korean exports to China have risen. All that & more on the latest Korean News Update podcast episode from Korea FM.

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The post China warns “No Winner” In North Korean Conflict, Vice President Pence Coming To Seoul, ROK Exports To China Increase [Korean News Update] appeared first on Korea FM.

An Ultimate Guide to Seoraksan National Park

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About Seoraksan National Park Blessed with spectacular scenery of dramatic peaks, deep valleys, jagged ridges, Seoraksan National Park, also referred to as Mount Seorak, offers stunning landscapes all year round and gorgeous trails, making it an ideal destination for hikers and nature lovers.Located in the Gangwon Province in South Korea, you can reach Seoraksan National … Continue reading An Ultimate Guide to Seoraksan National Park
a service for travelers to easily share and discover the latest hip & hot travel spots from all over the world. 
We are currently focusing on Korea as our destination and plan to expand to other countries gradually. 

Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 3] – Intermediate Korean (Listening Practice)

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Are you preparing for the TOPIK test, a government Korean test, or a Korean test at school? Then let me help you prepare with my video series focused on Korean test questions and explanations.

This episode will cover an example of a listening question. More episodes to come soon!

The post Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 3] – Intermediate Korean (Listening Practice) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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Expats in Korea – Seoulcialites: Anuj Madan

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Expats in Korea: Seoulcialites

Being an expat in Korea, we’re often pigeon-holed into 2 categories: Teacher or Military.  There are so many people doing original and interesting things in Seoul!  In this new series, I’d like to introduce you to some creative people I’ve been lucky to meet.  They may have started their professional journeys as teachers (or even military), but have explored so much more in the land of morning calm: Korea.

Expat in Korea: Anuj Madan, Photographer

I met Anuj while on the set of a sci-fi movie produced by Jackie Chan in Busan.  It’s called “Reset: Fatal Countdown”, and I’m not sure if it’s ever going to see the light of day.  It was a long shoot from early in the morning until long past nightfall.  We got to jump through explosions.  I got to scream my head off.  I also met Expat in Korea, Anuj Madan!

What originally brought you to Korea?

I came to Korea to get away from corporate life for a while (almost 8 years ago) and have a more balanced lifestyle with time to travel around Asia and to think about and work on personal projects. At first life was good as a University professor with plenty of vacation time and a flexible schedule. With all that extra time on my hands, I eventually satisfied my yearning for travel and socializing, and picked up photography as a hobby…and before I knew it, it turned into a viable career.

What’s your favourite thing about living in Korea?

Honestly, living in Korea as a foreigner has it’s perks, I don’t have to deal with the social and family pressures Koreans have to deal with, or even I would have had to if I was back “home”. First, I feel I have freedom to take chances and explore myself and second, given Korea’s infrastructure, it’s easy to move about and stay connected. The awesome food and diverse expat community are big pluses too.

What’s your favourite thing about Seoul in particular?

Being in Seoul means you’re in the middle of the action. I like Seoul for it’s variety of events and the diversity of it’s expat population. There are so many entrepreneurs and artists here that one can’t help but be inspired by all the unique perspectives people bring into the community.

Tell us a little about your services…

Well, I am a full time working freelance photographer. I am trying to blur the line between artist and photographer within me as I try to bring a distinct look to my work which, although is ever evolving, I hope is still not too mainstream. I work with a lot of F&B entrepreneurs and chefs, shooting portraits and interiors, as well as food photos. I also dabble in editorial and fashion portraits just to keep me on my toes.
My schedule? I freelance, so typically I am available 7 days a week, but usually I end up working 3-4 days a week (shooting) and the rest is meetings and editing. But really, awake or dreaming, there are images being created in my mind almost 24/7, specially because of some personal projects I am currently contemplating.

What makes you stand out from anyone else doing this in Korea?

I’d say my background in business combined with my passion for the art helps me balance the client’s business needs with my own as an artist. When I am working for a client, I am acutely aware of the business reason for capturing the images, I try to make sure the client gets a good return on their investment. I’m certainly not and don’t want to be the cheapest option, but I strive to be the one providing the most value in terms of quality, speed, and impact of images. There are a few good photographers out there, and they all have their strengths, I am just playing to the best of mine.

