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My New York Times Op-Ed: A North Korea “Agenda for SK’s New Leader”

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This is a local re-post of an op-ed I wrote last week for The New York Times.

Basically it is four suggestions to President Moon on dealing with North Korea. They are (mildly) hawkish arguments of the sort I routinely make here, including all my favorite hobby horses – talks are a shell game, move the capital, spend more on defense, bang away at China to cut off North Korea, and start treating Japan like a liberal democratic ally instead of a potential imperialist. Naturally a dovish liberal like Moon will adopt all these. Hooray! I anticipate a Blue House call any day now…

Regular readers have seen all this before, but it’s still pretty cool to get into The New York Times though. I figure this will be the most read thing I ever write, so I rolled out arguments I know well rather than something really new. The full essay follows the jump.



South Koreans elected Moon Jae-in as their new president on Tuesday against a backdrop of heightened United States-North Korean tensions. Yet North Korea did not dominate the campaign. South Korean voters were focused on the economy, corruption and other domestic issues like air quality. Before the voting, only 23 percent of voters said that international security was the most important issue to them.

Mr. Moon, a center-left human rights lawyer who will take office as soon as this week following the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye in a corruption scandal, is a dove inclined to start negotiations with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. His candidacy was most likely bolstered by President Trump’s tough talk against the North Korean regime, which is widely seen here as dangerous bluster.

South Korean equanimity toward the North’s threats surprises Westerners, but the South Koreans have lived for decades with Pyongyang’s provocations and, more recently, the nuclear program. Young South Koreans increasingly consider the North Korean menace a fact of life. South Korea’s vulnerability to a devastating attack from the North — Seoul’s northernmost suburbs begin just 20 miles from the demilitarized zone — adds to the sense here that the South should do everything it can to avoid war.

An overture from the incoming Moon administration to start talks with Pyongyang should be made with caution. Engagement with North Korea has a mixed, if not poor, record, and new talks would be more effective if started from a position of strength. It is vital that Mr. Moon pursue policies to decrease his country’s vulnerability to attack, while dangling the possibility of talks. Beijing and Washington are key to any deal with North Korea, but Seoul can do a lot on its own.

South Korea spends only 2.6 percent of its gross domestic product on defense. To strengthen Seoul’s negotiating position, Mr. Moon could indicate he will spend more on military preparedness. Civil defense (preparation of the civilian population for North Korean urban strikes), improved pay for conscripts, more intelligence, homegrown missile defense and stronger cyberdefense would help make up for Seoul’s military vulnerabilities.

South Korea and Japan could work together much more to show a united front. Such coordination is undercut by persistent tension over the history of Japanese colonialism in Korea. South Korea’s historical concerns with Japan have legitimate roots, but there is too much exaggeration — such as routine suggestions in the media that Japan is remilitarizing with designs on Asia — and not enough recognition that modern Japan is a liberal democracy and a potential ally against the North.

Seoul and Tokyo should agree to avoid separate deals with the North and reject Pyongyang’s efforts to play them against each other. Mr. Moon and his left-wing base are hostile to a recently signed South Korea-Japan intelligence-sharing pact, but he should consider that South Korea benefits from it more than Japan. Military cooperation in adjoining air and sea spaces would be ideal.

To further improve South Korea’s position, Seoul and Washington need to persuade Beijing to reduce trade with North Korea. Pyongyang is dependent on China for resources and access to the world economy. Cutting off North Korea would slow the nuclear and missile programs, and a reduction in luxury imports would put pressure on the regime elite.

Beijing is already obligated to enforce the existing sanctions against Pyongyang but does so haphazardly because it fears a North Korean implosion. Mr. Moon should work with Beijing to reassure its anxieties over a post-North Korean order, including the possibility of United States forces on the Chinese border, which prompted Chinese intervention in the original Korean conflict in 1950.

Given Seoul’s vulnerability to attack, Mr. Moon should also do much more to encourage the decentralization of the country away from the Seoul area. Fifty percent of South Korea’s population lives in the Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon corridor — 26 million people in a space roughly the size of Connecticut, directly abutting the border. The South Korean presidential residence is only some 23 miles from the demilitarized zone. It is long overdue for the government to start halting Seoul’s uncontrolled growth.

