Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Incheon’s Idyllic Islands from 10 Magazine

Hi all, I have taken out the entire article and the pictures from 10 Magazine as I really really wanted to share this beautiful information to you all as people hardly read most of the magazines....

Daebu, Jebu, Yeongjong, and Ganghwa—these are just a few of the islands to be found off the coast of Incheon.

A number of outstanding weekend retreats on peaceful islets with stunning coastal scenery lie far closer than you might commonly imagine. The rugged beauty of Ulleung Island (울릉도) in the East Sea or Hong Island (홍도) in the West Sea is reproduced on a number of the islands located in the waters just immediately to the west. These are islands where rock stacks and sea cliffs vie with the pounding ocean for ascendancy and where one may hike sublimely—and alone—along quiet, contemplative shores.
A disparate arc of such islands extends some 100 kilometers from only just south of the NLL (Northern Limit Line) to a little north of the Taean Coast National Marine Park (태안해안국립공원) in Chungcheong Province. Most of the islands covered here have small permanent communities which offer affordable minbak (민박) rented rooms and are easily accessed over the weekend. Accommodation can often be arranged in advance, courtesy of information collated on the internet and then confirmed by phone (spoken Korean being a definite advantage here). For the purposes of this article, the islands are grouped by means of access, beginning with those that may be reached by bus or car via bridges and causeways and wrapping up with those that only offer ferry service.

By Bridge. . .
Islands that are now connected to the mainland by the construction of major bridges are, of course, the most accessible, and many local buses traverse the following locations.

The Gangwha Group

The eastern coast of Ganghwa Island (강화도) holds the restored remains of fortifications that enabled the Goryeo royal court to stare down the marauding Mongols, glumly encamped on the opposite shore for several decades. The best, and largest, of these is Gwangseongbo Fort. On the south of the Island, Mani Mountain is a fantastic peak with only an hour’s climb (including 40 minutes of stairs) to a lovely peak that looks out over the nearby seas. Similarly, in the far south of the island lies the Ganghwa Foreshore Center, with postcard perfect mud flats ( 032-937-5057). In the extreme north of the island is the Ganghwa Peace Observatory, which may be reached by car (032-930-7062).
From the port of Oepo on the east of Gangwha Island, travelers can reach another smaller island, called Seokmo Island (석모도). This is famed for the fabulous little temple of Bomun and a hiking trail along the spine of rolling hills that cross the island north to south, which terminates at the hill just above the temple grounds itself. Thirsty hikers can make a beeline for one of the many makgeolli stores located just outside the temple’s gate. To reach this hiking trail, you can take a local bus to be found approximately ten minutes from the port terminal bus stop. 032-930-3114

Incheon Bridge

The Yeongjong Group

Yeongjong Island
Incheon Airport is built on land reclaimed from the sea that once separated two distinct islands, now combined into Yeongjong Island (영종도). Though the expressway rail service connecting the airport with Seoul Station in the heart of the capital was built with international passengers in mind, it also comes in handy for island hoppers.
One recommended course is the pleasant walk (45 minutes, moderate difficulty) to the local peak (Baegun Mountain) not far from the Science Musuem (, which on a clear day has commanding views of the airport and surrounding waters. The train begins at the top of the road running alongside the museum and continues over the peak and down to the famous (and minute) Yonggung Temple. The Science Museum itself can most simply be accessed by taxi from Unseo Stn. on the AREX airport line. There are modest beaches on Yeongjong island, as well as the four smaller islands to the north, but for a far better stretch of sand, head south to Muui Island.
Rumor has it that Muui Island (무의도) may eventually be connected by bridge to Yeongjeong Island (and hence to the mainland). In the meantime, you can head to the Jamjin Island dock to make use of the rather pricey ferry service to Muui Island, which accommodates vehicles. There are two quite reasonable beaches here. The larger beach, Hanagae, benefits from a local bus service. From the southern end of the beach, a trail leads up to one of the two major peaks on the island, a scenic spot from which you can watch the aircraft dramatically arriving in the distance and contemplate the bay immediately below. The other beach on the island is Silmido Beach, located a 40-minute walk from the ferry terminal. Korean cinema buffs may want to wait for low tide so they can walk across to Silmi Island, the site of the events on which the hit movie Silmido was based. 032-760-7114

The Daebu Group
Daebu Island (대부도), which is technically part of Ansan rather than Incheon, lies 15 kilometers west of the Wolgot interchange on the Yeongdeung Expressway. An enormous viaduct connects the island to the mainland, and another bridge leads travelers out even further to Yeongheung Island. Daebu is where you can find the delightful Baradel horse riding complex (for more, see the article on p. 59). Otherwise, however, it lacks the charm of other islands, unless rows of identical, down-at-the-heel kalguksu restaurants take your fancy.
On your way to neighbouring Yeongheung Island, be sure to stop at Bul Island (불섬). Just after crossing Seonjae Bridge from Daebu Island to the small intermediary island of Sonjae (선재), you can take a pleasant excursion on foot to this islet at low tide, when a natural causeway is exposed. The spit also extends out past the islet for a kilometer, ending in a lattice of shallow channels draining into the sea.
Jebu Island (제부도) which is part of Hwaseong (화성시, must be approached by a road which impressively submerges at high tide. In many ways, the main beach is a little reminiscent of the famous foreshore further south on Anmyeon Island (안면도). Just to the rear of the main beach is the usual array of raw fish restaurants, and just behind them a further array of minbaks and yogwans, the more modern of them being quite comfortable lodgings. Should you neglect to watch the tide times, you will indeed be there for the night, as the road back to the mainland rapidly slips below the incoming ocean. Back on the mainland, immediately beside the nearby Ansan Maritime Museum (032-886-2913) is a smaller island, Nu-e (누에섬), with a similar submersing causeway. This one, however, is exclusively for the use of pedestrians, and is ideal if you prefer solitude and the company of your own footsteps.,

