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Category: Korean Culture



This post is contributed by It’s a website where you can find guides for the best places to go or lists on the most interesting foods to eat in South Korea. It provides insight into what life is like there for locals and expats alike!

South Korea has a long dated history, through the passing of the years, some of its oldest traditions are still being passed to younger generations. One of them is their drinking culture. South Koreans are one of the biggest consumers of alcohol in the world.
Drinking CultureHowever, contrary to popular belief, Koreans don’t drink to the sole purpose of getting drunk. Getting together for a drink is to build up relationship with our peers, whether that may be our friends or our colleges at work.

Koreans drink to set the mood, rather that only consume alcohol. A drink can stimulate the appetite, perk up the atmosphere and keep the conversation going.

During drinking sessions Koreans have a variety of alcoholic drinks; normally during after-work get-togethers beer used to be consumed, but in recent years Soju’s consumptions has been overshadowing beer’s consumption with more people, ordering Soju’s newest alternatives: “Flavored Soju”.


Since the olden days the younger seek to learn good manners from their elders, to this day, South Korea keeps the drinking protocol as one of the most treasured traditions.

Drinking Culture Drinking Culture Drinking Culture
Drinking Culture Drinking Culture Drinking Culture
Don’t drink alone, the whole point on drinking in group is bond with each other. Don’t fill your own drink, it’s impolite. Let others fill your glass, hold your glass with two hands.
Drinking Culture
 Drinking Culture
 If you see someone’s glass empty, offer to fill it up, it’s good etiquette to hold the bottle with two hands, or with one hand resting on your elbow.
Drinking Culture
 Drinking Culture
 If you are drinking with superiors (in age or position) turn away your head away as you drink.
Drinking Culture
 Drinking Culture
 Drink responsibly! Remember it is not about getting drunk, don’t make it uncomfortable to others and save the embarrassing moment of having to explain yourself next day.

Drinking Culture

When consuming alcohol with South Koreans it isn’t about how much you can drink, like said before;

“People are drinking to enjoy relationships and hobby activities rather than for the drink itself”

                                                                                                                                                                          – HA JONG-EUN

President of the Korean Alcohol Research Foundation


There is also a saying that goes:


One glass is not enough,

Three is still lacking,

Five is just right,

Seven is over drinking.

So try not to overthink it and just enjoy it.

Bear in mind that even though you have every right to say no, South Korean can be pushy when it comes to drink so be prepared for your refusal to drink be refused. Because drinking is to strengthen the bond between your peers, if you refuse without giving a good reason it can be taken as you don’t want to be part of it.

These are some of the most acceptable excuses for not drinking, most South Koreans won’t insist after you’ve given a “good” reason as of why you can’t drink.

Drinking CultureYou are pregnant Drinking CultureYou are the designated driver. Drinking CultureYou are taking medication.
Drinking CultureYou can’t drink because of your religion. Drinking CultureYou have alcohol allergies.
Personalities by Blood Type In Korea

Personalities by Blood Type In Korea


Referred as ‘farmers’ in some descriptions, Type A’s are said to be considerate of others and loyal to a fault.

They can also be secretive and reluctant to share their feelings.

Apparently they don’t hold their liquor well, either.

Referred to as ‘hunters’, Type B’s have very independent natures and tend not to be concerned about what other people think of them.

Although often described as shallow and lazy, they can be quite passionate about the things they hold dear.

Patience is not their strong suit either.
Type B men have acquired a very negative reputation in Korea and are not considered by many to be good husband material.

Often described as ‘players’, they are perceived as being selfish and mercurial, quick to anger and not terribly reliable.

That said, their bad boy image makes them very attractive to women, but not for the long term. (Type B women do not share in this bad rep, for some unexplained reason).

Referred to as ‘humanists’, Type AB’s are said to be controlled more by their heads, than by their hearts.

They are rational, good with money, but unpredictable.

Although inclined to be distant, they prefer harmony and as such, work well with mediators.

Some consider them two-faced, and therefore untrustworthy.

Referred to as ‘warriors’, Type O’s are viewed as natural leaders and are often, also, natural athletes.

They tend to be outgoing, expressive and passionate, but can also bore others to death with their obsessive drive for success coupled with their absolute convictions that they are winners.

This certainty that they will always win explains why they aren’t afraid to take risks or gamble.

They have a strong physical presence and are unlikely to ever be overlooked.

Dangerously Addictive Korean Snacks You Must Try!

Dangerously Addictive Korean Snacks You Must Try!

1.Shindangdong Tteokbokki



Delicious tteokbokki in chip form? Who woulda thunk.

But it somehow works. The chips are a bit on the sweeter side, so don’t worry about not being able to handle too much spiciness!

2. Goguma Kkang


Sweet potato chips — these were cool before sweet potato fries became mainstream.

An old-school option that will never go out of style.

3. Honey Tong Tong


Conan O’Brien himself named this his favorite snack during this visit to South Korea.

Honey Tong Tongs are one of the better snacks to come out of the honey butter craze, and like most of the others, these are tough to find right now.

4. Shikhye


Shikhye is one of the most beloved and delicious drinks for Koreans.

Its malty sweetness, especially when chilled, is nothing short of perfect — even with the rice bits.

We understand that the rice bits may have thrown some people off, but it’s what makes shikhye so distinguishable. We’d encourage you to give it a second chance — especially if you’re able to try homemade shikhye! Homemade is always better.

5. Ojingeo TangKong (Spicy)


Squid peanut balls. There is nothing like this combination in the world, but it works!

At least, it worked for many SnackFever family members.

But for many others, it may have been too out there.

This is one of the most popular Korean snacks at the moment, so it’s another must-try!

6.Korean Sweet Cakes (chapsal yakgwa)

Yakgwa is a very traditional Korean cake made mainly from honey, sesame oil, and wheat flour. These taste a bit like donuts, so obviously they’re delicious.

What it tastes like: Glazed donuts.

7.Traditional Korean Crackers With Laver Flavor


Although these guys are labeled as crackers, they’re actually more sweet than savory.

They contain “laver” (aka seaweed) which gives a natural salty hint to each cracker and also a very unique flavor.

What it tastes like: Fortune cookies laced with seaweed.

