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I Dream in SkyScanner: Taipei, Taiwan

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Image result for taiwan heart of asia

In 2013 I hosted the official opening event of the new Tourism Taiwan advertising campaign in Toronto.  I wasn’t sure Taipei or Taiwan was the “Heart of Asia”, but I’m ready to see!  Now, in 2017 after already trying once to make it to Taipei, I’ll be heading there on Thursday with my very adventurous co-pilot.  My search for flights for my trip to Taipei, Taiwan began on Skyscanner, but actually ended directly with China Airlines.

Buddha’s Birthday

The reason we get to jet off to Taipei is because of Buddha’s Birthday.  In various Asian countries, you’ll see lanterns and parades in preparation for the celebrations.  In Taoist Taipei, however, this time of year is for miracle doctor, Lord Bao Sheng:

“Traditionally, Baoan Temple’s Baosheng Emperor’s birthday is the major festivity for locals.In 1994 (year 83 of ROC), Baoan added some modern, humanistic spirits and cultural vigor to this traditional temple fair; hence the “Baosheng Cultural Festival” was launched.” – Dalongdon Baoan Temple

Fulong beach Taipei Taiwan

Get Me to the Beach

I actually have a reason to get to the beach in Taipei!  Not only do I have a brand new Trifena Belle Swimsuit I’m eager to wear, there’s a temple by the water!  Dongxing Temple is at the Eastern end of this beach.  Apparently there’s an area where you might get some surf, but I think there are likely better spots in Taiwan to catch a wave!  Other temples of interest include: Mengjia Longshan Temple, Zhinan Temple, and Tian Yuan Temple.

Beef Noodles 牛肉麺 Taipei Taiwan Food

Food in Taipei

What would a Seoulcialite trip be without a foodie adventure?  I hear food in Taipei is cheap, cheerful, and plentiful.  I’ve been running circles around the track and the gym as this list is long.  I’m sure it’s not comprehensive, either.  I’m super excited to try the following researched delights (and anything else that comes my way)!

(Beef Noodles 牛肉麺 pictured above)

CHicken Cutlet Taipei Taiwan

Chicken Cutlet 大雞排 

起司馬鈴薯 Potato Cheese 起司馬鈴薯 (which is only available in Shilin and XiMenDing Taipei Taiwan
Image c/o Nodedoo

Potato Cheese 起司馬鈴薯 (only available in Shilin/ XiMenDing).

 Flame Grilled Beef Cubes 火焰骰子牛 Taipei Taiwan

Flame Grilled Beef Cubes 火焰骰子牛

Deep Fried Taro Ball Taipei Taiwan

Deep Fried Taro Ball


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Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumplings @ Din Tai Fung

Hu Jiao Bing Kiln Baked Black Pepper Pork Buns (

Kiln Baked Black Pepper Pork Buns (“Hu Jiao Bing”)

Gua Bao Taipei Taiwan

Gua Bao

Deep Fried Milk 炸牛奶 Taipei Taiwan

Deep Fried Milk 炸牛奶

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Ice Cream Runbing

Dorayaki Ice Cream Taipei Taiwan

Dorayaki Ice Cream

Taipei 101 Taipei Taiwan Toronto Seoulcialite Travel Blogger

Taipei Tourist Attractions

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Jiu Fen Old Street

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Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

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Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

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Xiangshan (Taipei 101 view from Elephant Mountain)

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Shilin Night Market

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Raohe Street Night Market

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Ningxia Night Market

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Huashan 1914 Creative Park

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Fort San Domingo

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Presidential Office Building

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Zhongzheng District

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Golden Waterfall

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Release a Lantern at Shi Fen Old Street

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Beitou Hot Springs

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Ps. Anyone know where this could be?  I want to check it out!

 What other amazing things are there to do in Taipei, Taiwan?  Make sure to tell us what not to miss in the comments!

The post I Dream in SkyScanner: Taipei, Taiwan appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.

The Toronto Socialite
That Girl Cartier


Another great experience in Tokyo at the Mori Art Museum...

