Korea, Republic of

A Gallery of Cute Kids in Hanbok

Written by Kyle about Korea, Republic of. Feelin' happy
Kyle_happy
There are 2 times a year when Korean children usually wear hanbok, the traditional outfit of Korea: Chuseok and the Lunar New Year.  Fortunately, Chuseok just passed so we snapped a lot of good photos of kids being kids in hanbock.  Enjoy!

Bessie's kindergartners in Hanboks
Bessie's kindergartners in Hanboks
Bessie's kindergartners in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in hanboks making songpyeon rice cakes
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks
kids in Hanboks

DMZ Tour: Part 2

Written by Bessie about Korea, Republic of. Feelin' excited
Bessie_excited
Cartoon Figures, DMZ, Korea
Part 2 of the USO tour continued after an overpriced, lunch at the only restaurant near the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone separating North & South Korea). 

It's hard to top the cool factor of stepping into North Korea in the JSA, but spying on Propoganda Village was good competition.

DMZ Tour: Part 1

Written by Kyle about Korea, Republic of. Feelin' excited
Kyle_excited
It's hard to understand much about the DMZ unless there is some history behind it, so let's start there.

History

This whole mess started after WWII.  During and before WWII, Japan had occupied Korea and effectively ruled it as part of Japan.  After Japan lost the war, the US and USSR argued over the land, eventually splitting it in half at the 38th parallel.  That was all good and well, until North Korea, aided by the USSR tried to unify the country by force and basically had control of most of the country, except for the most southeastern tip.  At that point, the US got heavily involved and pushed North Korea back to nearly the Chinese border.  The Chinese then threw their weight behind North Korea and pushed back to the current border, which roughly follows a river through a valley.  The border is called the MDL (Military Demarcation Line) and on each side of the MDL there are 2km that is "demilitarized".  In reality, there are guns in the DMZ but the types of weapons are restricted according to guidelines set on both sides.

On to the DMZ!

Are you wondering, "How do I get a great paying English teaching gig in Korea?" Well, then this is for you.

A Primer
Teaching in Korea can be a fun, fairly easy way to spend a year, if you can handle the culture shock & living in another country - one teacher worked at our school 1 day, and then flew back home.  Be sure you're ready for the every day routine of being in a classroom, although once you're in the routine of it, it's not too bad to manage.  I know teachers that take the teaching part seriously & really care about their students, and then there are others that show up to work hung over and don't put forth much effort.  You need to be a native English speaker & have a university degree, outside of that, it's pretty easy for anyone to get a job.
Chuseok is sort of Korea's Thanksgiving & one of our few 3 day weekends in Korea, which means, we were determined to get out of Seoul and see the country for a belated anniversary celebration.  At least 10 times we heard, "Are you sure you want to go, there's soooo much traffic?!"  A Korean travel blog called the weekend "the mass exodus out of Seoul" because many of the 25 million residents of the Seoul area skidaddle out of town to their ancestor's roots and visit family and grave sites. 

Lucky for us we defied the laws of Chuseok, and didn't get stuck in traffic - going east out of Seoul a pleasure because all of the traffic was headed somewhere else.  (Theories are that it was because most people travel south, few east, and because Chuseok fell on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday less people were willing to travel.)