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THE Best of 2013

Groove’s editors give a nod to the greatest contributions of the year Groove is Korea’s English magazine. Find out what’s new, what’s news and what there is to do.

KOREA • Issue 87 / January 2014 - -

Unhinging Korea

Korea’s metal scene breaks free from grips of war, Confucianism and economics

The beers of winter Beat back the winter chill with these dark, delicious brews

Southside Parlor A Noksapyeong bar delivers refined cocktails, Texas-style

Safe Space for Korea’s gay youth

Rainbow Teen shelter offers refuge for Korea’s young LGBTQ community

Riding a rickshaw with Roger

At an Indian film festival, a traveler rubs shoulders with a celebrity

Winter’s silver lining It’s cold, but that doesn’t mean you should stay home. Outside the city, the air is crisp, the sun is shining, and destinations wait to be explored

NANTA Deadline: July 20th

FP2 Deadline: July 20th


To comment, email

Despite what the news says, violence is declining

Giving thanks for a peaceful new year Editorial

By Josh Foreman, food and destinations editor

Rejoice. The world is more peaceful than ever before. Violence — the black specter that has stalked our species since its inception — is frail. We walk forward into a new year of peace, of information-sharing, of cross-cultural understanding. Of course, you wouldn’t know it from watching the news. War and murder are there on the front pages, on the cable news networks, as always. But their reports are the cries of a scaremonger. Canadian scientist Steven Pinker shares the real picture. In 2012, Pinker published his masterpiece, “The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.” Pinker realized that, contrary to popular belief, the world was in the midst of a decline in violence. He detailed that decline and the reasons for it in his 832-page tome. The gist of Pinker’s book is that for the last several hundred years, rates of all kinds of violence have been slowly declining. The decline became more rapid in the second half of the 20th century. Maybe the most shocking comparisons in the book are between rates of past and current war-related deaths. Between 15 and 30 percent of humans in prehistoric societies could expect to die in war; the modern American has around a .0004 percent chance, and the modern Korean an even lower chance. Murder rates have plummeted across the world. For example, about 100 people out of 100,000 were murdered in Italy in the 1400s. It dropped to 10 per 100,000 in the 1800s.

It is now .9 per 100,000. Other kinds of violence — child abuse, spousal abuse, racial violence, rape and animal cruelty — have also seen dramatic drops in most parts of the world. Pinker goes into great detail in his effort to explain why violence has declined. He writes that it’s a combination of factors: the development of strong state governments, economic cooperation between states, democratization in government, education, and collective changes in attitude toward violence, among others. The causes are varied, but the result is clear: Humans have been working toward a less violent world for hundreds of years, and are currently at the crest of a wave of nonviolence — a wave that may never break. There are outliers, of course, places that are still violent in comparison with most of the world (Colombia, for instance, has a murder rate about 15 times greater than Korea’s. But even Colombia has seen its murder rate halve in the last 10 years). We happen to live in a country that is a peace leader. Korea’s homicide rate is about half that of the United States, and by historical standards, exceptionally low. We are free to walk our cities without suspicion, to exchange ideas and goods with people from other cultures, to speak our minds without fear of violent reprisal. So again, I say, rejoice. Acknowledge that we are living in a world that is far less violent than the world our ancestors lived in. Be uplifted. As we step into 2014, give thanks that our world and our species — at least in that way — is better.

Hot on: Destinations

Music & Arts

By way of Uzbekistan

Seoul Shindig: The most eccentric party in town

“Silk Road” is a misnomer, as there were actually many routes and detours linking China to the Mediterranean. The original import-export superhighway, the Silk Road took traders through Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Persia on the way to the West. Silk was a major trading good, along with spices, artifacts and technologies. The most famous trader was Marco Polo. Samarkand was the largest market on the old Silk Road, and was pilfered by Alexander the Great and Genghis Kahn. Marco Polo described it as a large and splendid city, my reason to go there. After visiting the large and splendid city, the idea was to cross the Kyzyl Kum Desert to Bukhara, with its turquoise-domed mosques and fortress, and from there to push north toward the Kazakh border, following the Amu Darya River to the Aral Sea before it dried out. Story by Jean Poulot Read it online in January or in print in February

4 / January 2014

On certain nights at a little club in Hongdae, you’ll hear and see something different from the norm. Hidden among the rows of loud restaurants and clubs pumping out sugary sweet K-pop and throbbing dance hits is a little building with a different kind of soundtrack. Inside it’s a little dark, a little dusty and features a soundtrack that most clubs would never dream of playing. At Club Myoung Wol Gwan, the songs of yesterday make the soundtrack to fuel the party. A little bit of Motown and a little bit of British rock: If it’s from decades ago and fun to dance to, it’ll most likely be played here. This isn’t a normal club and this isn’t a normal party. This is Seoul Shindig, where music and nostalgia keep the party going long into the night. Story by Kyle James Hovanec Read it online in January or in print in February



What’s in this issue





24 THE BEST OF 2013 Groove Korea’s First Annual Contributor Awards recognize the year’s greatest contributions.


THE BEERS OF WINTER Get through the cold months with these craft heavyweights.



04 - Editorial Give thanks for a peaceful new year: Despite what the news says, violence is declining.

16 - Must reads A selection of our editors’ favorite articles

12 - Key people Introducing some of the editors, writers and photographers behind January’s issue.

20 - What’s on Festivals, concerts, happy hours, networking and events for every day of the month

15 - The inbox Opinions and feedback from readers

18 - Cover credits

22 - the news Korean celebrities and the sex trade; meth king in Gimhae busted after car chase; abusive stepmothers handed big jail terms; foreign hobos take to Korean streets


6 / January 2014

30 - READERS SPEAK To mark our seventh anniversary, we asked our readers throughout October to tell us about themselves and what they thought about us. Here’s what they had to say. 32 - MAKE YOUR MONEY WORK Investing in low-risk products can ensure you leave Korea with a small nest egg and not return home empty-handed.

FOOD & DRINK 40 - MIXING DRINKS, WITH TEXAS ZEAL Four Texans serve their take on cocktails in their Noksapyeong parlor. 42 - HOMEMADE TORTILLAS AND MOROCCAN-SPICED BEAN BURRITOS Think making a perfect, hot and spicy burrito is above your paygrade? Think again.

90 - In the mountains, photographing a place of peace Andrew Faulk is an American living and working in Seoul. In this month’s Capturing Korea, he gives us the details on Wawoojeongsa, a temple complex south of Seoul that is one of his favorite places to photograph.


What’s in this issue





72 UNHINGING KOREA War, Confucianism and economics are loosening their grip around the neck of metal, giving it room to expand in a stiff and cosmetically disposed Korean society.

DESTINATIONS 62 - GOING BEYOND THE NORMAL SPA EXPERIENCE Outdoor spas worth checking out this winter 66 - RIDING A RICKSHAW WITH ROGER On the joys of attending a Hyderabad film festival


8 / January 2014


It’s cold, but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to stay home. Groove and some of the nation’s best photographers explore the frozen peninsula.

MUSIC & ARTS 80 - FERMENTED PHOTOGRAPHY Lee Smathers brings film negatives to life 82 - TABLE PEOPLE A mishmash of loud noise pop and indie aesthetic, with a boost of bluesy rock

COMMUNITY 86 - FOR THE REPRESSED, A NEW REFUGE Safe Space opens arms to queer Korean teens 88 - STICKIN’ WITH IT Canadian Ball Hockey Korea builds a haven for camaraderie, on and off the field.

DISTRACTIONS 96 - GROOVE LISTINGS Doctors, travel agencies, restaurants, hotels, airlines, nightclubs and more 100 - COMICS 101 - GAMES

84 - AT THE BOX OFFICE “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (Jan. 1) “The Wolf of Wall Street” (Jan. 9)


85 - DVD CORNER “Stoker (스토커)” “The Last Stand (라스트 스탠드)”

104 - PROMOTIONS A selection of deals around Korea

103 - PHOTO challenge

78 - SNAP HAPPY Photographers in Korea widen the perspective

Credits - Contributors


Introducing some of the editors, writers and photographers behind January’s issue.

KOREA 4th floor, Shinwoo Bldg. 5-7 Yongsan 3-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea.

Remy Raitt South Africa

Contact Info 010-5348-0212 / (02) 6925-5057 For Advertising For General Inquiries EDITORIAL Editorial Director Elaine Ramirez Insight Editor Matthew Lamers Food & Destinations Editor Josh Foreman Community Editor Jenny Na Music & Arts Editor Emilee Jennings Associate Editor Shelley DeWees Editor-at-large John M. Rodgers Copy Editors Jaime Stief, Albert Kim, Bruce Harrison, Jan Waeben, Kevin Lee Selzer ART & DESIGN Art Director Park Seong-eun Design Adviser Prof. Kim Duck-mo MARKETING & ADMINISTRATION CFO Steve Seung-Jin Lee Marketing Executive Jay Park Manager Peter Chong Accounting Choi Hye-won Web, I.T. Dan Himes WRITERS, PROOFREADERS Alejandro Callirgos, Alexander Hall, Anita McKay, Anna Schlotjes, Anthony Levero, Brianne Altier, Christine Pickering, Christopher Green, Conor O’Reilly, Conrad Hughes, Daniel Deacon, Daniel Kang, Dave Hazzan, Dean Crawford, Deva Lee, , Eileen Cahill, Elaine Knight, Emre Kanik, Felix Im, George Kalli, Hyunwoo Sun, Ian Henderson, Ian McClellan, Jamie Keener, Jean Poulot, Jenny Clemo, Jonathan Aichele, Justin Chapura, Ken Fibbe, Ken Hall, Leslie Finlay, Liam Mitchinson, Matt VanVolkenburg, Paul Sharkie, Rajnesh Sharma, Rebekah McNay, Remy Raitt, Ryan Ritter, Sean Maylone, Shireen Tofig, Sophie Boladeras, Stephanie Anglemyer, Stephanie McDonald, Timothy Cushing, Trevor Van Dyke, Victoria Bates, Walter Stucke, Wilfred Lee

PHOTOGRAPHERS, ILLUSTRATORS Colin Dabbs, Craig Stuart, Dirk Schlottman, Don Sin, Dustin Cole, Dylan Goldby, Fergus Scott, James Kim, Jen Lee, Jon Linke, Kevin Kilgore, Matt Treager, Merissa Quek, Michael Hurt, Michael Roy, Min Pang, Nicholas Stonehouse, Nina Sawyer, Peter DeMarco, Romin Lee Johnson, Sabrina Hill, Sacha Treager, Samantha Whittaker

Executive Director Craig White Publisher Sean Choi To contribute to Groove Korea, email or the appropriate editor. To write a letter to the editor, email To have Groove Korea delivered to your home or business, email To promote your event, email To advertise, email The articles are the sole property of GROOVE MEDIA CO. Ltd. No reproduction is permitted without the express written consent of GROOVE MEDIA CO. Ltd. The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.

© All rights reserved Groove Korea Magazine 2013

12 / January 2014

After completing her bachelor of journalism degree, Remy worked as a news and lifestyle reporter, then the gypsy wanderlust took hold. While planning where her passport will take her next, she enjoys pajeon and makgeolli pit stops on hikes, badminton in the park, taking in Korea’s burgeoning art and fashion scenes and craft projects at home.

Rajnesh Sharma Canada

Rajnesh Sharma is a Canadian multimedia journalist who has traveled to nearly 30 countries to gain insight into cultural issues. When not enthralled with storytelling, she is intrigued by movies, reading and nature. A pristine beach, fine dining and dancing the night away are her remedies for relaxation. Visit her website at Rajnesh contributed the story “Stickin’ with it” to this month’s issue.

Elaine Ramirez U.S.

Elaine tends to go wherever the wind carries her, and the most recent gust has swept her to Korea. After a stint in New York and Chile, the California native now works as an editor in Seoul. When not editing for Groove or her newspaper, she’s off riding her motorbike along the Han, exploring the far corners of the peninsula, or sleeping. Elaine is Groove Korea’s Editorial Director.

Dean Crawford U.K.

Dean watches a lot of films, which, roughly translated, means he’s a bit of a geek and spends a lot of time in dark rooms. He’s from London, where he worked in the film industry, spending time on the sets of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” and “X-Men: First Class,” among others. He is currently based in Jeonju. Dean writes the Korean DVD Corner and At the Box Office columns.

Paul Sharkie U.K.

A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Paul Sharkie caught the travel bug after spending several summers in Asia, and dropped everything to head to Korea. What was meant to be a year turned into almost four and now he finds himself as Shinhan Bank’s foreign client relationship manager. Paul enjoys traveling, reading, exercising and dining, and fully admits that this is where all his money goes. Meeting new people is of paramount importance — as is converting his friends to sensible banking. Paul writes the Money column.

Deadline: July 20th


THE INBOX Groove readers’ opinions and feedback.

ON ‘A TRENDY BURGER JOINT MAKES WAVES IN GANGNAM’ (NOVEMBER 2013) MIKE C (FACEBOOK) Best burgers in Seoul. Now don’t go, there’s already too much of a wait. SUZI H (FACEBOOK) THE best burgers. The Nutella and burnt marshmallow shake is fab! ALICE W (FACEBOOK) I want to eat this now! JONATHAN A (FACEBOOK) Easily the best burger in Seoul. TYLER W (FACEBOOK) In the basement of Galleria in Apgujeong you can get this burger and Vatos’ kimchi fries together. SHIREEN T (FACEBOOK) This one was located in Samseong-dong, exit 5. Pass Hyundai Department Store, make a right, walk straight until you see the huge casino on your right, cross over to the other side of the main street and BBJ is to the right in the first alley that runs parallel to the main street. A little hard to find, but hope this helps! ON ‘THE SORDID TALE OF SOJU’ (NOVEMBER 2013) STEPHEN B (FACEBOOK) How do I like my soju? I like it like I like all my diluted, cheaply manufactured, artificially flavored liquors — ­­ still in the bottle, still on the shelf, and left for someone who knows no better. JONATHAN A (FACEBOOK) On the shelf, unpurchased. DEAN C (FACEBOOK) By the pint. Or in a jam jar if I’m feeling classy. Or in a spray bottle as it’s great for getting rid of stubborn stains, particularly blood. ON ‘THE BEST FISH N CHIPS IN SEOUL’ (DECEMBER 2012) KIWI IN KOREA (GROOVEKOREA.COM) In New Zealand, all we eat with our fish and chips is tomato sauce and some fresh bread. This place is good, worth the trip if you wanna hit a fish-and-chip craving. Don’t go comparing it to your best fish-and-chip shop back home, though; you’re only setting urself up for disappointment :) ON ‘SEOUL’S BEST SUSHI’ (FEBRUARY 2012) ERIK C (FACEBOOK) Based on my personal experience, I never tasted sushi like in Japan, in Korea.

Experienced doctors and staff qualified abroad (United States and Great Britain)

All Smiles


Orthodontic Tx.(Invisible aligner) l Bleaching Implant l Aesthetic Tx. l Petit Clinic Family Medicine l Dermatology l Plastic Surgery Caries Tx. l Prosthetic Tx. l Periodontal Tx. Root Canal Tx. l Painless Tx. Oral Surgery (Wisdom tooth extraction, Bone & soft tissue graft) Mon, Wed, Fri 10:00am ~ 6:30pm / Tue, Thu 10:00am ~ 9:00pm Sat 9:30am ~ 12:30pm / Lunch Time 12:30pm ~ 1:30pm


Yeoksam Stn.

Gangnam Stn.

Yeoksam Stn.

Seolleung Stn.



GFC Erispomme Star Dental Tower Hospital (1fl. Paris Baguette Bakery)

2F Yanghwa Tower, 736-16 Yeoksamdong, Gangnam, Seoul




A selection from our editors

MUST READs The beers of winter Page 36

Winter’s silver lining Page 46

As the days grow short and darkness descends across the land, a beer drinker’s thoughts turn from the pilsners and pale ales of summer to something more substantial: a beer to stick to the ribs and beat back the winter chill. Join us, then, as we take a walk on the dark side with the biggest and best ales available on the peninsula to help tackle another long Korean winter.

Trudging through slush and darkness to toil for 10 hours you might wonder: “Should I go on living? Is this living?” You are spoiling slowly, freezing but not preserved. And this will last another two months. But there is good news for you. Not far from your urban winter cave, there is a place where the sun shines over serene forest, towering mountains and frozen waterfalls, all blanketed in the purest, whitest snow. That place is Outside Seoul.

Riding a rickshaw with Roger Page 66

Unhinging Korea Page 72

On most travelers’ lists, India ranks near the top. It is a country so vast and varied, from lush tropical forests to the foothills of the Himalayas, it truly deserves to be called a subcontinent. Its culture and influence have radiated to the East and the West over the centuries, and for that reason alone, India is a place that keeps calling you back.

Much of the current scene is divided between three demographics: the older fans, forced out of the scene due to societal restraints but still indulging in the odd show; the revolving door of younger kids who get in to practice their chops before getting sucked out to the familial pasture; and those who perpetually manage to walk the line between the two worlds.

Fermented photography Page 80

Stickin’ with it Page 88

In a time period when it seems that everyone owns a digital camera and zillions of pictures exist online, it is inspiring to hear Lee speak about his careful work process. “Koreans like kimchi when it’s fermented well,” Lee says. “I like to compare my work process to fermenting kimchi. I take my images and put them away in a notebook … and later I’ll come back to these images, after they’ve kind of rested, and then I look at them again freshly. At that time, I can make a better judgmental decision on whether I like the images or not.”

Ed Leahey and Kurt DeVries had just led their team to victory in the first annual Yamato Cup in Tokyo in 2008 when they decided they wanted to keep the momentum going: They would turn their regular ball hockey group into a formal league. The pair already had a dedicated group of players who would meet every Sunday to play pick-up games in a parking lot at Ajou University in Suwon. But they wanted more.

16 / January 2014

COVER Winter’s silver lining Seoul winters can be hard. Daylight is in short supply, sidewalks are randomly treacherous and subway commuters are sporting perma-frowns. But outside the city the air is crisp, the sun is shining, and destinations are waiting to be explored. Join Groove and some of Korea’s most talented photographers as we explore the snowy countryside. Read the story on Page 46.

Cover photo by James Ho Design by Park Seong-eun

Our past three issues

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

How to build your community 12 countries of Christmas Feed Your Seoul

Business of buying a bride Sordid tale of soju 48 Hour Film Project

7th anniversary Self-reflection at Haeinsa The Beatniks


What’s On SUN

For suggestions or comments, email



1 New Year’s Day




Music / Dance

Travel / Sports


Networking / Social


Food / Drinks




Ulsan Ganjeolgot Sunrise Festival @ Ganjeolgot Lighthouse, Ulsan; Busan Christmas Tree Festival @ Jung-gu, Busan; to Jan. 5; Yeosu Hyangiram Sunrise Festival @ Impo Village;



The Aleph Project @ National Museum of Annie Leibovitz Photo Exhibition Modern and Contemporary Art; to Mar. @ Seoul Arts Center; to Mar. 4; 16;

Patrick Moya Exhibition @ RADIUM Art Center, Busan; to Jan. 19;

From Picasso to Jeff Koons @ Seoul Arts Center; to Feb. 23;

Hwacheon Sancheoneo (Mountain trout) Gangwon Winter Shuttle Bus Service Ice Festival @ Hwacheon Stream; to Jan. @ Gwanghwamun Plaza; to Feb. 28; 26;

The Hero, the Musical @ Seoul Arts Center; to Feb. 16;

The Musical December: Unfinished Song @ Sejong Center for the Performing Arts; to Jan. 26;

Language Exchange Meetup @ Tom & Toms, Itaewon;

Night Ice Skating @ Seoul Square Ice Rink;

Carmen (The Musical) @ LG Arts Center; to 23 February;

The Sound of Music @ Universal Arts Center; to Feb. 5;





Wordsmiths @ Southside Parlor, Noksapyeong;

Mama Mia @ Blue Square Musical Hall, Seoul; to Mar. 23;

Pyeongchang Trout Festival @ Odaecheon Stream, Pyeongchang; to Feb. 2;

Design: Another Language @ National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon; to Feb. 23;

Illionaire 3rd Anniversary Tour @ UNIQLO AX, Seoul;

Jumping With Love @ Sejong Center for the Performing Arts; to Feb. 23;

Traditional Costume Experience @ Seoul Global Culture & Tourism Center; ongoing;

The Dwarf Who Loved Snow White - The Musical @ Ewha Women’s University ; to Jan. 26;

The Musical Le Passe-Muraille @ Hongik Daehangno Art Center; to Jan. 26;

Rewriting the Landscape: India and China @ National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Gwacheon; to Mar. 2;

Hongdae Drink and Draw @ Green Cloud Coffee;





James Blake @ Uniqlo AX, Seoul;

Moon Embracing the Sun The Musical @ Seoul Arts Center; to Feb. 23;

Musical Agatha @ Dongguk University Lee Hee-rang Art Company; to Mar. 2;

The Musical The Three Musketeers Seongnam Arts Center, Bundang; to Feb 2;

Quiz Night @ Bull & Barrel Bar & Restaurant, Itaewon;

Quiz Night @ Craftworks Taphouse & Bistro;

All You Can Eat Lamb Chops @ Braai Republic, Itaewon;

Wing Night @ Rocky Mountain Tavern;

I LOVE SEOUL @ SeMA Buk Seoul; to Feb. 28;

Seondeung Festival @ Seondeung Sunday Roast @ Craftworks Taphouse & Plaza, Gangwon-do; to Feb. 14; english. Bistro, Itaewon; Ladies’ Night @ Maloney’s Pub & Grill, Itaewon;





Dynamic Busan New Year’s Concert — Oh Choong Keun & BSO @ Seoul Arts Center, Seoul;

U.S. Consular Services Outreach by appointment only; Daegu; to Jan. 28;

Ice Skating Seoul Square Ice Skating Rink, Seoul; to Feb. 23;

Wedding Singer, the Musical @ Doosan Art Center; to Feb. 9; ticket.interpark. com

Ceasar Sunday’s @ Bull & Barrel, Itaewon; BullnBarrelSeoul

5,000 won Burgers @ Bull and Barrel, Itaewon; BullnBarrelSeoul

Fish & Chips 2 for 1 @ Wolfhound’s, Itaewon;

Quiz Night @ Craftworks Taphouse & Bistro;

*All the events published in this calendar are subject to unforeseen changes by the promoters. Groove Korea does not take responsibility for any misunderstandings or third-party damage.







Ryan McGinley Photo Exhibition Guys and Dolls @ BBC Theater, @ Daelim Museum of Contemporary Art, Apgujeong; to Jan. 5; ticket.interpark. Seoul; to Feb. 23; com

Ballerina who Loved a B-boy @ Kyunghyang Art Hill, Seoul; ongoing;

“Jesus and Deaf Lamb” exhibition @ Seoul Museum, Buam-dong; to Jan. 19;

Jaraseom Singsing Winter Festival @ Gapyeongcheon Stream; to Jan. 26;

Label Market: ECE, Pavlov @ Sangsang Madang, Hongdae; sangsangmadang. com

The Play [puzzle] Season 2 @ Happy Theater; to Jan. 5; ticket.

Hilton Christmas Train Display @ Seoul Millenium Hotel; to Feb. 2; For info, 02-317-3114

Night Flea Market @ Kunsthalle Platoon;




Ladies’ Night (bottomless wine for 8,000 won) @ Braai Republic, Itaewon; (070) 8879-1967

Boseong Green Tea Plantation Light Festival @ Botjae Dawon; to Feb. 2;

Congo River — Art of Central Africa @ National Museum of Korea, Seoul; to Jan. 19;

Zeitgeist Korea @ National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art; to Apr. 27;

Javier Mariscal Exhibition @ Seoul Arts Center; to Mar. 16;

Woonbo Kim Ki-chang’s “Jesus and Deaf Lamb” exhibition @ Seoul Museum; to Jan. 19;

Music Show Wedding @ Music Show Wedding Theater, Hongdae; ongoing;

Musical Poongwallju @ Dongsoong Art Center; to Feb. 16;

Jeff Bernat Live Concert In Seoul @ UNIQLO AX;




Science Show- The Body @ The War Memorial of Korea, Seoul; to Mar. 2;

Taebaeksan Mountain Snow Festival @ Taebaeksan Provincial Park; to Jan. 26;

Unknown Mortal Musical @ Rolling Hall, Seoul;

NANTA @ NANTA Theater - Chungjeongno; ongoing;

Inje Ice Festival @ Injedaegyo Bridge; to Jan. 26; Jersey Boys: Original Broadway Cast Performance @ BLUE SQUARE Samsung Salon du Chocolat @ COEX; to Jan. 19; Card Hall; to Mar. 23; ticket.interpark. com

Canadian Ball Hockey Korea member registration period begins; until March 1; SOMOS Salseros Meetup @ SOMOS, Seoul;



Phoenix, Idiotape @ Olympic Hall, Seoul; I Musici New Year Concert — Operastic @ Seoul Arts Center, Seoul; Rib Night @ Reilly’s Taphouse, Itaewon Wing Night @ Phillies, Haebangchon;

Unknown Mortal Orchestra performs on Jan. 18 at Seoul’s Rolling Hall and on Jan. 19 at Busan’s Vinyl Underground.

Ladies’ Night @ Maloney’s Pub & Grill, Itaewon;


Hwacheon Sancheonae Festival runs from Jan. 4-26. See our feature on Hwacheon on Page 53

The Musical Werther @ Busan Citizen Hall, Busan; to Jan. 26; Bugok Hawaii Ice Sculpture Festival; to Feb. 2; Jjimjilbang pop-up party @ undisclosed venue; 11p-5a; free; JJBKR


31 Lunar New Year’s Day

Language Exchange @ Hongdae & Gangnam; every Wednesday; meetup. com/Language-Exchange-Cafe

Ladies’ Night @ Maloney’s Pub & Grill, Itaewon;

Wing Night @ Phillies, Haebangchon;

The Last Royal Family @ Chungmu Art Hall; to Feb. 23;

Patrick Moya Exhibition at Busan’s RADIUM Art Center runs until Jan. 19.

All stories are culled with consent from Korea JoongAng Daily’s website and edited by Groove Korea for length and clarity. The opinions expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Groove Korea. — Ed.

N at i o na l

N e w s


January 2013 /


AND THE SEX TRADE Prosecutors are investigating accusations that as many as 30 female celebrities, some very well known, were paid by influential businessmen to provide sexual services. The Ansan branch of the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office has already questioned actresses suspected of prostitution after it launched an investigation earlier in 2013. Among the suspects is an actress in her 30s who starred in a number of TV dramas and movies. She is suspected of having been paid for sexual services with cash or goods worth hundreds of millions of won. Another actress suspected in the scandal

has also starred in a number of popular TV dramas. Last August, prosecutors requested a pre-trial detention warrant for a man suspected of brokering trysts between a number of celebrities and powerful figures in business circles. A court rejected the request, citing a lack of evidence. Men who have allegedly paid the celebrities for sex were also said to have been summoned for questioning. “There have been rumors about businessmen offering so-called sponsorships to celebrities before,” a prosecutor involved in

the case said. “But this is the first time that such a large number of female entertainers were mobilized to provide sex for money alone.” The prosecutor said this case implicates some very well-known celebrities. In 2009, aspiring actress Jang Ja-yeon killed herself at age 30 and left a suicide note claiming she was coerced into having drinks with members of the media and business moguls. The note also said she was forced to provide them with sexual services.

METH KING IN GIMHAE BUSTED AFTER CAR CHASE Prosecutors indicted five drug smugglers and one drug user with physical detention and confiscated 370 grams of methamphetamine from them. The drugs, worth about 120 million won ($113,040), would be enough to get 12,000 people high, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office announced last month. Prosecutors added that they placed two other suspected smugglers who distributed the drugs in South Gyeongsang and Seoul on a wanted list. According to prosecutors, one of the five smugglers, a 43-year-old man identified 22 / January 2014

as Oh, who was nicknamed “Drug King” in Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, sold 318 grams of meth that had been smuggled from China between October 2012 and April 2013 to the four indicted brokers in the southeastern province. It was revealed that Oh only used borrowed-name bank accounts and mobile phones to conduct his business. Oh is also said to have sold meth only from inside his Mercedes. The prosecutors said that most of the 318 grams of meth sold by Oh were distributed through gang affiliations, adding that at least 10 grams, or enough to be consumed

by over 300 people, were traded in a single deal. Authorities said the five indicted brokers only conducted drug deals with people that they had known from their previous prison terms or longtime friends from their hometowns to avoid police crackdowns. Oh’s stint as a drug king ended in July 2013 when he was arrested after a 10-kilometer high-speed car chase in Gimhae, which ended when Oh crashed his car. Inside the car were meth and a Japanese sword that Oh had kept there in case he had to confront the authorities.

ABUSIVE STEPMOTHERS HANDED BIG JAIL TERMS Parents, especially cruel stepmothers, whose abuse led to the death of children have received heavy punishments in recent rulings. The Seoul High Court handed down a 10-year prison term in December to a 51-year-old woman whose years of abuse caused the death of her stepdaughter. The woman, whose last name surnamed Yang, married her husband in 2008 and raised his two children from a previous marriage. She abused the stepdaughter and stepson from the start by beating them up, according to the prosecution. When she was under the influence of alcohol, she forced the children to eat massive amounts of steamed rice. After the 10-year-old stepdaughter was caught trying to surreptitiously throw away the rice, Yang began punishing her by mixing large amounts of salt into her meals. Starting in July 2012, Yang mixed three tablespoons of salt in the stepdaughter’s bowl of rice, two to three times a week. When the child threw up, she was forced to eat her own vomit. Yang also forced the stepdaughter to eat her own excrement.

After a month of that treatment, the girl died of sodium poisoning. Both parents were prosecuted in December 2012. During her trial, Yang insisted she added the salt to correct the stepdaughter’s eating habits. She claimed her stepson’s testimonies about her abuses were coached by adults. The court rejected her arguments. “After the sister died, the elder brother went to live with his grandparents and gave consistent testimony about the abuses,” the court said. “And his stories are so explicit that no one could coach him with such stories unless they actually experienced such abuse.” The court said it decided on a 10-year prison term because Yang did not show remorse during the trial although she had inflicted extreme pain on her stepdaughter for three years. The court, however, did not convict Yang of manslaughter because the correlation between the abuse and the death was not fully proven. The court acquitted the father, saying the children did not inform him of the abuses, so he could not be convicted of negligence.

Meanwhile, a couple who killed their son by beating him and locking him out of their apartment on a veranda were also convicted last month. The Seoul Western District Court convicted a 33-year-old woman surnamed Kwon and her 35-year-old husband, Na, for manslaughter and abuse. The woman was ordered to serve eight years in prison for the death of her stepson while the father was ordered to serve a five-year prison term. “Kwon decided to raise the child not because she loved him, but to prevent Na from meeting his exwife,” the court said. The court said she beat up the 8-year-old son and made him stay on the balcony of their home from morning until evening. He died from the beatings. “All children have the right to live happily and safely at home and to be protected from abuse and violence,” the court said.

FOREIGN HOBOS TAKE TO KOREAN STREETS A middle-aged black man, wearing a military uniform and carrying a black backpack, stepped inside Itaewon Station shortly after midnight last month. The temperature outside was minus 4 degrees Celsius. The man headed straight to his usual place in a corner of the station and removed a blanket from his bag. When questioned, the man said his name was “Small A” but refused to say anything more. Local residents said they’ve seen him throughout the neighborhood since last September. “Recently, I saw him picking up some junk off the street,” said Lee Jae-suk, the 55-year-old owner of an Itaewon clothing store. Shin Hee-ung, deputy head of Itaewon Station, said Small A spends more and more time inside the station as the weather gets colder. Korea’s homeless population now includes foreigners. Last May, an 83-year-old Dutch man was discovered by the police in front of the clock tower of Seoul Station. He claimed he was a Korean War veteran and displayed symptoms of mental illness. The police sent him to a facility in Daegu last July, but he returned to Seoul Station only a few days later, where he started sleeping. More recently, his health deteriorated and he later came to Hope Medical Center, which is run by the Seoul Red Cross Hospital for immigrants and low-income patients.

In March 2013, the Injung Welfare Center in Yongsan, Seoul, was visited by a German man who asked for some food. After spending a few days at the center, the 53-year-old left to stay on the streets. Police and the center tried to locate him but couldn’t. Foreigners who find themselves homeless in Korea cannot go to government-run shelters because there are no welfare regulations governing them. They are for Koreans only. There are only eight temporary shelters around the country that accept foreigners, and they can only stay in them for a maximum of 20 days. According to the Support Center for the Homeless, a temporary facility for homeless foreigners run by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, it provided counseling to eight people from January through September of last year. Currently, 10 foreigners are living at the center. Last year, the center had no visitors. The center said that the nationalities of the homeless were varied and included people from the United States, Canada and Russia. “As of now, about 60 homeless people from various countries are staying at four temporary shelters around the city,” said Yeo Jae-hun, head of the center. “I believe there are more on the streets of Seoul.” Of the 60, 10 are currently at the center, while another 10 are at the Seoul Migrant Workers Center. The Global Village of Love-Sharing, a private charity, is housing 40.

Another 29 homeless foreigners are waiting to enter the Multicultural Family Support Center in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province. Their counseling reports showed that 13 came to Korea for language schools but became homeless due to economic difficulties. Five said they became homeless due to domestic disputes, three said they became homeless after their visas expired and two claim to be refugees. “When government-run homeless shelters take in Koreans, they receive government subsidies, but there is no money earmarked for foreigners,” said Kim Hae-sung, director of the Global Village of Love-Sharing. An official from the Ministry of Health and Welfare admitted that foreigners were excluded from standard homeless shelters. “We have enough trouble supporting the Koreans,” he said. “It is hard to pay attention to the foreigners.” The Justice Ministry admitted homeless foreigners are a technical headache. “When they are visitors with valid visas, we cannot send them back home because they didn’t violate the Immigration Control Act,” said an official from the ministry. “If we do nothing about homeless foreigners now, they can grow into a new social problem,” said Kim Young-ran, professor of social psychology at the Sookmyung Women’s University. “We need to create a system to protect them at the existing welfare centers for the homeless.”


INSIGHT Edited by Elaine Ramirez (

The best of

2013 Groove Korea’s First Annual Contributor Awards recognize the year’s greatest contributions


n a regular basis, people tell us they were surprised when they learned that Groove Korea is a free magazine. Not only do we provide our content to readers without charge, but our persistence for quality content makes it hard for some readers to believe that our writers, photographers and illustrators do it all for free. That is the only way we can afford to spread our magazine throughout the peninsula, and we owe it all to our growing team of contributors who believe in our purpose. This year we would like to begin to formally recognize some of the most outstanding

24 / January 2014

By Groove Korea editorial staff

contributors and contributions that have made this magazine possible. Groove Korea held the First Annual Contributor Awards in December to spotlight the best features, column, comic, illustrations and photographs of 2013 and the journalists and artists who created them. Last but not least, we asked for your input on your favorite feature, and we present the first Readers’ Choice Award for Cover Story of the Year. Our editorial staff once again thanks all our contributors as well as readers for making Groove Korea what it is today.

Best features of 2013 Insight Story of the Year Winner “Dear Korea, I still don’t have AIDS” by Matt VanVolkenberg, Ben Wagner and Matthew Lamers “Dear Korea, I still don’t have AIDS” by Matt VanVolkenberg, Ben Wagner and Matthew Lamers was awarded Insight Story of the Year for its in-depth analysis of a policy that is viewed as discriminatory against foreigners. The story outlined the xenophobic and hypochondriacal history behind a law that requires E-2 visa holders, who are native English teachers, to be regularly tested for HIV/AIDS before starting a work contract. While highly controversial, the topic has been rarely otherwise explored in local media. Nominees “The business of buying a bride” by Anita McKay and Felix Im (November) “Korea’s dying students” by Deva Lee and Matthew Lamers (September)

Community Story of the Year Winner “Feed your Seoul” by Anita McKay (December) In giving readers a snapshot of the city’s homeless population, a group that lives “at the bottom of the social chain,” during a walkabout near Seoul Station on a cold autumn evening, Anita McKay’s story “Feed Your Seoul” tackles a serious but often ignored issue in Korea. The story is told through the eyes of two people who have been homeless for years, a group of expat volunteers and a social worker linked to the expat group, and highlights the challenges they face. Nominees “How to build your community” by Kristin Mahshie (December) “Becoming Bruce Lee” by Dustin Cole (February)

Music & Arts Story of the Year Winner “Korea’s minds and machines” by Felix Im (August) The Music & Arts Story of the Year goes to Felix Im for his interview “Korea’s Minds and Machines.” Im gave readers insight into the minds of two true artists. The Colorado-born writer opened with a powerful description of the painter and drawer: “Kim Pyeong-joon is in his 60s, but his bright, glowing eyes and soft, smooth complexion belie his age. When he speaks, his voice strikes the air with the clarity of crisp piano notes.” Nominees “Moonassi: Drawing on loneliness” by Emma Sparkes (May) “On the savage sound of Yuppie Killer” by Dave Hazzan (November)

Food Story of the Year Winner “Korea’s preventable obesity abyss” by Shelley DeWees (June) Shelley DeWees’ commentary on the Westernization of Korean food won Food Story of the Year for its scope and insight. In her story, DeWees examined the differences in Western school lunches and Korean school lunches and called on Korea to halt its slide into unhealthy eating. Nominees “The sordid tale of soju” by Dave Hazzan (November) “Ring in spring with a pint at Reilly’s” by Shelley DeWees (April)


INSIGHT Edited by Elaine Ramirez (

Destinations Story of the Year Winner “Lights across the river” by Jean Poulot (November) “Lights across the river,” Jean Poulot’s story about traveling from Pyongyang to Beijing by train, won Destinations Story of the Year for its fresh description of travel in North Korea. Poulot managed to not only write a compelling narrative, but also to give readers new information and insights about life in the North. Nominees “High on Buddha” by Jean Poulot (October) “24 hours in Kyoto” by Travis Allen (March)

Photo Essay of the Year Winner “Zen Buddhism: Meet the monks and nuns of Korea” by Sophie Boladeras and Dylan Goldby (October) Sophie Boladeras and Dylan Goldby’s exploration of the lives of expat monks earned Photo Essay of the Year for its high-quality journalism in both words and pictures. “Zen Buddhism: Meet the monks and nuns of Korea” featured interviews with and portraits of the foreign monks at Hwagye and Musang Temples that portrayed their daily lives, and told the story of how they got here and why they stayed. Nominees “Wading through shallow waters” by Sabrina Hill (January) “Feed your Seoul” by Anita McKay and Dustin Cole (December)

Column of the Year

Winner “At the box office/Korean DVD corner” by Dean Crawford Whenever the proofreaders sit down to read over the pages before print, there is always a bit of a grabbing contest over who gets to read the movie column. Deserving of the title of Column of the Year is “At the box office/Korean DVD corner” by the snarky, sarcastic, sharp-witted Brit, Dean Crawford, who entertains our readers with his insightful reviews of Korean flicks and often humorously cynical previews of blockbusters that have become an irreplaceable staple of our publication. Nominees “Seoul Veggie Kitchen” by Shelley DeWees “Capturing Korea” by Dylan Goldby

26 / January 2014

Comic of the Year Winner “E-2” by Jon Linke It’s funny because it’s true, and that’s all there is to it. Groove Korea recognizes “E-2” by Jon Linke as Comic of the Year. Nominees “Ddongman” by Kevin Kilgore “Dear Korea” by Jen Lee

Best art of 2013 Cover Art of the Year Winner “An Indian adventure” by Dirk Schlottmann (January) Dirk Schlottmann’s photograph for the January cover “An Indian adventure” is awarded Cover Art of the Year. The photograph features a white-bearded, sharp-glaring Indian man painted with bold gold and white — an image that is in your face. Nominees “Korea’s dying students” by James Kim (September) “Dear Korea, I still don’t have AIDS” by James Little (April)

Photo of the Year Winner “The largest pilgrimage in the world” by Dirk Schlottmann (January) The cover feature of the January issue is awarded Photo of the Year. “The largest pilgrimage in the world,” written and photographed by Dirk Schlottmann, portrayed religious traditions in Allahabad, India, ahead of the Kumbh Mela, when 90 million people descended upon the town for a Hindu pilgrimage. Nominees “Smacksoft: The music of discontent” by Sabrina Hill (August) “Malaysia’s cultural mosaic” by Colin Roohan (January)

Illustration of the Year

Winner “Korea’s dying students” by James Kim and Craig Stuart (September) The series of illustrations for “Korea’s dying students” by James Kim and Craig Stuart is awarded Illustration of the Year. Among the powerful images featured is that of a girl holding up her own funeral portrait, a young man struggling under the burdens of life on his back, a girl subject to bullying by her peers and another being pressured by her disappointed parents.

Nominees “The business of buying a bride” by James Kim (November) “Dear Korea, I still don’t have AIDS” by Michael Roy (April)


INSIGHT Edited by Elaine Ramirez (

Best contributors of 2013 Writer of the Year Winner Shelley DeWees The most difficult decision in all the awards was how to choose one out of all of our dedicated, gifted writers with incomparable skills and strengths. We agreed that the most important qualities were consistency, independence, ambition, writing style and, perhaps most importantly, dependability. One writer in particular pitches in with enthusiasm month after month, exudes a passion for her subject that is evident in her writing voice, pushes her own boundaries and pumps out stories faster than we can run them. We will take them all. Groove Korea recognizes food columnist Shelley DeWees as Writer of the Year.

Photographer of the Year Winner James Little There is something to be said about a photographer who will shoot anything from food to celebrities, often in a pinch, and do it excellently and for free: We need more of them. There have been countless emergencies in which we needed the perfect photo at the last minute, and whether it was a famous expat couple, a last-minute studio assignment, a plate of jerk chicken or even a draft of beer, we always knew who to count on. Groove Korea recognizes James Little as Photographer of the Year.

Illustrator of the Year Winner James Kim Of the dozens, perhaps hundreds of illustrations that Groove Korea has published over the years, arguably the most unforgettable is the simple image of an elementary school-aged girl holding up her own black-andwhite funeral portrait. This image became the controversial cover for the September issue, “Korea’s dying students.” As with many of his other contributions, the illustrator was able to deliver a striking, undeniable message that few others could dare to approach. Groove Korea recognizes James Kim as Illustrator of the Year.

Get ’er Done Award Copy Editor of the Year Winner Jaime Stief With Groove Korea measuring 100-plus pages every month, there are just a few people, our editors included, who will painstakingly pore over every word. There are fewer still who can read a story and realize even better words to tell it than the writers themselves. Our issues for the past year have carried the cleanest copy in our seven-year history, which we owe largely to our talented team of copy editors who continue to strive for perfection. Standing out is one dedicated copy editor who reads every story, every headline, even every ad from day one until the late hours before print. Groove Korea recognizes Jaime Stief as Copy Editor of the Year.

28 / January 2014

Winner Ian Henderson And then there are those trusty team members who see a hole and fill it. If ever we needed a story as quickly and painlessly as possible, we would turn to a stable of writers, photographers and illustrators who could work independently, consistently and often in a short time frame, and we wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. Groove Korea gives writer and yes-man Ian Henderson the Get ‘er Done Award for his exemplary hustle.