Tell us about the packages you offer as Anuj Madan, Photographer

Well, now that I seemed to have established myself in some small way in the community I shoot in, I am looking for longer term projects. I would rather shoot a marketing campaign or cover the product, interiors, and corporate portraits of a new business than a one time afternoon of shooting. Essentially, I prefer to work with brands to capture their story.
So for example, I offer retainer packages like 10-15-20 projects over 3-6 months instead of per hour rates.

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How much lead time do people need to book Anuj Madan?

I would prefer to have a few face to face meetings with potential clients before jumping into a project – so a couple of weeks is best. Planning a project well, and working with people with whom I can create a unified creative vision with has worked well for me.

Instagram Photo

On what kind of projects would you prefer to work?

Honestly, this early in my photography career i’d love to try everything. I wish I could cover anti-war journalistic assignments just as much as capturing high end intimate portraits (which I am currently very interested in). And to be honest money ISN’T an issue – which is not to say I work for free.. But I do collaborate with other artists, I do offer my services pro-bono for good causes, and I expect businesses to pay me for the work I produce. My camera gear is the most expensive things I own, other than that I live quite simply… so if you have an interesting project no matter if it makes us $50,000 or costs me money to execute, I’m up for a coffee (on me) to discuss it.

A Favourite Memory:

Almost all my projects have left me delighted at the results, and I am proud to have worked with so many amazing people over the years. A simple example would be when I am told by clients or people in my photos that it’s the best photo of them they have ever seen. I sleep especially well those nights.

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Where to find Anuj Madan
• Website:
• Facebook:
• Instagram: @Whereisanuj_insta

Instagram Photo


The post Expats in Korea – Seoulcialites: Anuj Madan appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.

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Top 10 Things to Do in Jeju Island

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Fly just an hour and a half from the capital city of Seoul and you will arrive at South Korea’s resort island, Jeju Island or Jeju.

From UNESCO-certified natural wonders to hundreds of unique museums and attractions, this enchanted island has something for everyone.

To help you get the best out of Jeju, here’s a list of 10 best things to do on the island – try a bit of everything!

1. Get in touch with nature in Jeju Island

jeju-top-10-things-to-do (6)When it comes to nature, Jeju has it all. Named as 7 New Wonders of Nature in 2011, Jeju offers pristine beaches, waterfalls, oreums or volcanic cones, lava tube caves and many more awe-inspiring natural wonders that are absolutely bucket list-worthy.

There are so many places to visit in Jeju, so here we’ve narrowed down to five of our favorite spots on the island.jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(11)

  1. Hallasan Mountain: a dormant volcano at the center of the island with crater lake on the top, surrounded by a national park with 368 parasitic volcanoes.
  2. Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak): an 182m volcanic cone famous for spectacular sunrises.
  3. Iho Taewoo Beach: a beach near downtown Jeju City famous for iconic horse-shaped lighthouses.
  4. Manjang Caves (Manjanggul): the longest lava tube on Jeju with the largest recorded lava column in the world inside the cave.
  5. Jusangjeolli Cliffs: unique volcanic rock formations that look like rectangular pillars near Jungmun Beach

Since there are so many destinations on the island, you won’t be able to visit and see all of them in one day, especially if you are traveling by foot or public transportation.

If you want to maximize your travel, the best options are to rent a car or to book one of the organized tours such as 1 Day Small Group Van Tour and 1 Day Bus Tour or private and personalized tours with a customized itinerary such as Taxi TourPrivate Van Tour or Private Mini Bus Tour.

2. Visit museums with a difference

If this is your first-time in Jeju Island, you will definitely be blown away by hundreds of museums scattered all over the island. In fact, Jeju’s museums are one of the main reasons to visit the island as they certainly offer something more than the classic, boring ones you’ve visited before.

A. Jeju Loveland 

Have fun taking photos in a sexy pose with the sexy and erotic sculptures at Jeju Loveland. Showcasing 140 sculptures and artworks inspired by human sexuality, this unique theme park has been drawing tourists and travelers from all around the world.jeju-top-10-things-to-do (9)If you’re with the little ones, don’t worry. There’s a separate playground zone for minors. To purchase 17% off discount tickets for Jeju Loveland, click here.

