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SMILE surgery - your optimal choice for Laser Vision Correction in summer!



ReLEx SMILE - is a minimally invasive laser vision correction surgery that can correct myopia and astigmatism up to -9 diopters.

What is so special about SMILE?

First of all, there is no need of a flap formation, femto laser only proceeds with a micro-incision of 1.7 mm after lenticular disc is formed. Therefore, cornea receives minimum damage and becomes stronger to external factors after recovery, as well as recovery process itself is very fast.

Basically, the patient can get back to work and everyday life activities already on the next day, and get back to sports and extreme activities within 1 week.

Did you know that BGN Eye Hospital does 3 types of ReLEx SMILE surgery?


Let`s learn more about all three types.

BGN SMILE is a basic ReLEx SMILE surgery that includes lenticular disc formation with femto laser and it`s minimum invasive extraction through 1.7 mm incision.

TRIPLE SMILE - is a ReLEx SMILE procedure with corneal strengthening.

Cornea strengthening or cross-linking strengthens the collagen fibers in the cornea and makes it sturdier by 150%. TRIPLE SMILE is highly recommended for patients with thin cornea or irregular corneal shape as it prevents cornea cells changes and secondary vision decrease.

Worried about dry eye syndrome after surgery? Then Quatro SMILE is your best choice!

Quatro SMILE - is a complex solution for myopia and astigmatism correction that includes BGN SMILE surgery, cross-linking cornea strengthening and unique customized dry eye treatment program.

BGN Eye Hospital Dry Eye treatment program includes PRP plasma eye drops, healon eye drops and warm compress treatment.

Wish to get rid of your glasses but not sure if you are a candidate for Laser Vision Correction, or what type of surgery would be the best for you?

Book a LASIK consultation with BGN! BGN Eye Hospital provides a FREE LASIK examination and consultation for all patients!

After a comprehensive examination we will recommend customized laser vision correction solution for each patient.

To book a LASIK consultation with BGN contact them at their
direct line 010-7670-3995,
kakao talk: eye1004bgnbusan or
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Kdrama – The Complete Guide to Korean Dramas

K-drama, which is short for Korean drama, has also become a global phenomenon of sorts. Thanks to the spread of different forms of Korean popular culture, most importantly, K-pop.


The history of Korean drama

The roots of television in South Korea go back to the mid-1950s, with the first Korean television series broadcasting in 1962. It was broadcasted on KBS, Korean Broadcasting System, which has continued to exist as Korea’s big national channel.

However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that Korean households properly began buying television sets. Most of the Korean television series depicted historical times, and historical figures only reached a small audience. After the surge of TVs in Korean homes, more diverse South Korean dramas began getting made, from national heroes such as King Sejong to tales of regular present-day people, especially their struggles and sufferings.

Korean actors and actress standing

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When color TVs became available in the 1980s, the landscape of South Korean television changed, with modern dramas becoming more prominent. And in the 1990s, it started getting more popular to format Korean dramas into a single season of approximately 12 to 24 episodes. Today, it is also more widespread to produce web dramas.

Filming processes

Only the first four episodes of a South Korean drama will be shot before starting a broadcast. Otherwise, each drama is shot as close to the release date as possible to save on production expenses.

Scripts aren’t entirely finalized, and changes to them may be made based on viewer feedback during the course of a Korean drama. These changes may come at just a few hours’ notice before filming. There have even been instances where scenes of the episode are still being filmed as it is being shown on TV! So filming a drama in South Korea is most certainly an intense process.

actors looking at a video camera

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However, thanks to the increased popularity of South Korean dramas globally, producers have been selling rights to broadcast or release the dramas ahead of time, before anything has been shot. This, in turn, has allowed them to film with more time and well before airing than the “live shooting” method.

The largest broadcasting companies in South Korea also have their own shooting locations for historical dramas, with readily built, detailed sets. And interestingly, in comparison to many other countries, the scriptwriters in South Korean dramas are almost equally as famous as the stars and director of the show. There is usually one writer or a small group of writers writing each Korean drama.

Music in Korean dramas

Music plays an integral part in most South Korean dramas. Whole original soundtracks are crafted for each one of them. Most of these songs are performed by popular Kpop singers. If you would like to know some popular Kpop groups and artists, we have a list of the best Kpop groups for you to read!

A popular OST song could also increase the popularity of a South Korean drama. The popularity of a drama could also make an OST song a major hit. Each song should express the drama’s structure and mood, and a detailed process is taken to choose the right songs.

It’s also common to use the same artist for many different dramas due to their past successes. A notable example of such an artist is Baek Ji Young. She has recorded OST songs for approximately 20 different dramas.

Why are Korean dramas popular?

Korean dramas are undeniably popular nowadays. However, this wasn’t the case a few years back. Thanks to the growth of Korean pop culture worldwide, people outside of Asia have also gained interest in Korean dramas and movies.

Reply 1988

K-dramas have become easily popular once viewers knew about them for several reasons.

The Korean drama storyline

K-dramas have been known to have great plots with scenes that will keep you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know what will happen next. This is why Korean dramas are great for binge-watching. They avoid predictable storylines and constantly throw plot twists that will make the viewers’ jaws drop. If you’re very into it, you might finish the whole season in just a few days!


A Korean drama’s OST or original soundtrack goes hand in hand with the actual drama. People recognize a song and associate it with the drama they heard it from, and vice versa. These soundtracks vary depending on the scene, matching the emotions portrayed by the characters. Some Korean pop stars have also starred in K-dramas while they have also sung the OST.