Get ’er Done on Time Award Winner Remy Raitt Likewise, there are few qualities in a journalist that are more valuable than doing an assignment, doing it well and, certainly no less important, doing it on time. Such dependable team members form the foundation on which we can build our integrity and reputation for quality. Groove Korea gives writer Remy Raitt the Get ‘er Done on Time Award for her exemplary punctuality.

Readers’ Choice Award

Cover Story of the Year Winner “Korea’s dying students” by Deva Lee and Matthew Lamers (September) A story that leaves a lasting impression on a reader is one that is relatable while also thought-provoking. The year covered several in-depth issues: foreign entrepreneurship, the failing EFL education system, discriminatory AIDS testing policies and the oft-shady migrant marriage brokering business, to name a few. We asked readers to vote for their favorite, and the result did not come to our surprise. With some 75 percent of our readers working with students on a daily basis, issues about the pressures on children in Korea strike a certain chord, especially when the

stress that students face leads them to make irreversible decisions. Korea’s teen suicide rate is high enough to be considered an epidemic, and two writers sought to understand and reveal why children as young as elementary school keep killing themselves. More than six months of research, interviews, writing and rewriting went into uncovering a subject that seems to be often brushed under the rug. Groove Korea proudly recognizes “Korea’s dying students” by Deva Lee and Matthew Lamers as the Readers’ Choice Award for Cover Story of the Year.


INSIGHT Edited by Elaine Ramirez (

The scoop on the Readership Survey 2013

Readers speak To mark our seventh anniversary, we asked our readers throughout October to tell us about themselves and what they thought about us. Here’s what they had to say. Who you are We wanted to get to know you a little better and asked a bit about you. Here’s a slice of how our readers described themselves: So, where are you from?

Where do you live these days? U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand South Korea

Seoul Gyeonggi Province or Incheon Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, Gwangju or Ulsan

Asia, outside of South Korea Somewhere else

Elsewhere in Korea Outside Korea

How long have you been (or did you live) in Korea? 70

Ah, the weekend. Where can we find you on a Saturday afternoon?


At home, doing chores or hanging out


Atop a mountain or on my bike


Somewhere I’ve never been before

30 20

In a cafe, preferably with a book or Kindle Scrooge’s pub, or maybe the Wolfhound or


Hollywood’s or Sin Bin or..

0 I was born 1 year or and raised less here

1+ to 2 years

3-5 years

6-10 years

I’ve lost I have count never lived in Korea

Church or a charity event On the field/court, with my cleats/ stick/bat/racket Wherever my significant other wants to go


Wherever my friends want to go At the latest museum or gallery exhibition


37% Age group?

Shopping Spending quality time with my family Don’t bother me, I’m hibernating Other

What do you do for a living? 19-25

Teacher or professor (any level)


Not a teacher or professor

31-35 35 or older I’d rather not say

30 / January 2014

What you say We asked about your favorite and least favorite stories, and gave you the mic to tell us what else you thought of us. Here are a few responses: Favorite article On “Korea’s dying students” (September 2013): “It’s important for us hagwon teachers to at least be aware of and hopefully question the system we’re a part of. We should really think about how all the academic stress we place on our students is affecting their well-being and the well-being of Korean society as a whole (i.e. ridiculously high suicide rates). I feel like most hagwon teachers blindly accept their role here without calling into question how much we’re really ‘helping.’ I’d like to see more articles that address these issues.” On “Is Korea’s EFL education failing?” (March 2013): “I understood and related to the entire article. It was also nice knowing other people felt the same annoyances when it comes to English teaching in this country.” On “Gay-Han-Min-Guk” (November

2011): “The Gay-Han-Min-Guk was very fascinating and informative to read on a portion of society in Korea that rarely receives an honest and candid look inside. Not only was it informative but it was very thorough in covering a variety of voices from Koreans to foreigners.” On “Getting down to business” (February 2013): “It was great to read about people following their dreams and finding a way to make it happen in a place that isn’t all too friendly when it comes to starting a business.” On “The truth about relationships with foreigners” (July 2012): “I was interested in seeing more about a growing population in Korea who have been experiencing difficulties and what (if anything) was being done to help them from the Korean government.” On general content: “I liked the long arti-

cle from a while back that Matt from Popular Gusts and Ben Wagner wrote about the scapegoating of English teachers (“Dear Korea, I still don’t have AIDS, April 2013). I also quite liked your interview with Slavoj Zizek a couple of months ago (“A communist in Seoul,” September 2013). The articles that I’m most likely to read are the ones that involve a proper bit of research that tell me something interesting that I couldn’t find elsewhere. You know — the sort of stuff that involves a bit of proper journalism and expertise. The language barrier between most expats and the rest of Korea creates a real void of information that is generally filled in with hearsay and half-truths, so any article that rolls up its sleeves and sorts through the bullshit is always welcome.”

ested in the topic, I’ve skipped all of them in the series so far (and I usually don’t skip articles in Groove).” On “Japan’s shame” (November 2011): “I really haven’t read an article that sucked but the article that upset me was the one about the sex slaves during the war. Very enlightening but very depressing.” On “Dear Korea, I still don’t have AIDS” (April 2013): “The one with indignant foreigners saying they don’t have AIDS. It sucked because it’s not much of an issue to be tested considering the cushy job we’re all given.”

On general content: “There have been plenty that I’ve not bothered reading just because they haven’t piqued my interest. Generally speaking, though, I have a very low opinion on anything that tries to make traditional/archaic/inconsequential Korean bullshit sound all cool and fascinating. I don’t want to hear about temple stays or some shitty kimchi festival in the back of beyond. I’m much more interested in hearing about the real lives of real people and not what some arsehole’s boring travel adventures in provincial Korea.”

that any magazine basically exists as a conduit for advertising, but Groove could be so much more than that. I mean, look at Time Out in London, for instance — it has come to represent something of the essence and character of London itself. Korea has nothing like that, and it direly needs it. Other than that, I think you do a bang-up job. I’d also like to compliment your magazine on the generally very good design standards (except for a few of the ads, but I’m sure you have to take whatever you’re given on that score). You’ve had some excellent covers recently, as well — very well conceived and put together. I’m not too enamoured of the masthead, with its figureof-eight infinity-double-O thing, but other

than that, it’s all pretty commendable. Well done.” “I like when the issues really focus on a theme. Sometimes it just seems too random. Also, the voices of the articles are sometimes just too varied.” “Do more comparative food articles. For example, compare Beale St. Memphis style BBQ in Hongdae with JR’s Southern style BBQ in Itaewon.” “In addition to the latest events and happenings, the in-depth articles on various different topics are really what I think makes Groove stand out! I know they may be more time consuming and difficult to write up, but most of them are really great stuff. Thank you!”

Least favorite article

On “Dear Korea, I still don’t have AIDS” (April 2013): “I thought it was well researched, but really it was just speaking to the choir. I like to learn more about things when I read rather than dwell on what I already know.” On “Easy rider: Korea on wheels” (September 2013): “The latest series of biking articles aren’t bad by any means, and I own and ride a bike too, but I don’t know why the topic is being covered so heavily lately in Groove mag for such a niche group. Perhaps a larger proportion of Groove’s readers are bikers, but since I’m not so heavily interLast thoughts

“Honest restaurant reviews that aren’t fluff pieces. If there’s something bad or not good abut a place, I want to know about it. I think it would be awesome to see a few reputable critics tear a place apart if it deserved it.” “I would be happy if your magazine held the restaurants it reviewed to a consistently high standard (especially foreign-style restaurants) and called out bullshit when it saw it. I know you’re reliant on such places to pay for advertising, but you do the community a disservice by any review that soft-soaps a sloppily run organization. The standard of restaurants in this country is generally deplorable and Groove could be part of the vanguard beginning to correct that. I realize


INSIGHT Edited by Matthew Lamers (

The Money column

Make your money work Investing in low-risk products can ensure you leave Korea with a small nest egg and not return home empty-handed Column by Paul Sharkie / Illustration by Craig Stuart


s 2014 has already caught up with us, perhaps you have decided that this is the year when you’ll achieve many of your goals, with saving money being one of them. If you do have some spare cash or want to investigate what your options are in Korea, there are several products you can look into. Here we will look at some low-risk, starter strategies for you to consider. Please note that the following examples are from Shinhan; although they may be similar in nature, check your bank’s equivalents and the associated terms and conditions.

Time deposits If you are looking to lock into a fixed interest rate for a specified period, then a time deposit might be something to consider. After

the initial deposit, you may top up the account with further deposits at any time, usually up until one month before the maturity date. When inquiring about this product, it’s quite common that customers will ask for a specific interest rate. You should make note, however, that we can only advise customers of that day’s rate; thus the rate applied to each and every customer’s situation depends entirely on the day they open the account and when funds are deposited. While you do agree on a fixed term and cancellations can be made at any time (in person and at a branch), in order to be eligible for the highest possible return, you should wait until the maturity date. If locking into a fixed rate doesn’t appeal to you and you want more freedom, especially during times when interest rates are rising,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Paul Sharkie is the Foreign Client Relationship Manager for Shinhan Bank’s Foreign Customer Department. Please visit Shinhan Expat Banking on Facebook for more information. The banking information provided in this column is based on Shinhan Bank policies and may not be applicable to all banks in Korea. — Ed.

32 / January 2014

you may want to consider what is usually known as a “flexible” or “revolving” time deposit. With these, the interest rate will change according to the different cycles you set. For example, if in a one-year deposit (the maximum being five years) you choose three-month cycles, your rate would change every three months. (One-, two-, three-, four-, five-, six- and 12-month cycles are available.) In optimistic times, you would hope that your rate would rise with each cycle, thus earning you more than you initially signed up for. This is slightly riskier than a regular time deposit in that no rate can be guaranteed, so be sure to ask your teller which option would be good for you. The advantage over a regular time deposit is that you do not need to keep your deposit invested until maturity. Instead, you have the option to cancel the deposit and withdraw the principal and any interest accrued at the end of your chosen cycle period.

Installment accounts Let’s say you don’t have an initial deposit to put down or you want to use that money for something else; you may be interested in what we call an installment account. An installment account is where you can choose to deposit as much or as little as you want on a fixed date each month, or as and when you please. Generally, depending on which product you choose, deposit periods can range from six months to five years, allowing you to put a little bit away throughout your stay in Korea. A popular option for those earning a salary in Korea is to first open an account into which your salary would be paid. (At Shinhan, this is called a salary savings account, which is a basic savings account where the interest is calculated based on the average amount of money held in your account each quarter.) Thereafter, you may take installments from your salary account and place them in an appropriately named installment account. Certainly in the case of Shinhan, our customers who have both accounts can often receive more favorable rates. With this account, you set and agree on the time period, and the interest rate applicable to you is based on the rate your bank posts on the actual day you open the account, plus any extra interest depending on which other products and services you use with that same bank. As with time deposits, you may cancel your installment account at any time. However, if you do so before maturity, you will not receive the full rate of interest initially agreed upon. It is also worth noting that, after maturity, funds left in accounts will no longer earn significant returns. It is therefore recommended that you either open a new time deposit or installment account immediately upon maturity, or if you think you are going to leave Korea permanently, close the accounts and retrieve your funds. Either decision will have to be made in-person at a branch. Take this into consideration if you are planning to leave Korea in the near future. Please note that, in addition to the options above, there are a variety of other strategies to consider. For more detailed information, please visit a branch Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or call your bank’s English call center. Shinhan’s English call center can be reached at 1577–8380, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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34 / January 2014


FOOD & DRINK Edited by Josh Foreman (

Get through the cold months with these craft heavyweights

The beers of winter Story by Jonathan Aichele / Photo by Josh Foreman


s the days grow short and darkness descends across the land, a beer drinker’s thoughts turn from the pilsners and pale ales of summer to something more substantial: a beer to stick to the ribs and beat back the winter chill. Join us, then, as we take a walk on the dark side with the biggest and best ales available on the peninsula to help tackle another long Korean winter.

36 / January 2014

Clocking in at 10 percent alcohol (but you’d never know it), flavors of brown bread, caramel, figs, clove and tobacco dominate. This is quite simply one of the most complex brews around.

Magpie Porter Magpie made an immediate splash on the Gyeongnidan scene when it opened two years back, wowing customers with a super-simple menu of just two ales: a pale and a porter. While by no means a heavyweight compared to some of the monsters on this list, the porter nevertheless hits the spot for a punter in need of something dark, roasty and delicious. Chocolate and coffee notes are all there, with a smooth finish that ensures this beer can be enjoyed by the pint-full. If you’re new to the work of darker beers, make Magpie your first stop on the path to the dark side. Where to get it Magpie Brewing Co. in Gyeongnidan

Huyghe Brewery Delirium Christmas

The Huyghe Brewery in Belgium has been producing their renowned beers since before World War I. Delirium Tremens, their most famous offering, is considered by many to be the best beer in the world. Delirium Christmas is the wintertime version of the brew, and we’re lucky enough to have access to it at Reilly’s Taphouse in Itaewon. Delirium Christmas is a deep red color, with flavors of dark cherry, chocolate, cane sugar and spices. It pours with a light white head (added bonus: at Reilly’s you can drink the beer out of a special glass decorated with pink elephants). At 10 percent alcohol by volume, this is a very strong beer. But you wouldn’t know it from the taste; the beer is sweet, smooth and complex, and lacks a strong alcohol aftertaste. Whereas most of the beers on this list are available year-round, Delirium Christmas is a seasonal offering. You can only get a bottle during the cold months, which might be why its price is significantly higher than that of many other beers on this list. Think of it as buying an experience more so than a drink. Where to get it Reilly’s Taphouse in Itaewon

Theakston Old Peculier Next stop on our winter beer journey is peculiar indeed. Brewed by Theakston Brewery in the North of England, Old Peculier has a toasty malt nose with some dark fruits — think plum and fig — bringing thoughts of Christmas straight to mind. Tasting reveals a lighter-bodied dark ale with medium, soft carbonation — something of a British interpretation of a Belgian quad (we’ll get to that later). As you work through it, the malt character takes center stage, bringing a toffee sweetness that would never work in summer. But in the depths of winter, it’s just the thing to warm you through. Where to get it Shinsegae Department Store


FOOD & DRINK Edited by Josh Foreman (

Craftworks Seoraksan Oatmeal Stout No winter beer lineup would be complete without an oatmeal stout in the ranks, and thanks to Craftworks Taphouse we have a quality example of the style for us right here in the ROK. The beer starts with a slim cream head that isn’t going anywhere and a rich, creamy body — both courtesy of proteins from the oatmeal the beer is brewed with. The nose is lovely, with grain and smoke in the glass, never overpowering but instead on point to deliver just the right amount of toasted goodness. Though the style of the beer may lack a certain amount of body and alcohol (just 4.5 percent), Craftworks has made a wise choice here: Seoraksan Oatmeal Stout is absolutely sessionable. It’s smooth and inviting, and won’t scare off newcomers to the world of stouts. Where to get it Craftworks locations around Seoul (Gyeongnidan, Gangnam, Jung-gu and Pangyo)

Belhaven Wee Heavy If you’ve ever wondered what a malt is, exactly, or what it tastes like, this wee heavy is your ale to try. Brewed by the iconic Belhaven Brewery of Scotland, this beer is a flag-bearer for the style. Starting with a medium head, you’ll notice its malt character immediately — as will everyone else in a 3-meter radius. When served at a proper (cellar) temperature, some might dismiss the flavor as simply sweet or even cloying, but, given time for the palate to adjust, a world of flavor opens up to the drinker. Still, if you are worried about the malt being too overpowering, just pop the cap off straight out of the fridge and watch the beer evolve as it warms. If you’re still worried about taking the leap to the malt side, start with Belhaven’s Scottish Ale — it’s a darker, more hoppy cousin of the Wee Heavy and will give you an idea of what these styles of beer are all about. Where to get it Han’s Store in Itaewon

Green Flash Double Stout - 8.8% 45IBU What is there to say about Green Flash Double Stout? Well, it’s not your father’s Guinness. This San Diego-born brew starts jet black in color, crowned with a cream head. The nose is exactly what you’re looking for when you reach for a bottle labeled double stout: huge coffee and cocoa character, with all the roasty, toasty goodness you could hope for. These flavors are delivered in spades on first taste and the mouthfeel is simply divine — one of the best textures you’ll ever get off a beer less than 10 percent alcohol. Basically, what we have in this Green Flash offering is an archetype of what a double stout is meant to be. If you enjoy espresso or dark chocolate in the slightest, you owe it to yourself to give this beer a shot. Where to get it Beer O’Clock in Sinchon

Anderson Valley Winter Solstice The other truly seasonal brew on this list, Winter Solstice, is exactly what you might imagine a winter beer to be. Winter Solstice is classified as a “winter warmer.” Winter warmers are – surprise – usually seasonal winter beers, and are typically dark and malty, with low hoppiness and spice. Anderson Valley’s offering fits the criteria. It’s a deep amber color, with a light head. It tastes of chewing tobacco, brown bread, raisins and caramel. It’s sweet in a toasted marshmallow sort of way, and has a hint of spice. Troy Zitzelsberger, the head brewer at Reilly’s, said it reminded him of fruitcake, so if the idea of a sweeter beer sounds unappealing to you, do steer clear. Anderson Valley Brewing Company was part of the first wave of microbreweries in the United States, and has led the wave of American microbrews emanating from the country ever since. This is another strong beer, with 6.9 percent alcohol by volume. Drinking out of the no-frills Anderson Valley pint glass, Winter Solstice is a beer that just feels right for a cold, snowy night. Where to get it Reilly’s Taphouse in Itaewon 38 / January 2014

Westmalle Dubbel There are few brews that garner more love from beervangelists than Westmalle. One of the small number of authentic Trappist breweries, Westmalle produces two quintessential Belgian styles that are available in Korea: the tripel and dubbel. In both cases you start with a prodigious head on the beer, a byproduct of Westmalle’s distinctive yeast strain. The nose on the dubbel is a complex melody of toasted sugar and dark fruits, full of esters and complex aromas that are the hallmark of quality Belgian brewing. As the beer is bottle-conditioned, with C02 being produced naturally by yeast residing in the bottle, the mouthfeel is light, creamy and delicious. More flavors of raisin, fig, chocolate and burnt sugar are there for the taking, making this a classic winter ale and a wonderful introduction to the world of Belgian brewing. Where to get it Nuba in Hongdae

Weihenstephan Korbinian

State-owned Weihenstephan is the oldest continuously operating brewery in the world, with confirmed records dating to 1040 and historical reference reaching back even further. Like Schneider & Sohn (below), Weihenstephan is most famous for its work with wheat beers, but the Korbinian is an essential addition to a winter lineup. The style is dubbed a “doppelbock” (yes, a “double goat” for German speakers out there) and it smashes expectations of what a lager is meant to be. Flavors of malted milk, caramel and clover are foremost, with a warming alcohol presence that brings the beer right where it needs to be. Sip slowly, beer enthusiasts, for the 7.4 percent alcohol here goes down a little too smoothly. Where to get it Thirsty Monk in Gangnam

Schneider & Sohn - Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock

Essentially responsible for preserving wheat beer brewing in Germany virtually single-handedly, it’s hard to overestimate how influential Schneider & Sohn are in weissbier/hefeweizen (wheat beer) circles. We are fortunate enough to have their Tap 7 original here in Korea, but hefeweizen itself is really a beer that only comes into its own during the summer months. For the darker months of winter, Schneider & Sohn have another offering for us: Eisbock. By freezing the beer and removing the ice that forms, the brewer fortifies the beer, raising the beer to new levels of intensity (and alcohol!). This beer has a staggering nose of clove, banana, bread, wheat and booze. High carbonation works to lighten the body of an otherwise heavy beer. There are very strong alcohol phenols on first taste, and the raisin, plum and almond are reminiscent of good-quality rum. The heat of the alcohol does begin to wear off as you work through the bottle, but all the same be warned: This is not a beer for the faint of heart. Beer geeks only need apply. Where to get it Imported primarily by E-Mart, so check your local store.

St. Bernardus Abt 12

The most revered of all Trappist ales is Westvleteren 12, a Belgian “quadrupel.” But this is not that beer. Fortunately for us residents of Korea, many beer geeks also rate St. Bernardus Abt 12 as superior to the famed Westvleteren. So what is all the fuss about? In short, this style of beer is considered by many to be the pinnacle of Belgian brewing. Clocking in at 10 percent alcohol (not that you’d ever know it), flavors of brown bread, caramel, figs, clove and tobacco dominate. This is quite simply one of the most complex brews around. There are few places in town doing this beer properly – and it’s expensive – but if you want to plumb the incredible depths of the Belgian brewing tradition, this beer is an essential stop on your quest. Where to get it Nuba in Hongdae


FOOD & DRINK Edited by Josh Foreman (

Southside Parlor brings refined cocktails to the Itaewon area

Totally Texan mixology Story and Photos by Shelley DeWees


obbie, Austin, Johnny and Philip are Texas men with a Texas bar, right in the heart of... not Texas. Where you’d expect to see cowboy boots, tumbleweeds and rough-n-tumble customers clomping around on wooden slat floors, there are instead smiling foreigners in sneaks and scarves, gazing out onto the busy Noksapyeong neighborhood, kickin’ it with their friends among leather and iron and a tin ceiling that belongs in a grain silo. Some of them are chomping on barbecue or dipping chips, but they’re all tucking into perfectly mixed concoctions from these four stud muffins, a Pink Dolphin, a Bruce Lee, a Keenan and Kel, or maybe a mint and elderflower Barton Springs (their most popular cocktail). But whether their patrons are eating or drinking or both, one thing’s for sure: they’re all fixin’ to sidle up and do nothin’ for at least two hours here in the swank spread of the Southside Parlor.

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Having already confessed my affinity for gin and tonic, Phillip leans forward and asks if I’ve ever had a real one. ‘Um … yes?’ I answer, wondering what it is that makes a gin and tonic real.