B. Teddy Bear Museum

Displaying a massive collection of teddy bears, Teddy Bear Museum is one of the must-visit museums in Jeju. Not only children love this place, but adults as well! For more information, click here.jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(25).jpgjeju-top-10-things-to-do-(24).jpg

C. Hello Kitty Island 

From galleries, café to a gift shop, Hello Kitty Island offers everything Hello Kitty. Don’t forget to drop by the gift shop and get yourself one of the Hello Kitty-themed goods as a souvenir!jeju-top-10-things-to-do (10)Make sure to take advantage of 17.5% off discount tickets before you visit.

See more must-visit museums in Jeju: Glass CastleBonte MuseumJeju Aerospace MuseumPlay KPOP Museum

3. Catch some waves

Offering a variety of scenic watersports and water-based activities, Jeju Island is a haven for aquaholics.jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(20).jpgCheck out the list of exciting water-based activities offered by and book the activity according to your water personality!

  1. Stick-to-the-basics: Discover scuba diving program in Eastern Jeju
  2. Adrenaline junkies: Parasailing
  3. Laidback wanderer: Yongyeon Pond Kayaking
  4. Luxury sailors: Chagwido Glass Yacht
  5. Underwater explorer: Seogwipo Submarine
  6. A ‘reel’ fisherman: Deep sea boat fishing in Chagwido
  7. Non-swimmers: Aqua Planet Jeju

4. Take time to smell the flowers

Jeju offers beautiful gardens and parks to wander through and immerse in Jeju’s nature. Here are five best spots for an idyllic escape with your beloved ones!jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(21).jpg

  1. Hallim Park: a popular park featuring 9 different themed zones, including Palm Tree Road, Jeju Stone and Bonsai Garden, Subtropical Botanic Garden and more and two lava caves.
  2. Ecoland: a family-friendly theme park where you can explore Jeju’s forests on an 18th century Baldwin steam train.
  3. Ilchul Land: a theme park with botanical gardens, a waterfront park, a folk village, a cactus greenhouse and a small lava cave.
  4. Spirited Garden: a beautiful garden with the largest artificial waterfalls in Jeju. Many famous public figures including Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao from China, Nakasone from Japan and many more visited the garden.
  5. Camellia Hill: the biggest arboretum in Asia famous for its forest path and beautiful gardens of camellias.

Looking for extraordinary parks? Check out the two popular miniature theme parks below!jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(23)

  • Mini Land: a theme park with miniature replicas of world-famous architectures and landmark buildings located in the eastern part of Jeju. For more info, click here.
  • Soingook Miniature Theme Park: a miniature theme park that is similar to Mini Land, but located in the western part of Jeju. For more info, click here.

5. Hit the trails

A. Walk through Olle Trails

jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(16).jpgIn Jeju, there is a series of trails called Jeju Olle-gil, which leads through forests, volcanic cones and many other best-kept secrets of Jeju Island. There are 26 routes in total and you can explore three of them if you sign up for a one-day Olle trekking tour. For more info, click here.

B. Hike up Hallasan Mountain

jeju-top-10-things-to-do (1)Hiking up Hallasan Mountain or Mt. Halla, and to its peak at 1,950 meters (6,397 feet) above sea level is one of the experiences you must try in Jeju. The reward for hiking to the top are the sight of Baekrokdam, the lake-filled crater, and the magnificent view of volcanic cones in the surrounding Hallasan National Park.jeju-top-10-things-to-do (2)It is relatively easy to hike Hallasan Mountain. The hiking courses are less than 10 km in length. Starting at the Seongpanak Entrance, the 9.6-kilometer (6-mile) hike to the summit takes about five hours. But take note that the weather changes constantly and it can be very wind while you are hiking.

6. Savor the authentic flavors of Jeju

Are you a food enthusiast? Try Jeju’s three best local specialties below!


