Wonderful Korea – Seoul

Jul 20, 2017 | Views: 233
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The capital city of South Korea is the largest city in the country, and probably the most densely populated city in the world with over 11.8 million people in its main ‘Special City’ section alone. Considered one of East Asia’s economic and cultural hubs, Seoul will tantalise all your senses.

Seoul presents itself as a progressive, modern, and high-tech society that is still rich in ancient tradition. It is a trendsetting city that dares to challenge the conventional. In a metropolis that is filled with pumping nightlife, an abundance of street food, and amazing architecture, an array of peaceful Buddhist temples and historical landmarks stand in stark contrast as a potent reminder of the strong traditions that still govern the lives of everyday Koreans.

 

History

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Seoul’s history goes all the way back to Korea’s past dynasties with evidence of settlements as early as 18 BCE. However, its history as the capital city of Korea would only begin from the 14th century onwards. The city was originally named Hanseong by King Taejo, and served as the seat of the Joseon Dynasty from 1392 to 1910. Its reign as the capital city was briefly interrupted by the Japanese invasion and colonisation from 1592 to 1598.

King Taejo (1392 – 1910) of the Joseon Dynasty

King Taejo (1392 – 1910) of the Joseon Dynasty

Seoul was robbed of its resources, and many of its beautiful buildings were ruined during the battle. Korea’s hero, the great navy commander Admiral Yi Sun Sin, managed to claim Korea back, but unfortunately, it was lost again to the Japanese in the late 19th century. At that time, Seoul was called Gyeongseong, or Keijo in Japanese. The Japanese tried to erase the Korean identity by destroying the Korean language. This is why Seoul was given the name Keijo, which roughly means “Walled-off Capital”. During this period, the people and the city suffered greatly. Many of its original architecture was lost. Its palaces were modified to look more “Japanese”, as can be seen to this day. Most of the historical landmarks in Seoul were built during the Joseon Dynasty, and they consist of the Five Grand Palaces and Namdaemun. When the Japanese finally surrendered in 1945, Gyeongseong was renamed Seoul.

During the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, Seoul came under the control of North Korea twice before it was seized back by South Korea. Seoul’s horrible past as a war-torn city is perhaps why Seoul is unstoppable now. With a reputation as one of Asia’s fastest developing cities, it is still growing at a frantic pace and is matched only by cities of mainland China.

A statue of Admiral Yi Sun Sin (1545-1598), a naval commander famous for his victories against the Japanese during the Imjin war. In front of Gwanghwamun Square honouring his brave spirit and leadership.

A statue of Admiral Yi Sun Sin (1545-1598), a naval commander famous for his victories against the Japanese during their invasion of Korea. In front of Gwanghwamun Square honouring his brave spirit and leadership.

 

Location

Map of South Korea. Click to enlarge.

Map of South Korea. Click to enlarge.

Seoul is located in the north-western part of South Korea, about 60 km south of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and 40 km east of the Yellow Sea. This is an important point to note as it separates the Republic of South Korea (ROK) from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), who are still in a “state of war”. The Han River runs from the east to the west across the city.

 

Districts in Seoul

Seoul is made up of several of cities that have been grouped together. They each have their own respective business and commercial districts. There are 25 districts in Seoul, and they are further divided into 522 sub-districts. The Han River separates the city into half – the northern historical part is called Gangbuk, and the southern, wealthier, and more modern part is called Gangnam.

For those who plan to explore Seoul in greater depth, you can visit the smaller districts, such as Yeoui-do Island and Hongdae/Sinchon. If you don’t have much time, it would be best to plan your visits based on the areas below:

 

Northern Part of the Han River (Gangbuk)

Jongno: The historical city is where you will find the Five Grand Palaces from the Joseon Dynasty. It is also where the government offices are located. There is also the main Confucian shrine which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Discover beautiful, traditional Korean houses called ‘hanok’, which dates back to the dynastic era in Bukchon. Go south of Bukchon, and you will find the largest antique street market in Seoul. As you go further south, you will discover Cheongyecheon. It has a stream that has been renovated and a park that runs across the downtown area.

The various districts of Seoul. Click to enlarge.

The various districts of Seoul. Click to enlarge.

Jung: The shopping district is the other half of the historic city with the Cheongyecheon stream as its northern border. Here, you will find a few remaining European-style government buildings that were left during the period of Japanese colonialism, for example, the City Hall and the Bank of Korea. Located south-west from the City Hall is the large and popular upscale shopping area called Myeongdong. It is one of the top ten most expensive shopping districts in the world. If you go to the south of City Hall, you will discover another huge shopping district, called Namdaemun Market, which is relatively cheaper. Other places of interest include Seoul Station and Seoul Tower on Namsan Mountain, where you can check out a view of the city. Don’t forget to check out Dongdaemunon on the east side, a huge fashion district with tonnes of clothing malls, shops, and wholesalers.

Seodaemun/Mapo: The district of colleges and universities is located immediately to the west of Jongro and Jung. It is a city of students who have turned it into Seoul’s most happening and biggest nightlife district. The two most popular areas are Hongdae and Sinchon. Located near the prestigious Yonsei University, Sinchon has hundreds of bars, clubs, restaurants, and even stores that are open until the next morning. As for Hongdae, it is where you’ll discover Seoul’s indie and underground arts scene. See indie rock bands, street performers, graffiti art, and many independent stores here. Hongdae really comes alive at night, and it is even more crowded than Sinchon. It is second after Itaewon for having the largest concentration of foreigners. This is a massive area, and one can easily get lost here.

Yongsan: The district with the US Army Military Base is also home to Yongsan Electronics Market, the largest electronics market in the world, and Itaewon, the most culturally diverse area in Seoul. This area also has the highest number of foreigners. There are tonnes of restaurants featuring international cuisines, pubs, bars and, of course, shopping. You can find almost anything here, from antiques to custom-tailored suits. It is also going to be the home of the second-tallest tower (665 metres) in the world once it finalises its $28.8 billion dollar project of developing Yongsan International Business District.

 

Southern Part of the Han River (Gangnam)

Gangnam: The glamorous district of modern Seoul is where you will find some of the wealthiest people, as well as the most expensive real estate, in the country. The main business district is from Samseong Station to Gangnam Station, and it is covered with dozens of high-rise buildings, plenty of restaurants and bars, and thousands of neon signs. Considered the main commercial and nightlife centre, Gangnam also represents Korea’s high-tech futuristic city. Discover a huge underground shopping mall and a Hyundai Department Store at Samseong station that is connected to COEX and located at the other end of Tehran-ro. Some of the most affluent areas in Seoul, Apgujeongdong and Cheomdangdong, can also be found on the northern side of the business district.

Songpa: Primarily a residential district, Songpa is located east of Gangnam. It is home to Lotte World, Olympic Park, Seoul (Jamsil) Sports Complex, and the Sinchon nightlife. Lotte World is another massive shopping and entertainment complex with the largest indoor theme park in the world, as well as one of the largest ice-skating rinks in Korea.

Yeoui-do: This island in the Han River in Yeongdeungpo-gu is Seoul’s version of Manhattan. Here, you will find the National Assembly building and the Seoul Stock Exchange. It may seem like an attractive destination, but the island can be somewhat barren, especially on the weekends. There is not much to do here, so it is okay to give this place a miss if your travel plans are too tight.

Yangcheon: The Mok-dong area is the considered the centre of this western Seoul district which is also home to some of Seoul’s tall residential buildings, an ice rink, and the large Hyundae department store.

 

Population

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With more than 25.6 million people, Seoul has almost double the population of New York. There were 281,780 foreigners living in Seoul, according to Korean officials, as of 2011. Of those, 66% (186,631) were Chinese of Korean ancestry or Korean-Chinese. Chinese citizens who do not have Korean ancestry make up the next largest group with 29,901 residing in Seoul. Then it is the Americans with 9,999 residing in Seoul, followed by 8,717 from the Republic of China (Taiwan).

 

Climate

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Seoul has a subtropical climate with dry winters. It enjoys four distinct seasons, but temperatures do differ a lot, especially during the peak of summer’s heat and the cold winter months, which can be quite extreme.

The four seasons are:

  1. Spring (March-May)
  2. Summer (June-August)
  3. Autumn (September-November)
  4. Winter (December-February)

In the summer, temperatures could rise to as high as 35°C. In the winter, it can drop to as low as -20°C. Seoul also experiences the monsoon in the summer, which is between June and September, with the most rain in July and August. Hurricanes have also been known to occur, though they mostly happen between June and December.

 

When to Visit

The best time to visit Seoul would be in the spring and autumn with clear, blue skies, and regular, comfortable temperatures. Here is a quick glance based on the annual weather facts:

May – September: Nice weather with good regular temperatures.
July – August: Warmest months, especially in August.
June – September: Rainy season with the most rainfall in July.
December – February: Driest months, especially in December, and coldest in January.

 

What to Wear

Based on the four different seasons, here is a guide on what you should bring to wear when visiting:

Spring

  • Average temperatures range between 7.1℃ and 17.8℃.
  • Light clothing with cardigans, shawls, hats, and sunglasses are recommended.

Summer

  • Temperatures can rise between 35℃ and 40℃ during the daytime.
  • Light cotton clothing or anything with a “cooling” fabric is recommended. Shorts, short-sleeved tops, or sleeveless shirts, hats, and sunglasses are most popular. Sunscreen should also be used for those with sensitive skin.

Autumn

  • The transition period from summer to winter is when you will start experiencing the return of the cold, especially in late-September. Average temperatures can get to as high as 18°c and as low as 5°c.
  • Make sure you bring along a coat or a jacket. Layering is recommended.

Winter

  • Temperatures can drop to as low as -20°C but, once the cold wave passes, we will begin to experience the unique weather pattern called ‘sam-han, sa-on’, which refers to the cycle of three cold days and four warm days.
  • Get warm and cover up with winter coats, sweaters, shawls, scarves, gloves, beanies, and boots.

 

Culture & Customs

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Despite the fact that their culture was almost erased by hostile invaders, the Korean culture remains strong. Their culture survived for 5,000 years, which says a lot about the people and how resilient they are. Koreans are definitely survivors. Hence, learning their customs and etiquette would definitely make your trip a more pleasurable experience.

 

The Korean Language

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Koreans consider themselves as one big family, so they only speak one language. As such, it would be wise for you to learn a few basic Korean words and phrases before you arrive. Seoul’s dialect is the most commonly used and is understood by everyone. There are other dialects, such as the Gyeongsang, which is spoken in Busan and Daegu, that sounds more aggressive than the standard Korean. The Jeju dialect, spoken mainly in Jeju island, is considered the hardest to comprehend, especially to the standard Korean speaker.

The Korean written language was invented in the mid-15th century. Due to the phonetic nature of its written language, Korea has one of the highest literacy rates in the world.

Here are some common phrases and simple words to help you get by:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge. Source: Facebook.com/DomHyo

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Face, Thank You, and Sorry
“Face”, or “gibun”, is very important to Koreans. It is important to avoid causing embarrassment to oneself and to others as it may cause loss of “face” or respect. Koreans will go to great lengths to resolve problems. When faced with an uncomfortable situation, you will most likely see them giving an uneasy smile.

There are certain actions and codes of conduct in Korea that you might find disrespectful. However, it would be wise to remember that this is part of their culture. For example, you are not expected to say “thank you” to someone who holds the door open for you. It is also not the norm to apologise to someone when you accidentally bump into them. Therefore, do not take offence when the locals do not offer niceties in these situations.

 

Etiquette

Koreans are a proud, well-mannered, reserved, and quiet people. Coming from a land steeped in Confucianism, etiquette is very important in their culture. It would be wise to learn up and follow some of these dos and don’ts. Not only will it impress the locals, but it will also make them warm up to you and be even more welcoming. Here are ten basic etiquettes one must know before visiting any part of South Korea:
1. Greeting
As a sign of respect, Koreans bow to each other when they meet. Alternatively, you can give a handshake, but bowing would be more traditional. If you know the person very well, you can just nod, which is equivalent to saying “hello”, or you can say “annyeong haseyo” in Korean.

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2. Take Your Shoes Off
When visiting a Korean household, remember to take your shoes off. This is also practised in many of the traditional Korean restaurants. So, be aware of this as it is considered very disrespectful to walk in with your dirty shoes.
3. Accepting Gifts and Handshakes
Always use both hands when you are accepting a gift or an object during your interactions with an elderly person. If you have no choice and can only use one hand, you should try to support your right arm with your left hand. When you shake hands with an elderly person, you should also support your right arm with your left hand.
4. Interactions with an Elder
If you are meeting an elderly Korean for the first time, he or she may ask personal questions like your age, your job, and your education. Sometimes, they would also ask about your parents and what they do for a living. However, if you are uncomfortable sharing such personal information, you can give short answers in a polite manner and move on to the next topic.
5. Korean Pride
Koreans are generally very proud people with strong nationalistic views. It would be prudent and tactful to not bring up any historical events, especially those related to Japan’s invasion. Also, it would not be wise to make any negative remarks about their culture.
6. Dining
If you are dining with Koreans, take note that the oldest person on the table would start eating first. In Korea, it is very common and acceptable to talk loudly during meals. It indicates that they are happy and enjoying their meal. Making loud slurping sounds when you are eating noodles is expected and also accepted. It is another sign that the food is good, and that you are enjoying and appreciating it.

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8. Eating Rice
Like most Asian countries, Koreans consider rice as a staple in their diet and eat it with almost every meal. This is why the most common greeting you will hear is “Have you eaten rice?”, or “Bap meogeosseoyo?” in Korean.

When eating rice, the Koreans do not raise their bowls to their mouths, and they usually use a spoon.

Do not jab your chopsticks into your rice bowl so that it is standing upright as this represents an offering to the dead.
9. Money as Gifts
If you wish to use money as a gift, you should place it in an envelope or wrap it in paper before offering it to the recipient. If you decide to tip a server in a restaurant, fold the bill around the money and pass it directly but discreetly into the server’s hand. Do not leave it on the table.
10. Soju
Korea’s national alcoholic beverage, a clear alcohol like vodka, is called soju. It is usually served with meals in shot glasses. The Korean toast, or version of “Cheers!”, is “geonbae!”. Remember that you should never pour your own drink as it is considered very rude. Always pour for someone older than you. When pouring the drink, place one hand on your pouring arm or heart to show respect.