The Korean Culture

K-dramas gives its viewers a glimpse of what it is like living in Korea. There are plenty of interesting things about Korea besides K-pop, such as their food, culture, fashion, and the places that you can visit. All these can be within reach through the K-dramas and Korean movies we could view online. Some dramas such as Crash Landing on You even show life in North Korea through their storyline.

K-dramas are relatable

Korean dramas give you the usual romance or action kind of scenes, but they also exhibit issues in Korean and global society that are relatable to many. These include topics on mental health, suicide, bullying, gender inequality, corruption, or racism. Genres on family and history are also common in K-dramas.


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Korean dramas can help you learn Korean

People are possibly introduced to Korean culture for various reasons, but they end up wanting to learn the Korean language most of the time. Watching Korean dramas can help you practice and learn Korean vocabulary and conversations.

People talk about it on social media

With the good quality story, Korean dramas have, it’s normal for people to talk about them. This is especially easily done through social media. You can see good drama recommendations from viewers, and some even provide their reviews which make others want to begin watching already.

Korean dramas are easy to find

It’s not difficult to start watching a Korean drama as it’s available for streaming on different sites globally. We’ll go through some apps and sites on our list below.

What are the most popular Kdramas?

For our list of best South Korean dramas, please refer to this article. Below is a list of some additional popular Korean dramas you might want to watch. Most dramas are shown over a 10-week period, which means we viewers are constantly getting new Korean dramas to be excited about!

The King

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My Only One

Title in Korean: (하나뿐인 내편 ㅣ hanappunin naepyeon)

This story is about Kim Doran, whose life becomes complicated when her biological father returns after 28 years. If you’re fond of dramas revolving in the family and drama genre, this is a must-watch. The lead actress for this drama, Uee, who plays the role of Kim Do Ran, was also part of the K-pop girl group After School.

Once Again

Title in Korean: (한 번 다녀왔습니다 ㅣ han beon danyeowatseumnida)

This drama is about the life of a family, consisting of a couple and their four adult children. The story will give you a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Once Again proves to be a drama worth watching as it won several awards during the 34th KBS Drama Awards.

When the Camellia Blooms

Title in Korean: (동백꽃 필 무렵 ㅣ dongbaekkkot pil muryeop)

At the center of this drama is a single mother running a cafe, played by actress Gong Hyo Jin, who not only tries to navigate two possible romances but has to evade becoming a serial killer’s next victim. Actors Kang Ha Neul and Kim Ji Suk played the roles of her love interests.


Title in Korean: (배가본드)

A stunt man, dreaming of becoming a famous action star, finds himself in Morocco trying to investigate what actually happened to his nephew, who supposedly died in a plane crash. This action-filled Korean drama with hints of romance is starred by actor Lee Seung Gi and actress Bae Suzy.

The King: Eternal Monarch

Title in Korean: (더 킹: 영원의 군주 ㅣ deo king: yeongwonui gunju)

Starring Lee Minho, in this drama, the king of the Kingdom of Corea finds himself in a parallel world, the Republic of Korea, while trying to know how he survived an otherwise fatal night in his childhood. Here, he’ll also come across a woman who plays a huge role in knowing the reason behind these occurrences.


Title in Korean: (시그널)

Communicating via walkie-talkies, a criminal profiler in the present-day, and a police offer in the past try to solve a cold case that is personal to the criminal profiler. As this drama is about solving crimes, some of the scenes were inspired by criminal incidents that actually happened in South Korea, including the Hwaseong serial murders.

Memories of Alhambra

Title in Korean: (알함브라 궁전의 추억 ㅣ alhambeura gungjeonui chueok)

A company CEO played by actor Hyun Bin and a hostel owner, played by actress Park Shin Hye find themselves wrapped in a puzzling series of events in Spain. What’s more interesting is that it revolves around an AR game, with the lines between real-world and augmented reality beginning to become unclear. This drama is best for those who are into sci-fi.

What is the highest-rated Korean drama?

The current highest-rated Korean drama is entitled The World of the Married (부부의 세계 | Bubuui Segye). This Korean series from JTBC is a romantic melodrama that was aired in 2020.

World of married

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This story is about a doctor (Kim Hee Ae) whose life began to fall apart after she knew of her husband’s (Park Hae Joon) affair with her friend. The 16-episode long drama remains to be the highest-rated cable drama episode of all time.

Korean Drama Genres

There’s a wide variety of Korean dramas that you can start watching. Here are the common drama genres that you can refer to along with K-dramas in this category.

Action Drama

Action genres bring the most excitement and thrill to Korean dramas. This genre is also often paired with the crime genre and keeps the viewers hooked during intense fighting scenes. Lead characters in this genre usually go against antagonists who are more powerful than them. Thus, making their victories even more satisfying.


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If you’re into this type of drama, we recommend the Korean dramas Vagabond, Healer, Beyond Evil, and the most recent one, Vincenzo.

Romance Drama

We mainly think of love and happy endings when a romance genre is mentioned. Korean dramas often incorporate other genres like comedy, melodrama, fantasy, or even action in romantic series. This gives the romance a twist and creates depth in the story.

Crash Landing On You

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The highest-rated Korean drama, The World of the Married, also falls under this genre. You can also check out these high-rating romantic dramas: While You Were Sleeping, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, Descendants of the Sun, and Crash Landing On You.

Historical Drama

This genre is also known as 사극 (sageuk), which refers to historical films and television series. Historical genres are special because they show the viewers a lot about Korean culture and history.


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Over time, historical genres evolved and incorporated modern drama styles, making them more appealing to younger audiences. Moon Embracing the Sun, Six Flying Dragons, Queen Seondoek, Mr.Sunshine, and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo are just some of the popular dramas in this genre.

