Gwangju Blog

What to do this Weekend: Long Weekend Edition

Photo courtesy of Malarkey.

Photo courtesy of Malarkey.

The 2015 Daegu Dongseongro GLOBAL MUSIC FESTIVAL runs from May 1-3 this weekend in Daegu. Gwangju’s own, Malarkey, will play on Sunday, May 3 at 5 P.M. Sounds like a fun road trip to support Gwangju’s favorite band! Check out the Facebook event page for more information and directions to the venue. This is a free event.

Al Barnum invites you to a special lunch event, Our Thoughts With Nepal!, on May 1 and 2, from 12-3 P.M. at Doaa’s rooftop downtown. There will be Egyptian food donated by Dana Han, and music by Trevor Everywhere and his friends. This is a fundraiser for donations to the survivors of the recent earthquake in Nepal. For more information and directions, check out the Facebook event page.

Photo courtesy of Daegu Global Music Festival.

Photo courtesy of Daegu Global Music Festival.

Walking After U returns to Club Bohemian downtown on May 1 at 8 P.M. Supporting acts include Alien City and Heavy Gauge. Advance tickets are 15,000 won, 20,000 at the door, which includes one free drink. To purchase advance tickets call, 137-107-202259. For more information call 416-1006 or 010-4605-0334, or check out the venue website.

May 2 is the Gwangju-Jeollanamdo KOTESOL May workshop at Chosun University.  First you can join a RP SIG meeting from 11 A.M.-12:30 P.M. at the Starbucks near the Chosun University Back Gate. The main meeting from 1:45-5 P.M. includes Lindsay Herron talking about tech tools you can use in your class, and Bryan Hale will discuss information gap activities. There will be a dinner gathering after the meeting.  For the full schedule, check out the web page, or the Facebook event page.

Photo courtesy of Damyang Bamboo Festival Amazing Race.

Photo courtesy of Damyang Bamboo Festival Amazing Race.

The second annual Damyang Bamboo Festival Amazing Race competition takes place May 2 from 1:30-5 P.M. Space is limited to 50 teams of 3-5 people. There will be a free bus, lunch and t-shirts provided. There’s over 1,500,000 won in prizes up for grabs, so get your team together! For more information check out the Facebook event page, or go to the website to register.

Salt Art Gallery is hosting volume 2 of Bulgasari Gwangju on May 2 at 4 P.M. It will be 2 hours of musicians and performers on a chill Saturday afternoon. Plan ahead so you don’t miss this one. For more information, check out the Facebook event page.

Barim, downtown next to the Dongbu Police Station, is hosting 8yoil noons, a meta-residence project by 12 visual artists. The opening party is May 2 from 6-9 P.M. The artists were given the short time of 6 days to complete their art projects, and the resulting works reflect how each individual perceives and interprets time. For more information, check out the website, send an email, call 062-228-9876, or visit the Facebook event page.

Photo courtesy of Barim.

Photo courtesy of Barim.

The Collaborative Book Club will be meeting May 10 at 1 P.M. at the First Alleyway Restaurant to discuss the book sci-fi/fantasy book Ready Player One By Ernest Clive. This gives you a couple of weeks notice to get through the book before the discussion. If you have any questions, contact Chris Bleeker through the Facebook event page.

Single purchase tickets for July 3-July 14 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade are now officially on sale through the interpark website. Tickets for various different sports and venues and rounds will range between 5,000 to 20,000 won. Ticket price for the opening and closing ceremonies will range from 100,000 won to 300,000 won with the closing ceremony priced between 70,000 and 150,000 won. To purchase those individual tickets, check out the Interpark website.

People You Should Know…in Gwangju: Tim Whitman


This week’s segment is about a man many already know and love.  A long-time expat, pillar of the community, and a good friend to Gwangju.  He’s an instructor at Chosun University and owner of a great place in town to get your western food fix.  Here, in his own words, is Tim Whitman…a person you should know in Gwangju.

What do you do here in Gwangju?

I’m a teacher and a business owner


What did you do before you took up your current job?

I was a banker and a commercial roofer and many other things


What has been your most rewarding achievement?

Opening a successful business


What do you do for fun?

I play games. I love games, but I’m so busy it is hard to find time for them.

Photo Courtesy of The First Alleyway

Photo Courtesy of The First Alleyway


What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?

My life in the army was a great experience. Firing a live missile was great.


Photo Courtesy of Tim Whitman

Photo Courtesy of Tim Whitman

Any family?  Pets?

No children, but 2 cats. I love all animals.


What is something you wish you could do?

I wish I could ride motorcycles again. And climb a real mountain, not just hiking.


Any embarrassing tales for public consumption?

A friend was leaving Gwangju so we partied really hard. I was so drunk that I fell asleep in the shower, vomited a number of times (at home) and was late in getting downtown for an appointment for making perogies the next day. My wife didn’t realize that I fell.


Is there any person you admire?

I admire Dr. Shin. He has done so much for the community.


Any personal code you live by?

Don’t lie and don’t steal.


What’s your “perfect” day in Gwangju?

Get up, drink a cup of coffee outside in the sun and fresh air.

Then relax with my wife, go for a walk, have dinner and a movie together.


