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The end of a year is always the time for festive spirit and celebrations. Korea is not an exception – in fact, it’s probably one of the best destinations in the world to celebrate Christmas!
There are so many festivals and celebrations at this time of the year that the list goes on and on. This blog will attempt to cover just a few of them that are happening in Seoul and Busan.
Here are some of the best places to see amazing lights and get into the holiday spirit in Seoul!
A. Christmas Lights & Fun at Theme Parks
1. Lotte World: Christmas Miracle
Period: 11.12.2016 ~ 12.31.2016
Lotte World, the only indoor amusement theme park in Seoul will hold a Christmas festival with a theme, “Christmas Miracle,” until December 31. In addition to the rides that are available at Lotte World promises to bring an amazing show with a variety of characters and performances throughout the evening.
The highlight of the festival is various special zones set up outdoors and indoors. Outside there is the “Castle of Miracles” where you will be able to see a beautiful light show and indoors there’s the “Miracle Santa Village” where you can take photos at the snowman photo zone.
You can get a discount ticket for Lotte World here.
2. Everland: Romantic Illumination
Period: 11.24.2016 ~ 12.31.2016
Everland is possibly one of the most famous and largest amusement parks in Korea. Held until December 31, the Christmas Fantasy and Romantic Illumination guarantee a fantastic display of lights and fireworks that are sure to let you immerse yourself in the Christmas spirit.
The highlight is the “White X-mas Parade” starring Everland‘s Christmas character such as Santa and Rudolph dancing to delightful carol songs. The parade will take place once a day from December 18.
For convenient transport options and discount tickets to Everland, check out this link.
3. Seoul Land: Christmas Party
Period: 11.17.2016 ~ 12.25.2016
As Korea’s first ever theme park to be built, Seoul Land is definitely one of the most established and popular amusement parks in Korea.
This year’s festival is called “Santa Run” and will be held until December 25, featuring various special performances and gift donations. One of the highlights is a performance where Ebenezer Scrooge and a pack of wolves try to ruin Christmas for Red Riding Good and her friends of the Character Village.
Fathers will also get a chance to win special gifts for their children by participating in the Santa Run.
For discount tickets to Seoul land, click here.
B. Christmas Taken to the Streets
1. Sinchon Christmas Market & Sinchon Christmas Street Festival
Period: 12.21.2016 ~ 12.29.2016
Sinchon is “the” place to be for youths. The area, in close proximity to 4 major universities (Yonsei, Ewha, Sogang and Hongik), is a famous hotspot for street performances, great food and shopping. You’ll be able to enjoy everything from thrifty shopping to joyous caroling to free concerts from December 21 to 29 around the area. Street performances will mainly be held near Hyundai U-Plex Mall near Sinchon Station.
2. Myeongdong Lights Festival
Along the famous shopping district of Myeongdong, awe-inspiring Christmas decorative lights have gone up!
Take note however, especially during Christmas Eve, this place gets jam-packed. Try to avoid at all costs, and visit it another day (usually the Christmas day itself is less crowded than Christmas Eve).
C. Fabulous Christmas Events & Performances
1. Universal Ballet’s ‘The Nutcracker’
Period: 12.16.2016 ~ 12.31.2016
A Christmas classic, the world-renowned Universal Ballet presents Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday performance of “The Nutcracker.”This family-friendly winter performance will run from December 16 to 31, 2016 at the Universal Arts Center in Seoul.
2. Merry Chri Sound Festa
Period: 12.24.2016 ~ 12.25.2016
Held on Christmas Eve and Day, the Merry Chri Sound Festa is a festival where you will be able to enjoy music from artists of all different genres.
There’s everything from rap to pop to indie to EDM! The line-up includes artists like Beenzino, Glen Check, Hoody and many more! It’s sure to be the perfect way to celebrate Christmas! Grab your tickets here before they’re all gone!
D. Christmas Vibes Near Seoul
1. Garden of Morning Calm: The Lighting Festival
Period: 12.02.2016 ~ 3.26.2017
Spanning 82 acres, the Garden of Morning Calm boasts the largest collection of herbs in Korea. There are also areas themed after the Italian city of Venice and a French farm.
