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ESL News Articles: A Few Resources

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ESL News Articles: Stop Wasting your Time Searching Everywhere!

I’m all about using news articles in my classes instead of readings from the textbook. The stuff from the textbook is often dry, and it’s certainly not related to the things happening around the world.

But the problem with news articles is that they’re often too difficult, even for intermediate students. And that’s where ESL News Articles come in. They usually take the real newspaper articles, grade the language into different levels and the result is something you can easily use in your classes.

Here are a few of my go-to sites for ESL news articles:

Breaking News English

This should be your first stop for ESL news articles. It’s an extremely comprehensive site with a ton of material on it. You could probably use Breaking News English solely for the rest of your teaching life in fact. My favourite thing is that there are different levels to each article, making it really easy to use the same lesson for different classes.

News in Levels

This website is kind of the much simpler version of Breaking News English. I sometimes find Breaking News English is a vortex that ends up sucking up way too much of my time. If you are in a time crunch and need something in a pinch, this site is probably a better choice.

VOA Learning English

This is a nice looking site with a ton of media, including some sweet videos. It’s great to send learners to for some extra practice outside of class. And there’s also lots of stuff you can use in your classes as well. It is USA focused so keep that in mind when using or recommending it.

British Council-Teens + British Council-Adults

The British Council does some great work in putting out excellent resources for ESL and EFL students. Thank you! The site is very useful but they often don’t have the most up to date ESL News Articles. But, they’re still worth a look.

English Listening Rocks

A new site from Rob Whyte, a friend of mine from Korea and a Lonely Planet author! It’s really user friendly and has lots of interesting ESL news articles in different levels. Check it out.


The post ESL News Articles: A Few Resources appeared first on .

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



Registration for October 29th Meeting Open!!

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Ever wondered what it might be like to be in Korea during the 90’s?  Well this Saturday we are time machining all the way back to comic books, power rangers….and of course, makgeolli!  There is a quirky bar near Konkuk University that is all decked out in memorabilia from Nintendo 64s to protractor stencil sets.


But the best thing about it, this bar actually has quite a decent selection of makgeolli!  It can be tough to get all the boxes ticked, but so far from what we have seen, we have high hopes for this bar.


So if you would like to join us for a trip down memory lane, email for a spot!


Ever wondered what it might be like to be in Korea during the 90’s?  Well this Saturday we are time machining all the way back to comic books, power rangers….and of course, makgeolli!  There is a quirky bar near Konkuk University that is all decked out in memorabilia from Nintendo 64s to protractor stencil sets.


But the best thing about it, this bar actually has quite a decent selection of makgeolli!  It can be tough to get all the boxes ticked, but so far from what we have seen, we have high hopes for this bar.


So if you would like to join us for a trip down memory lane, email for a spot!

Makgeolli Mamas & Papas

Top 10 ESL Activities for all Levels

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students refusing to participate

Top 10 ESL Activities for all Levels is what you need if you teach a wide variety of students from beginner to advanced. All of these activities can be adapted to make them very easy, or quite difficult.

If you want to save time when you’re planning your lessons, keep the framework of the lessons the same (same activities, games, etc.) but then adapt the material to suit the individual class. Keep reading for my top 10 ESL activities for all levels of students.

#1: Agony Aunt: Problem + Advice ESL Activity

Everyone knows how to solve each other’s problems! Even low-level students can read a simple problem and give some advice using the grammatical structure, “He should… He shouldn’t…” And of course you can adapt this activity to make it much more complicated by offering a difficult problem and then expecting more detailed advice with perhaps a short presentation to the class.

Check out Agony Aunt.

#2: English Central: YouTube for English Learners

I love English Central! They have a ton of videos that make the perfect introduction to a lesson. Or, you could even get your creative juices flowing and centre and entire lesson around one of them. They have a nice range from beginner to advanced and you’ll definitely be able to find something suitable for each class.

Check out how I use English Central in my classroom.

#3: Story Timeline: An Excellent Reading Review

If you want to get students to review what they’ve read, use this story timeline activity. You simply have to adapt the story to suit the level of your students, but the actual activity can stay the same. It really is one of my Top 10 ESL Activities for all levels.