“Most of our first customers knew us from our old taco truck, Three Kings,” says Philip, a cheerful guy in a vest and not one shred of outward evidence pointing to his Texan heritage. “We used to park our truck in Hongdae and sell tacos and cocktails like crazy till 4 a.m. We loved it, they loved it, but we knew we couldn’t hold onto those hours for long.” So when people started asking them to come sell at parties and weddings, they saw an opportunity to kick off something entirely new. This open attitude toward start-ups is Robbie’s favorite thing about Korea. He chimes in, a bespectacled and suspendered public relations graduate: “Seoul is the perfect place to be creative. People here are so receptive to new ideas. It’s easy to start something new when you see the space for it in the market. We were tired of paying nine dollars for crappy cocktails, so we thought others probably were too.” Three

Kings got busy that year, but their cocktail catering offshoot venture, Southern Sons, really took off. “People were very receptive to our food, but our drinks especially. We were crazy busy.” They laugh. They explain how fast it happened, how much has changed for them in the past year, how random occurrences led to others that led to others still, until they found themselves signing on a new business property and scheduling a soft opening. “We all left our jobs,” Philip says with a grin, “moved into new apartments, and I even got married. It’s been a hell of a year.” Yet here they sit, comfortable and composed, asking me if I’m ready for a drink. Well, okay. Having already confessed my affinity for gin and tonic, Philip leans forward and asks if I’ve ever had a real one. “Um...yes?” I answer, wondering what it is that makes a gin and tonic real. He laughs, stands up and leads me behind the counter to show me what’s what. “We’ve just recently started making our own tonic,” he explains, showing me the special quinine syrup, “so this’ll be a gin and tonic like you’ve never had.” He carefully measures some caramel-colored quinine, Tanqueray gin and soda water, then tops everything off with an artful curl of lime zest and a splash of juice. Done. I sip. I sip again. I love. It really was the best gin and tonic I’d ever had, light and refreshing, perfect for a chilly evening among my fellow expatriates. As things got busier and more people filed in, I watched as the friendly bros I’d been visiting with turned to the business of business, choreographing their attentive mixology ways behind their big, broad, Texas bar, carrying towering plates of “piggy chips” and smoked brisket to their hungry customers and chatting incessantly with anyone who’ll listen. The cowboy boots are far away, but the Texas spirit is in. To stay.

Getting there

Walk out Noksapyeong Station, exit 1. When you exit the station, look to your left for a pedestrian overpass. Take the stairs up and over, then turn left when you reach the other side and walk down the hill. Southside Parlor is located on the fourth floor of a building labeled “Happy Bldg,” just beyond the small English bookstore, on the right-hand side. You’ll see Thunder Burger on the first floor of the same building. The stairs to cocktail contentment are off to the left.


FOOD & DRINK Edited by Josh Foreman (

Seoul Veggie Kitchen

About the writer: Shelley DeWees worked as a vegan chef for a Buddhist monastery before moving to Seoul. She is a columnist for Groove Korea. Her opinions do not neccesarily reflect those of the magazine. See her website, www.seoulveggiekitchen. com. — Ed.

Homemade tortillas and Moroccan-spiced bean burritos Column and Photos by Shelley DeWees


he list of things you should never do includes stuff like walking around barefoot in a cow pasture, singing “Black Hole Sun” at the noraebang, using a preposition to end a sentence (stop that) or going to a doctor whose office plants have died. You should also never write a student’s name in red, get arrested or do anything that even kind of resembles the chicken dance. But making your own tortillas? Now this, this doesn’t belong on the list. It took me forever to figure it out too, so don’t beat yourself up — just make up for lost time and start making your own tortillas, here and now. Yeah, yeah, they’re readily available and fairly cheap at the store, but when you’ve had a hot, fresh, pillowy tortilla straight off the stove, you’ll start to realize exactly how superior they are to the flat, cold, dry

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ones that were freshly made back in April. It’s January, and that means we’re all just biding our time, waiting out the winter one agonizingly gray day at a time until we can feel our fingers and toes again, ordering two beers at the same time and being perfectly fine with dropping 50,000 won on one of those heavy blankets made out of stuffed animal fabric. We’re all in limbo here together, friends, and eating paltry meals out of plastic is a guaranteed way to make things way, way worse. Wouldn’t life be better if you had a burrito right about now? A hot, spicy burrito wrapped in a steaming homemade tortilla that you originally thought was out of your league? Look at you and your bad self, and hey, just look at that freakin’ burrito. Let’s eat and drink until spring.

Tortillas Using ingredients you probably already have, these tortillas are a snap to make and completely, 100 percent worth it. The first bite will be bliss. The pivotal moment in creating a great tortilla occurs right when you pull it out of the pan, hot and ready. You can’t leave it on the counter exposed to the air. Otherwise, you’ll get a crackly flapjack and not a tortilla, so you’ll need a little protected pocket of space where the warmth and steam of the tortilla stays near and dear, like a pizza pan covered in a towel. Have it set and ready to go near the stove so that when these puppies are done, you can tuck ‘em away all safe and happy. Remember: Keeping them warm is the key to keeping them soft.

Ingredients • 2 cups flour • 1 tsp salt • 3/4 cup water • 3 tbsp olive or canola oil Using a fork, combine all ingredients in a large bowl just until the dough comes together. Dump it out on the counter and knead a few times, adding a splash more water if needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into eight balls, then cover and let them rest on the counter for 10 minutes (this’ll help the gluten calm down and give you tender beauties, not rubbery hockey pucks). While it’s resting, preheat a big skillet over medium heat so it’ll be hot when you drop the dough. Working with one ball at a time, roll out the dough into a thin 6-inch circle. Lay it gently in the hot skillet (no oil needed) and cook for one to two minutes on each side, until browned and beautiful. Remove the cooked tortilla from the pan and immediately tuck it into the safe haven we talked about earlier. Try not to peek at your success – otherwise the steam makes a run for it. Work through all your dough balls, and then throw together a killer filling and pig out. If you don’t use the tortillas immediately, freeze them as soon as they’ve cooled.

Moroccan-Spiced Bean Burritos This bangin’ rollup affair is the perfect way to enjoy your fresh tortillas. The “Moroccan” part comes with the addition of some cool spices, but don’t run out and buy them if you aren’t already stocked; a simple dash of salt and pepper is just as tasty. Shazzam!

Ingredients • 1/4 tsp cinnamon • 1/4 tsp cumin • 1/4 tsp ginger • dash of nutmeg • dash of cayenne (optional) • dash of clove (only a teensy pinch)

• salt and pepper to taste • 1 onion, diced • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced • 1 1/2 cups cooked beans, any kind, canned or homeboiled • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

To assure even distribution among the other ingredients and to give you a chance to break up any clumps (we’re lookin’ at you, cinnamon), stir the spice mixture together first in a small bowl and set aside. Take out your skillet and warm a dash of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and yellow pepper. Cook for three or four minutes until the veggies begin to soften, then toss in the beans, garlic and spice mixture. Stir everything up and cook until the beans are heated through and the garlic is fragrant, about five minutes. Taste for salt and serve with a grin.


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Winter’s silver lin The snow-covered peninsula reveals its picturesque wintry charm


rudging through slush and darkness to toil for 10 hours before walking home again in the dark, you might wonder: “Should I go on living? Is this living?” You are spoiling slowly, freezing but not preserved. And this will last another two months. But there is good news for you. Not far from your urban winter cave, there is a place where the sun shines over serene forest, towering mountains and frozen waterfalls, all blanketed in the purest, whitest snow. That place is Outside Seoul. Groove Korea has teamed up with the newly launched Photographers in Korea magazine and some of the peninsula’s finest photographers to share these pristine scenes from outside of the city, which are some of the most rewarding winter travel destinations in the country. Feel the sun on your face, the crisp air against your skin and once again think, “Perhaps there is some point to this after all.”

Story by Josh Foreman and Shelley DeWees

Photos by Adam Nicholson, Fergus Scott, Greg Timlin, James Ho, Joe Wabe, Namho Park and Simon Bond

s ning

Bundang Seoul suburban day trip Page 48

Byeongsan Seowon Roots of Confucian schooling Page 50

Seoraksan National Park (Sokcho) Snowy paradise Page 51

Pyeongchang Winter sport playground Page 52

Hwacheon Savory sancheoneo Page 53

Maisan Seemingly supernatural Page 54

Hallasan (Jeju) Low-season savings Page 56

Bogyeong Temple (Gyeongju) Buddhas and plunging waterfalls Page 58

Yeonggwang Birthplace of Korean Buddhism Page 59

Jeonju Heart of Korean cuisine Page 60

Destinations Edited by Josh Foreman (


Photo by Namho Park

While “Bundang” isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think “vacation,” the Gyeonggi Province satellite city’s shopping, restaurants, parks and general orderliness make it a great day trip from Seoul. Start at Bundang Central Park, an expansive green space (or in this season, white space) in the center of the city. There are walking paths around a pond in the middle of the park, pictured here. Keep an eye peeled for rabbits — Bundang residents have let pet bunnies go over the years and seeing one or more is a common occurrence in the park. Bundang is one of the richest areas in Korea, and boasts some of the best shopping in the country. AK Plaza is another de facto city center, with dozens of restaurants surrounding it. A few hours at the sauna is a great way to cap off a trip to Bundang. Try Amigo Tower Spa, just outside Yatap Station, exit 3. Getting there Take the Bundang Line to Jeongja Station or the 16-minute express train from Gangnam Station to Jeongja Station.

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Byeongsan Seowon (Andong) Photo by Adam Nicholson

Korea’s emphasis on education goes back hundreds of years to a time when private schools became centers of learning during the Joseon period. A prime example is Byeongsan Seowon, which was built in the 1500s and operated on Confucian principles until the 1800s. The complex, composed of several traditional buildings and gates, is bordered by Byeong Mountain on one side and the Nakdong River on the other. You can continue the history tour in Andong, the nearest town, which is known as a folk center and the most important site in the country for Confucian thought. The pop.-167,000 town has its own version of bibimbap called “heotjesabap,” made with soy sauce instead of gochujang. Getting there Trains from Seoul Station run once daily and take five hours.

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Seoraksan National Park (Sokcho) Photo by James Ho

Seoraksan National Park is well known for its warm-season trekking and spectacular fall foliage. But it’s also spectacularly beautiful when snow-covered in winter, especially amid the serene silence of the low season. If you’re the adventurous type, you can still hike or climb Seorak’s mountains in the winter. You’ll need the proper equipment for some areas of the park, but there are still plenty of trails that require no more than warm clothes and sturdy boots. Sokcho, on the east coast, is the nearest large city and is worth a visit year-round. Sit and contemplate the vastness of the sea while indulging in one of Korea’s heartiest and most unique dishes: squid sausage. They aren’t really sausages, of course, but hollowed-out squids stuffed with rice, tofu, onions, carrots and egg. Getting there Buses run frequently from Dong Seoul Terminal to Sokcho. The trip takes about three hours.


Destinations Edited by Josh Foreman (

Pyeongchang Photo by Fergus Scott

Get the jump on the pros and visit the site of the 2018 Winter Olympics. If you love winter sports, there’s no better place to go than here. It’s near Seoraksan National Park, but the focus here is on skiing and snowboarding rather than trekking and climbing. Alpensia, the massive complex that will host some of the events in 2018, has six hills for skiing and snowboarding, one for sledding and a ski-jump tower. There’s also a luxury hotel on the premises with a spa and casino, and a contrasting 400-year-old Buddhist temple in the area called Woljeongsa. Getting there Take a bus from Dong Seoul Terminal. The trip takes around three hours. A high-speed railway is being built that will take Seoulites to the area in under an hour, but it won’t open until 2017.

Hwacheon Photo by Simon Bond

The rivers of this northern county support a population of “sancheoneo,” a very special, very picky trout that can only be found in the cleanest, coldest waters of the mountains. Each year over a million visitors descend on Hwacheon to catch a few of these tasty critters with their own bare hands — a jaw-clenching five minutes of hell made worse by the required shorts and T-shirts — or, for those looking to stay warm, with a regular pole and lure. Afterwards you can step up to one of the barbecues, throw your fresh fishy on the charcoal and savor the sunlight at the annual Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival this January, one of Korea’s biggest winter parties. Getting there The Gyeongchun Line from Sangbong Station goes to Chuncheon, and from there it’s a windy but beautiful 45-minute bus ride to Hwacheon. Buses run every 30 minutes.

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Photo by Simon Bond

Those looking to venture out during these otherwise nondescript months need only turn their toes toward Maisan, a bizarre double-point mountain with stellar views and twisted laws of physics: Bowls of water left outside will reach for the sky and freeze in a spike. Maisan’s odd charms make for a unique winter hiking destination, but it’s not for the faint-hearted; temperatures in rural North Jeolla Province plunge deeper than most places in Korea, usually hovering right around minus-3 degrees Celsius in the daytime. Getting here is a bit tricky, too, but your hardiness will be rewarded when you gaze upon the vacant alien landscape with nothing to bother you but the wind and the promise of a bowl of sanchae (mountain vegetable) bibimbap. Bring napkins. Getting there Take the KTX to Jeonju then a bus to Jinan (they depart every 10 minutes). In Jinan you can stock up on kimbap before grabbing one of the many buses headed to Maisan Provincial Park, a 10-minute ride.


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Hallasan (Jeju) Photo by Simon Bond

With January temperatures averaging a comfortable 8 degrees Celsius here, there’s no reason to think of Jeju as a summer-only destination. Take a trek up the highest mountain in Korea while the rest of the country shivers with their soju. The path to the top is open all year long except in the very worst of conditions, and despite the likely cloudiness at the top, you will still be rewarded with a breathtaking view. And you won’t even need your down coat. Getting there Ticket prices to Jeju are ludicrously low in January; both Jin Air and Jeju Air offer multiple flights at rates below 20,000 won each way. To save even more cash you can forego a hotel and settle in at a family-run pension or guesthouse. Strapped at this time of year, they’re often willing to toss you low prices, steaming breakfasts and big baskets of winter tangerines in appreciation for your wintertime patronage.


Destinations Edited by Josh Foreman (

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Bulgapsan and Bulgap Temple (Yeonggwang) Photo by Joe Wabe

Bogyeong Temple (Gyeongju) Photo by Simon Bond

If temples in Korea leave you feeling a little blasé, pack yourself down to Pohang for an eye-opening experience at Bogyeongsa, a refreshing place embosomed in the piney foothills of Naeyeonsan. The temple itself is impressive: hall after hall, Buddha after peaceful Buddha and enough intricate paintings to make your eyes glaze over. Bogyeongsa’s real magic, though, is in the valley just behind it, accessible on foot only. Thirteen waterfalls plunge down Naeyeonsan in a shining frozen spectacle that increases as you get deeper into the valley, with the towering Yeonsan Falls at the end of this 7-kilometer trail.

Bulgapsa Temple is the oldest of its kind in Korea and attracts swarms of visitors in the summer months. But those looking to convene with contemplation, snatch a few special photos or take in a fantastic sunset behind a 2,000-year-old temple will have an easier time of it in the quiet of wintertime. With tourists far gone, the grounds are peaceful, and the area’s true mystique emerges uninhibited. When you feel it’s time to move again, pick up the pace and haul yourself up the 516-meter-tall Bulgapsan. If the stairs upon stairs on the 30-minute trail don’t leave you breathless, the 360-degree view of Gwangju and its surroundings will. Getting there Buses leave from Seoul’s to Yeonggwang every 40 over three hours. From jjump on another bus

Express Bus minutes and Yeonggwang bound for

Terminal take just Terminal, Bulgapsa.

Getting there The journey is a matter of several buses and several bowls of ramen, so pack extra. Start at the Express Bus Terminal in Gangnam and take a bus to Pohang (4 hours 40 minutes), then hop on the 510 bus to Bogyeongsa from there. Rumor has it there are two 510 buses, so make sure you jump on the one that reads “Bogyeongsa” (보경사).



Photo by Greg Timlin

Recognized as a culinary center by UNESCO, Jeonju is the home of bibimbap and the heart of Korean cuisine. Jeonju is also home to several famous artisans who hand-produce fans, furniture and lacquerware. The city is one of the oldest settlements in Korea, with history around every corner. It is also known as a hub for Korean Catholicism, home of the Jeondong Catholic Church that was built to commemorate the execution of Christian martyrs at the turn of the 18th century. All throughout the area are pavilions, craft shops, museums and charming alleyways. Jeonju Hanggyo, a Confucian school dating back to the early 1600s, is also located here. Getting there Take the KTX or Mugungwha from Yongsan Station. The trip takes two to three hours, depending on which train you take.

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More info

Photographers in Korea magazine assisted in curating the photography for this package. See our article on PIK on Page 78.


Destinations Edited by Josh Foreman (

Going beyond the normal spa experience

Outdoor spas worth checking out this winter Story by Craig White


orea’s quirky spa culture remains as pristine and accessible as ever. If you haven’t disrobed and paraded around a Korean sauna, you haven’t truly experienced the ROK. Whether you’re a sauna vet or a sauna virgin, a spa weekend is the perfect way to immerse yourself in Korean culture while remaining comfortable. And these spas are putting a twist on the traditional experience: One offers German flavor, with outdoor tubs full of booze-infused water. Another is nestled next to a ski resort in Chungju and provides visitors with the full retreat experience. Still another allows you to peacefully soak in jasmine and lemon pools, less than an hour from the DMZ. Whatever your preference, there is a spa certain to warm you up this winter.

Termeden Located in Icheon, an hour’s drive south of Seoul, Termeden is a sprawling resort influenced by Germany’s spa culture. With indoor and outdoor pools to choose from, you’ll find herb-bath varieties such as lemon, jasmine and green tea. Other tubs are filled with steaming water with hints of makgeolli, beer and wine. Taking a dip in an alcoholic bath is a skin-improving practice that is becoming commonplace in Germany and the Czech Republic. More info Dong Seoul Bus Terminal has regular buses that go straight to Termeden. They depart twice a day at 9:20 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. Website Phone (031) 645-2000

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Resom Spa Castle Hidden along the coast of South Chungcheong Province, Resom Spa Castle is home to the 600-year-old Duksan Hot Springs. After only an hour’s drive from Seoul, you could be relaxing in medicinal baths known for easing skin problems, gastrointestinal disorders and muscular pain. Surrounded by lush mountainous foliage, this is a unique place to experience bliss. More info Seoul Central City Bus Terminal and Nambu Bus Terminal offer intercity buses bound for Yesan, where you can get off at Resom Spa Castle. Website Phone (041) 330-8000

Seorak Waterpia For those looking to escape the city, a soak in Seorak Waterpia’s hot springs is the perfect way to take in views of the freshly fallen snow surrounding the tubs. If the idyllic scenery isn’t enough to immediately put you at ease, soak in the tubs filled with jasmine- and lemon-infused water. Waterpia also has a “rain spa” and a mud-pack area that operate during peak season, and a waterpark area for the warmer months. More info Buses leave regularly from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Sokcho and take three and a half hours. From there, take a 10-minute taxi ride to the spa. Website Phone (033) 335-0855

Hanwha Resort’s Sanjeong Spa With a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, this spa of the Hanwha Resort chain is the perfect place to soak up both scenery and serenity. Located in the basement of the luxury resort, the natural spring water is said to have healing and beautifying effects on the skin. Wrap up a few hours of relaxing in the numerous baths with an authentic Chinese foot massage for full indulgence. More info Get off at Uijeongbu Station on line 1. From there, take bus 138-6 to Sanjeong Lake. Website Phone (031) 534-5500 ext. 708


Destinations Edited by Josh Foreman (

Deokgu Spa World Famed for its quality spring water, Deokgu Hot Springs provides a comfortable experience for soaking connoisseurs located further down the east coast. First discovered 600 years ago, the springs are known for their many health benefits, and feature a special lemon bath. More info Buses depart from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Deokgu Hot Springs Spa World at 9:34 a.m. and 2:14 p.m. Website Phone (054) 782-0677

Suanbo A little over two hours south of Seoul is a great winter getaway in Chungju, North Chungcheong Province. Sajo Blue Valley Ski Resort is the main draw, but at night, you’ll find another one of Hanwha Resort’s great spa retreats, Suanbo Resort. The centerpiece of the resort is an outdoor hot spring tucked under snow-covered foliage. More info Buses depart every hour from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Chungju. From there, take an intracity bus to Suanbo Bus Terminal. The resort is five minutes from here. Website Phone (043) 846-3605

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COLUMN • YONSEI UNIversity dental hospital

Sung-Ho Park, DDS, MSD, Ph.D. Professor Dept. of Conservative Dentistry, Yonsei University


For further dentistry information or reservations, please call Ms. Aeri Jo, the English coordinator at Yonsei University Dental Hospital.

+82 2 2228-8998 +82 2 363 0396 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul en/hospitals/dent_ hospital/Conserv_ dentist/Intro

Permanent teeth, which emerge between ages 6 and 13, usually have a white shade when they first appear in the oral cavity. However, the shade yellows with age due to staining and wearing of the outer enamel surface that comprises the tooth’s outer shell. Certain kinds of food or beverages, such as coffee, wine or cigarettes, are the main causes of such stains. Even though proper tooth brushing and cleansing help to maintain that white tooth shade, some discoloration is inevitable with age. In some cases, if the teeth undergo a traumatic injury, dark discoloration occurs, even some years later. If you are not happy with the color in your teeth, you should visit a dental office and evaluate the state and cause of the discoloration. Even though tooth bleaching will meet your needs in many cases, other treatment options can also be considered. Bleaching is a very conservative method for treating discoloration without any preparation. There are two types of bleaching methods: vital tooth bleaching

and non-vital tooth bleaching. The non-vital method is for teeth discolored after a traumatic injury. In this case, a proper root canal treatment should be done before bleaching. After the root canal treatment, a bleaching agent is placed in the pulp chamber, and the discolored tooth whitens over time. In the vital bleaching procedure, the shade can be whitened with the use of a special mouth guard and bleaching gels. You can usually make your teeth brighter over the course of two weeks to two months, but you can also take more rapid steps with the help of a special light unit. In the past, most patients for tooth bleaching were youths. However, recently, older men and women seeking a younger and lively image visit our clinic frequently. Some years after your initial bleaching treatment, a re-touchup may be needed. Tooth brushing and rinsing shortly after eating or drinking, as well as frequent tooth cleansing, are recommended to reduce tooth discoloration.