Previous efforts to move the capital have failed. President Roh Moo-hyun tried unsuccessfully to move it 75 miles south to Sejong City — though some government ministries and administrative departments have relocated there since 2004, showing decentralization is possible. There are also tax and regulatory incentives in place for South Korea’s conglomerates, like Samsung and Hyundai, to relocate out of Seoul, but many remain centered in, or directly adjacent to, the city.

The South Korean government already intervenes heavily in the economy. Why not do so to encourage more dispersed settlement?

South Koreans have seen it all from the boy who cried wolf to the North and know what to expect from a third iteration of the Kim dynasty. What no one knows is what Mr. Trump will tweet next. South Koreans don’t know whether Mr. Trump realizes just how vulnerable their country is to attack. But despite their differences, Mr. Trump and Mr. Moon now have a chance to build on their countries’ decades-long alliance.

Filed under: Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Korea (North), Korea (South), Media, Moon Jae-In, North Korea & the Left, Nuclear Weapons

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




Seoulcialites: Dr. Tony Garrett, Kiwi Chamber

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What originally brought you to Korea and what do you do here? 

I arrived in Korea 10 years ago, after taking up an academic position at Korea University Business School.  I did not know much about Korea, but I did know the schools here have a great academic reputation, and KUBS is one of the leading ones.  I have lived in other parts of Asia before, Japan, Thailand and Singapore, so when I saw an opportunity to take up a contract position at KUBS – I thought why not!  After two years I applied for a tenure track position – and that has led me to my current position as Associate Professor of Marketing.

KUBS is a fantastic school within KU.  They are truly global, with a number of international faculty, a large number of international students, exchange and regular.  Around 65-70% of the program is taught in English.  I am regarded as regular tenure track faculty – which is means that I am, for all intents and purposes, integrated! 

What’s your favorite thing about living in Korea?

 This is not an easy question to answer.  There are many things.  Generally, I love the people.  The people make a place and I have made a great group of friends, both Korean and foreign.  I am also lucky to work with a great group of colleagues.

The thing that I love about Koreans particularly is they want to be the best!  I think, like many other foreigners I know, sometimes that the way they go about it is not the way we would do it, however I cannot but admire overall tenacity of some of the people I know.  This is especially the case among the people I am around every day – my students.  They have worked so hard when compared to many of their counterparts in other parts of the world.  They are energetic and enthusiastic.  This leads to a very dynamic community.

Of course I also love the food, the culture, and history!

What’s your favorite thing about Seoul?

My favorite thing about Seoul, is living in a large cosmopolitan city with many things to do – but with the convenience of a village.  I love the fact that I can easily go to a world class show, a music performance, a gallery etc., and have all the amenities of a world class city.  I also love that within meters of my apartment building there are small eateries supplying a whole range of delicious local and international foods.  I can just pop out to eat or get something without getting into a car.  If I don’t want to do that – ask for delivery!

Do you have a favorite memory of your time here?

My favorite memory shows the full measure of Korean people’s hospitality.   I remember not long after having arrived in Korea, I was eating alone near my University.  I decided to go to a local restaurant and order.  A group of locals were sitting nearby and got to chatting with me.  They asked me who I was with, and if I would like to join them.  Our communication was limited.  My Korean was non-existent and their English was marginal, but we managed to communicate.  The evening went from eating, to a bar, and then to a norae-bang.  It was the first of many great nights to follow – they remain my friends.  Although one could say that this not all that special, it was to me, as these people  friends did not need to go out of their way for a lonely middle-aged waygookin (foreigner).  They did, with no expectations for anything in return.  This is a great memory.

New Zealand Wine Festival 2016 c/o Korea Herald
NZ Wine Festival 2016 c/o Korea Herald

Tell us about The Kiwi Chamber and your role as chairman. 

The Kiwi Chamber, aka New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea was founded 2008 with the central mission to facilitate business opportunities for New Zealand and Korean companies and individuals by creating support networks that enable them to promote, protect and advance their respective commercial interests in each other’s countries.  Post the ratification of the FTA between NZ and Korea, our role has changed to really promoting the opportunities that NZ and Korea provide each country.