. . . or by Ferry
The first stop for ferry service is the easily accessed Incheon Coastal Ferry Terminal (032 -888-0116), which is approximately ten minutes by taxi from Incheon

Neungdong Jagal Madang, Deokjeok Island

Stn. (line 1) or alternatively buses 12 or 24 from immediately outside Dong Incheon Stn. (line 1). There is an information service at the terminal (closing in the early afternoon) which can provide limited assistance in English for finding island accommodation.
In addition, access for passengers and vehicles is available to several members of the Jawol and Deokjeok groups from the Daebu Island Terminal (, located by the viaduct on the north part of Taebu Island, in a slower vessel designed to transport cars and light trucks (about W12,000 per person, per trip).

Jawol Island

The Jawol Group
The Jawol group prominently includes Jawol Island (자월도) itself, the delightful pair of So Ijak and Dae Ijak Islands (소이작, Little Ijak and 대이작, Big Ijak), which are separated by only a few hundred meters of intervening ocean, and Seungbong Island (승봉도) just to the east. The standards of accommodation here have greatly improved over the last decade, and along the southern foreshore of both Jawol Island and Seungbong Island, immediately adjacent to the main beach and ferry terminal, are a number of quality minbaks. The islands are all only a few kilometers in area and both the Ijak Islands and Seungbong Island may be almost completely circumnavigated over the course of a day along the foreshore by the adventurous (but beware of tides).
On Dae Ijak, head up the walking path that leads to the summit of one of the island’s major hills for some lovely views on a sunny day with the sunlight glinting off the sparkling waters. The island also features a spectacular offshore sandy spit which becomes visible once the tide goes out and which may be accessed by boats (you can usually arrange rental at your minbak). The privately owned Saseungbong Island (사승봉도) features an even larger version of this phenomenon.

Gureop Island

The Deokjeok Group
The Deokjeok group includes the notable Deokjeok Island (덕적도) itself, home of the enormous Seopori Beach and the quite respectable Batjireum Beach a few kilometers down the road. Both of these are some kilometers distant from the ferry terminal, and it is recommended that visitors take a local bus. Immediately behind Batjireum Beach is the path that leads up to the local peak, Pibong, a superlative point affording magnificent views of Deokjeok and the surrounding islands. To the north of the island is the pretty Neungdong pebble beach.
A further change of ferry (which looks like little more than a converted fishing trawler) is necessary at the Deokjeok pier in order to travel out to the other islands in this group. Fantastic sea stacks jutting majestically out of the waters occasionally dot the route of the ferry as it wends its way over the seas across to the various islands.
Gureop Island (굴업도) is a magical cross of terrain with rocky cliffs at its extremes, featuring small sea caves and pristine sandy shores that intersect in the center of the island, alongside a tiny range of low hills. Accommodation can be found at the homes of local families and may best be described as “rustic.” The sense of wildness here is palpable—but don’t wait too long, as major development is under consideration.
Visit the following sites for more information about the islands discussed here.
• Ongjin-gun (the administrative district of several islands)
• City of Incheon
• Incheon Tourism Organization


That Other Korean Island
In discussing the Islands immediately accessible by sea from Seoul, mention must be made of the largest of these, an island which in fact you may already be quite familiar with. That would be none other than Jeju Island. Chonghaejin Marine operates a twice weekly service to Jeju that departs late in the afternoon and arrives the following morning. Readers would be advised to invest in an actual room and avoid the far cheaper public dormitory. Watch for the spectacular sunset, visible from the deck of the vessel as it passes out of the port of Incheon under the new bridge. 032-889-7800

source :

Korean flowers taking root at home and abroad

Korea’s floral exports are blooming. Less than two decades ago, exports of Korea’s indigenous flowers — the full-petaled, snow-white Baekma, the enticing scarlet buds of Pearl Red and many more —totaled just US$2.4 million. Today, that figure has soared to more than US$100 million. Korea’s flower industry can thank excellent research and development, aggressive overseas marketing and a dose of good, old-fashioned hard work.

Korea began exporting flowers less than 20 years ago. As it so often is, the Korean government was soon at the center of efforts to boost this fledgling industry, opening a wholesale flower market in Yangjae, Seoul, in 1991, and designating flowers and plants as “promising export items.” As a result, total flower exports surged from just US$2.4 million in 1992, to US$5.5 million in 1994, and then to US$28.88 million in 2000. Exports continued to soar in the last decade, reaching US$52.15 million in 2005, US$76.2 million in 2008, and almost US$100 million last year.