More details about Story Timeline.

#4: Cosmo Quiz: Easily Adaptable for all Levels!

If you teach adults who are quite high level, you can use the actual quizzes from Cosmo to spice things up in your classroom. However, if your students are children or lower-level adults, you can find a whole variety of quizzes to suit their needs. Even very low-level students can do quizzes with questions like, “What’s your favourite color?” or, “What do you do on the weekend?” If you can’t find a suitable quiz on the Internet, you can make your own. These quizzes are often great discussion starters for ESL students.

Cosmo Quizzes for ESL Students.

#5: Dialogue Substitution: Excellent Conversation Practice

Dialogue Substitution works best with lower-level students, but I’ve used it with all levels up to advanced. The key is to give advanced students only a couple lines at the start of the conversation and then freedom to continue in their own way. It’s an excellent way to get higher-level students using some vocabulary or grammar that might not be too familiar to them.

More details about Dialogue Substitution.

#6: Dictogloss: A Classic ESL Activity

Dictogloss belongs firmly on any list of the Top 10 ESL Activities because it’s a classic! You can easily adapt dictogloss for any level of ESL student by making the story shorter/longer or using simple or complicated grammar and vocab. Writing usually makes it harder than speaking. Alone is also harder than in a group of 2 or 3.

Here’s how this classic ESL Activity works.

#7: ESL Surveys: One of the Top 10 ESL Activities!

Ask any of my students what my favourite ESL activity is and they’ll without a doubt answer, “Surveys!” They’re so, so, so useful in any language classroom. Try them out and I’m sure you’ll agree. The key is to make them easy or challenging enough for your students. But, this is easy to do with a bit of practice.

More details about ESL Surveys here.

#8: Is that Sentence Correct: An ESL Grammar Activity

If you want to review English grammar, you’ve found your activity. It’s so easy to adapt this to just about any level or student or structure/vocabulary that you’re studying.

Here’s how Is that Sentence Correct? works.

#9: ESL Listening: How to Teach It

While not strictly an ESL Activity, this does belong on my list of Top 10 ESL Activities because it’s so useful. Listening is a skill that all students need to practice and here is how to teach it well!

An ESL Listening Lesson Template.

#10: Odd One Out: An ESL Warm-Up

Odd One Out is one of my favourite ESL warm-up activities. I’ve used it with beginners who could barely read and also with extremely high-level students who were basically fluent. Just adapt the words you use and also the explanation required.

Check out Odd-One Out.

That rounds out our list of Top 10 ESL Activities for all Levels. I hope you enjoyed them. Comment below and tell me your favourite ESL activity that you use with a wide range of students from beginner to advanced.

The post Top 10 ESL Activities for all Levels appeared first on ESL Speaking.

Seoul Shopping: 6 Great Spots

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If you have the opportunity to vacation in Seoul in the near future, you should jump on it! Seoul is an amazing city full of culture, art, some of the best food you’ll ever eat, and TONS of shopping. Shopping in a new city is always fun and exciting because you can pick up unique pieces that reflect the taste and style of an area, and your purchases will always remind you of the vacation you took and the memories you made there.

Seoul’s a big city, so use this article to help you decide which shopping districts to check out and which to pass up. Be sure to tell us all about your favorite Seoul shopping areas in the comments below!

Seoul Shopping #1: Myeongdong

Seoul shopping

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If you’re in need of some new cosmetics or skin care products, Myeondong should be your first stop while shopping in Seoul! The cosmetic shops in Myeondong believe in treating their customers very well – some shops will offer you multiple free samples or a free facial/massage with your purchase of skin cream or makeup. Talk about hospitality!

Myeondong is known for the crazy number of skin care and makeup retailers than line the streets, but it’s also a great spot to shop at large international stores like Forever21 if you need to pick up some quick and inexpensive fashionable ensembles for going out on the town. Most shops in Myeondong also give out coupons to encourage another visit on your way out the door, so keep in mind that you’ll probably be back!

