Sunday, May 26, 2013

Island Fortresses, Buddhist Temples Make for Unique Tour of Incheon

It's a brillant idea to move around every once a while.

Source: Chosun Ilbo

Incheon city bus tours cater to a range of tastes and can prove quite enlightening, as two Malaysians with an interest in Buddhism discovered recently when their day trip from the western port city led them to picturesque islands, ancient temples and more.

Pung and Ho, both 27, became friends while studying Korean at a language school in Seoul. The two men have been living in the country for eight months and were keen to learn more about Korean Buddhism. After hearing that one of three themed bus tours from Incheon includes the nation's oldest temple, Jeondeung Temple on Ganghwa Island, on its itinerary, they signed up immediately.

Their tour departed from Incheon Station -- tickets can be purchased at the tourist information center there -- and took them to Chojijin Fortress, Gwangseongbo Fortress, Jeondeung Temple, and Ganghwa Agricultural Center and Ginseng Center, before dropping them off back at the station.

When they arrived at the first fortress on Ganghwa Island after about an hour's drive, a friendly guide was there to greet them. The guide offers free tours of the site for those who crave more detailed explanations.

Chojijin Fortress was built in 1656 during the reign of the Chosun Dynasty to protect the island from marauders. It was the scene of fierce battles against France in 1866, the U.S. in 1871 and Japan in 1875. Bullet marks remain on the walls of the fortress and in the bark of nearby trees.

The bus then whisked Pung and Ho to Gwangseongbo Fortress, which also saw hard-fought battles during the invasions by the three aforementioned foreign forces. Visitors can learn about the fortress’s history while strolling through a copse near the front gate.

Next, the bus headed to Jeondeung Temple, which includes several treasures including Beomjong Bell.

The following stop was Ganghwa Agricultural Center, where visitors can learn about traditional farming culture and the future of the agricultural industry. The center has two exhibition halls. Visitors can see local specialties, such as Ganghwa wormwood and ginseng, in one hall, while the history of local agricultural practices from the Neolithic Age to the Three Kingdoms period in Korea are displayed in the other hall along with farming tools.

"It was a good experience to learn about how rice is produced," said Ho.

The final destination was Ganghwa Ginseng Center, where people can buy various grades of ginseng, ranging from famous six-year-old plants to cheaper medicinal herbs.

Ganghwa is the home of Koryo ginseng, whichwas first cultivated during the era of King Gojong of the Koryo Dynasty. The climate and soil are crucial to producing high-quality ginseng, and Ganghwa is well-known for having the optimal environment to cultivate it.

"I will definitely take another tour with a different route next time," said Pung.

For more information on the Incheon city tours, log on to either the tour bus website at, or the city's information center for foreigners at

Amnesty International Blasts Japan


Japan is facing increasing international condemnation for attempts to whitewash the country's World War II atrocities.

Amnesty International was the latest rights group to express concern in its annual human rights status report Thursday. Amnesty strongly criticized Japan’s approach to women who were forced into sexual slavery for Japanese soldiers during the war.

The Japanese government "continued to reject calls for justice for the survivors of Japan's military sexual slavery system," it said.

The report also criticizes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. "On Nov. 4, then opposition leader Shinzo Abe was among signatories to a U.S. newspaper advertisement which denied that the Japanese Imperial Army forced women into military sexual slavery during World War II," it points out.

Rajiv Narayan, one of the authors of the report, said Japan could become a leader in the field of human rights if it apologized and offered compensation to the former sex slaves, which Japan euphemistically calls "comfort women," before the last one died and pledged to never repeat such action.

Earlier this week, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights voiced "concern" over the violation of the rights of the former sex slaves and urged Japan to educate its citizens about how the Imperial Army abused Korean and other Asian women.

The CESCR recently gathered the opinions and views of the Japanese government and civic groups on the issue.

Source: Chosun Ilbo

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Do you waht is 'Hwangtae' festival ?


Source: The Korea Times

The big event with “PSY” will be starting on June 3, 2013 Hurry peopel Hurry !

This is gonna  be a great vegenza for all ages of people who love to shake and enjoy the moves of Korean legendary "Psy Oppa "

Spread the word about this big event with 'PSY' and get prizes!