Tag Archive: music


Snorkeling

Snorkel tour had tons of English people and a good amount of Chinese—about 25-30 in total. It seemed great at first because of the scenery but when the other group started drinking I was a bit worried that they would get annoying–and they did!

First we went to an aquarium where we had to pay extra so I didn’t go. Second to the snorkel area for an hour. I saw some beautiful fish including a black fish with gold eyes who stared at me and a white sea urchin. They gave out crap snorkels, so I was glad to have my own. They also gave out floating rings (like tires) so you didn’t get too tired swimming (great idea). Then a long ride to a fish farm where we ate (but we ate in the boat).

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Then a show of the boat workers where they started with Californication and then songs for the countries people came from (except America which had a Beetles song). Finally we had the floating bar which consisted of a raft for our lady boy and a bucket of booze he kept filling little cups with.

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We then went to a private beach which had 30,000 dong entry so I didn’t go. Again, beaches should be free! Had a nap up on top of the boat. Boat back to the harbor, taxi back to hotel around 4pm. Then I went to the beach just to jump in and it was still quite nice.

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Mudfest

Mudfest is a festival in Boryeong that goes on for 9 or so days in July. It takes about 2 hours from Seoul or 5 hours from Busan on a bus, but you can take the KTX as well. There’s groups that leave from Busan and Seoul (and I’m sure other cities and towns) so you don’t have to worry about planning anything.

Mudfest 003There is some free mud, but most you have to pay to get into an area where there are slides and the like but the lines are massive. In hindsight I wish I had not gone there because we didn’t go in for long because we didn’t want to wait an hour (with no food or drinks) in the sun to get back into mud. The one that we did do was fun, where you run and jump onto a slide, like slip n slide but inflated. There were some rocks on it though, which I think was from peoples feet.

The beach there was nice because it had real waves! That’s something we’re not used to in Busan and one guy got hit with a wave so hard he fell and got all cut up! He was okay though. Going in the ocean is great for cleaning off if you don’t want to go all the way back to the minbok (the place we were staying, and it seemed like everyone was staying) which is like a hostel but you sleep on the floor.

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At one point, the Blue Eagles were there and did a mini-show.

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At night my friends played music and there were fireworks.

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Global Gathering, Take 2

This past weekend was the Global Gathering. The last one was in October or November, and it was such a big hit that they had another one earlier in the year. As last time, it was not well promoted.

Global Gathering 001Some ambassadors even showed up! At least that’s who we thought they were. Chinese guys in suits surrounded by cameras shaking hands with everyone at the Chinese stands. The Chinese stand was selling beet for 1,000W too!

Some places were not really selling cultural food, as one stand was selling Peach Ice Tea from Lipton containers and many were selling kebabs and Turkish Ice Cream. I did get some spring rolls, potato pattys, and fritters as well as a Brazilian drink (that should have some sort of rum but instead had vodka) and Mango Lassi.

There were some interesting cooking methods on display as well, such as solar and biking.

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For dancing and music, there was….

Global Gathering 027traditonal Korean–I’ve seen this plenty of times but it’s great to watch the hat dancers!Global Gathering 072

Brazilian martial arts–started slow but got interesting with this next pictureGlobal Gathering 079

Brazilian martial arts–hand stands!Global Gathering 097

Japanese–pretty slow but great costumesGlobal Gathering 101

Japanese–I was really impressed with this guy, that flag would weight a ton!Global Gathering 123

And this guy was really into the Japanese musicGlobal Gathering 143

Kenyan–looked like me drunk dancingGlobal Gathering 176

Ta-Kwan-do Global Gathering 188
Ta-Kwan-do Global Gathering 209

Ta-Kwan-do

And finally, Ta-Kwan-do dancing and Break Dancing. I wish I could post the videos but I can’t figure it out (someone let me know how to!). The whole time my friends and I were talking about how amazing they are. Slow-motion kicks above their heads? I’d fall over. Back flips from standing on a hard floor? I’d be too scared to start and just land on my back. We also came to the conclusion that the reason Korea are the best at break dancing is because a lot of kids are raised doing Ta-Kwan-do.

There were also tons of photographs from the 1960s and 1970s vs today which showed how quickly Busan has developed.