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Another great experience in Tokyo at the Mori Art Museum (森美術館)

For 1,800¥ a person, you can view modern art in Roppongi. Don’t forget to check out the funnel-shaped elevator from outside. It’s designed by Richard Gluckman, and then you can head to the 52nd floor for a great city view and rotating photography, fashion, and architecture exhibits.

We saw an exhibit on N.S. Harsha (b. 1969). He is one of the most refined practitioners on today’s Indian contemporary art scene. “N.S. Harsha: Charming Journey” included around 70 major works encompassing the 20-plus years of the artist’s career since 1995. Referencing everything from traditional Indian art, myths, and epics, the ripple effects of globalization, to the international contemporary art scene, Japanese painters, the realms of plants, animals, and birds, and the great unknown of cosmic space. I definitely found myself on a “charming journey.”

Address: 六本木6-10-1 (六本木ヒルズ森タワー 53F), Minato, Tōkyō

Phone: +81 3-5777-8600

Hours: Every day except Tuesdays 10:00 am - 10:00 pm (Last entry 30 minutes before closing.)


Hi, I'm Stacy. I'm from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living in Busan, South Korea. Check me out on: Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Lastfm, and Flickr.


The Glass Zoo: Women In South Korean, US Journalism

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Earlier this month, a panel discussion titled “The Glass Zoo: Women in Journalism” was jointly organized & moderated by Korea Exposé managing editor Haeryun Kang & Mediati manager Mijin Lee. Much of the audio of that discussion is contained in this podcast episode as well as a brief interview with panel moderator & Korea Exposé managing editor Haeryun Kang. Find more about the event at

(Photo courtesy of Mediati’s Sanghyun Park)

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Interview answers, both in written & audio form, have been edited for length & clarity.

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The post The Glass Zoo: Women In South Korean, US Journalism appeared first on Korea FM.

Unlimited Wine: New Zealand Wine Festival Korea (Seoul & Busan)

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New Zealand Wine Festival Korea

Join The Kiwi Chamber (NZ Chamber of Commerce in Korea), Anuj Madan (Photographer), and The Toronto Seoulcialite May 20th, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt Seoul.  At the New Zealand Wine Festival we’ll sample reds and whites from over 20 different vineyards.  Registrations are now open so head over to and follow the links!

We all know how much I love wine!  We’re only through 4 months of 2017 and I’ve already visited a couple of vineyards (where I’ve soaked my feet in wine twice) and have had the pleasure of dining and imbibing with other Korea Bloggers at Vineworks Korea.  I’ve been invited to the New Zealand Wine Festival and could not be more excited!

Anuj Madan

The event promises to be a first-class New Zealand-themed culinary experience coupled with the finest service.  A superb outdoor BBQ-style buffet (hells yes!) will be served in Seoul and an exquisite tapas buffet in Busan (June 3rd, 2017 at the Park Hyatt Busan).  Now, to practice looking dainty while balancing a glass o’ vino in a tea-length skirt while eating lamb shank…

New Zealand Wine Festival Korea Seoul Busan Toronto Seoulcialite Kiwi Chamber of Commerce

We’ll be able to sample a plethora of wine from “the other side of the world where the air is clean, the water is pure and the wine is exceptional.  New Zealand has a unique geography and perfect climate which make its wines truly special,” explained Dr. Garrett. “With well over 700 vineyards spread across the country, consumers have a wide variety of vintages from Hawke’s Bay in the North Island to Central Otago in the South to choose from.”

Anuj Madan

Both events will feature lucky draws with unreal prizes.  People who have attended lucky draws with me in the past know to stand near me when they’re calling out numbers.  I’m a bit of a ‘good luck Chuck’ when it comes to raffles – my friends always win!  Since Singapore Airlines is a major sponsor of both events, they’ve upped the ante and are offering an amazing lucky draw prize of an economy return ticket to New Zealand!

Image result for new zealand wine

Who: New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea, you, and your wine-loving friends!

