Skip to Content

Recent Blog Posts

All Recent Posts

Gisaeng Postcards near Seoul City Hall

Printer-friendly version
Rose scented postcards featuring a Gisaeng on each! Each with a sijo poem in English and Korean and a short bio on each Gisaeng written by Brother Anthony of Taize a.k.a An Sonjae.

I found these right inside Deoksu Palace in Seoul. It's the palace near Seoul City Hall : Across the street from the Seoul library and Seoul Plaza. On the palace grounds they have a wonderful gift shop that sells many unique items that are rare and near impossible to find at other souvenir shops.

Brother Anthony's site may be found here and for those finding their way into the Korean way of tea / Korean tea Ceremony I highly recommend his book The Korean Way of Tea available via What The Book : (The Korean Way of Tea) or through Seoul Selection's The Korean Way of Tea

Here's a brief, but more detailed explanation that I wrote about Geisaeng here : Tales of a Gisaeng and all of my posts regarding Gisaeng.

About the Author

Matthew William Thivierge has abandoned his PhD studies in Shakespeare and is now currently almost half-way through becoming a tea-master (Japanese,Korean & Chinese tea ceremony). He is a part time Ninjologist with some Jagaek studies (Korean 'ninja') and on occasion views the carrying on of pirates from his balcony mounted telescope.

About Tea Busan  *   Mr.T's Chanoyu てさん 茶の湯   *  East Sea Scrolls  *  East Orient Steampunk Society

How about a cool Oolong ?

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

Often times Oolong tea is referred to as black dragon tea. Well, whenever I find a fishy character I just go to the handy Pleco Chinese dictionary. 
The first, "hei" (or in Korean 흙 I believe..)  is most decidedly and clearly black while the wu in oolong is best described as jet black or raven and as many of you know leung is dragon. 
Hei-oolong tea can be found in mainland China as well as in Japan. In China it is usually served cool while in Japan it is also popular in summer. Indeed, it is commonly found in bottled form at the counter of some ramyeon restaurants as it's brown color and semi-strong flavor goes well with the beefy brown beany taste of a miso ramyeon.  
He's had too much Ramyeon ! Get me an Oolong and some cholesterol pills Stat!
 (The Oolong's for me though)
Indeed, many studies these days have shown that tea is good for lowering one's cholesterol and thus is good with greasy food. Here in Busan this hei-oolong can be found in Someyeon's NCDept.Store 6F. There's a wonderful Ramyeon restaurant that serves up cafeteria style all in a row : 1st Order noodles, 2nd Pick up your deep fried fun extras (dunk the shrimp in the ramyeon yum!), 3rd triangle kimbap/ onigiri, 4th Hei-Oolong and then pay. Word to the wise : sadly you can't just go there for the oolong as I tried last time. My plan was to wrap my arms around a bunch of bottles then waddle my way to the nearby elevator but ..well, oh well.
Perhaps I'm just being lazy. Afterall, I have a tin of the hei here at home. Boil the water then open the kettle to let the steam out. Winter is dry here on the peninsula so it also helps in humidifying your home. Once the steam is barely coming out its generally cooled enough to steep. (who uses a thermomter for their teawater anyhow? (More on boiling & steam techniques later...) It takes a while to steep : opening up the curled leaves like a good stretch in the morning. Many now pour out the refuse, rinsing off their leaves as do I. The second steep is smoother ;-)  
It is rather hard to find a fine oolong here in Busan although there are two places in Nampodong market :

On Nampodong's Gwangbok shopping street turn left the Nike store and then up on the 2nd floor you'll see the sign for DaHaeJung. A great place for Pu'er Tea and some Oolongs. And if not guarenteed there's oolong halfway up the escalators to Yondoosan Park at YongJangdawon (It'll be on your right up at the top of the 1st escalator). I bought mine from China online  @

Picture some characters with your tea perchance?

On a side note, for learning Chinese characters I highly recommend this great beginners book Picture Chacracters by Professor Licheng Gu. I like his full name as in Korean 친구 (means friend) and his is a very user friendly book as you can see.

Professor Gu's illustrations are not just fancy doodles for fine folks learning their characters. He very often explains their actual etymology or word's history and evolution making this book of of good soil to grow from. A little history with your tea. 
Till next time, 
Do stay warm and sufficiently steeped.

Here's a mug on a tea mug found while I was foraging in the amazon. Location : Matrix Sunglasses Weaving Tea-Mugs
P.P.S If you're into EDM like the old Yazoo (via YouTube): Don't know if you've heard but they also sell CHVRCH3S mug too : ChVrch3s?
As seen on YouTube (TM).
Now pardon me, 
I'm off to listen to some M83. 
It's turning all Midnight City here; time to get jiggy.