Global Gathering 042 Global Gathering 043 Global Gathering 044 Global Gathering 046And, of course, plenty of cute things to take pictures with…or punch in the face.

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Insadong

When I came to Seoul before, I thought Insadong was quite boring, but maybe that’s because I was there too early, and the shops were mostly closed. Plus it was either a Sunday or Christmas Eve, so that could explain why everything was looking closed.

This time there was a little music concert going on at the start of the main road.

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And cute shops were open. They sell a lot of stuff similar to ArtBox, but more individual and expensive.

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There was also a huge shopping area with an area to decorate at the top and a staircase to spray paint.

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City Palace

City Palace is right next to Jaipur Mantar and was beautiful when you really got into the second part.

The first just seems to hold a museum for clothing (where you cannot take pictures). The end of the museum has info about pong (or at least the first playing cards which were circles), polo and chess and how Indian basically invented all of them! And here I thought England did polo and had no idea for the rest of them. India also invented night polo which is/was played with a metal (at first wooden) ball with a candle in the middle that could rotate so it never fell out or upside down, killing the flame.

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There was a performance outside as well.

Into the main hall was a dignitary room (off to the right) where the Indian government welcomed famous people.

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There was another performance going on outside of that as well! I liked this one more.

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To the left were some famous polo paintings/drawings (who I remembered reading about in the museum) and if you go all the way though it seems like a restaurant that had been taken apart…I was pretty confused so went back to the main part.

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There were also come carriages right before the exit.

Fire Festival

As it is the first full moon after lunar new year (Chinese new year to most Westerners), there was a fire festival today. All over the beaches of Busan there were fires set where people threw all sorts of stuff from paper planes to plastic bags so heavy it seemed like people were struggling to throw them in. The fire started at 4:50 (sun was still up which my friends and I thought was odd) but went well into the night.

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There was also lots of holes with candles in them and a set up for candles where you paid for one and they put it out to spell…something. We didn’t get to see all of it.

Fire Festival 016 Fire Festival 022There was also a dance going on where the music made my brain bleed after 1 minute because it was the same thing over and over again, and the lyrics only took up 10 seconds or less. This lasted for about half-an-hour…the dance was interesting to watch (I say interesting because we couldn’t figure out what it really symbolized) and kept changing up what they were doing. There was the red side and the blue side and sometimes they were apart and sometimes together–there were even kids who came from each side and seemingly got married after walking on the backs of their sides. Then there was a girl in white who danced in the middle and brought them together one last time.

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Above is where the kids walked, below is where they stood after. I took a video of them doing it, but some of the other dancers did it again after so I took photos then (thinking the walking on backs part was over)Fire Festival 119 Fire Festival 142

Of course, at the end, Gangnam Style was played on repeat. And everyone went crazy.

Seoul Museum of History

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This museum let me know that I don’t care too much for the dynasty era of Korean history. I tried reading the information but I would get bored less than halfway though reading the sign. That being said, there were some beautiful things throughout the museum.

On the bottom floor there are two exhibition halls, among other things (restaurant, information, gift shop, etc) and the rest of the museum is on the 2nd floor (realistically its the 3rd floor but visitors cannot go anywhere on the 2nd floor).

I first went to the right and there were exhibitions on Jeongdong: a Strange Coexistence and the Universal Exposition of Paris 1900: the Daehan Empire Met the World. The Paris one confused me at first because the sub-heading was not there so I expected some French art…not so much though, it was Korean stuff that was sent to Paris to show the world what Korea was like before 1900.

Below are pictures from Jeongdong: a Strange Coexistence was about the changing times from traditional to Western, which is exemplified in the second picture, of the modern man and the bike. The first picture is of Seoul at the time of 1899.

Everland and Seoul 568 Everland and Seoul 576In the Universal Exposition of Paris 1900: the Daehan Empire Met the World there were many things from the time before 1900 (as the exopsition was in 1900) including the walls that Koreans would put up between rooms and instruments. There were also the chairs that kings were carried on, fans, chairs, pots and drums.

