July 31, 2015 / Issue No. 695
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Gyeongbokgung, Changgyeonggung Palaces Open at Night
Don’t miss chance to experience Korea’s royal palaces under the moonlight

If you think Seoul’s royal palaces are charming during the day, wait until you see how magical they are in the light of the moon. On a handful of days each year, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) opens up the royal palaces at night, giving visitors an opportunity to experience a very different side of these exceptionally beautiful places.

In order to give Seoulites a bit of respite from the summer heat, the CHA will open Gyeongbokgung and Changgyeonggung palaces for 15 nights each this August, three more days than last year.

VENUE: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace
DATES: Gyeongbokgung: Aug. 12-28 (closed on Aug. 18, Aug. 25), Changgyeonggung: Aug. 11-27 (closed Aug. 17, Aug. 24). 7:30-10:00 PM (entry ends at 9:00 PM)
ADMISSION: KRW 3,000 for Gyeongbokgung, KRW 1,000 fo Changgyeonggung. IMPORTANT! Koreans must reserve a ticket ahead of time (go here and here). Foreigners, however, can get tickets on-site on a first-come, first-serve basis (200 tickets a day at Gyeongbokgung, 100 tickets a day at Changgyeonggung).
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: See this map.


Exploring the Yongsan Archipelago
From newly sprung Passion Island to the shores of Itaewon
Deep Valleys, Emerald Seas
Beat the summer heat in the natural splendor of seaside towns Donghae and Samcheok


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



MISO: Baebijang-jeon

Baebijang-jeon, a satirical novel representative of the Joseon era, is a classical novel written by an unknown author in the late Joseon Dynasty in which humor stands out vividly as it evokes laughter by alluding to the hypocrisy of the ruling class and natural human desires. This novel was recreated and performed as a Korean traditional opera, a musical, etc., becoming a performance content that has already verified its box-office worth and entertainment value to the domestic audience.

“MISO : Baebijang-jeon” is Jeongdong Theater’s Special Performance and new work of art. It doesn’t just present traditional dance and music in a one dimensional dance drama. It goes on to heighten the beauty of form as a holistic performance by harmonizing rhythm, melody, theatrical devices, and dancing steps based on Korean traditional movements. It also increases the completion level of the dramatic story that penetrates the entire performance.

VENUE: Jeongdong Theater
DATE: Open run
MORE INFO: See this link or call T. 02-751-1500
GETTING THERE: See this link.

Pharrell Williams

Pop star, producer and style icon Pharrell Williams comes to Seoul for the first time. A winner of 11 Grammy awards, his career reached new heights in 2013 when his single “Happy” topped the U.S. Billboard charts for 10 straight weeks and, at 13.9 million copies sold in 2014, became one of the best-selling singles of all time. In Korea, too, “Happy” was the most played song at local music streaming sites in 2014. His live performances are high-spectacle, high-energy affairs, and to be sure, he’s bringing along some of the best production experts and sound and light engineers in the world, so expect to have your mind blown.

VENUE: Olympic Park Gymnasium
DATE: Aug. 14, 8 PM
MORE INFO: T. 02-3141-3488
ADMISSION: KRW 99,000-165,000
GETTING THERE: Olympic Park Station (Line 5), Exit 3

Fire Festival Korea

Seoul is holding a fire festival, so get in on all the fiery action. This 1st-annual Fire Festival Korea will feature Fire Gala Shows, Flow Arts, and Circus workshops with talents artists from all around.

VENUE: Some Sevit, Banpo Hangang Park
PERIOD: Aug 7-9, Time TBD
MORE INFO: See this link.
GETTING THERE: Take bus bus 143, 401, 405, 406 or 8340 to Banpo Hangang Park.

Organic Farm Experience

This is part of a series of Korean farm and countryside experience. You’ll be taken around unique places where you’ll be able to experience farm life, first-hand. Learn to cultivate various kinds of fruits and veggies while you’re there!

VENUE: Gochang countryside
DATE: Aug 8, 7:00AM
COST: KRW 56,000
MORE INFO: http://gohtravelkorea.net

RASKB Excursion: Independence Day Excursion

Join the RAS-KB for a very patriotic excursion to Hyeonchungsa, Onyang Folk Museum and Independence Memorial Hall. Hyeonchungsa is a shrine to Korea’s greatest war hero, the 16th century admiral Yi Sun-sin. Onyang Folk Museum, meanwhile, is home to 14,000 artifacts depicting Korean traditional lifestyles and folklore. Finally, Cheonan’s Independence Memorial Hall is a massive complex dedicated to the Korean independence movement during the dark days of Japanese colonial rule.

VENUE: Chungcheongnam-do
DATE: Aug. 15, 8 AM-8 PM
ADMISSION: KRW 42,000 for members, KRW 50,000 for non-members
MORE INFO and GETTING THERE: See this link.


View of Mt. Namsan out the window of the cafe Gräddhyllan, near the top of Gyeongnidan-gil. Photo 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 atoz@seoulselection.com. Experienced translators only.

Seoul Selection eBooks – You can purchase some Seoul Selection titles in ebook format via Amazon.com (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 pubco@seoulselection.com 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 english@seoulselection.com.


SEOUL (August 2015)

Buy Books at Seoul Selection’s ONLINE Bookshop!



Poems of Jooseok Seo-Jung
Sorrow Even Up in Heaven

Korean Alive 1

Korean Alive Work Book 1

Ok-hwa: K-Fiction Series 9

Old Man River: K-Fiction Series 11

Time Difference: K-Fiction Series 10

Sorrow Even Up in Heaven

Home Bound


Ode to My Father (DVD) (2-Disc) (Limited Edition)

The Con Artists

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