Gwangju Blog

Where to Eat Wednesday: Heaven

When looking for Heaven, people have been known to search high and low for proper directions. While I can’t really offer any sort of insight on deeper quests like that, I have found Heaven in a more literal sense, and it’s located in Boseong.

OutsideDecor

During one of my “I have guests and need to be a good host by taking them to the Boseong Green Tea Plantation” days, I caught a glimpse of advertisements for a new restaurant in the area. Though I’m still not sure if this place, which was located right by the entrance of the Green Tea Plantation, was brand new or was just the old place after a serious makeover, but it was definitely new to me. Seeing how I wasn’t in the mood for cafeteria food after a long hike, and since my guests had a hankering for green tea themed food, we decided to have lunch here.

InsideMenu

Though there wasn’t anything too special about the interior, some of the small, decorative touches here and there were much appreciated. Being away from the heat outside was also a welcome relief. While I read off the Korean menu on the wall, our waiter brought us an English menu that had descriptions for each dish. This gesture was much appreciated, especially since I was feeling a little too tired to translate. As expected, everything on the menu had green tea in it in some way. Some of the options included Green Tea Bibimbap, Green Tea Knife-Cut Noodles, and even Green Tea Pork Belly. My guests were still sweating from the hike, so I ordered the Green Tea Naengmyeon (chewy noodles often made with buckwheat and sweet potato) for them to help them cool down some. My guy, who’s a little pickier, ordered the Green Tea Stir Fried Pork. As for me, I got an order of the Green Onion Pancake and some of the Green Tea Dumplings. We also got a couple of orders of regular rice, as I love it green tea rice.

SidesSoup Naengmyeon

After we placed our orders, our waiter was quick to bring out all sorts of sides. At least half of them were cold and pickled, offering a nice contrast to the hot weather. The first of the food to come out was the Green Tea Naengmyeon. I ordered both the soup version and the spicy, mixed version for my guests so that they (and I) could try both. Unlike regular naengmyeon, the noodles here were bright green and quite pretty. Though the tangy, icy soup and spicy sauce made it difficult to really taste the noodles, there was still a noticeable difference in flavor. My guests happily slurped their meals up, quickly learning throughout the process that cold noodle soup is awesome.

Spicy NaengmyeonGreen Tea Dumplings

Next on our table were the Green Tea Dumplings and the Green Onion Pancake. I was personally not too crazy about the dumplings, as they were a little dry and lacked the green tea flavor I was looking for. The pancake, on the other hand, was hot, gigantic, and was full of green tea goodness. The edges were perfectly crispy, and the dough-to-veggie ratio was just right. The only downside of this particular dish was how much squid was present, despite me asking for a lot less squid. I could only imagine how much there would have been if I didn’t make a request.

Green Onion PancakeStir Fried Pork

The last dish to arrive was the Green Tea Stir Fried Pork. It arrived with the Green Tea Rice, which was pretty much white rice that had been cooked with green tea. The pork was spicy without going overboard, and the vegetables it had been cooked with were nice and flavorful without being too mushy. The saltiness of the dish paired nicely with the rice, which helped cut down on the richness of the fatty pork and somewhat greasy sauce.

Overall, my visit to Heaven was a nice one. While the food wasn’t anything special, outside of it being full of green tea, it definitely beat cafeteria food. I’m sure it was definitely healthier than my usual alternative of filling up on green tea ice cream. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for a place to eat after a trip to the Boseong Green Tea Plantation without having to go too far. Now I just have to find a place that serves nothing but green tea flavored desserts..

Address: 전라남도 보성군 보성읍 녹차로 763-43 (right next to the entrance of the Boseong Green Tea Plantation, next to the ticket booth)
Phone: 061-853-4900
Hours: 9:00AM to 8:00PM
Average Price Range: 8,000 to 12,000 per person

Essentials with JD # 149 **복날짜 = Samgyetang Days **

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It’s hot hot hot and well time to cool down with a little dip in the pool! Well if you need to find out where to go for a little dip i.e actually swim some laps check it out here http://gwangjutrisports.wordpress.com/swimming/indoor-pools-gwangju/

Thanks to Julian Warmington.

 

The other way, well Korean traditional way to beat the heat is by eating hearty albeit a little bland – Samygyetang! Well while I prefer some Mango Bingsoo or straight up ice cream you might want to see if fighting fire with fire works for you.