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Religion

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South Korea is a country with diverse religions, such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Christianity, Islam, as well as Shamanism, coexisting harmoniously and peacefully. Buddhism and Confucianism seem to be the most influential religions, and more than half of the country’s rich cultural heritage can be traced back to these two major religions. Today, Buddhism make up about 15.5%, Protestantism 19.7%, Roman Catholic 7.9% of the population. The other 56.9% includes free thinkers, Confucianism, Islam, Shamanism, and other native religions, based on the 2015 national census of South Korea.

Buddhism arrived in Korea in 372. Since then, it has produced thousands of temples all across the country and counts more devotees than any other religion in the country. You will notice a lot of signs resembling the swastika in many of its Buddhist temples. This sign is a religious symbol and does not represent Nazism, which is drawn differently as well.

Confucianism was an ideology that arose during the Joseon Dynasty. It was considered more of an ethnic system rather than a religion. Its teachings focussed and stressed the importance of loyalty and filial piety, among many other virtues. Ancestral worship is a part of Confucianism, and it is believed that it can affect the lives of their descendants. Hence, auspicious burial sites are very important to these devotees. However, in this modern era, more are choosing cremation over burial for practical reasons.

Catholicism was introduced to Korea from China via the emissaries who came during the late Joseon Dynasty. The early Korean Catholics were targeted in the Sinyu Persecution in 1801. This mass persecution was ordered by Queen Jeongsun during the reign of King Sunjo. However, Catholicism continued to spread all over the country as many people flocked to this new religion.

Protestantism was introduced to Korea in late 19th century by North American missionaries. It quickly won the hearts of many people as they were spread via the education system in schools and medical services. Up until today, you will find a lot of educational institutions and medical centres run by Protestants.

The Islamic Society of Korea was established in 1955 with its first Korean Imam, and the foundation of the Korean Muslim Federation was installed in 1967. Today, there are around 60 places of worship with an estimated of 100,000 Korean Muslims in South Korea.

Apart from the above, native religions include Cheondogyo, Won Buddhism, and Daejonggyo. Although they all suffered various vicissitudes of modern Korean history, they are still actively worshipped by an increasing number of the population. Cheondogyo arose from the teachings of the Eastern Learning, or ‘Donghak’, in the 19th century, while Daejonggyo was established in the early 20th century to worship Dangun, the founder of the first Korean state.

 

Arts

Seoul is a melting pot of creativity well-known for setting trends in design, fashion, and art. The city represents the fusion of the old and new, a traditional and contemporary mix of artistic expression that can be seen in its people, architecture, and lifestyle. With 5,000 years of rich cultural history, Seoul is a haven for art lovers around the world to explore, experience, and enjoy. To find out more about the latest events, workshops, and exhibitions, log on to Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture: http://english.sfac.or.kr/

 

Visas

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All foreign nationals entering Korea require a Korean visa. You can obtain your visa from the many Korean embassies or consular offices all around the world. Fortunately, many countries are now under the visa-free category and allowed to enter Korea for a limited period with certain conditions. These conditions are listed in the “Citizens of the Countries under the Visa Exemption Agreement”. See the table below to check if your country is listed. To find out if you are allowed to enter Korea without a visa and for other enquiries, you can contact the Korean immigration offices or visit these various websites:

1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs www.mofa.go.kr (Korean, English)

2. Korea Immigration Service www.immigration.go.kr (Korean, English)

3. Hi Korea (e-government for foreigners) www.hikorea.go.kr (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Here is a list of designated countries & regions granted visa-free entry to Korea. Visitors are allowed to stay for up to 30 days, unless otherwise specified, and for tourism purposes only.

Asia Hong Kong (90 Days), Japan (90 Days), Taiwan (90 Days), Macao (90 Days), Kuwait (90 Days), Bahrain (90 Days), United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Qatar, Oman
North America Canada (6 Months), United States (90 Days)
South America Uruguay (90 Days), Argentina, Paraguay, Honduras, Ecuador, Guyana
Europe Slovenia (90 Days), Monaco, Vatican, San Marino, Cyprus, Andorra, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia
Oceania Australia (90 Days), Fiji, Samoa, Tuvalu, Tonga, Nauru, Palau, Guam, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Micronesia
Africa Republic of Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Egypt

 

4. Jeju-do Island:Visa-Free Entry

  • Visa-Free Entry is available for all countries except those listed below.
  • 11 countries that are NOT eligible for visa-free entry to Jeju-do: Nigeria, Ghana, Libya, Macedonia, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Cuba, Palestine, and Afghanistan
  • Duration of stay: 30 Days only
  • Allowed to visit its region and range of activity: Jeju-do
  • Conditions: Those who are eligible must take planes or ferries with direct routes to Jeju-do.

 

Food

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Seoul is a haven for good and delicious food. From the finest Korean restaurants to unique, local street food, you will be spoiled for choice. A vacation in Seoul would not be complete without sampling the local cuisine. So, get ready to explore and excite your taste buds with Seoul’s scrumptious traditional and popular local dishes. Here are the ten most highly-recommended must-eat foods in Seoul:
1. BIBIMBAP

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This is probably the most commonly known and favourite signature Korean food all around the world! Bibimbap is a Korean mixed rice dish served in a bowl. The dish includes a single serving of rice topped with an assortment of vegetables, meat, egg, and a Korean red pepper paste called “gochujang”. To enjoy this dish, you will need to mix all the ingredients together before digging in!
Bibimbap can be easily found anywhere in Seoul but, for the best authentic taste, try the Gogung chain of restaurants.
2. MANDU

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Mandu is the Korean version of juicy steamed dumplings. The filling usually consists of minced meat, either pork or beef, with spring onions and/or mixed vegetables. Mandu is usually prepared in celebration of the Korean Lunar New Year, and it symbolises good luck. The grilled version of Mandu is also available in most restaurants. You can enjoy Mandu on its own or together with Myeongdong Kyoja, a handmade soupy noodle (kal-guksu) dish.
3. JJANGMYEON or JAJANGMYEON

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If you love watching Korean dramas, you will be familiar with this black noodle dish. It is a type of Korean-Chinese noodles, seasoned with thick black bean sauce. This simple yet richly flavoured dish is usually eaten with sweet and sour deep-fried pork called Tangsuyuk. Jjangmyeon can be found in many Korean-Chinese restaurants.
4. SUNDUBU JJIGAE

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Warm yourself up with some spicy tofu stew. This comfort food is especially popular during the winter and is usually eaten with white rice. This popular dish consists of freshly curdled soft tofu mixed with a variety of vegetables, mushrooms, and onions, with seafood or meat as an option. The dish is prepared and cooked directly in a porcelain bowl, and served piping hot. Upon request, an egg can be included, which is usually added to the stew just before serving.
5. BINGSOO/PATBINGSU/BINGSU

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Bingsu is a must-try famous Korean dessert which is basically shaved ice served with an assortment of sweet toppings such as fruits, nuts, beans, cake, syrup, and condensed milk.

Sulbing, a very popular chain of dessert cafes in South Korea, would be the best place to have your bingsu dessert fix. These cafes are located all over Seoul and easily spotted.
6. TTEOK-BOKKI

Tteok-bokki is a very popular Korean snack made from small, stir-fried rice cakes called tteokmyeon, or, as they are more commonly known, tteok-bokki-tteok. The rice cakes are cooked and seasoned with gochujang red chilli paste and served with fish cakes, spring onions, and boiled eggs as common additions. This snack can be found in many street stalls all over Seoul.
7. CHIMAEK or KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN

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Another very popular snack is Chimaek or Korean Fried Chicken which is usually served as an accompaniment to the local Korean beer (maekju). It is a very popular night-time snack. Many Korean fried chicken restaurants will open from 5 pm until late into the night. Hence, it is a common sight to see vendors selling Chimaek into the wee hours of the night. Well, at least, if you feel hungry in the middle of the night, you know what to get.

The most popular Korean fried chicken franchise is BHC, and they can easily be found everywhere. Their fried chicken comes highly recommended as their chicken is seasoned well and fried to perfection – crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
8. BIBIM NAENGMYEON

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Koreans love their noodles, whether they are hot or cold. The ice-cold noodles called Naengmyeon and Bibim Naeongmyeon (spicy cold noodles), is a favourite summertime treat among the locals. Naengmyeon noodles are made from long and extremely thin buckwheat noodles and served with icy cold broth in large stainless-steel bowls. The broth has a sweet and tangy flavour, and spicy for Bibim Naeongmyeon. There are also other flavours such as seaweed and green tea naengmyeon.
9. DAK-GALBI

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Dak-galbi is stir-fried marinated chicken with gochujang (chilli pepper paste) as its main sauce. Besides chicken, other ingredients such as sweet potatoes, cabbage, onions, perilla leaves, spring onions, and tteok (rice cake) are added in and fried in a huge cast iron pan.

A popular chain that serves great Dak-galbi is Yoogane. They have many outlets all over Seoul and can easily be found anywhere.
10. GYERAN BBANG

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This is Korea’s most popular street food, and it is a must-try! It is a quick, yummy snack, especially when you are on the go. “Gyeran” means egg and “bbang” means bread or cake – in other words, Korean egg bread. This warm, soft, and fluffy bread with an egg cracked on top is easily found all over the city and very much enjoyed during winter.

 

20 Great Places to Visit in Seoul

 

1. Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Gyeongbokgung Palace, also known as “Northern Palace”, is the largest and most impressive of the five grand palaces in Seoul. Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung means “Palace of Shining Happiness”. During the Japanese occupation from 1592 – 1598, many parts of the palace were burned down and destroyed. Led by Heungseondaewongun, the Palace’s 7,700 rooms underwent full restoration during the reign of King Gojong.

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The changing of the royal guards, which happens twice a day, is an experience not to be missed. With the ancient culture of Korea on display, it is quite a show with the guards in traditional Korean uniforms, weapons, and live music.

Take Note: The National Palace Museum of Korea is to the south of Heungnyemun Gate, and the National Folk Museum is to the east within Hyangwonjeong.

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Etiquette to observe:

  • Do not run or speak loudly within the Palace grounds.
  • No dogs or pets, sports or any kind of game equipment, mats, and food allowed.
  • No smoking allowed anywhere on the Palace grounds including the parking lot.
  • Drone flying is strictly prohibited by law.

 

How to Get There

You can easily get to Gyeongbokgung Palace by subway. Take the subway from Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and then get off at Exit 5. If you are taking it from Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), you can get off at Exit 1.

Alternatively, you can take the bus and get down at Gyeongbokgung Palace Bus Stop. Buses that go to the palace are: No. 1020, 7025,109, 171, 172, 601, and 606. You can also take Jongno Bus No. 11, and stop at the National Folk Museum.

Address/Location: 161 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2 3700 39 00
Entrance Fee:
Age 19 – 64: 3,000 won / 2.400 won (in groups of 10 or more)
Age 7 – 18: 1,500 won / 1,200 won (in groups of 10 or more )
Children Age 6 and below / Seniors Age 65 and above: Free
Note: Do check out their website for more details.
Opening Hours:
January – February 9 am – 5 pm (Final admission at 4 pm)
March – May 9 pm – 6 pm (Final admission at 5 pm)
June – August 9 am – 6: 30 pm (Final admission at 5:30 pm)
September – October 9 am – 6 pm (Final admission at 5 pm)
November – December 9 am – 5 pm (Final admission at 4 pm)
Closed on Tuesdays
Website: royalpalace.go.kr

 

Accommodation

There are tonnes of accommodation around Gyeongbokgung Palace, ranging from luxurious five-star hotels and resorts to more economical options, so you can find one that fits your budget and requirements. However, it is always best to stay around the city centre or near a subway station as it would be easier to get around the city.

1. Susong Motel
Address: 59, Yulgok-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82-2-738-7251
Email: heaven0020@yahoo.co.kr
Website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ACM/AC_EN_4_8.jsp?cid=1857863

2. Center Mark Hotel
Address: 38, Insadong 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 731 1000
Website: www.centermarkhotel.com

 

2. Myeong-dong

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It is shopping time at Seoul’s most famous shopping district – Myeongdong. You can find almost anything here, from all kinds of trending fashionable clothes and branded goods to unique local designer items. Many also come here to shop for branded Korean cosmetics such as Skin Food, The Face Shop, Etude House, and more. With something for everyone, this is definitely the place to do some fun shopping.

Besides shopping, you will also discover an abundance of fast food outlets and family restaurants offering a range of cuisine from local to Western. Many of the restaurants here specialise in pork cutlets (donkas) and thick noodles (kalguksu).

 

How to Get There

Take the subway from Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2) and get off at Exits 5, 6 or 7.

If you are leaving from Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), you can get off at Exits 5, 6, 7, or 8.

Address/Location: Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2 1330 (Travel Hotline)
For more info call Myeong-dong Tourist Information Center: +82-2-774-3238 / +82-2-778-0333
Entrance Fee: NIL
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm daily (opening hours varies between shops)
Website: tour.junggu.seoul.kr

 

Accommodation

There are many accommodation in and around the Myeongdong area, ranging from five-star hotels to guest-houses. Here are two hotels that are conveniently located. It is recommended that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your needs and budget.

1. Ibis Ambassador Myeongdong
Address: 78, Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82-2-6272-1101
Website: ibis.ambatel.com/myeongdong/main.amb

2. Seoul Royal Hotel
Address: 61, Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 756 1112
Website: https://goo.gl/k1tk83

 

3. Bongeunsa Temple

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Bongeunsa Temple is situated at the north of COEX building. It was built during the reign of Silla King Weongseong, in 794 by a monk named Yeon-hoe, and used to be known as Gyeonseongsa Temple. Refurbished in 1498 by Queen Jeonghyeon, it was moved to the east of King Seongjong’s royal mausoleum and renamed Bongeunsa.