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On the floor with the exhibitions, it starts in Zone 1 of Seoul of the Joseon Dynasty, then Zone 2 of The Capital of the Daehan Empire, Zone 3 of Seoul under Japanese Control, and ends with Zone 4 of Development of Seoul.  However, at the top of the stairs there is the Seoul Panoramic Theater, which has a mini-model of Seoul in it. It’s actually called ‘SEOUL: Now and in the Making’ which I thought was a great title for a city display. Very difficult to get pictures of without a tripod because of how bright it is. As I was looking a kid walked in and just went ‘WOAH’ and went all fours and stared down at what he had been standing on as his father and myself laughed.

Everland and Seoul 583 Everland and Seoul 586What I enjoyed in Zone 1 were the models of the city, or models of how life used to be.

Everland and Seoul 596 Everland and Seoul 604 Everland and Seoul 606Zone 2 is the smallest of the zones and displays the start of modernization/Westernization. One thing that was prevalent was the numbers of foreigners, specifically Japanese,  was increasing–as you can see in the first picture–which lead to Zone 3 quite well. On the floor in one of the three rooms was a map of the Seoul that was before occupation. The final room had a photo show going on with descriptions of the photos. The ones I thought were most interesting were:

  • 1907: Report on the national debt redemption movement, the Daehan Maeil Sinmun (Newspaper) and the Hwangseong Sinmun (Newspaper)
  • 1907: Japanese army soldiers march in downtown Seoul when Emperor Gojong was forced to abdicate
  • 1907: forced abdication of Emperor Gojong and enthronement of Emperor Sunjong
  • 1907: Parade of Emperor Sunjong after ascending the throne
  • 1097: Uprising of loyal army soldiers
  • executing loyal army soldiers
  • 1910: Japanese annexation of Korea

Everland and Seoul 621 Everland and Seoul 627Zone 3 had more models, but this time displaying the way things were changing in specific areas, such as Cafes, Barber shops and Billiard Halls. There was also a lot of writing about the changes in culture and how things were under Japanese occupation. Department stores were created, people started to read more as it was a good way to find out about rebellion and young people who dressed in modern styles were basically saying ‘everything you wear is terrible, look at all the money I have, I am better than you because I dress like a Westerner’. At this time World War 2 was going on and Korea had to fly the Japanese flag.

Everland and Seoul 648 Everland and Seoul 649 Everland and Seoul 655 Everland and Seoul 658Zone 4 starts with a short sum up of Liberation, US Occupation, and the War. There is a whole museum about the Korean War, so I think they skip over it here because there is no point in going over all the information twice. After that there is information about Seoul growing and expanding in number of people but not size, which lead to overcrowding, bad sewage, shanty towns (and fires in them) and food shortages. This lead into the dictatorship which lead to a lot of construction and helped Seoul become a booming city and Korea a booming country. After that it seemed like the museum skipped a bit, showed a 1970s dress and went to the Olympics, which was a massive deal for Korea to hold, less than 50 years after the Korean War.

Everland and Seoul 661 Everland and Seoul 662 Everland and Seoul 663Back to the ground floor, there is the Cartographic Achievements of Joseon, which are maps that were collected by a private collector and loaned to the museum for display.

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Busan Tower and the Museums there

Headed to Busan Tower during the day (hadn’t been there at that time yet) and there is an amazing view of the port and the mountains. Makes me feel like I have to much more to see in Busan.

There were some messy pidgins.

And the now-seeming-standard locks and heart shaped metal.

When you get down to their shop, you walk outside and can go into the Museum of Musical Instruments which has A LOT inside, given it’s small space, but not a lot of labeing. I was looking around a few times trying to figure out what things were to no avail. Mostly drums and pipes.

Going halfway down the next set of stairs you can go into the World Modelship Exhibition Hall which is only 1,000 KRW. It’s pretty small inside here, but they seem to pack in even more than the Musical Instruments Museum.

Two Titanics which is a bit odd, but Norway and Japan are represented as well.

There is a model of an American ship below a photo of Doko, so I’m sure if they think we are protecting the islands or what was going on there…

Finally, across from that is an art exhibition which was one of the more beautiful I’ve ever been to (including museums). I believe the theme was Harmony and Smart, given these two pictures.

I only ever take pictures of art that I like (or if it looks insane) and in here I only skipped 2 or 3 pieces. Below are my favorites. This was free!

Who knew people wore chains on their boots?!?