  1. Jeonbokjuk: an abalone porridge made out of innards of the abalone and rice.
  2. Heuk-dwaeji: a juicy and succulent grilled pork belly from Jeju’s native black pig, which is slightly more expensive than regular pork, but well worth it.
  3. Jagalchi: grilled or boiled thinly sliced raw silver scabbardfish

See 9 best local restaurants in Jeju Island.

If you are a Muslim traveler, make sure to check out the list of Muslim-friendly restaurants in Jeju here.

7. Drop by hipster cafes and fine diners

jeju-top-10-things-to-do (4)If you feel like you had enough local foods, enjoy a fine dining at Maison Glad Buffet. Then drop by one of these trendy beachfront cafes killer views of the island’s stunning ocean vistas. See Jeju’s 6 best beachfront cafes here.jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(15).jpgOr try and visit one of the most unique cafes in Jeju, Siwa Dream Foot Bath Cafe. While enjoying a cup of coffee you can treat yourself a nice foot bath to relax your tired feet and freshen up yourself. For more info, click here.

8. Head out for outdoor adventures

When you visit Jeju, never miss out on adventurous activities and experiences that the island has to offer. Make your trip legendary with some of the best adventures below!jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(13)

  1. Horseback ride: Try horseback riding in Jeju, particularly the shore-front horseback riding. You can take in the view of wonderful Seongsan Ilchulbong, or Sunrise Peak while riding a horse along the beach. Sign up here and saddle up!
  2. Rail bike: Take in Jeju’s stunning scenery with your beloved ones while pedaling along the railway tracks. You can purchase 34% off discount tickets here.
  3. Zipline:  Fly over a forest or ocean! Zipline Jeju offers an adrenaline-pumping zip lining experience with four different options for you to choose from. Purchase 25% off discount tickets here.
  4. Off Road Ride: Seeking for pure adrenaline-filled joy? Head out and explore Jeju’s natural wonders in off-road recreational vehicles at Sunsaemi Park. Grab your squad and enjoy the 12km off-road drive course! Booking is available here.
  5. Hot Air Balloon: Launch yourself a hot air balloon, hop on it and get a panoramic view of Jeju Island at sunset. Make sure to book in advance for this unique and amazing experience here.

9. Soak up the history and culture of Jeju

A. Experience Jeju’s local market scenes

Experience the authentic local culture of Jeju at five-day markets or permanent local markets. One of the most famous markets is Dongmun Market, located near Jeju International Airport.jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(18).jpgIt is the largest permanent market in Jeju where you can find all sorts of indigenous goods and products such as Jeju citrus fruits. Compared to other seafood restaurants and traditional marketplaces around, the price of the fish and seafood here is known to be relatively cheap.

See Top 10 traditional markets in Jeju.

B. Time travel back to the late 19th century

jeju-top-10-things-to-do (7)Housing a folk village with over 100 traditional houses and 8,000 folk items, Jeju Folk Village Museum is a must-visit place for those who want to learn about the island’s rich history and culture. Purchase discount tickets for Jeju Folk Village Museum here.

10. Explore Jeju’s other paradise islands

Though Jeju itself is an island, there are beautiful small islets.jeju-top-10-things-to-do-(14)

  1. Chagwido Island (west of Jeju): a tiny uninhabited island, just a short 10 minutes ride from Jagunae Harbor, famous as a fishing destination. A boat fishing experience in Chagwido at only $11 is available here.
  2. Udo Island (east of Jeju): a popular island situated 3.5 km off the coast of Jeju, famous for its pristine white beaches, particularly Seobin-baeksa Beach, and black lava cliffs.

Check out more awesome things to do in Jeju Island or other parts of South Korea at Trazy.comKorea’s #1 Travel Shop!

Samick Beach Town, Gwangalli, Busan

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So, that’s what that deathtrap of a waterpark looked like when it was still open.

The excellent Designersparty (a photo and video art project that you should absolutely follow on Facebook) posted this photo recently. For those who don’t know, this is Samick Beach Town. It apparently was built in Busan in the 1970s, long before Gwangan became the absolute go-to place for both locals and foreigners it is today. Before the Diamond Bridge became an iconic image on the horizon. Before the entire area became enveloped in high rises and commerce.

