Oksae (억새) at Haneul Park in Seoul.

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Now that it is the peak of Autumn in Korea, and soon to be winter, it is the perfect opportunity to see Oksae (억새)! magnificent Silvergrass!

In October, I went with some friends to Haneul Park, located within the World Cup Park in Seoul to see the amazing silvergrass during the sunset. It was really beautiful. If you take the subway to World Cup Park and then take a short walk up the mountain you can easily see a lot of Oksae and some amazing views of the stadium, as well as the Han River and the rest of Seoul.

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A really interesting thing about Haneul Park, which is one of the 5 smaller parks which make up Seoul’s World Cup Park, is that it was built on land fill! the site used to be 15 years (92 million tonnes) worth of rubbish. It is one of the great and ingenious ways in which Seoul has developed recently, turning a dumping site into a beautiful park for people to enjoy.

At this time of year the park is open later, so that you can enjoy the Oksae during the evening as well as the day time. Check out my photos from Haneul Park! I really recommend visiting now before winter arrives!

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Pro Baseball / KBO (프로야구)

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The korean word for Baseball is Yagu (야구), and It’s playoff season in the KBO! (Korean Baseball Organization) For the teams that made the finals it’s very exciting for their fans!
I’m an LG Twins fan, so in June this year i attended a couple of matches at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul.
Sport, especially baseball in Korea is so exciting, members of the crowd have many songs and cheers for each player and team! you can also bring in your own food and drinks! My favourite food to have while at the stadium is Chimaek (치맥)! which is Chicken (치킨) & Beer (맥주). You can also buy many other delicious snacks and drinks in the stadium! Korean baseball games are also quite unique…between innings’ the camera will find crowd members to participate in fun games, like Dance Time, Kiss Time and Beer drinking races! very funny and entertaining!

Tickets are quite cheap (ranging from about 10-15 dollars), which makes it a great and affordable evening with friends.

The official KBO website is http://www.koreabaseball.com/ you can follow your favourite teams news, results and statistics here! It’s quite hard to find information about KBO in English online, however i stumbled across this great website recently:http://www.mykbo.net/home Check it out for lots of team, player and game info! you can also get a link to watch games online from your country!

I also found an App in the Google Play store for Android called 프로야구 which is FREE and has all live scores, stats etc! very convenient for checking results quickly on your portable device!

무적엘지!!!

Naksan Park 낙산공원 – Hyehwa, Seoul

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In Korea, living in Hyehwa, I was super lucky that there are many entertaining things to do and see – Theatres, cafes, restaurants etc…but a 5 minute stroll up the hill takes  you to a super relaxing and peaceful park, one of my favourite places in Korea. (apparently Rooftop Prince had some scenes here too..)

I went up here almost daily, so i thought i would introduce it to you.

Naksan Park (낙산공원) is located just up the hill form exit 3 of Hyehwa station (line 4). Just keep walking up the hill, past all the decorated buildings and walls and you will find the entrance.

From Naksan park, which is open 24 hours, you can get incredible views of Seoul, especially Namsan tower at sunset. Check out my photos below.

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In the park are nice walking paths, excercise equipment and great photo opportunities!

From Naksan park you can walk along the old Seoul wall to either HyehwaMun at Hyehwa Rotary – or all the way to Dongdaemun and go shopping!

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Banpo Bridge – Rainbow Fountain (반포대교 달빛무지개분수)

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There are 27 bridges that cross the Han River in Seoul, and perhaps one of the most unique of them is Banpo Bridge (반포대교). Not only is it special because it is a “double bridge” by being on top of Jamsu bridge, but it also features the famous Moonlight Rainbow Fountain (달빛무지개 분수).  

The fountain is 1,140m long and consists of close to 10,000 LED nozzles which pump out 190 tons of water per minute, giving it the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest fountain bridge. 200 coloured lights and an enjoyable soundtrack synced to the fountain create an amazing atmosphere in the evening. From Banpo Bridge, you can also get a great view of Seoul N Tower (Namsan Tower) from across the river lit up at night!
I recommend going there with a friend, take a couple of cans of beer, and have some chicken delivered (Chicken & Beer = Chimaek, i’ll post about this later), It will be a lovely and memorable evening by the Han River!
It can get quite crowded though, so come early and take a seat on the steps.

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The fountain operates at 12pm, 8pm and 9pm on weekdays, and 12pm, 5pm, 7.30pm, 8pm, 8.30pm, 9pm & 9.30pm on weekends, depending on the time of year.

Check out my video of Banpo Rainbow Fountain Bridge taken in summer this year:

Haenyo (해녀) / Jeju Women Divers

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The women divers of Jejudo are so fascinating, as is the story of how they came to be.
Jeju Island is located off the bottom of Korea and is well known for its Volcanic rocks, Hallabong fruits and fresh seafoods.
While i was in Jeju Island, i found out that up until the 19th century, the men of Jejudo caught seafood, but as taxes were increased it became unprofitable for them to continue, so the women of Jejudo who did not have to pay taxes took over the duty of diving for abalone, octopus and other seafoods. Exporting of the seafood to Japan increased which resulted in the women making quite decent money and being able to afford to send their children to big cities for university. But because now the next generation of women have college educations, they are turning to other career choices which results in there being less and less women divers left.

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Amazingly the divers start at very young ages and continue the job up until they are in their late 60’s! what is even more incredible is that the women do not use any oxygen tanks.Around Jeju island you can witness for yourself the skilful women divers at work and be blow away by their ability. You can also buy fresh abalone and sea creatures from them directly right after they’ve been caught. You will never get to eat seafood any fresher than that! it was so delicious (especially with some Hallasan Soju, one of Jeju’s own soju brands)

To see the women divers in action at the base of Songsanilchulbong (Sunrise Peak), check out my video below:

Udo Island (우도)

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Off the coast of Jeju Island (제주도), Korea, is a much smaller island called Udo, which literally means Cow Island. It’s called this because, from above, it looks like a cow that is laying down.
Udo is quite small, like a miniature Jejudo, but it is really worth checking out. It takes only about 20 minutes on a cheap ferry to get across from Jejudo (the ferry leaves from quite close to Sunrise Peak (성산 일출봉).

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Once you’re on the island, you can instantly notice all the beautiful scenery, and fences made entirely from Jeju volcanic rocks.
I recommend hiring an ATV, scooter, or bicycle from one of the couple of rental places at the ferry terminal to explore the island. It takes about an hour on an ATV to drive around completely, and is a LOT of fun!

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Subak Bar (수박 바)

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Subak (수박) means watermelon in Korean, and Bar (바) means… bar. And this favourite ice cream of mine is exactly that. It’s shaped and tastes like a real piece of watermelon – the pink bit, green bit, and seeds all have their own flavour and tastes so similar to the proper thing! I am addicted to these in the summer time – you can easily find them at all convenience stores around Korea, and they’re very cheap… I like to eat them while taking a relaxing walk by Cheonggyecheon on a hot summer day!