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Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

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Selected publications

2013 Travel Diary #24: Yin, Yang and Ginseng

Donguibogam Village, Sancheong-gun, Wednesday 11 September, 5:30pm. Refreshed by our nap on the fragrant pillow, we move on from the Traditional Medicine Experience Pavilion to the Theme Hall, outside which stand the statues of the two best known figures in Korean Traditional Medicine, who have now made it into popular culture courtesy of TV dramas: … [Read More]

2013 Travel Diary #23: The pillow of eternal youth

Donguibogam Village, Sancheong-gun, Wednesday 11 September, 5pm. At Korean expos, the emphasis is not on the looking. It is on the experiencing. You have to immerse yourself, to touch, to feel, to try something out. At the Sancheong International Traditional Medicine Fair and Festival, then, it was no surprise when the organisers, who had come … [Read More]

2013 Travel Diary #22: Tiger, Bear and herb: the traditional Korean medicine experience

Donguibogam Village, Sancheong-gun, Wednesday 11 September, 4pm. In Korean mythology, it seems that it’s not the bear that has the sore head. It’s the tiger. In the Korean Medicine Theme Park, which forms part of the Donguibogam Village, the exhibits focus on the different parts of the human body, but throughout there is the recurring … [Read More]

2013 Travel Diary #21: Return to Sancheong

Unjusa, Hwasun-gun, Wednesday 11 September, 10am. It’s not yet mid-morning, but the temperature is already uncomfortable despite the lack of sun. Once again, it’s pleasant to get inside the air-conditioned car to head back to Sancheong. As we drive back, I give Sena a call to arrange to see her later that afternoon. As LKL’s … [Read More]

2013 Travel Diary #13: The Sancheong Oriental Medicinal Herb Institute

Sanchong-eup, Sancheong-gun, Monday 9 September, 10am. At the Institute, the chief researcher Dr Kim Yun-geun shows me round the various laboratories. It’s one of those scenarios where the guide has only a few words of English, the subject is extremely specialist and so Kyung-sook, who I discover later has been press-ganged into delivering the presentation … [Read More]

2013 Travel Diary #10: Breakfast at Beopgyesa

Beopgyesa Temple, Jirisan, Sancheong-gun, Sunday 8 September, 8:30am. Breakfast is again in the kitchen, and as usual (because I’m a foreigner unused to sitting on the floor) I’m allowed to sit with my back to the wall. I’m encouraged to stretch my legs out straight, and pummel my thighs and massage my knees, which are already … [Read More]

2013 Travel Diary #8: Prayers to the Sanshin

Danseong-myeon, Sancheong-gun, Saturday 7 September, 4pm. After last year’s abortive attempt to get to the top of the highest mountain on mainland South Korea, I was determined to give it another go at a time of year when there was guaranteed not to be any ice on the path. As an added bonus, what would … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

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 … [Read More]

2013 Travel Diary #2: 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 More]