Icons of Gyeongju: Bulguksa and Seokguram

Bulguksa Temple 불국사 is Gyeongju’s most iconic temple as well as a lasting symbol of Buddhism in Korea.  Located on the slopes of 토함산 Mount Toham, a sacred place during the Silla Dynasty, it currently serves as a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. Seven National treasures are contained in the temple grounds, such as the Cheongun-gyo [...]

K-Pop: From Arirang to SNSD

The K-Pop industry today is an efficient, international powerhouse of talented and good-looking artists. Discovering K-Pop is what really introduced me to Korean culture, allowing me to explore this beautiful country. How did we get to modern K-Pop from traditional Korean songs, and how do these cultural roots still affect K-Pop today? In 1887, under [...]

Miss Lee’s Café of Romance and Written Dreams

In the shopping district of Insadong, the Miss Lee Café 별다방미스리 offers traditional Korean meals, desserts, like mochi and bingsu, and a tasty variety of drinks. This romantic cafe is covered with handwritten notes, confessions, and messages, and has an area devoted to writing on the wall. It's really fun to contribute your own thought [...]

The Story of King Sejong

Directly before the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Gwanghamun Square are monuments honoring two of the most prominent figures in Korean history: King Sejong the Great (세종대왕) and Yi Sun-Shin (이 순신). The King Sejong Story Exhibition Hall (세종이야기) features the major achievements of these historical icons. King Sejong was the fourth king of Joseon dynasty, ruling from [...]

What Makes Korean Pottery So Unique?

Korea is renowned for its beautiful pottery, and its interesting to see how their distinct style formed over time. Early Neolithic pottery had narrow bases, a shape that can be seen in much later ceramics as well. They often included “comb patterns”, featuring parallel lines and dots.   Specimens from the Silla (57 BCE – 935 [...]

Gyeongbokgung Palace

I love the vibrant atmosphere of Seoul, the melding of tradition and innovation. An area I feel that exemplifies this most is Gyeongbokgung Palace. Located in the thriving city, this palace preserves Korean history in a beautiful way. Gyeongbokgung Palace 경복궁 is an elaborate palace from the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910), built under King Taejo. It is [...]