Fantasy Drama

Korean dramas with supernatural and fantasy elements bring anticipation to the audience because anything can happen in a fantasy world! The scenes that don’t happen in real life become a reality for the characters.


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Some popular fantasy Korean dramas feature supernatural beings like ghosts, goblins, mermaids, and aliens. A Korean Odyssey, Guardian – The Lonely And Great God, The Legend Of The Blue Sea, and My Love From The Star are some of the best fantasy Korean dramas we recommend.

Medical Drama

Medical Korean dramas are both entertaining and educational. Since medical terms are often mentioned, definitions are also included to help the audience understand the concept better. Some scenes make the viewers sigh relief as a patient’s heart starts to beat again in operating rooms.

Hospital Playlist

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Whether you’re in the medical field or not, this genre might be interesting for you. Hospital Playlist, Good Doctor, Doctors, and Hospital Ship are some of the dramas you can check out under this genre.

Family Drama

Dramas in the family genre never fail to make their audience get at least teary-eyed from all the emotions. After all, the concept of family is very relatable to many. These dramas tend to be light and happy, but sad scenes can easily make you bawl your eyes out. Watching them will give you different feelings.

My father is strange

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These dramas are usually made up of 50 to 55 episodes, with each episode 60 minutes long. Dramas of this genre are usually broadcasted on weekends. They’re usually about 2 families whose fates are intertwined dealing with common family issues. South Korean dramas on family that we recommend include Reply 1988, My Father Is Strange, Go Back Couple, What Happens to my Family, Marry Me Now, Golden Life, Father, I’ll Take Care of You, and You’re the Best.

Legal Drama

Similar to medical dramas, legal dramas are also educational but in the field of law. Characters portrayed by the lead roles are often lawyers or prosecutors trying to find justice amidst the corruption and unfair treatment in South Korean society.

If this piques your interest, you can start by watching legal K-dramas Innocent Defendant, Diary Of A Prosecutor, Law School, or Suits which is a Korean remake of the American series of the same title.

Coming of Age Drama

Coming-of-age is a genre that focuses on the protagonist’s growth from when they were young to adulthood. This highlights the emotions felt by the character throughout the journey towards adulthood from certain experiences like first love, heartbreak, maturity, and having a new sense of responsibility.

dream high

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Some dramas in this genre include The Heirs, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Joo, Boys Over Flowers, and Dream High.

Web Drama

Korean dramas typically last around 60 minutes per episode which may be a bit long for others to view in one sitting. Luckily, web dramas usually last between 5 to 30 minutes only but still provide a similar good quality with the longer ones.


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A video or an episode of this type is accessible on channels on platforms such as V-Live. Love Playlist, A-Teen, Queen of the Ring, and The Way I Hate You are some of the dramas in this genre that you can stream.


If you’re up for an intense level of drama, Korean melodrama will not disappoint you. This genre is characterized by a high level of emotions portrayed and plenty of heart-wrenching scenes.

Winter Sonata

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A great example of Korean melodrama is the Endless Love series that features four different dramas entitled Autumn in My Heart, Winter Sonata, Summer Scent, and Spring Waltz, named after Korea’s four seasons.

Thriller Drama

As the name suggests, thriller dramas give loads of thrill to their audience. This is the kind of drama where every second count, and you need to have your eyes glued on the screen. Thriller dramas usually go together with horror or action genres where many things are going on. There will constantly be a feeling of suspense and anticipation as scenes are heading towards the climax.


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The Korean series Kingdom, Save Me, Defendant, and Extracurricular are ones you can start with. Before you do so, if it helps, it’s best to expect jump scares and ominous background music!

Where can I watch Korean dramas?

We’ve told you about the history of Korean dramas and some of the best ones to start binge-watching. But what are the best sites to start watching these dramas on? We’ll tell you about it in a while, including some of the series you can watch on these sites!

Netflix on smart phone

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In the past, it was a big challenge for many foreigners living outside Korea who have an interest in South Korean dramas to find an app or website for watching them. However, thanks to technology and the ever-increasing popularity of Korean dramas, they’re easily accessible now.


These days watching South Korean dramas could be done comfortably through Netflix! You can stream Korean series or a movie through their website or app, or you can also download the video for offline binge-watching. Some K-dramas are also listed as Netflix originals. We’ve listed some of them below.

As Korean dramas increase in popularity and demand, this app is investing more in South Korean series and movies this year. If you’re a subscriber, you’ll definitely have a longer list of Korean series and movies on your account.

Korean dramas on Netflix

  • Crash Landing on You
  • Hi Bye, Mama!
  • Hospital Playlist
  • It’s Okay Not to Be Okay
  • Kingdom
  • Love Alarm
  • Mystic Pop-up Bar
  • The King: Eternal Monarch
  • Vagabond
  • When the Camellia Blooms


Viki is a streaming site that has often been considered the very best to get your Korean drama fix. We’ve listed some Korean dramas you can stream on Viki, covering the different Korean drama genres.

Korean dramas on Viki

  • Descendants of the Sun
  • Guardian: The Great and Lonely God
  • Hotel del Luna
  • My Love From the Star
  • Strong Woman Do Bong Soon
  • Swing Kids
  • Train
  • Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo
  • Welcome to Waikiki
  • What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim


There’s a wide variety of movies and series that you could see, including some popular K-dramas by searching on Hulu.


Viu is one of the leading streaming sites when it comes to Korean dramas and movies. However, it is still only available in parts of Asia, the Middle East, and South Africa.

Are South Korean dramas shown in North Korea?