Destinations Edited by Josh Foreman (


picked up the phone and a warm, Indian-accented voice came through the earpiece. “This is Vikram...” “Hi Vik, this is Jean. I’m invited to a film festival in India.” “How lovely! Just wonderful! Where?” I could imagine his head bobbing sideways. “In Hyderabad.” “When?” “Next month.” “That’s fantastic!” Vikram, a native of Bombay, is always gushing. “You must come over to our Diwali party. My friends the Reddys are coming. They’re from Hyderabad, and they’ll introduce you to their family who own a hospital there.” When you have Indian friends, you become part of their family. I accepted the invitation and arrived at the party ten days later. I was

still in Portland, Oregon, but the Indian Festival of Lights had already started. It was an exotic affair, with the men dressed in luxurious dhoti and the women in sumptuous silk saris. The exception was Nalini, Vik’s wife, who is a nonconformist and wore a pair of jeans. As far as my hosts were concerned, I was already in India. On most travelers’ lists, India ranks near the top. It is a country so vast and varied, from lush tropical forests to the foothills of the Himalayas, it truly deserves to be called a subcontinent. Its culture and influence have radiated to the East and the West over the centuries, and for that reason alone, India is a place that keeps calling you back. On the Mumbai train station platform, an unruly crowd was shoving their way to get in,

which forced me to do the same. It’s easy to lose your temper in the heat, but I kept myself calm with the knowledge that I had a reserved berth. It was noticeably occupied as I walked in. The trains had changed since I had been there 20 years ago. No more steam engines, and plastic coffee cups had replaced the handmade clay cups that people had drunk from and thrown out the windows, littering the tracks with orange shards. No more food wrapped in banana-leaf cones either; they were now sold in Styrofoam boxes, fast-food style. Indian people are savvy when it comes to world politics, and like to express their opinions to anyone who wants to listen. In my first-class compartment (a striking change from the second or third class I used to ride in the ‘70s), I talked with a businessman about


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On the joys of attending a Hyderabad film festival

66 / January 2014



by J




China’s emerging economy, Clinton’s politics in Palestine and the overpopulation in India. He said there is one problem in India: “Indian people reproduce like rabbits.” The train pulled into Hyderabad station early the next day, and a mob of taxis and auto-rickshaw drivers were already competing for fares. They fought to take me to the hotel and I had to elbow myself out of the way. I walked across the street and hopped on a bicycle rickshaw instead. The road to Banjara Hill that led up to the Krishna Hotel was steep, and I had to get off the cab to help push. I told the rickshaw walla I would double the fare if he let me pedal the rest of the way. He agreed to it. I pedaled my way to the hotel entrance, much to the surprise of the hotel staff. The doorman borrowed my camera and snapped a picture. At the hotel I picked up a copy of The Times


Destinations Edited by Josh Foreman (

68 / January 2014

At 9:15, the bus had not left yet, and I was starting to get worried; my film was only eight minutes long. “Not to worry,” a festival programmer told me. “We never start on schedule — Indian time.”


Destinations Edited by Josh Foreman (

of India. The opening of the 11th International Children’s Film Festival was mentioned, but an article on the front page caught my eye. It was a tragedy, a freakish accident that had just happened. Forty schoolgirls were about to perform a dance and were waiting in a school bus parked behind the stage. They wore nylon dresses and translucent plastic masks on their faces. The choreography called for the girls to arrive on a dark stage, illuminated only by the sparklers they held. One teacher had the idea of lighting the sparklers inside the bus to save time. A girl dropped her sparkler on her dress, which instantly caught fire and spread. Trapped in the bus, only a few escaped. My film, “When the Stars Came Dreaming,” was the first screening of the festival, and I woke up early so as not to miss it. The festival bus was late, waiting for other filmmakers. My screening was at 9, and I was supposed to give a talk after the show with a Q-and-A session. Except for the premiere in Portland, it was the first time I was going to watch it with a foreign audience. At 9:15, the bus had not left yet, and I was starting to get worried; my film was only eight minutes long. “Not to worry,” a festival programmer told me. “We never start on schedule – Indian time.” The festival did not run on Indian time. My film had already shown when I got there. The huge theater blasted frigid air and I stayed along with other directors to watch films during the day. Kids drew circles on the screen with their laser pointers during scenes they liked. Back at the hotel for cocktails, I was in a discussion with my new filmmaker friends when a large man I’d spoken to on the elevator walked in. He looked very familiar but it

70 / January 2014

took a few seconds before I realized he was Roger Ebert, the film critic from The Chicago Sun-Times and half of the critic duo Siskel and Ebert; Gene Siskel had just died a couple months before. He came to my table to talk with the festival director, and introduced himself. “Hello. I’m Roger.” He was just in for a couple of days after the Calcutta Film Festival. Ebert asked why I was there, and I told him my film was in competition. “Good luck!” he said. “The new blockbuster ‘Taal’ is showing tonight. I’m trying to get a group together to see it. Would you like to join us?” How could I refuse an invitation from the world’s most influential film critic? Roger and I hopped in an auto rickshaw, him taking up most of the back seat. He asked about my film in a genuine, interested way. I did not have the nerve to tell him I worked for the studio that had parodied him a few years before in “Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas.” In that movie, he was presented as a fat triceratops: a bumbling movie critic buffoon continuously stuffing his face with popcorn and soda. Instead, I mentioned a famous scene where another Roger — Moore, of Bond fame — rode in an auto rickshaw in the film “Octopussy.” It was the same three-wheeled, black-andyellow contraption, except ours did not pop wheelies. Roger didn’t seem to recall the scene or care about the film. It was once again freezing in the cinema, with the air conditioning set at the maximum. More people drew patterns on the screen with their laser pointers (adults this time). The next day, on our way to the market in another auto rickshaw, two motorcycles had

an accident, crashing head-on right in front of our vehicle. They were not wearing helmets, and one of the bike drivers’ flip-flops flew off. My driver slammed on the brakes and veered to avoid running over the man. The rickshaw behind us rammed into our bumper. Meanwhile, the traffic had not stopped anywhere except in our lane. The Madina market lies in the center of the old city next to the Charminar, a Muslim gate with four minarets, one at each corner, that make it look like a drive-through mosque. I bought some mehandi: plastic cones filled with henna used to decorate women’s hands for weddings. The salesman at the store did not speak English. A voice next to me asked “May I help you?” It was a Muslim woman, dressed in black, veiled from head to toe, with only her eyes and her hands showing. Her eyes were lined with thick kohl (a black eyeliner that’s been used since ancient times) and her hands painted with intricate henna designs, a status symbol indicating that she does not work with her hands. The initial shock was not that I couldn’t see her face, but that a Muslim woman would actually talk to me, a foreigner who was obviously not from her faith. She translated and haggled for me, and afterwards we made small talk — the usual “Where are you from?” and “What do you do here?” To this day, it is still the only time that a veiled Muslim woman has ever talked to me, an unthinkable taboo in the Middle East. Later on, another woman recognized me and came over while I walked around the Madina, this time a Chinese director attending the festival. She was lost, did not speak English and could not remember the name of our hotel. Disheveled and shell-shocked, she

felt relieved to find someone she knew, and tagged along. She was uncomfortable and out of place, which in most countries attracts unsavory characters. A beggar came to her asking for money and to get rid of him quickly she gave him a few rupees. He thanked her by clasping his hands to his forehead and touching her hands. As soon as he turned away, she applied anti-bacterial cream to her palms. Back at the hotel, she called her interpreter. “She wants to say thank you,” he said. “You were her savior.” The next day, however, she was out of commission, in bed for two days with stomach problems. When she finally emerged from her hotel room, she wondered (through her interpreter) if I had also gotten sick from drinking the water. I said no, all I drink is beer or gin and tonic. Whenever other filmmakers and I left the cinema, mobs of students circled us asking for our autographs like we were movie stars. Even the paan walla — the man who sold betal leaves meant for chewing, who we stopped and spoke to every day — asked for autographs and a group picture to hang in his paan shack across from the festival grounds. A couple days later, I skipped the screenings to meet Dr. Guruva Reddy, the relative from my Portland connection who worked at the local Sunshine Hospital. He sent his driver to pick me up at the hotel at 1 p.m. to have lunch. I waited in the lobby for over an hour while the driver waited in a white, army tanklike car for me to come out. Dr. Reddy brought his assistant, who was also his niece. Mrs. Reddy was short, pudgy and friendly. Her exposed stomach hung over the bottom part of her sari, which was red,

matching her tika, the dot between the eyebrows worn by married women. She carried what she called a “handy phone,” which she used as a prop whenever she was gesturing. As she motioned, the dozen thin glass bangles circling her hairy forearm jingled. Mrs. Reddy picked me up the next day in the same white Ambassador to take us to the second screening of my film. On the way, feeling peckish, she ordered the driver to stop at a restaurant. “But we’re going to be late,” I argued. “They’ll never start on time,” she said. We missed the beginning. Indian time, I suspected, was a myth. The film was halfway through when we walked into the cinema. The audience seemed to enjoy it; they were flashing the screen with laser pointers. After the screening, she took me to visit her friend, Dr. Daggubati Ramanaidu, who is in the Guinness Book of World Records for producing the most films (over 100). His mansion overlooked the river and slums of Hyderabad. His servant, dressed in a white dhoti like his master, was a boy of about 15. He brought us tea before the cast and crew screening of his latest film, a Bollywood-like song and dance film, in the private screening room. Later, Mrs. Reddy dropped me off at the hotel, where I invited her for a drink. She had a sweet lassi and I a Kingfisher. “Did you hear about the accident with the schoolgirls in the bus?” she asked. “Yes, it was in the paper.” “The girls are in our hospital. May I ask you a favor? Would you mind coming tomorrow or the next day to visit them, to cheer them up? “Yes,” I replied without hesitation. “They will appreciate that.” “What should I bring?” I asked. “Nuts?” I had

heard from Nalini that Indians love cashews. The next day at the Sunshine Hospital, Mrs. Reddy pushed open the door leading to the floor where the girls were staying. The rooms had eight beds, four on each side. Mrs. Reddy introduced me to every girl, whom she knew by name. I had to stop and take a deep breath. I was shaking; I wanted to cry, but leaving was not an option. Those beautiful young girls, all aged around 14 or 16, were disfigured, the plastic masks on their faces having melted onto their faces. Some were trying to smile; others had a hard time speaking. Maimed for life, they looked like the Indian women that you sometimes saw on the streets, victims of acid throwing, a common occurrence in India. I tried to say something funny or entertaining but my throat was dry, and my words were not coming out the way they were supposed to. After distributing my small presents, we walked to another room. My heart sank again. Some girls were bandaged up, others badly scarred. Yet they all had unbeatable optimism. We went from room to room. I was starting to feel more at ease, able to talk about silly things and make the girls laugh. Then we came to another door. As I was about to open it, Mrs. Reddy grabbed my hand. “Not this one,” she said. “She is in a coma and will not make it through the night.”

More info

This and other of Jean Poulot’s travel stories will appear in his upcoming book, “Traveling the Alphabet: From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and 24 countries in-between,” due out in 2014.


MUSIC & ARTS Edited by Matthew Lamers (

War, Confucianism and economics are loosening its grip around the neck of metal, giving it room to expand in a stiff and cosmetically disposed Korean society



Story by Ian Henderson Photos courtesy of the bands, Dope Entertainment and Jusin Productions Interview translations by David Carruth

ng Korea Find more info on Facebook with Korean Metal Live Scene

MUSIC & ARTS Edited by Matthew Lamers (



he first weekend of August held the usual bounty of live concerts in Hongdae. A band called At the Gates, one of the most successful Swedish metal groups of all time, was in town. During a decade-long hiatus, they achieved near-mythical status and recently reformed, embarking on a world tour. They sold out venues across North America and headlined festivals such as Wacken in Germany to crowds of more than 80,000 fans. But at Club Prism on the outskirts of Hongdae, they performed to a crowd of roughly 150 people. Each of the dedicated fans in attendance paid a staggering 100,000 won to see the concert. This bewildering juxtaposition of extremes paints a fairly accurate vignette of the trials and tribulations faced by what is possibly the most marginalized artistic community in Seoul. The forces of Confucianism, war and economics play a combined role in Korea’s delayed heavy metal genesis, while also factoring in to its sustained evolution. “In the scope of overall Korean culture, specialized fans of all types are minimal. Metal is no exception,” says long-term fan Seo Sang-woon. “That’s the sad reality.” Dosu Kim of black metal band Oathean says that most Koreans have a negative perception of metal. “The fans are often ostracized or alienated,” he says. It’s reminiscent of metal’s first days in the English-speaking world, when it had to fight for legitimacy. While in the West there are now several generations of metal-heads and it is economically lucrative, the situation in Korea seems more comparable to an earlier stage of development. This disconnect can be attributed to a few possible sourc-

74 / January 2014

es. Several authors, including Michael Breen in “The Koreans” (1999), have stated that Korea is arguably the most Confucian country in the world. Understanding this ideological heritage is illuminating, since the emphasis on family tradition, social roles and filial piety (respect for elders) would appear to be in direct odds with the iconoclastic nature of the genre. In addition, Korea is one of the most ethnically homogenous nations on Earth, stunting the melting pot that characterizes so many other vibrant music scenes. These facts alone, however, cannot fully encapsulate the strange role of heavy metal in the modern republic. The Korean War ended in 1953 and left Korea with several million dead and an economy that was comparable to that of Sudan. Over the next few decades, however, Korea had the largest economic turnaround in world history, primarily under the military dictatorship of Park Chung-hee. During this time, people didn’t have the luxury of indulging in musical consumption as a hobby; they were pre-disposed with making a living for their families. “Rock music in Korea was suppressed because the government viewed it as a source of corruption and a cause of rebellion against the government,” explains a Busan musician known as B5NG. “Rock music became (unofficially) illegal … It was rare that you could hear it on the TV or radio. And in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s it started becoming popular again.” Thus began what is considered to be the first generation of Korean metal and, ironically, its most commercially viable period. A music-hungry populace and recently democratized society exploded with not only imported foreign groups, but also with its own domestic headbangers.

Oathean Dark Mirror ov Tragedy

AU REVOIR MICHELLE The floodgates open

Silent Eye Imperial Domination

Sinawe and Baekdoosan are universally cited when discussing the first Korean metal bands. Along with Black Syndrome, H2O, Asiana, Black Hole, Cratia (recently reformed) and Buhwal, they played what most people would consider hard rock or traditional metal. These bands were successful and received a considerable amount of mainstream exposure. One side effect of the country opening so late and abruptly was that it was inundated with decades of rock evolution all at once. Within a few years of first consuming standard metal stylings, the influence of thrash and death metal could already be felt, spurning the second wave of Korean metal in the early 1990s. These included Crash, Off and Seed, among others. This is considered by most to have been the peak of widespread popularity. It’s around this time that Dosu Kim of Oathean first got started. “All of those bands were very active and there were a ton of people at the shows,” says Choe Sung-won, a Korean-American in the metal-core band Paradigm, adding that he got his introduction buying Crash CDs in New York’s Koreatown. “It’s inconceivable now to think of anything being remotely death being played on Korean TV, but back then it was a reality.” Soon, the behemoth known as K-pop emerged in its modern form. Pretty and packaged, it was marketed tirelessly to the first generation of Koreans to be raised in relative affluence. There were also new forms of rock and roll making a dent in the market, such as punk rock, ska, oi and indie rock. TaijiSeo of Sinawe jumped ship and became a pop star sensation, though it’s still unclear whether this was for financial reasons or a changed taste in music. Besides the high turnover rate of fads and market trends, however, there are other social factors that continue to play a role today. Baekdoosan broke up in the mid-‘90s when founding member Hyeon-Sang Yoo quit the band because his fiancé’s father wouldn’t approve of their engagement until he had secured a “respectable” career. It’s also worth pointing out that Korea is still in a state of war, with mandatory military service for all young men. When discussing some of his favorite (now defunct) Korean bands — Nifilheim, Brutal Life, Desperado — Choe Sung-won explains, “That’s a common story in Korea. A lot of great bands break up due to military service or having to get ‘normal’ jobs.”


MUSIC & ARTS Edited by Matthew Lamers (

The scene today Much of the current scene is divided between three demographics: the older fans, forced out of the scene due to societal restraints but still indulging in the odd show; the revolving door of younger kids who get in to practice their chops before getting sucked out to the familial pasture; and those who perpetually manage to walk the line between the two worlds. These gray-area metal fans are often easy to spot at concerts. For example, the sight of businessmen rushing into a Cannibal Corpse show straight from the office, ripping off their ties as they force their way down to the front of the pit. Alexander Nachtmahr, a German national who translates for visiting bands, shares the sentiment: “Whenever I go to a rock bar, I am bound to see a drunk 40-year-old company employee in a suit rocking out to Judas Priest’s ‘Painkiller.’” The club Sapiens 7 is, for all intents and purposes, ground zero of the metal scene in the Republic of Korea. The owner, Dosu Kim — the aforementioned main creative force behind the black metal band Oathean — is also the owner of the metal label Jusin Productions and a major promoter for international metal bands playing in the ROK. There are smaller, regional scenes in places such as Busan, with clubs such as OZ and Realize holding genre-specific shows, and a smattering of places in Daegu and Daejeon. When it comes to metal shows in Korea, there is a great divide in the scale of the concerts. On one hand, you have the mega-festivals, usually held at the same time at the beginning of August with a couple of big metal acts lumped in with a hodge-podge of other genres. These are often promotional events hosted by credit card companies, meaning the corporate branding opportunity far outweighs the sponsor’s concern for actual ticket sales. On the other hand, you have a handful of smaller venues around Seoul such as Rolling Hall, Sangsangmadang, V-Hall, Club Prism and AX Hall. These clubs draw from a dozen bands, mostly domestic, plus the occasional headliner, and create events like the annual Asia Metalfest, which has become a yearly ritual for many. Alternatively, they’ll sometimes pull a big name from overseas and showcase them on their own at prices that can get prohibitively expensive, often nearing 100,000 won a head. Some of the better-known acts currently playing are Oathean, along with Dark Mirror ov Tragedy, who similarly play an atmospheric black metal style. The thrash and death portion of the metal spectrum is represented by Mahatma, Sacrifice, Method, Imperial Domination, Downhell and Seed. Operatic and power metal are quite popular here, such as notable acts Silent Eye and Ishtar. Of course, any scene burgeoning with teenagers these days is going to have its share of metal-core bands: Remnants of the Fallen, Noeasy and Vasseline being some of the most popular. What is striking about the different styles represented at a gathering of Korean metal bands is that they tend to all be sub-genres dedicated to speed and technical complexity. For fans of doom, psychedelic and sludge, the absence of the groove and slow riffs that these forms of metal music provide will be apparent. In addition, while scene divisions between punks and metal-heads in the ‘80s and ‘90s in the West have been mostly left behind, there seems to be very little overlap here in Seoul.

76 / January 2014

The bassist of Dark Mirror ov Tragedy, Confyverse, thinks


it boils down to the issues that plague the scene as a whole. “Put simply, this, too, results from the lack of diversity and the absence of infrastructure,” he says. “Also, the bands playing death or thrash have been doing it a long time, so it seems easier for bands of a similar nature to start playing too.” B5NG agrees that it’s simply a numbers issue. “It’s not that those genres don’t exist here, but rather that there are just fewer bands to work with,” he says. Concerning the relative independence of the punk and metal communities from each other, Confyverse explains: “They were introduced separately. Had they mutually developed with each other, there would be more intermingling.” Choe says that in smaller cities like Daejeon, the scenes have no choice but to coexist out of necessity. Things in the capital seem to be changing slightly, particularly with bands like Skald, the lo-fi black metal purists who frequently play shows with crust punk acts such as Doekkabi Assault. “Some Korean bands like Christfuck or especially Heuhyeomsaw (Black Goat), they’re pure black metal,” says Nikolai Protopopov, a Ukrainian metal-head playing in the Seoul punk band Assassination Squad. “I invited a friend to our last show, promising him it was punk and not metal. Afterwards he asked me, ‘If that wasn’t metal, then what the hell was it?’ Also, there are bars like 3 Thumbs which are having mix-ticket shows now.” Indeed, last December a bar named Thunderhorse (named after a Dethklok song) opened in the international district of Itaewon. The owner, Kirk Kwon, has made a point of booking shows from a mixed bag of styles. “I have a lot of friends from the different camps,” he says. “I see the scene as a whole getting stronger and more unified. I really hope that it does because there is really a lot of talent here.” Korea boasts an underground full of a variety of styles and awesome creativity, though much of the world received their first taste of Korean musical output via the international notoriety of “Gangnam Style,” and through it the realm of K-pop as a whole. Confyverse thinks that metal doesn’t get the support from Korea’s institutions that K-pop enjoys because it isn’t as easy to digest. Nachtmahr describes K-pop in a much less flattering light. According to him, it’s an “industrial product with no artistic value or content.” Dosu Kim was far more succinct: “Simply put, fuck you.”

