Friday, July 30, 2010

Colorful Buses!

Hey there :) 

Today I was reading a "Guide to living in Korea 2010"  and found some very useful information and something that catched my eye,,, this colorful buses that go around and trough Seoul.

Pretty cool colors right?? XD

Blue Bus
This type of buses will operate at higher speeds and access the median bus lane connecting suburban areas to downtown Seoul. The city government is partly in charge of its operation. The city has taken full consideration to introduce 3 kinds of buses belonging to the Blue Bus category: bendable bus, CNG (compressed natural gas) bus with a lower platform, and regular large-sized CNG bus. The blue color represents Seoul's skyline and Hangang (River) to symbolize security and freedom.

Green Bus
Green bus will be flexibly operated by private bus companies, to connect major subway stations or bus terminals in downtown Seoul. It is similar with the city bus and the community shuttle bus currently in operation. Green stands for the mountains surrounding the city.

Red Bus
The red buses will be express buses designed specially for those commuting between downtown Seoul and the metropolitan area. The color red exudes energy of speed.

Yellow Bus
This bus will circle downtown Seoul and stop at stations for blue buses and major railway stations, as well as business, tourist and shopping areas. Yellow was selected for its dynamic and friendly image.

Lol I know this post it's kind of Random but I'm the kind of person that pays more attention if something is colorful and this buses look kinda fun at least here in Mexico we have this "new" ecofriendly buses and in MY opinion it makes my ride way better than with the old buses....and sometimes it's fun because some have TV!!! haha really useful when you have to take a bus at 5am to go to work,,, cartoons keep me awake hehe)

Old Buses (boooring and kinda ugly)
New buses!!!

 -Gisela V.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Planning a Trip????

 A Trip to Korea??

Hey Everyone!!!, so I was researching for info on How to plan a Trip to Korea and thought you might be interested in some of this information, so here are a few numbers, tips and some info that can be useful. :)

How to Get to Korea by Air

Don't you feel welcome already???
Korea is well-connected to the rest of the planet via air routes, with most international carriers running
flights to Seoul. Korea's own national carriers, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, have developed reputations for reliability, comfort, safety and excellence.

Korean Air can be reached at 1588-2001 and Asiana Airlines at 1588-8000.

Nice huh??
For flight routes on international flights, visit here.

Travelers will no doubt be delighted by the wide range of impeccable services offered by Incheon International Airport, the main gateway to Korea and one of the most technologically advanced airports in Asia. It has been named the world's best airport by some surveys including those by the U.S.-based monthly magazine Global Traveler and the Airports Council International.

The primary gateway to Korea is Incheon International Airport, located just over an hour (52 km) west of downtown Seoul. Opened in 2001, Incheon International Airport is one of the most technologically advanced airports in the world. It serves as a transportation hub in Northeast Asia, providing a convenient spot to connect to flights bound for other East Asian destinations. It is capable of handling all sorts of aircraft, including the massive Airbus A380.

Other than Incheon International Airport, there are several international airports throughout the country
including Gimpo Airport for Seoul; Gimhae Airport for Busan; Jeju; Cheongju; Daegu; Yangyang; Muan; and
Gwangju. Gimhae and Jeju operate direct flights to from Tokyo, Fukuoka, Nagoya and Osaka in Japan.


Most tourists can visit Korea for 15 days without a visa, provided they have a return ticket upon entry.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as of today, people from about 100 countries do not
require a visa if they are coming to Korea on a temporary visit. (For the list of visa-exempt countries and for more info on visa regulations,

All visas, including long-term visas, are for a single visit. Anyone wishing to leave Korean and then re-enter
during their allowed period of stay must obtain a re-entry permit. Failure to do so will usually result in one's visa being cancelled upon re-entry to Korea.

Visa extensions for tourist visas are possible in special cases such as accidents, health problems, flight cancellations, etc. Applications for visa extensions can be made at a local immigration office at least one day before the day of expiration.

Add caption
Korea's currency is won, which comes in 1,000 (about US$0.90), 5,000 and 10,000 won bills, and 10, 50, 100 and 500 won coins.

Automated teller machines are in operation 24 hours a day. Most large stores, hotels and restaurants in
Korea will accept major international credit cards. However, it is advisable to carry some cash, since
many smaller establishments and stores may not have credit card processing equipment.