Standing at 23 metres tall is the Great Maitreya Buddha statue that overlooks the temple as well as Seoul’s modern buildings

Standing at 23 metres tall is the Great Maitreya Buddha statue that overlooks the temple as well as Seoul’s modern buildings

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During Joseon King Myeongjong’s reign, the temple was again transferred to its current location. The Bongeunsa Temple houses many sacred texts. There are 3,479 Buddhist scriptures in this temple, including the works of Kim Jeong-hee. Every year, on the 9th of September, the Buddhist ceremony called Jeongdaebulsa is celebrated. Monks would carry these holy scriptures on their heads, walk around the temple grounds, and chant Buddhist rites called Beop-seong-ge.

The beautiful Buddha altar inside Bongeunsa Temple

The beautiful Buddha altar inside Bongeunsa Temple

 

How to Get There

Take the Subway (Seoul Subway Line 9) from Bongeunsa Temple Station and get off at Exit 1. Proceed by walking straight for about 150 metres.

Address/Location: 531, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 3218 4800 / +82 2 3218 4826
Entrance Fee: FREE
Opening Hours: Open all year round
Website: bongeunsa.org (Korean language only)

 

Accommodation

Below are two recommended hotels near Bongeunsa Temple. There are many other hotels near the temple ranging from luxurious five-star hotels to the more budget inns. We recommend that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your needs and budget.

1. COEX InterContinental Seoul
Address: 524, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 3452 2500
Website: www.iccoex.com / https://www.grandicparnas.com:444/kor/index.do

2. Hotel The Designers
Address: 7, Teheran-ro 79-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Phone: Main branch: +82 2 568 8370 / 8376 / 8377 Samseong Branch: +82 2 568 8371
Website: http://hotelthedesigners.com/

 

4. N Seoul Tower

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Located on Mount Namsan is the N Seoul Tower, which is more commonly known as Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower. It is a communication and observatory tower that stands 236.7 metres high, making it the second highest point in Seoul.

N Seoul Tower is Korea’s first radio tower. Built in 1969, it provided Seoul with its own TV and radio broadcast at that time. Today, it is a symbol of the city of Seoul, and a favourite tourist attraction offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

The tower recently had a major revamp and it now boasts state-of-the-art leisure amenities with cultural and entertainment spaces.

N Seoul Tower beautifully captured during winter

N Seoul Tower beautifully captured during winter

 

How to Get There

The best way to get here would be to take the Namsan Sunhwan Shuttle Bus no. 2, 3, and 5. You can park your car at the parking lot near the various bus stops and hop on the Shuttle Bus. Tourists travelling in groups can also take the Seoul City Tour Buses. Do check with your hotel reception to help you make a booking. For more information on the bus routes, go to: http://www.nseoultower.co.kr/eng/visit/traffic.asp

Take Note: Mount Namsan is part of the protected ecosystem of the Namsan Park. Therefore, your cooperation in keeping it clean and green is much appreciated. Since May 1, 2005, car traffic has been restricted in order to maintain its pristine environment.

Address/Location: 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 3455 9277 / 9288
Entrance Fee:
Observatory: 10,000 won (Adults age 13 and above) / 8,000 won (Children age 3-12 / Senior citizen)
Ssentoy Museum & Show room: 10,000 won (Adults age 13 and above) / 8,000 won (Children age 3-12 / Senior citizen)
Hello Kitty Island: 8,000 won (Adults age 13 and above) / 7,000 won (Children age 3-12 / Senior citizen)
Note: There are various packages offered for group tours. Do check out their website below for more information.
Opening Hours: Open 365 days
Observatory: Sunday-Friday 10 am – 11 pm Saturday: 10 am – 12 midnight
The last admission is 30 minutes before closing. Depending on weather conditions or business schedules, operating hours may change.
Website: seoultower.co.kr

 

Accommodation

There are plenty of accommodation around N Seoul Tower. Below are two recommended hotels nearest to the tower. However, we do advise that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your needs and budget.

1. Myeongdong Guest house – Goodstay
Address: 12, Toegye-ro 24-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 755 5437
Website: www.mdguesthouse.com

2. Hotel Prince Seoul
Address: 130, Toegye-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Tel: +82 2 752 7111
Website: www.princeseoul.co.kr

 

5. Dongdaemun

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Dongdaemun is the biggest wholesale and retail shopping district in Korea with over 26 shopping malls, 50,000 manufacturers, and 30,000 speciality shops to explore.

Most of the shops here open from 10:30 am to 5 am. For all those who love shopping till the wee hours of the night, this would be your dreamland. You can practically shop all night!

Find the latest fashion, fabrics, and accessories from all over the world here. Items are imported and exported in real time, which is why Dongdeamun is a must-visit place for those in the fashion industry.

 

How to Get There

Subway – You can get to Dongdaemun via subway. Take the Subway Line 2 or 4 to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park and get off at Exit 1 or 14. Alternatively, you can take Subway Line 4 to Dongdaemun Station and get off at Exit 8 or 9.

Bus – You can also go by bus from Jongno 6-ga (01-210). Below are the buses you can take.
Regular bus: 111
Blue bus: N26, N10, 101, 152, 201, 260, 262, 270, 271, 370, 720, 721
Green bus: 7025, 7212
Express bus: 9301

From Cheonggye 6-ga (01-252)
Blue bus: 163

From Dongdaemun (01-037, 01-210, 01-214, 01-234)
Regular bus: 111
Regular bus: N26, N10, N13, N30, 101, 103, 105, 144, 152, 201, 260, 261, 262, 270, 271, 370, 420, 721, 720
Green bus: 2112, 2233
Express bus: 9301
Airport bus: 6002

From Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (02-172, 02-173, 02-174, 02-175, 02-235)
Regular bus: N13, N16, N30, N62, 105, 144, 152, 202, 261, 301, 407, 420, 507
Green bus: 2012, 2014, 2015, 2233, 7212
Red bus: 9403

Address/Location: 266, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 2262 0114
Entrance Fee: NIL
Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:30 am to 5 am
Sunday – Closed (Wedding shops may be open on Sundays)
Website: www.ddm-mall.com

 

Accommodation

Below are two recommended hotels near Dongdaemun, but there are many more in different price ranges. We highly recommended that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your budget and requirements.

1. JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul
Address: 279, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2 2276 3000
Website: http://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-photos/seldp-jw-marriott-dongdaemun-square-seoul/

2. Hotel Kota – Goodstay
Address: 294, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 10 7310 6232 / +82 10 4793 8727
Website: hotelkota.com

 

6. Bongwonsa Temple

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Bongwonsa Temple is a 1000-year-old temple located at the edge of Ansan Mountain in Bongwon-dong. During the third year of Queen Shilla Jinseong’s reign, in 889, the temple was discovered on the grounds of Yeonhui palace, now Yonsei University, by Master Doseon-guksa. He named the temple Banyasa. When the Japanese invaded in 1592, the temple was left in ruins. In 1748, during the 24th year of the Joseon Dynasty and the reign of King Yeongjo, it was restored and given the name “Bongwonsa” by two Buddhist monks, Chanjeup and Jeungam.

Monks doing prayers inside the main Buddha Hall at Bongwonsa Temple

Monks doing prayers inside the main Buddha Hall at Bongwonsa Temple

Every year, on the 6th of June, the temple holds a Buddhist celebration called “Yeongsanjae” which has been declared as a National Intangible Cultural Property. The celebration and rituals conducted are for world peace and the reunification of North and South Korea. In 2009, the temple was designated as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity site.

During Yeongsanjae, you will get to experience traditional Buddhist arts and rituals such as the Beompae, which is a Buddhist ritual music and dance performance. If you are visiting during the summer, you will be able to catch the “Seoul Lotus Flower Culture Festival” and see huge, beautiful lotuses, symbolising compassion, blooming in front of the temple. The temple will also hold various programmes such as traditional folk painting, Hanji crafts (Korean traditional paper craft), and Chinese ink painting exhibitions.

During summer you can see beautiful giant lotus flowers blooming in front of the main temple hall

During summer you can see beautiful giant lotus flowers blooming in front of the main temple

 

How to Get There

Take the subway from Sincheon Station (Seoul Subway Line 2) and get off at Exit 4. After that, catch the bus no. 7024, get off at the last stop and proceed by foot. The temple is 350 metres away along Bonwonsa-gil street.

Address/Location: 120, Bongwonsa-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 392 3007 / 3008
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open Everyday
Website: bongwonsa.or.kr

 

Accommodation

There are quite a number of good accommodation near Bongwonsa Temple to choose from, and they range from luxurious international standard hotels with 5-stars to the more budgeted ones. We recommend you do your own research to find one that will serve your needs and pocket.

1. Oakwood Premier Coex Center
Address: 46, Teheran-ro 87-gil, Gangnam-gu, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 3466 7000
Website: http://oakwood-premier-coex-center-seoul.business.site/

2. Hotel Peyto Samseong
Address: 9, Teheran-ro 87-gil, Gangnam-gu, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 6936 9700
Website: http://www.peytohotel.com/

 

7. Cheong Wa Dae

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Cheong Wa Dae, the official residence and executive office of the President of the Republic of Korea, literally means “pavilion of blue tiles”. The signature blue roof tiles, which are the first thing to catch your eyes when you visit, are also the reason why it is also referred to as the “Blue House”. Surrounded by nature, its smooth, blue roof blends harmoniously with the beautiful Mount Bugaksan in the background.

Cheong Wa Dae buildings include the Main Office, Chunchugwan (Spring and Autumn Pavilion), Yeongbingwan (Guest House), the Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon) Valley, Nokjiwon (Green Grass), and the Seven Palaces.

The Phoenix Fountain in Mugunghwa Valley

The Phoenix Fountain in Mugunghwa Valley

Visitors can explore the valleys of Nokjiwon and Mugunghwa. At Nokjiwon Valley, you will find trees planted by every successive president to mark the memorable occasion. You will also find one very special tree, which is 310 years old. Colourful flowers, a fountain with a phoenix statue can be found in the Mugunghwa Valley. These are favourite photo opportunity spots. The best time to visit would be between July and October when the Mugunghwa flowers are in full bloom.

Take a relaxing walk along the paths just outside the Blue House and enjoy its natural, peaceful surroundings. These paths actually lead you to Gyeongbokgung Palace and to Samcheong-dong Park. The path from the East Gate of Gyeongbokgung to the Blue House is known to be very beautiful, so do explore and enjoy the cooling, fresh air.

 

How to Get There

Subway – The best way to get to Cheong Wa Dae is by subway. From Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), you can alight at Exit 5. Once you’ve reached the Gyeongbokgung Palace grounds, walk for about 600 metres towards the East Gate’s parking area, where you will find Cheong Wa Dae Tour Information Booth.

Note: Gyeongbokgung Palace is closed on Tuesdays, so do not use Exit 5 on that day. Instead, take Exit 4 at Gyeongbokgung Station. Then, walk for about 700 metres in front of the Palace heading towards Anguk Station. Turn left at the Gyeongbokgung intersection (the East Watch Tower). On the left side of the street is where the East Gate Parking Lot is located, and where you’ll find the Cheong Wa Dae Tour Information Booth.

Bus – If you wish to take the bus, get off at Gyeongbokgung Bus Stop. Take the blue bus: 171, 272, 109, 601, or 606. Alternatively, you can take the green bus: 1020, or 7025. If you are taking the green bus, you will need to get off at Bubryunsah Temple Bus Stop.

Address/Location: 1, Cheongwadae-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 730 5800
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open daily following the tour schedule below. Closed on Sundays, Mondays, and National holidays.
Cheong Wa Dae Tour Time: 10 am, 11 am, 2 pm, and 3pm
NOTE: To visit Cheong Wa Dae, you will need to register yourself at least 20 days to 6 months in advance. You are required to bring your Passport & ID card when visiting. Times for visitation may change, so we recommend that you check the official website before heading there.
Website: president.go.kr

 

Accommodation

There are many hotels near Cheong Wa Dae. It all depends on your budget and travel itinerary. Here are two hotels near the building. However, we recommend you do some research on your own to locate the best accommodation for your trip.

1. Susong Motel
Address: 59, Yulgok-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 738 7251
Website: heaven0020@yahoo.co.kr

2. Center Mark Hotel
Address: 38, Insadong 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 731 1000
Website: www.centermarkhotel.com

 

8. Bukchon Hanok Village

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Bukchon Hanok Village is a historical Korean village with hundreds of traditional houses, called hanok, which dates back to the Joseon Dynasty. This ancient village is located around the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Jongmyo Shrine.

The village’s name Bukchon means “northern village”. It is located on the northern side of two prominent landmarks, which are the Cheonggyecheon Stream and Jongno. Many of these hanoks are now transformed into cultural centres, guesthouses, tea houses, and wonderful restaurants offering visitors an experience of traditional Korean culture. Bukchon Hanok Village is truly a must-visit spot if you wish to get a glimpse of Korea’s authentic past.

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How to Get There

Bukchon Hanok Village is conveniently accessible by subway or bus.

Subway – Take the subway from Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and then get down at Exit 1 or 2. Then, proceed to walk straight on for about 300 metres and, in no time at all, you will reach the lovely village.

Bus – Take the Maeul Bus Jongno 02 which will take you directly to the Bukchon Hanok Village Bus Stop.

Address/Location: 37, Gyedong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 2148 4160, +82 2 2148 4161
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open all year round
NOTE: There are various tour courses available, such as the Walking Tour which lasts 3 hours and 30 minutes.
– Reservations can be made via dobo.visitseoul.net
– Please book at least 3 days in advance.
– Confirmation of your reservation can be done via text message or official website.
– Language services are provided in Korean, English, Japanese, and Chinese.
– For further inquiries, call: +82 2 6922 0777
– It is also best to check out their official website below to view the various tour packages offered.
Website: bukchon.seoul.go.kr

 

Accommodation

There are several quaint traditional guest-houses in Bukchon Hanok Village itself that are worth experiencing. Below are just two examples. We highly recommend that you do your own research to see which hanok suits your budget and needs.