I have heard some unconfirmed scuttlebutt that these are soon to be demolished, to make way for what, I don’t know. More chain apartment blocks like Lotte, Prugio, Xii and LH that can be seen everywhere in Korea? Something unique to Gwangan? I don’t know. But, I would love to. I would also love to know what these look like inside, and how they have held up over the past 40-something years.

If you or someone you know occupies that kitschy apartment blocks, leave a comment!

JPDdoesROK is a former news editor/writer in New Jersey, USA, who served a one-year tour of duty in Dadaepo/Jangnim, Saha-gu, Busan from February 2013 to February 2014. He is now a teacher in Gimhae.

Orwell: This Big Brother Simulation Is Only A Game, Isn’t It?

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AT THE end of March the free speech and privacy campaigning organisation Open Rights Group published an open letter to Home Secretary Amber Rudd requesting that she extend the consultation into the Investigatory Powers Act.

Despite the fact that the government has now allowed itself to spy on us all ceaselessly, there are still too many people who appear to be apathetic about this enormous breach of human rights.

What’s worse is that the media often joins the government’s call to expand mass surveillance, seemingly forgetting that privacy is so important to their industry.



Fortunately, there’s a video game out there showcasing the sheer scale of the freely, and not so freely, available data that we all have on the internet and the truly terrifying depths to which a paranoid/authoritarian government could — and in Britain’s case probably already does — stoop to access it.

Created by Australian indie developers Osmotic, it’s called Orwell — rather an apt name for a simulation game of this kind — and is available on PC and Mac.

Players take on the role of an NSA/ GCHQ-like state surveillance operative for a government known simply as The Party in an fictional country called The Nation.

The game begins with an explosion in the Nation’s capital. As a newly employed operative working from outside the country’s borders, it’s up to you to track down those responsible for the bombing and to ascertain whether there are more attacks planned.

To do this, you use a state-of-theart computer surveillance programme — Orwell — which stores and cross references the data you gather on the suspects and persons of interest.

It’s up to you to sift through emails, social media posts, text messages, medical records, online dating profiles and criminal records.

You wouldn't believe how much information you can glean from a person's social media feeds. Image skanked from here

You wouldn’t believe how much information you can glean from a person’s social media feeds. Image skanked from here

Or you can listen in on phone conversations, access bank accounts and hack into phones and computers in order to uncover the names, aliases, locations, motivations, personal connections and political beliefs of the people The Nation believes to be in some way connected to the bombing.

Hacking into a target's bank account. Image skanked from here

Hacking into a target’s bank account. Image skanked from here

But you aren’t merely taking a passive role. Some of the data you find conflicts with other strands of information and it’s your job to discern which bits are relevant. One of the characters lists her address as Over the Rainbow. Should you drag this information into the Orwell programme, you’ll not only provoke the ire of your employers but also hinder their investigation. But maybe that is your intention.

The ability to frame the way The Nation views certain characters adds an interesting dynamic to the game.

Will you perhaps cast the surveillance target Abraham Goldfels as a rampant communist corrupting the impressionable minds of his university students or as a caring teacher hoping to expand their understanding of the political system under which they are living?

Where the game differs from its obvious inspiration, George Orwell’s 1984, is that The Party is no embodiment of pure evil but a political party quite similar to many Western governments obsessed with “security,” immigration and the economy.

What I found particularly concerning was the fact that the suspects, a bunch of left-wing thinkers concerned with the freedom of expression and the right to private life, are strikingly similar to my siblings, friends, colleagues and readers of this paper.

Orwell is quite possibly one of the most intriguing, unusual and pertinent games I’ve played in a long time.

If you’re at all concerned with online privacy, metadata, the NSA, GCHQ and mass surveillance — but probably more so if you’re not — then you owe it to yourself to experience this game.

Image skanked from here

Image skanked from here

A note from the editor-in-chimp: This article originally appeared in the Morning Star, where I work as the deputy features editor.

The post Orwell: This Big Brother Simulation Is Only A Game, Isn’t It? appeared first on Monkeyboy Goes.




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