8. Market O brownie


You’ll see these chocolatey slices of Heaven in almost every Korean super mart. I’ve personally tried this when I was in Korea, and I was so pleasantly surprised by its rich chocolate taste!

9.Honey butter chips 

images (4) o-POTATO-CHIP-facebook

The Honey Butter trend needs no introduction. This legendary snack first brought in by Calbee was so popular that snack junkies resorted to buy this from the black market! Even K-Pop stars like Hyomin from T-ara swear by this popular snack! Catching on the demand, there are now several types of Honey butter chips offered by various brands in Korea.



Next to B-B-Big, Melona is undoubtedly one of Korea’s most classic ice pops. Launched in 1992, this creamsicle dessert is famous for its pale green color and milky sweet melon taste. For those of you who prefer different flavors, Melona is now also sold in strawberry, mango, banana, and plain milk. Or if you need more melon flavor, you can bring it up a thousand notches with Melona bingsoo. That’s melon balls, melon ice cream, and Melona bars all stuffed into a hollowed-out melon gourd.



Koreans love fish, and they love fish-shaped sweets! One of the most famous Korean desserts is bungeobbang, which is a sweet red bean pastry prepared with a waffle mold shaped like a fish. (It’s similar, if not identical, to the Japanese dessert called taiyaki.) Samanco is essentially next level bungeobbang. The familiar fish-shaped waffle is stuffed with vanilla ice cream and a thin layer of red bean paste. The result is a portable ice cream sandwich that’s satisfying without being too intensely sweet. And don’t worry, it’s not fish-flavored in the least!


Inside North Korea’s secret gulags :inside North Korea

Inside North Korea’s secret gulags :inside North Korea

Chilling testimony from a former guard at one of North Korea’s notorious prison camps has revealed the shocking cruelties and deprivation the inmates face.

The man, known only as ‘Lee’ to prevent reprisals against his family, was a guard at Prison camp No16, also known as Hwasong camp, where 20,000 political prisoners live.

Thousands have died or disappeared after being sent to the 200-square mill hellhole.

Lee watched one man get murdered by two soldiers. The prisoner was first questioned by a man at a desk and then ordered to leave through a door at the back of the room.


Brutal: Life in the totalitarian North Korean camps has been laid bare by a former guard (not pictured)

Behind the door was a pair of men, one of whom had a rubber cord. One wrapped it around the prisoner’s neck while the other tightened it.

He told The People: ‘I can still see his face. I’ll remember it until I die.’


Hell on Earth: Former prison guards have spoken of horrifying scenes at camps like this one


The complex covers 200 square miles and is home to 20,000 prisoners

Behind the door was a pair of men, one of whom had a rubber cord. One wrapped it around the prisoner’s neck while the other tightened it.

He told The People: ‘I can still see his face. I’ll remember it until I die.’

The prisoner’s body was then thrown into a hole at the back of the room – joining many other corpses in there.

Some of the prisoners were high-ranking politicians who had displeased North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un and sent to the camps, along with their families.

‘They would be stripped of their possessions and then split up. They would never see each other again.’


Menacing: North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un should face international justice for a catalogue of appalling crimes against humanity, UN investigators have. Above, a woman soldier at a camp in North Korea


U.N. investigators have warned North Korean security chiefs and possibly even Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un should face international justice for ordering systematic torture, starvation and mass killings


It has emerged that North Korean prison guards use inmates as punchbags. Pictured is a North Korean soldier kicking a pole along the bank of Yalu River near Sinuiju

Another grisly execution method Lee heard about was prisoners being forced to dig holes in a field. They were then told to stand on the edge before being hit on the back of a head with a hammer.

Guards bragged to each other about the sadistic ways they had dispatched their terrified and helpless victims.

Prisoners had to walk seven miles to work in -25C conditions. Starvation was rife and the prisoners were often worked to death. Many ate grass, rats, snakes and even ants in a desperate bid to stay alive.

He says he never joined in with torture or murder, but admits he didn’t feel guilty because of the extensive brainwashing personnel underwent.


Horrendous: This drawing by a former North Korean prison guard of torture at a camp is describing a position called ‘pigeon torture’. where ‘prisoners are reportedly beaten on the chest until they vomit blood’


Everyday torture: One of the drawings by the guards, simply titled ‘Detention centre’ seems to depict a guard forcing a prisoner into a small opening in a wall


‘Scale, airplane, motorcycle.’ Survivors told the U.N. that they had to stay in stress positions until the collapsed

About 2 years ago, the United Nations published a 374-page report on the atrocities to which the people of North Korea are subjected under the despotic regime of Kim Jong-Un.

Startling testimonies from those who have escaped the totalitarian regime laid bare the extent of human rights abuses in the country.

Those who compiled the report describe North Korea as a ‘shock to the conscience of humanity’ and a place ‘that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world’.

Their report states: ‘In the political prison camps of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the inmate population has been gradually eliminated through deliberate starvation, forced labour, executions, torture, rape and . . . forced abortion and infanticide.’

In an unprecedented step, the head of the investigating panel, retired Australian judge Michael Kirby, has written to the North Korean dictator, warning him that he and his senior officials could one day face being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for their crimes against humanity.

This drawing depicts prisoners foraging among live wild animals. In the Korean description: ‘out of starvation and hunger, find snakes and rats and you eat them’


Drawings of corpses being left in the gulag: ‘The mice eat the eyes, nose, ears, and toes of the corpses’

Since 1948, the country has been ruled by the Kim family. When Kim Il-Sung took power he subjected North Korea to his own brand of hardline Communism combined with the most extreme personality cult.

His son, Kim Jong-Il and grandson Kim Jong-Un have maintained the regime.

The result has been decades of famine, poverty and state-sponsored brutality.

The people have been brainwashed to worship their ‘Dear Leader’ despite the physical privations and mental tortures they have suffered.

08 Dec 2013, Sinuiju, North Korea --- North Korean soldiers stand guard along the banks of Yalu River near the North Korean town of Sinuiju, opposite the Chinese border city of Dandong, December 8, 2013. REUTERS/Jacky Chen (NORTH KOREA - Tags: MILITARY) --- Image by © JACKY CHEN/Reuters/Corbis

Labour: One former prisoner says pregnant women were forced to do strenuous labour to force miscarriages


A satellite view of Political Prison Camp 15 in Yodok, North Korea. It is believed the prison camp is growing


HAENGYONG, NORTH KOREA-MAY 21, 2002: This is a true color satellite image of a camp in Haengyong, North Korea. (Photo DigitalGlobe via Getty Images)

A satellite image of a camp in Haengyong, North Korea. A UN report into the prison camps contains harrowing testimony from former inmates

The report makes for gruesome reading. It is particularly chilling to note that even the slightest of infringements can see a person locked up for decades.