5,000 KRW Bill
Thanks to the SS for the Update!!
In june 2009, the Bank of Korea began to issue 50,000-Won banknotes. For many decades, the 10,000-Won note was the highest banknote in Korea which has a value aroun $9. Due to the high prices in Korea, you either had to carry a bundle of 10,000-Won notes or  use checks printed from various banks, mostly with a denomination of 100,000-Won. The Woman on the note is Sinsaimdang (신 사임당), one of the most accomplished painter,writer, artist and calligrapher in the Chosun Dynasty and the mother of Yulgok, who became a very famous scholar.

Helpful Numbers and Websites

Need travel/tourist information in Seoul? Call 1330!
Need travel/tourist information outside Seoul? Call area code + 1330.
Passport ARS service 82-2-733-2114
Seoul Call Center
Dial 120 (02-120 cell phone/outside Seoul) and then press '9' for foreign languages. It offers all basic information concerning Seoul city
Korea Tourism Organization Tourist Information Center: 02-729-9498
Tourist Complaint Center: 02-735-0101

Hope this really help you if you are planing on taking a trip to Korea!!!

-Gisela V.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

National Museum of Contemporary Art

It's time to talk/blog about something more than just going to spend time at the Korean Neighbourhood, it's time to let you know all Museums lovers know about this HUGE Museum that shows National and International exhibits. There are currently to "branches" (?) and a 3rd one  located in Seoul is scheduled to open in 2013, so if you are planning on visiting Korea be sure to visit one of this 2 (or 3 if you wait 'til 2013). Here's some important information about the museum :)
The mission of the museum is to survey and research contemporary art, collect and preserve works of art, and plan and host various exhibitions, both domestically and internationally.

Website     /     English Version


Entry is fee except for major exhibitions (Free day : on the fourth Saturday of every month)
Land Area: 66,916  / Building Area: 37,500  /  Exhibition Area: 14,144  /  Sculpture Garden: 33,000

The museum building was constructed in a manner that harmonizes with both the natural and the artificial beauty of its surroundings. The design of the museum reflects Korea’s traditional architectural style. The museum features a sculpture gallery in the form of fortress walls, a painting gallery the shape of a semi-oval hall, and the Ramp Core in the style of a beacon mound that connects the two sections. The exterior space of the museum is designed to reflect a traditional Korean garden, enabling gradual access through a passage that gives the visual effect of a steady ascent. The main exterior material is a light pink Korean granite.  The museum has a traditional image that blends in well with the surrounding landscape. Fully equipped with modern facilities, scientific equipment and various installations, the museum is more than equal to the task of being the only national contemporary art museum in Korea.


Building Area :3,428  /  Exhibition Area : 1,152
In 1998, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Deoksugung, an annex of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, was opened in Deoksugung Palace in the center of Seoul.

Seoul(Scheduled to open in 2013)
Land Area : 27,402
Building Area : 33,000
The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea is scheduled to open Seoul Venue in the centre of Seoul in 2013. The New Construction Site of the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea will establish the identity and stature of Korean art by hosting a variety of planned exhibitions seeking to new experimental analysis, and efforts to expand the boundaries of expression embracing both the tradition and the present of visual art.

Permanent Exhibitions 

Ramp Core, “The more, the better” by Nam June Paik
Located at the center of the museum, the Ramp Core is 13.8m in diameter and spirals upward to a height of 22.8 meters, in a vast space lit by skylights. Viewed from above, it is clear that the Ramp Core is the centerpiece of the museum. It also plays the role of a gateway as well as a connecting passageway to all galleries in the museum.
Visitors are greeted with “The more, the better” by artist Nam June Paik, which was installed at the center of the Ramp Core in 1988. 1,003 TVs, a number that was chosen to represent Korea’s National Foundation Day, October 3, are installed in a round tower 18.5m high and 7.5m in diameter. This vast cone-shaped video tower is the first work of art that visitors see in the main entrance hall, and each monitor can be individually appreciated by walking up and down the slope of the Ramp Core.
The Ramp Core, with its natural light from the ceiling and the illuminations from Nam June Paik’s “The more, the better”, is not only a hallway that connects each gallery, but a beautiful exhibition space in itself

Sculpture Garden

Surrounding the museum building, with the background of the beautiful landscape of Cheonggyesan(Mt.) and Kwanaksan(Mt.), there is a 33,100 square meter Sculpture Garden spread out over green turf. The Sculpture Garden also plays the role of a multi-purpose complex in which events such as open-air concerts, danc- ing performances, and poetry readings can be enjoyed.
The works of art in the sculpture garden can be enjoyed from various angles and on various backgrounds. The sculpture garden provides a unique charm that visitors cannot experience through an indoor exhibition.