The future of Korean metal The future of metal in Korea faces many obstacles, but overall, things are looking better. The past few years have seen more overseas headliners, drawing bigger crowds and exposing more people to local acts. These have included Arch Enemy, Cannibal Corpse, Cradle of Filth, Helloween, Mors Pricipium Est, Kamelot, Accept, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Lamb of God, Opeth and others. In the same way that Korea has become a stopover for rock bands on their way either to or from China and Japan, the country has become a similar destination for metal acts. “The Korean promoters have asked if the bands could spare a day in between the big shows in Japan and leaving Asia, and most of them could,” says Nachtmahr. “The biggest obstacle has been having the money to pay the bands upfront and then recoup it through ticket sales.” Dosu Kim laments this as well, as it impacts him more than most. “I have a major uphill battle,” he says. “Sometimes the number of fans showing up is pathetic and I lose money. So many people in the scene talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. They consistently have excuses for not spending money.” Choe chalks much of it up to the fact that there isn’t an established tour circuit for metal outside of Japan. “Some of the cost would be offset if there was an established route,” he says, “but that’s difficult with language barriers and not knowing which promoters in other countries they can trust.” He has recently started the website, which offers concert tickets and merchandise in English to facilitate a greater exchange. Besides breaking up bands with its requisite military service, the perpetual state of war has had other impacts. When the international media started its fear campaign around the threatening rhetoric coming from North Korea this past spring, the uncertain climate was enough to make Brazilian death-metal headliners Krisiun cancel their spot in the Asia Metalfest in June. This kind of decision from a band whose lyrical content focuses on death and war leaves ample opportunities for


Imperial Domination trash-talking, but nonetheless shows that it is a legitimate concern. In the meantime, two labels that focus on metal in the ROK have cropped up: Hellride and Dope. While both represent a variety of domestic acts, they also obtain distribution rights for bigger overseas titles. It also seems like more and more bands are slipping into the “lifer” category, which is necessary for Korean metal to properly join the international community. Many have speculated that Korea has “caught up” economically, meaning that now is the time to expand and diversify artistically. “Current Korean culture is very much focused on a consumerist ideal, one that is clean, new, packaged and conformist,” says Choe. “As such, anything dirty, raw, disturbing or unordinary is shunned. I don’t know why that is, but maybe it has to do with Korea’s economic rise following the raw, cruel destruction of the Korean War. “On the other hand, the traditional Korean concept of ‘han,’ a kind of enduring suffering, resonates with many forms of metal,” he adds. “I believe bands like Oatheon and Sad Legend represent this repressed side of the Korean psyche … I believe Korean metal will thrive again as the popular culture matures.” The first seedlings of the next wave are already sprouting. Local favorites Remnants of the Fallen opened for European power metal heavyweights Stratovarious this summer at the Busan Rock Festival, pushing their recently released album and video. Dark Mirror ov Tragedy is in the final stages of mastering its third LP, and it seems more overseas bands are voicing a curiosity about the former hermit kingdom. The founding fathers of Baekdoosan have reformed with most of the original lineup and are playing shows to old and new fans alike. Some of the diversity that metal fans crave is beginning to appear. A Doom and Kafka are producing industrial and experimental metal, while groups such as Harry Big Button, Black Medicine, and The Choppers are bringing in some of the previously absent groove and sludge influences. “Now I think the mood is changing for the better. I think we have reason to look forward to the future,” says B5NG. Seo says the international attention given to K-pop could be a boon for metal. “I just wish some of all this newfound attention to Korea’s music industry would be given to the metal scene,” says Seo. “Would it help if we called it K-metal?”


MUSIC & ARTS Edited by Emilee Jennings (

Photographers in Korea widen the perspective

Snap happy Story by Ken Fibbe / Photos courtesy of Photographers in Korea


ou can’t throw a stick at a Korean expat gathering without hitting a photographer or two. From the ambitious amateurs to the published professionals, the shutterbug community is as large as ever — many of who are chomping at the bit for a chance to be showcased. With limited forums to accomplish this, it’s hard for an emerging photographer to get their work exposed, aside from the small audience of their respective blog or social media following.

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Questions about things such as how to get noticed, assemble a worthwhile networking strategy and take one’s photography skills to the next level are common in the pool of DSLR-toting foreigners. Luckily for them, Joe Wabe has a new answer. He recently launched Photographers in Korea, an online photography magazine showcasing a variety of work by expats that also offers tips and tricks to step up your picture-snapping game.

“I wanted to create a portal to show the best of the best, inspiring everyone to be more competitive and fight for a spot in the magazine,” Wabe said. The monthly’s first issue in October featured dozens of photos from expats across the globe, as well as informative, photo-laden articles on topics such as “Getting the Right Colors” and “Effective Composition.” The issue also showcased artistic works such as “The Natural Beauty Project,” an undertaking by Irish photographer Aoife Casey that spotlights Korean women who have pushed back against the social pressure to get plastic surgery. Another article highlighted the rise of Jorge Toro, creator of the website My Seoul Photography. The article told how Toro went from having a general interest in photography and a simple DSLR to developing his own style, which ultimately led to him becoming a profes-

sional nightclub photographer. PIK also runs a Facebook page with additional submissions. Aside from organizing work into themes such as “fall foliage” and being a great place to check out photos of Korean landscapes, people and festivals, the page serves as a place to connect with other photographers and communicate with the PIK team. There are no limitations to the kind of work they welcome, but, according to Wabe, the panel does place high standards on quality. “It’s not only limited to composition, but also technique, creativity and post-processing,” he said. Wabe added that the purpose of the site is not to establish a members-only community of elitists. Rather, the magazine aims to serve as an inspirational tool for others: “Learning occurs when we are inspired by work that is better than our own.”

PIK evolved from Wabe’s previous online magazine, Art Elemento, which featured artwork from expats in Gwangju, where Wabe lives. With a background in graphic design, Wabe ran the site himself for two years, but with a lack of support from the surrounding community, he was forced to shut it down. While working on Art Elemento, his network of photographers grew, and he decided to try and expand to a larger, nationwide audience. In order to get PIK running, however, he needed to reach out and enlist the help of a team of volunteers to take on roles such as editing, social media management and translating, to name a few. “During (my time with Art Elemento), I took most of the duties, from design to layout, PR and contacting artists,” he said. “Wearing so many hats on a project leads to mediocre work. I didn’t want PIK built on the same structure, and so before taking off I spoke with key people that I wanted on my team, asking them to take over important roles.” The magazine is picking up steam, with submissions and viewership growing larger every month — it has hundreds of “likes” on Facebook and a growing list of

followers at their Twitter handle, @PikEditor. The October issue reached over 12,000 views and PIK’s rise in popularity has Wabe eager to find sponsors so he can get the magazine in print. “We know we are just a baby, and there is much growing to do, but this baby is growing pretty fast,” he said. His most aggressive goal for next year is to offer a print book with the best work of 2013–14 and make that a yearly publication. “The quality of work that we have received will make a solid and beautiful publication not only for people who are photography lovers,” he said, “but for anyone who wants to see Korea from the eyes of expats.” Ultimately, he hopes this will help lesser known and aspiring photographers get exposed to a larger audience. “Everyone who has submitted pictures to us is very famous,” he said. “They just don’t know it yet.”

More info

To view the online issues or more information or to submit your photos, visit or PhotogsInKorea.


MUSIC & ARTS Edited by Emilee Jennings (

Lee Smathers brings film negatives to life

Fermented photography Story by Bri Altier Photos courtesy of Lee Smathers


hile attending college in 1997, Lee Smathers went to a birthday ceremony at a Korean-American church whose members were focused on cultivating cultural interest within their younger members. It was here that Smathers began his love affair with Korean culture. He has a hard time deciding if it was the fan dances, the hanbok or the bulgogi that won Smathers over, but he was hooked. Over the next three years, he spent a great deal of time at the church creating photo journals. One day, a friend at the church said, “Lee, if you want to learn about Korea, you need to go to Korea.” Smathers is a photographer, professor and Korean culture enthusiast with a passion for mixing the old with the new. He grew up in the United States with a father who molded pottery and a mother who created textiles and crafts. With so much creativity surrounding his upbringing, it is no surprise that he and his two

80 / January 2014

siblings all became artists in their own regard. In 2000, Smathers coordinated an independent studies course with his master’s program which gave him the opportunity to study in Korea. He spent a mere three months in the country, but became completely enamored: “I was just so attracted to Korea that I really didn’t want to go back to the States. So I knew that once I finished my master’s work in photography that I was going to come back over.” He returned to the U.S. to complete his degree and then came back to Korea one month after his graduation — this time not as a student, but as a teacher. After 10 years of working in Korea, Lee secured a full-time photography professorship at Keimyung University in Daegu, where he is currently employed. At Keimyung, Lee teaches his classes with a little extra flair. On the first day of his black-and-white photography course, Lee gives his students a roll of

‘We develop our black-andwhite film using coffee. When you mix coffee with vitamin C and washing soda (not baking soda), you can make a developer to process your black-and-white films, and it’s totally green.’ — Lee Smatters

35 mm film, traditionally used for filming motion pictures, and instructs them to use the film to take still photos. This project inspires his students to think about film in a different way. Lee also likes to experiment with environmentally friendly procedures. “We develop our black-and-white film using coffee. When you mix coffee with vitamin C and washing soda (not baking soda), you can make a developer to process your black-and-white films, and it’s totally green,” he explains. “You can throw it down the sink, and you don’t have to worry about dumping it as chemical waste. So, it’s good for the environment, and it’s fun, too.” Lee had been working with an array of subjects when he stumbled upon an online forum that inspired a new direction in his photography work. A man was selling a 100-year-old camera in “terrible condition.” Despite the condition, Lee had a longing to buy and rebuild the camera. Never having worked with a camera like this, the project was quite the challenge for Lee. When he finally succeeded, he was invigorated by both the process of rebuilding the camera and the quality of the photos he was able to capture using his new instrument. Later, Lee found another aged camera for sale online. “(The camera) was made in 1903. It’s a very panoramic format and is 7x17 inches long.” This antique banquet-style camera was traditionally used for photographing large groups of people. However, Lee intends to use the extreme panoramic qualities of the instrument to capture the vast landscapes of Korea and enlarge the images in a showcase: “I want to make some nice scans out of it and make some really huge gallery enlargements, and blow

people’s socks off with the technology of the early 1900s combined with the technology of today.” He believes that by utilizing old and new techniques he can produce a picture with better quality than that of a single digital image. To complete this venture, Lee has started a Kickstarter project to raise funds for the film needed for his camera. “The film is unavailable. It’s only special order, so I have to place a minimum order of $15,000 with Kodak, and then they’ll cut the size down for me. But it will probably be enough film to last me, probably, five or 10 years.” This project is still currently underway. In a time period when it seems that everyone owns a digital camera and millions of pictures are uploaded online every day, it is inspiring to hear Lee speak about his careful work process. “Koreans like kimchi when it’s fermented well,” Lee says. “I like to compare my work process to fermenting kimchi. I take my images and put them away in a notebook … and later I’ll come back to these images, after they’ve kind of rested, and then I look at them again freshly. At that time, I can make a better judgmental decision on whether I like the images or not.” His creativity and passion for his work leave his audience wondering: “What will Lee ferment next?”

About Lee

Lee is an American photographer and professor living in Daegu with his wife and son. He has recently been featured in a short “human documentary” on EBS and will appear on KBS in the near future. More of his work can be found at


MUSIC & ARTS Edited by Emilee Jennings (

rock n roll seoul

Table People T

he table is set with psychedelic placemats, loud noise pop and four musicians playing experimental indie rock. Over a year ago, Table People released their debut EP with each disc featuring individual artwork made by the musicians and their friends. Since then, their sound has developed from their early punk days to a busier and more muscular bluesy rock. Their newly released split album with Korean band Les Sales is called “Doo Nyeon” and showcases Table People’s technically developed musicality and quirky new songs.

Content-wise, lead singer Eric Davis typically steers away from writing lyrics about politics or love. That said, one of their popular songs, titled “Touch a Tiger,” was inspired by tourists who go to Thailand and visit the tiger enclosures. Eric was annoyed with all of the sightseeing pictures he would come across on Facebook of people posing with drugged-up tigers. He channeled that feeling as inspiration for one of Table People’s lyrically interesting songs.

Groove Korea: How do you develop a song? Ethan Waddell: Our songwriting focuses a lot on the lyrics. Eric writes the lyrics and comes up with a chord structure, and I write the arrangements around the lyrics so they fit the mood of what he’s saying. I change the chords to make them more cohesive and to fit the feeling of the lyrics. Eric Davis: I have a long commute and listen to

82 / January 2014

A mishmash of loud noise pop and indie aesthetic, with a boost of bluesy rock

a lot of podcasts, especially one called “Stuff You Should Know.” One time, I was in a Dunkin’ Donuts in New York listening to it. They said something about how someone should do a cut-and-smear dance (referring to smearing fecal matter on human wounds to cause infection) and I was, like, maybe I should do a cut-and-smear song. Waddell: Eric usually finds a midpoint between being funny and sad. One of my favorite tracks is “Cut and Smear” on our first EP. It’s about a psychological disorder called Munchausen syndrome where people injure themselves to get pity from others. The song is about people who take their own poop and smear it on a cut in their body, so the cut gets infected. The song is like a how-to.

Interview by Sophie Boladeras Photos by Shin Jae Kim

Table People are

Peanut butter on glass, bad beer spilt in amps, honey from the trash

Drums Chance Dorland Bass Minwoo Chun Guitar/vocals Eric Davis Guitar/vocals/keys Ethan Waddell

Tell us about your recently released split album with Les Sales. Davis: We each have four songs on the album and we all did the cover art together. It’s called “Doo Nyeon” — in Korean doo means two and doo nyeon kind of means two bitches. We needed a title … (and) we just wanted to make an album with friends. We really dig Les Sales’ sound and we feel a lot of solidarity with them. They do all of the things you need to do to get people to the club (postering, social media, promoting) and they are good about supporting the other bands they play with. Some

More info

Find out more about Table people at artists/view/Table-People, or check out their Facebook page.

bands in Hongdae just play their set and leave, but Les Sales are always down to hang out. So, it seemed like a pretty natural union. We like each other’s music and we like hanging out; let’s put a ring on it and make an album.

What challenges do you face as a foreign band in Korea? Davis: It’s hard to play outside of Seoul and it’s not practical — you don’t really make any money. When you factor in train tickets, motels and practice, you’re losing a lot of money. If you stay in Seoul you can save up to make a recording. It sucks, but that’s realistic. I hope it changes. Sometimes when we get gigs it’s just when they are looking for a token foreign band. There are quite a few foreign bands around that don’t take themselves too seriously and just want to have a good time. ... That’s fine, but bands take a lot of time, so for us we want to make sure we’re doing it as well as we can.

Tell us about some of your memorable gigs. Waddell: Our shows are really dependent on the crowd; they’re generally easier when people are drunk. We have played at club DGBD a bit and the sound guy there is great; he is really easy to communicate with. We played at City Hall once for a peace festival. We’re not sure what kind of peace … Maybe world peace. Davis: We played at a college university festival out in Cheongju last spring. It was in the middle of a baseball field and there were heaps of people there for a fashion show before our gig. The emcee of the event was a fucking idiot. We were in the middle of playing a song when he stopped us; nobody had any idea what was happening. There were maybe, like, 100 people left in this huge K-pop type stadium. We freaked out. We had no idea why he stopped us midsong. There were just a bunch of ajummas clapping. It was weird.

You put a lot of thought into your lyrics. Are you bothered that many of your listeners can’t understand them? Davis: We have one song about Jesus, and Korean people seem to understand those lyrics. We don’t worry about it if people can’t understand all of the lyrics, though. I like a lot of Korean rock and I can’t understand the lyrics.

What on earth is your song “Jesus’ Bed” about? Davis: I was listening to that podcast again — “Stuff You Should Know.” They were talking about mirrors and how, in the biblical ages, mirrors were very rare, and I thought that was a cool way to start a song. Waddell: It’s about how Jesus invites you over to his house and says, “Lets go drinking tonight.” Then the chorus slowly gets more and more specific. “You can sleep in my house, you can sleep in my room and you can sleep in my bed.” Eventually it’s about sleeping in Jesus’ bed. Davis: When I wrote it, I didn’t think people would pay attention to it, but they did, and now it’s a bit embarrassing.

What inspires you to keep creating music? Waddell: I have been playing since middle school — it’s just what we do. If I didn’t play music, I would feel empty. It’s a no-brainer. Davis: I have to have some creative outlet, and these days music is it. When I started playing music it was because the stuff I liked was so simple, that it seemed silly of me not to play it. I think anyone can play punk rock to a certain extent.

What do Table People have planned for the future? Davis: We are heading to Busan for New Year’s. We’ll record in the spring and hopefully have another album by next fall. We have a new drummer, I’ve improved on guitar and Min-woo has started singing, so this new material should sound totally different to the stuff we did before.


MUSIC & ARTS Edited by Jenny Na (


The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Directed by Ben Stiller

The Wolf of Wall Street Directed by Martin Scorsese



Adventure/Comedy/Drama 114 minutes

In recent years, we’ve seen several comedians go through something of a mid-career crisis. Heavyweights such as Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler and Eddie Murphy have all taken a straight turn: Ferrell was a downon-his-luck alcoholic in “Everything Must Go” (2010). Sandler played a man with psychological issues in Paul Thomas Anderson’s oft-overlooked “Punch-Drunk Love” (2002). And Murphy was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of soul singer James Early in “Dreamgirls” (2006). Now it’s Ben Stiller’s turn to play serious for a headlining role in his newest film (and Oscar hopeful): “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” The film is a remake of the 1947 original, which in turn was based on the 1939 short story by James Thurber. The title character works for Life magazine but spends most of his time in his own little fantasy world. Walter is a daydreamer, and in these dreams, anything is possible, including winning the affec-



Biography/Crime/Drama 165 minutes

Affectionately dubbed “the New Hollywood era,” the late ‘60s formed a golden period in American cinema, producing some of the greatest films of all time. Arthur Penn, Milos Forman and Francis Ford Coppola directed screen icons like Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro in classics such as “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967), “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) and “The Godfather” (1972). It was a time when the auteur was king and financial gain was put aside in favor of art. All of that changed with the releases of hits like “Jaws” (1975) and “Star Wars” (1977), which gave birth to the summer blockbuster. While many New Hollywood artists continue to make interesting films, it could be argued that the only one who is still at the top of his game is Martin Scorsese. Simply put, the man is a legend and his body of work is unquestioned. “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Raging Bull” (1980) and “Mean Streets” (1973) are American classics, as are “Goodfellas”

84 / January 2014

tions of his coworker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig). When trouble arises during the printing of the magazine’s final issue, Walter undertakes a dangerous adventure that will make him the hero of the hour. Ben Stiller hasn’t directed many films, but both “Tropic Thunder” (2008) and “Zoolander” (2001) were comedic gold. “The Cable Guy” (1996), not so much. The trailers indicate that Stiller’s directing style has been influenced by the likes of Spike Jonze and Michel Gondry, which would make sense given the film’s premise. If you have to take inspiration from anyone, two of the most visually arresting directors working today aren’t a bad place to start. While that may make for an aesthetically pleasing result, I hope Stiller has also kept a keen eye on the film’s pacing and content because, come February, if the film is all style and no substance, all the Oscar talk will be just that — talk.

(1990) and “Casino” (1995). He finally won a best director Oscar in 2007, giving him the recognition he deserves as one of the alltime greats. Now he is back with “The Wolf of Wall Street,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Based on the real-life story of Jordan Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street” chronicles the rise and fall of the infamous stockbroker as he lies and cheats his way to the top in a drink- and drug-fueled frenzy. The film marks the fifth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio and features a stellar supporting cast that includes Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey. As you might expect from a Scorsese picture, the film looks slick and the soundtrack is pumping. With some direct address to the camera by DiCaprio in the trailer, I detected a slight “Goodfellas” vibe, which is a great sign. If “The Wolf of Wall Street” is anywhere near “Goodfellas” in terms of quality, we’re in for a treat.




Drama/Thriller 99 minutes

Stoker (스토커) Directed by Park Chan-wook

The worldwide success and subsequent fitting of a pair of shoes say more than any cult status of films such as “Oldboy” (2003) line of dialogue ever could. Whilst the acting is admirable, the real star and “Lady Vengeance” (2005) meant that it was only a matter of time before Park of the film is the direction. From the first Chan-wook made his way to Hollywood. His minute, we realize we are watching somedebut came last February when he adapted thing unique as the opening titles come alive one of the hottest scripts on the 2010 black and move along with the panning camera. India’s senses are incredibly heightened, list, “Stoker,” written by Wentworth Miller (of so Park cranks up the sound, allowing us to “Prison Break” fame). On the morning of her 18th birthday, India hear everything the way she does, at times Stoker’s father is tragically killed in a car ac- uncomfortably so. Colors are rich and full, alcident, leaving India alone with her mother, most dreamlike, which forces the viewer to Evelyn (Nicole Kidman). During the funeral, question the validity of what we are actually India’s uncle Charlie (Matthew Goode) ap- seeing. Given the film’s title and the way Inpears in an attempt to help his family through dia interacts with her uncle Charlie, it’s no this tragic time. Whilst Evelyn is smitten, In- surprise that many thought that this could dia (Mia Wasikowska) senses that under- well be a vampire film. Thankfully, it’s not. For those of you hoping to see another neath his dashing exterior, something isn’t “Oldboy,” this might not be the film for you. quite right with her Uncle Charlie. “Stoker” (2013) is a subtle film filled with “Stoker” is essentially a coming-of-age tale, symbolism and metaphors that drive the nar- but it’s so much more than that. It’s a mysrative. For example, the sexual tensions that tery, it’s a thriller; it’s a piece of art. transpire from the playing of a piano or the



With the amount of buzz that surrounded Park Chan-wook and “Stoker” (2013), you could be forgiven for forgetting that Kim Jeewoon actually beat Park to the punch in releasing his Hollywood directorial debut, arguably with greater fanfare. “The Last Stand” (2013) was not only Kim’s English-language debut, but also the return of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bona fide leading action man. The early buzz was strong. Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) is working what is expected to be a highly uneventful weekend in the close-knit, sleepy town of Sommerton Junction, Arizona, as the local football team, along with most of the town, is away for the big game. There’s nothing for his deputies to do except shoot slabs of meat on the farm of eccentric gun-nut Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville). The weekend doesn’t go quite as planned, though, after a deadly cartel boss, Gabriel Cortez, breaks out of jail with plans to cross the Mexican border via Som-

Action/Crime 107 minutes

The Last Stand (라스트 스탠드) Directed by Kim Jee-woon

merton. Little do they know that Owens is a former narcotics agent from LA who, despite leaving the big city behind, is still in possession of his morals and his marksmanship. As you would expect from a Kim Jee-woon film, there are some thrilling visuals. Cortez’s escape is particularly impressive, with several long takes and excellent camera work. Even though the film isn’t particularly violent (by Kim’s standards anyway), it still has one of the best deaths by flare gun I have ever seen on celluloid. There is a lot of humor to counteract the shootouts, mainly from Johnny Knoxville, who is funny if you’re into that sort of thing, I guess. If you were one of the many viewers who got lost in the initial hype surrounding Arnie’s big return and were expecting something more than a generic action flick, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But if you go into it with the right mindset, “The Last Stand” is an enjoyable film.