One man was sent to prison for absent-mindedly using a newspaper printed with a photograph of Kim Jong-Il to mop up a spilled drink.

According to another of the 80 witnesses who testified to the UN, a member of a hospital staff was investigated by State Security for accidentally breaking a portrait of Kim Il-sung while she was cleaning it.


source: dailymail

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100 Years Ago In Korea And Now

100 Years Ago In Korea And Now

A picture is worth a thousand words.

That’s certainly the case with the following collection of stunning photographs taken in Korea between 1890 and 1903 by visiting foreigners.

The diverse, everyday scenes they depict shed light on the lifestyles of people at the time.

Interestingly, this pictorial set was circulated around the Internet in Thailand, where people were surprised to see such vast differences in lifestyle as compared to the lives of South Koreans portrayed in modern-day K-dramas.

Let’s begin with a little history review.

The Joseon Era of Korean history spanned from 1392-1897.

It was the last dynasty in Korean history, as well as the longest-ruling Confucian dynasty.

Besides several foreign invasions from neighboring countries, the era was marked by a number of significant cultural achievements, including the relocation of the capital to what is now modern-day Seoul, the construction of Gyeongbok Palace in 1395 (the greatest of the “Five Grand Palaces” built at the time), and the promulgation of the hangul writing system by King Sejong in 1446, possibly the world’s most rational alphabet (and for which there is a national holiday to celebrate on October 9 of every year in South Korea).

The Joseon Era was followed by the short-lived Korean Empire in 1897, which saw the modernization of several domestic industries. After that, you may then recall from your high school history class that Korea became a protectorate of Japan and was formally annexed in 1910.

▼Korean women going out (1904)


▼ Smoking, gambling, and gossiping


▼ The family of a high official

3 (1)

▼ A shortcut to Seoul

4 (1)

▼ Children climbing on the city wall

5 (1)

▼ A bustling alleyway in Pyongyang


▼ A path in Seoul


▼ Grinding beans (Seoul)


▼ Dining at a cheap eatery (Seoul)


▼ Selling chickens (Seoul)


▼ Carrying charcoal (Seoul)


▼ The Han River near the present-day Yongsan District of Seoul

12 (1)

▼ On a road in Seoul


▼ Elderly teacher smoking a long pipe at school (Seoul)


▼ Fishermen on the outskirts of Seoul


▼ Blacksmith working on a horse (Seoul)


▼ Koreans under a large Japanese national flag; note the smaller Korean flag next to it


▼ People erecting something (?)


▼ Officials of the Imperial Department of Communications, Seoul, 1903


▼ Three men in front of a Buddhist temple


▼ Koreans praying to some statues


▼ Two happy men sifting grains on a road in Incheon


▼ A lady of high stature


▼ An elderly man with a pack, 1899 or 1900


▼ A boys school in Seoul, 1903


▼ A married couple visiting relatives, 1903

▼ A minister of the army with his son and grandchildren


▼ Min Yun Huan, the Chief Commander of the Korean army, Seoul, 1900


▼ A wedding ceremony (Seoul)



▼ Men carrying lots of luggage on a mountain near Seoul


▼ Seoul’s “first-class transportation system”


▼ An upper-class girl being transported in a wooden litter (Seoul)


▼ A happy-looking grandmother and children (Seoul)


▼ A popular cheap restaurant (Seoul)


▼ Seduced by the Gisaeng


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10 Korean Beauty Vloggers You Need To Follow!

10 Korean Beauty Vloggers You Need To Follow!

Korean beauty( or K-beauty ) is getting major buzz these days.

There are a lot of popular Korean beauty vloggers.

We’ve chosen 10 beauty stars in Korea that you need to follow.

1) Pony

Pony is an internationally renowned makeup artist and K-beauty vlogger, with published makeup books in Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, China, and Japan, and a current stint as CL’s makeup artist.

She also has her own product line, Pony Effect, designed to help beginners get glammed up.

Despite her busy schedule, Pony still makes time to create makeup tutorials for every season and occasion.

2) Yeon Du Kong 

Given her cute looks, Yeon Du Kong is dubbed as “the busy girl’s best friend,” as her videos consist of easy-to-follow makeup tutorials designed for the woman on-the-go.

She also had a collaboration with Memebox for a collection of contour and blush sticks.

Aside from her easy makeup tutorials, she also shares her skincare routine, outfit tips, product reviews, and some of her daily adventures from time to time.

3) Sunny’s Channel

Sunny is a New York-based K-beauty vlogger who, thankfully, is both fluent in Korean and English.

She likes to recreate looks from girl group MVs such asEXID’s Hani and Girl’s Day’s Hyeri.

Aside from her makeup tutorials, Sunny also does makeup reviews and shares some glimpses from her daily life, also known as “Sunny’s no jam vlogs.”

4) Calary Girl

Ranging from everyday makeup looks to fantasy inspired makeup, Calary Girl covers them all.

She also does product reviews for makeup and hair, some nail art tutorials in between, and some snippets of her daily life as well.

5) Daddoa

Lee Da Sol, known on YouTube as Daddoa, is a lover of makeup, fashion, and travel.

Daddoa’s tutorials are composed of conservative makeup looks that women can wear for every season and occasion.

She also shares her skin and hair care tips as well as her travel experiences on her channel.

6) So Young’s Beauty Room

Compared to the others on the list, So Young seems a little more mature.

She has frequent collaborations with international makeup brands, but she easily integrates these products into her Korean beauty looks.

7) Dayeong’s Beauty Drawing

Dayeong has beautiful cat-like eyes which she utilizes to her advantage in her tutorials.

Her commentary is honest and witty. Don’t worry, there are English subtitles, so you won’t miss out.

With looks that stand out from the crowd, how can you not notice her?

