Tourism

Looking back at some of my travel photos, I can’t help but notice the prominence of turtles in the south of the peninsula. The symbolism of the turtle is explained briefly in the Life in Korea website as follows: While the dragon was considered the ruler of all animals, the turtle ruled over the insects. […]

{ 0 comments }

Mun Ik-jeom: dutiful son and smuggler of cotton seeds

by Philip Gowman 18 July 2014
Thumbnail image for Mun Ik-jeom: dutiful son and smuggler of cotton seeds

Mun Ik jeom (문익점, 文益漸) was a rare individual who was honoured by the kings of two royal dynasties, first by King U of Goryeo and second by the great Joseon King Sejong. The honour received from Sejong was posthumous, and was in recognition of what started, in modern day terms, as industrial espionage. And […]

Read the full article →

Namhansanseong joins Suwon fortress on UNESCO World Heritage list

by Philip Gowman 30 June 2014
Thumbnail image for Namhansanseong joins Suwon fortress on UNESCO World Heritage list

South Korea’s eleventh listing on the UNESCO World Heritage list is Namhansanseong. It was added to the list at the end of a 10 day meeting of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee at Doha on 25 June. According to the summary on the UNESCO website: Namhansanseong was designed as an emergency capital for the Joson dynasty […]

Read the full article →

Interview with the new KTO President in Korea Herald

by Philip Gowman 19 June 2014
Thumbnail image for Interview with the new KTO President in Korea Herald

Hmmm. Gone is the 기, 흥 and 정 of Lee Charm. Instead, are we to get an emphasis on K-pop at the expense of the more traditional things? Two quotes from an interview with Byun Choo-suk, the new KTO president, in the Korea Herald: “The royal guard changing ceremony at palaces in Seoul, traditional mask […]

Read the full article →

Looking back at 2013: Culture, tourism and branding stories

by Philip Gowman 2 February 2014
Thumbnail image for Looking back at 2013: Culture, tourism and branding stories

In the second of five articles looking back over 2013, we recall some of the tourism and heritage stories that made the news. And we also take a look at some of the stories about Korean food, given the increasing popularity of Korean cuisine of Korea. Arts and Heritage Sungnyemun, the great Namdaemun gate, reopened […]

Read the full article →

Travelling the length of Korea by motorbike

by Philip Gowman 29 December 2013
Thumbnail image for Travelling the length of Korea by motorbike

For those who haven’t come across this yet: a project by some bold Kiwis to travel the length of the Korean peninsula, from Baekdusan to Hallsan, by motorbike. The journey took place this summer. Here’s a quick (12 minute) podcast they produced just after they crossed the DMZ into South Korea. and a video documentary […]

Read the full article →

YG v CJ, and PSY everywhere, at Billingsate

by Philip Gowman 6 November 2013
Thumbnail image for YG v CJ, and PSY everywhere, at Billingsate

Day 1 of the Korea Branding and Entertainment Expo, coinciding with President Park’s State Visit, was very much business-focused, with fashion and contents buyers browsing the many stalls. Day 2 was given over to the visual arts and musical entertainments. Downstairs, in the spectacular vaulted basement, was a huge exhibition of video art, celebrating the […]

Read the full article →

More details on Crystallize – at KBEE London

by Philip Gowman 29 October 2013
Thumbnail image for More details on Crystallize – at KBEE London

ISKAI Contemporary Art has released more information about the exhibition at Old Billingsgate, as part of the Korea Brand and Entertainment Expo: Culture and technology unite Korean and UK artists at world’s largest Hallyu Expo • 4 – 6 November 2013 • Old Billingsgate Building, London, EC3R 6DX • Korean and UK artists collaborate through […]

Read the full article →

The Guardian hikes the Baekdu-daegan

by Philip Gowman 27 October 2013
Thumbnail image for The Guardian hikes the Baekdu-daegan

There’s a nice piece in The Guardian this week about hiking the Baekdu-daegan. The author starts at Cheonwangbong peak, Jirisan, in Sancheong County (Gyeongsangnam-do) and walks north, ending his hike in the Deogyusan national park in Muju County, Jeollabuk-do. Koreans have long believed that a current of life-energy, or gi, runs between [Jirisan in the […]