Perhaps the greatest single factor in this success has been Korea’s vigorous development of new species. Among the most popular Korean floral exports today is the Baekma chrysanthemum, which Korea’s Rural Development Administration (RDA) developed in 2004. A snow-white, heavily petaled flower, the Baekma is hardier and easier to breed than many conventional species, making it ideal to export. Today, it accounts for more than 40 percent of Korea’s chrysanthemum exports.

“Conventional chrysanthemums when cut typically last no longer than 15 days, but our Baekma lasts twice as long,” says Kim Won-hee, a researcher in the RDA’s flowering plants department. “Since we started distributing it in 2007, exports exceeded a million dollars in 2008 and 3.5 million last year, making it a real treasure of a flower.”

“The Baekma grows well and flowers almost immediately, meaning shorter growing times. This makes it very beneficial to farmers,” explains Go Gwan-dal, manager of the horticulture product department at the National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science (NIHHS).

“Baekma has already become a major export item to Japan. Japanese buyers import more than 10 million bunches of Baekma every year, making it almost impossible for supply to fully meet demand.”


Korean roses are enjoying similar levels of success overseas. Two decades of research have yielded around 150 domestic species, including Pearl Red, Pinky and Magic Scarlet, whose vivid colors and longevity after being cut have made them a big hit with foreign buyers.

At the International Flower Expo 2009, the scarlet-colored Pearl Red fetched 100 yen (US$1.20) per stem, confirming Korea’s place among the elite of flower-producing countries. From US$15.56 million in 2009, exports reached US$30 million last year — a growth rate of more than 80%.

Another big hit on global flower markets has been the Magic Flower, whose petals change color in different lights or temperatures. Despite selling for four to five times the price of normal roses, the Magic Flower has also seen stellar rises in its export numbers, more than tripling from US$2.3 million in 2009, to over US$7.35 million last year.

By developing new species in Korea, producers are not only able to cater to specific market niches, they can also make big savings on royalty payments by cultivating fewer varieties from overseas. With roses alone, the Korean flower industry reduced such payments by more than 50% between 2005 and 2010, from 7.7 billion won to 3.8 billion won. Domestically developed species accounted for just 1 percent of all roses grown in Korea in 2005; last year, that figure was 18 percent, and by 2012, it’s expected to be more than one quarter.

he same trend is true for domestic chrysanthemums, whose overall share grew from 1 percent in 2006 to 15 percent last year, with forecasts of 26 percent by 2012. Thanks to this, overall royalty payments are expected to fall from 12.4 billion won in 2006 to less than 8 billion in 2013, meaning yearly savings of 4 billion won.

“Superior species that can help boost exports will be nurtured and distributed in order to replace more than 50% of roses grown in Korea with native breeds,” says Go. “We’re making huge efforts to sell fine Korean breeds to foreign markets and bump up our own income from royalties, too.”


In 2004, the Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation, or aT, unveiled Whimori, a catch-all brand name for Korean agricultural and horticultural exports. Meaning “the fastest, most energetic Korean rhythm,” Whimori was intended to help standardize and enhance the quality of Korean agricultural produce, improve its image through effective marketing strategies, and ultimately to increase exports.

With a logo conveying the idea of “the apex of quality,” the brand embodies the will of Korean agricultural producers to capture a larger share of the world market, as household names such as Zespri or Sunkist did in the past.

The Whimori brand is only applied to goods that have passed stringent quality and safety tests, and to companies with extensive export experience that are equipped with the latest technology and commodity management skills. Even after gaining the right to use the name, companies will be subject to frequent government inspections to ensure they are maintaining the highest standards in safety and product quality. At present, some paprika, pears, king oyster mushrooms, kimchi and winter mushrooms bear the Whimori brand, as do flower species including the Magic Flower and Baekma.

Under the Whimori banner, Korean roses and chrysanthemums have been making major inroads into the world market. Along with Korea’s Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Agricultural and Fishery Marketing Corporation, 14 Korean flower producers participated in the 2010 International Flower Expo (IFEX), held in Tokyo from November 28 to 30 last year. IFEX is Asia’s biggest flower exhibition, attracting more than 1,100 related organizations and enterprises from over 30 countries. By setting up both the official Korea Pavilion and a separate promotional booth, Korea’s representatives did much to heighten awareness of the Whimori brand.

“Besides those activities, we are actively promoting in Japan, the biggest market for Korean flowering plants,” says Shin Jae-hun, an assistant manager at the Agricultural and Fishery Marketing Corporation (AFMC). According to Shin, the AFMC last year held several promotional seminars in Korea and Japan aimed at Japanese flower sellers and producers, while in September the Corporation participated in the Moscow International Flower Exhibition, where it succeeded in signing long-term export contracts with several, large-scale import and distribution companies. In Shanghai, the AFMC helped organize Whimori Flower Day, paving the way for the Magic Flower to enter the Chinese market.

orea’s flower industry has undoubtedly come a long way in 20 years — but there are still many mountains to climb. For one thing, its exports are much too focused on Japan. From January to November last year, exports to Japan brought in US$64.49 million dollars, more than 80 percent of the US$80.64 milliondollar total. China was second in that list, with exports of US$12.35 million dollar, leaving major markets such as the United States, Russia and Australia largely untapped.

“Currently Korea’s floral industry is highly focused on exporting to Japan and China, which are both geographically close and have similar interests and preferences in terms of flowers,” says Shin. “Also, the strength of traditional flower exporters such as the Netherlands makes difficult to export to Europe too.”