What: Wine from the Other Side – Kiwi Chamber of Commerce New Zealand Wine Festival

Anuj Madan

Where: Garden of the Grand Hyatt Seoul (in the event of inclement weather, the festivities will be held indoors)

When: Saturday, May 20 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Image result for ballroom park hyatt busan
c/o Park Hyatt Busan

Where: Grand Ballroom at the Park Hyatt Busan

When: 6:30pm to 10:30pm

New Zealand Vineyard Marlborough Toronto Seoulcialite New Zealand Wine Festival

Price: 95,000 won for Kiwi Chamber members, 110,000 won for non-members and 120,000 won at the door.

Where to Buy Tickets: For more information and registration, please contact or visit us at

The post Unlimited Wine: New Zealand Wine Festival Korea (Seoul & Busan) appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.

UOBEI (魚べい 渋谷道玄坂店) is one of my favorite dining experiences in...

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UOBEI (魚べい 渋谷道玄坂店) is one of my favorite dining experiences in Tokyo. It may look touristy from the outside and even if the line looks long, it moves suprt fast. If you get there early (around 4:30-5pm), you should be able to avoid the wait. 

It’s good sushi at a fair price, and it’s awesome ordering from the tablet at your seat. Then, the sushi comes really quick on a track in front of you. 

Address: 道玄坂2-29-11 (第六セントラルビル 1F) Shibuya, Tōkyō

Phone: +81 3-3462-0241

Hours: Every day 11:00 am to midnight

How to Improve Your Korean Pronunciation

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I receive a lot of messages and comments asking for tips for how to improve your Korean pronunciation. So finally I have a video that I can share with you. These are some of my personal tips for improving your pronunciation. You can watch the video below, and read along.

Here are my five tips:

1) Increase your exposure

2) Record yourself

3) Imitate Koreans

4) Relax your mouth

5) Fix it now

The post How to Improve Your Korean Pronunciation appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Hallabong Marmalade Chocolates

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So, what happened was, I had this post all written up and saved in my drafts, ready to go up for White Day, on March 14th, with some minor final edits. Shortly before that day arrived, some major stuff went down in my personal life, and the blog and everything else fell by the wayside for about a month.

I’m on the mend and ready to move forward now. Some other things happened in the meantime that added to the delay, like my back going out so severely that I was on bedrest for over a week — I’m still not fully recovered, but I am able to sit at my desk for longer periods now and am going so stir crazy from being trapped in the house outside of anything more than a short walk that if I don’t do something that at least feels productive, I may delve headlong into an existential crisis I’m not sure I’ll recover from.

2017 feels like a glitch in the machine — a major one. I know I am far from the only one who feels this way. Aside from all of the political upheaval back home, things have been, shall we say, tense on the peninsula this past month. It seems we’ve made it through the most worrisome period unscathed and un-plunged into an unnecessary war. Nonetheless, I will feel much better once South Korea has her own leader at the helm once again, at the beginning of May.

Since I feel like the original post had some information about a particular set of Korean holidays that may be of interest to some, I will leave that bit in tact, although it is no longer timely. The good thing about chocolate is it never goes out of season. Moreover, it is a classic stress-eating food, and although you may not be having the particular kind of whale of a time with life I am at the moment, I’m pretty sure most of the world is stressed right now for one reason or another. Chocolates for everyone.

Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates

In Korea, there are two Valentine’s days. Well, two versions of the holiday — three if you count the one for singles. On Valentine’s Day, women traditionally give chocolates or other gifts to men. Someone very clever (a confectionary company in Japan, as it turns out) chose yet another day a month later for the men to return the sentiment — White Day on March 14th. A month following that the singles finally get their moment with Black Day, when it’s customary to eat a Chinese-Korean dish of black noodles called jajangmyeon. Black Day is my favorite, because it is a unique kind of Korean-funny, and manages to be sarcastic and self-pitying at the same time.

While the holidays are rarely celebrated by people over 25, B and I tend to celebrate them on a whim. In years past, before we were married, I made him some truly elaborate cakes to celebrate Valentine’s, but the day kind of snuck up on me this year, and anyway, he’s gotten so used to coming home to a cake or some other baked thing that it’s become truly difficult to impress him.

