Category: Places O-Z

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.

Yangsuri in Fall

I took this video and the shots below on my iPhone on a recent trip to Yangsuri.  I wish I had had my Nikon with me, but the iPhone got the job done all right.



Getting there: Just take Line 1 from either Yongsan or Oksu stations, and head way out east.  It’s the second stop after you pass through a long tunnel.  Get off at Yangsu Station and head down the hill, towards the water.

Yoido Full Gospel Church

Finally got around to attending a service at the world’s largest church (active congregation of one million).

Seoul Grand Hyatt

War Memorial of Korea

Getting there: Take Line Four or Line Six to Samgakji Station.  Head out through Exit 11.  It’s about 500 meters from the station.

Find more pics and info from The Chosun Bimbo

Click here for a short description from Time

World Cup Stadium

Just some shots of the stadium from nearby and from across the river.

Updated with some night shots.

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).

Yongin Korean Folk Village

The Korean Folk Village in Yongin opened in 1974 as a kind of one-stop sightseeing destination for tourists.  I call it that because it is an amalgamation of paragons of Korea’s various Hanok styles that the Korean government uprooted from their original locations and placed here.  In that way, it is not a real town but a theme park; no one  lives there.  Having said that, it is a very enjoyable theme park that provides a charming three-dimensional representation of life in the Korea of old.  Make sure you don’t drift into the amusement park next door, though.  I did on my first trip to the village and it’s campy European castle theme popped the old-time Korea bubble and reminded me that the whole set-up in both parks was just an illusion.  The juxtaposition of the two can be very jarring.

Getting there: Take bus 5000-1 or 1560 from Gangnam or Yangjae stations.  Admission is 12,000 won for adults.

Top Cloud Restaurant

This lofty bistro is located on the 33rd floor of the Samsung Securities building in Jongno-1(il)ga.  There are separate bar and restaurant areas — with the bar being the way to go if you want vertigo-inducing views without the monumental price tag.

Getting there: Take Line 1 to Jonggak Station; you can’t miss it.  Also walkable from Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5)

Anyone been here recently?  Please leave a comment with a short review.  I haven’t been since 2008 and I’d like an update.

Click here for some (less than glowing) visitor reviews of the restaurant.

Sanchon Restaurant (Insadong)

Sanchon is a vegetarian restaurant run by a former Buddhist monk in the Insadong neighborhood.  It’s a great place to take your vegan and vegetarian visitors to Korea.  By Korean standards, it’s not cheap.  But if you stop by on a weekday for lunch, you’ll be pleased to find most dishes at a significant markdown.

Click here for pictures of Korean traditional performances at the restaurant and more information.

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