My role of Chair is work closely with the Board, Advisors and our Executive Director to facilitate the activities of the Chamber.  I can honestly say that I am very lucky to have a very capable and active Board.  This makes my life much easier.  My key responsibility is to make sure NZ and NZ business in Korea is kept top of mind in all avenues.

What does the chamber offer its members and how does it stand out in Korea?

The Chamber runs a range of events and activities each year. Events such as the annual wine festivals, breakfast forums (Inspire with Innovation Series), workshops and other networking opportunities (Huis) are organized to meet our objectives.  The Chamber also works with other organizations on community outreach activities such as Songjukwon Orphanage, a female orphanage (with the ANZ and with the kind assistance of the NZ Embassy and the Grand Hyatt).

Many of the objectives of our chamber match those of others.  We work closely with the Australian and other Commonwealth Chambers on a number of events and activities.  I like to think that the Kiwi Chamber channels the personality of New Zealand in its activities.  We are relaxed and not too hierarchical – we take things seriously, but try not to take ourselves too seriously. 

Tell us about The Kiwi Chamber New Zealand Wine Festival. Why is it special and what makes it different this year? 

We are holding the New Zealand Wine Festival events on Saturday, May 20 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the beautiful Waterfall Garden of the Grand Hyatt Seoul and on Saturday, June 3 from 6:30pm to 10:30pm in the Grand Ballroom at the Park Hyatt Busan. This year’s festivals, the ninth in Seoul and the fifth in Busan will offer wine-lovers an array of premium red and white wines from around 25 vineyards.   More and more wines are being featured at this event, as the wine industry is one which has taken advantage of the benefits of the FTA.  NZ is now the 10 largest exporter of wine to Korea and we have seen 31% growth.  This means that the wine connoisseur can now more easily find NZ wine.  What great events to discover our wine!

This year’s theme is “Wine from the Other Side.” The theme encourages wine cognoscente to take a journey across the equator from the hustle and bustle of Korean big city life to the other side of the world where the air is clean, the water is pure and the wine is exceptional.

We want keep the traditional New Zealand style at both events.  The two hotels will offer a first-class New Zealand-themed culinary experience coupled with the finest service, including a superb outdoor BBQ-style buffet in Seoul and exquisite tapas buffet in Busan.

We will also feature lucky draws with many outstanding prizes, including one economy return ticket to New Zealand for each event from sponsor Singapore Airlines.

You can get more information about the events from!



The post Seoulcialites: Dr. Tony Garrett, Kiwi Chamber appeared first on The Toronto Seoulcialite.

The Toronto Socialite
That Girl Cartier


April 27 - May 4, 2017I’ve been told that Sipadan (off the east...

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April 27 - May 4, 2017

I’ve been told that Sipadan (off the east coast of Malaysian Borneo in Sabah) has some of the best scuba diving in the world, so I wanted to make a trip out there. Also, I had an Open Water certification, but wanted to move towards Advanced. You can’t stay on Sipadan Island but resorts will take you there and a friend recommended the diving resort, Scuba Junkie, so we went there. They have reasonable rates for diving.

It’s quite a trip to get out there. I flew from Lombok to Kuala Lumpur ($41.34 on AirAsia), spent the night in KL ($24.23 at Hotel Soleil), and then flew to Tawau ($36 on AirAsia). Then, there’s a long van + boat ride, but Scuba Junkie will take care of you from Tawau Airport to Mabul Beach Resort (15km way from Sipadan). I really don’t recommend staying in Semporna – but you will need to get cash there or before arriving as there are no banks or ATMs on Mabul Island.

Right when you arrive to Mabul Island, you can walk the long jetty that runs to the shore + resort. The local Bajau people live on one side of the jetty which can be a stark contrast the luxury you’ll have of the resort of catered meals and beautiful dives - but I highly recommend walking around the island and buying snacks in town! It’s great to see children playing. 