1. Bukchonmaru Hanok Guesthouse
Address: 152 Changdeokgung-gil (2-164 Gye-dong), Seoul
Phone: +82 10 3253 8751
Website: http://www.bukchonmaru.com/

2. Bonum 1957 Hanok Stay and Hotel
Address: 53 Bukchon-ro, Gahoe-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 763 1957
Website: https://goo.gl/wMHa3p

 

9. Doseonsa Temple

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A Buddhist monk by the name of Doseonguksa founded the Doseonsa Temple some 1,100 years ago. One day, while travelling through the mountains, he stumbled upon this site and made a prophecy which led to the building of Doseonsa Temple.

Legend has it that Doseonguksa used only his walking stick to carve a large image of Bodhisattva from a huge stone surface. Mysteriously enough, this seems to be true as there are no signs of chisel marks or other possible tools used to carve out the image.

Devotees meditating and performing prayers in front of the image of a Bodhisattva that was carved by Doseonguksa, using only his walking stick

Devotees meditating and performing prayers in front of the image of a Bodhisattva that was carved by Doseonguksa, using only his walking stick

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In the seventh year of the Joseon Dynasty, during the reign of King Gwangmu, Doseonsa Temple was officially named as the representative temple of Korea. The purpose was to promote Cheongdamdaejongsa’s Korean Buddhism movement and revive the religion. These historical circumstances have given Deseonsa Temple a status of high repute that remains to this day.

Visitors can also view the many written works of Cheongdamdaejongsa that are kept inside the Cheongdamdaejongsa Memorial Hall. There is also a wishing pond where many would toss coins after making their wishes. A hiking path can be found just past Yongammun that connects to Baegundae and Insubong. In front of the Ksitigarbha Hall is a very significant tree. It is believed that, 200 years ago, a Buddhist monk brought over this tree from India and planted it on the temple grounds. Throughout the temple, you will discover many other historical artefacts, portraits of significant presidents and many stone Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Surrounded by grand mountain ranges and luxurious green forest, the legendary Doseonsa Temple is definitely one of the best temples to visit in Seoul.

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How To Get There

Take the subway from Suyu Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) and get off at Exit 4. After that, hop on bus no.120 to Ui-dong and get down at the last stop. From there, you can take the Shuttle Bus to Doseonsa Temple. Alternatively, it is a 40-minute walk to the temple from the bus stop.

Address/Location: 504, Samyang-ro 173-gil, Gangbuk-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 1330 (1330 Travel Hotline)
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open all year round

 

Accommodation

Since Doseonsa Temple is out of the city centre, there are no hotels around its immediate area. Here are two examples of nearby hotels. We would advise you to do further research to find a suitable accommodation that fits your budget and needs.

1. Rich Diamond Hotel
Address: 500-18, Samyang-ro, Gangbuk-gu, Ssangmunil-tong, Seoul
Phone: +82 2-905-9131
Website: https://www.tripadvisor.com.my/Hotel_Review-g294197-d7372632-Reviews-Benikea_Rich_Diamond_Hotel-Seoul.html

2. Design Hotel Daniel Campanella
Address: 6, Opaesan-ro 79-gil, Gangbuk-gu, Mia-dong, 01062, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 8066 2490
Website: https://au.hotels.com/ho602512/design-hotel-daniel-campanella-mia-dong-south-korea/

 

10. Changdeokgung Palace

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After Gyeongbukgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace was the second palace to be constructed in 1405. The Emperors of the Joseon Dynasty regarded Changdeokgung as the principal palace and, hence, it is one of the more well-preserved buildings out of the four palaces.

The Palace was a favourite retreat for the kings of Joseon Dynasty. As such, it boasts a beautiful secret garden called ‘Geumwon’ (Forbidden garden) where no one was allowed to enter without permission from the king. Today it is known as Biwon or Secret Garden. Its magnificent landscape consist of a pond, several pavilions, and a variety of trees, some are over 300 years old. The garden is kept as natural as possible. Human intervention is allowed only when necessary.

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In 1592, unfortunate events saw angry citizens burning the palace down and the royal family fleeing the Japanese invasion of Korea. In 1611, the palace was restored by Gwanghaegun. Today, the palace houses a few cultural treasures such as Injeongjeon Hall, Seonjeongjeon Hall, Daejojeon Hall, and Nakseonjae.

In 1997, Changdeokgung Palace was recognised as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. The best time to visit this beautiful palace and its garden paradise is in the autumn when you can witness an array of stunning, colourful foliage.

With so much beauty and significant historical interest, Changdeokgung Palace is definitely a must-visit place when you are in Seoul.

The Secret Garden of Changdeokgung Palace is a paradise worth exploring especially during the autumn season

The Secret Garden of Changdeokgung Palace is a paradise worth exploring especially during the autumn season

 

How to Get There

Subway – Take the subway from Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and get off at Exit 3. From the exit, walk towards the east for about 5 minutes, and you will arrive at the entrance of the palace.

Bus – If you wish to take the bus, you can hop on any of the bus numbers below. Just be sure to get down at the Changgyeonggung Palace Bus Stop.

Blue Bus No: 100, 102, 104, 106, 107, 108, 140, 143, 150, 151, 160, 162, 301, 710
Airport Bus No: 6011

Address/Location: 99, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 3668 2300
Entrance Fee:
Adults (ages 19-64): Regular 3,000 won / Huwon 5,000 won
Children and Teenagers (ages 18 and under): Regular 1,500 won / Huwon 2,500 won
Group (over 10 people): 20% discount offered for regular tickets only.
Integrated Admission:
Admission to the Four Palaces: Changdeokgung Palaces + Huwon, Secret Garden, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine. Ticket price: 10,000 won per person (1-month validity from the date of purchase)
– No refunds allowed after the ticket has been used at the first site
– Separate tickets for a combined tour of Changdeokgung and Changgyeonggung Palaces can only be purchased at Hamyangmun Gate.
– The Jongmyo Shrine tour is offered only at specific times of the day, except Saturdays, when visitors may tour at their own leisure. At this time, the passage that connects Jongmyo Shrine and Changgyeonggung Palace will be closed to the public.
– Closed on Mondays: Changdeokgung, Deoksugung, and Changgyeonggung Palaces
– Closed on Tuesdays: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Jongmyo Shrine.
Opening Hours:
Feb-May & Sep-Oct: 9 am – 6 pm
Jun-Aug: 9 am – 6:30 pm
Nov-Jan: 9 am -5:30 pm
Website: eng.cdg.go.kr

 

Accommodation

Below are two suggested accommodation near Changdeokgung Palaces. With accommodation ranging from luxurious 5-star hotels to the simpler budget motels, it is best to do your own research so that you can find a place that suits your needs and budget.

1. GAM Seoul Hostel
Address: 12, Yulgok-ro 10-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 764 2052
Website: stayingam.com

2. The An Hostel
Address: 61, Donhwamun-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 1577 0988
Website: www.theankorea.co.kr

 

11. Insadong

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Insadong is the artistic heartbeat of Seoul. Here, you will find precious and unique artworks from traditional to contemporary along the many, small, windy alleyways. There are around 100 art galleries, traditional teahouses, cafes, and restaurants just waiting to be discovered.

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With a dizzying array of traditional Korean artworks, from fine art paintings to interesting sculptures, Insadong is a haven for art lovers. Galleries like the famous Hakgojae Gallery function as folk art centres, while Gana Art Gallery promotes some of Koreas up-and-coming artists. Take a stroll down these winding alleyways and find hidden treasures of the old and new Korea.

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On Saturdays (2 pm – 10 pm) and Sundays (10 am to 10 pm), the main street of Insadong is closed off and transformed into a cultural street. Many booths will be set up along the street, selling all kinds of things from Korean candy to fortune telling services. There are also various traditional performances and exhibitions, which makes Insadong a favourite among tourists all over the world.

 

How To Get There

Subway – Catch the Subway from Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and get off at Exit 6. Then, walk straight for about 100 metres and turn left to Insadong street.

If you are taking the subway from Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), you should get off at Exit 3. Walk 300 metres till you reach the four-way intersection. Turn left and walk straight for another 100 metres before turning left again to Insadong-gil Road.

Bus – Alternatively, you can also take the bus. Below are the bus services that can take you to Insadong. Be sure to get off at either Anguk Station, Jongno Police Office, or Insa-dong Bus Stop.

Buses to take are:
Green Bus: 7025
Blue Bus: 109, 151, 162, 171, 172, 601
Maeul Bus: Jongno02
Airport Bus: 6011

Address/Location: 62, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 1330 (1330 Travel Hotline)
Entrance Fee: NIL
Opening Hours: Open throughout the year
Website: www.visitseoul.net

 

Accommodation

Finding accommodation around the Insadong area is quite easy as there are many inns, motels, and even luxurious international hotels all around the area. Here are just two examples. We recommend you do more research to find one that suits your requirements.

1. K-guesthouse Insadong 1 – Goodstay
Address: 30-9, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 732 4731
Website: https://www.lafolie-laos.com/

2. Insa Hostel – Goodstay
Address: 48, Insadong 14-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 714 0644
Website: www.insahostel.co.kr

 

12. Jongmyo Shrine

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During the Joseon Dynasty, Jongmyo Shrine was the principal place of worship for the royals. Jongmyo Shrine performs the oldest and most complete memorial ceremony, called Jongmyo Jaerye, which is carried out based on the king’s instructions. Due to their well-preserved customs, such as memorial services and traditional music, Jongmyo Shrine was recognised as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1995.

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These ancient ceremonies were performed during the Joseon Dynasty when the seasons change and on the 12th month of the lunar year. Unfortunately, these ceremonies were banned when the Japanese occupied Korea, but today it is re-enacted yearly on the first Sunday in the month of May.

The music that is performed during the ceremony is called Jongmyo Jaeryeak. The ceremony itself also includes the performances of songs as well as traditional instruments and dances that are over 500 years old. The month of May is the best time to visit Jongmyo Shrine as you will get to experience the Korean Royal Palace Culture Festival together with other cultural heritage festivals.

A re-enactment of a royal ancestral memorial rite called Jongmyo Daeje held annually in May

A re-enactment of a royal ancestral memorial rite called Jongmyo Daeje held annually in May

 

How To Get There

Subway – Take the subway from Jongno 3 (sam)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 3, 5) and get down at Exit 11.

Bus – Alternatively, you can take the bus. Here are the buses that go to the shrine.
Bus No: 111, 201, 260, 262, 270, 271, 721, N15, N62 or 9301
Get down at Jongno 4(sa)-ga. Jongmyo Shrine Bus Stop.

Address/Location: 157, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 1330 (1330 Travel Hotline)
Entrance Fee:
Adults (ages 19 and over): 1,000 won / Youth (ages 7-18): 500 won
Free entry:
– Visiting the royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty on the last Wednesday of each month or during Culture Day.
– Infants (ages 6 & below) and seniors (ages 65 & over) upon proof of identification.
– Visitors wearing Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes)
Opening Hours:
February – May / September – October: 9 am – 6 pm
June – August: 9 am – 6:30 pm
November – January: 9 am – 5:30 pm
Last Admission is 1 hour before closing time
Website: www.jikimi.cha.go.kr

 

Accommodation

There many different types of accommodation near Jongmyo Shrine ranging from budget motels to the more high-end touristy ones. You should do more research to find one that fits your travel itinerary, budget, and requirements. Here are two examples.

1. Amiga In Seoul – Goodstay
Address: 46-8, Jong-ro 31-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 3672 7970
Website: amiga.inodea.co.kr

2. The An Hostel – Goodstay
Address: 61, Donhwamun-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 1577 0988
Website: www.theankorea.co.kr

 

13. Bukhansan National Park

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Mount Bukhansan means “big mountain in the north”, but it is also known as Mount Samgaksan. Located on the north side of Seoul, it was recognised as a national park in 1983. With its highest peak at 836 metres, Mount Bukhansan is the highest mountain within the city of Seoul, which makes it a very visible landmark from most parts of the city. It earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest number of visitors (5 million) per square foot for a national park.

The shape of Mount Bukhansan is so smooth that it looks as if the huge granite rocks are just about to slide down. Its sharp peaks give it a dynamic contrast among the vast valleys and rivers flowing beneath the mountain.

Mount Bukhansan is also home to about 1,300 species of animals and plants. Here, you will also find the world-famous granite rock on Insubong Peak, which stands over 200 metres above sea level. In total, there are around 100 different paths that can lead you to this rock.

Mount Bukhansan is also a historic site with Bukhansanseong Fortress built along the edges of its mountain. The fortress wall was specifically built by King Sukjong of Joseon Dynasty to stop foreign invasions. It covers 8,500 metres of the mountain area. The best time to visit is during the autumn when the view from the fortress is especially amazing.

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There are also many temples all over the mountain area such as Sangunsa Temple which was built by a monk name Won-Hyo. These temples are evidence of Korea’s rich cultural heritage. There is the Seungasa Temple on the east side of Bibong Peak, where you will find huge rock-carved Buddhas (Maaeseokgayeoraejwasang) in lotus sitting postures. Another interesting temple is located halfway up to Musubong Peak and is called the Munsusa Temple. A visit to this temple will introduce you to the wonders of Munsugol Cave. This cave produces purified mountain water that drops from its ceiling. Again, the best time to visit these temples is during autumn as Mother Nature presents the most astonishing colours surrounding these ancient shrines.

A huge rock-carved Buddha found on Sangunsa Temple

A huge rock-carved Buddha found on Sangunsa Temple

Another huge rock-carved Buddha located at Sangunsa Temple ground

Another huge rock-carved Buddha located at Sangunsa Temple ground

If you continue hiking around the National Park, you will stumble upon a 24-metre high golden Buddha at Guknyeongsa Temple

If you continue hiking around the National Park, you will stumble upon a 24-metre high golden Buddha at Guknyeongsa Temple

The golden Buddha at Guknyeongsa Temple

The golden Buddha at Guknyeongsa Temple

In spring, the mountain is filled with all kinds of flowers. In the summer, it is covered with a carpet of lush, green foliage. The hiking path is considered the best mountain climbing path and is especially enjoyable during this season. If you are visiting Seoul, Mount Bukhansan will give you a breath of fresh air from the hectic pace of city life.

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How To Get There:

Subway – Take the subway from Gireum Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) and get off at Exit 3.

