Latest Entries »

Article About Me!

There’s an article about me up on  I talked a lot about how I got started and what methods I used to learn Korean. Take a look if you’re interested.

Clicking on the picture below will take you to the article.



Sky Park 2011 (하늘공원)

Just some more pics of one of my favorite parks in Seoul. Click on “Sky Park” in the “Parks” section above for videos and more pictures.  I’d recommend a fall visit because that’s when the sky is clear and at its most dramatic.

On this particular visit, I was able to see all of Seoul’s five tallest buildings.  Looking back east, Yeouido and Gangnam is visible while Ilsan is off on the western horizon. To the north of the park is Seoul World Cup Stadium and Bukhan Mountain and across the river is Mokdong and Seoul’s second tallest building, Hyperion I.

There used to be a city bus that ran up to the top of Haneul Park and then on over to Sunset Park, but now there is just limited shuttle service from the base of the mountain.  On weekends the wait can top 30 minutes, so just taking the stairs may be a better bet.


Getting there: Take Line 6 to World Cup Stadium Station.  All three of the exits are about equidistant from the park.  Make your way around to the opposite side of the stadium.  There you’ll see the stairs that lead up the flat-topped mountain that is Sky Park.  The stairs are quite a walk — wouldn’t recommend visits during summer.

Last resting place of Korea’s forgotten heroes.

I’m not an overly religious man.  So my admiration for the what these early predecessors of ours did, has nothing to do with their identity as flag-bearers for the Church’s inroads on the peninsula.  But the sacrifices they made and the hardships they endured to help Korea are so far beyond our realm as foreigners in Korea today, I feel they deserve at least a mention in Korea’s history textbooks.  Many of them weren’t even affiliated with the effort to convert the locals at all and, for whatever reason — perhaps altruism or the buzzing of preordainment that accompanies the assumption of a noble cause —  took up the banner and fought for Korea until their dying breath.

Worth a mention:
Ernest Bethel  – Founded the Korea Daily News and used the publication as a mouthpiece to denounce Japanese treatment of Koreans despite the Imperial Army’s attempts to thwart him at every turn.  He was finally sued by the Japanese Residency-General and thrown in jail.  His struggle drove him to the bottle and he died of cardiac enlargement.

Horace Underwood – founder of Seoul YMCA and Yonsei University

Henry Appenzeller – a major figure in the foundation of Pai Chai University.  Perished while swimming to aid a Korean girl who was struggling to stay afloat after her boat capsized in the waters near Mokpo.

Homer Hulburt – British journalist whose headstone reads: “I would rather be buried in Korea than in Westminster Abbey.”

Mary F. Scranton – Episcopal missionary who founded Ewha Womans University.   <sic, but not incorrect: that’s the proper spelling for that era>

Douglas Avison – founder of Severance Hospital (the eponymous Mr. Severance, who put up the money for Korea’s first modern hospital, stated that his joy in giving the funds was even greater than felt by those on the receiving end).

Haslla Art World

If you’re planning a trip to South Korea’s East Coast and you’re looking for something a little off the beaten path, Haslla Art World might be just the place. Its quirky and kitschy land of sculpture and installation art is truly unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. But even if that isn’t enough to float your boat, the jaw-dropping views of the coast surely will.


Seoul in April

The Doors of Samcheongdong

This is just a collection of iPhone shots I took in Samcheongdong, Seoul.  I’ve you’ve never been to the neighborhood, it’s one of quirkiest areas of the city and it’s full of great restaurants and coffee shops. The weekends are too crowded for my liking, but the weekdays are perfect.

February in Seoul

This is a collection of iPhone shots from the last month.


Haengjusanseong 행주산성

On my many trips to the airport, as I passed over one of the westernmost bridges on the Han River, I have often looked back north to notice a hill by the river with a pagoda on top.  On my many trips to Ilsan I had also noticed signs for the Haengju Mountain Fortress.  I only just realized recently that these two were the same place.

Just beyond the main gate is statue of General Kwon Yul, who led his force of 3,000 against some 30,000 Japanese troops.  His remarkable victory is depicted in relief in four panels behind his gold-toned statue.

If you are looking for a quiet afternoon walk, with a commanding view of Seoul and the Han River, Haengjusanseong might be the answer.


January in Seoul

These are just some iPhone shots I’ve taken over the last few weeks.


Fall in Seoul

New Year’s Eve in Seoul

Powered by WordPress | Theme: Motion by 85ideas.