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About Korea

Boknal

Event date: 2014-07-18

Bok-nal means it's the most hottest days in a year. Also, Koreans call it Sam-bok-deow-we. It's between June and July, and there's 3 Bok-nals. First one is called Cho-bok (7/13 in 2013), second one is called Jung-bok (7/23 in 2013), and the last one is called Mal-bok (8/12 in 2013). And each day, people tend to eat some food which could make them invigorated. Which means for self-preservation, Koreans eat special foods which could make people get stronger enough to spend summer season well. Most famous special foods are dog-meat soup and Samgyetang (chicken soup with ginseng). Koreans think that eating hot foods even in the hottest days means fight fire with fire. And believed to make body stronger by that. So people usually eat hot healthy food in these days, not cold foods.

Dog-meat soup is believed to restores energy to tired body. Following to the eastern medicinal manual, it says dog-meat makes the five viscera relaxed, controls the blood vessel, makes stomach and intestine stronger and makes waist and knee warm so that it improves person's energy. Koreans believed that don-meat soup is such a healthy food, so in Chosun dynasty, people even already knew how to cook dogs well.

But in some areas, people believed that eating don-meat soup brings bad luck, some Koreans banned to eat don-meat soup. Also, in history, some religion banned to eat it. These days, not a lot of people are eating dog-meat soup, but still there's some people who eat it. Because of these reasons, as a substitute for dog-meat soup, some people enjoyed Samggyetang (chicken soup with ginseng).

Samggyetang is made of young chicken and put ginseng, jujube, glutinous rice inside of it and boil it for long time. Sometimes, people use black chicken instead of young chicken. Eating chicken keeps people from getting cold and it's good for the stamina. Cure-all food like Ginseng and garlics are added in this, Samggyetang is believed to be a perfect health food.

And some people also eat Patjuk as a health food. Patjuk is believed to prevent people to get affected by heat and diseases. Also, in hot weather, people thought that Patjuk can expel ghost so lots of people enjoyed it.   


Korean Hanok Village

Event date: 2014-06-11

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village with a long history located between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village is composed of lots of alleys, hanok and is preserved to show a 600-year-old urban environment. Now it is used as a traditional culture center and hanok restaurant, allowing visitors to experience the atmosphere of the Joseon Dynasty.

The area of Bukchon, which consists of neighborhoods: Wonseo-dong, Jae-dong, Gye-dong, Gahoe-dong and Insa-dong, was traditionally the residential quarter of high-ranking government officials and nobility during the Joseon Dynasty. It is located north of Cheonggye Stream and Jongno, hence named Bukchon, which means north village. A poll of nearly 2,000 foreign visitors, conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in November 2011, stated that exploring the narrow streets of Bukchon was their fourth favorite activity in Seoul.

Namsangol Hanok Village

Namsangol Hanok Village, also known as "A Village of Traditional Houses in the Namsan Valley", is a Korean village located in the area of Pil-dong neighborhood in Jung-gu, a central district of Seoul, South Korea where hanok (한옥) or Korean traditional houses have been restored to preserve the original atmosphere of the area. The Namsangol Hanok Village offers one the opportunity to experience a wide cross-section of Joseon-era citizenry and activities, from royalty to commoners.

The location of the village was originally the site of a well known Joseon-era summer resort called Jeonghakdong. Jeonghakdong means "The land of the fairies for the blue crane where the Jeonugak Pavillion stands along the stream in the valley". The area boasted such superb scenery that it was called the land of the fairies and was considered one of the five most beautiful parts of Seoul.

A traditional Korean style garden, complete with a flowing stream and pavilion was constructed on the site in order to revive the classical feel of the Joseon-era. Five traditional houses, including some of the residences of high government officials - some of the largest mansions in Seoul at the time, along with commoners houses were moved to the 7,934 sq Meters/9,489 sq Yards grounds containing the restored village. In 2011 in a survey conducted, by Seoul Development Institute, which included 800 residents and 103 urban planners and architects. It listed 52.4 percent of experts, voted that the palace as the most scenic location in Seoul, following Mount Namsan, Han River and Gyeongbokgung Palace in the top spots.

