The summer is coming. Any plan how to spend this hot season of the year in Korea? If not, how about having a short trip to Busan? It is not only the 2nd biggest city in Korea, but also a wonderful city. Despite the long distance from Seoul to Busan, you can reach it within less than 2,5h thanks to the good KTX connection.
Here is my suggestion for a 24-hour-trip in Busan to have a relaxing but interesting tour. It’s also easy to go and suitable for family with kids.
The itinerary for 24 hours
Day 1: Arrival and relax on the beach
Day 2: Taejongdae Park – Fish market – Gamcheon culture village and departure
More details as well as Naver map links to the destinations will follow …
Tomorrow (February 14th) is the well-known Valentine’s day, day for loving people ?. Well, do you know how Korean people celebrate this day? Do they also give their beloved chocolates or roses?
That would be too boring for the “crazy” Korean folks, right ?? Indeed… That’s why they don’t celebrate the day for loving couple only once per year, but once per month ?. That means 12 Valentine’s days a year! But how? Let’s check it out!
Remember back in May, when I first arrived in Korea, I was really amazed by the Latern festival to celebrate Buddha’s Birthday. I didn’t know that Buddhism was that common here. Well, the information online said that Buddism already came to the Korean peninsula (at that time in Goguryeo-Kingdom) from China in the 4th Century AD. It spread out through other Kingdoms and shaped it own form. Today, about 15% Korean still believe and practice Buddha’s teaching. That’s why you can still find and visit a lot of Buddhistish temples, statues, arts and events in Korea.
While visiting the Jogyesa in Seoul, I ran into a sign advertising for “Templestay” program. Because of my curiosity about the Korean Buddism, I’ve booked a two-night-three-day stay at the Naksan-Temple, to be able to experience more and also relax.
찜질 (jjimjil) means in Korean “hot bath” and 방 (bang) is a room. However, if you visit a jjimjilbang, you’ll see that it’s not only a hot-bath-room, but a common area, where people gather together to have some fun, to rest, to take a sauna or massage and even to overnight at low costs.
I’ve been to Dragon Hill Spa – a well known jjimjilbang in Yongsan, Seoul. The experience there was quite unique… You can find my special tips for a great jjimjilbang visit at the end of this post.
In such a modern and highly digitalized country like Korea, there is one traditional “analogue” item, which Korean people still carry with them now a days: their seal – 도장 (dojang).
I’m not talking about governor or authority, but normal private individuals. Almost all of them own a seal with their name on it. This is still used in banking transactions, opening bank account, applying for credit cards, or also buying immobility. I’ve read also, that Korean Banks only accept the seal as legal authority. That’s one of the reasons, why Korean people still carry it with them.
Another reason is, for Korean, the seal also shows the identity and social status of the owner. Rich or people with high social level usually own a seal made from expensive and valuable material, such as jade, gold or silver. Some would have it well designed with a special head part. Normal people use seal made from stone, wood, or also plastic.
Some people also believe, that the seal would protect them from bad things and carry them as an amulet.
During the weekend, I’d had a chance to join the “Seal making” course, organized by the Seoul Cultural Center, to learn about this tradition and make my own Korean seal.
Here is all you need to make your own seal: a piece of stone, a carrier, an engraving cutter, a glove, paper, a pen and of course someone to show you how to make it.