Market in Hongdae

Market in Hongdae

Interested in going to a Market in Hongdae? There are 2!

One of our favorite things to do on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon is a little shopping in Hongdae.

Located in the park near Hongik University is an eccentric little market in Hongdae, full of exotic jewelry, colorful paintings, beautiful wallets, journals that seem to scream “write something pensive in me!”,  and so much more.

And the best part is that everything is hand made! The artists proudly display their work in individual booths, and you can be assured that everything is made by hand.

These 2  markets take place on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, starting at 1pm, from March until November. The Saturday market is called “Free Market,” and the Sunday market is called “Hope Market.” The Free Market on Saturdays displays a lot of clothing items, paintings, hats, shoes, and bags, while the Hope Market on Sundays is often filled with more accessories, jewelry, and craft items.

Hongdae’s Free Market and Hope Market are the perfect place to get a little shopping done. So grab a coffee, grab a friend, and buy some beautiful hand made items from some of Korea’s most creative artists!

  • How To Get There: Get off at Hongik Univ. Station (line 2) and take Exit 6, walk straight to the four-way intersection, make a left, continue until the end of the street, make a right, follow the uphill road on the right.
  • When To Go: Saturday and Sunday starting at 1:00pm, running from March to November.
  • Contact Info: For more information on this and other markets around the city, click here.

…brought to you by the Adventure Teaching Korea team…

Korean Temple stay

Korean Temple stay

Last year, we went on a Korean Temple stay and it was so much fun.

It was quite a different experience for us and something we’ll always remember. We went with a group from Adventure Korea and they did a great job leading the trip. We got to meet and get to know a Korean monk, we stayed in temple housing, we wore temple clothing, we ate temple food, and took walks around the beautiful temple ground. Plus, we found time to meditate & write in our journal.

Unfortunately, it was a bit cold and rainy for the end of April so we’d love to go again & experience a Temple stay during a warm and sunny weekend. It’s a unique experience that we cannot recommend enough while living in Korea.

Here are a few photos from our weekend – we’re looking forward to going again this year!

…brought to you by the Adventure Teaching Korea team

 

Korean baseball

a Korean Baseball game

“More intense than a playoff game at Yankee Stadium” was one of my many thoughts as I observed a packed Jamsil Stadium of 27,500 fans cheering on their teams during a close game (3-2) between the LG Twins of Seoul and Samsung Lions of Daegu last month, with the Lions coming out on top.

Korean baseball has grown in popularity a great deal over the past few years, and judging by the unbridled enthusiasm of the fans, excitement for this sport is not dwindling anytime soon.

Korea Baseball Championship (also referred to as Korea Professional Baseball) was founded in 1982 with six franchise teams and has since grown to eight. All teams are named after the Korean company that owns them – Doosan Bears (Seoul), LG Twins (Seoul), Nexen Heroes (Seoul), Lotte Giants (Busan), Kia Tigers (Gwangju), Samsung Lions (Daegu), Hanwha Eagles (Daejeon), Nexen Heroes (Seoul) and SK Wyverns (Incheon) are the current teams.

In terms of popularity, all teams have a decent following but while taking an informal poll of my students’ preference, the Bears, Tigers, Lions and Twins are most often mentioned as being their favorite. All four teams also happen to have been part of the original group when the league was started 30 years ago. The Kia Tigers (formerly Haitai Tigers) have been the most successful team thus far – winning 10 championships to date. And next season, the NC Dinos of Changwon will be added as the ninth team.

Currently, each team plays 133 games in the regular season, playing every other team 19 times. Each team has a stadium in their home city – the largest being Sajik Baseball Stadium, home to the Lotte Giants in Busan with a capacity of 28,500.

Interestingly, the league places a cap on the number of foreign players allowed on club rosters, currently set at two allowed per team.

In order to prepare for a Korean baseball game, it takes some effort. Here are a few tips to get you ahead of the curve.

Tickets

As a foreigner, I found it pretty difficult to get tickets. Most team websites are in Korean without an English option (except Doosan). It appeared the only three ways to buy tickets were at an ATM (Family Mart or GS), over the phone (in Korean) or at the stadium itself, with limited hours.

After asking my Korean co-teacher for help, it turns out you can buy tickets online but need a Korean credit card. The only seats available were the cheap ones (8,000 won!) in the outfield bleachers, and she was kind enough to purchase mine for me.

