Clarence Tay

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Matriarchal cultures

▲ Haenyeo are regarded as a symbol of Jeju's matriarchal culture. Photo courtesy Jeju Special Self-Governing Province<p><i>What follows is a personal</i> …

You can catch a beautiful night view of Gyeongbokgung Palace as starting tonight, it will be lit up! The Cultural Heritage Administration will open the palace to the general public in the evening from May 22nd (tonight) to the 26th, marking the Month of Family. The Palace will open at 6:30PM and close at 10PM. Last Admission is at 9PM. The admission fee is 3,000 won for adults between 18-65. How to get there: Gyeongbokgung Palace Station. Subway Line 3. Exit 5. OR Gwanghwamun Station. Subway Line 5. Exit 2. (Photo:

The vast amount of goods you can find in Namdaemun Market is surprising. Since its opening in 1964, this market has created a unique blend of shops, stalls and vendors. The night market is open 11PM~3AM and you can purchase goods during the day, too. The market is closed on Sundays but you can still find a few vendors open. This market has some of the best prices in Korea. How to get there: Hoehyeon Station. Subway Line 4. Exit 5.

The Megabox Cineplex inside COEX Mall is pretty spectacular.The interior is like the inside of a spaceship You can watch 3D and 4D movies as well as take advantage of the other entertainment venues inside the theater. This is more than a place to just watch a movie. It is a place to experience. Right now, there is a very cool PSY display as you enter and a cell phone experience center just inside the entrance. Outside the entrance, there is a high definition experience center for you to try. How to get there: Samseong Station. Subway Line 2. Exit 5 or 6. COEX Mall is directly connected to the station. Follow the signs for Megabox in COEX Mall.

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Korea celebrating the birth of Buddha. Why not enjoy the day with stroll along the stream? A lot of lotus lanterns are hanging everywhere at Cheonggyecheon (Stream) since it is the Yeon Deung Hoe Lotus Lantern Festival right now. How to get there: Subway - Jonggak Stn. (Line 1, Exit 2) Walk 5 mins Bus - Blue 162, 606, 151, 172, 401, 406, 704, / Green 1020, 7022 / Red 7900, 1005-1, 5500, 5500-2, 5500-1, 9000, 5000, 9401, 9401B

Neobiani (grilled marinated beef) and sauteed fresh pine mushroom are amazing. This is part of the Korean royal court cuisine (Joseon Wangjo Gungjung yori) that was the style of cookery within the Korean cuisine traditionally consumed at the court of the Joseon Dynasty, which ruled Korea from 1392 to 1910. There has been a revival of this cookery style in the 21st century. It is said that twelve dishes (this being one of them) should be served along with rice and soup, with most dishes served in bangjja (bronzeware). Have a great and delicious weekend!

This may not be what you typically think of when you think of Seoul but you can find awesome parks in the city. The Seocho Park for Culture and Art is located the east end of Yangjae Citizen’s Forest. and features an outdoor gallery where forests and sculptures are harmonized. Yangjae Citizens’ Forest was created in 1986 ahead of that year's Asian Games and the 1988 Seoul Olympics. It features over 70 different species of tree including: zelkova, maple and pine trees and has sports facilities for volleyball, tennis, a barefoot walking area, a memorial to Yun Bong-gil and a wedding hall. Yes, you can get married here, too. Above all, the forest is considered an excellent resource for conservation and education as well as being a popular picnic destination with Seoulites. How to get there : Gangnam Stn. Subway line 2. Exit 6. Or Yangjae Stn. Subway Line 3. Exit 7. Then take a bus and get off at the Citizens’ Forest bus stop: Blue bus : 140, 440, 470, 471, 421, 405, 441 Red Bus : 9404, 9409, 9510, 9801, 9901, 9408, 9503, 9711

Did you know that the area around Mapo Station is full of Galbi (grilled beef or pork dishes) restaurants? Just walk around this weekend in that area and choose the one you want! How to get there: Mapo Station. Subway Line 5. Exit 1. The street is filled with these restaurants. (Photo:

Would you like to eat like royalty? Now, you can. From about 1392 to 1910, this style of court cuisine was eaten by the Joseon dynasty. Seokparang (석파랑) is a Korean restaurant housed in a gorgeous traditional hanok building that offers Korean royal course meals served in antique vessels. This place has been officially designated as the Best Korean Restaurant in Seoul by the Seoul Metropolitan Government How to get there: [Subway] Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line3), Exit 3. Take Bus 7016, and get off at Sangmyung University Station (상명대학교). [Bus] Take Bus 7016, 7018, 7212, 1020, 1711, or 7022. Get off at Sangmyung University (Stop for Segeomjeong). The restaurant is the Korean-style house with roof tiles, across the street from the bus stop.

This cafe, Sammotoonge, sits on a lovely mountain corner and makes for a great day trip. It takes a bit of time to get there but it's well worth the trip. How to get there: Bus - Green 7212, 1020, 1711, 7016, 7018, 7022, Jongno 13 ( Walik 15mins.)