North Korea has minimal access to media compared to South Korea. This is mainly because government control is pretty much everywhere in the North, including their media. This means that South Korean dramas are not shown in North Korea. People do not have access to it as everything shown on North Korean televisions or by a media company is already filtered and controlled by their government.

North Korea Television Concept

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Also, an anti-reactionary law was imposed by the North Korean government late last year. With this law, anyone who uses, stores, or distributes foreign cultural content from South Korea and other countries, could be punished by paying fines, imprisonment, or the death penalty being the maximum punishment.

What is your favorite Korean drama to date? Which actors do you especially enjoy watching, and what kind of stories do you like? Are there any upcoming K-dramas that you plan on watching soon? Let us know any thoughts you have on Korean dramas below! For example, if you haven’t yet watched any K-dramas, let us know which drama will you try out first!

The post Kdrama – The Complete Guide to Korean Dramas appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Gareungbinga and Gongmyeongjo – Kalavinka and Jivamjivaka: 가릉빈가 & 공명조

The Gongmyeongjo (Jivamjivaka) at Gwaneumsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.


Two of the more obscure figures you’ll find at a Korean Buddhist temple or hermitage is Gareungbinga or “Kalavinka” in Sanskrit, and Gongmyeongjo or “Jivamjivaka” in Sanskrit. While these human-bird-like creatures were once far more prominent at temples, they are now much harder to find. So what do they look like? Where can you find them? And what do they symbolize?

Gareungbinga – Kalavinka

The first of these two mysterious human-bird-like creatures is the Gareungbinga – 가릉빈가 in Korean, or Kalavinka in Sanskrit. What physically distinguishes this mythological creature from its Gongmyeongjo counterpart are the amount of heads. Both have bird bodies, while the upper portion is human. But while the Gareungbinga has one head, the Gongmyeongjo has two heads. The exact origins of the Gareungbinga are unclear; but it’s believed by some that the Gareungbinga are based on the real birds of India.

According to myth, Gareungbinga live in the Buddhist Pure Land, or Jeongto in Korean. It can live here or among the snowy forests of the Himalayas. The Kalavinka is said to have started singing even before it left its shell to live in the Himalayas and the Pure Land. The Korean word Gareungbinga is a transliteration of the Sanskrit word Kalavinka for this creature. The Sanskirt name of Kalavinka means “a beautiful sound” in English. And it’s believed that the Kalavinka has the most beautiful, the purest, and the most delicate of voices found in Buddhist texts. For this reason, the voice of the Kalavinka is often described as having Buddha’s voice. In fact, there are a couple Buddhist sutras where the Buddha’s voice is described as being like a Kalavinka. Specifically, this can be found in the “Parable of the Phantom City,” which is from chapter seven of the Lotus Sutra. In this section of the sutra it says, “Sage lord, heavenly being among heavenly beings, voiced like the Kalavinka bird, you who pity and comfort living beings, we now pay you honour and reverence,” when specifically describing the voice of the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul.

The Gareungbinga (Kalavinka) adorning the base of the East Stupa at Yeongoksa Temple in Gurye, Jeollanam-do. The stupa is National Treasure #53. (Picture Courtesy of the CHA).

Like Buddhism, the image of the Kalavinka migrated eastward first from India, on towards China, and finally arriving on the Korean peninsula and then onto Japan. The image of a Kalavinka appears on ancient tomb murals from Goguryeo Kingdom (37 B.C. – 668 A.D.). The Kalavinka has also appeared as a roof tile design and on pagodas from Later Silla (668-935 A.D.). The image of the Kalavinka has also appeared on stupas from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) and in the murals on temples from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910).

Specifically in Buddhist art, a Kalavinka can appear either singing or playing a musical instrument like the Bipa (a Korean mandolin). A Kalavinka is also a celestial being similar to an angel. Another name for a Kalavinka in Korean, other than Gareungbinga, is Geukrakjo. “Geukrak” is a reference to the Pure Land in Buddhism where Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) resides. This is the destination for people after the cycle of Samsara has come to an end. Instead of being reincarnated, people live in the Pure Land, or “Jeongto” in Korean, forever. The Pure Land is believed to be filled with beautiful jewels, flowers, and fruit. As such, the Pure Land is filled with a sweet scent. And included in this beauty is the beautiful singing of the Kalavinka that makes the Pure Land that much more beautiful with its voice.

A Gongmyeongjo (Jivajivaka) from Chuiunam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. (Picture Courtesy of Naver).

Gongmyeongjo – Jivajivaka

Almost identical in appearance to the Gareungbinga, and often confused, what differentiates the Gongmyeongjo from a Gareungbinga are the number of heads to this human-bird-like mythical creature. Again, a Gongmyeongjo has two heads while a Gareungbinga has one. But while they appear nearly identical in appearance, they do have quite distinct backgrounds and distinct symbolic meanings.

The Korean word for this mythological creature is Gongmyeongjo – 공명조. In Sanskrit, this creature is known as Jivajivaka. The name is derived from a bird’s chirping sound. There doesn’t seem to be a specific history behind the Gongmyeongjo; instead, it’s guessed that this creature was transported along the Silk Road since a two-headed eagle and/or stork appeared in ancient Middle Eastern and Roman iconography like in paintings and statues. So historians have long thought that with the migration of people through commerce and trade, art and ideas, the Jivajivaka also migrated eastward.

A Gongmyeongjo (Jivamjivaka) from a temple in southern Jeju-do. (Photo Courtesy of David Mason).

A Jivajivaka flies with light feathers and a golden body with two heads. And despite the fact that the Jivajivaka has two heads with one body, they have two different spirits. And yet, they live and die at the same time.