Bus – You can also go by bus. Hop on bus no. 110B or 143, and get down at the last stop.

If you wish to go to Bukhansanseong Fortress, you can take the subway from Gupabal Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and get off at Exit 1.

If you are going by bus, take bus no.704 and get down at the Bukhansan Mountain entrance.

Note: Public transportation routes are subject to change without prior notice. Always check the official website for confirmation before you travel.

Address/Location: 02700 6-21, Bogungmun-ro 34-gil, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 909 0497
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open throughout the year
Website: english.knps.or.kr

 

Accommodation

You can find several types of accommodation near the mountain. They range from the luxurious to the economical. We recommend you do further research to find one that fits your plans and requirements. Below are two examples.

1. White Rabbit
Address: 14, Hyehwa-ro 6ga-gil, Jongno-gu, Jongno-Gu, 03067 Seoul
Phone: + 82 10 9975 0685
Website: https://www.facebook.com/WhiteRabbit2015

2. A House
Address: 32, Palpan-gil, Jongno-gu, Jongno-Gu, 110-220 Seoul
Phone: NIL
Website: https://goo.gl/bKWji5

 

14. Namiseom Island

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Namiseom Island, or Nami Island for short, is a small island in Chuncheon that is shaped like a half-moon. It was formed in 1944 when the Cheongpyeong Dam was constructed. The name Cheongpyeong was taken from the similarly-named General who was victorious against the rebels during the reign of the King Sejo of the Joseon Dynasty (1455 – 1468). Unfortunately, he was falsely accused of treason and died at the age of 28. A pile of stones were discovered at the site where his body was supposed to be buried. Today, it is considered his grave. A tour company made arrangements to cover the refurbishment, and also developed the island into an amusement park. Locals believe that taking even one stone from the grave will bring bad luck and misfortune onto the family.

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Nami Island is located 63 km away from Seoul. Visitors will enjoy the peaceful, natural surroundings that blend harmoniously well with Namisum’s art and culture. It owes its claim to fame to its rows of tall, verdant trees lining the roads. There are no telephone or electricity poles on the island. They are all hidden underground to preserve the natural beauty of this island.

The island covers about 114 acres with chestnut trees and poplar trees growing all around it. At the centre of the island is about 65 acres of grass fields with educational and training facilities, as well as a few camping sites. The amusement park has many exciting facilities from water-sports and ferry rides to a theme park with a merry-go-round, and a roller skating rink. You can even spend the night on the island as there are resort villas and bungalows available. Namiseom Island is an amusement park like no other as it allows you to enjoy and appreciate nature, culture and art together peacefully.

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How to Get There:

Getting to Namiseom Island from Seoul is very easy. There are daily shuttle buses from Seoul to the island that provides a round-trip, but they only make 1 trip per day.

Alternatively, you can take the much cheaper Metro subway train to the island.

NOTE: To find out more, please log on to Namiseom Island official website below. As public transportation may sometimes change, it is always best to double-check before heading out. You can also get more information about its facilities, tickets to various rides, and the latest events.

Address/Location: 1, Namisum-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do 24464
Head office: Nami Island Seoul Center, 1~3F, 9-4 Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03164 KOREA
Chuncheon: Nami Island, 1 Namisum-gil, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do 24464 KOREA
Gapyeong: Nami Island Entry Wharf, 1024 Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do 12422 KOREA
Namiseom Ferry Dock: 1024, Bukhangangbyeon-ro, Gapyeong-eup, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do
Phone: +82-31-580-8114
Entrance Fee: 8,000 won (Adults)
Opening Hours: 7:30 am to 9:30 pm daily
Website: https://namisum.com/en/

NOTE: Namiseom Island is not accessible by car and you will need to take a ferry from Gapyeong Station. Outdoor cooking and camping are not allowed.

 

Accommodation

There are no hotels on Namiseom Island. The closest is in Gapyeong township, where you catch the Nami Island ferry. With a little research, you are bound to find lodgings that fit your budget and requirements. Below are two examples.

1. Jeonggwanru
Address: 198, Bangha-ri, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Phone: +82 31 580 8000
Website: https://namisum.com/en/hotel/jeonggwanru/

2. Elysian Gangchon
Address: 29-1, Baegyang-ri, Namsan-myeon, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do
Phone: +82 2 1330 (Travel Hotline) / +82 33 260 2000 (Korean)
Website: www.elysian.co.kr (Korean only)

 

15. Seoraksan (Mount Seorak) National Park

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Map of Seoraksan National Park

Map of Seoraksan National Park

Seoraksan, also known as Seolsan and Seolbongsan, is Korea’s beloved mountain and one of the most memorable tourist attractions. The name Seorak is derived from ‘Seol’, which means ‘snow’, and ‘Ak’, which means ‘big mountain’. The Seorak Mountain district was recognised as a Natural Monument preservation area in November 1965. It became a preservation park in December 1973 and a UNESCO Preservation District in 1982.

At the outer entrance of Sinheungsa Temple, you will be greeted by a beautiful large Buddha statue called Unification Buddha

At the outer entrance of Sinheungsa Temple, you will be greeted by a beautiful large Buddha statue called Unification Buddha

In Seoraksan, you will discover magnificent cliffs with jagged peaks that rise above its emerald pine forest. Waterfalls, crystal-clear streams, and enchanting pools create a paradise on earth. Together with an amazing display of natural wilderness in various forms and flora and fauna that changes colours, the four seasons is what makes this park one of the world’s best hiking spots. The entire park is spread across four cities and counties: Sokcho, Inje, Goseong, and Yangyang. The highest point is Daecheongbong.

Spring and autumn are the best times to visit the park as the weather will be mild with temperatures that can go over 30°C.

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How To Get There:

The best way to get there is via the Express/Intercity Bus, which can be taken from Gangnam Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal. Purchase a ticket to Sokcho. Buses leave every 30 minutes, and the journey takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Another option is the Sokcho City bus, which can be taken from Sokcho Express or Intercity Bus Terminal. The 7 or 7-1 will bring you all the way into Seorak-Dong Park Village and up to the park’s entrance gate. Travel time is about 60 minutes.

For more information, do check out its official website below.

Address/Location: 43, Seorak-dong, Sokcho Si, Gangwon-Do
Phone: +82 33 636 7700 / 7702 / 7703
Entrance Fee:
3,500 won (Adults)
1,000 won (Middle to high school students ages 14-19)
500 won (Elementary school students ages 8-13)
For further Inquiries call Sinheungsa Temple Ticket Office +82 33 636 8755 or visit the website below.
Opening Hours: Open throughout the year
Website: english.knps.or.kr/Knp/Seoraksan

 

Accommodation

There are many different types of accommodation near Seoraksan National Park. However, we would recommend that you do further research to find the right accommodation that suits your requirements. Here are two suggestions.

1. Kensington Stars Hotel
Address: 998, Seoraksan-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Phone: +82 33 635 4001
Website: www.kensington.co.kr

2. Mammoth Resortel
Address: 22, Cheongbong-ro 5-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Phone: +82 33 636 7070
Website: www.mammostel.com

 

16. Lotte World

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Welcome to the land of fun and entertainment! Lotte World is a huge theme park of international standards that is filled with all kinds of thrilling rides and parades. There is an ice rink, a folk museum, a variety of department stores, and a lake, just to name a few.

There are two theme parks in Lotte World: the indoor Lotte World Adventure theme park, and the outdoor Magic Island theme park which is located next to Seokchonhosu Lake.

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In Lotte World Adventure, you will find different sections that represent particular countries. The country’s style and culture are depicted in various facilities and souvenir shops. There are also all kinds of entertainment from parades and films to high-tech laser shows as well as a smorgasbord of international cuisine to be savoured.

While you are here, don’t forget to check out the extremely popular Folk Museum. Some of the precious exhibits include 5000 years of Korean history. Apart from antiques and ancient treasures, there are also miniature villages and a playground.

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A variety of musical themes to match each season are presented at The Lotte World Garden Stage. Fans of Korean stars will love the Lotte World Star Avenue where you will get to be entertained by Korean artists from the entertainment scene.

 

How To Get There:

The best way to get to Lotte World is by subway. Take the train from Jamsil Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 8) and get off at Exit 4, which is conveniently connected directly to Lotte World.

Address/Location: 240, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 1661 2000
Entrance Fee:
Full day: 52,000 won (Adults) / 45,000 won (Teenagers) / 41,000 won (Children) / 13,000 won (Infant)
After 4pm: 41,000 won (Adults) / 36,000 won (Teenagers) / 32,000 won (Children) / 13,000 won (Babies)
– There are also admission-only tickets. For more information, please visit the official website below.
Opening Hours: 9:30 am – 10 pm (Night-time admission: 4 pm onwards)
– Closing times may vary each day. Always check the official website below.
Website: www.lotteworld.com

 

Accommodation

Accommodation is available inside Lotte World as well nearby. It all depends on your budget and requirements. Here are two accommodation, one of which is located inside Lotte World itself. It would be good for you to do further research to find a hotel that best suits your needs.

1. Lotte Hotel World
Address/Location: 240, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 419 7000
Website: www.lottehotelworld.com

2. Hotel Lake
Address: 216, Seokchonhosu-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 422 1001
Website: www.hotellake.co.kr

 

17. Jogyesa Temple

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Built in the late 14th century, Jogyesa Temple is the head temple of the Jogye order of Korean Buddhism. At one time, a fire reduced the temple to ashes. With the great effort of many monks, especially Han Yong-un and Lee Hee-gwang, it was restored in 1910 and renamed Gackhwangsa Temple.

In 1936, the temple was chosen to be the head temple of Buddhism in Korea and renamed Tegosa Temple. In 1954, when the Koreans took back Korea from Japan, they went through a period of purification. They started eliminating everything that had Japanese influence and started reviving the traditional Korean Buddhism. This was how Jogyesa Temple came to its present state.

The Buddha altar inside Jogyesa Temple

The Buddha altar inside Jogyesa Temple

The temple’s main prayer hall has become the main venue for major Buddhist events and ceremonies like the annual lantern festival. The festival celebrates the birth of the Buddha by hanging hundreds of colourful lanterns all over the temple grounds. It is a beautiful sight not to be miss.

Jogyesa Temple’s Dharma Hall plays host to several Buddhist celebrations, as well as rituals, lectures, ceremonies, and other events all year long.

The temple has a cultural program, called “Temple Stay”, which allows lay people to experience the life of a Buddhist practitioner. You will learn about Korean Buddhist culture and history. It is an opportunity to learn Korean Buddhist traditions first-hand, such as making lotus flowers or salt mandala, tea ceremony demonstrations, as well as 108 deep bows. There are also meditation sessions on how to control one’s mind and examine it from within to achieve inner peace. These practices give people a chance to learn how to be happier and more at peace. The Temple Stay program is a 2-day-1-night experience. If you are interested, you may inquire at the temple or go to its official website below.

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How To Get There:

The best way to get to Jogyesa Temple is by subway. Below are three stations from where you can take the subway to get to the temple.

1. Jonggak Subway Station
From Jonggak Station (Subway Line 1), get off at Exit 2. Walk 70 metres and then cross the street. Continue walking another 100 metres, and you will arrive at the path to Jogyesa Temple.

2. Anguk Subway Station
From Anguk Station (Subway Line 3), get off at Exit 6. Walk for 50 metres and then cross the street in front of Dongduk Gallery. Continue on for another 50 metres, and you will arrive at the path to Jogyesa Temple.

3. Gwanghwamun Subway Station
From Gwanghwamun Station (Subway Line 5), get off at Exit 2. Walk for about 150 metres and arrive at a path to Jogyesa Temple, which is between YTN Parking Tower and Hana Bank.

Address/Location: 55, Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 732 2115
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open all year round
Website: www.templestay.com

 

Accommodation

There are many different types of accommodation near Jogyesa Temple ranging from luxurious 5-star hotels to budget inns. We recommend you do further research to find lodgings that suit your budget and requirements. Below are two examples.

1. Susong Motel
Address: 59, Yulgok-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 738 7251
Website: NIL

2. K-guesthouse Insadong 1
Address: 30-9, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 732 4731
Website: insadong.k-guesthouse.co.kr

 

18. Everland

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Welcome to the largest theme park in South Korea. Everland in Yongin city entertains 7.3 million visitors yearly. The theme park boasts many stimulating rides, colourful festivals, and Zootopia, where you can get up close with gentle giants like giraffes. There are also many themed festivals, such as the Tulip Festival, Rose Festival, and Summer Splash. There is always something for everyone, young and old here in Everland.

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The T- Express is the park’s most popular ride. It is Korea’s first wooden roller coaster and a must-ride for adrenaline junkies.

Home to around 2,000 animals from 201 different species, Zootopia is an experience not to be missed. Get up close and personal with 150 animals from 20 species in a specialised, convertible amphibian vehicle at Lost Valley, the largest ecological safari attraction. While you’re at Zootopia, don’t forget to visit Panda World where you’ll see two giant pandas gifted by China’s President Xi Jinping as a sign of the good friendship between Korea and China.

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How to Get There:

Subway – Take the subway from Jeondae to Everland Station (Yongin EverLine) and get off at Exit 3. Then, take the shuttle bus that goes directly to Everland. They operate from 5:30 am – 11:30 pm.

Bus – Alternatively, you can take the bus from the listed stations below:
– Gangnam, Sinnonhyeon, Yangjae Stations: Bus 5002
– Segok-dong, Pangyo, Jamsil, Suseo, Songpa, Gangbyeon Stations: Bus 5700
– Nambu Terminal Stations (via Bundang and Gwangju), Sadang: Bus 1500-2
– Gangdong Stations (via Gwangju), Gangbyeon: Bus 1113
For more information, please visit Everland’s official website below.

Address/Location: 199, Everland-ro, Pogok-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do
Phone: +82 31 320 5000
Entrance Fee:

Admission + Rides:
– One-day Ticket: 54,000 won (Adults) / 46,000 won (Teenagers) / 43,000 won (Children & Seniors)
– Night Ticket (after 5 pm): 45,000 won (Adults) / 39,000 won (Teenagers) / 36,000 won (Children & Seniors)
– Two-day Ticket: Adults 84,000 won (Adults) / 71,000 won (Teenagers) / 67,000 won (Children & Seniors)
These tickets includes free admission to Ho-Am Art Museum for the day, does not include charges for coin-operated rides, rentals, animal rides, and special exhibitions. Two-Day Tickets are not available via online or mobile reservation.