On the flip side, however, this means there is still enormous potential for Korea’s flowers to take root further around the world. To take a story from the cactus industry, between the late 1980s and 2009, Korea succeeded in shifting its entire cactus crop to domestically produced species. Today, Korean cactuses are exported to more than 30 countries, including the Netherlands, the United States and Australia, and account for more than 70% of the world cactus market. By dancing to the Whimori rhythm, Korea’s roses and chrysanthemums will hopefully be catching up with its cactuses soon.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Baengnyeong full of hidden beauties

BAENGNYEONG ISLAND ㅡ This island should be rich in tourism assets. Picturesque views of mountain peaks “floating” over low-lying sea fog create a scene of a place where the guardian sprits of the mountains featuring in oriental folk tales seem to live.

A cluster of giant, spiky rocks shaped like knight’s helmet on the northeastern waterfront of this island is awe-inspiring. A sand beach whose surface is solid enough for aircraft to land on and take off from is situated here.

Countless colorful bean-sized pebbles engulf another sprawling beach, which is designated as a national treasure. Other exclusive joys from traveling to Baengnyeong include untouched nature, tranquility and fresh seafood.

However, all of these attractions have long been eclipsed for security concerns stemming from military confrontation with North Korea.

Jangsan Cape, a North Korean naval base, is just 17 kilometers away, which is close enough to be seen with the naked eye on fog-free days. A series of bloody skirmishes between the two Koreas that took place in recent years in waters off the island molded its image as a “front line zone” with the constant possibility of North Korean attacks.

Judging from a recent visit to this island, however, I reached the conclusion that labeling Baengnyeong as an “off-limits” area over lingering security fears is likened to a silly decision of boycotting bungee jumping on a knee-jerk fear of heights before knowing how thrilling it is.

“Here is much safer than elsewhere,” said Major Sohn Jung-ho of the 6th Brigade of the Marine Corps that defends the island. Nearly 5,000 armed soldiers keep a vigil there round-the-clock.

Nature-crafted island

Baengnyeong is a home a sandy beach whose surface is solid enough to be used by aircraft. Similar to ones in Naples, Italy and the Isle of Barra, Scotland, the “runway,” named Sagot Natural Runway, stretches out 3.2 kilometers. Small and mid-sized aircrafts landed and took off on the beach until 1985, said Kim Eung-kyeun, a tour guide.

“The solid surface is attributable to tiny particle of sands on the beach,” Kim said. “The reaction between the salt water and sand strengthens it like a formula for making concrete.”

Dumujin ㅡ a gathering of high, spiky rocks shaped like a brave knight’s helmet standing back to back on the northeastern seaside ㅡ is a must-visit destination.
It was designated as the 8th place with a scenic view in 1997. The first Western missionary to Korea landed on the island through Dumujin in 1832.

Baengnyeong is also well known as the “birthplace” of Christianity in South Korea. Junghwadong Church was established here in August 1896, the second Christian church in South Korea. For that reason, the majority of the 5,000 residents here believe in Christianity. No Buddhist temples exist.

A beach covered with bean-sized colorful pebbles is another must-visit destination. These are round and smooth, forming ideal conditions to walk barefoot on it. It is designated as a national treasure so taking samples from the beach is punishable by law.

Lesson on security

Baengnyeong is critical in military strategy for its proximity to the North. Jangsan Cape, a North Korean naval base, is just 17 kilometers north of the island, which is close enough to be seen with the naked eye in good weather.

Pyongyang insists the maritime border should be drawn further south, including Baengnyeong as part of its territory. This means a military clash within the disputed ocean is a constant possibility.

In fact, several bloody skirmishes between two Koreas have broken out in recent years in waters off the island. The worst naval incident in the country’s post-Korean War (1950-53) history ㅡ the sinking of warship Cheonan that killed 46 sailors ㅡ occurred last year in its vicinity.

A memorial tower was erected on a cliff that looks down the site of the tragedy on the occasion of the first anniversary of the tragedy that fell March 26.

A military official described the location of Baengnyeong as a “dagger aimed at heart of an enemy,” referring to its closeness to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.

A military observatory on top of the 184-meter Mt. Upjuk, affiliated with the 6th Marine Brigade, offers many views of Jangsan Cape. The observatory is available for citizens after making a reservation at Ongjingun office ( at least one week in advance.

Critical disadvantages

Two critical disadvantages stand in the way of the island being a popular tourism destination. First, it takes nearly five hours to get there from Incheon by ferry, the sole public transportation available.

It is located 170 kilometers northwest of Incheon as the crow flies. But non-combat boats have to sail a 240-kilometer route that is designed to detour disputed waters with the North.

Second, nobody can say for 100 percent sure whether travelers here will leave as scheduled ㅡ nearly 30 percent of ferries are delayed or cancelled due to “capricious” weather conditions. For more information about Baengnyeong, visit

Source: The Korea Times

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Korea-made apps rock the global market

Korea-made apps rock the global market
Many of you would have used applications especially in this smartphone era. Aside from its domestic success, Korea-made apps are now stepping into the global market with its excellent technology. You would have seen those Korea-made apps are ranked the top-sellers in overseas app store. In short, app store is the open market that sells applications for iPhones and iPads. Surprisingly, there is one Korea-made app ranked the first top paid app in US. Do you know what it is? The name of the app is ‘Cartoon Wars’. It is an arcade war game that combines “Defence Genre” and “RTS”. To win the stage, you should capture the enemies’ castle by producing as many units as possible. ‘Jolla man’, which is a well-known cartoon figure in Korea, is the main character of the game. Well, there are still more apps that are rapidly growing in overseas market. Let’s go check out some hot apps!