When our group of four arrived at Jamsil, with tickets in hand, turns out we had shown up too late for a seat. Korean families and couples had clearly been camped out for hours, enjoying their picnics in the shaded sun. We walked the entire section, from left to right field, twice, only to discover there were just a few single seats left.

The reserved seats also happened to be sold-out. So, our last resort was buying from a scalper. Which we did, from in 80-year-old ajumma, selling four seats together, in the visiting team’s section, for 5,000 Won more than the face value. We agreed immediately since it meant sitting together, comfortably, for the next three hours. 

For a stress-free arrival, I recommend finding a friend with a Korean credit card and trying to get reserved seats online before the game. Or if you are willing to show up at the stadium without seats, finding a scalper works too – if only for the story (ours was hilarious!) Just make sure to brush up on your Korean number vocabulary before negotiating.

Food/Drinks

Unlike most professional sports in the United States, food and drinks at Korean baseball games are very affordable. Fans are allowed to bring in any outside food of their choosing, which can be brought from home in coolers or bought outside the stadium, no questions posed by stadium security.

The choices are endless – ranging from Korean food (a wide variety of kimbop, rice cakes, fish chips) to Western options (KFC, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King and many GS marts are found surrounding Jamsil). Water, beer and other beverages are also sold without mark-up (unheard of in the U.S.).

My favorite part may have been the delivery bikes, that drive in from all over the city, lined up with loads of boxes of fried chicken, each costing just 10,000 Won.

And if you don’t pack enough to bring into the game, there are food and drink options inside the stadium, as well. Cass on-tap is 2,500 for a sizeable glass and most of the time, you don’t even have to leave your seat to enjoy it, as the “beer guy” comes to you, uniformed in a chilled beer backpack.

 

Chants/Cheers

First of all, if you want to fit in as a real Korean baseball fan, purchase your chosen team’s thundersticks (colored, plastic air-filled bats) before the game; they sold in the subway station and outside the stadium for a mere 1,000 Won. Over half the stadium – men, women and children – used them to cheer on the Lions and Twins throughout the game. When hit just hard enough at the right spot, the sound can be deafening.

Each team also has cheerleaders and a mascot posted on each dugout – there are drums, signs in both English and Korean (one said “Save Us” towards the end of the game when the Lions were leading) and music to get the fans as involved as possible.

Songs heard throughout the game included “It’s a Small World,” Culture Club’s “Karma Chameleon,” “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, and Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

One of the more common chants throughout the game was “Anta!” (meaning, “hit!”), followed by the player’s name. And “Home Run!” was also heard in unison. And try to learn some Hangeul before the game because the cheerleaders often hold signs up with each players’ names to be chanted.

With Korean baseball, it seems to be all about the preparations – getting tickets, arriving early, buying food and beer to last during the game. Then once at the game, you can settled in – with your team’s thundersticks – and have a good time yelling and cheering for a win.

The high-level of energy is sustained throughout the entire game, which may be the most impressive thing about it all. The fans just don’t tire. There was never a lull in action.

The most exciting moment, though, was in the seventh inning when the Lions scored three runs by putting together a few consecutive hits. Then there was a double play that caused the fans to go wild. Maybe one of the loudest moments I’ve experienced watching sports, ever.

I highly recommend a game that starts around 5pm because you get the last of the sun but still get to enjoy the lights coming on for a night game which always makes a baseball game that much more of a blast.

Whether you’re a sports fan or not, attending a Korean baseball game is well worth it.

 

…brought to you by the Adventure Teaching…

Seoul

Seoul

As spring approaches (or is basically already here!), we’re reminded of our love of Seoul and the entire country of Korea. When the sun shines and the air is warm, we just can’t help but feel so happy & excited for the change in weather. Winter (and ski season) is behind us and we’re looking forward to warmer hikes, city strolling, outside dining, Han River biking, picnics in parks, patio drinking, beach visits and sightseeing.

Here are a few shots from around Seoul to get you (and us) stoked for this season. We’d love for your to share your photos, as well – on our Facebook wall, Twitter feed or Pinterest page

…brought to you by Adventure Teaching…

 

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom – Korea

We are so excited that Cherry Blossom season in Korea will soon be upon us.

It just brightens up all of the towns and makes everything so beautiful. So make sure you get out there and check out all of the stunning scenery this season has to offer. We’d love to see your photos, too. Here are a few of ours from last year to help you get excited for the blossoms this year!

There are many festivals that celebrate the cherry blossoms in Korea – the most popular being Yeouido in Seoul. We’ll keep you updated via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest on other festivals during the season. Enjoy!