So instead, I went for White Day chocolates. After tasting the hallabong orange syrup I made for the Persian love cake, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I kept wondering what would happen if I reduced it down and used it as a spread or filling for something.

Good things, as it turns out. These chocolates, to be more specific.

The process here is a bit time-consuming (and messy), but the chocolates themselves are not difficult to make. It will go more smoothly if you happen to have a filled chocolate mold, but it is completely possible to do it without one. In fact, you could even use an ice cube tray if that’s what it comes down to.

Worth the mess, in my opinion, but if you’d rather not fuss about with the chocolate, you can always just make the marmalade and save it in a jar as a nice spread for toast or scones (which I will be posting a recipe for next week). And if you have any extra candied orange peel (and you should), those can always be dipped in any extra chocolate and eaten as candies on their own.

Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates

Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates

Hallabong orange marmalade-filled chocolates

Hallabong Orange Marmalade Chocolates

Yield: About 36 chocolates, depending on mold size


  • 2 hallabong oranges, sliced thinly (any kind of citrus can be subbed)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 16 cardamom pods
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 4 cups of semi-sweet or dark melting chocolate
  • dried rose petals and pistachios for decoration (optional)


    Orange Marmalade
  1. Place the orange slices, cardamom and water into a shallow pan. Cut the vanilla beans open and scrape the contents into the pan, dropping the pods in afterward.
  2. Cut a circle of parchment paper big enough to cover the surface of the pan and press it down on top of the oranges to keep them submerged. Bring the pan to a boil and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about 35-45 minutes, until the orange peels are cooked through and the syrup coats the back of the spoon.
  3. Let the mixture cool and strain out the solids. Reserve the syrup. Remove the orange peel from the orange pulp and cut the peel into strips. Place the strips on parchment paper to dry and toss the pulp, cardamom and vanilla beans.
  4. Put the syrup back on the stove in a clean pan and continue to simmer until the mixture is thick enough to solidify when cooled. To test, dip a metal spoon into the syrup and allow it to cool on the counter for a couple of minutes. If the syrup takes on a solid, jam-like texture when it cools, you have reduced enough. Take the syrup off the stove and allow to cool to room temperature before chilling in the fridge for 2 hours before constructing the chocolates.
  5. Chocolates
  6. Melt one cup of the melting chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave, being careful not to burn it. Let the chocolate cool slightly so that it will cling to the sides of the mold when you tilt it. Spoon a small amount of chocolate into each mold cavity. Tilt the tray until the bottoms and all of the sides are thoroughly coated -- if there are any gaps, the jam may ooze out of the side. Place the tray in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the chocolates from the freezer and add enough jam to each shell to fill each mold cavity to about 2/3. Place the molds back in the freezer for another 10 minutes.
  8. Melt another cup of the melting chocolate and allow it to cool slightly. Remove the chocolates from the freezer and top up each mold so that it is filled to the brim. Place the molds back in the freezer for a final 20 minutes.
  9. For the last step -- the final coating of chocolate -- you will want to prepare a work station ahead of time, because things will move very quickly, and you don't want your chocolates to solidify before you can decorate them. Set out a cooling rack over parchment paper for the finished chocolates. Chop the orange peel slices into whatever size you'd like them to be -- you could finely chop them or cut them into thin strips, as I did. Prepare bowls with each of your toppings and place them near the cooling rack. Make sure you have two spoons on hand for rolling the chocolates in melted chocolate and removing them to the cooling rack.
  10. Place the last two cups of melting chocolate into a deep bowl with a narrow mouth -- you need the melted chocolate to be as deep as possible. Carefully remove the frozen chocolates from the molds and line them up for easy access on the cooling rack. Drop each chocolate into the bowl of melted chocolate one at a time and roll them thoroughly. Remove them to the drying rack and top before moving to the next chocolate.

The post Hallabong Marmalade Chocolates appeared first on Follow the River North.