“Best of Britain” Galaxy Tab App by Samsung

Samsung Electronics and British Tourist Authority signed at partnership for utilizing the mobile contents in order to promote the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the contract, Samsung Smartphone users will be able to easily download the tour information provided by the British Tourist Authority. With a Galaxy Tab, there is no need to worry about traveling to UK. It has all the information you need as a tourist, such as museum, historic site, accommodation, restaurant, etc. This app will be available for download a month from now when Galaxy Tab is released in Britain. Don’t be sad that you can’t just have this application named ‘Best of Britain’ right now. Once it comes out, it will not only introduce its innovative technology to all the countries of the world during and after the London Olympic, but also make you satisfaction.

Want to see hot apps? Here’s more.

This is an app named ‘Paladog’ which has been ranked the best selling app in Korea for 7 weeks since February. It is incredible when considering the popular app doesn’t last for more than two weeks. ‘Paladog’ received 9 out of 10 points by the UK mobile game webzine ‘Pocket Gamer‘, and awarded ‘Golden Award’ for the first among Korean apps. In addition, it achieved worldwide recognition, selected as an app of ‘What’s HOT’ and ‘NEW&NOTEWORTHY’. Have you already tried the ‘Paladog’ game? If you haven’t, just one download, you will soon be addicted to this strategic simulation game which is full of 20 kinds of magic items, other items increasing skill level, and so on.

This is an app named ‘Kakao Talk’ which is very popular among Koreans and even people in Middle East. It was already ranked No.1 among free iPhone apps in four Middle East countries. As you know, ‘Kakao Talk’ users can communicate each other for free. It is said that it gained popularity for not only its free of charge and convenient function but also its yellow logo which is the most favorite color in Middle East

Marketing Strategy of Korea-made apps for Global Market

‘Podo Tree’ is an app developing company established after ‘Kakao Talk’ by Kim Beom-su, the former CEO of NHN which is famous for a web search engine ‘Naver’ in Korea. You can get all these creative apps for only 0.99 dollar! Let’s take a look at one of it apps that was ranked No.1 in Top Paid Apps for iPad. Korea-made apps for Global Market

<’who?’, an app which was ranked in Top Paid Apps for iPad>(Photo : ZD Net Korea)

1. Super 0.99 Vocab 30k

This is an application that combined every existing material to study English. For this app, ‘Podo Tree’ invested 14 native speakers and foreigners, and developed all sources, such as entries, meanings, example sentences, native pronunciation by their own. They studied the learning pattern and tendency of questions in order to have better comprehension. Surprisingly, it costs only 0.99 dollar. ‘Super 0.99 Vocab is scheduled to be released from March in Korea, April in Japan, May in US. Besides, they are planning to host a ‘Word Challenge’ competition offering $100,000 in total prize with people all over the world.

2. Wizard of Oz

This is the first app that recreated the well-known novel written by L. Frank Baum for iPad. As the whole story is summarized and reconstituted into 80 frames of scene, you would feel as if you were watching a movie for one or two hours. While the picture books in the past used to add images to help understanding on the text, the ‘Wizard of Oz’ produced by ‘Podo Tree’ helps readers discover the new stories behind through reading the text and retouch the image. That is, you can go inside the new storyline if you find special items by dragging things to other place in the picture and slightly leaning the screen. Otherwise, the entire story will stick to the original version.

3. Cartoon Biography of Global Figures - Who?

This is an animated biography app whose concepts are just like the book series by Dasan Books Co.,Ltd. The book series have been very popular among Korean readers and once introduced overseas. In other words, this is the first cartoon app which contains 30 global figures for iPhone and iPad. In particular, to celebrate the launching of ‘Who’ series of iPhones and iPads, they are plaaning to combine every story including Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Kim Dae-Jung for 0.99 dollar.

4. 3D Toy - CUBE DOG

This is a toy app that users can enjoy playing with its own 3D character. Previously, users had to choose either one from several characters which were already made during the production stage. However, the ‘Cube Dog’ made it possible for users to have their own players by selecting each facial part from the samples, such as eyes, nose, ears, and mouth. The aim of this game is to make users enjoy its different characteristics. In fact, the game was supposed to be targeting the global market, those who are interested would have to wait until May when this will be released simultaneously all over the world.

Globalization prospects for Korea-made Apps

With a huge popularity of Smartphones including iPhone, the interests on app store, which is an application market, are growing rapidly among Koreans. In addition, many Korea-made applications were awarded in app developing contests overseas and that helps building a good reputation. It is expected that such a positive trend will have a good influence in vitalizing the domestic app store market. Also it is expected that much more people all over the world will use Korean apps in the near future.

Lost in the fragrance of flowers, Spring Flowers Festivals in Korea

For those thinking of a spring day out, then this might be what you would be looking for!

