By Joe Meny
All photos courtesy of Korea Tourism


It was one of those bitter cold days of winter, so why not get out and discover the exciting allure of Korea?  It was a media event hosted by the Korea Tourism Organization at Barn Joo restaurant in Chelsea (893 Broadway bet. 19th & 20th St.).  Louis Maravi, Marketing Manager for Korea Tourism, narrated a colorful and informative video presentation that gave the audience an up-close look at the must-see places in Korea.

With an emphasis on Korea Tourism’s slogan to “Imagine your Korea”, the presentation focused on the following key reasons to visit Korea:

Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, overflows with dynamic energy, with shopping, dining, entertainment, and cultural and historic venues.  Myeong-dong in downtown Seoul offers major department stores, along with the nearby huge traditional Namdaemun Market. Other shopping districts include Dongdaemun , the esoteric Garosu-gil Road, and the flashy high brand district of Cheongdam-dong.

Both traditional and contemporary art scenes have been booming in recent years, with galleries and museums galore on both sides of the Hangang River.  Seoul’s nightlife includes fireworks and laser shows at theme parks around the city.  The city abounds with all-night cafes and eateries.  There are plenty of contemporary and international concerts and dance and theater performances as well.

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Ole is the name of a stunningly scenic walking trail on Jejudo Island.  The “Olle Trail” consists of over 20 courses that circle the entire island.  The Ole! about Olle and Korea is the beauty, and unique national and local festivals that can be found in every season.

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Jindo Miracle Sea Festival is a unique event where people can witness the Korean version of Moses’ miracle. The venue of the festival is Hoedong Village,where legend has it that Jindo was once an island abundant with tigers. When the tigers began invading the local villages, people fled to the nearby Modo Island. Unfortunately, Grandmother Ppong was left behind. Wanting to see her family again, she prayed to the Dragon King of the sea every day until finally, the Dragon King answered her prayers by making a path appear between Hoedong Village and Modo Island. This path later became known as the miracle sea path and thus began the annual tradition of the Jindo Miracle Sea Festival.

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Transportation One of the most convenient ways to travel between cities in Korea is by train.  For an affordable vacation traveling around Korea, the KR Pass, an exclusive railway pass for foreigners, allows unlimited use of all trains (including express trains) for a certain number of days.

Food: Korean food is a great source of energy.  Rice is the staple food of Korea, and is highly nutritious.  Famous Korean rice dishes that are must-haves include Gulbap (Oyster rice), Yeongyang Dolsotbap (Deluxe Hot Pot rice), and Kongnamulbap (Rice with Soybean sprout).  Korea also has a great variety of noodles, with some of its most popular being Kongguksu (Noodles in Cold Soy Milk Broth), Naengmyeon (Cold Buckwheat Noodles), and Kalguksu, a delicious hand-rolled Noodle soup.

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Korean streets will continually tempt you with an array of delicious treats.  From the food festivals featuring a variety of regional products, to inexpensive street food, the Korean food experience is surely one of the most exciting on the planet!

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So, like us, be sure you put Korea on your upcoming travel itinerary.  You will see that it’s a place where endless energy and vitality abound!