Admission Only:
– Weekdays (One day): 45,000 won (Adults) / 38,000 won (Teenagers) / 35,000 won (Children)
– Night Ticket (after 5 pm): 36,000 won (Adults) / 33,000 won (Teenagers) / 31,000 won (Children)
Note: Online or mobile reservations are not applicable for this ticket.
– Discount is given to seniors over 65, teenagers 13-18, children 3-12 upon proof of ID.
– Children age 3 and below have free entry. However, to use the Infant Only Facilities, you will need to purchase the Infant admission + ticket for the rides.

Opening Hours: 10 am – 10 pm
Operating hours may vary depending on the day of the week. Please check the official website below before your visit.
Website: everland.com

 

Accommodation

There are many hotels near Everland, so it would be best if you did some research beforehand so that you can find the best accommodation for your budget and needs. Here are two suggestions.

1. Q Hotel
Address: 355-15 Jeondae-ri, Pogog-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Phone: +82 31-339-8881
Website: http://www.qhotel.co.kr/

2. Everlast Guesthouse
Address: 152 Samgye-ri, Pogog-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Phone: +82 10 5115 8125
Website: http://blog.naver.com/arjard2

 

19. The National Museum of Korea

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The National Museum of Korea is definitely one of the places to visit when you are in Seoul. Located about 1.5 km from Yongsan Station, it is the largest museum in Korea. Home to some of the most precious cultural assets of the country, this is a great place to learn about Korea’s fascinating history and rich cultural heritage.

There are many galleries displaying a wide range of local and international treasures. Besides that, the Museum also manages several activities related to its collection and activities in preservation, research, and publication, as well as intercultural exchange programs. Visitors are welcome to participate in some of their educational and cultural programmes.

Some of the many precious artefacts exhibited in the National Museum include ancient and priceless Buddha statues

Some of the many precious artefacts exhibited in the National Museum include ancient and priceless Buddha statues

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How To Get There:

Subway – Take the subway from Ichon Station (Seoul Subway Line 4 & Gyeongui-Jungang Line) and get off at Exit 2. The subway station is conveniently connected to the museum through Bakmulgwan Nadeul-gil underpass.

Bus – You can also take bus no. 400, 502, or the Seoul City Tour Bus, which will take you directly to the museum. For more information and confirmation on the schedule, go to seoulcitybus.com.

Address/Location: 137, Seobinggo-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 2077 9000
Entrance Fee: Check out their website below for their packages
Opening Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10 am – 6 pm
Wednesday & Saturday: 10 am -9 pm
Sunday & Public Holidays: 10 am- 7 pm
– Children’s Museum is open till late evening on the last Wednesday of every month (200 tickets will be sold at 6 pm and 7:30 pm respectively. First-come, first-served basis)
– Purchasing at Ticket Booth: Last admission is 1 hour before closing time
– Closed on New Year’s Day, Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day), and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day).
Website: http://www.museum.go.kr/site/eng/home

 

Accommodation

There are many different types of accommodation near the National Museum, and they range from the luxurious 5-star hotels to the more modest inns. Below are two options. However, we recommend you do further research to choose the one that suits you best.

1. Hotel Crown Itaewon
Address: 140, Noksapyeong-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 797 4111
Website: hotelcrown.com

2. Mosc Guesthouse
Address: 141-3 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 796 7800
Website: http://mosc.kr/

 

20. Itaewon

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Designated as a ‘Special Tourism District’, Itaewon is an international hub where culture, shopping, and entertainment come together. You can meet people from all over the world in this township. There is a local joke that says that foreigners residing in Seoul may not know Seoul, but they would know Itaewon.

Located in the middle of Yongsan-gu, Itaewon became home to many American soldiers who stayed back after the Korean War. As a result, many houses and businesses popped up. Later, when Seoul was preparing for international events such as the Seoul Asian and Olympic Games, the area was further developed and promoted to international tourists all over the world.

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You can find an abundance of international cuisines, trendy fashion, antiques, furniture, custom-made clothes, entertainment venues, and clubs. Being a meeting point for diverse nationalities with many unique flavours and striking interiors, it is no wonder that Itaewon is considered ‘the global village of Seoul’. Definitely a great place for clubbing, shopping, and enjoying good food from different parts of the world.

 

How to Get There:

Subway – You can get to Itaewon by taking Seoul Subway Line 6 to Itaewon Station, Noksapyeong Station, and Hangangjin Station.

Bus – You can also get to Itaewon by taking the following buses:
Green Bus: 0013, 0015
Blue Bus: 110, 730
Airport Bus & Seoul City Tour Bus: 9 am -9 pm. Buses run every 30 minutes.

Address/Location: Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 797 7319, 2293, +82 2 3785 2514
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 9 am -9 pm (varies from shop to shop)
Website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SH/SH_EN_7_2_6_1.jsp

 

Accommodation

There are many different types of accommodation in the Itaewon township, ranging from luxurious 5-star hotels to more economical options. With a little research, you should be able to find a place that suits your needs and budget.

1. Hamilton Hotel
Address: 179, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 794 0171 / +82 2 6393 1000
Website: www.hamilton.co.kr

2. IP Boutique Hotel
Address: 221, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Phone: +82 2 3702 8000
Website: www.ipboutiquehotel.com

 

Travel Books on Seoul

Get the most out of your trip! Before you fly to Seoul, do some research and get yourself a good travel book to help you plan your trip better. Here are two very popular travel books on Seoul that can make your visit a most enjoyable experience:

Lonely Planet Seoul (Travel Guide)
Authors: Trent Holden and Simon Richmond

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“Lonely Planet Seoul is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Walk along the long-buried Cheong-gye-cheon stream, wander the labyrinthine streets of Bukchon Hanok Village, or try some Korean cuisine at Gwangjang Market; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Seoul and begin your journey now!”

From: https://www.amazon.com/Lonely-Planet-Seoul-Travel-Guide/dp/1741796741

The Rough Guide to Seoul
Authors: Martin Zatko

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“The Rough Guide to Seoul is the ultimate travel companion to the Korean capital, one of Asia’s most intriguing and energetic cities.

Comprehensive sections detail the very best places to eat, drink, shop, and unwind, providing information on everything from the luxurious cafes, restaurants, and clothing boutiques of Apgujeong to Hongdae’s snack stands, barbeque halls, and hole-in-the wall bars. The guide depicts Seoul’s culinary scene and dynastic history with glorious color images and highly detailed maps, enabling readers to get a grip on Seoul’s modern art, live music, and bustling cultural scene.

The guide also will help you to see a side of Seoul you never thought possible, by providing you with knowledge of its royal fortresses, secluded temples, enchanting islands, and the world’s most visited national park. This guide contains all the information a traveler could possibly need to reach all these destinations, and more. Make the most of your time in Seoul with The Rough Guide to Seoul.”

From: https://www.amazon.com/Rough-Guide-Seoul-Martin-Zatko/dp/1405380004

Sources:

  • http://www.tommyooi.com/seoul-attractions/
  • https://www.roughguides.com/destinations/asia/south-korea/seoul/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seoul
  • http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Demographics_of_South_Korea
  • http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/AK/AK_EN_1_5_12.jsp
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Seoul
  • http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/guides/guide-to-south-korea-etiquette-customs-culture-business/
  • http://www.korea.net/AboutKorea/Korean-Life/Religion
  • http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Seoul
  • https://anakjajan.com/2016/01/07/korea-food-guide-what-to-eat-in-seoul/
  • https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2012/nov/28/seoul-south-korea-food-guide-dishes
  • http://sethlui.com/must-eat-food-seoul-korea/

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4 Responses to Wonderful Korea – Seoul

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  1. Datuk May on Aug 4, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Korea was known as the “Hermit Kingdom” in the history books, as such Koreans were not accustomed to foreigners even if you are Asian with some similarities to them. Result of which they were not friendly to tourists.

    I first visited Seoul in the mid 80s and again in the early 90s and the atmosphere of doing business there was not pleasant as the Koreans did not trust foreigners due to their lack of exposure to them.

    However I was fortunate to revisit Seoul Korea about 4 years ago and the changes are very astonishing. Koreans accept foreigners and are most helpful and courteous.

    The country has advanced tremendously with their iconic brands known all over the world, the likes of Samsung, Kia, Hyundai, LG etc. Even their cosmetic brands are catching world attention.

    It is enjoyable these days to go to Seoul to enjoy the Korean culture and traditions and also the cuisine. Seoul has become an affluent and well managed city, but do mind the traffic congestions during peak hours.

    Take a read of this very comprehensive article on “Wonderful Korea-Seoul” and you will be tempted to visit.

  2. Fong on Aug 4, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    I always thought Korea was cold and dry and barren but this has shown me otherwise. It is always good to acquire knowledge by reading. Travelling will further expand the mind and encourage us not to keep our mind closed.

    From this article one can see that Korea is a beautiful country with spirituality and rich culture.

    Thank you for another beautiful article.

  3. Anne Ong on Jul 22, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Very interesting article about Korea. Something different for a change.I used to watch a lot of Korean dramas with my family and especially about Joseon dynasty. Still remember some torturing scenes were very gruesome.
    Miss the Bimbimbap rice that i used to eat with my sis,Vivian when we go shopping as the cafe restaurant has shifted to KL. Really feel happy to see those beautiful scenery on pictures. And the nice foods as well.
    Thank you very much Rinpoche and blog team for this interesting article about Korea 🙂

  4. Samfoonheei on Jul 22, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Korea aslo known as the “Land of the Morning Calm,” has endured turbulent times for much of its multi-thousand year history. It has survived invasions by numerous empires, colonization, and a political split into northern and southern nations. Korea is one of the most advanced countries in the world and is a modern and vibrant nation in which traditional culture stands alongside a glittering future.
    Korea got a number of beautiful place to offer to tourist with its scenery,ancient cultures and beautiful architectural ancient buildings.
    Their beautiful traditional costumes looks beautiful,colourful and unqiue too.
    From what i read through these post ,its really beautiful to visit .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these very informative post which make it easier for those travelling there.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:57 AM
    What a choice Kenneth Lee made….quit his well-paying job as a lecturer. And now he is teaching in a small school in a remote area of Thailand.He has no regret quitting his job for a journey that comes with many uncertainties and changes to a completely new place.
    All he wanted was to live his life as meaningfully as possible and a good teacher who can contribute positively to a place which can help his students.Even though the work load is slightly more because he could not speck their languages.
    He gave up his comfortable life, his material possessions, and he is now enjoying a greater degree of spiritual happiness and has less worries.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this inspiring post .May more people will be inspired by him.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/he-has-the-best-job-in-the-world.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:56 AM
    Very powerful teachings on Bodhicitta which is explains precisely.
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing this powerful teachings by Lama Yeshe.
    I will keep these in mind ,have deep thoughts and maybe a wake up call for me …….(The dedicated attitude of opening your heart to all universal living beings brings relaxation. )
    Many unusual and auspicious signs happens on the day of 2nd Zong Rinpoche, Zongtrul Tenpa Chopel passing.After opening the cremation hearth they found the skull unburned and completely intact with a Tibetan ‘Ah’ syllable.
    The discovery of these extraordinary signs made everyone feel great peace, reaffirming their faith in their Teacher.
    Thanks again with folded hands.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/great-excerpt.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:55 AM
    What%20a%20choice%20Kenneth%20Lee%20made
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:54 AM
    A%20best%20friend%20is%20like%20a%20four%20leaf%20clover%2C%20hard%20to%20find%2C%20lucky%20to%20have.%0AFriendship%20is%20one%20mind%20in%20two%20bodies%20and%20its%20about%20who%20we
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:54 AM
    A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find, lucky to have.
    Friendship is one mind in two bodies and its about who we’ve known and who is always there to be with us at all times.That is dorje Shugden who is always with us and will help us nor matter where and times.As long as we have faith and trust in our powerful Protector Dorje Shugden,he will be our great friend.
    Thank you Rinpoche through your kindness,caring,and compassion we are fortunate to meet and know Rinpoche’s great friend.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/a-good-friend-to-have.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:52 AM
    A%20best%20friend%20is%20like%20a%20four%20leaf%20clover%2C%20hard%20to%20find%2C%20lucky%20to%20have.%0AFriendship%20is%20one%20mind%20in%20two%20bodies%20and%20its%20about%20who%20we
    [no sender]
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Aug 23. 2017 11:52 AM
    A best friend is like a four leaf clover, hard to find, lucky to have.
    Friendship is one mind in two bodies and its about who we’ve known and who is always there to be with us at all times.That is dorje Shugden who is always with us and will help us nor matter where and times.As long as we have faith and trust in our powerful Protector Dorje Shugden,he will be our great friend.
    Thank you Rinpoche through your kindness,caring,and compassion we are fortunate to meet and know Rinpoche’s great friend.


    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/dorje-shugden/a-good-friend-to-have.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:58 PM
    Danny Bowman’s case is extreme, more of a mental problem instead of a vanity issue. However, many people around us are addicted to taking selfie. Even though it might be just showing off their beauty to gain attention, it should not be dismissed lightly. Because of their excessive love for themselves, they lack the empathy for others. This is the real issue. When someone place all the attention on themselves and expect others to do the same, it is against the practice of Bodhicitta. And if it not corrected at early stage, it will become a habituation and strong imprint that will also affect them in their next life.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/selfie-addiction-is-no-laughing-matter-psychiatrists-say.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 05:59 PM
    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this sharing on Dr. Joona Repo’s work. In his book “Phabongka Dechen Nyingpo: His Collected Works and the Guru-Deity-Protector Triad,” Dr. Joona Repo’s impartial recollections of Pabongka Rinpoche serves to debunk certain perception people have towards this erudite master, who was brought into question because of his emphasis on Dorje Shugden and what was deemed as sectarianism practices.