The unusually cold March has gone, and now we have warm sunlight telling that Spring is just around the corner. The field flowers are welcoming the spring which returned after a long absence. The fragrance of Spring is reaching at every corner including mountains, fields, and even center of the city.

Uiseong Cornlian cherry flower festival (Uiseong-gun, Gyeongbuk-do)

The ‘garlic’ town, Uiseong, is now busy preparing the upcoming spring festival. They will soon have the festival of Cornlian cherry flower whose yellow bud would remind you of a shy girl. Starting from the Ritual for a good harvest, the Night for the multicultural family, Singing contest, Walkathon, and other various events will be open from 26th March for a couple of weeks. Why don’t we go on a Spring trip to Uiseong surrounded by the scent of these yellow flowers? It will definitely be a wonderful memory that you can have with your family and your loving friends.

Period: 26 March 2011 (Sat)~ 10 April (Sun)

Location: Sansuyu Square Hwajeon-ri, Sagok-myeon, Uiseung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do

The Han River Spring Flower Festival (Yeongdeungpo, Seoul)

There is another festival for those who cannot afford to go out of Seoul. Office workers will be glad to hear this! There will be Spring Flower Festival in Yeoui-do from 8th April with the theme, “Harmony of Flowers, Nature, Human, and Arts”. You may find over 13 types of 87,359 spring flowers, such as azalea, forsythia, royal azalea, bridal wreath, including 1,641 trees of prunus yedoensis.

Why don’t you go for the Han River Yeouido Spring Flower Festival for the weekends?

Period: 8~ 19 April 2011

Location: Yeoui-do Park Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul

Azalea Art Festival at Mt. Goryeo (Ganghwa-gun, Incheon)

You might not know this Spring Flower Festival that recorded over 350,000 visitors last year including the people from capital area. Well, the name is “Azalea Art Festival at Mt. Goryeo”. This year as well, we will have this festival that we can enjoy not only azalea but also the historical culture and clean environment of Ganghwa. The festival contains art exhibition, photo exhibition, and small concert along with the trail, cooking Hwajeon which is a pan-fried sweet rice cake with flower petals, and street art performances, and other various programs. It will be held from 4th to 9th April for 9 days, but the culture event will be held for 4 days during weekends. If you want to be a guest of this nature’s purple feast, this festival will be perfect.

Period: 9~ 24 April 2011

Location: Mt. Goryeo Hajeom-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon

Shinan Tulip Festival (Shinan-gun Jeollanam-do)

Shinan, Jeollanam-do, which is well-known for its heavenly nature, was selected by domestic flower experts as a best area for planting tulips with its fertile soil, abundant amount of sunshine, and a lot of sea breeze. Since 2001, they have planted tulips in the nation’s largest area which occupied 10 hectares, and ready for the 4th Tulip Festival from 15 April. You will enjoy the various ceremonies from orchestra performance to Pungmul play, If you don’t want to miss it, do not hesitate!

Period: 15~24 April 2011

Location: Shinan Tulip Park, Imja-myeon Shinan-gun, Jeollanam-do

If you have a chance to see those flowers signaling the arrival of Spring in everywhere but soon will be gone, this is the best time to see the blossoms. Let’s go!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Students from around the world promote Jeju through song

Students from Korea, China and Japan whom are studying in the United States gathered together to create a song to promote Jeju-do, Korea's largest island. The island is currently competing to be listed in the New Seven Wonders of Nature, an initiative led by the Swiss-based non-profit New7wonders Foundation.

The title of this song is “Our Precious Gem, Jeju,” and was composed by Jung Eun Kwon and with lyrics by Cheong Kim, both students at the Berklee College of Music. Vocals were provided by Jourdan Rystrom, Megumi Habuka, Erman Nuo, Jiyoon June Dong, Isaac Han, Ai Ichikawa, Sarang Lovie Oh, Genyong Jason Choi and Kina Lee.

The event was organized by the group MiYooMo, which brings together students studying abroad.

MiYooMo created a Jejudo promotional logo for smartphone users, which can be downloaded along with the song at

The leader of MiYooMo said that it’s crucial to promote Jeju to people all around the world in order to ensure its selection as one of the New Seven Wonders.

Source: or

Traditional Korean Folk Dance Performances

Busan Cultural Foundation will hold the Traditional Folk Performance every Saturday and ‘Uri Garak, Uri Madang’ every Sunday from April 2 through October 23 at 3 p.m. (until 5 p.m.)

For the enjoyment of domestic and foreign tourists and Busan citizens alike, a variety of free traditional folk performances including intangible cultural assets of Nongak, Samulnori, Namsadang-nori, the traditional wedding ceremony, Dongnae Yaryu, Dongnae Crane Dance, and traditional dances are scheduled to be held.

In addition, a number of side events will also be held – including folk plays, grass weaving handicrafts, hoop rolling, neolttwigi (a jumping game enjoyed using a Korean-style seesaw), Jegichagi (a traditional Korean outdoor game), and the singing of folk songs – for the enjoyment of participants.

For more information, please contact the Busan Cultural Foundation at 051)744-7707


Monday, April 4, 2011

In Korea this spring, indulge in the arts

Late March, the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea unveiled the first in a series of annual exhibitions at its two locations in Gwacheon and Deoksugung Palace. Kim Chong Hak, renowned for his paintings of Seorak Mountain, is the subject of a retrospective at the museum’s Gwacheon Annex. Meanwhile the Deoksugung Annex is hosting a special exhibition of works drawn from the museum’s permanent collection cleverly juxtaposed with a sense of wit and an artistic twist.