Hahoe Folk Village

The Hahoe Folk Village (Korean: 안동하회마을) is a traditional village from the Joseon Dynasty. The village is a valuable part of Korean culture because it preserves Joseon period-style architecture, folk traditions, valuable books, and old tradition of clan-based villages.

The village is located in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do. To the north of the village is Buyongdae Cliff while Mt. Namsan lies to the south. The village is organized around the geomantic guidelines of pungsu and so the village has the shape of a lotus flower or two interlocking comma shapes.

The village is listed by the South Korean government with UNESCO as a World Heritage site with Yangdong Folk Village in 2010.

The village maintains old architectural styles that have been lost because of rapid modernization and development in South Korea. Aristocratic tile-roofed residences and thatched-roof servants' homes preserve the architectural styles of the Joseon Dynasty. Wonjijeongsa Pavilion and Byeongsan Confucian School are two notable structures in the village. The village has preserved the shamanist rite of Byeolsin-gut and preserved Hahoe masks used in the Hahoe Mask Dance. Another rite still practiced is the Jeulbul Nori which uses strings of fireworks fired at the base of the Buyongdae Cliff.

Yangdong Folk Village

Yangdong Folk Village (Yangdong Village of Gyeongju) is a traditional village from the Joseon Dynasty. The village is located in Gangdong-myeon, sixteen kilometers northeast of Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea, along the Hyeongsan River. Mt. Seolchang stands to the north of the village. The village is designated as Important Folklore Materials No. 189 by the South Korean government.

The size, degree of preservation, numerous cultural assets, traditionalism, beautiful natural setting all contribute to the importance of Yangdong Village. It is also a fine example of the yangban (Korean aristocracy) lifestyle and Neo-Confucian traditions.

The village is listed by the South Korean government with UNESCO as a World Heritage site with Hahoe Folk Village in 2010.

Korean Folk Village

Minsok village is a living museum type of tourist attraction in the city of Yongin, a satellite city in the Seoul Metropolitan Area in the province of Gyeonggi in South Korea. Korean Folk Village is a popular tourist destination for both Koreans and foreigners. It is located near Everland, South Korea's largest amusement park.

The purpose of Korean Folk Village is to display elements of traditional Korean life and culture. There are multiple sections to the park. There are numerous replicas of traditional houses of the different social classes (peasant, landowner, yangban) from various regions.

The park also has a traditional street market, restaurants, and showcases of traditional wordworking and metalworking techniques. There are performances of traditional dances, equestrian skills, marriage ceremonies, and recreational activities.

An amusement park section has rides and games, an art museum, a sculpture garden, a Korean Folk Museum, and a World Folk Museum which highlights traditional lifestyles from around the world.


Doljanchi

Event date: 2014-05-08

Dol or doljanchi is a Korean tradition that celebrates the first birthday of a baby. This ceremony blesses the child with a prosperous future and has taken on great significance in Korea. The birthday babies wear a hanbok and a traditional hat: a jobawi or gulle for baby girls and a bokgeon or hogeon (호건) for baby boys.

In the past, the death rates for children were high and many children died before their first birthday, so it was an important milestone for the baby and parents. The whole village used to celebrate a baby's first birthday, sharing food and wishing for long life and fortune for the baby.

Fortune telling ritual

The highlight of the dol is a ritual where the child is placed in front of a table of foods and objects such as string, brushes, ink and money. The child is then urged to pick up an object from the table. It is believed the one selected will foretell the child's future. For example, if the child picks up a brush or book, he/she is destined to be smart. If he/she picks up money he will be wealthy; If he/she picks up food that means he/she will not be hungry. If the child picks up the thread, it is believed he/she will live a long life. The types of objects placed on the table for the baby to choose has evolved over time, as a reflection of society's evolving perception of successful occupations. However, many parents remain more traditional in their selection of objects to place on the table. This is followed by feasting, singing and playing with the toddler. Most often, guests will present gifts of money, clothes, or gold rings to the parents for the child at this time.