The different colors of the garden harmonize together to create a beautiful, picturesque scenery. There are 30,000 lights of all colors illuminating the garden that will look amazing in photos!
Enjoy your visit to the garden and also explore the beautiful tree-lined paths of Nami island and enjoy a rail bike ride in Gangchon by signing up this tour!
2. Pocheon Herb Island: The Lighting & Illumination Festival
Period: 11.01.2016 ~ 12.31.2016
Friends, families and lovers can make precious memories together at the Lighting & Illumination Festival in Pocheon which is full of LED lights that make the place look like something out of a fairytale.
There is also an area called “Santa’s Village” with a 300-meter long tunnel full of wishing cards that you can take a walk through.
Visitors can also entry hands-on programs such as herbal candle and soap making, pressed herbal flower arts and crafts, lavender pillow crafting and more.
Take an excursion to the Herb Island in Pocheon with ease by simply hiring a private van for your group. For details, click here.
The range of activities and festivals you can find outside of Seoul is definitely much more limited, but Busan is the second most populous city in Korea after Seoul, and there are definitely many festivals that can rival those in the capital. Here are some that you should definitely check out if you’re in Busan:
1. Busan Christmas Tree Festival
Period: 11.26.2016 ~ 01.08.2016
The Busan Christmas Festival in Nampodong has been going on for 6 years in a row and has been making its name known as one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Korea.
The annual Christmas Tree Festival will feature a myriad of festive and family-friendly holiday activities including the tree of wishes, various street performances, and a photo and video contest. On top of the daily cultural and Christmas concerts, local visitors can also participate in the festival’s popular carol singing contest.
The festival is free and open to the public and will be held until January 8.
If you want to enjoy a dazzling winter holiday trip at Busan Christmas Tree Festival this year, join this overnight tour! You can book your trip here.
2. Haeundae Rockgo Lighting Festival
Period: 12.02.2016 ~ 2.12.2017
View the colorful lights by the seaside in Haeundae, Busan at the Haeundae Rockgo Lighting Festival! This year there is a love story theme with special events held for couples.
The main event is an SNS event, where if couples upload a photo of them at the festival, one of them will be chosen at random every week and receive an 18 karat couple ring.
There will also be street busking performances every Friday and Saturday to add some joy to people’s days as they walk by.
3. Illumia Light Festival
Period: 11.01.2016 ~ 12.31.2017
Launched at the Let’s Run Park in Busan, the Illumia Light Festival is essentially a theme park full of colorful and shining lights.
Aside from large lit-up life-size figurines all over the park, there is also an area with ground light illumination and a musical fountain show where images are projected onto the water.
Enjoyed reading our blog? Stay tuned for more travel updates and happy holidays!
Don’t forget to check out Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, for the latest, trendiest and newest things to do in South Korea.
This is the English-language version of an article I published this week with Newsweek Japan on ‘Choi-gate.’
This pre-dates the impeachment vote of yesterday, but the basic point still holds: the Korean public just gave the world a lesson in what democracy looks like. In the 8+ years I have lived here, this is its finest hour. Koreans should be proud of themselves for peaceful protests in the millions on behalf of clean and transparent government. It’s all the more impressive given that the US is about to install an authoritarian game-show host as president. Who ever thought the Koreans would teach the Americans what democracy is all about?
Yesterday, I told Bloomberg that corruption is now, very obviously, the most important domestic politics issue in Korea. Yes, it is still trumped by North Korea, but it is now painfully, painfully obvious that Korea needs much cleaner government. In fact, corruption is so bad, I am surprised that there is no Donald Trump figure entering Korean politics. Yet again, the Koreans prove themselves more democratically mature than Americans.
So yes, Korea’s political class is a corrupt, self-serving mess, but its public is not and that is vastly more important. For all their flim-flam about Dokdo, the curative powers of kimchi, the made-up anthropology of a ‘glorious 5000-year history,’ and all the rest, when it came to the big thing – clean, robust democracy – they got it right in a big way. Props to the Koreans.
The essay follows the jump.
