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Destination: Guinsa – Buddhist high-rises and an elevator inside a temple (Chungcheongbuk-do)

Destination: Guinsa – Buddhist high-rises and an elevator inside a temple (Chungcheongbuk-do)
January 31, 2013 - 0 Comments - Chris Backe

Chris in South Korea note: my lady and I went here in mid-November, one of the last weekends where fall was in the air. Things got busy as the holidays approached, and I’m just now getting around to blog posts that got pushed back! Hope you enjoy, and aren’t thrown by the seasonal shift. You…>

Destination: Gwangyang Ornamental Knife Museum (Gwangyang, Jeollanam-do)

Destination: Gwangyang Ornamental Knife Museum (Gwangyang, Jeollanam-do)
January 28, 2013 - 0 Comments - Chris Backe

IT’S happened to every traveler – a place starts off sounding intriguing, but upon arriving seems more ‘meh’ then ‘hey, cool!’. The Gwangyang Ornamental Knife Museum (광양장도박물관) was one of those places for me – an interesting facet of Korean history, dulled somewhat by the lack of English explanation and few stories worth telling. It ended…>

Destination: Wonjong Jangneung (Gimpo, Gyeonggi-do)

Destination: Wonjong Jangneung (Gimpo, Gyeonggi-do)
January 23, 2013 - 0 Comments - Chris Backe

LIKE the other Joseon Dynasty tombs in and around Seoul, Wonjong Jangneung (김포 장릉) honors the royalty in a way that UNESCO considers a World Heritage Site. As usual, there’s more court intrigue and drama than the signs on site indicate – the man who we call King Wonjong, for example, was little more than a…>

Destination: Yecheon Space Center – bounce on the moon, try the gyroscopic device, and watch dinosaurs? (Yecheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do)

Destination: Yecheon Space Center – bounce on the moon, try the gyroscopic device, and watch dinosaurs? (Yecheon-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do)
January 21, 2013 - 3 Comments - Chris Backe

  IN many ways, the Yecheon Space Center (예천천문우주과학공원) is a microcosm of many other Korean tourist destinations. They sound fancy, and it’s clear there was plenty of money available to make the thing come into existence. Arriving, however, becomes more than half of the battle – that is, trying to ensure one’s way to…>

Destination: Hyeonchungsa – Admiral Yi’s shrine (Asan, Chungcheongnam-do)

Destination: Hyeonchungsa – Admiral Yi’s shrine (Asan, Chungcheongnam-do)
January 16, 2013 - 2 Comments - Chris Backe

Yi Su Shin’s shrine has all the pomp and circumstance the man deserves. One of Korea’s biggest heroes, Admiral Yi served his country by fighting off the Japanese invasion and developing the 거북선 (geo-buk-seon), the ironclad spiked turtle ship. While it doesn’t feature any signs of royalty, it wouldn’t – and shouldn’t; instead, the Admiral…>

Destination: Namhae Treasure Island Garlic Land (Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do)

Destination: Namhae Treasure Island Garlic Land (Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do)
January 10, 2013 - 0 Comments - Chris Backe

And now, for something completely different. You read the title, right – it’s a glorified garlic museum in Namhae. The full name is the Treasure Island Garlic Land (보물섬 마늘나라), and I believe the claim “The Only Garlic Exhibition Hall in the Nation”. Why someone else would even want to build a second one is…>

Destination: Kimchi Museum (Seoul)

Destination: Kimchi Museum (Seoul)
January 8, 2013 - 0 Comments - Chris Backe

IF there was an award for the food most likely to be worshiped in Korea, it would be kimchi. Neither condiment nor main attraction, kimchi connects hyper-modernized Koreans with their traditional past in a distinctively Korean way. People say ‘kimchi!’ instead of ‘cheese’ when their picture is taken. When kimchi prices go up, there are headlines in the…>

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