Seoul Shopping #2: Hongdae Area

Seoul shopping

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You know how college kids always know what’s cool and what’s not before the rest of the world does? Take advantage of their fashion sixth sense by shopping in the Hongdae area, which is right next to the Hongik University. In this part of Seoul you’ll find plenty of interesting, trendy clothes and unique pieces of art – the university has an impressive art department, and its influence has definitely spread to the surrounding shops!

Hongdae is also home to fun flea markets during the warmer months, where you’ll be sure to find something one-of-a-kind to purchase. Check out Hongdae if you want to pick up some items that are uniquely Korean for souvenirs and gifts for friends back home.

Seoul Shopping #3: Insa-dong

Seoul shopping

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If you’re looking for a good area to find unique Korean arts and crafts to bring back home, definitely check out Insa-dong! Insa-dong is one of the most popular Seoul shopping areas amongst tourists because of the different types of crafts sold in the shops there – whether you’re looking for pottery, locally made artisan paper, or traditional clothing, there’s something for everybody! Almost half of all Korean crafts are sold in Insa-dong, so it’s famous for good reason.

If you’re planning on shopping here, be sure to remember that cars are only allowed on the streets of Insa-dong during the week – if you’re shopping on a weekend, your best bet is to take public transportation or to find parking elsewhere. It’s well worth it! Be sure to grab a bite to eat at one of the surrounding cafes before you head out of the area.

Seoul Shopping #4: Dongdaemun Market

Seoul shopping

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If you’re looking for high fashion, venture on over to the Dongdaedum shopping district! Dongdaedum is the best place for searching for top of the line clothes that’ll make heads turn everywhere you go once you return home from your vacation in Seoul.

Dongdaedum isn’t only good for finished articles of clothing, however – the district is most well known for being a bustling center of the textile industry, so you’ll also find amazing fabrics and see fashion wholesalers milling the shops at nighttime. Dongdaedum is also worth checking out because it’s interesting – it’s a fun mix of new and old, with a mix of modern buildings and old architecture.

Many of the stores in the market also know how to keep tourists (and locals) interested, and they can make simple custom jewelry and accessories on site. That’s one way to be sure you leave with something that you won’t see on anybody else! Check out Dongdaedum before you leave Seoul – you’ll be sad you missed it if you don’t.

Seoul Shopping #5: Ewha Shopping Area

Seoul shopping

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Do you have a special young lady in your life that could benefit from a fashion-forward shopping trip? If so, be sure to stroll through the streets in the Ewha Shopping District! This district is right next to the Ewha Women’s University, so naturally the clothing and accessories found at the shops in the area are geared towards fashion friendly young women, and they’re inexpensive to boot to appeal to college students. Sounds like a win/win, right?

Ewha is also known for its selection of cute shoes, which make GREAT souvenirs because they’ll take up virtually no space in your suitcase. Check out the Ewha area for a variety of cute items to spice up your wardrobe (or your lady friend’s).

Seoul Shopping #6: Itaewon

Seoul shopping

(Photo credit:

The Itaewon shopping district has long been a popular tourist attraction – it is near where the original U.S. military base was located, so it quickly developed into a shopping area notorious for keeping foreign taste in fashion in mind. Itaewon is also known for the custom tailored suits that some of the shops in the area create from scratch – and for good reason, because the suits are amazing quality!

If you’d like to pick up an ensemble that you’ll be sure to use time and time again, get a custom, timeless suit made in the Itaewon market to bring back home with you. The next time you’re invited to a wedding or gala you’ll be glad that you did!

Where is your favorite place to shop for clothes, accessories, and interesting items in Seoul? Be sure to let us know in the comments below so we can check it out and report back!

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Daeinsa Temple – 대인사 (Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do)

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The amazing painting of Ha outside the main hall doors at Daeinsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

 Hello Again Everyone!!

Daeinsa Temple is located in the northern part of Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do not too far away from the famed Tongdosa Temple. You first approach Daeinsa Temple down a country road and by a couple of farmers’ fields. When you finally arrive at the end of the road, you’ll have arrived at the modern looking Daeinsa Temple.

The first thing to greet you is a large stone with the name of the temple inscribed on it. Approaching the temple from the gravel parking lot, there is a two-storied building that acts as both the main hall and the kitchen/conference halls to the temple. Surrounding the upper level, which acts as the main hall, are gorgeous paintings of the Ox-Herding, Shimu-do, murals, as well as the Palsang-do paintings that depict the life of the Historical Buddha. Added to these gorgeous paintings are various paintings of Boddhisattvas and a unique painting of the Bodhidharma. Finally, the entrance way to the main hall is adorned with descriptive depictions of the guardians Heng and Ha. I was unable to go inside this main hall, as there was a funeral ceremony going on when I visited; however, the people that worked in the kitchen were kind enough to allow me to photograph the stunning pictures that adorn the exterior of the main hall.

The views from the main hall of Mt. Cheonseongsan and Mt. Chiseosan off in the distance are amazing. This vantage point also allows you to see the rest of the tiny temple. Besides the main hall, there is a beautiful and well-manicured lawn to the rear of the main hall. And to the far rear of the temple, and up on a terraced landing, is a newer looking stone pagoda. This pagoda is fronted by a water fountain with a stone image of Yongwang (The Dragon King) on it. And finally, to the left side of the pagoda is a meditative hall for monks that call Daeinsa Temple their home. As for the pagoda itself, it is a simple design with a Silla influence. There are beautiful sculptures of various guardians around the base of the pagoda, and images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on the upper-tier

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Yangsan subway station (stop #243) there is a bus stop, take Bus #13. After 26 stops, or 40 minutes, get off at Jinheung Mokhwa Apartment stop. From this stop, walk for twelve minutes or 800 metres towards Daeinsa Temple.

Or you can simply take a taxi from the Yangsan Intercity Bus Terminal. The ride should last 23 minutes and cost 15,000 won.

OVERALL RATING: 2.5/10. While not the most impressive of temples you’ll visit in Korea, there are a couple things that are well worth seeing. The most attractive things about this temple are the murals that surround the main hall. These newly painted murals of the Ox-Herding murals and the Palsang-do paintings are highlighted by the Heng and Ha renderings near the entrance of the main hall. The Silla influenced pagoda and the Yongwang water fountain to the rear of Daeinsa Temple are other highlights to this temple.


The metal signboard that welcomes you to Daeinsa Temple.


A look at the two-storied main hall at Daeinsa Temple.


A look towards Mt. Chiseosan off in the distance.


The colourful entrance to the main hall. Murals of Heng and Ha greet you on either side of the glass doors.


One of the murals that adorns the exterior walls to the main hall. This one is an all-white Gwanseeum-bosal.


Next the mural of Gwanseeum-bosal is this mural of the Bodhidharma.


Just one of the murals from the Palsang-do mural set.


This is the tenth painting from the Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, mural set.


The view to the rear of the main hall with Mt. Cheonseongsan framing the temple.


A longer look at the two-storied main hall at Daeinsa Temple.


The five tier pagoda to the rear of the temple grounds.


One of the guardians that adorns the base of the pagoda.


The view from the pagoda towards the shrine dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King).


A closer look at the Dragon King.

Learn Hangul (Part 11) – Sound Change Rules and Names of the Letters

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Here's the eleventh episode of the new "Learn Hangul" series - a series designed to help you learn the Korean alphabet from the very beginning to the end.

So far we've been introduced to the basics. We've covered all of the basic vowels and consonants, all 6 syllable blocks, double consonants, strong consonants, and diphthongs.

Today's episode will cover sound change rules and the names of the letters.

Stay tuned for more! New episodes of this series will be posted once a month until it is finished.

The post Learn Hangul (Part 11) – Sound Change Rules and Names of the Letters appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Where to Go in South Korea During Fall for Each Type of Traveler

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It’s October, which means that fall is finally here! The pretty colors, sweater weather, sipping hot drinks, cool breeze… need we say more? autumn-1514177_1920.jpgIt’s also the best time to visit Korea as the weather is a far cry from the disgustingly sticky and humid summer. Instead, it is cooler and drier, but still quite warm and sunny.

Take a look at some of these options tailored to four different kinds of travelers planning to come to Korea! Which one are you?