Next year is the thirtieth anniversary of South Korean democratization. Yet that democracy is now facing its greatest constitutional crisis. President Park Geun Hye is involved in a sprawling, frequently bizarre influence-peddling scandal involving long-time confidante and obvious swindler Choi Soon Sil. Park will almost certainly be driver from office because of it. The investigation has revealed disturbing allegations of corruption and nepotism at the same time that the South Korean parliament, the National Assembly, has passed an extremely strict anti-graft law in yet another effort to beat back seemingly entrenched corruption. Korean politicians and public figures have described themselves embarrassed at the seemingly endless parade of corruption scandals and Park’s epic miscalculation in permitting Choi such influence in her administration. The North Koreans, predictably, are gloating; ‘Choi-gate’ apparently proves the superiority of their ‘system.’
The South Korean Public Embraces Democracy
But there is a clear upside to this story, one that suggests that Korean democracy is deeply rooted and maturing despite the public circus of the last month. The Korean public has responded with a massive outpouring of peaceful resistance to the shenanigans of its leaders. Corruption may stalk the Korean political establishment, even the president, but the public has made very clear it will not accept that. In the weeks since the Choi scandal broke, millions of Koreans have protested peacefully. On November 26, estimates suggest two million people demonstrated, a staggering 4% of the entire national population. Even overseas Koreans protested in Europe and the United States.
Numbers of that scale are astonishing in modern democracies. 4% of the Japanese population would be 5 million people on the streets; 4% of the United States would be 13 million people. Japan and the US have never seen demonstrations of that size. That suggests a strong, genuine commitment to Korean democracy and clean government, a popular desire to participate that is often lost in the elitism that normally characterizes Korean politics.
These protests have happened five weeks in a row, another astonishing feat. Mobilizing millions of people for more than a month requires a deep well of public support for democracy. Further, the protests have been entirely peaceful. There have been no reports of assaults, robberies, and so on. The kind of social anarchy we saw during Arab Spring protests of similar scale did not occur. The protestors even cleaned up their trash, signaling a commitment to their society even as they rejected its leadership.
All this is hugely inspiring, even as the constitutional drama reveals the weakness of the Korean political class and the need for reform of South Korea’s institutions. In the eight years I have lived in South Korea, this is its finest hour. South Korea often enmeshes itself in controversies western observers find bizarre: the debate over THAAD missile defense here is dominated by (Chinese) misinformation; accusations about nascent Japanese ‘re-militarization’ are unhinged; the Korean media is deeply vested in a wildly exaggerated nationalist story of Korean pop-culture ‘conquering the world.’ But when things really mattered, the Korean public came through, demonstrating a deep commitment to core modern democratic values – peaceful protest, civic participation, and clean government. If there was ever a moment to see the large difference between North and South Korea in stark relief, this was it. Indeed at time, when the West has voted for Brexit and Donald Trump, and the National Front is running strongly in France, South Korea is illustrating to the world how an engaged, responsible democratic public behaves. Who ever would have imagined the South Koreans would be teaching the Americans about democracy?
The Public Rejects Park
The next steps in the crisis are likely either Park’s resignation or an impeachment vote. As the scandal has unfolded over the last two months, Park has stood her ground. She has insisted that she committed no crime. She conceded that she gave too much space and consideration to her friend but insists that this was not illegal. The Korean public has, by a large margin, rejected this interpretation. Park’s approval rating has crashed to an historic low of 4%. I am unaware of any chief executive in a modern democracy who returned such low numbers. Not even Richard Nixon in the depths of Watergate was so unpopular. For this reason, most observers think she will be forced out one way or another.
Park cuts a somewhat tragicomic figure here. Unlike most politicians felled by scandals of politics, money, sex, war, and so on, Park has bizarrely discredited herself on behalf of an obvious con artist who exploited her for decades. It may indeed be true that she technically committed no crime, but the sheer extent and weirdness of the scandal has been damning. Choi seems to have had influence over a vast expanse of presidential decisions, from the mundane, such as the presidential wardrobe, to the serious, such as the president’s speeches and staffing choices. Choi may have even impacted Park’s tougher line on North Korea, in that Choi apparently predicted North Korea’s imminent collapse and edited some of Park’s speeches on the subject.