Kim Chong Hak Retrospective at National Museum of Contemporary Art (Address: 313 Gwangmyeong-ro, Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do)

A major retrospective surveying the accomplishments of one of the most preeminent Korean artists, Kim Chong Hak (b. 1937), is currently on view at the National Museum of Contemporary Art. Their exhibition hall in Gwacheon brings together the thematic representations of his oeuvre, from early works influenced by the “art informel” movement to the artist’s famous flower paintings.

(left) Kim Chong Hak, No.2 (Forsythia and the Moon), 2006, acrylic on canvas, 112×145.5cm (right) Kim Chong Hak, Summer Stream, 2005, acrylic on canvas, 197×256cm (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Contemporary Art)

Kim, who is best known for his flamboyant depiction of the seasons on Seorak Mountain, followed a different path than his fellow artists. At first, Kim made abstract art like most of his contemporaries, including Park Seo-bo, Youn Myeung-ro and Kim Tschang Yeul. However, in the late 70s, he started making colorful paintings with expressive brush strokes to show the beauty of nature.

According to Kim, he first discovered his real artistic calling in 1979, after leaving the city to live in relative seclusion on Seorak Mountain. During the press preview, he said that the wild flowers blooming in the mountains cured him of his sorrows and loneliness.

(left) Kim Chong Hak, Autumn Sunset, 1980, oil on canvas, 97×130cm (right) Kim Chong Hak, White Mountain, 2008, oil on canvas, 130×162cm (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Contemporary Art)

Although his landscape paintings were criticized when abstract art and monochrome paintings flourished, he never abandoned his own style. The artist is now acknowledged to have had a profound impact on Korean contemporary art by providing an alternative to monochrome abstraction. Kim said that people can concentrate too much on ideology in abstract art, while there are infinite possibilities when drawing natural beauty.

The exhibit presents dozens of large scale paintings spanning a half century of Kim’s career, as well as rare portrait pieces and letters with drawings he exchanged with his children. Also among the 78 works on show is the artist’s woodcut print that won an award in 1966 at the 5th International Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Tokyo.

(left) Kang Un-gu, Painter Kim Chong Hak at his Studio in Mt. Seorak, 2008, photograph (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Contemporary Art) (right) Kim Chong Hak, Faces, 1992, acrylic on paper (detailed view) (photographed by Hwang Dana)

The National Museum of Contemporary Art has organized a series of special exhibitions to focus on Korean art and artists, including the Kim Chong Hak retrospective. The exhibition runs through June 26. Admission is 3,000 won for adults and 1,500 won for youth. The museum is closed on Mondays.

“Abstract it!” at the Deoksugung Palace Annex of National Museum of Contemporary Art (Address: 5-1 Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul)

The National Museum of Contemporary Art is currently hosting a special exhibition titled “Abstract it!: A New Interpretation of the National Museum of Contemporary Art's Modern Art Works” at its Deoksugung Palace branch.

Hwang Yong-jin, Good Morning 0501, 2005, oil on plywood, neon, 122 x 244 cm (Photo courtesy of the National Museum of Contemporary Art)

This exhibition, organized in close collaboration with guest curator Yoo Jin-sang, aims to better represent the museum collection, using the eye of an external curator. While chronological factors and artistic styles usually help determine the main themes of previous exhibitions, “Abstract it!” brings a panoramic view of contemporary art and puts the audience at the center.

The exhibition offers viewers an opportunity to engage with art in a neutral setting where only the bare minimum of information needed to understand the pieces is given. The curator is intentionally leaving out related historical background information, including the labeling tags, to maximize visitors’ imagination and appreciation. Yoo hopes that audiences will simply enjoy discovering the “hidden” relationship among the works of art without chronological reference or relations attached to each work and dictating how the viewer should receive them.

Abstract it! A New Interpretation of the National Museum of Contemporary Art's Modern Art Works at Deoksugung Palace Annex (photographed by Hwang Dana)

The current exhibition, which gives a twist to the clichés of today’s art history, features a portfolio of publicly acclaimed domestic and international artists. Featured artists include renowned Korean artists Kim Tschang Yeul, Park Seo-bo, and Lee Ufan alongside international artists like Marcel Duchamp and Louise Bourgeois. The exhibition runs through May 10. Admission is 4,000 won for adults and the museum is closed on Mondays.

For more information, please call +82 (0)2 2188 6114, or visit the official website at: (Korean and English).


Saturday, April 2, 2011

India Won the IICC Cricket World Cup 2011

This is the historic moment for the Indians as well as for the Cricket lovers around the world. Well Cricket is different from Soccer but still there are millions of population who are dying on cricket too.
Well, today is saturday and the grand finale in the world of cricket between "India and Srilanka" although I wasn't so keen to watch as usual I jumped over the Hindu newspaper as we get in the evening here in Imphal. But my brothers and aunt got so excited over the match and started betting....I said but never pay attention on them...................
then I saw in the newspaper saying that "If india wins, players will gt Hyundai Verna"....