8) Ssin

The queen of makeup-tainment and massive transformations, Ssin is one K-beauty vlogger you wouldn’t want to miss! Her makeup tutorials are so diverse — spanning from movie characters like Elsa from “Frozen,” “Maleficent,” top Korean actresses, idol girl groups, and even boy groups — Ssin can do it all! She also co-hosts OnStyle’s “Pretty Avengers” with Lamuqe, so be sure to watch for her lovable makeup antics.

9) Lamuqe

 Lamuqe, one of the hosts of OnStyle’s “Pretty Avengers,” is a certified Beauty Creator

(a popular term for K-beauty vloggers on SNS) who enjoys exploring new makeup and hair trends.

Aside from re-creating looks from our favorite K-pop idols, Lamuqe also shares her personal life on YouTube,

such as her outfit ideas, skin care essentials, and product reviews. Her advice for her followers:

“Be More Beautiful Tomorrow Than Today!”

10) Kwaktori 

As her bio, “Makeup that you don’t find anywhere,” says,

Kwaktori loves to recreate unique looks inspired from Japanese anime, doll makeup, and various makeup trends.

She also has videos on current outfit trends, her recent cosmetic hauls, and occasional videos of experiences and adventures with her boyfriend, who happens to be a hair designer and stylist — that’s why Kwaktori’s hair is always changing and on point!

++ MoonGoon

Moongoon has only a few English subtitles on his videos.

He has many reviews on travel, cosmetics, foods and more.

One of the most famous male beauty vloggers in Korea!


6 Popular Korean Folktales

6 Popular Korean Folktales

Do you know some Korean folktales?

Here are 6 interesting ones! These are the most popular folktales among Koreans.

Let’s get to know about Korea while reading them.

1. Two Brothers 형님 먼저 아우 먼저


A long time ago, there lived two brothers whose loving ways were the talk of the valley where they lived.

They took care of their widowed mother and upon her death they divided everything evenly.

Together they worked diligently from sunup to sundown to produce the most they could from their fields.

It never failed that come autumn they had the largest harvest in the valley.

One late autumn evening, after they had spent the afternoon sacking and dividing the last of the rice harvest, the older brother thought,

“Brother has lots of expenses since he just got married a few months ago. I think l wiIl put a sack of rice in his storehouse and not tell him. I’m sure he would never accept it if I offered it to him.”

So, late that night, he carried it to his brother’s storeroom.

The next day, while tidying up his own storage, the older brother was surprised to find he still had the same number of sacks of rice as he had before taking one to his brother.

“That’s odd,” he said, shaking his head, “I’m sure I took a sack of rice to Brother’s house last night.” He counted his sacks again.

“Well,” he was scratching the back of his head, “I’ll just take him another one tonight.”

So, late that night. he carried a sack of rice to his brother’s house.

The next morning, he was again shocked to find he had the same number of sacks as before.

He shook his head over and over and decided he would take his brother another sack that night.

After a late dinner he loaded the rice and set out for his brother’s house.

It was a full moon and he could see the path quite clearly.

Soon he saw a man carrying something bulky coming down the path.

“Why, Brother!” they both called out at the same time.

The two brothers put down their sacks and laughed long and hearty for they both understood the mystery behind their unchanging number of sacks of rice.

The younger brother thought his older brother could use the rice because he had a larger family.


2. The Disobedient Frog 청개구리 이야기

A young frog lived with his widowed mother in a large pond. A rascal and a trouble maker, he never listened to his mother and caused her much grief and embarrassment.

If his mother said go play on the hillside, he went to the seashore. If she said go to the upper neighborhood, he went to the lower. If she said do this, he did that. Whatever she said, he did the opposite.

“What am l going to do with that boy?” she mumbled to herself. “Why can’t he be like the other boys? They always listen and do what they are told. And they’re always kind and respectful. I don’t know what will become of him if he keeps behaving like this. I have to do something to break him of his bad habits.” Mother Frog sighed deeply.

“Ha! Ha! Ha!” Little frog laughed. “Hush all that mumbling. You don’t have to worry about me. I’m doing fine just the way l am.”

“Is that so?” said Mother Frog. “Then why can’t you croak properly? You don’t even sound like a frog. Let me teach you.” With a smile, she puffed herself up and let out a loud Kaegul! Kaegul! “Now you try.”

Grinning broadly, Little Frog puffed himself up and let out a loud Kulgae! Kulgae!

“Why you impudent little rascal! You’re going to be the death of me!” cried Mother Frog. “You’ll Iisten to me if you know what’s good for you. Now you…”

Kulgae! Kulgae!” croaked Little Frog, hopping away.

Day after day Mother Frog scolded her young son but he continued to do as he wished and just the opposite of what she said. She fretted and worried so much about him that she became ill. Still he continued to misbehave.

One day she called him to her bedside. “My son,” she said, “I don’t think I will live much longer. When I die, please don’t bury me on the mountain, bury me beside the stream.” She said this because she knew he would do the opposite of what she said.

A few days later Mother Frog died. Little Frog cried and cried. “Oh my poor mother! I worried her so much by misbehaving. Why didn’t I listen to her?” he scolded himself. “Now she’s gone. I killed her. I kiIled her.”

Little Frog thought about his mother and all the trouble he had caused her. Then he told himself, “I always did the opposite of what Mother said because it was fun. But this time l will do exactly what she told me to do.”

So Little Frog buried his mother beside the stream, even tough he did not think it was very wise.

A few weeks later there was a storm. It rained so much the stream overflowed its banks. Little Frog could not sleep for worrying that his mother’s grave would be washed away. At last he went to the grave to keep watch.

In the pouring rain he sat, crying over and over, “Kaegul! Kaegul! Please don’t wash my mother away!” And that is what he did every time it rained.

And ever since then, green frogs have cried Kaegul! Kaegul! when it rains.



3. The Sun And The Moon 햇님 달님


Once upon a time, there lived a poor woman with her son and daughter. She did chores for other families for a living. One day, she went to work for a rich man’s party and got some rice cakes there.

“My children must be hungry,” said the woman hurrying home.

On the way home, she met a big tiger. “Give me a piece of rice cake. Then I will not eat you,” said the tiger. The woman gave a piece of rice cake to the tiger. But the tiger kept following the woman.

“Give me a piece of rice cake. Then I will not eat you,” repeated the tiger. The woman gave another piece of rice cake to the tiger. The tiger kept asking her for more rice cakes. She gave away all the rice cakes to the tiger. Now she had no more rice cake. So the tiger ate her.