Like a Kalavinka, the Jivajivaka is also described in Buddhist texts as having a beautiful voice. Interestingly, the Gongmyeongjo appears just as often as the Gareungbinga in Buddhist texts. Specifically there is a story that begins with a Garuda (enormous predatory birds) and a Wupagaruda (a bird with two heads sharing one body). One day when the Wupagaruda fell asleep, the Garuda ate some delicious food that it found all by itself. After the Wupagaruda found out about this, it was very upset. Later, the Wupagaruda saw a beautiful flower that was poisonous. So angry about the Garuda being so selfish, the Wupagaruda ate the poisonous flower killing the two-headed creature. At the end of the story, the Garuda found out the reason the Wupagaruda ate the poisonous flower and asked, “Why did you do all that?” the Wupagaruda answered in a poem:

  • “When you fell asleep,
  • I ate the delicate and sweet flower.
  • That flower came with the wind,
  • But you were very angry,
  • I don’t want to see a stupid person,
  • I don’t want to hear that I lived with a stupid person.
  • There’s no benefit to live with a stupid person,
  • That person just harms other people and himself.”

This poem makes plain the utter detestation that a Gongmyeongjo has for selfishness and stupidity both in others and in oneself. It’s from this sort of self-centeredness that a lot of harm can enter into world and injure others and oneself whether these actions are intentional or not. So a Gongmyeongjo reminds us to be more mindful when we act.

The headless Gareungbinga adorning the capstone of Korean Treasure #275, Stele for Buddhist Monk Gwangja at Taeansa Temple.


Here are a few of the great examples Gareungbinga that you can find in and around Korean temples and hermitages. Perhaps the most famous can be found on the East Stupa of Yeongoksa Temple in Gurye, Jeollanam-do. The stone relief can be found at the base of this national treasure. Another great example of this one headed creature, which is in fact missing on this statue, is the Stele for Buddhist Monk Gwangja at Taeansa Temple in Gokseong, Jeollnam-do. The capstone is adorned with a headless Gareungbinga, and the stele is Korean Treasure #275. And one final example of a Gareungbinga is a part of the main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, which is Korean Treasure #562, at Hwanseongsa Temple in Gyeongsan, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

As for the two-headed Gongmyeongjo, you can find an older mural dedicated to this mythological figure at Chwiunam Hermitage at Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. And another far more elaborate mural of the Gongmyeongjo can be found above the entry of the main hall at Gwaneumsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.


There aren’t too many examples of either a Gareungbinga and/or a Gongmyeongjo in and around Korean temple grounds. But a couple places you might keep your eye on are in and around older stupas and some of the murals around temple shrine halls like the Daeung-jeon Hall. While not common, they are definitely distinctive. And if you listen close enough, perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to hear their heavenly voices.

A part of the main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall at Hwanseongsa Temple in Gyeongsan, Gyeongsangbuk-do. (Picture Courtesy of Naver Blog).

Koreans don’t say “Umm” | Korean FAQ

A quick way to tell if someone is a native Korean speaker or not, is to pay attention to whether or not they use sounds such as "umm" or "uhh" often when speaking. This isn't to say that Koreans don't make these sounds (they do), but they often use different sounds than in English.

This video will share some alternate sounds that you can make when you're thinking to sound more like a native speaker.

The post Koreans don’t say “Umm” | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

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Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 29] – Intermediate Korean (Listening Practice)

If you're preparing for a test, you need as much practice as you can get. But even if you're not preparing for a test, being able to analyze Korean and solve problems is an important skill to have - even for daily conversations with friends.

So I've put together this series for you to practice of various difficulty levels from Beginner to Advanced. Try to solve the ones that match your current level.

Here is the listening example:

오늘도 저희 지하철을 이용해 주시는 고객 여러분들께 감사 인사를 드립니다. 현재 이용하고 계시는 지하철 노선은 일부 지하철역의 보수 공사 문제로 인해 이번 달까지만 정상 운영이 될 예정입니다. 다음 달 1일부터는 노선이 변경되어 일부 역에 정차하지 않을 예정입니다. 보수 공사를 진행하는 역은 빌리역, 키캣역, 고고역이며, 3달간 공사가 진행될 예정입니다. 해당 역을 이용하시는 고객 여러분들께서는 다른 교통 편을 이용해 주시기 바랍니다. 다시 한번 안내 말씀드립니다. 본 지하철 노선은 다음 달 1일부터 당분간 일부 역에 정차하지 않을 예정이오니 이 점 참고하시어 이용에 불편함이 없으시길 바랍니다. 감사합니다.

We would like to say thanks to you, our customer, again today for using our subway. The subway line you are currently will continue normal operation only for this month, due to repair work on some sections of the subway station. From the 1st of next month, the line will change, and will not stop at these stations. The stations proceeding with repair work are Billy Station, Keykat Station, and GoGo Station, and the construction is expected to last for a period of three months. We hope that customers who use these stations will use different transportation ways. Once more. This subway line will not stop at a few stations for a short while, starting from the 1st of next month, so we hope you will please note this to not have any inconvenience to your usage (of the subway). Thank you.

The post Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 29] – Intermediate Korean (Listening Practice) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Ggotsalmun – Flower Latticework Door: 꽃살문

The Latticework Adorning the Daeung-jeon Hall at Guryongsa Temple in Buk-gu, Busan.


Throughout Korea, and at the various Buddhist temples and hermitages that dot the Korean peninsula, you’ll find a countless amount of beautiful latticework adorning the entryways to temple shrine halls. This latticework is typically floral or geometric in design. And while these designs are usually rather stunning in appearance, the exact meaning behind them may be less clear. So what does this latticework look like? Where can you find it? And what does it all mean?

