While South Korea’s capital city, Seoul, might be a big tourist draw card with plenty of Gangnam Style flair to attract visitors, other parts of the country have had to get more creative when it comes to promoting tourism.
Gangwon Province in the country’s northeast figures nudity might be just the ticket to increasing visitor numbers. It’s planning to open South Korea’s first nude beach in the hopes that tourists will set their sights beyond the capital and venture up north for a bit of skinny dipping.The beach primarily will be aimed at foreigners and may even be open to just overseas visitors initially, as many locals balk at the idea of stripping down at the beach. “Koreans actually love nude beaches when they’re traveling abroad, but the problem with having one within Korea is the fact that Korean society is so interconnected. They won’t be able to comfortably go to a nude beach due to the thought that people they know will find out about it quite easily,” a local reporter told CNN.
Korean tourism officials say they hope to eventually create all sorts of different beaches aimed at families, couples and even pets. They plan to have the first nude beach up and running by 2017.
Warning: this video is graphic and is most likely going to make you lose your appetite — or any desire for a glass of rice wine.
A recent video from VICE documents the making of Korean Children’s Feces Wine which is, alarmingly, a real thing. With real feces. The wine is a traditional treatment that’s nearly obsolete in modern Korean medicine. But VICE found a doctor who still believes in the wine’s health benefits and makes it himself. In order to make the drink, a child’s feces has to be procured through an “open-minded” mother, as the doctor explains in the video.
I can’t help but think about the urine-marinated eggs sold in Dongyang, China; the fact that some people eat foreskin; and all the other gross and weird food from around the world. All of these stories have made me completely against trying any food if I don’t know what’s in it. I had the unfortunate timing of watching this video while eating my lunch. Be sure you don’t repeat my mistake.
If you love maps and data, you should click on over to TwistedSifter.com, which has rounded up 40 maps to give you perspective on the world. See the global distribution of McDonald’s and the rainbow of Antarctica’s time zones. You can marvel at America’s rivers and many researchers, share the love of coffee and beer and sigh at our resistance to the metric system and paid maternity leave. One of the more surprising maps shows the busiest air travel routes of 2012, with the busiest flight path between Seoul and the island of Jeju, the “Hawaii of Korea.” There are no U.S. or European cities on the list, but if you’ve seen enough maps, you’ll have enough perspective to see we’re just a small part of this big globe.
In the caption for this image, Mike describes something he found in his travels, has searched for elsewhere and had limited luck finding.
“Famous in Korea is the fruit called Hallabong. Seemingly a Japanese development called the Dekopan, the Koreans have adopted it and claimed it for themselves … sweet, much sweeter than most citrus, and a truly delicious fruit. I’ve not seen them in Australia yet, but … they can be found in the US.”
Have you ever done that? I did the same thing in the past. Then one day I realized that trying to bring home some of that experience is not nearly as good as being there. That I can only get them there fuels one more reason to return.
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Less than an hour bus ride outside of the nondescript city of Andong in central South Korea, a little village doesn’t just hold onto the past, it embodies it. Hahoe Folk Village (pronounced Hahwe) has been inhabited for well over 600 years, with many artifacts and buildings considered to be Korean national treasures.
Today, it stands as a unique relic for visitors to experience an authentic view into a historic village. If it weren’t for the information center, the surprisingly cheap admission fee and the two guides I saw, Hahoe would seem as if it were just a small village that modernization accidentally passed over.
Surrounded by mountains on all sides, Hahoe keeps hidden from the modern world.
Representative of Joseon Dynasty traditions, locals roam and work in period clothes, transporting water in wooden buckets strapped to their backs and de-wrinkling clothes by banging on them with wooden pins. The number of re-enactors is kept to a modest handful, and they offer stories and information to those that are curious while letting those that just want to silently peek around do so.
Locals walk around in period clothing, blending in with their historic surroundings.
At Hahoe, you’re mostly left to explore on your own through the alleys and farms, on the riverbank and into many of the homes and unattended museums. It’s an experience best taken at one’s own pace.
Views from the top of the cliff showcase the river that snakes around Hahoe.
The Nakdong River snakes almost completely around the village, creating beautiful sandy banks that were no doubt an amazing place to cool off. The striking cliff that rises over the river, referred to as Buyongdae, offers fantastic views of the village from above.
Hahoe is famous within Korea for its expressive masks associated with ancient shaman rituals.
Many of the historical homes in the area, most of which are hundreds of years old, are available to the public to spend the night in. Disconnect yourself from modern society and go back to simpler living as the rooms often push the term “basic accommodation” to its limits. They are often just a 7-foot square with a fan, light, traditional futon-style bedding and an electrical outlet.
Many of the historic homes function as guesthouses, offering authentic rustic experiences.
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