 

Below is an extract from salon magazine which explains the philosophy of yi yul chi yul

 

The food philosophy is based on the idea of balancing one’s ki, the flow of energy that courses through your body. “In East Asian cosmology, the idea of regulation of one’s ki is vital to overall health. Food is an important means to keep one’s ki properly attuned to the external environment, There is a Korean saying: yi yul chi yul, meaning fight fire with fire.. “The practice of eating spicy or hot foods on hot days stems from the belief that one’s ki is cool in the summer and to bring that in balance with the external environment spicy/hot foods should be eaten,”

 

Also check out this great video which explains abit more. And remember this year’s remaining days to go out in force and eat some chicken soup are 28th July and 7th of August

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6vGtWL1B7o

 

 

peace,

jjdp

 

Swig Meets Gwangju: Mud Festival

This weekend I headed to the largest mud festival in the World, which is located just two hours from Gwangju.  The festival runs from July 18th-27th and is held at Daecheon beach.  Busses run rather frequently from Gwangju, so if you missed it this weekend you still have plenty of time to make it there.

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History: The festival originated to promote Boryeong cosmetics 1998 and has attraction millions of visitors over the years.  The mud is brought from the Boryeong mud flats and placed near Daecheon beach.  The mud is rich with minerals and supposed to be great for your skin.

Transportation:  I departed from Seoul and took the train to the festival and bus back to Seoul.  This was because a friend from out of town was visiting me. I recommend the train since it was just 10,000 won and even though it was standing room only, it was more comfortable and a lot shorter than the bus trip. The bus trip back took an extra hour since there was so much traffic. Some cities only offer a bus route though.

Accommodation: We stayed in a pension since we booked an organized package. The rooms were typical Korean style pension, but there were six guys allotted to the room we were in. This was kind of a problem since the room comfortably sleeps four people.  Either way, it was for one night so not too big of a deal. I would recommend pre-booking accommodation, but I am sure there will still be some rooms vacant in the motels.

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Activities: The festival has a ton of activities going on at the beach and surrounding area. Around the Mud Square there is Mud obstacle courses (10,000 Won entry), mud swimming and wrestling. Near the main square there is also a big stage set up that had performances going on all day. Later at night there was a firework show and Black Eagles Airplane show.

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Outside of the festival there is also a mudflat marathon.  If mudding is not your cup of tea then there is also a lot of things to do on the beach like swimming, boat rental, soccer, volleyball, waterpark, amusement park and a ton of other activities going on.  There is definitely enough going on to spend the weekend here, but two days and one night was enough to do everything we wanted!

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Suggestions: Make sure you pack plenty of the essentials like towels, sunscreen, change of clothes and anything else you want for the beach.  They sell waterproof phone and money lanyard pouches (5,000 Won) that came in handy. The mud obstacle course closes around 5:00pm, so make sure you get your tickets early because they can sell out quickly.  There are plenty of places to wash off the mud, but the easiest way is to just jump in the nearby ocean.  Overall the festival was a ton of fun and I hope I can return again in the future!

What To Do This Weekend: Mud, Music, Mainstage

The weekend is upon us, gang, so let’s get ready to…be muddy and rained-upon probably.

Muddy

MUD FEST! After much anticipation, 2014′s Mud Fest is here! Pedro is running buses to the event, so be sure to check out the event facebook page and sign up if you haven’t already. Also, if it’s your first time, Seoul food blogger Gemma Wardle’s “Do’s and Don’ts of Boryeong Mud Festival“.

NAMDO CULTURE EXHIBITION V: GOHEUNG 

An exhibit running from July through September 28th at Gwangju National Museum. Admission is free and the exhibit is open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and closed on Mondays. Visit the museum page for more information.

Photo courtesy of Mariya Haponenko

Photo courtesy of Mariya Haponenko

SATURDAY DRAWING CLASS AND GIC TALK

Come to the GIC this Saturday at 12:15 for an ORGANIC ART CLASS with Mariya Haponenko. Anything organic goes…whatever the earth provides us we will draw! Visit the event page for more information.

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This

...not this.

…not this.

After Art Class, stay for the GIC TALK AT 3PM given by  Hossein Moradian This presentation gives an overview in history, art and culture pertaining to Iran. Since so many people have wrong ideas about Iran and they only have known Iran via its government, the speaker will prepare information that shows the real face of Iran and Iranians.

