Changdeokgung Palace’s Moonlight Tours Make a Comeback during August and October

Untitled-92The Changdeokgung Palace Moonlight Tour has been taking place from March to June this year. The biannual cultural event that is open to the public both in spring and autumn provides visitors a special opportunity to experience the quaint beauty of the ancient Korean royal palace.
One of the five palaces in Seoul built during the Joseon Dynasty, Changdeokgung was designated as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1997.
Changdeokgung was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces.
The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden.
Known as a place of rest for the kings, the rear garden boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond, and a pavilion.
Led by expert guides, participants in the moonlight tour program take a walk around the palace for about two hours, while being briefed about the history of Changdeokgung.
Year after year, the event has received such enthusiastic responses from both locals and foreign visitors that the program organizers have decided to increase the number of times being open to the public to 29 times during August and October this year from last year’s 18. This reflects the growing popularity of the moonlight tour, which is operated separately for local and foreign visitors.
For foreign visitors, the guide service will be also available in English, Chinese and Japanese.
The next tour program in fall will take place during September and October, respectively.

• 2016 Changdeokgung Palace’s Moonlight Tours
Period: 08.17 ~ 08.20 / 09.14 ~ 09.17 / 10.9 ~ 10.16
For further information about the tour, contact (82-2)2270- 1233, or (82-2)2270-1238 for information about the tour program.

Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods

Why not try Hanok stay?

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Visitors to South Korea can stay comfortably in diverse accommodations offering a variety of tantalizing service and prices from business hotels, to guest houses and youth hostels.

Particularly, people who seek traditional housing and hospitality should try spending a night or more in a Korean traditional house called a ‘hanok.’ Referred to as living museums, hanoks contain in their layout and structure the history of ancient Korean architecture and society. A typical hanok is characterized by wooden pillars, mud walls, a daecheongmaru (wooden floor/porch) for temperature control during different seasons, and a courtyard or a garden.
Hanok Stay refers to staying in the traditional Korean house. It is a good opportunity to experience traditional Korean lifestyle and culture. The traditional houses available for hanok stays are decades to hundreds of years old. They have been somewhat renovated for the convenience and safety of guests, but the traditional Korean style and sentiment are still retained.

Old furniture, paper-pasted windows, and props like soy jars add to the traditional ambiance. Most homes for hanok stay have electronic goods, including a TV set, and Western-style toilets, but some still have traditional toilets. If you prefer a Western-style toilet, you are strongly recommended to make reservations in advance. Some houses offer
various programs to experience Korean culture, including tea ceremonies, pottery making, and traditional Korean folk games. Simple meals are usually available at an extra charge.
Houses for hanok stay vary in size; some are very large with a guest house and a main building, while others are small with only bedrooms and a living room. Room rates also vary widely. You are recommended to consider various factors when choosing one, such as the room rate and nearby tourist attractions.
Combining the elegance of Korea’s past with modern amenities, many hanoks provide accommodation while offering cultural immersion programs for an enhanced Korean traditional living experience.
Guests can enjoy the unique opportunity to take a break from modern accommodation and experience the traditional housing and lifestyle in a hanok in some of the most famous hanok villages or hanokmaeul.

Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods

Insadong features a mixture of historical and modern atmosphere

Untitled-7.jpgLocated in the heart of Seoul, Insa-dong Street is one of the most memorable attractions in Seoul and represents the focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts. Stores in Insa-dong specialize in a wide variety of goods that can only be purchased or appreciated in Korea: hanbok (traditional clothing), hanji (traditional paper), traditional teas, pottery, and folk crafts.
There is one main road in Insa-dong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries and traditional restaurants, teahouses, and cafes. The galleries are the heartbeat of Insa-dong. There are about 100 galleries in the area and you can see every example of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures. The most famous galleries are Hakgojae Gallery, which functions as the center of folk art, Gana Art Gallery, which promotes many promising artists, and Gana Art Center.
The teahouses and restaurants are the perfect complement to the galleries. At first they might be hard to find, but if you take the time to stroll around the twisting alleyways, the window shopping in itself can be very entertaining. The shops in Insa-dong are very popular among all age groups, because each one is unique.