Now the tiger put on her clothes and went to her house. He pretended to be the children’s mom. “Open the door, dear,” said the tiger.

“You are not my mom. Your voice is too hoarse. Her voice is soft,” said the brother.

“Oh, is it? Hmm, I have a cold.”

“Then, show me your hands,” said the sister.

The tiger showed his hands to them.

“Your hands are too hairy and dark. Her hands are white,” said the brother.

The tiger covered his hands with flour. And he showed his white hands to the children. Then the children opened the door. The tiger entered the house saying “I will make dinner. Wait here.”

Then, the brother saw the tiger’s tail.

“It’s not Mom. It’s a tiger,” said the brother.

“What should we do?” said the sister.

“We have to run away from here,” said the brother.

The children ran out of the house and climbed up a tree near the well. The tiger looked for them here and there. Then, he saw the children’s face reflected on the water inside the well.

“Oh, you are in the well. I will scoop you up with this bowl,” said the tiger.

The sister in the tree laughed at the tiger. “Oh, you are in the tree.”

The tiger tried to climb up the tree but he could not do it.

“How did you climb up the tree?” said the tiger.

“We used oil,” lied the brother.

The tiger rubbed some oil on his hands. And he tried to climb up the tree. But he only slid down. Laughing at the tiger, the sister told the secret of how to climb up.

“You could use an ax,” said the sister. Then the tiger made small cuts on the tree with an ax. Then, he could climb up the tree.

The children were frightened so they prayed to God. “If you want us to live, please hand down a rope,” pleaded the children as they looked up towards God.

Then a rope came down from the sky. The children held onto it and went up to the sky.

The tiger could not catch the children. The tiger prayed to God, too.

“If you want me to catch them, please hand down a rope.”

Then another rope came down from the sky. The tiger held onto it and went up to the sky. But the rope was rotten. The tiger fell down.

The children went up to the sky.

The brother became the sun and the sister became the moon.

“I am scared of the night,” said the sister.

“I will be the moon for you instead,” said the brother.

So the brother became the moon. And the sister became the sun.


4. The Silver AX and The Gold AX 금도끼 은도끼


A long time ago, a magician lived in the lake. One evening, when the woodman cut down a tree with an iron ax, he dropped the iron ax in the lake, so he cried because he didn’t have another ax or enough money to buy one. He cried nearby the lake. Just at that time, the magician appeared there, and said, “Why are you crying?”

The woodman said, “I dropped my iron ax in the lake”, and then the magician disappeared into the lake.

Afterwards he appeared standing on the lake with a silver ax and he asked, “Is this yours?”
The woodman answered, “It’s not mine”, so the magician again went into the lake and then appeared in front of the woodman with a gold ax. But this gold ax was not his, so the magician went into the lake and appeared with his ax. Only then the man said, “It’s mine”.
The magician said, “You didn’t lie so I’ll give you all three axes, your ax and the gold and silver axes. Afterwards, the man sold his axes for a lot of money; so then he became a rich person.

Another woodman heard this story. So this woodman went there and intentionally dropped his iron ax and then he pretended to cry, so the magician also appeared in front of his eyes, and he asked, “Why are you crying?”
He answered, “I lost my ax.” The magician went into the lake after the conversation and appeared with a gold ax.
He asked, “Is this yours?”

He answered, “Yes”, so the magician disappeared at once. The man had nothing, not even his ax.

5. Blind Man’s Daughter 심청전


Many years ago there lived a poor blind man called Shim. He and his wife were childless, and never a day went past when the couple did not pray to the spirits for the blessing of a child. It was only after many years that their prayers were granted, and Shim’s wife gave birth to a beautiful daughter whom they named Shimchong. But sadly, the mother died soon after giving birth, and poor blind Shim was left to bring up the child alone, as best he could.

The years went by, and Shimchong grew into a beautiful young woman, devoted to her father.

One day, Old man Shim was walking out alone when he fell into a deep ditch that brought water to the fields. Every time he tried to scramble out, he slid back again into the mud. He had started to think that he would die in that ditch, and he was bemoaning his fate when he heard a voice speak to him from above.

“Old man,” said the voice, “We have heard you complain many times about your blindness. If you will give 300 sacks of rice to the temple as an offering to Lord Buddha, then we monks will pray for you to be able to see once again.”

The old man cried out, “Good monks! Only save me now and return me safely to my daughter, and I will gladly offer you whatever you ask to give to Lord Buddha!”

No sooner had he spoken, than he felt gentle but firm hands lift him up and out of the ditch – to the blind old man it seemed that those hands had reached down from heaven itself. Shim was so grateful for his rescue that he thanked the monks again and again, and swore that he would bring the 300 sacks of rice to the temple.
It was not until later, when he was already home and dry, that he realised that he had no chance of keeping his promise to the monks.

“Oh Shimchong,” he said to his daughter, “What shall I do? We are so poor that I could not offer three bowls of rice, let alone 300 sacks. Now what a terrible fate will befall us? I have offended Lord Buddha himself!”

Father and daughter both began to weep, for neither of them could think of any way to pay their debt to the temple. That night, as Shimchong lay awake, unable to sleep, her mother appeared to her and said, “Go down to the harbour tomorrow. There you will find a merchant looking for a young girl. Go with him, and he will provide the 300 sacks of rice.”

It so happened that the Dragon King of the East Sea was angry with a rich merchant, and he had sent storms to sink the merchant’s ships on the way to China. After losing ship after ship in this way, the merchant had consulted the high priest of the Dragon King’s temple, who told the merchant that he must take a beautiful young maiden out to sea and sacrifice her to the Dragon King.

The merchant offered a great quantity of gold to any family that would give up their daughter to the Dragon King of the East Sea – but none would enter into such a terrible deal. Then Shimchong appeared at the harbour, and she went to the merchant and offered herself in return for 300 sacks of rice to be sent to her father. The merchant could not believe his luck. 300 sacks of rice was nothing to him – a low price indeed!

Although the merchant sent 300 sacks of rice to the temple, and the monks did indeed pray for the return old man Shim’s sight, nothing happened. Now not only was he poor and blind, but he had lost his daughter too – he was utterly alone.

