Gwangju Blog

Essentials with JD # 156 **MORE THAN JUST TALK**


Continuing with the making your life easier we are going to be looking at the Kakao Talk application and how to use it more efficiently. For most it is a life saver being able to just chat with friends and family. But besides doing this, sending pics, making free calls etc you can also be privy to amazing discounts and information services.


You can be informed about sales, special promotions and other information that you are interested in that can be chosen according to your preferences. Here you can get hot deals and information about most of the daily brands in Korea as well as international ones, news and news about your favorite stars etc and it is all updated by Kakao as soon as they are announced.


Just open your Kakao – go to click on find near the bottom right corner and then on Plus friend on the top right of the screen and here you can find many different categories. Depending on what version of Kakao you loaded it can be in English or Korean but most of the deals will be in Korean. But they are easy to figure out by looking at the pictures and by using basic Korean or just ask one of your friends or co workers.

Recently Updated10

For example Olive Young sends weekly updates on all sales and special promotions regarding bath and body essentials which are great especially since they have been having a 50% off sale in the past week. Also ABC mart gives you all the latest shoe trends and sales. There are so many updates and special offers to choose from from categories like Shopping, Media, Medicine, food, culture, mobile games and so many more.


Go ahead, sign on and be updated.




Lucerium: Gwangju National Science Museum

Gwangju National Science Museum - Photo by Joe Wabe

Gwangju National Science Museum – Photo by Joe Wabe

Located in the northern part of Gwangju, “Lucerium” or Gwangju Science museum, it’s the first of its kind in the Honam area. It was founded in 2013 for the purpose of spreading science and technology in the area, as well as the contribution to the development of gifted local science students who can help carry on the science culture.

With a variety of themes involving “light, art, and science”, the exhibition offers fun, education, and leisure with the aspiration of promoting specialization in local industry and the cultural arts in order to enhance scientific technology and cultural development. It also offers  a vital high-quality education experience.

The exhibition hall 1, is dedicated to “light’ and “art” the symbols of Gwagju, exhibition 2, displays basic science in our ordinary life and help the visitors experience the future development in space and the oceans. Children can enjoy discovering fun scientific principles in the cosmos, nature and the human body in exhibition hall 3, and finally the public can appreciate a moment of relaxation and fun at the outdoor exhibition center.

The Gwangju National science museums is an ideal place for science education and exploration of creativity, and it’s open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 everyday.

For more information you can visit their website in English at:

Weekend of September 19: Free Spirits Edition

 Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

For those of you looking to pick up some “new to you” things for your home, the Gwangju Freecycle group is having their 2nd Swap, Don’t Shop! Clothing Swap event at the GIC on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 10 A.M.-1:30 P.M. Attendees can choose free items of clothing, books or other household goods donated by Gwangju residents. They suggest bringing your own bags to cart away your goodies, but if you forget, there will be bags there for purchase. Since the GIC is generous enough to host this free event for the community, becoming a member or making a donation while visiting is encouraged.

There is a Poetry Slam at the GIC downtown on Saturday Sept. 20 from 7-9 P.M. It’s a collaboration of the folks at the GIC, the Gwangju Performance Project and a group called the Mokpoets. You will hear international poems read by the authors, and all poems will have a Korean translation. Tickets are 5,000 won, with proceeds from the door and purchased refreshments and books to benefit the GIC. For more information, check out the Facebook event page, or contact Joey Nunez at

Photo courtesy of the GIC

Photo courtesy of the GIC

Recurring Stuff That’s Good for You

Need to practice your Korean so you can get around town or shop more easily? The Gwangju Korean Learners Club (GKLC) meets every Sunday at 5 P.M. downtown at Caffe Bene. For more information and a map on how to get there, check out the GKLC Facebook group.

Photo Courtesy of Maria Lisak

Photo Courtesy of Maria Lisak

Every Monday night from 7:30-9 P.M., there is a free Monday Night Meditation class at the GIC. Maria Lisak leads the class in guided relaxation and relaxation exercises. Wear comfortable clothing. Yoga mats, cushions, blocks and chairs are provided for the class. For more information and precise instructions on how to enter the building, check out the event Facebook page.

Get a Jump on Next Weekend

The Gwangju Asia Content and Entertainment Fair (ACE) is coming to the Kimdaejung Convention Center

Sept. 25-28. There will be exhibits and seminars on a wide range of industry areas such as broadcasting, games, animation and more. Hours for the exhibition are 10 A.M.-5 P.M., and admission is 5,000 won for adults, children are free. For more information or directions, you can consult their handy English website.

There will be a classic guitar concert, Strings from the South of the World, by Alexis Vallejos at the Bitgeul Art Space Thurs. Sept. 25 at 7 P.M. Advance tickets are 10,000 won, 15,000 won cash at the door. This concert is for ages 7 and up. For more information and directions to the venue, check out the GIC website.

Photo courtesy of ACE.

Photo courtesy of ACE.

News of the Week: September 18, 2014

Movies Invested in by Gwangju Gain Popularity

As domestic movies in which the city of Gwangju invested become record box office hits, commercial success and tourism revitalization is expected in Gwangju.

According to the city of Gwangju, the total accumulated moviegoers for the film, ‘The Pirates’, that received investment for production from Gwangju, surpassed 8.2 million.

In addition, ‘Tazza: High Rollers 2′ that also received investment from the city for production and filming was released on September 3rd and recently marked total movie attendance at 3 million in 12 days since its initial release.

Based on the ‘Special Law on Formation of Asian Cultural Hub City’, the city of Gwangju initiated the cultural fund for investing in domestic films on September in 2012 with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

So far, Gwangju has invested a total of 26.9 billion won in 59 cultural content providers, including various domestic movies such as ‘The Terror Live’, ‘The Face Reader’, ‘The Fatal Encounter’ and ‘Kundo: Age of Rampant’.

Success of Gwangju-invested movies and cultural content is expected to bring a financial surplus of more than 910 million won whenever the total number of movie goers surpasses the 5 million mark.


‘9am School Start’ to be Under Review by Gwangju and Jeju Education Office

Upon the adoption of new school starting time at 9 a.m. by the Gyeonggi Education Office since early this month, educational offices in Gwangju and Jeju are also considering delaying school start hours for regional schools.

As some 86 percent of the entire elementary and secondary schools in Gyeonggi province have adopted the new start time, other progressive educational offices, such as the North Jeolla Office of Education will also move the start time to 9 a.m. starting on October.

The Gwangju Office of Education and its education head, Kim Seong-yeong, explained that the changes in school start time were generally welcomed among students in the area.

As a result, the office will be reviewing various measures to move back the school start time to 9 a.m.

Presently, elementary and middle schools in Gwangju start at 8:30 a.m. on average, with high schools starting as early as 7:40 a.m.

Whereas students showed a positive response toward changes in the school start time as it allows them more time in the morning to sleep, parents and teachers opposed the changes, insisting that the new school hour will bring down the average grades among local students.


Jeollanamdo Aims to Increase Newly Employed to 45,000 by 2018

Jeollanamdo will reportedly aim to create some 45,000 new jobs from this year to June in 2018.

The total number of employed personnel in Jeollanamdo currently stands at 919,000 and the province will aim at increasing the figure by 45,000 by the end of June, 2018, before the recently elected governor, Lee Nak-yeon finishes his term as governor.

As part of an effort to prevent an outflow of the young generation from the province, Jeollanamdo will also aim at creating 20,000 jobs for young job seekers out of the target 45,000.

If an additional 45,000 jobs are created by 2018, the employment rate will increase by 1.4 percent to 65 percent.


Monthly Private Education Fees in Gwangju at 239,000

The monthly cost for private education fees in Gwangju was tallied at 239,000 won this year, up 8,000 won from 2012, marking the 4th largest amount in metropolitan cities in Korea. In stark contrast, Jeollanamdo recorded the lowest figures in the nation at 168,000 won.