And the scamming and nepotism have been both egregious and astonishingly petty. Despite all the wealth accrued through her graft, Choi seems to have embezzled much of the funding for the president’s wardrobe while clothing Park in cheap outfits (which the Korean fashion press picked up on years ago). Choi exploited her presidential connections to shake down large corporations for ‘donations.’ She used those connections to bully a university into accepting her daughter as a student and even alter her daughters’ scoring in an equestrian competition. Choi’s personal trainer (!) even got in on the act, getting appointed a staffer in the Blue House, the Korean executive residence.
Park may indeed be correct that she herself violated no law, but the whole thing is so preposterous and bizarre that she has been thoroughly discredited and her presidency all but ended even if she somehow retains the office itself. The public has concluded that Park was conned by an obvious grifter and charlatan, and there is widespread amazement that Park, who otherwise seemed like a canny, intelligent politician, was taken in by such an obvious fraud. That Choi has no obvious qualifications for the wide influence she wielded makes Park look all the more like an easy mark in a con scheme. Choi is not a lawyer, economist, policy expert, and so on. Her ‘qualification’ seems to be that her shamanistic cult-leader father convinced Park that he could communicate with Park’s deceased mother (yes, really). This would be laughable, were it not so politically consequential.
What if Park Stays in Office?
The upshot is that even if Park is technically innocent, the public has concluded that she has been a shadow president while Choi was the real power behind the throne. In the protests, the most damning image has been of Choi looming above Park, pulling strings attached to Park’s limbs as if she were a puppet.
Park may constitutionally survive. At the time of this writing, an impeachment vote looks likely to occur on December 9. The opposition bloc needs twenty-eight government party members to vote for impeachment to overcome the required two-thirds impeachment threshold (200 out of 300 members of the National Assembly). Park floated a bizarre, not-quite resignation proposal on November 29 in which she suggested that she would accept whatever fate the National Assembly deemed fit for her presidency, including a shortening of her term. This does not follow the constitutional process, in which impeachment or resignation leads to an acting president followed by a new election within sixty days. It is widely suspected that her curious non-resignation offer was a last ditch attempt to muddy the waters. It might convince some of her party’s wavering parliamentarians to vote against impeachment because she would imminent resign. This is dangerous territory: constitutional ‘reform’ hastily tossed about by a president desperate to slip out of impeachment.
Even if the National Assembly votes to remove her, South Korea’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, must also vote in a two-thirds majority (six out nine justices) to remove her. Two of those justices’ terms end in the next six months, which would almost certainly provoke a sharp fight over the appointment of pro- or anti-Park judges. The Court also might not wish to proceed until the final report of the Choi-gate special prosecutor is completed, which may take months. Yet another layer of confusion is that the government party’s position is now that Park should remain in office until April, so that it can find a viable candidate to run in the snap election which would follow her resignation.
All of this political confusion raises the importance of constitutional reform. The Korean public has spoken clearly. Indeed, they have carried the mantle of democracy in the last few months as the formal system has devolved into chaos. The Korean political class has flailed, while millions of Koreans have peacefully demonstrated for clean government and transparency. It is time the Republic of Korea had institutions to match its electorate’s democratic intensity.
The most obvious reform needed is major crackdown on corruption. This has become the bane of Korean politics. When family and friends ‘cash out’ their connections, as happens far too often here, Korea looks like a banana republic. A great irony of Park’s presidency is that she explicitly claimed it would cleaner than usual because she was unmarried and alienated from her family. Instead, this seems to have made her so lonely that a quack was able to befriend her.
The new anti-graft law should help, but the real problem is the Korean developmentalist state. So long as the Korean government insists on ‘guiding’ the economy, state officials and businessmen will regularly interact regarding money. This obviously opens huge, regular opportunities for graft. In Choi’s case, if Korea’s largest companies were not so dependent on presidential goodwill, Choi would never have been able to blackmail them with her friendship with Park.
The other big reform, which would make this crisis much simpler to resolve, is the creation of a vice president. South Korea is a hybrid, ‘semi-presidential’ system. That is, it has both a president and prime minister. Constitutionally, the PM becomes the acting president should the president die or otherwise exit the office. There is then to be a new election within sixty days for a new president for a full five-year term. As the Choi crisis is demonstrating, this is an unnecessarily complex transfer of power process.
