PyeongChang 2018 is coming! Fighting!

If you have visited South Korea this year, you should have seen a white tiger and an Asiatic black bear (as shown in the above photo) in the streets and on the TV.  They are the mascots of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics (평창 동계올림픽대회) and PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games (평창 동계패럴림픽대회).  In fact, the South Korean government has put in a lot of efforts to promote these important events to be held in South Korea in 2018.  Let’s talk about some interesting things about these events in this blog post. Continue reading

Money-related Museums in South Korea

As money is an indispensable part of people’s lives, it is a good medium through which we can better understand a culture.  In my blog post dated 6 May 2017, I have talked about the stories behind the Korean banknotes which are related to people who have made significant contribution to the Korean culture. On the other hand, you may better understand the development of a culture by studying the history of development of money used by it.  In South Korea, there are two museums to which you may go to better understand the development of Korean money. Continue reading

Other Lego-related stuff in South Korea

**Last updated on: 15 October 2020**

Apart from “The Art of the Brick” exhibition for Lego artworks (in my blog post dated 19 November 2017) and the Lego jelly blocks (in my blog post dated 4 June 2017), there are also other Lego-related stuff in South Korea which you can try out. Let’s talk about them in this blog post.

Block Burger

There is a small burger shop called Block Burger near Exit 9 of the Hongdae subway station in Seoul selling Lego-brick-like burgers.  As shown in the photos above, this shop sells three types of burgers, namely, bulgogi (beef) burger (in black colour), cheese burger (in yellow colour) and shrimp burger (in pink colour). There is a big Lego figure welcoming guests at the entrance of the shop. Both at the entrance and inside the shop, the decorations are also in the form of Lego bricks.  You can order a burger set which comes with french fries and coke.

Get & Show Cafe

While enjoying nice drinks (and maybe also cake) in a cafe, usually what else do you do?  Maybe reading a book or listening to music or watching a drama.  In Get & Show Cafe, you can rent and play with a Lego kit while having drinks and desserts in the cafe. Also, there are many Lego merchandise and kits which you can purchase and different Lego decorations in the cafe. This cafe is near Exit 5 of Hapjeong subway station in Seoul.  There is also the Brick Cafe next door but you need to purchase the Lego kits before you can assemble them in the cafe.

Lego Store

If you really want to go on a buying spree for Lego merchandise, you can go to the Lego Store at the Hyundai Department Store Pangyo branch.  This is the first store officially certified by the Lego Group.  This store has a “Pick-A-Brick” zone where you can pick your favourite colours and shapes of single Lego pieces. You can have a quick tour of this Lego store by watching this video.

Next time you go to South Korea, you can try out the Lego-related stuff there.  Even if I’m not a Lego fan, I also found them interesting.  Enjoy! 🙂

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“The Art of the Brick” exhibition in Seoul

**Last updated on: 15 October 2020**

During my recent trip to Seoul, I stumbled upon the posters of “The Art of the Brick” exhibition (in the photo on the left) on my way to the Tongin Market.   This is the exhibition by Nathan Sawaya, the brick artist who uses Lego bricks to create artworks, and this exhibition has been selected by CNN as one of the top 10 must-see exhibitions and has already been held in different countries over the world.  As the exhibition is held in the Ara Art Centre which is conveniently located in Insadong, I went to this exhibition and liked it very much. Let me share some of my thoughts and feelings of this exhibition with you in this blog post. Continue reading

Uigwe – Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty

Mural at Cheonggyecheon

If you have been to Cheonggyecheon (or Cheonggye Stream) in Seoul, have you noticed the mural (an extract of which is shown in the above photo) between the Gwanggyo Bridge (광교) and the Samilgyo Bridge (삼일교)?  The mural is an extract from the Uigwe (의궤 – literally means “a model for rituals”), the Royal Protocols of the Joseon Dynasty.  The Uigwe was inscribed into the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2007. Let’s talk about the valuable Uigwe in this blog post. Continue reading

Let’s go hiking in Inwangsan!

Have you watched the recently aired Korean TV drama, “Queen for Seven Days” (7일의 왕비)?  This drama is about the sad love story of King Jungjong and his wife, Queen Dangyeong (who was deposed after being crowned as the queen for 7 days only) of the Joseon Dynasty.  Do you know Inwangsan (인왕산), one of the well-known mountains in South Korea, is also related to this sad love story?  Let’s talk about this famous mountain in this blog post. Continue reading

Annals of Joseon Dynasty

In the past couple of weeks, I watched some of my favourite Korean TV dramas aired sometime ago again, and one of them is the “Queen In-Hyun’s Man” (인현왕후의 남자).  In this TV drama, the male protagonist, a scholar supporting the reinstatement of the deposed Queen In-Hyun in the Joseon Dynasty time-travelled to the 2012 Seoul, and fell in love with an actress who was cast as Queen In-Hyun in a TV drama. The male protagonist read the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty (the “Joseon Annals”) in 2012 Seoul to learn about the history of his time, and time-travelled back to the Joseon Dynasty to use this knowledge to beat his political opponents. In fact, the Joseon Annals are the only extant dynastic annals in South Korea – they are designated national treasure of South Korea and are inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Let’s learn more about them in this post. Continue reading

Experience Korean culture through performances!

One of the means of experiencing the Korean culture is to watch some performances with representative Korean cultural elements. There are in fact some good performances which you can enjoy even if you don’t know Korean. Let’s talk about some of them in this blog post. Continue reading

Let’s travel to the past Korea!

One popular theme in Korean TV dramas is travelling to the past.  While we do not have the time machine to help us do so, there are some good places in Seoul where you can experience and learn about the past Korea through different means. In fact, the history is an important part of a country’s culture, and if you are interested in Korean culture, it is worthwhile to go to these places to learn more about the Korean history. Continue reading

Unwind Yourselves in Seoul’s Parks! (Cont’d)

In my last blog post dated 20 August 2017, we have talked about 3 good parks  (namely, the Hangang Park, the World Cup Park and the Olympic Park) in Seoul where you can go to relax and unwind. In this blog post, we will cover 2 more parks (which are called “Forest” instead of “Park” in their names). Continue reading