Chris in South Korea note: my lady and I went here in mid-November, one of the last weekends where fall was in the air. Things got busy as the holidays approached, and I’m just now getting around to blog posts that got pushed back! Hope you enjoy, and aren’t thrown by the seasonal shift.
You might call this ‘the Gangnam style of temples’. Located on the north side of Sobaeksan (Sobaek mountain), this temple squeezes dozens of buildings into a narrow valley. You’ll find a single path up the mountain as you approach the main building, with a few side paths quickly leading you back uphill. Yes, More >
A good rule for museums: you should leave feeling like you’ve learned something on the subject, and feeling like there’s more for you to explore and learn on your own, if you so desire. Cheongju’s Early Printing Museum (청주고인쇄박물관) does both of these fairly well, and is one of the better museums I’ve visited in Korea.
Pretend these are the printing plates, and your hand is the paper. The entrance is to your right, and further still are the other sides, as though it was just peeled from the plate.
The museum is on the site of Heungdeoksa (AKA Heungdeok temple), where the world’s first movable More >
When was the last time you saw faces from across the world gathered in one single place? At the Great Stone Rock Sculpture Park (큰바위얼굴조각공원), you get over 1,000 stone sculptures of people representing 185 countries and weighing an average of 30 tons each. As you might expect, there’s a story at play here.
Meet Jeong Geun-hui (정근회), the man behind the massive piles of stone. In 1974, he established the Eumseong Mental Hospital, a place where you’ll see More >
YOU know you’ve arrived in wine country as soon as you get to the train station. The engraved stone murals (above and below) are both found within the station, as are a number of wine bottles and barrels.
I love the dimensionality of these figures.
Getting there is straightforward enough – once at the train station, cross the street and turn left, then head to the bus stop. It’s easy enough to see from the road – once you’re there, you’ll know it.
Approaching the entrance entails passing by the empties – hundreds of dark bottles, hundreds of light bottles, and a handful of green More >
Even folks who have never stepped foot in Korea have heard of the Boryeong Mud Festival – a celebration of summer, mud, and the inevitable alcohol that eases the few remaining social boundaries. Even during a more recent tour of Boryeong, this museum didn’t appear on my radar.
Along with other areas of Korea, Boryeong’s coal mines were developed during the early-to-mid 20th century to satisfy the country’s needs for heat. The Boryeong coal mine stopped being used on June 1, 1989, and was eventually closed up and abandoned on October 28, 1994. The museum opened on May 18, 1995 as a way of More >
SELF-PROCLAIMED the “world’s first liquor museum”, the Liquorium (리쿼리움 or 술박물관) features two floors of exhibitions you probably won’t find anywhere else in Korea. Unlike the Andong Soju Museum (on the list to visit soon!) or the Baedari Brewery, there’s no specific focus on Korea – in fact, one sign calls the place a ‘World Liquor Museum’ in English.
Start by getting in through the facade of wine barrels – but get a ticket first.
Egyptians enjoyed drinking, too.
And all this time I had no idea Jesus Christ walked on grapes whilst carrying a cross.
Some machinery having to do with the More >