All rooms include three daily meals plus afternoon snack, tea, coffee, and water. Rooms are simply decorated but clean and spacious, located just a few meters from the beach where you can swim, snorkel, dive, or simply sun bathe. Sometimes I felt a bit lost about where I was going and what was happening, but I learned that it was best to go with the flow and smile through the confusion.

The staff were all friendly and the dives were incredible. If you book accommodation so late that Scuba Junkie doesn’t have tickets for Sipadan (because they only allow so many on the island a day), walk around to the other dive resorts and pay cash for one of their tickets. We found a few resorts (e.g. Billabong, Uncle Chang, Borneo Divers) that had extra tickets for a premium price (848 Malaysian Ringgit a person for three dives with equipment). It’s the best diving I’ve ever experienced and you gotta do it if you’ve gone all that way!


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 6 Best Online Courses for Learning Korean

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If you’re in the process of learning the Korean language, you’ve probably already considered all of the obvious ways that knowing Korean will enrich your life, like the fact that you’ll be able to watch Korean dramas without subtitles, or listen to your favorite k-pop songs and know the meaning! Plus if you choose to visit South Korea you won’t need a dictionary or phrase book to get around.

Korean points the way

After learning Korean, they have no trouble finding their way

Learning Korean will ultimately open a door into another culture for you to experience — suddenly you’ll have access to a whole new world of movies, books, and conversations that you didn’t have access to before!

Although these reasons make learning Korean worth it, the learning process can sometimes feel frustrating if you run into an issue with understanding a word or phrase. Luckily, these days learning a language doesn’t have to be difficult — nowadays, with online courses at your fingertips language learning resources are extremely accessible to learners at all levels. And many aspects of Korean are very easy to learn from your home, like the Korean alphabet. With the click of a mouse and a couple of keystrokes, you have access to hundreds of websites and blogs whose express purpose is to make your learning journey a piece of cake!

learning from home

Learning has never been so convenient and easy!

There’s no need to visit Seoul right off the bat to learn the language — help is everywhere. With the hundreds of resources on the internet, it can be difficult to determine which resources will be a good fit for you, especially because everyone’s learning style is different.

*Ready to learn Korean yet? Click here to learn about our 90 Day Korean learning program!

Read on for a list of our favorite Korean learning courses available, and be sure to let us know if we are forgetting any in the comments below!

** Please note: these courses are in no particular order! We love them all equally. **

Online Course #1: FluentU

Online Korean courses

Some of the most successful language learning resources focus on real life material rather than material recorded expressly for the purpose of teaching a language — by exposing learners to movies, songs, and TV show clips right off of the bat, learning stays interesting to the viewer (and gives them a chance to use their new language skills right away). FluentU uses this method, and it’s no wonder that they’re so popular!

FluentU is comprised of multiple mini language lessons that highlight present day media to teach the Korean language. This can help keep their audience from getting burnt out — as soon as you feel like tuning out and taking a break, an interesting Korean drama clip or movie trailer will pop up and make the lesson exciting.

FluentU is accessible to all levels of Korean learners — they have beginner lessons that will teach you the absolute basics and get you introduced to the language, and then as you progress they have a wide selection of intermediate and advanced lessons that will follow. FluentU also keeps track of your interests as you go along and will show you clips that match those interests, so it’s a truly personalized learning approach.

There’s a FluentU iPhone app, so your learning doesn’t have to stop when it’s time to put your computer away. Check out FluentU for a fun, accessible Korean learning method that everyone is talking about!

Online Course #2: Udemy

Online Korean courses

If you’re just getting started with learning Korean and you need a solid overview of the basics of the Korean language, Udemy has a course called “Learn Korean! Start speaking now!” that is a great foundation to the ins and outs of Korean.

The intro course spans five hours, but it’s approachable because it’s segmented into over sixty mini lectures that teach you a couple of words or grammatical rules at a time. This is perfect if you’re the type of learner that needs to take breaks throughout a study session — because the lectures are so short, you won’t need to pause anything and worry about picking up where you left off later. You can just take a break in between lectures and get started on a new topic when you’re feeling ready!

Check out Udemy if you’re not a big fan of learning Korean from books and prefer a video interface. The site itself is very easy to navigate, and the content of the mini lectures will build the foundation that you’ll use throughout your learning journey.