Exhibition period : 13 July, 2010 - 03 October, 2010
Exhibition Venue : Gallery 1 & Central Ha
Exhibition period : 8 May - 4 July, 2010
Exhibition Venue : National Museum of Art, Deoksugung
Exhibition period : 17 April, 2010 - 6 June, 2010
Exhibition Venue : Gallery 1, 7

And many many many more!!

This are events created by the Museum and I think it's really cool because it's another way to unify the Families and the people.
As a multi-purpose cultural complex, the museum provides a range of cultural events, including music, films, and performances. Two of the most popular programs are the cultural festivals in May (Month of the Family) and October (Month of Culture), at which the whole family can enjoy a number of fun art-related activities and outdoor performances.

In tune with Korea’s adoption of the 5-day work week and to foster a healthy recreation culture, the museum holds classical concerts on last Saturday of each month, and on every first and third Saturday there are other live events such as chamber music, fusion music and performances at the central hall

The museum also has some EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS (here some examples)
·         Education for Professionals
·         Program to foster art professionals and train experts
·         Education Linked to Exhibitions
·         Educational program for each type of trainee which is aimed atpromoting understanding of special/permanent exhibitions of the museum

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kim Young-Ha

Born in 1968 in Hwacheon. He moved from place to place as a child, since his father was in the military. As a child, he suffered from gas poisoning from coal gas and lost memory before ten.
Kim Young-ha burst onto the Korean literary scene seemingly out of nowhere with his first novel I have the right to destroy myself (1995). Kim Young-ha is a aster storyteller since his 1st publication in 1995 he has won Korea's top literary awards and has become one of the country's best-known contemporaty novelist.

Now in 2010, Kim is established as one of the country's finest litery talents, having won several Korean Literary awards, Kim's books are now making the journey overseas with translation being released in the USA, France, Fermany among other countries.

Kim says that as a child, such was his love of stories that he would introduce himself as "a person who likes words and telling stories"

"I used to tell storieds to my friends during school bus rides, and the response was immense", says Kim. Despite his ability when the time came to go to University he choose Business over Literature and hewas denounced as a "monster" by soome jealous compeer. He didn't mind as he said "Literary work is independent and has a life of its own. If it's good, people will read it and tell others. That's the true power of the Novel."

Kim says he became a novelist just to remain a free spirit, he takes a huge pride in the field of writing, for a while people wondered wheter literature would survive the digital age, but literature is a very digital-friendly medium.

Kim's most recent collection of short  stories, completed while he was working on other novels, will be released this summer.

Follow Kim Young Ha on Twitter

or Add him on Facebook

A List of some publications

  • 퀴즈쇼, ["Quiz Show"] 2007
  • 빛의 제국 ["Empire of Light" a.k.a. "Your Republic Is Calling You"] 2006, winner in 2007 of the Manhae Literary Award
  • 검은 꽃 ["Black Flower]] 2003, winner in 2004 of the Dongin Literary Award
  • 오빠가 돌아왔다 ["Brother has returned"], (collection of short stories) winner in 2004 of the Isan Literary Award.
  • Photo Shop Murder (English translation 2003)
  • I Have the Right to Destroy Myself (1996; English translation 2007)
  • Your Republic Is Calling You(2006: English translation 2010   
Thanks to Wikipedia, Kim Young-ha's Facebook page and

