SEOUL May Issue Released
DDP, Gochang, Seongbuk-dong and more
With the weather getting nicer, explore the great outdoors with a copy of the May issue of SEOUL, Seoul Selection’s monthly travel and culture magazine.
In this issue of SEOUL, we visit the newly opened Dongdaemun Design Plaza, wander about the beautiful green barley fields of Gochang, explore the beautiful Seongbok-dong district, talk with Charlie Usher of Charlie and Liz’s Seoul Subway Travelogue, and much, much more.
And if that’s not enough, there’s always our Goings On Around Town, our roundup of the month’s concerts, festivals, exhibitions and other fun goings on.
Run out and get your copy today.
Purchasing Protein Powder
Written by Deanne Nguyen
If youâre like the rest of my gym rat friends, the means to muscle in a nation of skinny jeans and stars are a dietary challenge. Protein (ë¨ë°±ì§ or íë¡í´), conveniently available on the shelves and in specialty stores abroad, is often a hit or miss; sometimes you see it, sometimes you donât.
Enter the online market. The grocery giants (Emart, Lotte, and Homeplus) all carry some kind of protein powder, oftentimes marketing it is a âDietaryâ supplement versus a weight gain. Gmarket and expat favorite iherb.com have a superior selection, as they do more importing. The products often come in larger sizes, 2 kg for around KRW 50,000-70,000, depending on the brand. Iherbâs however does offer small portions-1.2 kg for $25 USD.
Luckily, all of these come in at least a few flavors to offset the pungent aftertaste (Gmarket carries Syntha-6 in Cookies nâ Cream and over ten others). Payment is also convenient: with the Korean sites, you can opt for a bank transfer; with iherb, itâs a simple credit card transaction. What size you choose however, depends on your consistency of intact. Well, go big to get big as they say.
AROUND THE WEB
A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler.
The Lotus Lantern Festival
In connection with Buddhaâs Birthday, the Lotus Lantern Festival originated during the Silla Kingdom and was officiated as a national ceremony in the Goryeo Dynasty. The lanterns are a tribute to Siddhartha Gautama and his spiritual achievements, their lights representing the dispersal of darkness, hate and ignorance. Although officially discontinued during the Joseon era, the practice of lighting lanterns in honor of Buddhaâs Birthday continued to be practiced amongst commoners. The festival survived the Japanese colonial period and the Korean War, and was made a public holiday in 1975. Today, Seoulâs version of the festival is held in Jongno-gu, including the Lantern Parade, an enormous procession of more than 100,000 lanterns and illuminated floats.
In addition to the lanterns, the Buddhist Street Festival allows participants to get hands-on experience in Buddhist culture. Attendees can make lotus lanterns, get their faces painted, create Buddhist art, taste temple food, play folk games and even learn some Buddhist traditional dance. While youâre at it, why not bang on some drums! The festival also expands beyond Korean traditions and includes those from Thailand, Taiwan, Myanmar, Tibet and Mongolia.
VENUE: Area around Jogyesa Temple, Bongeunsa Temple
PERIOD: April 25 to May 11.
MORE INFO: T. 02-2011-1744, www.llf.or.kr/eng
Tribute to Fallen Expat
Seoul’s expatriate community will meet at Divine in Itaewon to pay tribute to long-time Korea resident Alexander “Lex” Rene Boutilier, who died in a motorcycle accident earlier this month. Friends of his have organized “Lexicon” to celebrate his life and raise funds for his family.
Lexicon will feature a range of events, including raffles, a trivia quiz, bric-a-brac auction, bake sale, live music, film screening and more. The event is free, but donations are highly encouraged.
All are welcome, not just friends of Lex. See www.lexiconseoul.com for more information.
The Living Legend Jeff Beck, Life in Seoul
Ranked 5th on Rolling Stoneâs list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, English guitarist and legend Jeff Beck will be performing in Seoul for the first time in four years. Formerly a guitarist for The Yardbirds, Jeff Beck has gone on to doing some of the worldâs most revered instrumental guitar work, spanning across all genres. He has won 6 Grammy Awards for Best Rock Instrumental Performance and has been inducted into the Rock ân Roll Hall of Fame twice, once as a member of The Yardbirds and once as a solo artist. He has worked with artists such as Rod Stewart and ZZ Top, and his 2010 performance in Seoul sold out in minutes. And to think that his mother almost made him play the piano instead of the guitar!
VENUE: Olympic Hall, Olympic Park
DATE: Apr. 27, 18:00
ADMISSION: KRW 88,000–154,000
MORE INFO: T. 02-563-0595
GETTING THERE: Olympic Park Station (Line 5), Exit 3
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A new twist on a Shakespeareâs comedy from the War Horse team, this new collaboration between Bristol Old Vic artistic director Tom Morris and Cape Townâs Handspring Puppet Company plays out on a starkly beautiful set, deeply faithful to the heart of this wondrous work of imagination. Shakespeare’s intertwined love story portrays the happenings on the Duke’s Wedding day. Hermia and Lysander are lovers. But Hermia’s father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city and to step into a forest, the realm of Fairyland. Demetrius and Helena, whose unreturned love for Demetrius, run after the lovers. In the forest, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) live on the unpleasant terms. Obron and his servant boy Puck cause mayhem among the lovers with a magic potion.
Performed in English with Korean subtitles.
VENUE: National Theater of Korea
PERIOD: Apr. 25–27
ADMISSION: KRW 40,000–50,000
MORE INFO: T. 02-2280-4114
GETTING THERE: Dongguk Univ. Station ëëì
êµ¬ (Line 3), Exit 2.
The Ahn TRIO returns to Seoul for the first time since their Christmas concert of 2008. The three sisters—Seoul-born and NYC-raised—are especially known for their performances of new classical music and arrangments of pop music.
VENUE: Seoul Arts Center
DATE: May 18, 2PM
ADMISSION: KRW 30,000–100,000
MORE INFO: www.sac.or.kr
GETTING THERE: Nambu Bus Terminal Station ë¨ë¶í°ë¯¸ëì (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.
YISS International Bazaar
You are invited to come and enjoy a wide variety of traditional foods and cultural performances at the YISS International Bazaar on Saturday, May 10. Shop for new or used items or participate in the silent auction or prize raffle. There is something for everyone, so mark your calendar and don’t miss this major community event. To learn more about the International Bazaar and other YISS PTO-organized events, go to www.yisspto.org.
VENUE: Yongsan International School of Seoul
DATE: May 10, 11AM to 4PM
MORE INFO: www.yisseoul.org, T: (02) 797-5104
GETTING THERE: Hangangjin Station (Line 6), Exit 1
RASKB Excursion: Color and Pageantry in Seoulâs Temples on Buddha’s Birthday
This afternoon and evening will be especially memorable. As well as helping to commemorate this special day, you will witness all the color and pageantry which the Koreans lavish on the celebration of the birth of Buddha. The lanterns, costumes, and celebratory dances are colorful and joyful. Donât forget your camera!
VENUE: Several temples in Seoul
DATE: May 6, 1PM to 9PM
COST: KRW 33,000–39,000
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: See link above.
Dongdaemun Design Plaza, seen from the cafe of Dongdaemunâs KLIVE K-pop experience hall. Photo by Robert Koehler.