1. Traveling All By Yourself?

If you’re traveling alone and looking to meet and hang out with new people, sign up for a group tour like the Fall Foliage Small Group Tour. You’ll get to meet and interact with other travelers just like you while admiring the rich orange, yellow, and red fall foliage and breathing in the fresh fall air!  The tour staff also all speak English, so communication won’t be a problem at all! 5125883856_a23db48054_bIf you’re too lazy to leave the city and still want somewhere peaceful to explore on your own, head to the World Cup Park. Built to commemorate the 17th FIFA World Cup in Korea, this park is made up of five smaller ones. Haneul Park is the most popular of them, with 22 lookout points offering stunning views of Seoul, Namsan, Bukhansan, and Gwanaksan Mountain. Best of all, it’s free!

So get your camera and selfie stick ready to click lots of photos to upload to your social media to let all your followers and friends instantly know how much fun you’re having on vacation.

2. Lovey-dovey Couples

If you’re a couple, you’ll be happy to know that Korea is an absolute HEAVEN for couples. 15018392488_59306af6c0_k.jpgThere are a bunch of romantic spots all over Korea. Jeju Island is one of them, with stunning autumn views that make it the perfect destination to enjoy a romantic vacation.6815792156_104afa6484_kThe Jeju City Tour Bus offers you the opportunity to comfortably explore the main attractions on the island! Nami Island is famous for its beautiful scenery and for being the filming site of the 2002 hit drama, ‘Winter Sonata.’ Bask in the nature and peacefulness of this beautiful venue by strolling around hand-in-hand along the tree-lined paths and exploring various museums, art galleries, and handicraft workshops. The Nami Island Shuttle Bus and Ticket Package will get you to and from the island with ease. Click here to check out more awesome Nami Island tours!

Finally, for a romantic date night, check out the Incheon Songdo Light Festival and Seoul Lantern Festival.

Instagram Photo

The light festival features a light rose garden full of 20,000 LED roses while the lantern festival lights up the Cheonggyecheon Stream spanning 1.2km. Perfect for taking a romantic stroll and taking cute selfies! You can participate in activities like lantern-making and writing on a new year’s wish paper too!

3. Fun For the Whole Family

If you’re looking to have some great family fun in Korea, look no further. 337146670_f1820787e3_oChuncheon, a lakeside city located about an hour away from Seoul is absolutely gorgeous during the fall. With this Seoul Vicinity Tour 4 in 1 Package, your whole family can enjoy four of the most popular destinations here. You can visit not only Nami island but also rail bike at the Gangchon Rail Park,  explore the lovely french style village called Petite France, and see fragrant flowers at the Garden of Morning Calm.banner_1476859588If you’re an active bunch and enjoy exploring nature trails, places like Seoraksan National Park and Naksansa Temple are great options. Seoraksan National Park is one of Korea’s most beautiful places, home to the third highest mountain in South Korea. Here your family can see abundant wildlife, hot springs, rock formations, and ancient temples. 5109253356_1e590bc009_b (1).jpgNaksansa Temple is one of them, boasting a  1300-year history and serving as a place of prayer and meditation with pristine natural surroundings. It also offers a magnificent view over the East Sea.

4. Adventure Junkies

October is the month of Halloween, which means it’s time to bring out the costumes and face paint and get ready for some fun! 14344713_1076564799117995_3949506966201369546_nThe Zombie Run is perfect since you can actively participate in it, rather than simply just walk through a standard haunted house as people try and scare you. Choose from two different levels of difficulty, ‘normal’ and ‘hell’. If you’re feeling daring and fearless, go for the ‘hell’ package, which has more complex rules and scarier zombies.11813247_829724363802041_5633861595135009242_nYou’re dead once the zombies steal all 3 of your ‘life’ flags, so run as fast as you can and don’t look back. 14068203_1053289454778863_5548238847947211171_n.jpgFor all you party animals, the official after party is held at Club Made in Itaewon, so head on over afterward to dance till the sun comes up.

If you’ve wanted to try staying at a theme park after closing time, check out the ‘Night Party with Zombies‘ at the Lotte World theme park. There are various events to enjoy and fourteen different attractions, four of which are decked out in a Halloween theme. The highlight is the concert, with this year’s fantastic line-up of singers and rappers ready to fire up the stage.

Whatever kind of traveler you are or want to be, Korea has got something for you to enjoy doing! So what are you waiting for? Plan your fall vacation now and get in one last getaway before the year ends!

To find the best holiday spots and activities for you to enjoy in Korea, head over to, Korea’s #1 travel shop! button_main 2

Photo Credits
“Korea Andong Autumn scenery near Yeongnak Bridge” By Robert 
“Temple in Seoraksan National Park, South Korea” By Chris Campbell
“A couple walking in sunset silhouette” By Darin Kim
“JEJU Island” By MIN_Photo
“2013, 남이섬” By thomas park 
“autumn trees” By Brian Yap 
“Buddha Statue Near Heundeulbawi – Seoraksan National Park” By Chris Campbell
Zombie Run@zombierun.korea
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. 

Increased Public Drinking & Police Altercations During Summer Heatwave

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As temperatures rose in Seoul & the rest of the country this summer, so did public drinking & reports of intoxication & altercations with police. Korea FM host Chance Dorland spoke with Korea Times writer Hong Dam-young about her coverage of the rise & People Unite Against Street Harassment president Brittany Hayes about the increased threat of harassment during summer months.

This episode is brought to you by Podcast Assist & its $30 per hour flat rate podcasting voice overs, editing, mastering, transcriptions & even hosting (select a topic, they’ll create & host the podcast). Visit for more information. 

If audio player does not load, listen to this episode by clicking here.

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

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The post Increased Public Drinking & Police Altercations During Summer Heatwave appeared first on Korea FM.

Barilee Traveling l The Old Japanese Tea House in Busan (정난각)

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Ever since we got back to South Korea after our travels and settled into the Monday-to-Friday work grind, we just haven’t been able to shake this travel monkey off our backs. As a result, we’ve made a pact between ourselves to actively seek out and explore either a new attraction, quirky restaurant or funky locale at least once a week to keep daily life fresh until we save up enough for the next next jetsetting adventure.

One of the hidden gems we've discovered is an old colonial-era Japanese house converted into a quaint traditional teahouse. Branded as “Jeongnangak (정난각),” which translates to “cultural empathy,” the fried chicken and soju shacks of Korea will melt away as soon as you pass through its iron-strapped double doors and transported to Japan from a century ago. As we slipped our shoes off in the sunken foyer and stepped onto the elevated dark wood floors in Japanese-style slippers, the earthy smell of tatami and cedar had us reliving our visits to the traditional ryokans and hot springs of southern Japan earlier this year. In fact, the building had been styled after traditional architecture from the Kyushu Prefecture, the closest port to Busan. 

The original owners were Japanese railroad administrators who made sure to bring a piece of home with them. A recent renovation by the Cultural Heritage Administration pumped in 690 million Won ($612,000 US) into three heritage Japanese structures in this neighbourhood to refresh its aging furnishings while preserving the majority of original architecture and features. Being the nature-lovers that we are, we really enjoyed the addition of ceiling to floor windows on the first floor that provide unfettered views of the zen garden courtyard encircling the two story house.

The elderly Korean proprietors who currently operate it offered us kind smiles and delicious fruit teas as we enjoyed the peaceful ambiance of the house. Teas are available as hot or cold in a variety of flavours, ranging from yuja citrus and jujube teas to peach and lemon iced tea, all of them priced very reasonably at ₩4,000 each. We quietly sipped away and admired the old Japanese paintings and calligraphy on the wall, imagining a time when we may have heard the clacking of horses’ hooves and smelled the smoky scent of a cooking fire. We vowed to return in autumn, which we're willing to bet transforms the garden into a fascinating spot of changing colours.

Get There:


Directions: Take the orange Line 1 on the subway to Busan-jin Station (two stops north of Busan Station) and take Exit 1. Walk straight for 370 meters (about 5 minutes) and turn right (it will be the sixth right turn once you come out exit 1). Walk straight for two blocks and Jeongnangak will be at the end of the road, slightly to the right. for more travel posts and updates!
Instragram: @barileetraveling
Facebook: @barileetraveling

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