-Gisela V.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

2 Koreas?? o.O

North Korea / South Korea

Huh?? What you mean with South And North? , yup it is divided in 2, many people think in Korea and doesn’t even know it’s divided in North and South…. A perfect example is when in the news there’s a Headline like “Korea has nuclear weapons” only if you read/watch the full story you realize is North Korea they are talking about (most of the times), I don’t really recall watching or reading “good” news about Korea (either South or North). I know the stories about Weapons, Wars, etc sell more but that’s why so many people don’t have any idea of why is such a great country with an amazing (at least for me) culture.
Every time I say something about Korea there’s someone asking me why I like Korea so much …as if it was bad for someone to like another culture, but when someone loves France/London/ETC why they are not asked “why do you love France so much” is as if they think that Korea is nothing but noodles and crazy TV shows….
So for all of you who are always asking Why I like Korea so much here are some of the reasons
1.- I fall inlove with the language after watching a tv Show (My name is Kim Sam Soon), they are as loud as I am! :D 
2.- It’s such a cool City, like Mexico I think you can find some very traditional neighborhoods and around the corner find the Most awesome building ever! Lol
3.- I just like it…. End of the conversation!!! Haha jk ;)
Ok!!! So let’s get to the point of this post…. Let me give you a little information about Korea’s history.

Although Korea has a long history of unity and success, their present situation is horrible. Split into two countries following World War II, North Korea inherited a communistic form of government from the USSR, while South Korea became a democracy. While North Korea has lived in both a physical and religious drought, South Korea has found prosperity at home and abroad, as they grow in success, and spread the gospel around the world.
Korea is located in the Korean Peninsula and is extended trough 1.000Km from North to South. The Korean Peninsula is at the northeast of the Asian continent when Korean waters unify with the Occidental side of the Pacific Ocean.
Koreans Speak and write in the same language (Hangeul) and this has been a decisive factor leading to a strong national identity, there are also several dialects  besides the standard spoken in Seoul and even thou they are “different” all dialects (except for the one spoken in Jeju-do) are understandable among them.   
The Republic of Korea

South Korea came out of the war as a free nation, but they had little else to show for it. The war had completely disrupted the country and left an uneasy government. Syng-man Rhee was elected President three times, but general unrest and the April 19 Student Revolution of 1960 led to his resignation. The following years brought to power several other presidents and political groups, who worked to bring prosperity to Korea. Economic programs were implanted which thrust South Korea in line with industrially developed countries. However, things were not easy and despite the growth, assassinations, martial law and civil unrest have marked the nation's history since the 60's. When South Korea hosted
the Asian games in 1986, and the Summer Olympics in 1988, they advanced their international status, and the Korean people's national pride grew.
South Korea is a leading science and technology nation. It has an advanced and modern infrastructure and is a world leader in information technology such as electronics, semiconductors, LCD displays, computers and mobile phones. It is also a big steel-maker, shipbuilderand oil refiner and one of the world's top five automobile producers.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea

North Korea is the commonly used short form name for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (or DPRK), a state located in East Asia, in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula, with its capital and largest city being the city of Pyongyang.
North Korea is a one party state.The country's government styles itself as following the Juche ideology of self reliance, developed by Kim Il-sung, the country's former leader. The current leader is Kim Jong-il, the late president Kim Il-sung's son. Relations are strongest with other officially socialist states: Vietnam, Laos, especially China and Russia, as well as with Cambodia and Myanmar. Following a major famine in the early 1990s, due partly to the collapse of the Soviet Union (previously a major economic partner), leader Kim Jong-il instigated the "Military-First" policy in 1995, increasing economic concentration and support for the military.
Since the Korean War, it has been illegal to be a Christian in North Korea. At one time Pyongyang was the "Jerusalem of the East," and there were an estimated 300,000 believers in 1953. In 2001, only 1.7% of the population were Christians, most of these living in either labor camps, or in hiding. In place of the God of the Bible, Kim Jong Il has deified his father, with policies leading to the worship of Kim Il Sung. And so, while Christianity is suppressed, North Koreans are encouraged to idolize their former leader in a bizarre mixture of ancestor worship and a Maoist type personality cult.
Present Day Experiences
While South Korea is doing better and better, North Koreans are starving. Many people find ways to escape into China, and from there to places such as Cambodia and Thailand, and from there, they make their way to South Korea, where the government helps them. In conclusion, over the years North and South Korea have developed separately from each other. 

Special thanks to Wikipedia and a book I got from the Korea Embassy in Mexico City!
-Gisela V.

PS. If any of this information is wrong please let me know I wouldn't like to offend anyone :$