Shimchong boarded the merchant’s ship, and the ship put out to sea. At first the waters were calm, but then the Dragon King began to thrash his tail and the waves started to toss the ship to-and-fro.

The merchant told Shimchong to put on her brightly coloured wedding dress, and then he brought her out of the hold and up onto the deck. Shimchong quietly said a prayer, and then leaped over the side of the ship and into the waves. As soon as she had disappeared the violent sea grew calm again. The sailors wept because they had never seen a girl at once so beautiful and so brave.

Shimchong sank deeper and deeper into the icy cold sea. When she opened her eyes, she was surrounded by bright fish of every colour and shape, and they lead her to the palace of the Dragon King of the East Sea. There she lived, happily at first, but it was not long before she began to miss her father deeply, and she began to look sad, and sometimes there were tears in her eyes.

At last, the Dragon King could no longer bear to see the lovely girl looking so sad. Her devotion to her father touched his heart, and as a reward for her goodness, he sent her back to the world above, only first he transformed her into a lotus flower.

A fisherman found the giant lotus blossom in the mouth of a river, and he was so overcome by its beauty, that he decided to make it a gift to the king of the land above. His queen had recently died, and he was in deep mourning. When he saw the flower, his eyes lit up in wonder. He thanked the fisherman with gold, and set the flower up in his room, and every time he felt sad, he stood and looked at it, admiring its beauty.

What he did not know was that each night, when the palace was asleep, Shimchong would come out of the blossom and walk through the many beautiful chambers and halls, and at first light, she would merge back into the flower.

One night, the king could not sleep so he got out of bed and drew the blinds to let the moonlight into his room. He turned around and was amazed to see the most beautiful woman he had ever beheld.

“Who are you?” He asked, “Are you a spirit?”

The girl tried to merge back into the lotus blossom, but it had vanished. She could not say who she was, for surely the king would not believe her story. The king could not help but fall in love with her, and she was moved that so powerful a man could be so gentle and so sincere.

Not long after, they were married, and on their wedding day he said to her, “My blossom. Now you are my Queen. Anything you wish, I shall grant. All you have to do is tell me your desire.”

Shimchong replied, “There is only one thing I wish for. Let there be a great banquet to celebrate our marriage, and may all the blind men of the kingdom be invited to dine with us.”

His bride’s wish was strange and unexpected, but the king gladly granted it. They held a banquet, and blind beggar men came from all four corners of the land to feast at the table of the king. The new queen watched from behind the silk curtains, hoping to catch sight of her father. Though hundreds and hundreds of blind men came into the banqueting hall – not one was her father.

The queen had given up all hope of seeing him. “He must have died of grief when I went away,” she thought sadly to herself. But one of the king’s kindest and most faithful stewards called out, “Do not close the doors for there is one more beggar for the banquet.”

An old man entered the hall, and leaned on one shoulder of the steward. His clothes were ragged, he was covered with dust from the journey, and he was so weak he could hardly walk.

Shimchong came out from behind the curtain and held his hand. “Father,” she said, “It is I.”

When the old man heard that familiar and much loved voice of his daughter, he opened his eyes and could see.

And that was the story of the Blind Man’s Daughter.



Once upon a time, an honest woodcutter lived in the mountain.  He lived alone; in addition, he was too old to marry.  

He always cut wood.  He was diligent, honest, and kind, and he had a warm heart.  

He always wanted to get married.

One day, he went to the mountain to cut the wood and suddenly, a deer appeared in front of him.  

And the deer asked, “Please help me, please, hide me.  A hunter is following me.  Please. help me!”  so he hid the deer.  

The hunter came to the woodcutter.  The hunter asked about the deer.  

He answered,  “I don’t know about a deer, I didn’t see it.”  The hunter went back.  The deer could talk.  

The deer said, “Thank you very much.  Please, tell me your hope.  I can help you.”  The woodcutter answered, “I’d like to marry with someone.”  The deer said, “There’s a pond up the mountain; on the 15th midnight, an angel comes down and takes a shower.  

At that time, you can conceal her clothes but you don’t have to return her clothes until you get three babies.”  He promised.

On the 15th midnight, he went to the mysterious pond, and he took the angel’s clothes.  

So the angel couldn’t fly back to the sky.  He concealed her clothes.  After that, they got married, and lived happily.

Korean Drinking Games That You Can Play With Your Friends.

Korean Drinking Games That You Can Play With Your Friends.

Playing games while drinking is an important and vital ingredient to your success in adapting to Korean culture.

Usually, you need four or more people to play these games, and there is a Penalty Drink that is made before the start of the game.

Don’t worry if you keep losing!

You can always ask for the “Black Knight” if you want someone else to take the penalty for you.

But remember, calling out for a knight comes with consequences, one that totally depends on the person you pick.

How black knight works [흑기사]: You pick a person to take the penalty for you (usually they accept), and you must return a favor of their choice.

If you’re unlucky, they might reject your call, which means you need to drink twice the amount of your original penalty drink.

**all the games are based on non-alcoholic drinking games.

 Let’s Begin!


You can play this game with two people but you could even modify it and play with more. Each hand is either a closed fist for zero or open for five. So the options with two people are 0, 5, 15, or 20. Both of the players shout out the number they think will be up. So, if I say 5 and my friend has two fists and I have one fist and one open hand I win and he drinks. If we are both wrong, both drink. If we’re both right, no one drinks.


Put everyone into a big circle. The person who begins counts to three, but instead of saying three he can say any number between two and twenty. When the first person says “three” everyone in the circle should fire their “gun” at someone else in the circle. Then the first person who said “three” starts the count from one, following his gun to the second person who says two, who follows his gun to the third person who says three continuing in this fashion until the number the first person said is reached. Whoever is that person must drink.



This game comes with the bottle of soju! Take the cap. Twist the end part of the cap so that it sticks straight out. Now each person takes a turn flicking the end trying to flick it off from the base of the cap. Whoever succeeds enjoys sobriety while everyone else drinks.


The guy who starts taps their mug on the table once. The next person to his right can tap once, which passes it to the next person on his right, or twice which sends it back to the person on the left, or three times which skips the person the right and goes to the next person after that. Whoever screws up must drink.