The PM is a weak, poorly defined office in Korea. He often acts as a ‘fall guy’ for the president when scandal hits, and he does not have the clear mandate to take over the presidency a vice-president has. That the PM can be fired easily by the president makes the office even more unstable. The current PM was actually fired by Park but retained as acting PM, because the president and parliament could not agree on a successor. The 60-day snap election of a full term presidency raises the stakes even more. South Korea’s conservatives are trying now to forestall Park’s resignation so that they do not lose the presidency for the next five years. It would far easier to simply impeach Park if there a waiting vice-president who would only finish her term. There would be no incentive to fight for an ideal timing of her resignation. The existence of meaningful vice presidential office made Richard Nixon’s resignation over Watergate much easier. His vice president assumed the office; the country moved on; and the next election was held normally on schedule.
Park Should Probably Resign
Park’s desire to hang on is understandable. Her resignation will destroy her reputation in Korean history. Given that her father’s presidency was in fact in a dictatorship, her fall from grace will impact the family legacy too. More immediately, Park may face criminal charges after resignation and go to prison. As president, she is immune. Perhaps she imagines that if she can just hang on a few more months, the cold weather will drive the protestors from the streets, and then the upcoming election will convince everyone to just let her ride out the rest of her term.
This is risky. She is discredited. She is widely understood now as a naif controlled by a con artist. The protests to date have been peaceful, but the potential for unrest is obvious. If she survives impeachment by some gimmicky parliamentary maneuver or the replacement of high justices, public opinion will worsen. The protests could expand, and the government would be paralyzed. Were that to occur for months on end, it would be unprecedented for a modern democracy. Park’s term formally ends in late February 2018. That opens the possibility of 15 months of protest and paralysis if she fights to the end. The protests so far have been a remarkable display of civic responsibility, but the longer they grind on, the more they will attract troublemakers and radicals. Disorder over the course of a 15-month political stalemate is an obvious possibility. Korea has not seen protests of this scope since the street contests of democratization. Defying the will of 96% of the population, with millions on the street for months on end, is a frightening prospect.
Living by yourself can be fun and exciting since you get to be independent and free from your nagging parents! However, it also comes with a lot of responsibility.
Last time we posted about must-have beauty products from Daiso, which is a store selling everything from beauty products to household items to school supplies all ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 KRW. Today’s post is about 5 survival items from there that we recommend for all you expats and exchange students staying in Korea for the long run to keep at home!
1. Roll Cleaner
Use these simple but innovative roll cleaners to clean hair and dust off your floor or remove lint from your clothes. You can also purchase refills in bundles.
It’s a quick and simple way to clean your home and doesn’t take up any space to store either!
2. Reusable Recycling Bins
Korea is pretty strict with recycling policies and there are certain rules you should follow if you want to avoid having any angry garbage men or your apartment’s maintenance man chasing after you! These reusable recycling bins make sorting your trash easy so you don’t have to be digging through everything and sorting it at the dumpster!
3. All-purpose Tweezers
If you’re a lazy couch potato, this product is ideal for you. Now you can reach for the TV remote, switch off the lights, pick up the can that missed the bin – all thanks to these all-purpose tweezers!
4. Hair Stopper Sheets
Those of you with long hair may especially be able to relate to this. No one likes cleaning clogged hair out of a drain as it’s messy and gross. Well, you’ll no longer have that problem with these hair stopper sheets!
They come in both rectangular and circular shapes and all you have to do is peel and stick it onto your drain, then throw it out once there’s a significant amount of hair caught on it! Simple!
5. Mini Rectangular Frypan
Kitchens in one-room apartments or dorms are usually quite small and you usually don’t need to have huge cookware and tools when you’re only making food for yourself. Lo and behold, the mini rectangular fry pan for one! This frypan is super cute and convenient to store and the perfect size for making meals for yourself!
Don’t forget to stop by Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop for more fun and informative posts like this one!
Korea has an amazing history. It really does, but most people don't learn much about it (besides learning about the Korean War in high school... and "Gangnam Style").
Learn about Korea's history from its first origins, its first kingdoms, and its history from the past up to the present day. Because this video is under 12 minutes long, and is meant to be a summary, some parts, people, and details have been intentionally left out. Please let me know if there are any parts you'd like to learn more about, and perhaps I can make another video in the future.
