The Beautiful Craft of Korean Hanji Paper-Making in Jeonju, South Korea

For over a thousand years, the small city of Jeonju has been the heart of South Korea’s traditional arts. Korean paper, called hanji, is one of the art forms that are still made here today. Kang Kapseok, now a hanji craftsman, first saw the hanji-making process while visiting nearby mountains. “When I was young, I went there (in the mountains) …

$1 Concerts at Changgyeonggung Palace, Seoul

Changgyeonggung Palace Open Nights A friend and I discovered a sign for concerts at Changgyeonggung Palace while exploring the palace gardens.  When we found the cost was only W1,000 and it was gugak music (Korean traditional music) we vowed to go the following week. The evening concerts are part of “Special Open Nights” at Changgyeongung Palace, located near Hyehwa in …

Incredible Master Sculptor of Buddha Statues

  Up in the hills in his quiet studio, Master sculptor Jin Hyung Lee gently carves the clay cast of his latest statue, the dragon king. “You probably know Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva – she has assistants, and one is a young boy – the dragon king…he’s a symbol of the sea,” he says.  Jin Hyung Lee has been sculpting Buddha statues …

5 Korean Superfoods to Bring Health and Balance to Your Body

Korean superfoods have numerous health benefits and have been used for centuries to keep the body in balance. Food and medicine are often treated as one and the same thing. Traditional Korean meals put emphasis on side dishes, or 반찬 banchan, and contain herbs and roots with various health-giving properties.   The traditional style of eating is similar to a banquet – …

A Traditional Korean Tea House near Songnisan Mountain

Traditional Korean Tea House A beautiful way to experience Korean culture is by visiting a traditional Korean tea house.   There are many great tea houses tucked away in the alleyways and backstreets near Insadong.  But to experience a traditional Korean tea house in the middle of the countryside in a gorgeous old hanok, (a traditional Korean house) takes the experience …

The Beautiful Namsangol Hanok Village in Seoul

The Namsangol Hanok Village 남산골 한옥마을 in Seoul, South Korea has beautiful old “hanok” buildings and gardens.  Hanok is a traditional Korean building. Namsangol Hanok Village is in the heart of Seoul, right at the foot of Namsan (the Southern Mountain).   It’s surrounded by forested hills and a short stroll from the busy streets of the Chungmuro neighborhood. The …