The Deep Roots of Insa-dong Street

Insa-dong Street stretches over 700 meters between the Anguk-dong Rotary and Tapgol Park (Jongno 2-ga). During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), the street was dominated by Dohwawon, a place of study for painters. The area is still a center for the arts, and painters, craftsmen, and art lovers continue to set up shop along the narrow alleys, making it a unique place full of folk crafts, pottery, and paintings. The street offers rich opportunities for visitors to experience Korean traditional culture and arts. Various art events and festivals are regularly held along the street.

From Expensive Ceramics to Daily Use Items

Approximately 40% of Korean crafts are exchanged in Insa-dong. Some products even trace back to the Three Kingdom Period (57 B.C.-668 A.D.) The most popular items are Korean ceramics ranging in price from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars.
Other items sold in Insa-dong include earthenware, calligraphy materials, antique furniture, hanji, hanbok, teas, souvenirs, and cute accessories. Nearby shops include cafés, restaurants, ateliers, and galleries specializing in a diversity of items.
Every Saturday from 14:00 to 22:00 and Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00, the main street is blocked off from traffic and it becomes a cultural space. Insa-dong is especially popular among foreign tourists. This is where they can experience and see traditional Korean culture firsthand, and also purchase pieces of fine art. Insa-dong is also close to other tourist attractions such as Cheonggyecheon Stream and Gyeongbokgung (the royal palace during the Joseon Dynasty).

• Inquiries
1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
For more info: +82-2-732-2235~40 (Korean, English, Japanese)

Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods

Deoksugung Palace Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony

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Deoksugung Palace has held a guardchanging ceremony since 1996 after thorough historical research by leading historians. The ceremony, which is held in front of the Daehanmun Gate of Deoksugung Palace, is a tradition similar to the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace and offers a rare opportunity to experience royal culture.
The royal gate is opened and closed at predetermined times, and the gatekeepers in charge of guard duty and patrols hold a shift ceremony three times a day.
Special Programs: The Royal Guard-C h a n g i n g C e r e m o n y i s a h i g h l y recommended event for tourists. It is held three times a day (11:00 / 14:00 / 15:30) in front of Daehanmun Gate at Deoksugung Palace. As each ceremony follows the same procedure and lasts for thirty minutes, visitors can choose whichever time is most convenient. The ceremony is free of charge. There are no ceremonies on Mondays as well as on severely cold or hot days.
As the ceremony begins, the changing of the guards commences replete with traditional musical instruments, and exchanges a password for verification. An eight-minute guard ceremony ensues, followed by a seven-minute change ceremony, and finally a patrol that completes the ceremony. The procedure takes a dramatic turn when 18 guards in six official positions beat a drum and bellow some orders.
Major Highlights: The Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony is a great opportunity to experience a rare traditional scene.
Be sure to bring a camera. The guards’ splendid costumes, with their brilliant primary colors, are a pleasure to view.
While you cannot take pictures with the guards during the changing of guards, you can take a background picture of the guards and palace. You can also take photographs with the gatekeepers after the ceremony is over. Visit the palace and enjoy the beauty of Korean palaces following the ceremony.

Performance Times
11:00-11:40 / 14:00-14:40 / 15:30-16:30 (excluding Mondays)
* Schedule is subject to change and the program may be canceled due to weather conditions.

• Transportation
[Subway] City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 2. – Go straight 100m to arrive at Daehanmun Gate on the right.
Homepage: http://www.royalguard.or.kr (Korean, English, Chinese, Japanese)

Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods

Hwaseong Fortress [UNESCO World Heritage]

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Hwaseong Fortress is an impressive structure from the latter part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and the official fortress of Suwon-si, Gyeonggido.
The fortress (constructed from 1794 to 1796) was built as a show of the King’s filial piety towards his father Jangheonseja and to build a new pioneer city with its own economic power.
The fortress wall stretches for a total of 5.52km and has a great variety of military facilities that’s hard to find anywhere else. Four gates face each of the cardinal directions—Janganmun (north), Paldalmun (south), Changnyongmun (east), and Hwaseomun (west)—and the seven-arch style Sumun gates straddle the point where the nearby stream reaches the palace. Above the Sumun gates is a pavilion called Hwahongmun.
Untitled-40.jpgHwaseong Fortress was constructed under the guidance of Yu Hyeong-Won (1622-1673) and Jeong Yak-Yong (1762-1836), and is believed to have been constructed very scientifically. The fortress wall was built using Seokjae and Jeondol (bricks) and the holes between the bricks are just big enough to fire guns, arrows, or long spears through in case of an attack.
During construction of the fortress Jeong Yak-Yong invented ‘Geojunggi,’ which uses a ‘hwalcha’ (lever) to lift up heavy stones, greatly reducing construction time.
The Suwon Hwaseong Fortress went through many turbulent times and damage, and in the battle of June 25th, many of the facilities became so damaged that they were deemed irreparable.
Even though the fortress restoration initiative (1975-1979) restored many of the sites to their former glory, Paldalmun to Dongnamgakru (an area 491 meters in length) has still not been renovated.
The fortress was designated as Historical Monument No. 3 in January 1963, and in December 1997, it was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
A variety of performances and evens are held everyday and Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival takes place every autumn.

• Website: http://english.swcf.or.kr (English)
Source: Korea Tourism Organization (english.visitkorea.or.kr)

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Four Points by Sheraton Seoul, Namsan

Untitled-35.jpgLocated in Seoul’s lively Yongsan-gu area, north of the Han River, Four Points by Sheraton Seoul, Namsan offers convenient access to business areas, tourist attractions and public transportation. It is directly connected to Seoul Station, one of the city’s major railway stations, via an underground passage. Also, Incheon International Airport is just 60 minutes away via the Airport Express train.
Four Points by Sheraton Seoul, Namsan occupies floors 19 to 30 of a mixed-use development tower. The hotel offers 342 sleek and comfortable guestrooms, each featuring spectacular panoramic views of downtown Seoul. All the guestrooms are equipped with the signature Four Comfort Bed™, fast and free WiFi and complementary bottled water.
The Eatery, the hotel’s inviting all-day dining restaurant, presents an extensive menu of local and international cuisines—ideal for business lunches, family get-togethers, and romantic dinners. For social gatherings, The Bar offers an extensive selection of drinks, snacks and craft beers from the brand’s signature Best Brews™ Program, which features an authentic local brew along with a selection of international beer. The hotel offers 54 square meters of function space and two private dining rooms, and a business center provides support services for corporate meetings and social events.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Four Points is Starwood’s fastest growing brand, with 42 hotels in operation and more than 50 hotels in the pipeline. In addition to Four Points by Sheraton Seoul, Namsan, the brand was on track to open eight properties in key destinations across the Asia-Pacific by the end of 2015, including Bali and Makassar, Indonesia; Chengdu, Penghu, and Hefei in China and Vadodara in India.

• Four Points by Sheraton Seoul, Namsan
37-85 Dongja-dong, Youngsan-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Tel: (82-2)6070-7000 Website: http://www.fourpoints.com/seoulnamsan

Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods

Koreans Fall in Love With Into Camping

https://korean-products.com/inquiryKoreans’ love of the outdoors has kept the nation spending on camping products despite the economic doldrums.
Less than a decade ago, not so many people used to enjoy camping in South Korea, and therefore, the size of the camping-related industry was fairly small. Over recent years, Koreans’ passion for outdoor leisure activities has changed everything. The camping item market has rapidly grown in the middle of the economic downturn and the types of camping equipment and items have become tremendously diverse in the local market. And, there a growing numbers of campers who are willing to open their wallets for spending on camping products.
Of course, Koreans’ improved living standards and keen attention to leading healthier lifestyles, since the implementation of the five-day workweek, have played a big role, but that does not explain it all.

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Some experts say that the popular camping trend in Korea is, to some degree, associated with the changes in values of Koreans who were famous for their workaholic culture. The younger generations in Korea are taking a more serious view of family than their older counterparts. In addition, there are a rising number of people that enjoy quality time in harmony with nature as a “healing” way in the fiercely competitive society.
That’s what has made Koreans fall in love with into camping. On top of that, camping does not require special skills, unlike other outdoor activities.

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Unlike the other countries where camping is one of popular outdoor activities, camping in Korea has been evolving into a year-round leisure activity in Korea and a variety of high-performance camping equipment is thus becoming especially popular.
According to recent data, the camping population is estimated at six million people with a market size of 600 billion won (about $527 million) and 1,900 camping grounds nationwide.
Reflecting the growth of the industry in Korea, there are some budding camping & outdoor expos in the country, including the upcoming Outdoor Camping Festival, running from June 17 to 19 at KINTEX (Korea International Exhibition Center) in Goyang, Korea, and featuring a diversity of the newest outdoor and camping-related items, providing insights regarding the latest developments and trends of the industry in Korea.

Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods

Why not try Hanok stay?

Untitled-72Visitors to South Korea can stay comfortably in diverse accommodations offering a variety of tantalizing service and prices from business hotels, to guest houses and youth hostels.

Particularly, people who seek traditional housing and hospitality should try spending a night or more in a Korean traditional house called  a ‘hanok.’  Referred  to as living museums, hanoks contain in their layout and structure the history of ancient Korean architecture and society. A typical hanok is characterized by wooden pillars, mud walls, a daecheongmaru (wooden floor/porch) for temperature control during different seasons, and a courtyard or a garden.

Hanok Stay refers to staying in the traditional Korean house. It is a good opportunity to experience traditional Korean lifestyle and culture. The traditional houses available for hanok stays are decades to hundreds of years old. They have been somewhat renovated for the convenience and safety of guests, but the traditional Korean style and sentiment are still retained.

Old furniture, paper-pasted windows, and props like soy jars add to the traditional ambiance. Most homes for hanok stay have electronic goods, including a TV set, and Western-style toilets, but some still have traditional toilets. If you prefer a Western-style toilet, you are strongly recommended to make reservations in advance. Some houses offer various programs to experience Korean culture, including tea ceremonies, pottery making, and traditional Korean folk games. Simple meals are usually available at an extra charge.

Houses for hanok stay vary in size; some are very large with a guest house and a main building, while others are small with only bedrooms and a living room. Room rates also vary widely. You are recommended to consider various factors when choosing one, such as the room rate and nearby tourist attractions.

Combining the elegance of Korea’s past with modern amenities, many hanoks provide accommodation while offering cultural immersion programs for an enhanced Korean traditional living experience.

Guests can enjoy the unique opportunity to take a break from modern accommodation and experience the traditional housing and lifestyle in a hanok in some of the most famous hanok villages or hanokmaeul.

Inquiries for Jeonju Hanok Village [Slow City]

Website: http://tour-eng.jeonju.go.kr/index.sko.

Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods

2016 Changdeokgung Palace’s Moonlight Tours Make a Comeback

Untitled-67The Changdeokgung Palace Moonlight Tour has been taking place from March to June this year. The biannual cultural event that is open to the public both in spring and autumn provides visitors a special opportunity to experience the quaint beauty of the ancient Korean royal palace.

One of the five palaces in Seoul built during the Joseon Dynasty, Changdeokgung was designated as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1997.

Changdeokgung was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many of the Joseon kings and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces. The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden. Known as a place of rest for the kings, the rear garden boasts a gigantic tree that is over 300 years old, a small pond, and a pavilion.

Led by expert guides, participants in the moonlight tour program take a walk around the palace for about two hours, while being briefed about the history of Changdeokgung.

Year after year, the event has received such enthusiastic responses from both locals and foreign visitors that the program organizers have decided to increase the number of times being open to the public to 61 times this year from last year’s 37. This reflects the growing popularity of the moonlight tour, which is operated separately for local and foreign visitors.

For foreign visitors, the guide service will be also available in English, Chinese and Japanese.

The next tour program in fall will take place during August and October.

  • 2016 Changdeokgung Palace’s Moonlight Tours

Period: 03.21.2016 ~ 06.22.2016

For further information about the tour, contact (82-2)2270- 1233, or (82-2)2270-1238 for information about the tour program.

Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods

Chuncheon International Mime Festival

The Chuncheon International Mime Festival presents a wide array of performances by hundreds of performing arts teams from Korea and abroad. Chuncheon is easily accessible by public transportation, and also offers easy access to other popular tourist attractions like Namiseom Island and Soyangang Dam.

  • Chuncheon International Mime Festival

Period: 05.26.2016 ~ 05.29.2016

Location: Chuncheon Jungang-ro, Sangsangmadang Chuncheon, Subyeon Park

Telephone: 1330 Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

For more info: +82-33-242-0585

Website: www.mimefestival.com (Korean, English)

 

Korean-Products.com | Blog Magazine of Korean products, brands and Goods