Napkin, Beer, Cigarette

A napkin is placed over a beer mug. On top of that is a 100 or 500 won coin. Now the players take turns burning holes into the napkin with a lit cigarette. The player who drops the coin into the mug must drink.

happy together

Son Byung Ho Game

Everyone holds up 5 fingers & take turns saying something they’ve done. Anyone who has also done that must take down a finger. The first person with no fingers left drinks.

King Game

Have cards equal to the number of players, with 1 king. Everyone draws a card & hides it. The person who draws king can call out numbers & actions. People with those cards can do the actions or drink.


Fill a cup half way with beer & float a shot glass in the drink. Everyone takes turns pouring Soju into the shot glass. The person who sinks the shot glass must finish the whole drink.

Cup Tapping Game

Everyone sits in a circle. Someone starts by tapping their cup once to pass to the right. The next person can tap their cup once to pass or twice to pass backwards. If you mess up, you drink.

Noonchi Game

The objective is to not be the last one to call a number. Everyone collectively counts up. If two people call out a number at the same time, both drink. If you’re the last to call a number, you drink.

Noonchi  is a Korean concept signifying the subtle art and ability to listen and gauge others’ moods. In Western culture, noonchi could be described as the concept of emotional intelligence. It is of central importance to the dynamics of interpersonal relationships.

Apartment Game

One person yells a number equal or less than the number of players.

Players quickly put their hands in a stack on the table. Whoever’s hand is in the position of the number yelled, must drink.


This game is simple but tons of fun. Get your group of friends together with the drink of their choice in hand and ready to be consumed. The object is to say the numbers out loud starting from 1 but you must clap instead of saying a number that has a 3, 6, or 9. So if the person before me says 8 I would clap once for 9, but if it’s my turn and the number is 39 I would have to clap twice. Whoever ends up saying 3, 6, or 9 must drink! Then it goes back to 1 and starts over again.

To make things tougher you could be devious and insist that even numbers divisible by 3, 6, or 9 cannot be said either. Drunken division is never a pretty sight.


Everyone gets in a circle. The person who starts says bunny bunny with hand motions  like a rabbit eating with your four fingers over your thumb, then he gives it to someone else who then gives it to someone else. But at the same time the people on either side are saying Tangeun Tangeun (carrot carrot). Whoever messes up drinks!

Baskin Robbins 31

Everyone can count up to three numbers. The first person starts with one, and they can stop counting at one, two, or three. Then, the next person will count up to three numbers starting where the first person left off.

Person 1: “One, two.”

Person 2: “Three, four, five.”

Whoever makes a mistake and counts more than three numbers has to drink. However, whoever says 31 also has to drink, so be careful of how low or high you count!

This game is easy and fun but can get confusing if someone playing doesn’t know how to count in English or if someone playing doesn’t know how to count in Korean, which definitely happened when I was playing before!

Gyeongma Game or Horse racing game

The entire game is played with people drumming on the table with their hands to simulate the sound of horses racing on a track. You first go around the table in order calling out your “horse number.” Horse number 1 (일번말), horse number 2 (이번말), horse number 3 (삼번말), etc. Each person is a designated horse number. After you go around and identify which person is which horse number, the game starts. You take turns calling out your number and then the number of the one you want to “attack.” Usually, horse 1 starts it off.

ex. 일번에 삼번 1 attacks 3

Then number 3 would call out his/her number first and “attack” someone else by calling out their number. 삼번에 오번 3 attacks 5. You really have to listen carefully to see if your number gets called. If you slip up and miss your turn, you drink.

This game is meant to be played FAST. It gets really chaotic because everyone is banging on the table. Also, the same two people can go back and forth attacking each other.

“3 attacks 1!”

“1 attacks 3!”

“3 attacks 1!”

“1 attacks 3!”


Once a round is over and someone drinks, the drinker becomes horse 1 and the numbers reset again. It keeps you on your toes because your number changes each round. Depending on how difficult/fun/evil you want to make the game, you can choose to omit the number introduction in the subsequent rounds after the numbers have been reset and start attacking right away.

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10 Hidden Places that You Can Visit In Korea

10 Hidden Places that You Can Visit In Korea

Korea is loaded with so many popular tourist destinations that it can be overwhelming. If you’re seeking lesser known or unusual attractions, we’ve compiled a few below to check out. Also, be sure to read until the end to learn about an organization that can help you live and study in Korea, as well as explore the country like a local. Enjoy!

1) Buyeo Cultural Complex


Before Korea unified for the first time, there was an epoch known as the ‘three kingdom period.’

Baekje was one of these kingdoms which thrived until its demise in 660 CE.

The once prosperous capital of Baekje was in Buyeo, a town known, but seldom visited by Koreans.

Most aware that it was completely destroyed centuries ago.

What most don’t know is that the old palace, the royal temple, and the very first throne were all rebuilt in 2012 in an attempt to reconstruct one of Korea’s lost treasures.

The Baekje Cultural Complex sits a few kilometers outside of the modern town of Buyeo and gets only a handful of visitors every day, despite being truly remarkable.

2) Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital

The abandoned hospital whose elaborate ghost stories cover up the dirty truth

– an uneventful sanitation issue and other mundane reasons for its demise


The hospital is technically closed to the public and locals do not encourage tourists or give directions to the asylum willingly, but roughly a thousand people break in and roam the grounds of Gonjiam Psychiatric hospital every year.

The buildings stand complete with rusted out machines, hospital remnants, trash, and filthy mattresses, adding to its creepy and haunted reputation.

3) Third Tunnel of Aggression

Secret North Korean passage discovered below the world’s most dangerous border


Called the Third Tunnel of Aggression, it was built by North Korea in the 1970s and discovered in 1978 by South Korea.

It was the third tunnel found by the South – a total of four have been discovered – and it is rumored there are more than a dozen other undiscovered North Korean passages.

At the time of its discovery, the United Nations estimated the North could move 30,000 men per hour through the tunnel to the Southern side.

After initially denying its existence, the North claimed that the Third Tunnel was a coal mine, going as far as to rub black coal dust on the walls.

That tactic obviously failed and the South took control of the tunnel, blocking off the actual demarcation line with concrete barriers.

Nowadays, the passage snakes beneath the warring states for over a mile and, at its outset, looks like a space-age tunnel from a science fiction movie.

Although the tunnel is available for visitors on tours and even begins with a gift shop, deeper down the two-by-two-meter tunnel are stark reminders of the danger further into the Earth.