'Dol' food

At home family members give thanks to Samshin (three gods who take care of the baby's life while growing up) by serving plain rice, seaweed soup, and rice cakes. For the party, parents prepare a special 'Dol' table, where food is stacked high to symbolize a life of prosperity for the baby. The table is set mainly with a rice cake of pretty rainbow layers, seaweed soup, and fruits. Miyeok guk (seaweed soup) is served on every birthday after the first birthday to remind people of what their mother went through to bring them into the world.

Modern Doljanchi

The celebration is usually held in buffet restaurants or wedding halls. Parents prepare some prizes for guests and upon entering the party, everyone gets a piece of paper on which a number is written. During the party guests who correctly answer a question about the baby win a prize. The host of the party, or an entertainer, also calls out a number randomly, and the person who has that number receives a prize.


Traditional Korean Foods

Event date: 2014-04-23

1. Bulgogi (불고기)

Korea's traditional food Bulgogi is more popular between foreigners. Tourists that don't like Korea's spicy food raise their thumbs when they taste Bulgogi.

Bulgogi is a beef marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, garlic, and green onions. When Koreans eat Bulgogi, they usually wrap it with lettuce and sesame leaves. You can also cook it with other spicy sauce to have more taste.

2. Bibimbap (비빔밥)

Bibimbap is a dish served with cooked rice with vegetables, beef, egg and red pepper paste. and you need to mix it all together before you eat it. It's such a healthy food full of nutritions.

3. Samgyetang (삼계탕)

It is a ginseng chicken soup, most common and famous health food to refresh you, keep you cool, and restore your energy as you endure the hottest months of summer in Korea. The dishes are filled with nutritive ingredients like ginseng, garlic, jujube, and sweet rice. It will bring your energy back.

4. Topokki (떡볶이)

Topokki is made by stir-frying rice cakes with vegetables and fish cakes in gochujag(red pepper paste) sauce. It is one of the most popular dishes in Korea especially among youngsters. you can find it easily on the road and eat it at cheap price. It's very chewy and can be a bit spicy.

5. Patbingsu (팥빙수) 

The dessert made of red beans and crushed ice definitely is the favorite choice in summer. Soft shaved ice soaks in a sweet milk drizzle. Heaps of red beans are piled on and topped with several pieces of rice cake. it's main ingredient is not the traditional 'pat'(red beans) but green tea, coffee, strawberries, ice cream or any fruit. It is served in not only restaurants and cafes but also in fast-food shops.


Hagwon

Event date: 2013-08-21

Hagwon (Korean: 학원) (also hagweon or hakwon) is the Korean-language word for a for-profit private institute, academy or cram school prevalent in South Korea. Although most widely known for their role as "cram schools", where children can study to improve scores, hagwons actually perform several educational functions: they provide supplementary education that many children need just to keep up with the regular school curriculum, remedial education for the children who fall behind in their work, training in areas not covered in schools, and preparation for students striving to improve test scores and preparing for the high school and university entrance examinations (the university entrance exam is also called suneung). Many other children, particularly younger children, attend nonacademic hagwon for piano lessons, art instruction, swimming, and taekwondo. Most of the young children have been to a hagwon for piano or art lessons at least once. Hagwon also play a social role, and many children, especially the younger ones, say they like going to hagwon because they are able to make new friends; many children ask to be sent because their friends attend. There are many hagwons for adults too, such as flower arrangement and driving-license hagwons.The term is also sometimes used to describe similar institutions operated by Korean Americans in the United States.

Children of all ages often attend hagwons, even those in the pre-school age bracket. It is not uncommon for students to be enrolled in several hagwon of different subject areas at once in addition to their normal school attendance. Hagwons often specialize in subjects like mathematics, foreign languages, science, arts, or music. Many hagwons also have adults as students, particularly those dedicated to teaching the English language.

While some see hagwons as filling a need not being adequately met by the public school system, others see them as creating an unequal footing between the poor and rich in Korea.