Online Course #3: Seoul National Education Center

If you’re learning Korean, today is your lucky day — Seoul National University, one of the best universities in South Korea, has its very own Korean learning course that you can begin today!

This online course is a great supplement to any language classes you happen to be taking. The courses are well structured and cover topics ranging from vocabulary to syntax to conversation, so there really is a little bit of everything and all of the basics will be thoroughly covered.

The course itself consists 20 free courses that will help you cultivate your basic understanding of the Korean language. One of the best parts of the course is the follow-up questions that pop up after each part of the course is completed — when you’re able to check your knowledge and understanding at the end of each segment, it’s less likely that you’ll forget material or progress to the next course until you are confident in what you’ve learned.

Check out Seoul National Education Center’s course if you’re interested in learning Korean from a prestigious university. You can even download the audio clips to review whenever you’re on the go, so there are truly no excuses for not keeping up with your studies!

Online Course #4: Loecsen

Online Korean courses

If you’re more interested in learning phrases and basic conversation than you are learning about Korean language structure, Loecsen is the online course for you! Loecsen is perfect for anyone who needs some familiarity with the Korean language for a quick trip but isn’t looking to commit the hours required to become fluent in the language.

Unlike some of the courses on this list, Loecsen only has 15 lessons (which may come as a relief!) that cover the basics required for Korean conversation. While you’re going through the 15 lessons, you’ll cover everything from ordering at a bar, what to do if you injure yourself and need to talk about medical information, and how to tell a taxi driver where to take you. All of the lessons are extremely pertinent to day to day conversations. To help you remember vocabulary words, Loecsen will ask you to match audio clips of words to their written form and a picture that represents the meaning. Pretty cool, huh?

If you’re planning a trip to Korea sometime in the near future and you need a crash course to help you navigate the country and enjoy your trip, consider checking out Loecsen to help make you comfortable with speaking basic conversational Korean. The site even has quizzes you can print out to make sure you don’t forget anything!

Online Course #5: Sogang Online

If you’re searching for an intensive course that will help you dive into the nitty gritty aspects of the Korean language, Sogang is the course for you! Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been studying Korean for a while, Sogang will have lessons available for you in their vast database.

Sogang courses are challenging but extremely rewarding — the courses use media ranging from audio to fun animations to keep learning exciting for you. Keep in mind, because these courses are more intensive than many Korean learning courses out there, you should be prepared to give them your full attention. These definitely aren’t courses that work well playing in the background as you’re multi-tasking — because they pack so much information into such a brief time, it’s best to take notes!

Check out Sogang if you’re interested in eventually becoming fluent in Korean. These courses will help you achieve that goal quickly!

Online Course #6: 90DayKorean

Online Korean course

90DayKorean is a course specifically designed to get you speaking, reading, and writing Korean as soon as possible with no previous experience required. We make sure that we figure out what your personal goals are as you get started with our program, and you have a personal coach that checks in with you and sees where you’re at in relation to those goals as you progress through the program.

At 90DayKorean, we’re big fans of the “learn at your own pace” philosophy — if a course is moving too slowly, you’ll get bored, and if it’s moving too quickly, you’ll feel overwhelmed. Both of these outcomes mean you’ll be less likely to stay committed to your learning method. We’ll send you weekly lessons, but you can move through them at a pace that’s right for you. If life gets too busy to commit hours a week to learning, it’s not a problem! You can wait until you’re less busy and then pick right up where you left off and keep moving through the material.

Obviously we love our course and have great things to say about it, but we are firm believers that you should do some research and decide what course best fits your needs before diving into the learning process. If you find a course that’s a good fit, you’re way more likely to see it through to the end and get the most out of it!

Have you started learning Korean online? What are some courses you really enjoyed? Share with us in the comments below!

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

Korean lessons   *  Korean Phrases    *    Korean Vocabulary *   Learn Korean   *    Learn Korean alphabet   *   Learn Korean fast   *  Motivation    *   Study Korean  


Please share, help Korean spread! 



Eastasy: Whoo Spa & O Hui Skincare

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Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...My experience at Whoo Spa O Hui Sinsa Seoul via Eastacy ICE therapy, refresh care, aromatherapy, massage, and facial

I was recently invited to Whoo Spa in ritzy Sinsa right across the street from Garosugil by a company called Eastasy.  They partner with brands and experiences across Asia and offer massive discounts.  After a whirlwind weekend in Taipei, I was definitely due for a massage.  The experience I had at Whoo Spa was very thorough, as is my breakdown!  Leave any questions in the comments and I’ll get back to you shortly…

Whoo Spa Atmosphere

Whoo Spa (formerly O Hui Spa) in Sinsa dominates the VVIP spa service space in Korea.  They are very popular because they use the most up to date technology to stay current for their clients.  They have a variety of K-Pop Stars and famous American and Korean actors (Kim Tae-Hee and Shin Min-A use O Hui) who visit due to the great service and tucked away location.  They also sell a vast array of high-quality, exceptional skincare products made from South Korean natural medicinal herbs, from luxurious brands such as OHUI, Whoo, and SU:M 37Clients get 25% off products the same day as their service.  Make sure to check out Eastasy for a wicked deal on packages!

Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...

The Whoo Spa Treatments

I opted for the Aroma Resfresh Care package (100 minutes).  This package includes a basic facial accompanied by an aromatherapy body massage.  The facial was anything but basic!  It started with a soft, peeling cleansing.  Then, was followed by an exfoliating, deep cleansing, bubbling facial.  I got a face slimming massage, too, which included a decolletage massage.

Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...


I was upgraded to the ICE care, which is good for brightening and moisturizing.  This is very similar to a Vitamin C procedure I’ve had previously.  They also offer hot care (for anti-aging), pore tightening, and aqua peeling (generally for patients with acne).  Once my ICE treatment was over, a facial ampoule and an essence was applied, then secured with a molding facial mask pack.  After that, there was revitalizing care before I went on my way.  My back and shoulders were massaged using products from the Gongjinhyang line.  It containes ingredients such as ginseng and cordyceps (a popular fungus used in ancient Chinese medicine).  Throughout the majority of the facial, they places electronic leg and foot boots on and I was treated to a full body experience for the entire two hours.

Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...

Personal Preferences

Usually I’m pretty tense when I go for a massage.  I work out quite a bit and lift heavy weights (and all kinds of children daily!).  When I was in Thailand I found that when I asked for medium pressure it just wasn’t enough to get the knots out.  On my questionnaire I still put medium, but the pressure was a lot stronger than I expected.  My masseuse was not shy at all, and whenever she neared my lower back or decolletage I could tell there was certainly no modesty in this treatment.  I would have preferred not to be on a plastic sheet, but I totally understand their hygenic needs.

Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...

Whoo Spa Seoul Massage

There were several areas of my body that could have used very strong pressure: my calves, ankles, and lower back.  I felt like she kind of skimmed those areas focusing primarily on the upper back, middle back, shoulders, and traps.  They needed a lot of attention, but I was much more sensitive in those areas.  I also got a hand massage.  I didn’t realise that I needed one, but it was heaven!

Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... My experience at Whoo Spa O Hui Sinsa Seoul via Eastacy ICE therapy, refresh care, aromatherapy, massage, and facial My experience at Whoo Spa O Hui Sinsa Seoul via Eastacy ICE therapy, refresh care, aromatherapy, massage, and facial Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...

Whoo Spa Seoul Aromatherapy

The aromatherapy aspect of the treatment is not what I expected, and I was glad.  Usually the scents are fairly strong and irritate my allergies.  The earthy, yet still sweet smells were pretty mild.  I got whiffs of honey, lemon, and oaky notes.  If you’ve read my Vineworks Korea article you’ll notice my nose isn’t always spot on, but these pleasant frangrances were neither sickly sweet, nor heavy on the Chinese medicine.  I would likely use them at home, too.

My masseuse used plenty of warm towels (bordering on hot) at the beginning and end of the treatment.  I always want to roll around in warm laundry fresh out of the dryer (I miss dryers living in Korea!) so they felt amazing.  They were also the perfect way to get any additional oils off before changing and heading home.