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

Printer-friendly version

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

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

Subscribe on Android

LISTEN to this episode on Stitcher or Spreaker. You can also subscribe to this & other Korea FM original content via iTunesAndroid or our RSS feed.

 The music for today's program is provided by Korea FM artist "Dead Buttons." Find out more about their music at

Korea FM banner-ad

Love padlocks are quite popular in a lot of touristy areas these...

Printer-friendly version

Love padlocks are quite popular in a lot of touristy areas these days. The idea is pretty simple: put a padlock up with your beau and throw the key away. The locks hanging on the fences with the keys thrown away are meant to symbolize the couples’ vows to never separate. Seoul has it up at Namsan Tower, so, yes, Busan has it at Busan Tower, too.

It was sunny, I felt excited about being outside, and my boyfriend was game. We made the short hike up to the tower, mostly all smiles. There was a festival celebration in the park that day. A festival for what? Who knows. It’s Korea and there are several festivals a week, celebrating everything from the change in seasons to every sea creature in the ocean.

There is a shop at the base of the tower that sells padlocks and pens, but the styles are limited and it’s a bit more expensive. We brought our own lock, which wasn’t actually a padlock, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be okay (symbolism aside). I forgot to bring a permanent marker (aka name pen) to mark my love -but again, I think we’ll be okay. 

If you want to “lock in” your love -or just laugh at us that do- you should go check it out. 

About the girl

Hi, I'm Stacy. I am from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living and teaching ESL in Busan, South Korea. Busy getting into lots of adventures, challenging myself, and loving people. Something more than an ethereal will-o-wisp.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading.

Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, LastfmFlickr, and FacebookAsk me anything


Colonial Korea: Buseoksa Temple – 부석사 (Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

Printer-friendly version


The flag supports out in front of Buseoksa Temple in 1916.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Buseoksa Temple is located in the southwest portion of Mt. Bonghwangsan in Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The name of the temple means “Floating Rock Temple,” in English, and relates to the creation myth that surrounds the temple (more on that later). The temple was first established in 676 A.D. by the famed monk Uisang-daesa, who also had the nickname of “Temple Builder” for all the temples he helped construct like Hwaeomsa Temple, Naksansa Temple and Beomeosa Temple.

After living in China for ten years, where he furthered his Buddhist studies, Uisang-daesa returned to the Korean peninsula. Uisang-daesa built Buseoksa Temple under the orders of the Silla king, King Munmu (r. 661-681 A.D.). Uisang-daesa used Buseoksa Temple as a base to help spread the message of Hwaeom Buddhism (Flower Garland Buddhism) for which he is famous.

As for the myth that surrounds Uisang-daesa and Buseoksa Temple, it pertains to a love story that’s recorded in the Samguk-Yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms). As a teenager in the Silla capital of Gyeongju, Uisang fell in love with Seonmyo (Virtuous Mystery). They fell in love, but Seonmyo was chosen as a part of a tribute mission to Tang China. During her absence, Uisang became a Buddhist monk to help his broken heart. After learning this news, Seonmyo threw herself from the boat that was carrying her up the Yellow River. She was to survive this attempted suicide, and she was adopted by a wealthy merchant.

Uisang also used the Yellow River on his journey towards furthering his studies in China. Briefly, he was reunited with Seonmyo. And while their passion still burned for each other, Uisang refused to betray his monastic vows. Before departing, he promised to see her one more time, which he eventually did seven years later. During that time, Seonmyo had embroidered a beautiful silk monk gown as a gift for him. Not wanting to falsely lead her on, he refused this gift. The next morning, without saying good-bye, Uisang boarded a boat that would bring him back to the Korean peninsula. Heart-broken, Seonmyo threw the silk gift into the river. Following her gift into the river, she drowned herself out of despair. It was from this love story that Seonmyo was reborn as a dragon that would protectively look over Uisang.

As a dragon, Seommyo followed Uisang back to Korea to protect him. And Uisang would need her help when he attempted to build Buseoksa Temple. Instead of being inviting, the locals violently tried to stop Uisang from building the new temple because of their local shamanic belief in Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). Seonmyo, as a dragon, lifted a boulder in the air three times to make the locals cower submissively. This worked. The boulder came to rest behind the main hall, the Muryangsu-jeon Hall, which is also the second oldest building in Korea (dating back to 1376). After this, Seonmyo the dragon died and her bones were used as the foundation for the creation of the Muryangsu-jeon Hall. So that’s how the temple gets its name: Floating Rock Temple.

With the main hall, the Muryangsu-jeon Hall is the second oldest wooden building in Korea, dating back to 1376, after being destroyed after a rebel army destroyed it in 1358. The expansion and rebuilding of the temple dates back to this period in history. Under the guidance of Woneung, and under the patronage of the Goryeo king, King Gongmin (r. 1351-74), which lasted from 1372-77, Buseoksa Temple was rebuilt. Amazingly, Buseoksa Temple was spared any damage during the destructive Imjin War (1592-98), which saw almost all major temples completely destroyed by the invading Japanese. Next to Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju, Buseoksa Temple houses the second most National Treasures at a single temple site. In total, and including the Muryangsu-jeon main hall, Buseoksa Temple houses five National Treasures and five additional Treasures.

Buseoksa - 1916

Buseoksa Temple in 1916.


A closer look at National Treasure #17, the Stone Lantern at Muryangsu-jeon Hall.


A closer look at the Stone Lantern at the Muryangsu-jeon Hall.


Treasure #249, the Three Story Stone Pagoda at Buseoksa Temple.

Buseoksa - 1932

An auxiliary building at Buseoksa Temple in 1932.

Picture 977

Buseoksa Temple grounds in 2011.

CSC_2062 - Naksansa 2014

From the foundation myth of Buseoksa Temple. This painting is from Naksansa Temple and was taken in 2014.


A painting from the creation myth that surrounds Buseoksa Temple. Lady Seonmyo is to the right with Uisang riding in his dragon-guided boat. This picture was also taken at Naksansa Temple.

Picture 487

The beautiful Buseoksa Temple in 2011.

Picture 985

Muryangsu-jeon Hall that dates back to 1376 and is National Treasure #18.

Picture 442

The clay seated statue of Amita-bul inside the Muryangsu-jeon Hall. The statue is National Treasure #45.

Picture 472

The floating rock from the creation myth story that surrounds Buseoksa Temple. It lies to the left rear of the Muryangsu-jeon Hall.

Picture 373 - 2011

The shrine dedicated to Lady Seonmyo to the right rear of the Muryangsu-jeon Hall.

Picture 375

The gift bearing painting of Lady Seonmyo.

New Year's Eve in Korea

Printer-friendly version

I had planned on ringing in the New Year in some exotic destination.  First it was Boracay (where my bestie McBesterson is currently hangin' - jealous, what?), then it was Hong Kong (flights were about $200 Canadian, but hotels were another story), and finally I had dreams of Tokyo.  By the time mid-December rolled around all I wanted to do was have a relatively chill evening with my best gals in Busan.

The day was spent relaxing, cooking (meal prep for the New Year!), working out (Pop Sugar Fitness - look it up!), and getting ready to head out with one circle of friends to see another perform.  It was perfectly convenient to spend the evening at Eva's Ticket for their grand finale party.  It seems the Kyungsung-dae (Kyungsung University) area of Busan is winding down for good.  I find it terribly sad that the first expat bar I ventured into and the site of so many good times with great people has closed its doors.  It seems only fitting that a month and a week from now I'll be heading up to Seoul to start all over, yet again.

Reflecting on New Year's Eve is so incredibly bittersweet.  Most of my good friends 'come family were there.  Some of the most important people were abroad (throughout North America and Asia) and still kept in touch.  One of the people I thought was most important just really hasn't been there at all since September, so it makes sense that she would be absent from NYE.  I think the majority of the people (literally save 2 or 3) who have shaped my life over the past year were in that room, and there was no place I'd rather be.

Olivia, Leah, and Jarry (yes - real names, people...they're the Dudettes and if you've been lucky enough to rock out with them then you'll know the soundtrack to my 2016) were on point from the moment we entered the bar through the epic countdown.  Over the break I was lucky enough to have stepped into a movie "role" (hah - not quite, but also a super cool thing you won't hear much about up on the blog), and my co-star gave me a big ol' kiss on the cheek at midnight.

Ringing in the New Year without the man (another thing you won't be reading about on the blog - at least intentionally) wasn't ideal, but we did talk at midnight and it was wonderful.  I mean, it was entirely upsetting, but with my girlsquad in tow, I ran back to Monster Pizza where we had spent much of our first meeting and am pretty sure A and I bought pizza for everyone (still bitter about the Meat Lover's Pizza....all you have to do is take the pizza, put all the meat on it, and we'll love it...geez!).

I woke up in another girl's bed.  Well, not quite...I woke up in a remarkably comfortable makeshift bed made up of a futon/ mattress topper, some comfy pillows, and tons of blankets on B's floor.  Thanks, B! New Year's Day was spent with some of the most wonderful people who are unfortunately leaving the ROK pretty soon.  I'm beyond excited that the worlds that collided on New Year's Eve will connect once again in Seoul for the Lunar New Year.  Ladies - what is with us and the New Year, #amirite?

A couple of days later I was fortunate enough to meet up with these wonderful people again.  Since the lights in Nampo-dong were still illuminated, we planned a day out with a hike to Seokbulsa Temple (spoiler alert: we failed...hard) then headed down to Nampo-town to see all of the lights.

