Monthly Archives: March 2011

Korean Plastic Surgery!

Plastic surgery has gone out of control in South Korea (since last time I was there in 2005), there’s more plastic surgeons and even ads like the one featured above on the subway. On my recent visit, I even saw a girl who had a swollen nose with a big band-aid because she just had a nose job. Apgujungdong District, the same place where Galleria Mall is, is notoriously famous for plastic surgery hospitals.   They are literally on every other block. Well, some plastic surgeon is making a LOT of money.

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Gayageum – Korean Musical Instrument

Gayageum (가야금) is one of the many Korean traditional instruments, let’s say it’s kinda like a violin but with different sounds. Gayageum is probably one of the more famous Korean instruments and they had this show of it at the Incheon Airport in South Korea.  I had a few hours before my plane left back for San Francisco so I took a video for all you to see: Gayageum might sound a bit “off” to those of you hearing it for the first time but that is how it’s supposed to sound and how Korean traditional songs sound like. Also you can see more Korean instruments I outlined in the Cheonggyecheon floats.

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Korean Triangle Sandwich – My Favorite Korean Breakfast!

When I used to work in Korea couple years back, I used to eat the above combo for breakfast.  Actually I used to eat two of these sandwiches. Koreans love triangle sandwiches and don’t like the ends. This particular sandwich I bought at Korean 7-Eleven for 1,600 won, about $1 USD. It’s about 10 times more fresh and delicious than sandwiches sold here at 7-Eleven in the U.S.. You can also find these sandwiches and other derivatives of the triangle sandwich at local bakeries, which should be open in the mornings. Unlike the U.S., most restaurants don’t open in Korea until 10AM or so.  There’s not really a morning restaurant culture in Korea so most people eat at home.  Although the night food culture is entirely the opposite. [삼각샌드위치]

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Galleria Mall LED Lights in Apgujungdong!

Galleria Mall in Apgujungdong District, Seoul has been around for as long as I can remember.  About 15 years ago or so, they installed these animated LED lights that display flowers, people, and more. BTW, Galleria Mall is exclusive to selling famous brands around the world for brand whores.  Of course, you will be paying a hefty tax over buying them in the U.S. so I would never shop here.  (unless I lived in Korea) Galleria mall also has another building across the street, which isn’t as spectacular. See location on Google Maps [갤러리아백화점]

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Korean Skyscrapers – Hanskin Building!

One of the things I enjoyed while growing up in Seoul, Korea as a kid wasn’t the number of trees or parks (which are fewer than most) but the high number of mulit-level buildings and skyscrapers. Over the last 20 years, Seoul probably has developed thousands more new skyscrapers and I do highly enjoy them. When I first immigrated to California some 20+ years ago, I was highly disappointed by the lack of skyscrapers in San Francisco bay area.  I was used to seeing buildings everywhere like in Seoul.   I wished my parents had moved to New York, I would have enjoyed it more. Anyways, here’s a building of headquarters of Hanskin, who makes women’s cosmetics, you can see this building between Shinsa Station and Kangnam Station.

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Korean Air Prestige Class Review!

On my last trip to Korea, I decided to find out what it is like to fly on Korean Air’s Prestige Class, which is basically Business Class. By the way, in my opinion, the absolute best flight from the U.S. to Korea is Korean Air. Why? The food is really good, Korean Air gives you Korean food, it beats any other food hands down.  Last time I flew Singapore Air (which is cheap as hell) but had a bad stomach ache for couple days. Also, service is much better on Korean Air, lives up to the Korean standard. Anyways, the Korean Air Prestige Class is highly recommended as the reclining chair will let you take a good sleep while on the 10-hour flight to Incheon, Korea. Once on the flight, they give you slippers you can wear so put aside your shoes! Lunch menu is my favorite, they serve BiBimbap, which is Korean mixed rice with vegetables and beef.  It really satisfies your hunger and keeps other gases at bay while flying for long hours. The automatic chair has a lot of customizations which takes a bit getting used to.  You can lay almost all the way flat or recline … Continue reading

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N Seoul Tower – NamSan Tower! [Part 8]

After visiting the observatory, I went down one floor where they had the N Seoul Tower gift shop.  There, I found even more love thingees. You can see that people from all over the world have left their message here on the wall for future visitors to see.  I should have left mine too, oh well maybe next time. Now the wall is full, people are posting them on the ceiling.  The next time I visit, I am sure that will fill up too. Here, you can buy some love locks so you can lock in your love at N Seoul Tower and come back to see it years later. This is probably the best location to take photo of N Seoul Tower, by resting Korean benches. This is a traditional Korean resting area. As I headed back down via cable car, I realized N Seoul Tower is definitely a place to  go with your loved ones.  So next time you are in South Korea, don’t forget to bring your girlfriend/wife and enjoy a nice lunch or dinner on the highest point in Seoul. Go back to Part 7

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N Seoul Tower – NamSan Tower! [Part 7]

Finally, I bought a ticket to the N Seoul Tower observatory.  Yes, this is the actual N Seoul Tower. There’s also a world-famous Bear Museum on the bottom floor of N Seoul Tower.  I will have to visit that another time. We took a high-speed elevator that took us to T3 floor, the observatory. The N Seoul Tower observatory has 360 degree clear views of Seoul and each window shows you how far in kilometers it is from other countries. New York is about 11,061 kilometers away. And Pyongyang, capital of North Korea is only 193.60 kilometers away.  That’s only 120 miles and reason why there’s a high tension between North and South Korea.  A nuclear missile won’t take long to reach Seoul. I’ve always wondered why Korea doesn’t move the capital more south but then there’s no place in Korea like Seoul. The views are priceless at N Seoul Tower observatory. (of course)  Definitely worth the 8,000 won I paid for my ticket. San Francisco, my hometown, is 9,040.09 kilometers facing east.  I traveled pretty far to take these photos, yey. Russia isn’t too far away. More distances to different countries. Distances to Southeast Asian countries can be seen … Continue reading

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N Seoul Tower – NamSan Tower! [Part 6]

Like I told you in Part 4, I noticed even more locks on the other side of N Seoul Tower. And there’s an Oriental Roo, some type of fusion Asian restaurant.  I want to try them all one day. Here’s a funky V-shaped bench so you and your lover will make sure to be closer. Some people even put their locks on the sign to not to put locks. More great views of city of Seoul can be seen here. Go back to Part 5 Go to Part 7

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