SOCCER! Don’t forget about Gwangju FC vs. Suwon FC at 7pm on Saturday at the World Cup Stadium.

LAST WEEKEND OF RUMORS In case you missed it last weekend, the GPP’s current play Rumors is a hit. Enjoyable and well-timed, all the actors portray their characters with gusto. Saturday, 19 July @ 2pm AND 7pm and Sunday, 20 July @ 3pm. Tickets are W10 000 and can be booked through gpptickets@gmail.com

 

IRISH music

TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SATURDAY NIGHT AT 9PM AT GERMAN BAR! Part birthday celebration, part concert–be there or be square.

Photo courtesy of Damyang House

Photo courtesy of Damyang House

“BIKE N HIKE TO NAMHAE ISLAND. HOSTED BY DAMYANG HOUSE, SUNDAY-TUESDAY

If you’re on vacation and looking for something to do July 20th-23rd, The Damyang House is hosting a 4th “Bike N Hike to Namhae island (경상남도) and ultimately the Hallyeohaesang (한려해상) National Park for a very short hike to the summit. Three nights minimum and a mix of minbaks and beach camping. The event is very much free, fun and noncompetitive. It is also rain or shine so prepare to get wet. For more information, visit the event page  or contact the Damyang House at 010-6424-7326. 

News of the Week: July 17, 2014

Quality of Jobs in Gwangju and Jeollanamdo Improves

Gwangju and Jeollanamdo recorded higher figures on job quality and employment conditions this year as compared to the number tallied in 2011.

According to the ‘Report on Job Quality and Employment Conditions in Each Region’, released by the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, Gwangju recorded 50.6 and Jeollanamdo marked 48.7.

Each ranked 8th and 9th , respectively among 17 nationwide cities and provinces. The Gwangju and Jeollanamdo figures were average.

Tested indexes include employment opportunities, stabilization of employment, and wages, as well as work hours, safety of the workplace, and development of personal skills.

Gwangju marked relatively higher figures in stable employment conditions and personal development skills at 74 and 75 each with Jeollanamdo recording high scores in work hours and equal employment opportunities at 83 and 60.

 

Jeollanamdo Removes the Most for Unreasonable Regulations

Unreasonable regulations in Jeollanamdo will be lifted starting this year as the national government recently approved 10 cases of regulations to be eliminated
Jeollanamdo attained the second most approval cases among nationwide municipalities after Incheon’s 12 cases and the highest reflection rate or the number of regulations approved for dismissal out of entire submitted cases at 24 percent in the nation.

Dismissal of regulations in Jeollanamdo includes simplification of installations for accommodations in provincial maritime national parks and revitalization of solar energy generation projects as well as tax exemption for local public organizations.

In addition, upon approval, the Yeosu Industrial Complex and its corporations will see progress in the expansion of industrial factories and in developing land inside the complex into a green development zone.

 

Korean Indie Films Coming to Gwangju Cinema

A series of Korean independent films produced and premiered in the early half of 2014 will be showcased at Gwangju’s one and only independent movie theatre, the Gwangju Cinema from July 17th to the 23rd.

Talk sessions with the directors will also be prepared following the movies.

A total of four indie films including ‘Dohuiya (도희야)’, ‘Gyeongju (경주)’, ‘Show times for Seoul’ and ‘Stateless Things’ will be introduced to domestic indie film fans in the region.

Directed by Yeosu-born filmmaker Ms. Jeong Ju-ri, ‘Dohuiya’ was invited to the Cannes International Film Festival this year and there will be a talk session with the director Jeong after the movie at 7:20 p.m. on July 17th.

 

Gwangju Designates Wednesday as ‘Family Day’

The city of Gwangju will reportedly expand the ‘Family Day’ from the previous twice a month to every Wednesday of the week.

The Family Day has been in operation to reduce nighttime work hours among public officials and encourage leaving work at the regular time at 6 o’clock to provide workers more time to spend time with their family.

The city of Gwangju will obligate public workers to leave 6 p.m. sharp on every Wednesday of the week except when there is an emergency for natural disasters or civil defense drills.

The city previously designated every Wednesday as a ‘Culture Sharing Day’ to offer citizens a chance to attend various cultural activities such as movie, exhibition, play and concert.