2013 Travel Diary #31: We are all heroes – Baseball and the Bull at Seoul Museum

Seoul Museum, Buamdong, Seoul, Saturday 14 September, 4pm. Seoul Museum’s current exhibition focuses on Park Chan-ho, an inspirational baseball player who played in the US, including at the LA Dodgers, in a career that spanned 18 years from 1994 to 2012. An oversized sculpture of him in Gwon Osang’s familiar style greets you as you […]

The Changdeokgung’s Injeong Hall – Welcome to the Rock Show!

When I visited Changdeok Palace in Seoul, my attention was naturally focussed mainly on the buildings themselves. One of these buildings is the Injeong Hall (Injeongjeon), which was used for important celebrations and ceremonies. The unassuming forecourt one walks through to enter the hall was been designed with great care, but for the unsuspecting observer […]

2010 Travel Diary #13: Jogyesa and Insadong

Monday 3 May 2010. From Gangnam I’m driven back to my hotel near Gwanghwamun. Lunch that day had been difficult to face – particularly the fermented skate: unpleasant enough at the best of times, but distinctly dangerous if you’re feeling badly hung over. Even in the evening I’m still suffering from the previous day’s festivities, […]

2010 Travel Diary #7: The Jongmyo Rituals, part 1

Sunday 2 May 2010. I found it really quite hard to find accessible information online in respect of the Jongmyo rituals. Often, on the UNESCO site, there is documentation which sets out why the submitting country thinks that this particular intangible cultural property is worthy of inscription on the international list. But no such information […]

The Gwanghwamun and its many rebirths

When General Yi Song-gye founded the Joseon dynasty and moved Korea’s capital to Seoul, he needed a palace of suitable magnificence. The Gyeongbokgung (경복궁) was carefully sited by the royal geomancers to benefit from the perfect Pung Su (풍수), and at its southernmost point, in direct alignment with the main throne room, the Gwanghwamun (광화문 […]

2008 Travel diary day 5: Buamdong and home

Insadong, Seoul, Tuesday 19 February: a final browse in Insadong before catching the shuttle bus to the Whanki Museum. After which a quick browse around Bukchon and Samcheong-dong and it was time to head for the aiport. I pick up the shuttle bus at the Koreana hotel and pretty soon I’m in Incheon, where the […]

Seoul’s hanoks

There was a feature in FT a couple of weeks ago on the Bukchon district of Seoul. It’s a place as far as you can get from Apgujeong in terms of style of living. It’s the sort of place where Kim Ki-duk might be caught filming traditional housing as seen in 3-Iron, and is inhabited […]