Whoo (后) SPA (후(后)스파)

Whoo Spa Seoul Facial

My facial was longer than I expected because of the facial massage and surprise upgrade (thank you!).  In terms of the steps, they were pretty similar to what I’ve experienced in the past.  My bubbling, cleansing facial was very effective, however it wasn’t as itchy as I normally find they can be.  I normally have to stay very still or risk 15 minutes of agony wanting to scratch my face.  This was fine.  The ICE facial was a lot colder than I expected.  They placed a cream on my face.  They then pressed a flat, cold, metal plate in circular motions across my whole face.  At some points I questioned the necessity of the low temperature.  They told me this particular one was good for moisture.  They recommended it to me as apparently my skin is quite dry and sensitive.

Image result for su:m37 white award sheet mask

Whoo Spa Aftercare

After my 2 hour treatment whizzed by (I totally fell asleep throughout the molding facial), I was taken to a reception area where tea and a small pastry was waiting for me.  The Whoo Spa manager explained that it was very important to rehydrate the skin within a couple of days.  She presented me with 2 samples of Su:m37 ampoule, and a sheet mask from their “white awards” brightening series.

Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location... Whoo Spa dominates the VVIP service (K-Pop/ K-Drama Stars) space in Korea as they use the latest technology and have an exclusive, tucked away location...

Directions to Whoo Spa (formerly O Hui Spa)

The Spa itself is tucked away across from Hak-dong Park.  It took me a little while to find, so allow yourself plenty of time if you’re not taking a taxi.  They’re open 10:00am-10:00pm, Monday to Sunday.

From Sinsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 3)

Take Exit 1.  Walk straight and turn right before you reach Yeongdong Tourist Hotel.
Continue walking and look for the spa on your left.

From Hak-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 7) 

Take Exit 6 Walk straight and turn right on the second street.
Continue swalking straight and you’ll find the spa on your right-hand side.

Image c/o Super Seoul

Big thanks to Eastasy for inviting me to relax my body and revive my skin at Whoo Spa in Sinsa, Seoul, Korea.  This article is in partnership with Eastasy, but all opinions shared with regards to Whoo Spa are my own.  Explore Asia through Eastasy: click here for all kinds of deals on experiences and accomodations in Korea and beyond!

The post Eastasy: Whoo Spa & O Hui Skincare appeared first on That Girl Cartier.

4 Tips for Teaching Monolingual Classes

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Monolingual classes (everyone speaks the same language) can present a difficulty for ESL/EFL teachers. This is because there is often no compelling reason as to why students actually have to communicate with each other in the target language. This is the situation I find myself in at my job in a Korean university where 98% of my students are Koreans. There is the odd international student mixed in, but they most often speak Korean fluently!

Sure, my students have to speak English to me, but in a class of 30 or 40, it’s just not feasible because, as we all know: Teacher Centered is Bad! Working with a monolingual class is difficult for me, who pretends to speak a total of 0 Korean words to my students. However, the situation is actually far more difficult for Korean teachers because their students often expect them to just use Korean for most of the class. If they try to teach in English, students are usually very unhappy, especially lower-level ones.


This post was actually brought about by talking with a Korean colleague of mine who teaches the same students I do-the ones who are preparing for an internship abroad. These students can all speak English reasonably fluently, except that she told me in class, they just all speak Korean to each other and to her. I find this really bizarre because the students are actually some of the best students I’ve ever taught and are in no way lazy or apathetic. So, it’s not something related to motivation. It’s more related to how the class is set up and the expectations that are there. In this case, there just isn’t the expectation that English will be used exclusively. It’s mostly the teachers fault for speaking to students in Korea in the first place!

Tips for Teaching Monolingual Classes


The first tip for teaching monolingual classes is related to expectations.

For higher-level classes, I say that I expect 98% English. 2% Korean is okay if you need to ask your partner for a vocab word or clarifying an instruction or something. For lower level classes, I usually say 95-5. I make the point (a lot!) that you only get better at something by practicing that thing and that they’re all really good at Korean! It’s English that they need work on.


The next tip about how to teach monolingual classes is related to what kinds of activities you use.