 

Send us some of your Spring photos at [email protected]

 

 

Noryangjin Fish Market

Noryangjin Fish Market

Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul is still one of Korea’s biggest seafood markets. It is an extensive farmers fish market in the neighborhood of Noryangjin-dong in Dongjak-gu, and is located east of Building 63.

 

To get there, take the subway from Chungmuro Station (Line 4) to Seoul  Station and transfer to Line 1. Alight at Noryangjin Station (Exit 1) and walk across the overhead bridge to the market.

Noryangjin Fish Market was established in 1927 as Gyeongseong Susan (경성수산) on Uijuro(의주로) in Jung-gu near Seoul Station and moved to its current location in central Seoul in 1971

At Noryangjin, you pick out your seafood on the lower level, and then you take it upstairs to one of the restaurants, where it is prepared for you.

 

For more information:

Culture Trip.

 

AT Unpacked

We’d love for you to join us on Saturday, March 16 at 7:30pm at Big Rock Brewery in Gangnam to meet other AT Teachers and the AT Team!

As a new school year starts up in Korea, we’re getting the AT teachers together for a night out in Seoul. It will be a fun, casual atmosphere with live music & great beer. Whether you’re new to Korea or have been here for ages (like us!), we’d love for you to come out & meet your fellow AT teachers.

Location: Big Rock Brewery in Gangnam (http://www.bigrockbeer.co.kr/index.php)
Address: 818-8 Yonjeong building, Yeoksam-dong Gangnam-gu
Details: 10,000 won cover (includes a free drink & a little gift from the AT team!)

Directions: Gangnam Station, exit No. 11; walk straight until you see a small alley on your left; you’ll see a GS 25 directly in front of you; turn left into the alley and walk straight for a few minutes; you will pass two alleys; at the third alley, turn left and keep walking; Big Rock Brewery is a 1-minute walk from here, and will be on your right.

Directions online: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=211401472573178457911.000482524170ea51e91c5

Facebook invite: http://www.facebook.com/events/426831937397673/ (Please RSVP if you can!)

We’re looking forward to meeting everybody – see you there!

Seoul Rooftop

Seoul Rooftop

A few months ago, I stayed with my friend in Itaewon before an early morning flight from Incheon to Hong Kong for a quick holiday. I woke up early, anxious for my holiday and climbed up to his Seoul rooftop to check-out the city views from his tiled roof. It was a chilly morning and a beautiful setting for a few photos.

Seoul has some of the most amazing views in unexpected places! What places have you came across? Any other Seoul rooftop views we should know about?

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Ice Skating in Seoul

Ice Skating in Seoul

Dig out your ice skates (because I’m sure you brought them with you), and start reviewing your triple sow cow technique, because this Holiday Adventure will have you gliding through the Seoul Plaza in style. Ok, let’s be honest, a lot of us won’t be so much gliding as wide-eyed and wobbling, but either way, this is one winter activity you just can’t miss. Ice skating in Seoul is just a must!

The skating facilities have really improved this year–foreigners can now make reservations and pay online in advance. The rest areas and toilets have been expanded. Also, there will be more skating classes available this year, for those of us who spend more time on our bums than on our skates. For more information on class times, click here. If you’re not so much into skating as laughing at others fall hopelessly on their face, there will be a music booth and lounge to enjoy some wintry treats.

(Photo credit: http://www.visitseoul.net)

  • How to Get There: Line 1 Jonggak Stn. Exits 5, 6  / Line 5 Gwanghwamun Stn. Exits 5, 6  / Line 2 City Hall Stn. Exits 5, 6
  • When To Go: Open from 10am – 10pm on weekdays and 10am-11pm on weekends and holidays.
  • Cost: 1,000 won/hour (includes skates and helmet) / 500 won for a locker / 500 won for gloves / 1,500 won for socks

Busan Temple

Busan Temple: Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

From AT Teacher, Alex Mottern: “This is the most beautiful temple I have ever seen. And I can’t wait to go back in Spring via the hike from Haeundae. The beauty of the Haedong Yonggung Temple does not simply come from the massive gold buddha, but from a dragon statue surrounded by miniature people figurines, and the surroundings of the sea and mountain.” 

It is situated on the coast of the north-eastern portion of Busan. Since most temples are found in the mountains, it’s a pretty amazing sight to see this one right next to the ocean.

Follow Alex on Twitter & Blogspot to hear all about life in Busan!