Follow the River North

Freelance writer and editor. American in Seoul. I write about Korean food. I blog about all food. Last year I wrote a monthly column about traveling to different places around the country to explore Korean ingredients and cuisine. This ignited my interest in local foods and cooking, which I blog about regularly now. I also blog restaurant and cafe recommendations, recipes and some background and history about Korean food.

Books & Stuff    Cafés & Shops     Korean Food & Ingredients      Personal     Recipes       Restaurants & Bars

Expats in Korea – Seoulcialites: Gillian Witter

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In January and February I was doing a lot of…Seoul searching.  I was deliberating between heading back to Canada, traveling, and staying in South Korea.  I had been nursing a broken heart for a couple of months and felt like I really didn’t know where to turn.  Fellow blogger, Gillian Witter came to my rescue one night.  She dropped everything and got on Skype with me to let me talk out my fears and frustrations.  Gillian Witter is also a Spiritual Consultant, you see.  Before long, our girl-talk time turned from negative to positive.  I wanted to make necessary changes in my life.  Sometimes you just need someone to put it in perspective.  Sometimes, you need a little help from the stars…  

Gillian Witter Seoulcialite Korea Expats

What originally brought you to Korea?

I actually wrote a blog about it.  (Here’s a little excerpt:)

(There was a particularly difficult) winter in Toronto…for me, emotionally and spiritually. I was fortunate to have people around me who gave me the space and support I needed to help me figure out my next steps. For years, I’ve wanted to teach and travel abroad. The timing was never right. The first spark of desire arouse when I graduated from university and wanted to teach in Japan. My boyfriend at the time gave me an ultimatum between our relationship and my desire to travel. I chose to stay in that relationship. The travel bug stayed dormant for five years. After that relationship ended, I attempted again to get a teaching gig in Japan. I was ready to proceed when the earthquake and tsunami of 2011 hit the country. Another four years have gone by and this past February, after coming out of a dark place, the desire surfaced again. This was the right time.

What’s your favourite thing about living in Korea? 

Friends, living abroad, being in an ideal place to travel in Asia, and Foooooood!

I love the friends that I’ve met so far.  Before I arrived in Korea, I had researched that Koreans are extremely racist.  When I arrived I had nothing but positive loving connections with not only Koreans but people from all around the world.

I really enjoy living aboard.  I love to be different from the rest. That’s a very easy thing to do in a monoculture such as Korea. I love learning about new cultures and customs.  It helps me grow as a person and learn more about others to have compassion and understanding.

Korea is in a prime spot to travel.  To travel to Asia from Toronto cost a pretty penny.  However, once you are here you can travel and experience all of Asia for a minimal amount of dollars.  Lastly, the food!  I love all the delicious food here in Korea.  I love japchae, galibi, and anything BBQed.  Life is great here in Korea.

What’s your favourite thing about Seoul in particular? 

Honestly, it’s people and food.  I love the good friendships I’ve developed in Seoul.  I feel I connected with like-minded people that love similar things such as energy work and trying to manifest our dreams.  I LOVE the food!  I love all the yummy restaurants and new places to discover.  I feel like a country mouse coming to the big city when I go to Seoul.  I love it!

Gillian Witter Seoulcialite Korea Expats

Tell us a little about your services  

I offer a range of services such as Tarot Card Readings (one-on-one, small groups, and parties), Reiki energy healing, Energetic Space Clearing, Spiritual Cleanse, and BARS energy work.

My most popular service is tarot readings.  A tarot reading is an opportunity to discuss life events from a non-judgmental and different perspective. Your reading with me can help you get “out of your head,” choose where to go next, or feel reassured about your decisions or path. Our sessions are conversations, an opportunity to ask questions, and share as much or as little as you wish.

You will receive a detailed and highly accurate reading that covers the aspects of your life where you feel you need the most guidance.  I am available in the evenings after 6:30 pm and on most weekends.  If we are not in the same city of Jincheon, Ochang, or Cheongju, and sometime Seoul, I am happy to offer Skype readings.

Gillian Witter Seoulcialite Korea Expats

What makes your style stand out?

My approach stands out.  My main intention is healing and empowerment.  It is very important for me that clients feel comfortable with me. I also like to teach others about the cards, so that they can make an informed decision about working with me.  I create a safe space for you to look at the events, circumstances, and relationships in your life from a new perspective.  Not every reader does the same thing.

My regular clients come to me because I am honest and share personal stories of my journey and healing process. Finding the right reader is like finding the right hairdresser. You need to do your research, try a few places, and get recommendations, if you hope to consult someone long term.

This work requires trust and connection. I recommend consulting the reader to get to know them a bit, before you do a reading. You will hear about their experiences and their own healing journey. A good reader must do their work: they need their own emotional healing, too. This is important because readings are so personal. You don’t want the reader’s emotional energy to cloud or pour into a reading. Also, you’ll want to see a reader who is constantly trying to improve and evolve. This a strong, positive sign that they will be able to understand, relate, and share sound information, so you can learn how to connect to it and act upon it.

Gillian Witter Seoulcialite Korea Expats

Tell us about some of the packages you offer

How much lead time might people need to book you? 

Depending on our schedules, a reading can be booked on the same day.

On what kind of projects would you prefer to work?

I would have a healing retreat centre in Hawaii on the beach.  I would like to work more with though who want to heal their family emotional pain and live a more full-fill life.  I would do that through energy healing, family constellations, and psychotherapy.

Gillian Witter Seoulcialite Korea Expats

Share one of your favourite memories  

My favourite memory was working with a client that was about to get married.  She felt there was some energetic baggage hanging around her that need to be cleared.  We worked together to do a spiritual cleanse and a tarot reading.  She was so moved by the experience two of the cards that was in the reading her and her partner got tattoos about it.  Then, when it was time to get married, they asked me to spiritually officiate the wedding.  Officiating the wedding was the most moving beautiful experience.

Here’s her testimonial:

Gillian Witter has always known her to be a compassionate, loving spiritually connected person. She has been a source of support to me through her caring heart, warm hugs and kind soul. Gillian Witter helped me through a very difficult time by providing me with a spiritual cleanse and tarot reading. This experience changed my life. Through her empathy, kindness and her unique ability to help me open my heart, I was able to not only overcome but thrive through this transition period in my life. The experience was both accurate on so many levels as well as empowering for my future. The processes of the spiritual cleanse and reading was so profound that both myself and my partner have since gotten tattoos (King and Queen of Cups) which were part of Gillian’s reading. Before this experience I had always been skeptical of alternative healing. Gillian Witter helped me by providing an environment of non-judgment and loving support so that I could open myself up to the possibilities in the universe. I consider Gillian Witter a personal and spiritual role model. She has always accepted me for who I am at each moment in my life, at the same time inspiring me to grow continually. We have asked Gillian Witter to spiritually officiate our upcoming marriage because she represents all we believe is true in this life. Gillian Witter believes in Love, Empathy, and Compassion.

Gillian Witter Seoulcialite Korea Expats

Learn More about Gillian Witter!



My travel blog :

Gillian Witter Seoulcialite Korea Expats

The post Expats in Korea – Seoulcialites: Gillian Witter appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.

April 29th Meeting Registration Open!!!

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I’m sure you’ve all noticed a lot of changes going on with us lately, and by now most of you have heard that we have officially re-branded to become The Sool Company.  However one thing we vowed to do was keep our community monthly meetings open for as long as we can, as it was such a huge part of where we came from.

So even though it’s late notice, we hope you all join us for a meeting we have been saving for just the right moment.  Usually the bars we go to are first-time visits, but this place is an exception and has been on our radar for a number of years.  It is now time to share this gem with you all, as we dine on some of the best comfort food in town!

This hidden place in Ahyeon-dong is most famous for the owner’s incredible tofu which is made fresh daily (even non-tofu lovers have been instantly converted on first bite) and his expertly fermented cheongukjang.  But of course it all has to be washed down with something, and this is one of the very few places in Seoul that you can drink his own home-made makgeolli to your heart’s content!

Come one, come all to this hearty, tasty meeting!  Email to sign up 

Makgeolli Mamas & Papas

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