Nov. 26, 2014 / Issue No. 660
Looking for a Farsi translator
Seoul Selection needs somebody who can translate from Korean into Farsi for a booklet project we are working on. Those interested should send a resume and cover letter to

Get Your December Issue of SEOUL 
New Year’s Day, Songdo and more

Greet the winter with a cup of your favorite hot beverage and a warm copy of the December issue of SEOUL, Seoul Selection’s monthly travel and culture magazine.

In this issue, we celebrate Christmas and the New Year the Seoul way, explore Incheon’s Songdo district, eat at some Hongdae gems, talk with an old-school blacksmith and much, much more.

If that’s not enough, there’s always our Goings On Around Town, our listings of the month’s concerts, festivals, exhibits and other happenings. So go out and get a copy while it’s still got that new magazine smell.

Oh, and don’t forget about our mobile magazine apps! (iOS, Google). The Android version for the December issue is out now; the Apple version will be out soon!

SEOUL and Tom n Tom’s
From Starbucks to Angel in Us, Cafe Nescafe and all the way to Tom n Toms!


To all the wonderful readers of SEOUL Magazine, we have an announcement regarding magazine distribution.

Starting December 2014, SEOUL Magazine will be available in all branches of Tom n Toms, a major coffee chain found all over the country. We have already distributed to 800 branches of Starbucks, 700 branches of Angel in Us, and 90 branches of Cafe Nescafe – and now we can add 400 branches of Tom n Toms! 
That means you can find copies of SEOUL in 2,000 coffee shops nationwide!
For all the lovely readers of SEOUL Magazine, we will continue to work to expand our distribution network.


A miscellany of high-quality hyperlinks from the week, courtesy of SEOUL editor-in-chief Robert Koehler.




2014 Templestay Week

The leaves of autumn are still falling, yet it’s nearing that time when it’s too cold to spend too much time outdoors, the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in long periods of thought and meditation! If you haven’t tried a Templestay experience before, now is your chance to attend events at one of nine temples in Seoul, completely free, from Dec. 1 to 7. Reservations can now be made online at the Templestay homepage.

Here are some of the special events that will be offered during this unique event: 

Templestay Time Letter
Write a special letter to yourself or a loved one. Sometimes, the best way to organize your thoughts or feelings is to put them on paper. After participants finish their letters, they choose the date of arrival, which can be anywhere between 30 days and a year from the date of composition. This is a perfect chance to write down your plans for 2015 and send them to either yourself or someone you trust. Letters can also be delivered to 120 countries. 

Temple Food Experience
A great opportunity to both make and taste Korean traditional temple food, this event only lasts for two days, so be sure to plan accordingly. Temple food is very different from the average diet, focused on cleansing the body while revitalizing both spirit and mind. 
Date: December 1-2 
Time: 10:00-13:00 
Place: Jingwansa Temple


Paavo Jarvi & The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen

The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is a German chamber orchestra based in Bremen, a city in northwest Germany. It was founded in 1980 by a group of music students in Frankfurt, initially performing without a conductor. Financial management is carried out by the musicians themselves, with around 40 percent of costs coming from local government. 
The group earned professional status in 1987, and made Bremen their home in 1992. They have served as the resident orchestra at the Bremen Music Festival since 1998 and at the International Beethovenfest in Bonn since 2005. Paavo Jarvi is an Estonian-born conductor who studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He started out studying percussion in Estonia, and then moved to the United States when he was 17.

VENUE: Seoul Arts Center, Concert Hall
DATES: Dec. 2 and 4, 20:00
MORE INFO: T. 02-599-5743,
ADMISSION: KRW 50,000-240,000
GETTING THERE: Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.

Kinky Boots

“Kinky Boots” is a musical based on the 2005 British film of the same name. The movie is actually based on a documentary that followed the real life of the owner of a family-run shoe factory who started producing men’s fetish wear to save his business. The story in the musical follows the struggle of Charlie, who forms an unlikely partnership with a drag queen named Lola to save his business. After specializing in custom footwear for drag queens in lieu of traditional men’s shoes, the unlikely pair not only save the business but end up as good friends. As with any good musical, both characters suffer from heartbreak and disappointment, but just when you think it’s all over Lola comes back to save the day.

VENUE: Chungmu Art Hall, Grand Theater 
PERIOD: Dec. 2-Feb. 22, 2015
MORE INFO: T. 1577-3363,
ADMISSION: KRW 50,000-140,000
GETTING THERE: Sindang Station 신당역 (Line 6), Exit 9. Walk 50 meters in the direction of Dongdaemun Stadium.