Location of the Latticework

The traditional place to find this latticework, which is known as “Ggotsalmun – 꽃살문” or “Flower Latticework Door” in English, is on the front side entryways of a temple shrine hall. Typically, the more important a temple shrine hall: the more ornate the latticework becomes. So the main hall at a Korean Buddhist temple, whether it’s a Daeung-jeon Hall, a Muryangsu-jeon Hall, or a Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall, it will have the most ornate latticework adorning the front side of the shrine hall. And the auxiliary halls like the Samseong-gak Hall or the Myeongbu-jeon Hall will usually have less elaborate latticework. This isn’t the rule, but it’s something that should be expected when you visit a Korean Buddhist temple or hermitage.

Designs of the Latticework

So typically, you’ll find four different types of latticework designs adorning the entryway to temple shrine halls. The more popular designs are floral and geometric. The two less popular designs that are harder to find adorning temple shrine halls are either animals or Buddhas and/or Bodhisattvas.

In total, there are typically three kinds of design patterns adorning the latticework. The first is a Diagonal Grid; the second is a Upright Diagonal Grid; and the third is the Upright Diagonal Floral Grid. While there are exceptions to these three standard designs, these are the three most common design patterns that you’ll find adorning Korean Buddhist temple shrine halls.

The Diagonal Grid sounds exactly the way you’d expect it to look with intricate cross-hatching of vertical and horizontal wooden strips. In Korean, this design is known as “Jeongjamun.” The wooden strips run at a forty-five degree angle.

The Upright Diagonal Grid, on the other hand, consists of the same diagonal pattern with vertical strips added at each intersecting part of the diagonal pattern. This mesh-like pattern is believed to ward off evil spirits just like the Diagonal Grid pattern.

The third, and final design, is the Upright Diagonal Floral Grid. This pattern is a mixture of floral and geometric designs. Of the three, this pattern is the most ornately designed. And not so surprisingly, it’s also the most popular, especially for the main hall at a given temple. The floral designs that typically make up the design of the Upright Diagonal Floral Grid are lotus flowers, peonies, sunflowers, and chrysanthemums. And yet, while these are said to be the flowers that make up the floral designs of this style of latticework, these flowers are usually too abstract to actually identify. Typically, the wooden flowers have either six (the most common design) or four petals. The reason for this floral design is that flowers are used to pay respect and reverence to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

A picture of Donghaksa Temple in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do from 2004.
Wolgwang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Moon) and Ilgwang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Sun) adorning the latticework of the Daeung-jeon Hall at Cheonbulsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

Great Examples

There are a countless amount of great examples of the latticework that adorns Korean Buddhist temples and hermitages throughout Korea. Here are just a few of those examples of this amazing style of Buddhist artistry. Perhaps the most famous is Donghaksa Temple in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do. Other examples can be found at Haedong Yonggungsa Temple in Gijang-gun, Busan; Tongdosa Temple and Anyangam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do; Eunhasa Temple in Gimhae, Gyeongsangnam-do; Naesosa Temple in Buan, Jeollabuk-do; and Guryongsa Temple in Buk-gu, Busan.


Korean Buddhist temples are so filled with symbolic meaning that even the latticework has meaning. To the uninitiated eye, the floral latticework might simply be pretty and nothing more. However, while this latticework certainly is beautiful, it also has symbolic meaning, as well. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also meant to ward off evil spirits and to give praise to those Buddhas and Bodhisattvas housed behind the entry of the intricate and amazing latticework.

New Website Store

Hello Again Everyone!!

So recently, I decided to open up a store over on the Redbubble website. The store’s name is Inner Peace Art. At my store, I sell T-shirts, wall art, and phone cases. Overall, I like to promote ideas of peace and calm in my products, so that’s what you’ll find in my online store. This store will go a long way in supporting both the maintenance and cost behind the website. Below are a few examples of what to expect from the store. Hope you enjoy!

-Sincerely Dale Q.

Korean Movies – Everything you need to know

South Korean movies sprung to global popularity through the success of Parasite (기생충 ㅣ gisaengchung), the Oscar-winning thriller and black comedy movie from 2019. However, Korean cinema has already been a hugely successful industry for decades within Korea.

Amazingly, Parasite isn’t even among the highest-grossing of all these Korean films! Of course, the film’s massive success makes it the highest-grossing South Korean film when all the worldwide ticket sales are accounted for.

In this article, we wish to give you an overview of the history of Korean films, as well as introduce you to some of the films that have been the most popular among South Korean audiences. Do you think you already know which Korean films they are?

Korean Movies

History of Korean Movies

The Korean cinema is seen to have begun in 1945, just a few years before the Korean peninsula was split into two countries. The factors that have influenced the formation of South Korea’s cinema include the period of time Korea was under Japanese occupation, the Korean War, the business sector and globalization, the censorship by the government, and of course, Korea’s undergoing democratization.

History of Korean Movie

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The Golden Age of Korean cinema has said to have been in the mid-1900s, taking place right after Korean War. During that time, some of the most highly acclaimed Korean films were produced. From the 1970s onward, the movie scene in South Korea fell into a slump. It was revived again in the late 1990s, having led to this era of multiple high-grossing South Korean films.

The globalization of South Korean cinema has also led many South Korean actors and actresses to try their luck in Hollywood. Most prominently, Lee Byung Hun has become a popular actor in Hollywood, while Park Chan Wook and Bong Joon Ho have filmed English language films as well, such as Snowpiercer.

