2013 Travel Diary #5: The official duties

Donguibogam Village, Sancheong-gun, Friday 6 September, 2pm. After lunch, I realise that I now have to perform my ambassadorial duties. My sense of gloom is at odds with the enthusiastic spiel that I have to present to the camera. We proceed to the Donguibogam Museum where we meet up with a few people in an […]

2013 Travel Diary #4: Honouring the spirits, feeling the gi

Donguibogam Village, Sancheong-gun, Friday 6 September, 9am. In the daylight, I am beginning to get my bearings. The Sancheong World Traditional Medicine Expo is set in a 109 hectare (269 acre) site dominated by the dramatic peaks of Pilbongsan (pencil-peak mountain) and Wangsan (the King’s mountain). The natural slopes of these mountains establish the geography […]

2013 Travel Diary #3: 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 […]

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 […]

2012 Travel Diary 11: The Tongyeong International Music Festival

Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Tuesday 27 March 2012. The Yun Isang Memorial Hall is a short walk from the ferry terminal which serves Tongyeong’s outlying islands. I had come there to attend a symposium attended by the two composers-in-residence and the Musical Director of the Tongyeong International Music Festival, which is now in its 10th year. It grew […]

2012 Travel Diary 9: Yun Isang — Victim of the Cold War

Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Monday 26 March 2012. For most big Korean cultural events there’s a glossy brochure with a welcome message from various officials and dignitaries. And for the most important events you might expect a welcome message from the Minister of Culture. It is a measure of the sensitivity of the Tongyeong International Music Festival’s […]

The G20 Summit at the Seoul Lantern Festival

It was a nice idea to create a special lantern in honour of the G20 leaders as part of the Seoul Lantern Festival. The bit in the red circle contains their likenesses. But unfortunately there was a misunderstanding about the country represented by one leader: Korea welcomes 'Julia von Trapp'. As the Marmot says: Australia, […]