Make it easier for students just to use English with each other than Korean. It takes some experience and preparation to do this well, but it’s really possible. An example of this kind of activity is a survey for ESL students. Or, 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adultsavailable on Amazon, which will get your students speaking in English, guaranteed.

Click the picture to buy it now on Amazon:


Praise students who are making a serious effort to speak in English to each other. Praise them individually and also in front of the whole class. Ignore those who are just speaking the first language instead of hassling them.


I “rank” classes in group activities such as a survey. It’s surprisingly effective, at least in Korea and it can definitely help turn a bad class around so that by the end of the semester, they’ve totally conformed to my master plan of an English only classroom. I will write an arrow on the board:

terrible———-> good———-> excellent

At the end of the activity, I will rank the class according to how they did. If excellent, I will say things like:

I loved how you all spoke together 1-1.

You all wrote your partner’s answers in English.

I heard almost all of you speaking in English. Pat yourself on the back!

If not excellent, I will give suggestions for how to improve. Something like: I heard many students just speaking Korea…that’s a waste of time, we are here to improve our English. Remember: 98% English please! Next time let’s get good instead of terrible!

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



First shopping from Nature Republic 

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Where there is a sale, you will find me always! Ha ha! So, two days ago, I was roaming around the mart, and saw a sale going on in Nature Republic. I never bought anything from them. So, just out of curiosity, I thought of give it a try. 

So, here goes the review:

Air Skin Fit Blur Pact: I broke my compact two days ago, so I had to buy one. There are two shades, I took shade number 2, the darker one, because of my brown skin. The package is good. Though they say it’s the darker one, still it’s pretty bright for me. It’s a nice compact powder but the sad thing is they didn’t provide any nice cushion puff. It’s too hard and you will surely feel a discomfort while using it to apply the compact on your face. The price was less than 13000KW. Can’t remember the exact one, sorry.

Stick Highlighter: I like this one so much! It’s just has the perfect texture of a stick highlighter, really get set on your face and easy to apply too! Price was 5600KW. A bad thing about this ones packaging is it has a plastic lid which often cause disturbance llike falling down when you open the cap of the stick. They could’ve stick the lid with the cap, so it doesn’t come out every time somebody opens it.

Pure Shine Melting Tint: I can’t remember the exact price price of this one either. Should be less than 4000 won. This one got a nice flavor, a melting texture and stays on the lips for a very long time. I love the color so much. But there’s another thing about this tint. It doesn’t have a system, where you rotate the lipstick in a direction and the part on the bottom comes up and vice versa. But a pen like system where you push the button and it keeps coming out. And here comes the problem, once you press the button it just comes out from bottom but doesn’t have a system to get it back to lower it down again. So, if you don’t know it before buying, you’re screwed like me. I kinda ruined it pushing the button so much and can’t lower it down now.

All the prices mentioned here are sale price. Here’s a pic, where I used all three, so you could see how they work!

Munira Chowdhury, 14.05.17

My New Fiction Book!!

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Hello Again Everyone!!

I’m extremely to announce, once more, the publication of an all new book. This time, it’s my first attempt at fiction with The Lonely Saint.

In The Lonely Saint, and unbeknownst to Sean, his life has mirrored an ancient set of Zen Buddhist murals. Since graduating from university with an English degree and a suffocating amount of debt, Sean Masters decides that he wants to teach and travel abroad; however, his life seems to be anything but ordinary as he negotiates the culture and seamier sides of living and teaching in South Korea. It’s only through his loss of everything, including his wife to a horrible accident, that Sean is able to find peace in the most unlikely of places. In the end, it’s with the Zen Ox-Herding murals as a guide that Sean Masters is finally able to go from a life of ignorance to that of enlightenment.

You can order The Lonely Saint through either in hard copy or as an e-book.

You can order the hard copy here.

And you can order the e-book here.

If you’d like a signed copy for $20 dollars (plus shipping and handling) of my book, please contact me at:   We can discuss the details.

Please support this free website by ordering your copy today!


Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 4] – Intermediate Korean (Listening Practice)

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

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

The post Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 4] – Intermediate Korean (Listening Practice) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





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