Human Space Machine: Stages Experiments at The Bauhaus

This exhibit is a special event designed to highlight The Bauhaus (1919-1933), an art and design educational institution that greatly influenced Western art, architecture, textile, graphic, industrial design and typography in the 20th century. Founded in 1919 by German architect Walter Gropius (1883-1969), its core objective was to reimagine the material world as reflecting the unity of all the arts–a simple but remarkably radical idea. The Bauhaus also aimed to train new artists capable of bringing about social change. The role and function of art were redefined according to their relation to our daily lives. Through various workshops, they utilized metal, textile, design and architecture in their quest to better understand this relationship, with the ultimate goal being to reach a “total art.”
“Human Space Machine: Stage Experiments at The Bauhaus” is an exhibition that has been planned in collaboration with the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation since 2012. It experiments with new types of human responses to transformations in a new era, from World War I to the early 1930s. This ongoing exhibition in Seoul, however, is the first full-scale exhibition to focus on Asia.

VENUE: Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul Branch 
PERIOD: Thru Feb. 22
MORE INFO: T. 02-3701-9500,
GETTING THERE: Anguk Station 안국역 (Line 3), Exit 1

The 40th Seoul Independent Film Festival

Presented by the Association of Korean Independent Film & Video, the Seoul Independent Film Festival (SIFF) started out as in 1975 as the Korean Youth Film Festival. It later changed its name to the Golden Crown Short Film Festival before adopting its current name. Held every December, SIFF is held as a competition, covering a variety of genres and forms. The festival provides upcoming and unknown filmmakers to present their work and expose themselves to public audiences, as well as network with industry insiders. In order to make the festival more accessible to up-and-coming directors, the New Choices category was added this year. There is also a surprise screening for an audience-selected film on closing day.

VENUE: CGV Apgujeong, Indiespace
PERIOD: Nov. 27-Dec. 5
ADMISSION: T. 02-362-9513,
MORE INFO: KRW 6,000–50,000
GETTING THERE: Apgujeong Station 압구정역 (Line 3), Exit 3. Gwanghwamun Station 광화문역 (Line 5), Exit 7 and 8

RASKB Excursion: Haenam and Gangjin

This tour will bring you to some of Korea’s most important tea-related sites in southwest Korea. Highlights include Muuisa Temple at Wolchulsan National Park, where the monk who later wrote Korea’s most famous tea-poem, the Ven. Cho-ui, had his defining enlightenment experience; Daeheungsa temple, where the Ven Cho-ui lived for much of his life; and Dasan Chodang, where scholar Dasan Jeong Yak-yong spent his life in exile.

VENUE: Jeollanam-do
DATES: Nov. 29–30
MORE INFO: See this link.
COST: KRW 238,000 for members and KRW 285,000 for non-members
GETTING THERE: See link above.



LED roses at Dongdaemun Design Plaza. Photographed by Robert Koehler.


Seoul Selection’s Free Book Giveaway – Our free book give-away continues! Check out the list in last week’s newsletter here

Seoul Selection Offline Bookshop Sale  One of the greatest repositories of Korea-related English-language books anywhere, Seoul Selection is offering a 10% sale on any and all books published by Seoul Selection purchased from our OFFLINE bookshop next to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Looking for Translators – Seoul Selection is looking for a few good translators (Korean to English) for general translation work. Those interested should send a resume and cover letter to Kyehyun at Experienced translators only.
Seoul Selection eBooks – You can purchase some Seoul Selection titles in ebook format via (for Kindle) and Apple’s iBookstore. Titles include Ask a Korean Dude, Moon Tides, Doing Business in Korea, Once Around the Sun, and seven volumes of our Korean Film Directors series: BONG Joon-ho, IM Kwon-taek, KIM Jee-woon, LEE Chang-dong, LEE Man-hee, PARK Chan-wook, and SHIN Sang-ok.
Send Your Event Info – If you would like to advertise any upcoming events you are organizing, please send us the press release material at by the preceding Friday in order for it to appear in the following Tuesday’s issue.

Freelance Contributors Wanted – SEOUL Magazine needs writers who are fluent in both Korean and English. Writers should have a strong interest in Korean culture and be able to interview Koreans. Send your resume and writing samples to

We Buy & Sell Used Books – Seoul Selection buys and sells used books in English. Unlike our regular selection of publications that specialize in Korea-related topics, our Used Book section carries books on all subjects. It’s all part of our effort to make life easier for the English-speaking community.


SEOUL (December 2014)

Buy Books at Seoul Selection’s ONLINE Bookshop!





Essentials Of Korean Culture

It’s Time to Love


Way Back into Korea

2000 Essential Korean Words Intermediate

Remembering Koryo


An Encyclopaedia of Korean Culture



Her Lovely Heels


Experience Korea through your five senses


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