In 2008 it was reported that there were over 70,000 hagwons in South Korea with 47 percent of them focused on high school enrollment.

Impact on real estate

A higher than average concentration of hagwons in the Gangnam-gu area, specifically Daechi-dong, has been cited as the primary reason for an increase in real estate costs in the area. In the 1970s the Seoul government made some top schools relocate to the area; however, the schools there have become associated with entry into elite high schools and then elite universities. Many residents feel their children need to be associated with these schools in order to reach the upper levels of business and success. As more parents try to move to the area to allow their children to attend these schools,the prices of real estate in the area have risen to 300 percent of similar areas in Seoul. In 2003 the government had planned to develop a hagwon center in Pangyo to relieve some of the pressure on Gangnam, yet after heavy criticism for only shifting the problem around and not solving it, the government canceled the plan only a couple weeks later.


Korean shamanism

Event date: 2013-08-21

Korean shamanism, today known as Muism (Mugyo, "religion of the Mu") or sometimes Sinism (Shingyo, "religion of the gods", with shin being the Korean character derivative of the Hanja),[3] encompasses a variety of indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the Korean people and the Korean sphere. In contemporary South Korea, the most used term is Muism and a shaman is known as a mudang (무당, 巫堂) or Tangol (당골). The role of the mudang, usually a woman, is to act as intermediary between a spirit entity, spirits or gods and human beings.

Women are enlisted by those who want the help of the spirit world. Shamans hold gut, or services, in order to gain good fortune for clients, cure illnesses by exorcising negative or 'bad' spirits that cling to people, or propitiate local or village gods. Such services are also held to guide the spirit of a deceased person to higher realms.

The government has discouraged belief in shamanism as superstition and for many years minimized its persistence in Korean life. Yet in a climate of growing nationalism and cultural self-confidence, the dances, songs, and incantations that compose the gut have come to be recognized as an important aspect of Korean culture.

Beginning in the 1970s, rituals that formerly had been kept out of foreign view began to resurface, and occasionally even the manager of a Western-style hotel or other executive could even be seen attending a shamanic exorcism in the course of opening a new branch in Seoul. Some of these aspects of gut have been designated valuable cultural properties that need to be preserved and passed on to future generations.

The future of shamanism itself was uncertain in the late 1980s. However, observers believed that many of shamanism's applications would probably be performed by the psychiatric profession as the government expands mental health treatment facilities in the future.

Mudang

Mudang can be categorized into two basic archetypes: sessǔmu, who inherit the right to perform the shamanic rituals and kangshinmu, who are initiated into their mudang status through a ceremony. Sessŭmu historically lived in the southern part of the Korean peninsula, while kangshimu were found throughout the peninsula and contiguous areas inhabited by Koreans, but were mostly concentrated in the north (modern day North Korea) and the contiguous areas of China and the central part of the peninsula around the Han River.

Shinbyeong (spirit sickness)

The central feature of a shaman's initiation is her affliction with an illness known as a shinbyeong. This is also called the "spirit sickness" or "self-loss" and characterized by a loss of appetite, insomnia, visual and auditory hallucinations. A ritual called a naerim-gut cures this illness, which also serves to induct the new shaman.

Rituals or gut (굿)

The gut is a shamanic ritual during which the shaman offers a sacrifice to the spirits. Through singing and dancing the shaman begs the spirits to intervene in the fortunes of the humans in question. The shaman wears a very colourful costume and normally speaks in trance. During a gut a shaman changes his or her costume several times.

There are three elements of a gut. Firstly, there are the spirits as the object of folk beliefs. Secondly, there are the believers who pray to those spirits. Finally, there is the shaman mediating between the two.

The actual form of gut varies between regions. The unfolding and style of the shamanic rite depends largely on the objective of the ceremony. The individual character and abilities of the shaman bring a unique character to the respective ritual to be performed.