For me unlike other cricket fan I just joined my family in the T.V room cheering them while seeing their reaction I became so enthusiastic that I decided to have a look on the game having zero knowledge...I can the in the T.V screen the entire Indian t.v drama actors and actresses to the hot-shot film star like Super hero Aamir Khan and his wife along with Priety Zinta and the big tycoon like Mukesh and Nita ambani...oh my gosh for me seeing them is a big wow as I know them very well then the cricketers whom my family are dozing over.............

well I became more serious when the combo of Dhoni the Indian cricket captain and Yuvraj combo start batting of course as the match is getting over soon and I will get relief but when both Yuvi and Dhoni start hitting 4 and 6 I can't hold my breath...withing few minutes I became more interested as it goes well and I started counting the score and the balls suddenly the Indian captain Dhoni hits the 6 and won the match over Srilanka by 6 wicket....................


Friday, April 1, 2011

When the spring of Korea is at the door : How about a bycycle ride ???

Fascinating Bicycle Trip

In spite of the landscapes you’ve seen many times while going to work, home, or other places on foot, by train or airplane, every time you will get a different impression according to which vehicle you are riding, and how you look at it. Of course, there is no need to tell that riding a bicycle is the perfect choice to enjoy this recent spring breeze. Then, how much do you know about the bicycle and how far have you traveled with it?

Get ready to leave into the warm spring sunlight, if you don’t want to miss the beautiful landscapes of Korea!

Pleasant playground for bicycle riders, Gwangnaru Bicycle Park

Have you been to Gwangnaru Bicycle Park? It is a new park which has many facilities including the 124,000㎡(1,335 square feet) wide of bicycle racing stadium, a bicycle experiencing park, a bicycle training place for children, and a rail bike place.

Especially, the racing stadium which placed the bumpy paths and other challenging obstacles is very popular among riders and manias who have special bicycles like Mountain bike (MTB) or Bicycle Motocross (BMX).

Besides, people can try about 80 kinds of unique bicycles such as the one riding on square wheels, the one moving aside, the one that moves when lying on it and the one that a couple can drive facing each other, which is the first ‘Bicycle experiencing place’ in Korea. ‘Rail bike’ that is drawing a huge popularity in Jeongseon in Gangwon-do, Gokseong in Jeollanam-do is also open to public.

Why don’t you have this exciting experience that will keep yourself out of the stuffy city!

Location: 483-8 Cheonho 2dong, Gangdong-gu, Seoul

Holidays: every Monday

Available hours: 09:00~18:00, (Nov~Feb) 10:00~17:00, (May~August) 09:00~19:00

Contact/Info.: 02-120 / Night time: 02-3780-0777

Memoir on ‘Nostalgia’ bicycle paths in OkCheon

Bicycle riders on 200li(=49miles) long ‘nostalgia’ paths with full of forsythia in OkCheon

While passing through the ‘Nostalgia’ bicycle paths in Okcheon, visitors can enjoy not only the beautiful Daecheong Lake but also the spirit of the poetry town where the pioneer of Korea’s modern poet and the writer of ‘Nostalgia’, Jeong Ji-yong was born. Why don’t you give a wonderful day-off to yourself to get out of the repeated routine and soak up the beautiful scenery of the countryside and its friendly atmosphere?

Through the hiking course, ‘Nostalgia 100li(=24 miles)’, people can have a look at the overall shape of Korean peninsula from Mt. Dunjoo after visiting the birthplace of Jeong Ji-yong and the literary museum where people can still feel his spirit. It became very popular after being introduced by one of the famous TV programs in Korea, reality-variety show ‘1 night and 2 days’ show on the KBS2.

The length of the course is about 82km (=132 miles) long, and it takes approximately five hours and a half to complete it. It includes smooth paths for beginners and unpaved roads and forest roads which are the favorites of intermediate and advanced mountain bikers and manias.

Location: Okcheon-eub, Okcheon-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do

Contact/Info.: 043-730-3501~2 (Okcheon-gun Division of Culture and Tourism)

All About Bicycle, Sangju Bicycle Museum

▲ Unique Bicycles displayed in exhibit hall of Sangju Bicycle Museum

No worries for those who cannot ride a bicycle! Sangju Bicycle Museum will give you the satisfaction.

This museum, which focuses on bicycle for the first time in Korea, was established in Sangju which is famous for a number of bicycles and its citizens who enjoy riding them rather than cars on their way to school, work, home and even picnic.

In this museum, which is called ‘the heaven of bicycle’ and ‘a school of bicycle’, you can take a whole look at everything about bicycle including its history, design, and so on. It introduces the history of bicycles through its 60 bicycles displayed in the exhibit hall and you will definitely enjoy the various experiencing halls about bicycles, including the souvenir shop.

Sangju must be the wonderful place to remind you of all the happiness, heartbeat, other memories with lovers.

Location : Ilwon San 3-4, Donam-dong, Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

Contact/Info.: 054-534-4973

Available Hour : Summer (April~ Oct) 09:00 ~ 18:00, Winter (Nov~March) 09:00 ~ 17:00

Holiday : every Monday (Tuesday applies when Monday is a National Holiday)

Jan 1, Luna New Years day, Chuseok (Thanksgiving day of Korea), and other closing

days by Sangju mayor

Why don’t we go on the bicycle trip to each and every corner of Korea on this coming Spring!

※ Photographs : Korea Tourism Organization