The most popular Korean movies

Did you know that Bong Joon Ho’s movie, Parasite is the 19th highest-grossing movie in South Korean cinema? This means that there are more films of similarly great quality in South Korea. Here are a few:

#1. The Admiral: Roaring Currents (명량 | myeongnyang) 2014

#2. Extreme Job (극한직업 ㅣ geukanjigeop) 2019

#3. Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (신과함께 – 죄와 벌 ㅣ singwahamkke – joewa beol) 2017

#4. Ode to My Father (국제시장 ㅣ gukjesijang) 2014

#5. Veteran (베테랑 ㅣ beterang) 2015

#6. The Thieves (도둑들 ㅣ dodukdeul) 2012

#7. Miracle in Cell No. 7 (7번방의 선물 ㅣ 7beonbangui seonmul) 2013

#8. Assassination (암살 ㅣ amsal) 2015

#9. Masquerade (광해, 왕이 된 남자 ㅣ gwanghae, wangi doen namja) 2012

#10. King and the Clown (왕의 남자 ㅣ wangui namja) 2005

We also already have a list of some of the best South Korean films right here. It can be especially great to explore when you want to find a South Korean film to watch to learn the language!

Why are these movies so popular?

These Korean films have been especially popular with South Korean viewers due to the emotions they evoke in the audience. For example, The Admiral, Ode to My Father, Assassination, Masquerade, and The King and the Clown, all have some basis in key periods of Korea’s history.

Meanwhile, Extreme Job, Veteran, and The Thieves are all masterfully made action-comedy Korean films. Along with the Gods: Two Worlds is a movie version of one of the most popular South Korean webtoons, and Miracle in Cell No. 7’s heartwarming story is enough to melt any viewer’s hearts.

The success of Korean films internationally

The highest-grossing Korean films are wildly different from the list of South Korea’s films that the world is most familiar with. South Korean viewers enjoy stories that depict the country’s history, while the international audience seems to love action-packed thrillers of the present day.


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However, prior to Parasite, it has been relatively uncommon to find a South Korean film being shown in movie theaters internationally. Snowpiercer is a notable exception; however, that film is largely spoken in English and features the Hollywood darling Chris Evans.

International interest rose through Hallyu Wave, which paved a way for directors namely Bong Joon Ho, Park Chan Wook, and Kim Jee Woon to be recognized globally. With that said, despite Korean cinema still being relatively new to many audiences outside of East Asia, thanks to Parasite’s success, many upcoming films in South Korea can be expected to gain international interest as well!

Where can I watch a Korean film?

There are several sources from where you can watch films from Korea, including Netflix which we will talk about further below. You may have some luck with sites like AsianCrush. If you are located outside of Europe, you may also really love using Tubi to get your movie fix. Some older Korean films can be found on the Youtube channel for Korean Classic Film. Lastly, perhaps you can even start catching more of these films in Korean cinema!

Netflix on smart phone

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Korean movies on Netflix

The major streaming service Netflix has several popular Korean films for you to enjoy, such as Extreme Job and Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds. You can also find films depending on your preference on the genre, cast, or the year it was released. They even pick out specific films based on the previous ones you’ve watched.

Korean Movie Genres

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve written some ideas below per genre to help you decide on the next movie to watch.

Korean horror movies

South Korea is known to create great quality films in the horror or thriller genre. The perfect example is the movie Parasite by Korean director Bong Joon Ho as it was also recognized as the first non-English language film to win Best Picture. Other notable horror films that you can watch are Memories of Murder, Tale of Two Sisters, and Train to Busan. These films are known for the great plot and unexpected twists throughout the movie.

Korean war movies

War films in Korea are generally focused on periods when the Korean peninsula is vulnerable to Chinese and Japanese attacks. These types of films are popular with many viewers being able to personally relate to the story in some ways. Especially Ode to My Father, a film showcasing the country’s history during Korean War and afterward, tells the story of a very fresh and difficult period of time in Korea.

Korean action movies

If you’re into action and adventure, action films in Korea are a must-watch. These films typically will have you at the edge of your seat. Director Park Chan Wook’s film Oldboy, which was starred by actor Choi Min Sik is famous for the epic fight scenes executed smoothly.

Korean comedy movies

Comedy films are often paired with another genre to give the movie a lighter mood if needed. Miracle in Cell No. 7 is an example of a film that will make you bawl your eyes out from crying and laughing. Even if the story is light especially in genres like comedy, Korean cinema has its way of leaving an impact on its audience.

Korean romance movies

This list, of course, would not be complete without romance films. South Korea is known for K-dramas usually leaning towards a romantic storyline, the same goes for the movie. These films will either leave your heart full with their happy ending or empty with their heart-wrenching plot twists. Either way, you can’t deny that romance films from South Korea are unpredictably good.

Korean genre-bending movies

Genre-bending films are those which do not focus on one genre only. Instead, it highlights several genres in one film. A good example is the film “Burning” by Director Lee Chang Dong which covers psychological, thriller, mystery, and drama genres. Train to Busan tells the story of fighting zombies and surviving making this horror, thriller, and action movie fall under this category also.

How many of the Korean films that are most popular in South Korea have you seen? What about the internationally most popular ones? And what is your favorite film currently? Let us know in the comments what you think of these films from South Korea and whether you love watching them as much as we do!

The post Korean Movies – Everything you need to know appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

Hongbeopsa Temple – 홍법사 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

The Twenty-One Metre Tall Statue of Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) at Hongbeopsa Temple in Geumjeong-gu, Busan.