Ondol

Event date: 2013-08-21

An ondol, also called gudeul, in Korean traditional architecture, is underfloor heating which uses direct heat transfer from wood smoke to the underside of a thick masonry floor. In modern usage it refers to any type of underfloor heating, or a hotel or sleeping room in Korean (as opposed to Western) style.

The main components of the traditional ondol are a firebox or stove (agungi; 아궁이) accessible from an adjoining (typically kitchen or master bedroom) room, a raised masonry floor underlain by horizontal smoke passages, and a vertical, freestanding chimney on the opposite exterior providing a draft. The heated floor is supported by stone piers or baffles to distribute the smoke, covered by stone slabs, clay and an impervious layer such as oiled paper.

This Korean architectural element is similar to the kang bed-stove found in nearby modern-day Northeast China, historically known as Manchuria, which is used in and constructed similarly to the ondol.

Ondol had traditionally been used with a living space for sitting, eating, sleeping and pastimes, in most Korean homes before the 1960s. The furnace burned mainly rice paddy straws, agricultural crop waste, biomass or any kind of dried firewood. For short-term cooking, rice paddy straws or crop waste was preferred, while long hours of cooking and floor heating needed longer-burning firewood. Unlike modern-day water heaters, the fuel burning was either sporadically or regularly done (two to five times a day), dependent on frequency of cooking and seasonal weather conditions.

With the traditional ondol heating, floor spots closer to the furnace were normally warm enough with warmer spots reserved for elders and honored guests. Ondol had problems such as carbon monoxide poisoning resulting from burning coal briquette, and environmental pollution. For these reasons, other technology heats modern Korean homes.


Hanok

Event date: 2013-08-21

Hanok is a term to describe Korean traditional houses. Korean architecture lends consideration to the positioning of the house in relation to its surroundings, with thought given to the land and seasons.

The interior structure of the house is also planned accordingly. This principle is also called Baesanimsu (배산임수), literally meaning that the ideal house is built with a mountain in the back and a river in the front, with the ondol heated rock system for heating during cold winters and a wide daecheong (대청) front porch for keeping the house cool during hot summers.

Houses differ according to region. In the cold northern regions of Korea, houses are built in a closed square form to retain heat better. In the central regions, houses are 'L' shaped. Houses in the southernmost regions of Korea are built in an open 'I' form. Houses can also be classified according to class and social status.

Characteristics

The environment-friendly aspects of traditional Korean houses range from the structure's inner layout to the building materials which were used. Another unique feature of traditional houses is their special design for cooling the interior in summer and heating the interior in winter.

Since Korea has hot summers and cold winters, the 'Ondol (Gudeul),' a floor-based heating system, and 'Daecheong,' a cool wooden-floor style hall were devised long ago to help Koreans survive the frigid winters and to block sunlight during summer. These primitive types of heating and air-conditioning were so effective that they are still in use in many homes today¹). The posts, or 'Daedulbo' are not inserted into the ground, but are fitted into the cornerstones to keep Hanok safe from earthquakes.

Materials

The raw materials used in Hanok, such as soil, timber, and rock, are all natural and recyclable and do not cause pollution. Hanok's have their own tiled roofs (Giwa), wooden beams and stone-block construction. Cheoma is the edge of Hanok's curvy roofs. The lengths of the Cheoma can be adjusted to control the amount of sunlight that enters the house. Hanji (Korean traditional paper) is lubricated with bean oil making it waterproof and polished. Windows and doors made with Hanji are beautiful and breathable.

Regional differences

The shapes of Hanok differ regionally. Due to the warmer weather in the southern region, Koreans built Hanok in a straight line like the number 1. In order to allow good wind circulation, there are open wooden floored living area and many windows. The shape of the most popular Hanok in the central region is like letter "L" or Korean letter "ㄱ", an architectural mixture of the shapes in the northern and the southern regions. Hanoks in the cold northern region, are box-shaped like Korean letter "ㅁ" so that it would be able to block the wind flow in building Hanoks. They do not have an open wooden floored area but the rooms are all joined together.