COMMUNITY Edited by Elaine Ramirez (

Safe Space opens arms to queer Korean teens

For the repressed, a new refuge Interview by Rev. Daniel Payne / Illustration by Sacha Treager


ccording to a 2012 survey of students in Seoul who identify as sexual minorities, more than half of LGBTQ teens (54 percent) say they have experienced bullying at school. Not incidentally, 76.6 percent of those surveyed have contemplated suicide, while 58.5 percent claim to have actually attempted it. This data, which was compiled by a national research institute and Seoul-based think tank, sheds light on the issue of teen suicide in relation to the pressures of identifying as LGBTQ in Korean society. Many teen suicides in Korea are somehow connected to either bullying or family problems; two issues that have a significant impact on one’s sense of self-worth. When only 28.8 percent of the country’s youth are willing to befriend sexual minorities and only 15.1 percent of parents would accept their queer children, it’s safe to assume that youths who identify as either sexual minorities or gender queer have experienced their fair share of both issues. As an openly gay pastor who ministers to many queer people at an affirming church (a church that fully embraces LGBTQ mem-

86 / January 2014

bers) in Seoul, I have heard many queer Korean youths discuss their experiences with bullying. Though each person’s story is unique, nearly all make reference to the excruciating pain caused when friends and family reject them because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. I once ministered at 3 a.m. to a Korean teen who had slit his wrists because of the hatred he experienced at church as a result of being gay. The pain and suffering these youths experience is real — and entirely unnecessary. Many queer Koreans feel that it is impossible to come out to their friends or family for fear of the rejection they will almost certainly endure. In a country rooted in Confucian ideas of familial organization and influenced by fundamentalist, Western-imported Christianity, who can blame them? Nearly all the youths I’ve spoken to prefer to stay in the closet, safe and sound, though the darkness and pressures of that closet are sometimes just as dangerous as what lingers outside. I asked a gay Korean teenager in my congregation the following three questions, and these were his answers. He has remained anonymous at his own request.

How do you feel being gay in Korean society? As a Korean, I can understand them (Koreans who reject LGBTQ people). But it makes me feel horrible, especially when someone who hates gays is so harsh and ignorant. I feel like many Koreans do not want to try to see things from another person’s point of view. But some things are changing slowly in Korea. It will take time, but there is hope.

Have you ever been bullied for being gay? I have never been outed, and I have only come out to a couple people I really trust. It is dangerous to come out completely in Korea, even though it is necessary for things to really change. I have only come out to people who I know will accept me, so I have protected myself from bullying. But I have seen and heard of other gay Korean teenagers being bullied for their sexuality.

How important is a safe space for Korean LGBTQ youth? Nobody knows how many Korean teens are kicked out of their homes for being gay. The government does not keep statistics on that kind of thing. But I know, personally, that some Korean teens are kicked out of their homes for their sexual orientation. Korea would definitely be a better place if those teens had a place to go. Though the Korean government is actively working on suicide prevention as a general issue among the country’s youth population, it is, at the same time, actively exacerbating the problems faced by queer Korean youth. The government expresses concern for Korean youth, yet seems perfectly willing to throw the demographic’s queer population under the bus, a move that either stems from their own fear of homosexuality or is used as a means for political advancement. This is evident in the recent moves by the Ministry of Education: first, its role in reinserting homophobic statements in the Life and Ethics public school textbooks, and, secondly, by removing language from the Seoul Student’s Rights Ordinance protecting students from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Given the aforementioned statistics regarding LGBTQ youth suicide, protecting queer Korean teens and providing them a safe space has never been more vital. Acting in the government’s absence, six organizations have aligned to create the Rainbow Teen Safe Space, a shelter that will open in early 2014. The organizations involved in this project are the Queer Koreans Alliance, Christian Solidarity for a World Without Discrimination, the Dari Project, Open Doors Community Church, Solidarity for LGBT Human Rights of Korea and Sumdol Presbyterian Church. The mission of Safe Space is to assist, care for and empower LGBTQ Korean youth in at-risk situations, and to offer resources for their continued healthy self-development. We want to help queer teens find hope and a home, as well as a community in which they can feel accepted, affirmed and supported. It is urgent to prepare a multidimensional support system by providing crisis intervention, counseling for psychological pain and trauma, and restoring relationships with parents and peers.

More info

Rev. Daniel Payne is a pastor of Open Doors Community Church in Itaewon, Seoul. He was featured in Groove Korea’s April 2012 issue. For more information on the Rainbow Teen Safe Space, visit or email Rev. Payne at koreanrainbow@


COMMUNITY Edited by Jenny Na (

Stickin’ with it E

d Leahey and Kurt DeVries had just led their team to victory in the first annual Yamato Cup in Tokyo in 2008 when they decided they wanted to keep the momentum going: They would turn their regular ball hockey group into a formal league. The pair already had a dedicated group of players who would meet every Sunday to play pick-up games in a parking lot at Ajou University in Suwon. But they wanted more. Scott Lumsdon, who captained the team during the tournament, recalls, “I believe our victory, coupled with an expanding membership base, spurred Kurt and Ed’s desire to create the league.” What they created is now Asia’s largest ball hockey organization: Canadian Ball Hockey Korea. One of the pivotal moments in the league’s history happened in 2006, back when the group was struggling to maintain its membership. Leahey proposed playing at a more central location in the capital, leading them to the Jamsil Sports Complex, the place where they still play today. Games were held every Sunday, rain or shine, and the membership grew to a core group of 20 highly committed players. Upon returning to Korea after their victory at the Yamato Cup in October 2008, Lea-

88 / January 2014

Canadian Ball Hockey Korea builds a haven for camaraderie, on and off the field Story by Rajnesh Sharma Photos by Rajnesh Sharma and Andrei Cherwinski

hey, DeVries and a few key members utilized their business and social connections to recruit more members. Within two weeks, through word of mouth and media exposure, the league was born. DeVries had also managed to secure the league’s first sponsor, Big Rock Brewery. Later that month, the CBHK’s first season began with 55 members and four teams. Besides the initial challenge of recruiting members, funding was a major issue. In addition to the rink fees that Leahey paid out of his own pocket, finding and purchasing goalie gear was also another obstacle. “Communal goalie gear had to be scrounged, balls had to be purchased and shipped from Canada,” says Robert Gibson, a current CBHK board member. “Sticks at Korean hockey shops were either outrageously expensive or cheap twigs that broke easily.” Since then, the CBHK has grown into an organization of 10 teams and 10 bar sponsors, a tattoo studio sponsor and a magazine sponsor (Groove Korea), with a membership of 140 players. The league has several volunteers who organize special events such as pub crawls, parties and tournaments. Volunteers also create league rules, book rink time, track statistics, referee and goal judge, and maintain the web-

site and a weekly newsletter. “Getting volunteers to help out with the dayto-day running of the league was difficult at first, but now I’m proud of the ways that so many people have stepped up over the years to help out in some way to ensure the league functions properly,” says Cory Pettit, one of the league’s first captains. The league is open to individuals from all walks of life, both men and women, and the players are of various ages and abilities. They play two seasons, spring and fall, have two tournaments a year in Korea and have gone overseas for tournaments seven times in the last six years. The league’s 12th season kicks off on March 2. New members are encouraged to register between Jan. 16 and March 1. The draft party, one highlight of the season where captains select their new team members is set for March 1. “Games last for two hours,” Lumsdon says, “but more often than not, players and fans stay all day to enjoy the camaraderie and the spectacle. The goals and the saves are thrilling, but the banter among the players and fans alike is equally entertaining. It is simply a fun place to be on a Sunday.”

‘The goals and the saves are thrilling, but the banter among the players and fans alike is equally entertaining. It is simply a fun place to be on a Sunday.’ — Scott Lumsdon More info

The registration fee is 170,000 won in the spring and 150,000 won in the fall, or pay a month early and get a 10,000 won discount. Players must buy their own hockey stick, which can be purchased at shops in Seoul. The league also sells sticks starting at 70,000 won. Gloves, cups and shin guards are optional, but all rookies are provided with a mouth guard upon registration. For more information, visit or find them on Facebook. To view league videos, visit The league is sponsored by JR Pub, JR Southern Style BBQ, Rocky Mountain Tavern, Dillinger’s, Phillies Pub, Hollywood Bar & Grill, Sam Ryan’s Sports Bar & Grill, Bull & Barrel, Beer O’Clock, Yaletown Burgers & Bar, Badass Tattoo and Groove Korea.


CAPTURING KOREA Edited by Josh Foreman (

In the pho a pla

e mountains, otographing ace of peace Photos by Andrew Faulk / Interview by Dylan Goldby

CAPTURING KOREA Edited by Josh Foreman (

CAPTURING KOREA Edited by Josh Foreman (


ndrew Faulk is an American living and working in Seoul. In this month’s Capturing Korea, he gives us the details on Wawoojeongsa, a temple complex south of Seoul that is one of his favorite places to photograph. The temple is a respite, he says, suitable for a day out photographing, picnicking or just relaxing in the mountains. Groove Korea: Give us an introduction to yourself, the man and the photographer. Andrew Faulk: I am a Tennessee boy living and working in Seoul. My wife and I have been in Korea for over four years and call Seoul home. I love coffee. I love British comedy. I love heavy metal. I want to be a hermit when I grow up. Photography? I cannot talk much on gear or techniques. I know very little about art in general. I am just a “weekend warrior” making pictures of anything and everything. I especially enjoy portraiture. I adore photos; there’s nothing more to it. What makes Wawoojeongsa one of your favorite temple complexes to photograph in Korea? Not only is Wawoo my favorite temple to photograph, it is my favorite place in Korea. I am not a city man — I never will be. Wawoo is nearly 50 kilometers outside Seoul in the Yunwha Mountains, far enough to see rice fields, smell fresh air and forget about my concrete existence. The complex is close enough to escape the city bustle without relying on the KTX or paying for a hotel room. The complexes inside of Seoul are aesthetically beautiful, but these temples are laced with urbanity. I am more likely to be called to reflection by car horns than mantras. At times, Wawoo is the antithesis. Though the complex is a major tourist attraction, Wawoojeongsa is slow. Nurturing. Reticent. It oozes a contemplative energy. Because of this, I feel like I can relax, take my time and make a photograph without fretting about what, where or who comes next. You have some really unique angles and compositions in this collection. What are you looking for when you approach a complex like this? I am looking for a calmer pace. If I can physically slow down, my eyes begin to play. At first glance, temples in Korea appear similar: teal green doors with intricate handles, black cylinder tiled roofs, statues within. These are the details, the parts that create the whole. But looking even deeper

94 / January 2014

and seeing with a more reflective eye, I realize that the fallen leaf or the Golden One’s smile is just as much a part of the complex as what I might normally observe. I agree that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but I am grateful when I notice the tiny elements so that I can understand the magnitude of the whole. Does any particular time of day lend itself best to photographing the complex? Sometime between dusk and dawn is best. There are so many aspects of the Wawoo complex; though not large in size, you could shoot the details of Wawoojeongsa all day. Since it is a place to sway, I recommend taking time with each and every shutter; if you miss a shot because of the light, don’t worry. You will be back to Wawoo soon anyway. Yongin is a long trip for some of our readers. What else is of interest in the area? Could we make a day of it? What makes Wawoo so special is that it appeals on so many different levels. Pack a basket and find a place near the complex for a forest picnic. Grab your journal or a novel and park it near a stupa by the creek. Put on the hiking boots and hit some of the trails around the complex. Personally, I always indulge in the multi-course set menu at Uncle de Paris, a French fusion restaurant located right outside of the temple entrance. Baked lobster and steak for under 50,000? Yes, please. Everland Amusement Park, Yongin Ski Resort and the Korean Folk Village are within a short ride of the temple complex. Yet, to do much more than the temple and a meal is rejecting the very essence of Wawoojeongsa, flipping the bird to tranquility. If you experience Wawoo as it is intended, you realize that it is far from being a tourist attraction or a check on a sightseeing list. Finally, can you give us the public transport options to the temple? From Jamsil Station (line 2), exit 6 or 7, take bus 5600 or 5800 to Yongin Intercity Bus Terminal. From the terminal take the bus bound for Wonsam. Get off at Wawoojongsa Temple. From Gangnam Station (line 2), exit 10, take bus 5001 or 5002 to Yongin Intercity Bus Terminal. From the terminal take the bus bound for Wonsam. Get off at Wawoojeongsa Temple.



Edited by Sean Choi (

EMBASSIES American Embassy (02) 397-4114 • 188 Sejong-daero, Jongnogu, Seoul Canadian Embassy (02) 3783-6000 • (613) 996-8885 (Emergency Operations Center)Jeongdong-gil (Jeongdong) 21, Jung-gu, Seoul British Embassy (02) 3210-5500 • Sejong-daero 19-gil 24, Jung-gu, Seoul Australian Embassy (02) 2003-0100 • 19th fl, Kyobo bldg., 1 Jongno 1-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul Philippine Embassy (02) 796-7387~9 • 5-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Spanish Embassy (02) 794-3581 • 726-52 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul French Embassy (02) 3149-4300 • 30 Hap-dong, Seodaemungu, Seoul

TRAVEL AGENTS Fides Travel (02) 755 5470 • JNC Travel Service (02) 796 9633 • Prime Travel (02) 6739 3570 Shoe String Travel (02) 333 4151 • Soho Travel (02) 322 1713 • Top Travel Service (02) 737 4289 • Unique Travel (02) 792 0606

DOMESTIC TOURS Adventure Korea (010) 4242-5536 • Cosmojin Tour (02) 318-3405 • Discover Korea (02) 398-6571 • www.discoverkoreatour. com/en E Tour (02) 323-6850 • Explore Korea • Grace Travel (02) 332-8946 •

96 / January 2014

Joy Leisure Service (02) 2307-8642 •

Seoul Samsung Hospital 1599-3114 • 50 Irwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Seoul Foreign School (02) 330-3100 • 55-1 Yonhi-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

Korean Safari (02) 587-9044 •

Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center (053) 250-7167 (7177 / 7187) • 56 Dalseongro, Jung-gu, Daegu

Branksome Hall Asia (02) 6456-8405 • Daejung-eup, Seogipo-si, Jeju Island

Fantastic Tour (02) 6925-7007 •


Seoul City Tour (02) 774-3345 •

Korean Air 1588-2001

Tour DMZ (02) 755-0073 •

Asiana Airlines 1588-8000

Travel Pants Korea (010) 9961 5765 •

Lufthansa (02) 2019-0180


Garuda Indonesia (02) 773-2092 •

Panmunjom Travel Center (02) 771-5593 •

Sheraton Grande Walkerhill (02) 455-5000 • 177 Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul Novotel Ambassador Gangnam (02) 567-1101 • 603 Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Grand Hilton Seoul (02) 3216-5656 • 353 Yeonhui-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Somerset Palace Seoul (02) 6730-8888 • 85 Susong-dong, Jongnogu, Seoul Lotte Hotel Busan (051) 810-1000 • 772 Gaya-daero, Busanjingu, Busan Park Hyatt Busan (051) 990-1235 • Bansong 1-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan Astoria Hotel (02) 2268-7111 • 13-2 Namhak-dong, Junggu, Seoul Park Hyatt Seoul (02) 2016-1234 • 606 Teheran-ro, Gangnamgu, Seoul

Eastar Jet 1544-0080

Daegu IS (053) 980-2100 • 1555 Bongmu-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu Sullivan School (02) 544-4445 • 543-4 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Dulwich College Seoul (02) 3015-8500 • 5-1 Banpo 2-dong, Seochogu, Seoul The curriculum from toddler to IGCSE (ages 18 months to 16 years) follows the best practice of the early years foundation stage framework and English national curriculum enhanced for an international setting.

Air Busan 1666-3060 Jeju Air 1599-1500




T’way Air 1688-8686 Jin Air 1600-6200 Air Canada (02) 779-5654 Air France (02) 3788-0400 British Airways (02) 774-5511 Cathay Pacific Airways (02) 311-2700 Delta Airlines (02) 754-1921 Emirates Airlines (02) 2022-8400


AMUSEMENT PARKS Everland Resort (031) 320-5000 • 310 Jeondae-ri, Pogok-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do Lotte World (02) 411-2000 0 • 240 Olympic-ro, Songpagu, Seoul Pororo Park (D-Cube city) 1661-6340 • 360-51 Sindorim-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul Pororo Park (Jamsil) 1661-6371 • 40-1 Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul Children’s Grand Park (zoo) (02) 450-9311 • 216 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul

Gangnam St-Mary’s Hospital 1588-1511 • 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul


Seoul Zoo (02) 500-7338 • 159-1 Makgye-dong, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Yonsei Severance Hospital (Sinchon) (02) 2227-7777 • 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

Chadwick International 032-250-5000 • 17-4 Songdo-dong, Yeonsugu, Incheon


Asan Medical Center 1688-7575 • 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpa-gu, Seoul

Yongsan ISS (02) 797-5104 • San 10-213 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

Seoul National University Hospital 1339 • 28-2 Yeongeon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Seoul IS 031-750-1200 • 388-14 Bokjeong-dong, Sujeong-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do

What The Book (02) 797-2342 • 176-2, Itaewon 1-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul • Located in Itaewon, this English bookstore has new books, used books and children’s books. Kim & Johnson 1566-0549 • B2 fl-1317-20 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul


UPENNIVY dental (02) 797-7784 • 300-26 Ichon 1-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Mir Dental (053) 212-1000 • 149-132 Samdeok-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu Chungdam UPENN dental (02) 548-7316 • 131-20 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Erispomme Dental Hospital (02) 555-4808~9 • 2nd fl., Yanghwa tower, 736-16 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul SKIN CLINICS TengTeng skin (02) 337-4066 • 10th floor, First avenue Building, Nonhyeon 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul If you have a skin problem, Dr. Julius Jon will take good care of you. English is spoken. Nova Skin (02) 563-7997 • 2 floor A Tower, 822-1, Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

UROLOGY & OB Tower Urology (02) 2277-6699 •5th fl. 119 Jongno 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul

MUSEUM & GALLERIES National Museum of Korea (02) 2077-9000 • 168-6 Yongsandong 6-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul The NMK offers educational programs on Korean history and culture in English and Korean. National Palace Museum of Korea (02) 3701-7500 • 12 Hyoja-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul This museum has a program called ‘Experiencing Royal Culture’ designed for English teachers to help learn about Joseon royal culture. Seodaemun Museum of Natural History (02) 330-8899 • 141-52 Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Don’t know where to take your kids on weekends? This museum exhibits a snapshot of the world and animals. National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea (02) 2188-6000 • 313 Gwangmyeong-ro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Tengteng skin Dr. Julius Jon

ORIENTAL MEDICINE Yoon’s Clinic (02) 790-9577 • 225-94 Itaewon 2-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Soseng Clinic (02) 2253-8051• 368-90 Sindang 3-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul Yaksan Obesity Clinic (02) 582-4246 • 1364-7, Seocho 2-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (02) 2014-6901• 747-18 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays Kumho Museum (02) 720-5114 • 78 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on Mondays Gallery Hyundai (02) 734-6111~3 • 22 Sagan-dong, Jongnogu, Seoul It’s the first specialized art gallery in Korea and accommodates contemporary arts. 10 a.m. -6 p.m. Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays

Plateau FITNESS (02) 1577-7595 • 50 Taepyung-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul Reebok Crossfit Sentinel 10 a.m.-6 p. m. Closed on Mondays. (02) 790-0801 • National Museum of Modern and World Gym Contemporary Art, Seoul Yeouido (02) 782-1003 (MMCA SEOUL) Gangnam (02) 2052-0096 (02) 3701-9500 • 30 Samcheong-ro, Ilsan (031) 932-7010 Sogyeok-dong, Busan (051) 758-5554 Jongro-gu, Seoul • Body & Seoul 010-6397-2662 •

Daegu Art Museum (053) 790-3000 • 374 Samdeok-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu Art space for local culture presenting Daegu’s contemporary fine arts and internationally renowned artists.


Oriental massage spa in Itaewon at a reasonable price.

3rd fl. 124-7 Itaewon 1-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 12pm-9pm



Jo’s Basket Grill & Dining (02) 744-0701 • 31-37 Dongsoong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Jin Donburi (02) 2235 1123 • 103-9 Jeodong 1-ga, Junggu, Seoul The chef here trained in Japan and serves an authentic Japanese-style donburi (donkatsu over rice) at an affordable price. Gatsudon goes for 6,000 won.

