Gwangju Blog

Essentials with JD #380 **MONSOON SEASON 2018 OFFICIALLY STARTS*


The Korea Meteorological Administration said on Monday that this year’s monsoon season will begin on Tuesday in Jeju.

According to the weather agency, Jeju will be the first region to be drenched in monsoon rain starting from Tuesday to Wednesday.

The rain clouds will move down South, but will make a comeback on Friday.

Last year, the monsoon began on June 24th in Jeju, June 29th in Southern region and on July 1st in the central region.

The monsoon poured average 291.7mm of rain during 16.9-day period in 2017.


As for tomorrow Gwangju and Jeollanamdo will be under heavy cloud cover tomorrow. The clouds may become lighter as the day progresses. And for the rest of the week it will be partly cloudy with highs into the low 30’s.


Stay hydrated and limit the time spent outdoors to prevent heat stroke. I would also suggest to always carry your umbrella with you for unexpected rain showers and also a pair of flip flops or sandals to prevent your shoes from getting soaked. 



(For more local news and updates tune into to keep abreast of the issues)



The City of Gwangju will open up the Gwangju World Cup Stadium for Team South Korea’s 3 preliminary matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The stadium will open 2 hours before the match starts and the parking space will be available to minimize inconveniences for citizens.


South Korea’s 23-man squad is set to face Sweden in their 2018 FIFA World Cup opening game slated for tonight at 9:00pm (Korea time).

The team on Saturday arrived in Nizhny Novgorod, where they will take on Sweden.

At a pre-game press conference held on Sunday, South Korean captain Ki Sung Yeung said his team is confident of playing a good game against Sweden.


In Group F action, South Korea will first face Sweden on today, the 18th, followed by Mexico on the 23rd and then the World Cup holders of Germany on the 27th.

Germany lost to Mexico 0:1 yesterday.


(For more local news and updates tune into to keep abreast of the issues)


Simple Slice

Simple Slice



This week’s photo was taken at the beginning of June. The composition has been greatly simplified, offering only the narrowest of visual slices of life beyond the crack. Positioned in the photo’s center, this narrow band of light carries its weight in describing what is happening in this particular place. In it, we are given most information needed to form both a simple narrative as to what is happening. However, we are also left with just enough questions to warrant a prolonged moment with this image.

If we have spent at least one May in Jeolla-do, we have likely noticed the visual effects that the Buddha’s Birthday holiday has on the temple nearby. While being much busier than normal, we have likely noticed the colorful lanterns positioned overhead temple courtyards and lining the streets adjacent to the temple itself. Within the temple grounds, these elevated lanterns can also be appreciated for the symmetrical shadows they cast upon the ground below. At midday, the contrast between the rows of circular orbs overhead and the dark shadows beneath can join these our waking life unexpectedly with its inverse.

Through the crack in the aged temple wall, we can see a courtyard bisected by lantern-led lines. To the left, we see the silhouette of a man with arm outstretched.  His finger points to something we cannot easily distinguish. It would suit our narrative for his finger to point at the lanterns above him, connecting his action with thoughts and comments similar to those mentioned previously. However, his gesture could also be one of accusation or simply directional to navigate his way to the public toilet beyond. These questions allow for a controlled moment of unknowing within an otherwise predictable scene. Such is the beauty and challenge of creating an ongoing narrative from simple slices of everyday life here in Jeolla-do.


[Image taken with my Contax T2 shooting Afga 200.]


(Photo & Text by Marty Miller)




Essentials with JD #378 **JUNE SUPERMARKET SCHEDULE**


FYI – most major supermarkets will be open this Sunday.


This doesn’t however mean that you still can’t explore the traditional fresh markets or 시장 where you can buy some seasonal greens from some lovely sellers who will most probably give you great discounts.


A great market to explore is Malbawu market. Having over 500 shops and about 900 street stalls with an open in an area of 67,000m², and also one of the busiest in Gwangju. They also have an open market 12 times a month 2,4,7,9,12,14,17,19,22,24,27,29 means local and regional farmers come to the market and sell their super fresh goods.


The City of Gwangju plans to build a public parking lot at Malbawu Market. Investing 18.1 billion won by next year, the city will create the parking spots for 200 vehicles at the entrance of the market.

The new project is expected to ease inconveniences for the visitors to the market. Along with Malbawu Market, the city will carry out projects to improve parking conditions at Yangdong Industrial Market, Daein Market and Electronics Street.




(For more local news and updates tune into to keep abreast of the issues)

What to Do This Weekend: Zumba, Friday Specials, and the World Cup!

Hello Gwangju!

I know the calendar says June, but it feels like August with this heat! Still, don’t let that stop you from having a fun weekend. Let’s see what you can do.

Thursday, June 15th

Courtesy of GIC Zumba with Thando

Courtesy of GIC Zumba with Thando

If you want a healthy way to start you weekend, then the GIC is the place to go for Zumba. Zumba is a fun filled cardio class that is open to all levels. You’ll want to wear some comfortable clothes, and you’ll need a towel because you will work up a sweat.   After the class you’ll feel refreshed, and ready for the weekend ahead. The class begins at 7:00 p.m., and it goes for an hour. It is taught by certified instructor Thando Mlambo. If you need more details, please go to their Facebook page.

Courtesy of Speakeasy

Courtesy of Speakeasy

The 2018 World Cup kicks off tonight, and the best place to watch the games in Gwangju is Speakeasy! It will all start at 10:00 p.m. with the opening ceremony. The first game with the host country Russia playing Saudi Arabia will begin at midnight. Then, get ready for a full four days of games being shown on the big screen. Some of the highlights will include Spain vs. Portugal, Germany vs. Mexico, and Korea’s first game on the 18th against Sweden. While you’re watching the games you’ll have a chance of winning football jerseys from some of the participating countries. Don’t forget the happy hour specials that go from 7:00 p.m., to 10:00 p.m. Watching World Cup games is always better with friends, and watching them at Speakeasy is even better! For full details, please go to their Facebook page.

Friday, June 16th

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

Photo Courtesy of Tequilaz.

When Gwangju residents think about Friday night, they know one of the best places to go to is Tequilaz! Their Friday specials are some of the best in town. They have tacos for 3,000 won each to start things off. With those delicious tacos you can enjoy drafts for 12,000 won. They also have unlimited rail cocktails for 20,000 won. All specials are cash only please, and they last from 9:00 p.m., until midnight. For more info, please go to their Facebook page. Friday night is the only weekly open mic night, and it takes place at Loft 28. If you want to participate, then all you have to do is bring your own instrument and Loft will take care of the rest. In case you need any more encouragement, all performers will receive one free drink. Make sure you get there early so you can try some of the delicious food on their menu. Open mic will begin at 10:00 p.m., and if you need more details then please go to their Facebook page

Saturday, June 17th

Courtesy of the GIC

Courtesy of the GIC

The GIC Talk series continues today with another interesting topic. The discussion today will focus on the importance of reading. The speaker will also talk about reading recommendations, and places to find English books in Gwangju. The GIC Talk series is free to attend, and it starts at 4:00 p.m. The lectures usually go for about an hour. If you would like more details, or want to find out about upcoming talks, please go to their Facebook page.

Sunday, June 18th

A series of workshops about nonviolent communication will continue today at the GIC. It will begin at 1:00 p.m., and go until 3:30 p.m. If you would like more details, please visit the Gwangju page.

Coming Up!

Courtesy of the GPP

Courtesy of the GPP

Pen in Ten tickets are on sale now! To get your advance tickets email: