Gwangju Blog

What to Do This Weekend: Penultimate Zumba, Open Mic, and Live Music!

Hello Gwangju!

Summer is in full swing here! Let’s see what’s happening in our city.

Thursday, July 19th

Courtesy of GIC Zumba with Thando

Courtesy of GIC Zumba with Thando

If you feel like you can use an energy boost before the start of the weekend, then you need to go to the GIC for Zumba! Zumba is a great cardio class that is open to all levels. You’ll need to bring along a bottle of water, and wear some comfortable clothes because you are going to get a workout that will make you feel energized for the weekend. Also, if you’ve never tried Zumba before then you don’t have much time left to join at the GIC. Tonight will be their last Thursday class. Next week they’ll be having a special Friday extravaganza for the final class. If you need more info, please go to their Facebook page.  The class is led by certified instructor Thando Mlambo.

Friday, July 20th

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

It’s hot outside, so cool off with some Friday specials at Tequilaz. Start off with some of their delicious tacos which are only 3,000 won each. Pair those tacos up with unlimited draft beer for only 12,000 won. Don’t like beer? No problem! They also have unlimited rail cocktails for only 20,000 won. All specials run from 9:00 p.m., until midnight, and are cash only please. If you need more details, including what else is happening at Tequilaz, please go to their Facebook page.

Courtesy of Loft 28

Courtesy of Loft 28

Friday night also means that it’s time for Gwangju’s only weekly open mic night at Loft 28! If you would like to perform, alll you have to do is bring your own instrument, and Loft will provide the rest. They will also give one free drink to every performer as well. Come check out some of Gwangju’s local talent at open mic night! For more details, please go to Loft’s Facebook page. Also, their rooftop patio is now open to enjoy during the summer season. Open mic will begin at 11:00 p.m.

Saturday, July 21st

Courtesy of the GIC

Courtesy of the GIC

The GIC Talk series continues in the month of July with another informative topic. Today the discussion will focus on Digestive Health. The lecture will be given by a visiting professor from Malaysia. The GIC Talk series is free to attend, and it begins at 4:00 p.m. The lecture usually goes for about an hour. If you need more details, please go to their Facebook page, or you can also check out the GIC website. There will be one more talk during the month of July, and then the series will go on summer break for August.

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

I know that a lot of the Gwangju community enjoyed watching the World Cup games at Speakeasy. Now that it’s over, it’s time for live music to return to the Speakeasy stage! Local favorites Malarkey will be rocking your favorite covers from the 70s, up until today. Expect some great drink specials during the show, and don’t forget to arrive early for happy hour which runs from 7:00 p.m., to 10:00 p.m. No cover as always, so come on down and support local music at Speakeasy! For more info, please go to their Facebook page. The show will begin at around 10:30 p.m.

Coming up!

Open auditions for the next GPP production.




The International Taekwondo Academy started its weeklong schedule on Monday at Chosun University.

The event is where Taekwondo trainees from across the world gather to achieve greatness together and is hosted by the City of Gwangju, Gwangju Sports Council and operated by Chosun University and Gwangju City Taekwondo Association.

The athletes from 10 countries including United States, China and Mexico will gather and train together. Also, high-ranking athletes who won major international competitions will provide lessons for the trainees.

In addition to that, they have organized other cultural programs and the participants will visit Taekwondo town in Muju, and International Taekwondo Poomsae competition, which is defined pattern of defense-and-attack motions of Taekwondo. The event will be held in attendance with some 1,000 participants.

The organizers expect to improve the participants’ competence, as well as to experience the spirit of Taekwondo and Korean culture during the 7-day event.



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Essentials with JD #396 **MORE HEATWAVE UPDATES**


Hot, humid conditions will continue today with heat wave warnings remaining in effect for most parts. This week will be the hottest day of summer this year so far, the weather agency advised residents in Korea to be prepared for the scorching sun.


Most parts of the country will be suffering under more scorching hot days this week as daytime highs are set to surpass 35 degrees Celsius in the Gwangju and Jeonnam regions. The hot weather is set to continue until over the weekend, according to the weather agency’s forecast.

The Korean Meteorological Administration has issued heat wave warnings in Gwangju(광주), Naju(나주 ), HamPyeong(함평 ), GokSung(곡성 ), Gurye(구례 ), Hwasun(화순 ), GwangYang(광양 ), Sunchun(순천 ), Bosung(보성 ), Damyang(담양), Yeosu(여수 ) and JangHeung(장흥 ), a total of 12 regions.


The heat wave is expected to persist unless a typhoon arrives and pushes the North Pacific anticyclone away, the KMA predicted.

Meanwhile, the heat wave, coupled with tropical nights, has led to an increase in the number of people suffering from heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion. According to the Gwangju and Jeonnam branch of the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a total of 20 people suffering from heat-related illnesses were reported between July 11th and July 15th.

The weather agency advised people to take extra care to avoid being affected by heat stroke or exhaustion, as the sweltering summer heat continues. It advised people to wear sunscreen and sunglasses, long-sleeved shirts and hats when outside.


Stay cool and hydrated,



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July Streets

July Streets


The photo above represents the July installment of local street photography. This photo leaves few doubts about where or when it was taken. Most locals might recognize the buildings in the background as being staples along the primary drag in downtown Gwangju. Additionally the leaves on the Ginkos surrounding the frame tell us that summer is in full bloom, and that the rains have just arrived. The action taking place at the center of the frame though is slightly more elusive in regards to the ‘what’, and perhaps ‘why’ in this snapshot of summer street life.

Barring larger context from the surrounding buildings, we can only assume that these are sadly not  the world’s largest saltines, and are more than likely some sort of insulation panel for a structure which as yet has no way to keep the heat out, or later on, in. The parallel lines which make up this beastly shape are helped by its strikingly yellow-ish appearance to set it apart from the rest of the scene. As such, our eyes are drawn to it not unlike the half a dozen or so eyes from its supporters.

Upon looking further, the shape seems helpless and childlike, not unlike an orca on the last leg of its transport from its native pool at Seaworld to the terrifying depths of an alien ocean beyond. As such, this is a sensitive scene with an energy worthy of our continued attention. And, all this at eight o’clock on one July morning along one of many otherwise unobserved streets in this town we likely call ‘home.’


[Image taken and made with a Contax T2 shooting Afga 200.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)



Essentials with JD #395 **TROPICAL NIGHT PHENOMENON**


The Korea Meteorological Administration on Tuesday issued heat wave alerts for inland areas including Gwangju and most of Jeollanamdo. Be prepared as sweltering heat and tropical nights are poised to rob many of sleep.

Thursday night’s lowest temperature was recorded at 25 degrees Celsius. This is the first time since 2003 that temperatures remained over 20 degrees throughout the night. The KMA (The Korea Meteorological Administration) defines a “tropical night” as a period in which the temperature remains above 25 degrees between 6:01 pm and 9 am the following morning.


Jindo in Jeonnam Province recorded the highest average temperature on Thursday night with 25.4 degrees Celsius and Gwangju recorded 25.2 degrees. Thus, registering its fourth and second tropical nights in a row, respectively

Other seaside cities such as Mokpo, Yeosu and Shinan followed, with an average overnight temperature exceeding 25 degrees Celsius.

The KMA predicted more sweltering days and nights to come. Daily highs in most areas outside Gwangju and Jeonnam provinces are expected to rise above 33 degrees, so the sleepless nights will continue for two or more days.

Meanwhile, only 7 tropical nights were recorded in Korea in the period from 1973-1993 but the figure greatly increased to around 14.8 between 1994-2017.

Locals are advised to be extra careful for the next few days as stifling heat with strong sunshine are expected. Hydrate with clear liquids such as water, avoid being outdoors during the hottest parts of the day and always be alert for signs of heat sickness.