Read the full article →

2013 Korea Brand & Entertainment Expo celebrates the best of contemporary Korea

by Philip Gowman 12 October 2013
Thumbnail image for 2013 Korea Brand & Entertainment Expo celebrates the best of contemporary Korea

I’m struggling to keep up with the things which are being packed in to the three-day extravaganza at Old Billingsgate in the City, which accompanies the State Visit of President Park Geun-hye. KOTRA and KOCCA, with support from KIDP and ARKO, are working around the clock to bring a kaleidoscopic expo featuring some of the […]

Read the full article →

A quick thank you to the many who once again made my Korea trip so special

by Philip Gowman 28 September 2013
Thumbnail image for A quick thank you to the many who once again made my Korea trip so special

While this year’s trip to Korea is still fresh in my mind, here are a few thank-yous to the many people who made the trip special. Write-ups will follow over the coming weeks, not necessarily in chronological order. Thanks… To former LKL contributor Shin Eunjung and Tim Anderson for the splendid Gwangyang Bulgogi in, er, […]

Read the full article →

MMLG3: Preparing for the Expo

by Philip Gowman 6 September 2013
Thumbnail image for MMLG3: Preparing for the Expo

Donguibogam Village, Sancheong-gun, Friday 6 September, 7am. Four hundred years ago, a ground-breaking medical encyclopaedia was published. The Donguibogam, literally the Principles and Practice of Eastern Medicine, was compiled and edited by Heo Jun, a Korean royal doctor, with the support of a team of medical scholars and academics. The work had been commissioned by […]

Read the full article →

MMLG2: Arrival in Sancheong

by Philip Gowman 5 September 2013
Thumbnail image for MMLG2: Arrival in Sancheong

Incheon, Thursday 5 September, 2pm. As I leave the plane at Incheon, one of the hostesses says: “I hope it’s alright. We tried to get most of the tomato juice off…” Ah, so that’s what my neighbour had been apologising about in the first place, before he added to the offence by tipping water on […]

Read the full article →

MMLG1: The release of stress

by Philip Gowman 4 September 2013
Thumbnail image for MMLG1: The release of stress

London, Wednesday 4 September, 3pm. The stress of clearing the desk before leaving the office, of wondering if you’ve packed everything you need, immediately evaporates as you get into the taxi. There’s nothing more you can do, as you make your way through the rush hour traffic to Heathrow for the evening flight to Seoul. […]

Read the full article →

LKL’s 2013 Travel Diaries: Mountain Medicine Land and Grain — Introduction

by Philip Gowman 3 September 2013
Thumbnail image for LKL’s 2013 Travel Diaries: Mountain Medicine Land and Grain — Introduction

In 2010, I travelled to Korea on a visit sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture Sports & Tourism, and ended up getting my travel diary printed up as a book courtesy of that Ministry. My visit had encompassed things I myself had wanted to do, and things that my hosts and Korean friends had […]

Read the full article →

London Book Fair 2013 – an overview of the Korean publishing market and a brief meeting with Choe Yun and Jung Young-moon

by Philip Gowman 12 May 2013
Thumbnail image for London Book Fair 2013 – an overview of the Korean publishing market and a brief meeting with Choe Yun and Jung Young-moon

London Book Fair 2014 will see Korea as the Market Focus Country. And in 2013 Korea was there to prepare the way. The Korea Publishers Association and the Literature Translation Institute of Korea jointly occupied a stall at the Earl’s Court exhibition, displaying among other things a wide range of translated Korean literature, including a […]

Read the full article →

The Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 opens in Jeollanam-do

by Philip Gowman 21 April 2013
Thumbnail image for The Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 opens in Jeollanam-do

Hwang Ji-hae, Korea’s best-known garden designer, won’t be at Chelsea this year. After two consecutive Chelsea gold medals, she’s taking a break from what is possibly the world’s most prestigious flower show, and instead has been concentrating on designing a garden closer to home: for Korea’s first International Garden Expo at Suncheon, Jeollanam-do. The Mayor […]

Read the full article →