KOREAN & BBQ Small Happiness in the Garden (02) 975-3429 • 28-3 Jeodong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul Jang Sa Rang (02) 546-9994 • 624-47 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul The menu at this traditional Korean restaurant ranges from classic kimchi pancakes and stone pot rice to an array of meats and veggies.

Dr. Oh’s King-size Donkatsu / O Baksane Donkatsu (02) 3673 5730 • 131-32 Seongbuk-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul The place serves donkatsu the size of a car wheel. The restaurant dares you to finish it in one sitting.

Ondal (02) 450-4518 • 177 Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul Looking to impress a date or a business partner? Head to the premier traditional Korean restaurant in Seoul.

Myeongdong Donkatsu (02) 776 5300 • 59-13 Myeong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul This is the most popular and oldest Japanese-style donkatsu restaurant in Myeong-dong. Try the wasabi.

Hadongkwan (02) 776-5656 • 10-4 Myungdong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul This place simply has the best gomtang (beef soup) in Seoul.

Namsan Donkatsu (02) 777-7929 • 49-24 Namsandong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul Since 1992, this casual Korean-style donkatsu restaurant has been a favorite of Namsan hikers and taxi drivers.

Two Plus (02) 515 5712 • B1 fl. 532-9 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Served here is a high-quality beef loin at a reasonable price. Tosokchon (Samgyetang) (02) 737 7444 • 85-1 Chebu-dong, Jongnogu, Seoul A popular Korean-style chicken soup with ginseng is popular at this place. Former presidents enjoyed this restaurant. A soup costs just 15,000 won.

INTERNATIONAL Battered Sole (02) 322-8101 • 52-23 Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Battered Sole is a relative newcomer, but they serve up some of the best fish and chips in Korea. This is the real deal. Simply India (02) 744 6333• 1-79 Dongsung-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul



Pho Hoa (02) 792-8866 • 737-4, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul

So True (02) 549 7288 • Jinseong Building, 58-6 Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.

ITALIAN & FRENCH Pizza Hill (02) 450-4699 • 177 Walkerhill-ro, Gwangjingu, Seoul The first restaurant to serve pizza in Korea. MEXICAN & TEX-MEX Dos Tacos (Gangnam) (02) 593-5904 • 104 Dessian Luv, 1303-35 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul The best and largest taco franchise is Korea; try out their shrimp potato burrito. Grill5taco (02) 515-5549 • 519-13 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

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Sanchon (02) 735 0312 • 14 Gwanghun-dong, Jongnogu, Seoul Veggie Holic 070 4114 0458 • 204-59 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul March Rabbit (02) 3444-4514 • 560 Sinsa-dong, Gangnamgu, Seoul Daegu 5th Lounge (053) 764-3579 •207-10 Doosan-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu This fabulous lounge does just about everything right. If you’re in search for space for private parties, this is the place.

Night club G’day (American & Brunch) (053) 746-1217 •980-9 Suseongdong 4-ga, Suseong-gu, Daegu This Aussie brunch cafe serves the best brunch in Daegu at the best price. The Paris (Italian & French) (053) 763-8998 • 207-10 Doosan-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu This place offers fine dining in one of the few authentic French restaurants in town. Dos Tacos (Mexican & Tex-Mex) (053) 255-4885 • 34-4 Dongsung-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu

Italy & Italy (Italian / French) (053) 423- 5122 • 22-2, Samdeok-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu

The Pho [Vietnamese] (051) 256-8055 • Saeabusan town, Sinchangdong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Busan

La Luce (European) (053) 255-7614 • 40-63 Daebong-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu

The Grill On The Beach (Pub) (051) 731-9799 • B1 fl. Sea star bldg., 1417-2 Jung 1-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan This submarine-themed pub carries international beer and a wide selection of wine.

Ariana Boccaccio Hotel Brau (Buffet) (051) 767-7913 • 200-1, Dusan-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu Thursday Party (Bar) 21-23 Samdeok-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu Busan

Pan Asia (International) (053) 287-7940 • 2 fl., 21-9 Samdeok-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu

Wolfhound (Haeundae, Busan) (051) 746-7913 • 1359 Woo 1-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan

South St. (American) (053) 471-7867 • 664-10 Bongdeok 3-dong, Nam-gu, Daegu

Rock N Roll (Bar) • 2 fl, 56-5, Daeyeon 3-dong, Nam-gu, Busan

Bagel Doctor (Café) (053) 421-6636 • Samdeokdong 2-ga, Junggu, Daegu Miyako (Japanese) (053) 761-5555 • 402-5 Sang-dong, Suseonggu, Daegu Beyond Factory (Italian/café) (053) 255-7614 • 40-63 Daebong-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu

Wolfhound [Irish Pub] (051) 746-7913 • 2 fl, 1359, U 1-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan Fuzzy Navel [Mexican Pub] (051) 754- 6349 • 178-13, Millak-dong, Suyeong-gu, Busan Farmer’s Hamburger [American] (051) 244-5706 • 35-1 Daechungdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Busan

Paniere(Café) (051) 817-8212 • 225-1 Bujeon-dong, Jin-gu, Busan The European-style brunch restaurant/café serves fresh fruit juice and sandwiches.

DRINKS BEER AND COCKTAILS Big Rock (02) 539-6650 • B1 818-8, Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul This place imports premium beer from Alberta. Its comfortable atmosphere and huge space is perfect for just about every occasion.

Octagon •175-2 Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Cocoon •364-26 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul Eden •Ritz Carlton 602 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnamgu, Seoul Elune •1408-5 Jung 1-dong, Haeundae-gu, Busan Mass •1306-8 Seocho 4-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

Massage, Spa & Beauty Lucy Hair (02) 325-2225 • 2 floor, 30-10, Chandcheondong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Look your best effortlessly with the help of Lucy. Her internationally trained hair stylists treat your locks with the best hair products in a modern and cozy environment.

Once in a Blue Moon (02) 549. 5490 •85-1 Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul A live jazz club Seoul that hosts renowned musicians from Korea and around the world.

All menu items 10,000 won Steak meal 20,000 won Without compromising on quality and taste, Bennigan’s is the first family restaurant in the business to serve such carefully selected ingredients and the best taste at a flat price.

The smartest way to spend 10,000 won!



100 / January 2014

Games Crosswords - Sudoku

Across 1. Bambi, e.g, 5. ___ with: teased 10. Run in neutral 14. Bronte’s ‘Jane ___’ 15. Host Gibbons 16. Santa’s bagful 17. Big name in weight loss 19. Fish-eating birds 20. Scene of contest in Paris 21. Baked by mom, say 23. 1970’s tennis champ Nastase 26. Some computers 27. “Sahara” co-star, 2005 32. “A computer once beat me at

chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing” comedian Philips 33. Saw logs 34. Mystics 38. “Will be,” to Doris Day 40. Full-price payer, at an amusement park 42. Opening for a tab 43. Soupcon 45. Splash 47. It’s used to put out French fires 48. Use coercion 51. “Chicken Soup for the Soul” creator MV--

54. Three-player game using 32 cards 55. Long journeys 58. Did surgery with a beam 62. “Finding ___”: Pixar film 63. Popular politician 66. It has no comparison 67. “Zounds!” relative 68. He, to Hadrian 69. Bris or confirmation 70. Dreadlocked Jamaican, for short 71. “____Cosa,” 1935. song

Woman 13. Twisty curves 18. Calls 22. Grounded Australian birds 24. Island off Scotland 25. Lyric poems 27. Dennis, to Mr. Wilson 28. Ret. 29. Nick’s “Thin Man” wife 30. Belch 31. String quartet instruments 35. Ancient Greek city 36. Safari sound 37. Unfermented grape juice 39. Shows peevishness 41. Armored vehicle

44. Ones lambs follow 46. Naturalist Edwin Way ____ 49. “Well, ___!”: outraged words 50. Radio broadcast interference 51. “Employee of the Month,” e.g. 52. Native of Yemen’s capital 53. Big Apple NLer 56. Quiet exercise 57. Subway stops: Abbr. 59. Normandy town in W.W. II fighting 60. Skinny swimmers 61. Three, in Dusseldorf 64. July hrs. in Jamestown 65. Low’s org.

Down 1. “It was ___ vu all over again” 2. Giver of regards 3. Donegal Bay feeder 4. English actor Michael ____ 5. Kindness, in brief 6. Above, in poetry 7. Uh-huh 8. Pinza of the Met 9. “Broadway Open House” regular, in 50’s TV 10. Doesn’t take the standard deduction 11. Bandanna worn to protect a hairstyle 12. ___ Carter, who played Wonder

*To see the answers, search “Crossword January 2014” on



Horoscopes January 2014


March 20 - April 20

Winter has given you the urge to clean house when it comes to work. However, don’t let your temper get the best of you this month. Remain calm and think about what’s best for your future before making any rash decisions. Seek advice from a close friend or relative if you’re not sure what to do.


April 21 - May 21

Don’t go against your nature this month. A loved one helps you realize what you want when it comes to your personal life: Go out and get it, and don’t let others stand in your way. When it comes to work, however, it’s best to hold back your opinions until you know the whole story.


May 22 - June 21

Your ability to think fast on your feet will come in handy during a social outing this month. Don’t let a surprise throw you off guard. Work will keep you busy during the beginning of the month, so you must focus on the task at hand. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed. A bonus is on the way.


June 22 - July 22

A family situation will put your patience to the test this month. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Stay strong and use your sense of humor to keep loved ones calm. You’ll be riding high when it comes to romance. An evening with a good friend will turn out to be much more.


July 23 - August 23

Your pride may get you into trouble with a co-worker this month. Don’t make the situation worse by trying to take control. In your personal life, romantic efforts will finally pay off. That special someone will show you that he or she really cares. Don’t rush in too fast. Take your time.


August 24 - September 23

You’ll have to fight your fear of crowds this month as a meeting at work puts you in the spotlight. Your organization and perfectionism will pull you through with flying colors — and a lot of praise. Don’t be too hard on yourself after a fight with a loved one.

102 / January 2014


September 24 - October 23

Your ability to be a good listener will be needed this month as a close friend goes through a rough time. Your pleasant nature will help him or her get back on track. Don’t let a quarrel with your special someone drag you down. Your good nature will bring him or her around.


October 24 - November 22

Your determination puts you in line for top honors in the workplace. The higher-ups finally recognize all the time and effort you put in. Don’t be shy when it comes to romance this month. Even though it’s against your nature, let your feelings be known. They’ll be reciprocated.


November 23 - December 21

Your happy, gregarious nature will be challenged this month as loved ones share a family secret. The news may come as a surprise, but don’t let your temper flare. Take it in stride. Your optimism pays off when it comes to romance. That special someone finally will make a move.


December 22 - January 19

Now is your chance to get ahead at work. Your boss offers you the opportunity to take a commanding role and you’re up to the challenge. Don’t let your stubborn side take control when it comes to friends. You’ll have a good time, even though you didn’t make the plans.


January 20 - February 18

Your sense of realism does well for you in all areas of your life this month. You won’t overreact to a surprise at work, making you a pillar of strength for your co-workers. As for your love life, it’s time to take the next step in a relationship. Think about it.


February 19 - March 19

Don’t let feelings of self-doubt keep you from reaching a new level of success. Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything. A realistic look at finances will help you plan for the future. Pay attention to details at work, especially if you deal with numbers. Diet plays a role.

Compete in the Photo Challenge for a chance to win a 50,000 won voucher from Kasan Camera. Go to the Seoul Photo Club’s website for more information:

Sponsor: Kasan Camera (02) 771-5711

Shot on a ginkgo-tree-lined road at Hyeonchung-sa temple in Asan, South Chungcheong Province. Shot info: ISO200, focal length 200mm, aperture value f3.2, shutter speed 1/400s

Winner: Tri Nguyen

This month’s challenge: Autumn


PROMOTIONS Edited by Sean Choi (

James Blake

Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra

James Blake will be performing his first live solo performance in Seoul in two years since Jisan Valley Rock Festival in 2012. On July 19, 2011, Blake was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize 2011 for his self-titled debut album. In 2013, he was nominated again for “Overgrown” and won the award. The judges at the event described his album as “late night music for the digital age. An inventive, poignant and poetic record of great beauty.” He was also nominated for Best New Artist at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing works of Gustav Mahler on Jan. 23 at 8 p.m., at Seoul Arts Center’s Concert Hall. Mahler never lived to finish his most adventurous Symphony No. 10, which bridges the 19th and 20th centuries. Lovingly resurrected from the composer’s sketches by Mahler scholar Deryck Cooke, this epic five-movement score is the summation of Mahler’s creative life. Erich Wolfgang Korngold had a double life writing for Hollywood as well as the concert stage. His Violin Concerto, among the most difficult in the repertoire, did double duty: Composed for the great virtuoso Jascha Heifetz, its music can also be heard in four Hollywood classic films: “Another Dawn,” “Juarez,” “Anthony Adverse” and “The Prince and the Pauper.” Maestro Hans Graf, like Mahler and Korngold, is an Austrian and has led many of the world’s great orchestras. SPO’S Svetlin Roussev is not only regarded as one of the leading concert masters in the world, but also has a distinguished career as a top international soloist. For ticket sales and inquires, call 1588-1210.

First live solo performance in Seoul

Hans Graf ’s Mahler Symphony No. 10

On The Border New Itaewon branch

On The Border’s popular dishes, including sizzling fajitas, guacamole and burritos, are now available for catering and pick-up for birthday parties, family and alumni gatherings, and other events. Also, in celebration of its opening, On The Border’s Itaewon branch will have unlimited enchiladas from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., where your enchiladas will come with your choice of Mexican rice, refried beans or black beans. For more information, call (02) 792-0682~3.

Club Med

2013 Traveler’s Choice

Serafina New York “The Red” promotion

Serafina New York, a casual Italian restaurant, has launched its color-based promotion “The Red” to offer creative Italian cuisine with a touch of Korean spicy sauce such as fusion pasta with gochujang sauce (manzo peperocino), spicy seafood soup pasta (pesce zuppa) and spicy handmade sausage pizza (alla norcina). Starting with The Red, Serafina New York will continue to develop a special themed menu every season with green and white, inspired by the colors of Italy’s national flag. For more information, call (02) 3443-1123.

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Seven of the premium all-inclusive resort Club Med’s worldwide resorts were awarded the 2013 Traveler’s Choice, given by TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel information website. Club Med Kani (4th), Cherating Beach (5th), Bali (8th) and Bintan Island (9th) resorts ranked within the top 10 in the category of All-Inclusive Resorts in Asia. Furthermore, Egypt Sinai Bay (15th), Mexico Ixtapa Pacific (19th) and Turkey Palmiye (20th) resorts ranked within top 25 in the category of All-Inclusive Resorts in the World. Winners were selected from among the most highly rated all-inclusive resorts on TripAdvisor based on the reviews of millions of travelers worldwide. For more information, visit or call (02) 3452-0123.

Park Hyatt Seoul Winter at the Park

Grand Hyatt Seoul

Canadian chef Matthew Stowe of “Top Chef Canada” The Paris Grill at Grand Hyatt Seoul is hosting award-winning Canadian chef Matthew Stowe from Jan. 16 to 25. Stowe will be visiting Korea at the invitation of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Chef Stowe is the winner of the third season of “Top Chef Canada,” one of Canada’s most popular reality TV shows, and will be showcasing his signature interpretations of Canadian recipes at The Paris Grill. Mr. Stowe, who hails from Surrey, British Columbia, fell in love with cooking at the age of 15. After high school, he followed his passion and graduated from New York’s Culinary Institute of America in 2002. After graduation, he honed his craft in the city’s famed French restaurant Lutèce, and then moved up to executive chef of Sonora Resort in BC from 2004 to 2010, playing an integral role in achieving the coveted Relais & Châteaux designation in 2009. That same year, Matthew also wrote his first cookbook, “The Tastes of Sonora Resort,” which highlighted his signature dishes at the coastal resort. He is currently leading the product development team at the Cactus Club Cafe, with a focus on menu development. During the promotion period, Chef Stowe will be revealing the true natural tastes of Canada’s most popular foods including lobster, snow crab, Alberta beef and maple syrup. For further information, please call (02) 799-8161.

Plan a warm, private winter getaway with Park Hyatt Seoul’s “Winter at the Park” package full of luxurious gifts and benefits. The package offers a one-night stay in a luxurious guestroom, buffet-style breakfast for two at Cornerstone (complimentary for up to two children under 13), a bottle of premium red wine and free Internet access in guestrooms and hotel areas as well as free access to the fitness studio, swimming pool and sauna, priced from 425,000 won. For the first 100 guests staying in a Park Suite, the package provides the French premium perfumed candle Cire Trudon, which has the world’s longest candle brand history of almost 400 years, valued at 110,000 won as a special gift in addition to the regular room benefits. If staying in the hotel during weekdays, guests can visit The Timber House on the lower-level floor between 6 and 8 p.m. to enjoy unique buffet-style menus with fresh seasonal sashimi, mini pass-around dishes, a selection of main dishes, and desserts as well as unlimited wines and beer, all offered at 60,000 won per person including tax. For reservations, contact Room Reservations at (02) 2016-1100 or Guest Services at (02) 2016-1234.

Conrad Seoul

Gourmet basket to ring in the new year Conrad Seoul has prepared a selection of five handpicked premium gift sets for the upcoming Lunar New Year holidays. A Premium U.S. Beef Rib Set boasts super-tender USDA prime meats with rich flavors. The Premium Australian Sirloin Set consists of high-grade sirloin from grain-fed cattle raised in optimal conditions in Australia. This beef features superior tenderness, thanks to its abundant marbling, enhancing the flavors of the meat. Aside from these wonderful beef gift sets, there are also two different gourmet hamper sets featuring hard-to-find delicacies, and a premium champagne and wine set handpicked by the Conrad Seoul’s sommelier. The price of the gift sets range from 90,000 won to 290,000 won. Premium Lunar New Year gift sets are available from Jan. 2 to 31 at Pasticceria Deli on the second floor of Conrad Seoul or online. Shipping is free for orders made by Jan. 23 (not available for Jeju, remote islands and mountainous areas). For reservations and inquiries, call (02) 6137-7126.

JW Marriott Hotel Seoul Dream Package

To support babies in need of medical care, JW Marriott Hotel Seoul and the Heart-Heart Welfare Foundation has put together the “Dream Package.” The sales of the package will be donated to families with premature babies lacking the financial means to pay for their treatment. The Dream Package includes one night in a Superior Room; a mini Heart Bear jointly produced by the Heart-Heart Welfare Foundation and a scratch card with a guarantee of winning one of great prizes from hotel accommodation vouchers to buffet meal vouchers and breakfast for two at the hotel buffet restaurant (limited to 100 guests on a first come, first served basis). The package also includes free access to the fitness club, the largest of its kind in Asia, and swimming pool. It is priced at 299,000 won. For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 6282-6282.

Novotel Ambassador Gangnam Sweet Winter Package

Novotel Ambassador Gangnam is presenting its chocolate-rich Sweet Winter Package for 159,000 won until Feb. 28. The package includes a one-night stay in a standard room, free access to the fitness center and pool and two servings of French vanilla affogato, the perfect combination of espresso flavor and sweet vanilla gelato. For an additional 50,000 won, a room is upgraded to a Superior Room and the breakfast buffet at The Square for two will be included. For the first 100 guests making online reservations through Novotel Ambassador Gangnam’s website ( will be offered 40,000 won worth of products from Dermo-Cosmetic brand Ducray as a complimentary gift. For questions and reservations, call Novotel Ambassador Gangnam at (02) 567-1101.

PROMOTIONS Edited by Sean Choi (

Novotel Ambassador Busan

Park Hyatt Busan Lumi Spa’s Winter Skincare

Warm Noodles & Korean Traditional Tea Promotion Park Hyatt Busan’s Lumi Spa has launched a new Terrace café on the lobby of Novotel Ambassador Busan presents a Warm Noodle & Korean Traditional Tea promotion. The warm noodle special consists of Vietnamese rice noodles (beef or seafood), seafood ramen, seafood udong and Sichuan-style fried noodles. Terrace café also presents Korean traditional tea promotion including ginger tea, jujube tea, traditional tea, red ginseng tea and citron tea with delicate fragrance and flavor and perfect for winter dessert. The Korean traditional tea aids blood circulation and keeps the body warm in the winter. The promotion runs to Feb. 28 and is priced from 12,000 won (service charge and tax inclusive). For inquiries and reservations, call (051) 662-6267.

106 / January 2014

luxury facial treatment along with various promotions. Lumi Spa, in partnership with Natura Bissē, offers four new facial treatment programs: Age-Defying Face to prevent signs of aging; The Cure to expertly remove impurities from external environmental pollution and to revitalize stress-worn skin; La Alternativa, a powerful treatment specifically to treat and diminish expression lines and wrinkles with the most serious cosmetic alternative to micro-injections; and the Diamond Experience to provide energy molecules to reactivate cells and repair damaged skin cells, resulting in immediate anti-aging effects. The price starts at 140,000 won (10 percent tax and no service charge). For inquiries and reservations, call (051) 990-1440.

Lotte Hotel Busan Seasonal Delicacy Eyespot Puffer

Momoyama, Lotte Hotel Busan’s authentic Japanese restaurant, serves eyespot puffer until the end of January. Eyespot puffer is known to be effective in preventing adult diseases and detoxing after alcohol consumption. Winter is the best season to try eyespot puffer: As it’s the least poisonous in the season, its texture is the softest. The course menu includes soup and sushi served with seasonal fruits and vegetables, and is priced from 90,000 won. For inquiries and reservations, call Momoyama at (051) 810-6360.

Groove Korea January 2014  

Groove is Korea's English magazine for Insight, Travel, Culture, Dining and Shopping

Groove Korea January 2014  

Groove is Korea's English magazine for Insight, Travel, Culture, Dining and Shopping