New Politics Alliance for Democracy lawmaker Yoon Gwan-seok from National Assembly Education, Culture, Sports and Tourism Committee released the ‘Elementary, Middle and High School Annual Private Tuition Costs’ yesterday. The capital city of Seoul reportedly spends the most money on private education at 328,000 won a month.

The monthly average cost for private education in Gwangju marked 209,000 won in 2009 and has been on an upward trend every year to 239,000 won this year.

Where to Eat Wednesday: Yogo Factory

As the heat of summer begins to fade, the demand for cool treats will naturally go down with it. This has already become evident as a number of trendy honey and milk ice cream shops everywhere seem to have been closing down. This is undoubtedly bad news for people (like me) who will eat ice cold desserts no matter what the temperature is outside. On the bright side, it’s good to know that while these places go down in numbers, there will always be at least one hidden somewhere around the corner.


A couple of friends and I accidentally found Yogo Factory in the middle of a search for proper dinner food. After seeing what was clearly a frozen yogurt bar inside, I decided on behalf of everyone that we’d be returning to this area for dessert. I initially suggested just having frozen yogurt for dinner, but there are apparently rules that go against that for some reason.

When we returned, I excitedly ran inside to marvel at all the options for toppings that were readily available for customers. As I am a girl who likes to customize her food, this concept of picking and choosing as much or as little of whatever extras I want for my dessert has always been one I’ve been quite fond of. There were a number of towers filled with different types of cereals, ranging anywhere from sugary sweet to somewhat healthy options. Next to that were trays of candy, cookies, different types of fruit, and nuts that all rested under a sneeze guard. In the center was a range of different syrups to top everything off with.


Before I started piling on ingredients, I looked around to see how things were expected to work here, as I didn’t want to be a rude and presumptuous customer. After a bit of reading, I learned that no matter what I put in the self-serve cups by the front door, my concoction would be measured by weight and charged 19 won per gram. When it came to choosing the base, the options available were Low-Fat Plain Frozen Yogurt, Soft Serve Ice Cream (similar to the milky stuff you can find everywhere nowadays), Boseong Green Tea Ice Cream, and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream (which apparently came from Italy).

Outside of the frozen yogurt bar included options that required putting a staff member to work. Some of these options included Honey Cube, Berries, Mango, and a peculiar option named Choco Mountain that looked like it came topped with crushed Oreo cookies and gummy worms. There were also some adult options called Ice Fantasy, all of which were made with alcohol.

Dark ChocolateIce Cream

Since this was also a cafe, there was a menu filled with different drink choices. Outside of the typical coffee menu that had the usual classics, some items that caught my attention were things like the Raspberry Latte and the Applemango Ade. That being said, I quickly lost interest, as I was ultimately here for frozen yogurt.

For my personal creation, I chose the default frozen yogurt as my base before sloppily decorating it with a combination of crunchy cereal, crushed nuts, marshmallows, and a single cookie. My friends chose different bases as they followed my lead, topping their concoctions off with healthy amounts of chocolate syrup. Since we didn’t get too much of anything, our orders ended up being less than what we had grown used to spending at typical coffee and ice cream shops.

Plain YogurtDecorations

There wasn’t a whole lot to say when it came to how our creations tasted. There were no surprises, and we got exactly what we expected. The Dark Chocolate ice cream was a lovely balance of sweet and bitter that paired with the the rest of the ingredients rather well. Similarly positive statements were said all around as we spoke about deeper topics while crunching down on our frozen snacks.

Overall, Yogo Factory gave me everything I wanted by allowing me to make my own choices. Though it’s not exactly as glamorous as some of the other coffee shops in the area, there was a certain charm in its simplicity. I would recommend this place parties of all sizes looking for a nice, quiet place for a quick dessert that can be customized.

Address: 광주광역시 동구 지산동 507-27 (near the Chosun Art College)
Phone: N/A
Hours: 10:00AM to 10:00PM
Average Price Range: 2,500 to 4,500 per order