Check out the video here~!
The post The History of Korea - Learn Korean History in Under 12 Minutes appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.
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Looking for something fun to do this winter in South Korea? Well, this winter festival is definitely something that you don’t want to miss out on!
The 10th annual Pyeongchang Trout Festival is a famous winter festival in South Korea that takes place in the town of Jinbu-myeon in the Pyeongchang-gun district, which is about 2.5 hours away from Seoul. Visitors can enjoy ice fishing as well as many other fun winter activities! Pyeongchang is an alpine county that is a haven for winter sports as it receives an abundance of snowfall every year. Here, you can enjoy ice fishing as well as many other fun winter activities like sledding, bobsleigh riding, ice skating and more! The main attraction at the festival is ice fishing, where you can attempt to catch fresh trout from a hole drilled into the ice. You can choose between open-ice fishing (pictured above) or tent fishing (these tend to sell out very quickly).
A fishing rod can be purchased which differs in price depending on the type of artificial bait attached on the line.
Be prepared to sit idly by the hole as you bob your rod up and down, waiting for a trout to bite onto the bait. Bring your own foldable chair or purchase one on-site for comfort!
*Ice fishing is only available depending on the ice conditions. If it is not cold enough, it may not be available as the ice will be too thin, causing it to break easily. If you’re feeling super brave, why not try your hand at fishing for trout with your bare hands? Brrrr… aren’t you shivering just thinking about it? You, along with many other brave souls, will enter a large pool full of trout in just a t-shirt and shorts and attempt to catch grab as many of them with your bare hands.
The best part? You get to feast on what you’ve caught afterward! Choose to enjoy your fish processed raw as sashimi or get it grilled the traditional way over firewood by chefs on standby. Don’t worry if you don’t catch any fish as you can buy them!
If you’re looking for something else to enjoy besides ice fishing, look no further as there’s plenty of recreational activities to do! Choose from snow tubing, ice skating, snow rafting, ice cycling, sledding, spinning rail cars or an ATV (four-wheel motorcycle)! There are even rides like bumper cars and disco pang pang, which is a circular ride that spins around and bounces up and down, accompanied by entertaining comments from the announcer controlling it. Ice sculptures are also scattered around the area for you to take photos with. This festival is something you must check out this winter season as it’s fun for people of all ages. This Shuttle Bus Package offers round-trip transportation for convenience and you’ll also be able to enjoy ice fishing and the activities! Make sure you also check out Yongpyong Ski Resort which is located nearby! With 28 slopes, it’s great for skiers of all levels and features Asia’s longest gondola course spanning 7.4 km!
Alpensia Ski Resort is another great choice with 6 slopes, top-notch leisure facilities and 5-star accommodation. You can enjoy both the ice fishing festivaland skiing at the resorts with our packages! Browse more of our awesome winter tours and ski packages on Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop and plan your trip with us this winter 2016-17!
I always get mixed reviews when I talk about traveling to the Middle East. My parents are terrified when I venture out solo, but friends my age almost always encourage me to make the trek. I think traveling to the Middle East would be an opportunity for me to experience culture shock, something I haven’t had since I lived in Asia. My bucket list of cities and countries continues to grow as I get ready to leave teaching. I would love to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and I’m always intrigued by the less popular areas for Western tourists. That’s why I’m interested in Doha, Qatar’s capital and fastest-growing city. Here’s why you should be, too!
Doha’s Tourist Attractions
Doha has a hot, dry climate, and it’s bordered by the Persian Gulf. Since temperatures regularly reach between 38 and 45 Celsius, air conditioning and proximity to a pool are essential. In that kind of heat, you don’t want to be outside for too long. The InterContinental Doha – The City is conveniently located in the West Bay area. It’s close to the Doha Exhibition and Conference Center, the Doha Golf Club, and the famous Souq Waqif. This luxury hotel is also within a 20-minute taxi ride of Doha Fort, the Museum of Islamic Art, the Falcon Souq, as well as Al Corniche Street, Dhow Harbor, and the Pearl Monument.