Temple History

Hongbeopsa Temple is located in the very northern part of Busan in Geumjeong-gu to the west of Mt. Cheolmasan (605.3 m). The name of the temple means “Spreading the Word of Buddhism” in English. Hongbeopsa Temple was first built in 2003. Hongbeopsa Temple was converted from farmland into the temple we see today. And this modern temple has a very modern design, which will be made plain by some of the pictures below. Hongbeopsa Temple was built through the large donation of a female lay devotee, Ha Domyeonghwa-bosal.

Another interesting little bit of information is that Hongbeopsa Temple is home to a bust of Gandhi (1869-1948). You can find this out in front of the Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall. This bust was given by the Indian government to the head monk at Hongbeopsa Temple to commemorate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and India. The reason that it was specifically given to Shimsan, the abbot of Hongbeopsa Temple, is that he lent a building for the creation of an Indian Culture Center.

Also of note, Hongbeopsa Temple is home to a very popular Temple Stay program.

Temple Layout

After circumnavigating the perimeter to the temple grounds when you first arrive, you’ll eventually find yourself in the temple parking lot on the west side of the temple grounds. As you pass by the lion-based entry markers, you’ll notice the ever-present giant bronze statue of Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) seated atop the modern Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall main hall at Hongbeopsa Temple. But before the main hall, you’ll first come across a triad of childlike stone statues that embody the Buddhist idea of “Hear No Evil, See No Evil, and Speak No Evil.” A little further along, and you’ll encounter a beautiful statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).

As you near the forty metre tall modern main hall, the Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall, you’ll notice the beautifully maintained grounds to your right. Really, it’s one of the best landscaped temple grounds in Korea. To your left is the auditorium-like modern main hall. In front of the wide flight of stairs that lead up to the multi-storied Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall, you’ll find a beautiful bronze incense burner with eight decorative lions holding up the roof of the incense burner. This incense burner runs parallel to a row of perfectly placed mini-bridges that span a network of Koi ponds. And just before you make your way up the stairs to the first floor main hall, and to the far right, there’s a serenely standing statue dedicated to Yaksayeorae-bul (The Buddha of Medicine) under an artificial waterfall.

As you finally ascend the flight of stairs that will lead you up to the first floor main hall and the crowning twenty-one metre tall bronze statue of Amita-bul atop the Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall, the entry to the massive main hall is to the far left. Here, you can either head into the cavernous main hall, or you can take the elevator up to the fifth floor of the structure, where you’ll find the twenty-one metre tall seated statue dedicated to Amita-bul.

If you first decide to visit the first floor, you’ll first be greeted by a beautiful ceiling of paper lanterns. As for the main altar, you’ll find three large statues. The one in the middle is dedicated to Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy). This statue is joined on either side by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) and Rocana-bul (The Perfect Body Buddha). There are also two images of the Dragon Ship of Wisdom and the Buddha near the main altar triad.

After the main hall, you can make your way back to the elevator, which will bring you up to the fifth floor. At the top of the Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall, you’ll find an amazing view awaiting you. You’ll also finally come face-to-face with the ever present twenty-one metre seated statue dedicated to Amita-bul. Rather amazingly, you can enter into the massive statue. And sitting on the main altar inside the bronze Amita-bul is a sari (crystallized remains) of the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul.

After making your way down from the heights of the fifth floor of the Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall, you can explore the beautiful grounds at Hongbeopsa Temple, including a large Koi pond out in front of the Dokseong/Sanshin-gak Hall to the south of the main hall. Sitting in the centre of the Koi pond is a large stone statue dedicated to Podae-hwasang (The Hempen Bag). There’s also a beautiful wooden waterwheel spinning to the front side of the Koi Pond. As for the two-story Dokseong/Sanshin-gak Hall, which is surrounded by cherry blossom trees, you’ll find a triad of shaman murals housed inside this temple shrine hall. Housed inside this shaman shrine hall, you’ll find two beautiful paintings dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) to the right and Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) to the left.

How To Get There

There is a Hongbeopsa Temple shuttle bus that leaves from the Nopo-dong Subway Station, stop #134, in Busan. This bus leaves every thirty minutes between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. However, there has to be at least five people for the bus to leave the station. And to return to Nopo-dong Subway Station, the bus leaves Hongbeopsa Temple at fifteen and forty-five minutes on the hour, every hour. As for lunch, buses do not leave between 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Without a doubt, the main highlight to Hongbeopsa Temple is the twenty-one metre tall seated statue dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) that sits atop the modern main hall. Adding to the overall artistry of this bronze statue is a hollowed out interior that houses one of the sari from the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul. Also adding to this crowning statue are the beautiful grounds at Hongbeopsa Temple, as well as the main altar statues inside the Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall and the two shaman paintings housed inside the Dokseong/Sanshin-gak Hall.

The entry to Hongbeopsa Temple.
The three statues of “See No Evil, Speak No Evil, and Hear No Evil.”
An elevated Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) statue at Hongbeopsa Temple.
A look past the incense burner and up towards the Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall.
Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha) under a waterfall.
A look up at the amazing twenty-one metre tall golden statue dedicated to Amita-bul atop the Daegwangmyeong-jeon Hall.
The chamber inside the hollowed out Amita-bul statue.
And the amazing reliquary and sari of the Historical Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul.
The giant hand of peace.
The statue dedicated to Gandhi backed by Amita-bul.
A look from the Koi pond with Podae-hwasang in the centre of it.
The view from the Dokseong/Sanshin-gak Hall down at the Koi pond.
A look inside the Dokseong/Sanshin-gak Hall. Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) mural is to the left. And the Dokseong (The Lonely Saint) mural is to the right.


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