Differences according to social class

The structure of Hanok is also classified according to social class. Typical yangban (upper class) houses with giwa (tiled roof) emphasized not only the function of the house, but also possess great artistic value. On the other hand, the houses of the commoners (as well as some impoverished yangban) with choga (a roof plaited by rice straw) were built in a more strictly functional manner.


National Holiday in Korea

Event date: 2013-08-14

January 1st. Seol Nal

 

 It's New Year's day in the lunar calender in Korea and it's the biggest holiday in Koea. Both South Korea and North Korea take 3 days holiday. People used to wear Hanbok (Korean traditional cloths). In this day, Koreans have a memorial service for ancestors in the early morning. Most of Koreans eat Tteokguk (rice cake soup usually with dumpling) in the morning. Eating Tteokguk means that people are getting older. We use white rice cake to make Tteokguk, because that means it represents a bright New Year. After that, people perform New Year's bows to their grandparents and parents. And children usually get New Year's gift money or words of blessings from them.

Yut-nol-e is the traditional folk game using 4 sticks. People throw Yut (sticks) and count which is overturned. Hwa-tu is the gambling card game which is actually originated from Japan. People play Hwa-tu a lot in holiday in Korea. And also people used to kiteflying in New Year's day.

January 15th. Jeongwol Daeboreum

 It's the 15th day of the New Year according to the lunar calendar. In this day, the first full moon appears. And moon viewing events are held in places. People thought that from this day, they can start the farm work. In Korea, moon symbols the yin, and it represents woman, richness. In this day, people usually eat Ogokbap (five grain rice) and bite on the nut to ward off the boils for a year. At night, people usually view the moon so they can read one year's farming fortune. If the moon is white, there will be a lot of rain this year, and if the moon is red it will be a year of bad harvest.

People usually do sheaf burning to wish to have a rich year. They burn the pile of branches when the moon rises in this day. Also, before Jeongwol Daeboreum day, people do Jwi-bul-nori. Which is making a fire in the farmland to wish to exterminate harmful insects, weeds.

April 8th. Buddha's birthday

In this day, roads near the temple are filled with lotus lantern. And lantern means to enlighten people. There's lot of religion in Korea, but Buddism has been existed in Korea for a long time, so it became the national holiday from unified Silla.

October 15th. Chu-seok

It's the second biggest holiday in Korea. In this holiday, people celebrate the harvest, remember their ancestors and share harvest with neighbors. After the harvest, people thank their ancestors by newly harvested rice and fruits. People have memorial ceremony for ancestors like New Year's day. It is 3 day holiday, so 75 % of Koreans visit their home during this holiday and it's often called en-masse migration. Because of that, during this day, train tickets or bus tickets are sold out very early. Koreans also call Chu-seok as Han-ga-wi. And they visit family member's grave in order to pay respects and thank for the harvest people made this year.

In Chu-seok, people play Tug-of-war, Ssireum (Korean wrestling), Ganggangsulae. Ganggangsullae is the Korean traditional circle dance play by woman under the bright moon. And people eat Song-pyeon like people eat Tteokguk in New Year's day. It's half-moon shaped rice cake stuffed with sesame seeds, sugar, sweet beans or chestnut filling. Some people make Song-pyeon with their family at home.

December 22th. Dong-ji

 Dong-ji is the day when the sun's longitude becomes 270 degree. So it's night is the longest in the year and it's day is the shortest. Dong-ji is also called as ' a little version of New Year's day '. Because from this day, the sun rises again and means that spring will come.

In this holiday, people eat Patjuk which is red-bean porridge. Red color means it could make people safe from ghosts or bad luck because in history, people believed ghosts hate red beans


Haeundae District

Event date: 2013-08-14

Haeundae District is a gu in eastern Busan, South Korea. It has an area of 51.44 km², and a population of about 423,000. This represents about 11.6% of the population in Busan. It became a division of Busan in 1976 and attained the status of gu in 1980.

Haeundae-gu can be reached easily on the subway, Busan Subway Line 2, or by train on the Donghae Nambu railway line from outside of Busan. Both Haeundae subway and train stations are built adjacent to each other.