As you walk along the path, the light dims and visitors are left only with moist, craggy walls and the faint flickering lights installed along the way.

You can walk a full 265 meters until hitting the divider that allegedly protects individuals from attacks by the North, where barbed wire and machine gun nests lie in wait.

Due to the volatile nature of the DMZ, pictures cannot be taken inside of the tunnel, making a journey down the burrow a haunting and visceral experience.

You can arrange the tours online, and most tours of the DMZ from Panmunjom allow access to the Third Tunnel of Aggression.

4) War Memorial of Korea

Home to more than 13,000 pieces of war memorabilia and military equipment


The Memorial is comprised of six exhibition halls along with an outdoor gallery of war machines too massive to fit inside. All told, the site exhibits over 13,000 pieces of war memorabilia and military equipment. Opened in 1994, the building and grounds were strategically placed on the former army headquarters of Korea in the “Dragon Hill” district of Seoul.

Indoors, the memorial focuses on the Korean War and Vietnam War. However, the site is not only set on remembrance. Much of the memorial is set up to get visitors to see, touch, and feel what it was like to be on the front lines in the Korean war. Visitors have a particularly special opportunity in the memorial’s Combat Experience Room.

Besides the interactivity inside the memorial, the grounds, littered with old tanks that you can walk directly up to, has a strong air of national sentiment. Patriotic Korean music plays, and despite the weapons petting zoo feel, the massive warplanes, tanks and heavy artillery have a clear message for visitors and nationals alike: don’t mess with the ROK.

5) Trick Eye Museum

South Korea’s love of the silly photograph is on full display at this goofy collection of trompe l’oeil paintings


While the high-minded tradition of trompe l’oeil is certainly on display in the museum it is all in service to providing opportunities for goofy photo opportunities. Containing hundreds of oversized paintings for visitors to jump into, the museum allows guests to orient themselves in perspective with the images so that it can seem as though they are being crushed by a hydra, hanging off of a cliff, or taking part in Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.

The Trick Eye Museum continues to add optical illusions to its collection which now covers almost every wall in the space.

In addition, the museum has also opened an “Ice Museum” next door that while retaining the Trick Eye name has nothing to do with tromp l’oeil images and is solely focused on ice sculptures and plastic displays of frozen water.

The connection seems a bit strained, but both sites provide ample photo opportunities.

6) Hamdeok Beach (Jeju Island)


For Korea’s most pristine beach, we must go back to beautiful Jeju Island. Despite Busan being known as the ‘beach city,’ the overcrowded (and often dirty) beaches have nothing on what you can find in Jeju.

While every Korean knows this, they also have their favorites, mainly Jungmun and Samyang Beaches.

Hamdeok Beach has very bright blue and incredibly calm waters like nothing else in Korea.

This gem is not as crowded as the other two, even though it is very close to Jeju city. If you like sun tanning, catching a game of volleyball, or just having a little piece of paradise to yourself, this is it.

7) Tripitaka Koreana


Haeinsa is one of the most well known temples in all of Korea, despite not booming with the crowds of many other well known spots. Its location deep within Gayasan National Park a good hour and a half from Daegu City makes sure it remains off the beaten path.

8) Jeju Loveland

South Korea’s only sex-themed park


Korea’s only sexual theme park, Jeju Loveland was created in 2004

by 20 artists who graduated from Honglk University in Seoul.

The exhibition halls that house the gift shop and gallery of the park are modeled after traditional Korean architecture, but very little else is of a “traditional” nature in this park.

Bulkkeuni (a phallus wearing yellow mittens) and Saekkeuni (a vagina modeling a floppy hat and bow), the park’s mascots, welcome visitors through the front gates.

The restrooms adhere to the sexual theme as well: two breasts for handles on the men’s door, and an erect penis as a doorknob for the women’s door.

The outdoor theme park features 140 sculptures representing humans in various sexual positions.

After the Korean War, the island became a popular honeymoon destination for Korean couples, due to the island’s warm climate.

Many of the couples had wed because of arranged marriages, and the island also became known for being a center of sex education.

Visitors are required to be at least 18 years old, and a separate play area is available for minors while adults visit.

9) Wang Dong’s Rock Quarries

Rocks that take on the likenesses of several recognizable living entities crowd the Wang dong Rock Quarries


Along the road in South Korea’s amusingly named Wang Dong are curious stones with shapes that resemble different animal and human shapes.

Much like the cloud shape naming game, many likenesses can be pointed out, whether it be giraffe or human or tree.

The stones are as big as 4 meters (approximately 13 feet) tall, and are plentiful along the dirt road.


10. Bonus! Korean Folk Village 


Korean Folk Village introduces traditional culture from the late Joseon period to both local and international visitors through cultural classes experience, shaman faith, seasonal customs and others.

Also, the village shows various places with unique features such as a farming village, private house, official districts, Confucian academy, seodang (village school), and a village street in realistic descriptions, as well as a nobleman’s house and traditional workshop.

Performances include nongak (farmer’s music), martial arts on horseback, traditional wedding ceremony, and other special events by seasons.

In particular, ‘Welcome to Joseon’, (every May) is a performance featuring time travel back to the olden days.

In addition, a large family park where the eruption of a volcano site, ice sledding site, and markets are located.

Visitors can enjoy Korean traditional rice cakes like jeungpyeon (steamed and fermented rice cake), injeolmi (rice cake coated with bean powder), bukeo-gui (grilled dried pollack), or pajeon (green onion pancake) along with dongdongju (traditional Korean liquor).

* Performance
(1) Nongak (farmer’s music): 10:30 / 14:00
(2) Martial art on horseback: 11:30 / 15:00
(3) Traditional wedding ceremony (closed in December to February): 12:00 / 16:00

Check out this funny video from the village:

For newcomers to South Korea, it can be helpful to find these hidden places with guidance from a group. One such group is Go! Go! Hanguk.


Go! Go! Hanguk is a FREE support service that can help you live and study in Korea.

They partner with the best language schools and housing agencies in Korea.

They have a simple application process and offer their support service in 6 different languages, so nothing gets lost in translation. They also provide a lot of after-care support so you never feel alone in Korea.

Their international team is able to give the best advice because they have all experienced living and studying in Korea.

Learn more here: