Travel Photo Thursday

Onggi Pottery Production in Korea

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Destinations, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 0 comments

Onggi Pottery

Earlier this fall I had the pleasure of seeing Onggi Pottery made in Gimhae, a small village about 4 hours south of Seoul. An Si-Seong is the only Onggi Potter left in this community, and one of a few in Korea. He is also one of the country’s Tangible Cultural Assets. Onggi production dates back 4000 – 5000 BC, so it’s easy to understand why the Koreans are eager to protect an artist who is a skilled Onggi Potter. Welcome to week 304 (12/01/2016) of Travel Photo Thursday. Join me as An Si-Seong makes us a beautiful piece of Onggi Pottery, and we visit his shop.

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The wood burning kiln has been in operation since 1932. It takes approximately a week for it to reach the 1000+ (cel.) temperature needed to produce glazed onggi earthenware. Unglazed is produced at a cooler 600-700 cel. The kiln is filled with the unfired pottery, and then the fire is started. The folks in this photo are standing beside another entrance, which makes it easier to fill the kiln with the unfired pottery. On a historical note, this village is where Catholics hid and made onggi pots during the Catholic prosecution of the 19th Century.

 

Ongii Potter, Korea

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Five Favorite Photos of Korea

Posted by on Nov 24, 2016 in Destinations, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 18 comments

Photos of Korea

” A picture tells a thousand words,” and this week I’m sharing not five thousand words but my five favorite photos of Korea. These shots speak volumes to me and capture scenes, places, and events I love in Korea Welcome to week 303 (24/12/2016) of Travel Photo Thursday.

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#1 Nun’s Temple, Daejeon

Of all the photos of Korea that I’ve taken over the years, this is probably my favorite. The vibrant colors and the perfect symmetry of the dragon speak volumes to me. Taken at the “Nun’s Temple” just outside of Daejeon I will always remember that weekend as one of colorful, dragons, chanting monks, and the sound of pouring tea. I have never discovered the Korean name for this particular temple. It’s in the same neighborhood as Jangwansa, a Buddhist temple, and meditation retreat.

 

Dragon's Head..........Nun's Temple, Daejeon

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A Tea Ceremony in Seoul’s Insadong

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 in Destinations, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 26 comments

Tea Ceremony

This week we’re enjoying a tea ceremony at Shin Old Tea House, a one-hundred-year-old tea house in the Seoul neighborhood Insadong. Welcome to week 302 (11/17/2016) of Travel Photo Thursday. This was a free tour offered by the Seoul Women’s International Association (SIWA). SIWA provides a variety of tours (some free/some paid). If you’re planning a trip to Seoul, have a look at their website to see what tours they are offering when you’re in the city. I’ve gone on a few of their excursions, and they are always fun and informative. You don’t have to be a member to take a tour. Now, onto the tea ceremony.

We’re pretty easy going here at BTS, but please remember to follow a few guidelines…

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Green Tea Ceremony

Kyunghee, a SIWA member, performed the green tea ceremony and here she is getting ready to bow before she begins.

 

Tea Ceremony, Seoul, Korea

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Seoul: Take a Stroll Through Historic Bukchon Hanok Village

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in Destinations, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 24 comments

Bukchon Hanok Village

This week we’re taking a stroll through Seoul’s historical Bukchon Hanok Village. Welcome to week 301 (11/10/2016) of Travel Photo Thursday. Sandwiched between two of Seoul’s historic royal palaces, Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, Bukchon, a village of Korean traditional houses known as hanok, dates back close to 600 years to the Joesan Dynasty. The village was slated for renovation/demolition back in the 1960s; the area locals protested its demise. The government relented, and the village and its hanoks spared. There are approximately 900 hanok in the area, and many have been restored using traditional materials and construction methods. If you’re interested in learning about this traditional architecture this is the place to go!  The area is also home to a cluster of small museums, independent art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants. Enjoy the photos!

If you missed last week’s Travel Photo Thursday: North Korea from Ganghwa Island.

We’re pretty easy going here at BTS, but please remember to follow a few guidelines…

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Gahoe Dong (or Harmony)  Alley looks down on metropolitan Seoul with its modern office towers and hotels. Saturday and Sunday are busy with locals and tourists, and common to see local women out in their traditional hanboks.

 

Bukchon Hanok Village, Seoul

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A Peek of North Korea from Ganghwa Island

Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in Destinations, Food, Korea, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 25 comments

Ganghwa Island

This past weekend I headed out to Ganghwa Island to be fascinated by a bit of history, and a peek at North Korea from the Ganghwa Peace Observation Deck. Welcome to week 300 (11/3/2016) of Travel Photo Thursday.  Yes, we’ve reached another milestone. Hard to believe that this link-up has been around since late 2009. If I weren’t so busy correcting midterm essays, I would have baked a cake! 🙂 Join me this week as we have a pleasant lunch in rural Ganghwa Island, and a look into North Korea.

We’re pretty easy going here at BTS, but please remember to follow a few guidelines…

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Traditional Korean Food

The Ganghwa Peace Observation Deck with its birds-eye view of North Korea was the last stop on our full day itinerary.  Before we headed to the northernmost part of the island, and the closest that a person can get to the North while still being in South Korea, we stopped for lunch in a rural village.

The food in Koreas small towns is the best! If you are ever traveling in Korea, be sure to get out of Seoul and into the countryside to sample some Korean fare. This was our gorgeous Korean food spread.  I want to call the egg dish in the middle pajeon, which is Korean pancake. I think this was a bit of a variation on traditional pajeon, and more like an egg frittata. Cooked to perfection and filled with veggies, mainly green onion and red peppers, it was a delight to the taste buds. The pancake itself is not spicy, and if you look to the left, you will see a dish with red sauce. If you like spicy, dip your pajeon in, and voila! You’ve got hot!

The banchan (side dishes) include the three green veggies, harvested from the nearby forest. There is also a bit of radish kimchi and grilled fish. The last small dish on the left is green chili peppers with red chili sauce! These are tongue numbing hot! To the right of the pajeon is a dish made from acorns. The consistency is rather mushy, and not to my liking. It’s one of the few Korean side dishes that I don’t eat. We were also treated to some perfectly aged dongdongju, a Korean rice wine, and made by the restaurant owners.

 

Ganghwa Island

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Tongin Market: Spicy Gireum Tteokbokki

Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Destinations, Food, Korea, Korea, Travel Photo Thursday | 22 comments

Tongin Market

All good things must come to an end, and the last market on our Korean traditional food tour was the Tongin Market located in the same neighborhood as Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace. Welcome to week 299 (10/27/2016) of Travel Photo Thursday. If you missed the first two markets visits and the delicious food you can find them here and here. Apologies that I’ve not been around much the past two weeks. It’s midterm time, and that makes for some long days.

We’re pretty easy going here at BTS, but please remember to follow a few guidelines…

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Tongin Market opened in 1941 during the Japanese occupation and catered to Japanese residents in the area. Once the war ended and the Japanese were expelled Korean storekeepers moved into Tongin Market and set up shops selling local products, and restaurants selling Korean traditional food. Nowadays, the market is frequented by both locals and tourists. The most popular food in the market and the reason for our visit is the gireum tteokbokki. Tteokbokki, made from soft rice cake,  is stir-fried in oil with either soy sauce or red chili sauce. Our tour guide told us that this was the best tteokbokki vendor in the market and all of his other recommendations had been spot-on, so who were we to argue.

We ordered a small plate with the red chili sauce. Regular readers of the blog know that I never turn down spicy, and these were hot! My taste buds were on fire, and it was love at first bite.

(Once again I was at the mercy of harsh lighting. I need to learn how to shoot in this light. That will be my winter project! :))

 

m_GireumtteokbokkiTonginMarket

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