Is there any place in Gwangju you recommend?

Photo Courtesy of The First Alleyway

Photo Courtesy of The First Alleyway

Go up the mountain, take some coffee or tea, and just enjoy the view.


What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their life?

Travel alone, and live alone for at least one year. You should know who you are.


Any advice you want to give the people of Gwangju?

Stop throwing stuff on the ground. Litter is such a problem in this city. I hate walking all over the junk on the ground.


Where to Eat Wednesday: Naali

Cake is wonderful, isn’t it? Well, no, not always. Unlike pizza, which is always good no matter how bad it may be, cake is something that can be easy to mess up. Whether it’s too dry, too sweet, too dense, or even too rich, it can be tricky to find that cake that’s just right. As a result, I’ve become a little cake shy and unaware of when new cake shops until someone points them out to me. This was the case with today’s review, and I’m so happy it happened.


A good friend of mine had informed me about Naali’s existence before I had a chance to see it for myself. He had spent at least a week sending me pictures of the shop’s tempting sweets, trying to convince me to make a visit. Needless to say, it typically doesn’t take long for me to give into peer pressure, especially when food is involved.

Located on wedding street, this little cake shop is one of the prettiest places I’ve seen in the city. The beautiful paper cutouts and desserts on display definitely attracted quite a bit of attention from different people as they walked by. When I went to visit with some friends, one thing that stood out to me was the lack of seating. Outside of one small table that seated exactly three people, the shop was filled with dessert displays and little to nothing else. Lucky for us, that one table was available.

InsideMore Cakes

When it came to selection, we learned that arriving too late could result in limited choices. That being said, we still had plenty of delicious looking desserts to choose from. Some of the options included Tiramisu, Strawberry Tarts, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tarts, Strawberry Cream Puffs, Chocolate Eclairs, Strawberry Cake, Grapefruit Red Velvet Cake, and more. Each choice looked absolutely delicious, and we had a difficult time choosing exactly what we wanted. We ended up ordering one of almost everything. Whatever I didn’t try during that trip was remedied the next time I came by, which was no less than a few days after my first visit.

As shown in pictures, the first desserts I got to try included the a cake, an eclair, and a tart. The Strawberry Cake, which reminded me a lot of Japanese Christmas Cake, managed to stay light and moist while delivering a healthy amount of juicy strawberries. The whipped cream added a richness to the cake without adding too much sweetness that could have taken away from the natural flavors of the fruit. The Chocolate Eclair, on the other hand, was quite rich and decadent. The pastry crust on the outside was structurally sound enough to hold in the creamy chocolate filling inside. Each bite was filled with chocolate goodness that satisfied a day’s worth of sweet cravings.

Dining InTake Out

Though the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart was small in size, nothing held back when it came to taste. Even the smallest nibble was filled with that strong, dark chocolate flavor that only comes from the good stuff. Though I’m not 100% sure if the fruit used was actually raspberry, it tasted similar enough and added a nice tart flavor that helped balance out the rich intensity of the dark chocolate.

Before we left the adorable cake shop to go home, I had ordered a few more desserts to have for breakfast the next day. Yes, I know. I have no self control. The Strawberry Tart I took home was still fresh the next day, though, as expected, the crust had become a bit soft. I certainly didn’t mind, as the sheer amount of strawberries combined with the cream cheese filling they rested on were delicious, making this dessert my favorite of the bunch. The chocolate cake, which my beau brought home, was also nice. I was impressed by how moist it stayed, despite sitting out on my kitchen table all night.

While Naali may not be the best place to hang out, it certainly does dessert right. The place doesn’t offer any other items like coffee or drinks, but I actually kind of like it when places specialize in one thing that they do well. My friends and I have already gone back to take home dessert after having dinner in the downtown area, and I would recommend anyone who may be interested to do the same. Seeing how so many of the ingredients seem quite seasonal, I look forward to see how their selection may change in the upcoming months.

Address: 광주 동구 황금동 88 (across the street from Panfic)
Phone: 062-233-8880
Hours: 12:00PM to 12:00AM
Average Price Range: 4,500 to 6,500 per dessert


Rose Festival Web Poster


When the weather heats up, festival season takes hold of Korea. And here is another great event to enjoy Summer festivals for free and win tons of money.

GFN, Gwangju Foreign Language network as another great event for everyone to enjoy at the Gokseong International Rose festival which takes place on May 23rd 2015. And all you have to do is take a couple of selfies in the beautiful scenery to be a winner.

Here is how it works. Gather a team of 2-3 people, make sure you have a smartphone, enter the contest, go to the event, TAKE AMAZINGLY CREATIVE PICTURES, submit your best/most unique/rose-tastic shots and you could be in line to win MONEY MONEY MONEY!

EASY AS THAT! Copy and paste the link below into your browser and click attend/ going to get regular updates about the event. Spaces are limited and don’t forget each team will WILL NEED at least ONE SMARTPHONE to be able to participate in the event.

Food, transport, t-shirts and much more will be provided. So enter now. You can also find more information at #selfie #rosefest2015


** Ps don’t forget that registration for The Damyang Bamboo Festival amazing race will also close pretty soon. So if you haven’t registered you might want to do that asap.