Tongyeong-si

I have now visited three places where Joseon dynasty scholar-official Song Si-yeol has made his mark. In none of the places did I register the connection until after returning to London; in two of the places I never got to see the mark he left (there wasn’t enough time on the schedule) and in the […]

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I think I just don’t get Park Kyung-ni

by Philip Gowman 19 April 2015
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Having failed to make much headway with Park Kyung-ni’s T’oji / Land, I thought I might give her Curse of Kim’s Daughters a try, in preparation for a re-watch of Yu Hyun-mok’s film adaptation of the novel. I didn’t particularly enjoy the movie the first time I saw it. But then, so far I haven’t […]

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If aliens landed in Gyeongnam, would they think Koreans worshipped the turtle?

by Philip Gowman 10 August 2014
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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. […]

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Hahaha – the first Hong Sang-soo film I’ve enjoyed without trying

by Philip Gowman 9 April 2013
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OK, it was the second time I had seen it. The first time, I had slept through it. But that was because I had been entering into the spirit rather too much by indulging in a drinking session of Hongian proportions beforehand. The second time round, there was the anticipation of seeing the lead actress […]

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Hong Sang-soo’s Hahaha to screen at BAFTA, with Moon So-ri Q&A

by Events Editor 31 March 2013
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People who know me will be aware that my sincere appreciation of Hong Sang-soo’s work does not mean that I always stay awake during his movies. But having been to Tongyeong since the first time I went to the theatre when Hahaha was screening, I know I’ll be wide awake for the upcoming screening on […]

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2012 Travel Diary 13: Jeon Hyuck-lim, Magician of Colours

by Philip Gowman 22 June 2012
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Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Wednesday 28 March 2012. It’s my last morning in Tongyeong, and like the previous two days, the air is crisp, the sky clear and the sea calm. I wish I could stay longer. There is an inviting jogging track, starting at the Chungmu Marina Resort, which takes you some of the way along the […]

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Some regional foods in Tongyeong

by Philip Gowman 16 June 2012
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Korea is a foodie paradise, and while you can get by very nicely on bibimbap and bulgogi, there’s so much more to discover. Here’s some of the treats I discovered down south on my recent trip – and thanks to Suzy in Seoul for some of the recommendations for Tongyeong, given over some splended smoked […]

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2012 Travel Diary 12: Yun Isang’s music at TIMF 2012

by Philip Gowman 12 June 2012
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Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Tuesday 27 March 2012. Just how popular is Yun Isang’s music? At best, it’s an acquired taste, and one which I have yet to acquire, though I do know people who say they like it. In conversation with Alexander Liebreich, artistic director of the Tongyeong International Music Festival since 2011 and chief conductor of […]

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2012 Travel Diary 11: The Tongyeong International Music Festival

by Philip Gowman 9 June 2012
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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 […]

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2012 Travel Diary 10: Mireuksan and meonggae – a morning on Mireukdo

by Philip Gowman 31 May 2012
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Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Tuesday 27 March 2012. Having experienced the sea, islands and much of Yi Sun Shin the day before, today was the day to try Tongyeong’s highest peak, Mireuksan, which shares its name with the island of Mireukdo. There is a cable car which takes you to within a few minutes’ walk of the summit. […]

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

by Philip Gowman 29 May 2012
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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 […]

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2012 Travel Diary 8: Yun Isang, Sancheong and Tongyeong

by Philip Gowman 27 May 2012
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Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Monday 26 March 2012. The day has been devoted mainly to exploring some of the Joseon dynasty naval history in which Tongyeong played its part. But we’re also in Tongyeong to attend the Tongyeong International Music Festival, focusing on concerts which have music by Tongyeong’s most famous musical son, composer Yun Isang. In […]

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2012 Travel Diary 7: Yi Sun-shin — military genius, hero, poet

by Philip Gowman 24 May 2012
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Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Monday 26 March 2012. The brief ferry ride from Tongyeong to Hansando traverses the sheltered sound where Admiral Yi Sun-shin won a famous victory over the Japanese navy on 14 August 1592. On the day I crossed, it was difficult to imagine the tumult of a battle in which 47 Japanese ships were […]

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2012 Travel Diary 6: Tongyeong harbour

by Philip Gowman 9 May 2012
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Tongyeong, Gyeongsangnam-do, Monday 26 March 2012. It’s another beautiful, crisp spring morning. The sea is calm, the sky is cloudless, but the temperature out of the sun is not far above freezing. The light is perfect for a few early photographs of the view from the hotel and from its waterside terrace, though it’s tricky […]

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2012 Travel Diary 5: the Trip to Tongyeong

by Philip Gowman 5 May 2012
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Seoul, Sunday 25 March 2012. Seoul’s Express Bus terminal is rather confusing. Even my Korean companion is struggling to figure out where to buy the tickets, what the difference is between a standard and a deluxe bus, and where they go from. We eventually work it out, and I’m glad she decided to tag along […]

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Park Kyung-ni’s tomb in Tongyeong

by Philip Gowman 28 April 2012
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For peope who like to track down literary landmarks, the tomb of Park Kyung-ni, author of the sweeping epic T’oji (Land) can be found on Mireukdo, Tongyeong, just above a memorial hall dedicated to her life and work. And for those who are short of time (like me), and like to tick off a number […]

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Hong Sang-soo wins Un Certain Regard

by Philip Gowman 23 May 2010
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Hong Sang-soo wins Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes for Hahaha http://bit.ly/cjguln #. Nice shots of the Tongyeong area. Keywords: Directors: Hong Sang-soo Places: Tongyeong-si Other tags: Cannes

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