    Through presenting the vastness and diversity of the works by Pabongka Rinpoche and records of his teaching against sectarianism, this book empirically presents a balanced view of Pabongka Rinpoche against those baseless allegations. The fact that Pabongka Rinpoche wrote extensively about Vajrayogini and had visions of Heruka proved that he is no ordinary Lama.

    Pabongka Rinpoche was, in fact, the reincarnation of a well-known scholar Changkya Rolpay Dorje who was the Royal Tutor to the Chinese Emperors. Because of this sensitivity, Pabongka RInpoche was not recognized his lineage by the power of the day. This in itself is a hint that there are more than meet the eyes.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/the-collected-works-of-h-h-pabongka-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:24 PM
    Very inspiring and powerful quotes for us to have a deep thought of it. Which we will need to remember at all times in our spiritual journey.
    I do loves these quotes…
    Remember, if we wish to make an offering to our teacher, no offering is greater than that of our own dharma practice..~Geshe Tsutrim Gyeltsen

    Never abandon your spiritual teacher no matter how many inner obstacles you need to overcome……~Tsem Rinpoche

    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing all these powerful quotes which will change our lives and should not be ignored.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/quotes-that-should-not-be-ignored.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:23 PM
    Wow beautiful and meaningful this precious poem wrote by Rinpoche.And the lyrics of the song made from the poem below by Gavin Gooi is fabulous. Could not beliveve it from a poem to a lovely songs. Nice to hear and i love listerning each and every words said….very touching poem from sadness to happiness expressed .Rinpoche’s Guru Devotion and the love for His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche .
    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing .

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/a-poem-to-my-teacher.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 12:22 PM
    Its a interesting post with 2 giants countries discussing over movie market. Hollywood producers who are increasingly looking to tap the country’s fast-growing box office into China market.However there is restriction .They hopes China will increase the quota and the share of revenues more in line with international markets. And even has openly criticized China on trade.China is likely to raise the quota of imported films as part of recent trade talks.
    China are trying to protect its growing domestic film industry from Hollywood domination. The most best measure is the strict quota limiting the number.
    Brad Pitt was back in China nearly 20 years after being baned over a film about Tibet .Time has changed China policy on celebrities entering China.
    Thank you Pastor Loh Seng Piow for sharing.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/current-affairs/china-raises-movie-quota-hollywood-on-best-behavior.html
  • Tsem Rinpoche
    Tuesday, Aug 22. 2017 10:05 AM
    You won’t believe what this former Citibank vice president has to say. One of the most powerful and inspiring speeches you will ever hear in your life! Plse take a few moments to listen to this. It is worth it.-
    https://www.facebook.com/mercyforanimals/videos/10152917764269475/?hc_ref=ARTTZV6szVgZXaepZJFJ_-wCZ1U-SiyFA3jzC20EoNgCNwsOyTV_ELImvK3Lq_IgBBQ
  • Lin Mun
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 09:48 PM


    Thank you Rinpoche for sharing these precious pictures. It shows so much about Guru Devotion and a very close Guru and student relationship. The love and care of a Guru to his students are unlimited.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/great-lamas-masters/gurus-love-their-students.html
  • Stella Cheang
    Monday, Aug 21. 2017 07:53 PM
    This article reminds me of how, in general, people understand the need to have a strong and fit psychic body but rarely willing to take action to go through the training. Let alone Dharma training of the mind which is much more tougher. Because our habituation has conditioned us to perceive and think a certain way, and the need to unlearn and relearn is not part of our program.

    To me, understanding the need to be trained and having the courage to go through the training is a process in itself. The mind has to be conditioned to understand the need of the training which is to eliminate the “i” and the importance of the training which is to speed up the journey of crossing the ocean of samsara.

    Most importantly, we must recognize it is very rare for us to be in a perfect human condition, meet the dharma and the perfect Guru, therefore, we must not imagine that we have time by thinking there will always be tomorrow. Actually this is the conversation in my mind sometimes… lol.

    Thank you, Rinpoche, for this article.

    http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/inspiration-worthy-words/training-shouldnt-be-optional.html

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
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I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha\'s omniscience.  Tsem Rinpoche)
2 days ago
I pity men who occupy themselves exclusively with the transitory in things and lose themselves in the study of what is perishable, since we are here for this very end- that we may make the perishable imperishable, which we can do only after we have learned how to approach both.~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (This quote is very powerful from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He seems to be a powerful thinker and can think beyond daily and ordinary thoughts. Like I shared, only the study of dharma is going to lead to the imperishable. Any other studies of this world only are temporarily beneficial which is perishable. Of course he is not referring to dharma, but he realized ordinary pursuits leads to perishability. If he knew dharma, he would see the vastness of Buddha's omniscience. Tsem Rinpoche)
One of the nicest Taras I\'ve seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it\'s very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
2 days ago
One of the nicest Taras I've seen. I like her shade of green and the lotus on the left which is lower as her hand is lower so it's very balanced looking. Her face looks young, motherly, kind and yet regal.
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
(1st photo) Kyabje Lati Rinpoche in the centre and Ven Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende on the extreme right. After the unfair ban against Dorje Shugden practitioners was forcibly instituted by Tibetan leadership onto the people and monasteries, the monasteries split. Over 600 monks from Gaden Shartse Monastery left and set up Shar Gaden Monastery. The Tibetan leadership did their best to get the authorities to close Shar Gaden Monastery but Shar Gaden had registered so there was nothing Tibetan leadership can do. It was very sad. Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende left Gaden Shartse Monastery to be the abbot of the newly formed Shar Gaden Monastery in South India where they can continue Dorje Shugden practice. Prior to the ban Lati Rinpoche and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende can meet up, share and be close as they all had been very close. After the ban this was not allowed anymore. Dorje Shugden and non-Dorje Shugden people had to be segregated. They cannot mix. The previous prime minister of the Tibetan exiled government said that Dorje Shugden people and non Dorje Shugden people are like the mustache and the mouth and it has to be separated. Tsem Rinpoche
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende\'s collection. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
You can see in this 2nd photo, Kyabje Lati Rinpoche blessing a child and Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende standing next to the child. The monasteries were happy, united and had good samaya with each other prior to the ban. The ban destroyed everything and unity and harmony. It is very sad to see this. These pictures are from Kensur Rinpoche Lobsang Phende's collection. Tsem Rinpoche
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche on the throne, His Eminence Lati Rinpoche (next to Zong Rinpoche) and below Lati Rinpoche is Kyabje Zemey Rinpoche (sitting below Lati Rinpoche). This is a puja in Gaden Shartse Monastery. A rare and blessed photo and nice to save. Tsem Rinpoche
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I\'ve never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it\'s the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it\'s beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
4 days ago
ou can save this rare thangka of 1,000 armed Heruka. I've never seen this thangka or any of this form before and it's the first time. You can print out or keep or use. I found this online and it's beautiful. Kyabje Zong Rinpoche mentioned this Heruka 30 years ago to us and since then I have never seen this in painting or statue at all till now. He has many legs and many faces too. Very special and unique. Seeing Heruka or thinking of Heruka plants the seeds of enlightenment in our mindstream. Tsem Rinpoche
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I\'ve had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
2 weeks ago
This is Venerable Lhakpa Tsering from Tibet. He has passed away a few years back of natural causes and as he was older. He was one of the high ranking and official oracle of Dorje Shugden, Namka Barzin, Kache Marpo and several other high protectors. He was famous in Tibet for his correct trance of Dorje Shugden and extremely powerful clairvoyance advice of Dorje Shguden. He has been taking trance since Tibet. In 1959 he left Tibet for India and settled in Kalimpong. He continued to take trance in Kalimpong of Dorje Shugden for government officials, local persons, high lamas, monasteries, nuns, monks and even foreigners. For over 40 years his wonderful oracular ability to take trance and give advice and prophecies has benefited so many people. He was trained and blessed as an oracle by the previous Dromo Geshe Rinpoche of Sera Jey Monastery. I've had a chance to stay at his house, meet him and see him in trance. It was a great blessing and amazing experience. Tsem Rinpoche
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
Why seek anything else when you have the illustrious practice of Vajra Yogini from the lineage of the Crazy Wisdom Mahasiddha Naropa? Nothing in samsara created by ordinary men can surpass the practice of Vajra Yogini elucidated to us by the Buddha. Nothing in samsara’s knowledge no matter how incredible can surpass the knowledge embodied in the dharma by the Buddha. Samsara knowledge is limited. When we study Buddha’s knowledge (Dharma) it guarantees our future with no limitations. Spend more time studying dharma than samsaric knowledge. Why even compare? Surrender samsara as death and loss are it’s only results and engage in Dharma practice all the way. Vajra Yogini is dharma and dharma is Vajra Yogini. Give everything for Vajra Yogini’s practice. Start now as a preliminary practice even without initiation (blog article: Starting on Vajra Yogini Now- http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=4395). Humbly, Tsem Rinpoche
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche\'s room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sada Andreyev. She visited him in Los Angeles. Taken in Tsem Rinpoche's room in Thubten Dhargye Ling Dharma centre.
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
3 weeks ago
Young Tsem Rinpoche with his cousin Sonia Waskin. She visited him in Los Angeles, California.
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Taken outside of Thubten Dhargye Ling Buddhist Centre where Tsem Rinpoche was living. Los Angeles, California, USA
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
3 weeks ago
Pictures of the teenage Tsem Rinpoche with his two cousins Sonia and Sada. Los Angeles, California, USA
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche\'s cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
The young Tsem Rinpoche with his parents Boris and Dana Bugayeff. And on the extreme right is Tsem Rinpoche's cousin Toktun Gugajew. This was in Howell, New Jersey, USA
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov\'s brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche attending the wedding of Carmen Kichikov's brother. Tsem Rinpoche is 2nd from the right and in his adolescence. Howell, New Jersey, USA
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
3 weeks ago
When my adorable Dharma boy came home to me. I love you Dharma boy. Tsem Rinpoche
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche in Taiwan as a baby where he was born
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
3 weeks ago
Tsem Rinpoche as a baby holding an umbrella
Think about this...
3 weeks ago
Think about this...
Our frustrations have meaning when it\'s for others and a greater cause.
3 weeks ago
Our frustrations have meaning when it's for others and a greater cause.
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
3 weeks ago
It is much better to be doing good things for others than just for ourselves.
Contemplate this please...
3 weeks ago
Contemplate this please...
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
3 weeks ago
Is there life beyond the grave? If the soul exists, does it survive death? If so, when did the belief first arise that the soul may reincarnate, to be born anew in another physical body? Before we unlock the future we must find the keys to the past. I’m Leonard Nimoy. Join me and open the door to ancient mysteries beginning now, here on A&E. Continue reading here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=37831
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it\'s most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
4 weeks ago
It was a great honour for myself and Kechara to have His Eminence Kensur Rinpoche Jetsun Lobsang Phende visiting us. He is a courageous and extremely brave abbot emeritus of the monastery during it's most difficult time.~Tsem Rinpoche - Please read more here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132602
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. 

Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. 

This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
4 weeks ago
This is a powerful picture of Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen, Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche and the current incarnation of Trijang Rinpoche meeting together in the year 2000 when Trijang Rinpoche was 18. All three lamas are Dorje Shugden practitioners. In fact Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen was the one that first encouraged my practice of Dorje Shugden when I was 16 years old when I joined his beautiful Thubten Dhargye Ling centre in Los Angeles. I lived with Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen for 8 years before proceeding to Gaden Monastery in South India. Later Kyabje Zong Rinpoche came to our Los Angeles centre and granted sogtae (permission ceremony) to practice Dorje Shugden for life as requested by Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen had tremendous faith in Trijang Rinpoche. Kyabje Lati Rinpoche was innovative, dedicated and very much focused on bringing dharma to many. He had tremendous faith in Dorje Shugden as I had the honour to meet him many times. He would seek advice from Dorje Shugden many times via the oracle of Gaden Monastery. Geshe Tsultrim Gyeltsen and Kensur Kyabje Lati Rinpoche have since passed away while the current Trijang Rinpoche is a perfect lineage holder and practitioner of Dharma while he keeps Dorje Shugden as his personal protector as he has done so for many lifetimes. This is a powerful and beautiful picture of three great lamas of Buddha’s lineage and also of Gaden Monastery. ~Tsem Rinpoche
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
1 month ago
A beautiful photograph of a path walking down from Manjushri Hill in Kechara Forest Retreat in Malaysia.
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
1 month ago
This picture is of KB lovingly holding Mumu while he tries to stand up. I was in the room with them and someone else took this picture. It is a very sad and poignant picture because just a short while after this picture was taken, Mumu passed away with all of us present. This was the last picture of my little Mumu alive. We immediately did puja for Mumu and he is sorely missed by many as he touched our lives deeply. Tsem Rinpoche
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
1 month ago
For years I have been doing this everywhere I go, no matter where or what country I am in. Always be kind to animals.
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
1 month ago
Practising makes you better at something. If you keep practising in laziness, that is what you will become good in. If you keep practising generosity, that is what you will develop. Keep practising in what you want to become good at.
Real spirituality is kindness.
1 month ago
Real spirituality is kindness.
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It\'s our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
1 month ago
Our time on this earth in this lifetime is short. It's our choice what will look back on when we are in our final moments.
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
1 month ago
Materialism, desire and greed never result in happiness.
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
1 month ago
Never ever eat our friends. Go vegetarian.
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
1 month ago
It is a privilege to serve the Dharma and to serve others. Real freedom comes in serving others.
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
1 month ago
Compared to humans and all other sentient beings, animals have just as much right to happiness and freedom.
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
1 month ago
Dharma is not something I engage in as something separate from me. Dharma has been me since young.
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
1 month ago
How much we are willing to suffer is how compassionate we are.
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
1 month ago
Dharma is the medicine of the mind prescribed by the Buddha.
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
1 month ago
How much effort we are willing to put into our practice, is how much results we will get.
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
1 month ago
What do you worship on your altar, meat or compassion? One develops coldness and encourages lack of empathy, and one choice encourages attainments.
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
1 month ago
Where does patience come from? Think about it closely
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
1 month ago
Indian sadhus and mendicants also very happy to receive Bhagwan Dorje Shugden
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
2 months ago
Tsem Rinpoche with the great Geshe Namgyal Wangchen of Drepung Loseling Monastery. Read more: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=132495
Some of my favorite people
(1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda
(2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
2 months ago
Some of my favorite people (1st row) Alexandra David-Neel, Nicholas Roerich, Helena Roerich, Anagarika Govinda (2nd row) Walter Evans-Wentz, John Blofeld, Bill Porter (Red Pine), Ekai Kawaguchi
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
2 months ago
Do share this message and create more awareness. Thank you
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
All that we want in samsara is just fleeting and illusionary and we are tired of chasing something that is so short lived, Lady Buddha Dakini Vajra Yogini, please embrace me as you did Naropa with great affection and lift me to your Kechara Paradise in my rainbow body. ~Tsem Rinpoche
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
Lady Buddha Diamond Dakini Vajra Yogini, you appear in so many forms, guises and methods out of great compasion to bring me to your paradise of Kechara heaven. Bless me to waste no more time and engage in my spirituality thoroughly and may I see your coral visage soon. Bless me that I surrender all my games, attachments, projections and endless chasing of all that is futile in samsara now.... Tsem Rinpoche
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
3 months ago
Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. There is so much to explore. I have compiled 20 MUST VISIT places for you to see in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the post and the great pictures! Enjoy: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=127234
 http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
3 months ago
http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/wp-content/gallery/chat-pictures/chat-8yzmaqog68754.jpg Sacred and holy Lady Buddha Vajra Yogini being escorted from the Vajra Yogini temple on the streets on festival day to bless the masses. Tsem Rinpoche
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    To hear the holy lama's voice, to be in his presence or even to see his form requires us to have the merits. To implement the teachings of the lama is not easy but not implementing the teachings only leads to more difficulties. I was fortunate to be in the presence of my lama and have kept my samaya clean all these years. To see, hear and remember your holy voice and teachings I feel grateful. I only hope by keeping my samaya clean with you now my lama, I may meet you in future lives again without distraction by samsara. I wish my stay in samsara to be shorter and it is possible by your teachings. May I practice and bring your teachings to many tirelessly as many need it desperately. May I not be disappointed by their unruly behaviour towards me and at times I lose strength, but I think of you. For in samsara everything has disappointed me and will continue to as everything in samsara is a forced illusion. I bow to the feet of my glorious Kyabje Zong Rinpoche! ~Tsem Rinpoche
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ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