It was an entirely different experience seeing the Christmas lights with a couple of gal pals and one fiance than it is...being in Seoul ;).  We laughed a ton, ate our weight in Indian food.  If you haven't been to Bombay Brau then go immediately.  Try the Lamb Saag, the Butter Chicken, the Peshwari Naan, and Basmati rice (don't cheap out and get Korean sticky rice - you'll regret it, I promise).  Avoid any attempt at Korma - it will not do it for you, but the aforementioned items are all extremely tasty!

I had a hint at the lights on the way in, but the real treat was the huge tree in the center.  We tried to selfie, but then a Korean family stepped in, took some rad pictures of the gals, then wanted their own waygookin shot (thanks, Korean fam jam!).  I can't think of a more perfect way to have rung in the new year.  Friends, good tunes, nostalgia, exercise, Indian food, all of the lights, chocolate chip cookies, family, and sleep - what more could a girl living halfway around the world from home ever want?

Thank you & I love you.  Near and far, you know who you are!

1-1 ESL Activities: For Kids (7-13)

Printer-friendly version


Private Classes With Kids = Difficult!

Teaching private classes to kids can be quite difficult and I personally find it far harder than doing the same thing with adults. Adults are usually able to focus reasonably well for an hour or two and their motivation is usually high since they’re the ones paying for the lesson! With kids however, it’s a very different story. Learning English with a private tutor can sometimes be the last thing they want to be doing. Their attention spans are short, sometimes only 5-10 minutes. And, they are sometimes very unmotivated, especially if all their friends are watching TV or playing video games.

Fun, Engaging 1-1 ESL Activities

However, it is possible to have fun, engaging, productive 1-1 ESL lessons with kids. The book has 39 1-1 ESL activities that will help make your lesson planning easy and your classes awesome. Sounds good to you? You can get the book over on Amazon in both print and digital formats:

39 Awesome 1-1 ESL Activities: For Kids (7-13)

Build up the Best Reputation with Quality Private Classes

By planning some great lessons that the students really enjoy, you’ll be able to build up a really solid reputation in your neighborhood and in a place like Korea, perhaps even have more work than you know what to do with. Trust  me. Moms talk to each other. They know who the good teachers are and the ones to avoid.

Private Teaching = Potentially Lucrative

Private teaching with kids really can be quite lucrative in countries where competition to get into the best schools is fierce. Parents are often willing to do whatever it takes to give their kid a slight advantage. This is where you come in. Plan interesting lessons that are different each week. Your classes will be painless for everyone. Happy teacher who doesn’t have to spend a ton of time planning. Happy students who have fun in your lessons. Happy parents who see their child enjoying English and learning a lot.

Get 39 Awesome 1-1 ESL Activities Today

You can get 39 Awesome 1-1 ESL Activities: For Kids (7-13) over on Amazon. It really is possible to have better one-on-one classes tomorrow.

The post 1-1 ESL Activities: For Kids (7-13) appeared first on ESL Speaking.

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



Part-Time Model Wanted for Trazy’s Promotional Video (Part-time Job)

Printer-friendly version

promotional video

Trazy’s Promotional Video Model (Part-time Job)

(for female from Southeast Asia)

Join Korea’s #1 Online Travel Guide to grab the best opportunity to promote South Korea, travel and experience fun activities in Seoul. Recruited model will be promoting a video called “Dating with Seoul“. 

“Dating with Seoul” will be a video about a female traveler visiting various attractions around Seoul and then eventually falls in love with the city of Seoul in the end. (Speaking will not be included in the video, just a little bit of acting only). 

A brief overview of the video: 

  • Step 1: Getting prepared
  • Step 2: First meetup 
  • Step 3: Getting to know each other
  • Step 4: Fall in love

Required Skills/Knowledge/Experience:

  • Conversational/Fluent in English (for internal communication)
  • Basic acting experience (Please send a video or portfolio if you have acting experience)
  • Bubbly/outgoing personality (not shy about acting)
  • From Southeast Asia & Female

Work Pay & Condition:

  • 2 Days of filming (on the 2nd or 3rd week of Feb)
  • Payment: 200,000 KRW

How to apply

  • Submit the followings to
  • 1) your resume 2) a brief self-introduction 3) profile photos that best represent you
  • Final application: ~Jan 31st
  • We’ll contact you via e-mail or phone for interview

Apply Now! :)
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. 

Different Types of Beans Used in Korean Cooking

Printer-friendly version
Korean Food and Cooking

Different Types of Beans Used in Korean Cooking
by Debbie Wolfe, CKC Writer

Follow Crazy Korean Cooking


Syndicate content

Koreabridge - RSS Feeds
Features @koreabridge     Blogs  @koreablogs
Jobs @koreabridgejobs  Classifieds @kb_classifieds

Koreabridge - Facebook Group

Koreabridge - Googe+ Group