Souq Wahif and Al Koot Fort
A souq, or bazaar, is an open-air marketplace typically found in North Africa and the Middle East. The Souq Waqif, also known as The Standing Market, is one of the most famous in the world. Here, you can get all kinds of souvenirs, spices, and handmade crafts. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants and shisha lounges. The souq is located within close proximity of old military fortress Al Koot Fort, more commonly known as Doha Fort. As an architecture junkie, this is a definitely must for me!
In a corner of Souq Waqif, you’ll find the Falcon Souq. The people of Qatar love falcons and use them for hunting. Falcon prices start at about $3,000, so check it out for the experience, not the auction.
These watchtowers are located outside of the city, but they’re well worth a visit. The Barzan Towers were built near the sea back in the late 19th century, but modern renovations introduced air conditioning. With a climate that hot, I understand the need to trade tradition for modern amenities. Don’t forget to check out the area behind the towers, as it’s an oasis with a variety of plants and animals. This attraction is open 24 hours a day.
Museum of Islamic Art
Established in 2008, the massive Museum of Islamic Art spans five floors. The museum is an architectural gem, and the collection represents 1,400 years of Islamic art and history. Al Corniche Street, Dhow Harbor, and the Pearl Monument This area is known for its picturesque harbor, waterfront promenade, and the large Pearl Monument. This is an essential part of the Doha skyline. For more about these attractions and others, check out the Discover Doha website to learn more about this vibrant city.
Dining in Doha
You won;t have to go far to experience some of the best culinary delights in Doha. The InterContinental Doha boasts seven restaurants including Hwang for Pan-Asian cuisine, The Square, Al Jalsa Garden Lounge for Arabic dishes and shisha, the Lobby Lounge for afternoon tea, Strata Restaurant and Lounge for a stunning view, Hive Restaurant and Lounge for the after-work crowd, and Prime steakhouse. For a list of top restaurants beyond the InterContinental Doha, read up on the 10 best cultural dining spots.
Have you been to Doha?
Let us know if we’ve missed any tourist attractions or hotspots in the comments!
The post Intercontinental Doha – The City (you doha-n’t want to miss!) appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.
A couple of weeks ago, The Sool Gallery hosted a blogger tasting event in partnership with Star Lengas of 87 Pages. The Sool Gallery is a space in Insadong which will soon be moving South of the river (Gangnam).
Insadong is one of Seoul’s most popular tourist destinations, so make sure to check out The Sool Gallery before they move. Insadong is in the old city and is near Gyeongbokgung (Palace), Bukcheon Hanok Village, and Jogyesa (Temple).
In Korean, “Sool” means alcohol. Here, you are taken on a journey through ancient Korea while getting a little tipsy.
The gallery was designed as a space to exhibit and sample tradition Korean alcohol. There is plenty of art to discover in the gallery as well. This one looked like a bunch of soju glasses shaped in a honeycomb to me. How did you interpret it?
On our trip we sampled Makgeolli, Yakju, Korean traditional distilled liquor, and Korean wine. Most of us preferred the citrus Makgeolli (Rice Wine) we tried. I enjoyed the traditional Korean distilled liquor, but I also enjoy feeling like a fire-breathing dragon. Take from that what you will!
The types of alcohols being offered for sampling change regularly. Brewery tours are available as well. You must reserve in advance to take part in a sampling, but you’re free to browse the gallery during operating hours without a reservation.
The Sool Gallery
Information c/o Visit Korea
Address: B1, 8, Insadong 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
How to Get There:
1) From Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3-1.
– Walk 330m straight from the exit.
– Turn right on Insa-dong 11-gil (before Templestay Information Center) and walk 100m.
2) From Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 5.
– After crossing the cross walk from exit 5, walk 180m straight.
– Head right along Insadong-gil and continue 240m.
– Turn left on Insa-dong 11-gil and walk 40m.
3) From Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
– Walk 90m straight from the exit.
– Turn left and walk 200m along Insadong-gil road.
– Turn right on Insa-dong 11-gil and walk 40m.
Hours: 10:00 – 18:00 (Closed every Monday / Seollal Day (February 19, 2015))
Blog & SNS:
blog.naver.com/soolgallery (Korean only)
www.facebook.com/thesoolgallery (Korean, Japanese)
Email: email@example.com (Korean, English, Japanese)
Inquiries: +82-2-739-6220 (Korean, English, Japanese)