  • August 22, 2017 01:55
    jason asked: what is the significance of a solar eclipse in terms of sadhana practice besides multiplying merit
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Jason, Thank you for your question. It is good to see you here. As you have rightly pointed out, during solar eclipses the merit from engaging in virtuous actions are greatly multiplied. Therefore there are many prescribed practices one can do during these times to generate a lot of merit, such as engaging in prayers, making abundant offerings, animal liberation, taking precepts for the day, etc. In terms of sadhana practice, the main benefit here would be the multiplication of merits generated. However on a tantric level, since the movements of the planets are linked to the movement of energy within the universe, and therefore one’s body, there would be subtle changes in the psychic winds within the body as well. On the whole, the patterns of the universe are mirrored within the psychic winds in the body as well. The tantric system that deals with these movements in the most detail is the Kalachakra Tantra, which you can read more about here: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/tibetan-astrology/introduction-to-tibetan-astrology.html In the Kalachakra Tantra it is said that when a solar eclipse occurs, merit is either multiplied a thousand, ten-thousand times, or a hundred-thousand times. The sun and the moon are linked with the psychic winds, channels and drops with tantric practice. According to the Kalachakra Tantra everyone breathes 21,600 time every day and our minds are said to ride on the winds within our bodies. The majority of the winds within out body are karmic winds, in that they come about and are affected by karmic tendencies. During an eclipse however, more wisdom winds are said to prevail in the body. As these circulate in the body, doing Dharma practice, especially tantric practices in which you use these winds, one can achieve spiritual attainments at a speed that would not normally be possible. In traditional mythology, there is a celestial body known as Rahu. This isn’t actually a physical planet, but a node on the orbit of the moon. When Rahu appears, he is said to swallow the sun for some time, this is the ancient explanation of a solar eclipse. Rahu is also known as the “dragon’s head”. Within the Kalachakra Tantra, practitioners use Rahu to bring the sun and the moon under control. As the sun is associated with psychic channels on the right side of the body, and the moon with psychic channels on the left side of the body, what this means is that the practitioner controls these energies and brings them into the central psychic channel instead. Thereby the solar eclipse is said to mirror a tantric yogi’s ability to bring the psychic energies of the left and right side into the central channel. Once in the central channel the yogi can engage in the higher psychic energy meditations in order to gain spiritual attainments and even enlightenment. For an everyday practitioner therefore, the main benefit of practicing during a solar eclipse is the multiplication of merit. For a tantric practitioner however, it is a time that they can make use of the energies of nature to boost their practices. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 18, 2017 01:27
    Todd asked: Does Rinpoche have any information on the deity Rakta Yamari, who is believed to be an emanation of Manjushri?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Todd, Thank you for your interesting question. Rakta Yamari is indeed a wrathful emanation of Manjushri, in the form of a yidam or meditational deity belonging to the Anuttarayoga, or highest tantra, class of deities. The practice has been incorporated into all four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism: the Nyingma, Kagyu, Sakya and Gelug. Generally speaking some of the wrathful forms of Manjushri can be classified into three groupings, the Rakta (blood-red), Krishna (blue-black), and Vajrabhairava (adamantine terrifying). Since Rakta Yamari is therefore a classification of deities, it would be hard to give information here on all of them. The specific forms of Rakta Yamari differ in how the main figure appears and the number of other deities in the mandala. Of particular note, is that each of these forms and their practices has their own lineage of practice as well. Whilst there are forms of all three classifications within the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism, certain lineages place more emphasis on a particular form than others. For example, within the Gelug lineage emphasis is placed on Vajrabhairava Yamantaka, of which there are two forms in particular that are practiced: 13-deity Yamantaka, and Solitary Hero Yamantaka. In fact Vajrabhairava Yamantaka is one of the three main Anuttarayoga Tantra deities practiced in the Gelug lineage, which we follow, alongside the Akshobhyavajra variant of Guhyasamaja and Chakrasamvara. There are two important lineages of Rakta Yamari practice: the 13-deity Rakta Yamari, and the 5-deity Rakta Yamari practice. Both of these practices can be traced back to an important lineage holder, the Indian Mahasiddha Virupa. In the case of the 5-deity Rakta Yamari lineage, he was taught the practice by a wisdom dakini. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 17, 2017 19:26
    Aldric Wilson DuXing asked: How can the alleged "DiSanShr" "Dorje Chang Fo" Yi Yun Gao be the actual incarnation of Buddha Dipankara Buddha?
    Pastor Niral Patel answered: Dear Aldric Wilson DuXing, Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, I do not know much about Yi Yun Gao to be able to comment on this. However, within Buddhism we do believe that the Buddhas, out of their compassion appear in human form to help sentient beings in whatever way they can. Within Tibetan Buddhism there is a long history of recognising great masters as the physical body emanations (also known as tulkus) of the Buddhas. The logic behind this is that the Buddhas are all compassionate and so help sentient beings in any and all means that they can. This would obviously include taking the physical form of a human. To say that the Buddhas cannot or do not do this, would be limiting the abilities of the enlightened beings, which goes against the scriptures. In fact, in the scriptures it states that Buddhas can emanate out in countless different forms at the same time. This includes animate beings, such as humans, animals, etc., and also inanimate objects such as bridges, or other things. These emanations, or incarnations if in human form, can be recognised by those who have the ability to perceive the enlightened beings, such as highly attained masters or other emanations themselves. That is why you see only the highest masters within the Tibetan Buddhist traditions recognise others as incarnations of the Buddhas. Other methods of confirming this can include checking with an enlightened Dharma protector, such as Dorje Shugden, when in trance of a qualified oracle. Those who really are emanations of the enlightened beings do not actually need to be recognised as such, as they will always help others no matter if they are recognised or not. However the recognition of such beings is more for us, as practitioners to gain merit by helping them achieve their goal of helping other sentient beings. But as I mentioned earlier, these beings do not self-proclaim themselves but are recognised as such by other highly attained masters who are trustworthy and really work for the cause of helping others by upholding and practicing the holy teachings of Lord Buddha. I hope this helps. Thank you.
  • August 16, 2017 00:47
    Anonymous asked: Sorry about the link not working. They can be found at dharmawheel.net and then looked under Tibetan Buddhism and then under topics which are under all the other lineage topics. Since this is recent, the title "Crazy Scandal somewhat related to Gelug hitting Taiwan" should come up. But anyway, here are the sources in that case: https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/mary-jin-gebis/ https://maisonneuve.org/article/2013/06/18/when-monks-come-town/ https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/08/14/bw-dorje-shugden/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ad355FqDQuo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XzvPhv_eldk http://www.blisswisdom.org/statement/1854-1006 https://ladakh2017blog.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/dalai-lama-speaks-to-chinese-devotees-about-bliss-and-wisdom/
    No reply yet
  • August 15, 2017 01:43
    Anonymous asked: Hi, although this is not a question, I would like to bring awareness towards a particular cult in China and Taiwan that has been having scandals with their leader, Mary Jin. The cult has been defaming the Dalai Lama and has begun supporting Shugden here even though that's not really bad. However, I would like to bring attention so they may not begin corrupting the Buddhists here. Even though I used a dharmawheel website, it has links to its sources: https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40
    pastor answered: Dear Anonymous, Thank you for bringing this to our attention, however the link you provided does not work. I do not know anything about this particular person or their organisation, so I really can’t say much. However, there are some people out there who use religion for their personal gain, and twist the teachings to suit their greed. These sorts of people are often embroiled in scandals and the like and often have views that go against common sense. That is why it is very important to check that a teacher is qualified, is practicing, and is teaching the Dharma as it should be according to the scriptures. All students are encouraged do to so and this in mentioned clearly in the scriptures themselves. The actions of a teacher should be in line with actions laid out in the scriptures and their views should match the logic laid out in the scriptures as well. Once we see a teacher’s qualities, and we have made sure that what they practice is real and genuine, we can devote ourselves to that person fully. We at Kechara, following the teachings of His Eminence the 25th Tsem Rinpoche, think very highly of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as he is the emanation of the Buddha of compassion, Chenrezig. Similarly, we also believe that Dorje Shugden is the emanation of the Buddha of wisdom, Manjushri. For us, both are enlightened beings, and many practitioners all around world follow this belief as well. We are saddened to see or hear when others talk badly about either, since both are enlightened beings capable of benefiting the world tremendously. Thank you.
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or www.vajrasecrets.com
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Dorje Shugden Puja in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat. You can order a Puja through Kechara House or http://www.vajrasecrets.com
Kayene, 5 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
2 days ago
Kayene, 5 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
Chern Chern, 4 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Chern Chern, 4 years old, from Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
Charmaine, Zi Xuan and Hulbert are practicing a dance performance during Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
2 days ago
Charmaine, Zi Xuan and Hulbert are practicing a dance performance during Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
All students of Kechara Sunday Dharma School gather together to do performance practice for the upcoming Mooncake Festival Charity Event. Stella Cheang
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All students of Kechara Sunday Dharma School gather together to do performance practice for the upcoming Mooncake Festival Charity Event. Stella Cheang
Dechen and Lip Yew are good friends in Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
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Dechen and Lip Yew are good friends in Kechara Sunday Dharma School. Stella Cheang
Many visitors today are blessed by Dorje Shugden in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat!
3 days ago
Many visitors today are blessed by Dorje Shugden in Wisdom Hall, Kechara Forest Retreat!
Beautiful statue of wrathful Manjushri at Kechara Forest Retreat. Nice to see people praying to him. ~H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
3 days ago
Beautiful statue of wrathful Manjushri at Kechara Forest Retreat. Nice to see people praying to him. ~H.E. Tsem Tulku Rinpoche
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Special self defence session for KSDS students. Lin Mun KSDS
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3 days ago
So glad that KSDS students has the opportunity to join he animal liberation in front of Kechara House. Great way to cultivate compassion. Lin Mun KSDS
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Special session wth teacher Julie to learn Nagomi Art. Good way to bring out our inner expression. Lin mun KSDS
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Throwback - KSDS students, parents & teachers outing to Kechara Soup Kitchen. Lin Mun KSDS
Throwback- completion of the KSDS Graduation 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
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Throwback- completion of the KSDS Graduation 2016. Lin Mun KSDS
Performance by students from Bentong school during Grand Dorje Shugden Puja. Lin Mun KSDS
3 days ago
Performance by students from Bentong school during Grand Dorje Shugden Puja. Lin Mun KSDS
Teacher Laura guided the students did short prayer before the class started. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Laura guided the students did short prayer before the class started. Alice Tay, KSDS
Teacher Jayce and Teacher Lin Mun guided the children to do an experiment with mixing colours that represents life experiences. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
Teacher Jayce and Teacher Lin Mun guided the children to do an experiment with mixing colours that represents life experiences. Alice Tay, KSDS
The students worked together to find the answer. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
The students worked together to find the answer. Alice Tay, KSDS
These students are well behaved and give support to those are participated in the competition. Alice Tay, KSDS
4 days ago
These students are well behaved and give support to those are participated in the competition. Alice Tay, KSDS
KSDS students gathered together for the song practice. Alice Tay, KSDS
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KSDS students gathered together for the song practice. Alice Tay, KSDS
Pastor Yek Yee led weekly Thursday Dorje Shugden puja ( Chinese) at Bentong Puja House. Lucy Yap
4 days ago
Pastor Yek Yee led weekly Thursday Dorje Shugden puja ( Chinese) at Bentong Puja House. Lucy Yap
Weekly Puja in Puja House Bentong on Thursdays at 8pm. Please join!
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Weekly Puja in Puja House Bentong on Thursdays at 8pm. Please join!
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Looking for Vegetarian Lunch around PJ, visit us at Kechara Oasis Jaya One Outlet ~ Guat Hee
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