2010 Travel Diary #20: The House of Choi Champan

Wednesday 5 May 2010. What is authenticity? Probably, over the course of Korea’s long history, most of Korea’s precious buildings have burned down and been rebuilt. It’s a natural hazard of building from sustainable materials such as wood. Marauding invaders or revolting slaves can cause great destruction with just a single spark. The reconstruction work […]

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 #12: A Meeting with Sorea

Monday 3 May 2010. In an unprepossessing building in a small backstreet in trendy Gangnam is a compact office which manages a gugak fusion band which briefly caught the spirit of a nation. At the height of the Korea, Sparkling promotional campaign, when the Korean Tourism Organisation was promoting Korea as a place with ancient […]

2010 Travel Diary #9: MISO at the Chongdong Theatre

Sunday 2 May 2010. Korea is known for its high-energy stage shows. They have a huge international appeal. Shows like Nanta and Jump perform to enthusiastic audiences everywhere, combining acrobatics, humour, music and maybe some traditional culture – though dressed-up in an accessible way. A feature of the shows is that they are largely non-verbal […]

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 […]