Haeundae is an affluent beach front community that attracts tens of thousands of Korean tourists and foreigners to what many consider to be Korea's best beach. It has been subject to considerable commercial development in the past decades.

History

Haeundae takes its name from the ninth century Silla scholar and poet Choi Chi-won (literary name Haeun, or "Sea and Clouds"), who, according to a historical account, admired the view from the beach and built a pavilion nearby. A piece of Choi's calligraphy, which he engraved on a rock at Haeundae, still exists.

Haeundae used to be isolated from the large communities in Busan and Busanjin. It remained undeveloped, as did its beach, until the late 1970s and early 1980s. A small number of luxury hotels were constructed when new emphasis was placed on development of the area around the beach after the 1988 Seoul Olympics. More hotels and other tourist facilities have been constructed on the beach-front area since the mid-1990s, and shopping malls and movie theatre complexes have been built in the 'centre' of Haeundae: an area between Haeundae Station and the beach. The area's reputation and prosperity have continued to grow, except briefly during the Asian financial crisis of 1997.

Haeundae's geographical assets, along with its tourist facilities, have led to a regular role as one of the host venues for the annual Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), and Haeundae's Dongbaek Island was the location for the 2005 APEC Conference.

Haeundae New Town (해운대 신시가지-Haeundae Sinsigaji), a major commercial and residential redevelopment project begun in 1990, is located in the Jwa-dong area. This area lies in the southern shadow of Jangsan mountain to the north, and is bounded in the south by Haeundae Station on the Dalmaji Gogae line of the Korean National Railroad. Another development project, Centum City, has been ongoing since early 2000 and is now a major feature of Busan. Its BEXCO (Busan Exhibition and Convention Center) has become a popular venue for international conventions and exhibitions. Marine City, located nearby, is constructed on land reclaimed from the sea, and has several huge, high-rise apartment blocks. Additional apartment blocks, the most modern in Busan, are under construction, with water resorts and related facilities, for use by the public, also planned for Marine City.

Haeundae Beach

Haeundae Beach in Haeundae-gu is located at the southeast end of the city of Busan. Haeundae beach is only 40 minutes away from Busan's main railroad station (in the Downtown area), and less than one hour from Gimhae International Airport. Along the 12 km of coastline is Busan's most popular beach, and with Seogwipo's, it is one of the most famous beaches in South Korea. Because of its easy access from downtown Busan and the famous beach atmosphere, the beach is busy year round with several kinds of beach festivals and visitors from in and out from the country. Dongbaekseom (Dongbaek Island), located at the south end of the beach, offers a view of the sea by car and its coastline is famous for fishing. Oryukdo (Oryuk Islets), a symbol of Busan to many Koreans, can be seen in the distance from Dongbaek Island. During the hot summer months (late July to early August when most Koreans take their summer vacation), Haeundae beach becomes heavily crowded into a virtual human wall with thousands of people and parasols packed into a mile of sand. Visitors to the beach come from all over South Korea as well as outside of Korea. Haeundae is home to majority of expatriates currently residing in Busan.

There are many beach-related cultural events in Haeundae. Along with Geumjeongsan and Dalmaji (Greeting of the Moon) Gogae, Haeundae is one of the most popular spots in Busan to view the first sunrise of the year on January 1, with around a thousand gathering before dawn. Also, a famous beach event occurs in the first week of January when the temperature is around 0°C, the "Polar Bear Club." This event has occurred annually at the Choseon Beach Hotel since 1988. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup match between South Korea and Togo over 50,000 spectators filled the beach to cheer for the Korean team on a giant projector screen.[4] The Nurimaru, pure Korean meaning for Nuri (World) and Maru (Peak or top) was developed in preparation for the 17th APEC(Asia pacific Economic Cooperation) summit on Nov 18-19 in 2005, as the conference hall for APEC. The building is three-stories high and is located on the tip of Dongbaek Island. The ceiling of the Nurimaru is modeled after Seokguram, the famous Buddhist temple in Gyeongju.


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