Gwangju Blog

Mudeung Mountain’s Dakdoritang

Dakdoritang served in a local restaurant in Mudeung mountain -

Dakdoritang served in a local restaurant in Mudeung mountain – Photo by Joe Wabe

A trip to Mudeung mountain national park, whether for hike or a short visit, would not be completed without trying out one of the many local and traditional “chicken restaurants”. On March 4th, 2013, Mudeungsan was appointed as Korea’s 21st national park, adding a fourth national park to Jeollanamdo and recognising Gwangju’s “mother mountain” as a natural treasure of the country. Since it became a national park, the creation of new restaurants is prohibited, leaving the existing restaurants as part of the history and tradition of the mountain.

One of the most popular dishes from these restaurants is Dakdoritang (닭도리탕 ) or Dak-bokkeum (닭볶음). Dakdoritang is a chicken dish that’s cooked in a spicy red pepper sauce along with potatoes, carrots, and onions. Cutting up a whole chicken into small pieces, and cooking it on a stove with a slow cooker. The sauce is slightly sweet, and it mixes well with white rice on the side. The potatoes soak in the flavor and it gives the dish a warm, starchy, comforting quality.

Daktdoritang 닭도리탕 was the old name for this dish, but there has been a backlash against the name because it has Japanese origins. These days there is a movement to call it Dak-bokkeum 닭볶음. Regardless of the name, it is delicious and one of my favorite dishes.

Meet Art and Culture at the Daein Night Time Ark Market, ‘Byeoljang Project’



Korea’s first night time art market constructed in the local traditional market space, ‘Byeongjang Project’, taking place once a month in Daein Market in the Dong-gu district of Gwangju is gaining popularity among nationwide visitors and artists.

Since its initial establishment last year, artistic goods and street music performances, as well as food vendors and outdoor restaurants, have been garnering attention among nationwide tourists, Gwangju citizens, and media personnel in capital regions.

Artistic items on sale include hand-made accessories ranging from ear rings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, clothes, lifestyle commodities, such as candles and soap, as well as artistic pictures taken by local photographers and paintings and frame works.

The entire structure of the traditional market has been remodeled to promote greater convenience among visitors.

Foods and beverages that can satisfy visitors from diverse backgrounds are being sold at the Byeoljang Project in the Daein Nighttime Art Market.

Visitors can also make their own artistic items with the help of artists and sellers at the market and enjoy street music performed by indie and jazz musicians based in Gwangju while eating and shopping at the market.

The next Daein Nighttime Art Market Byeoljang Project will be opened from September 4th to the 6th on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and operation hours are set at 7 p.m. to midnight.

Free Bike Terminal is Now Back in Service: Ride Bike on Gwangju and Yeongsan River as Much as You’d Like from September


Starting in September, bikers in the city of Gwangju can take advantage of the free bike terminal constructed and available for the biking course on Yeongsan River and Gwangju River.

A total of seven bike tunnel service areas were expected to be in operation until this June, but with the arrival of sweltering hot summer days the tunnels were closed for the summer season.

Gwangju Metropolitan City previously constructed a total of 7 bike tunnels under the various bridges established on the Gwangju and Yeongsan River and all bike tunnels and its operations will resume from September to November.

Operation hours of the bike tunnels are set at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on every Sunday of the week, and bikers can use the free repair service for any broken or damaged bikes at the tunnel.

Bike tunnels are also equipped with temporary storage space for bicycles and various biking path guidance maps across the Gwangju and Yeongsan River.

From March to June this year alone, more than 8,000 bikers across the city took advantage of the bike tunnel service.

Bike tunnels are located in Namgwang Bridge (Nam-gu) and Gwangju 2 Bridge (Seo-gu) on the Gwangju River and Cheomdan + Sandong + Uhdeung + Geuklak  Bridge (Gwangsan-gu) and Seungchonbo (Gwangsan-gu).

What To Do This Weekend: Gwangju World Music Festival Weekend!

Gwangju Music Festival

Friday, August 29

This weekend is the Gwangju World Music Festival Weekend! There will be many events this weekend surrounding the festival. On Friday there will be a free string ensemble workshop from 4-6 P.M. at Cale 29. For more information about all the events and the locations this weekend, check out the Facebook group:

The 2014 Gwangju World Music Festival begins at the main stage at the new Asia Culture Complex downtown at 5:30 p.m.! If you haven’t been near the construction site lately, the “big blue wall” with all the graffiti is down and they have set up a temporary stage for the event. There will be a wide variety of music styles from many different countries represented. This event is free of charge, so go downtown, check out the new digs and enjoy! The music is scheduled to go until about 10:30 p.m. Here’s a link to the schedule:

Art Gwangju: 14 marks the fifth year for the International Art Fair. Starting August 29 with an opening ceremony at 5 P.M., the event will continue through September 2 at the Kim Daejung Convention Center. There will be a wide variety of contemporary artists and photographers represented, including Andy Warhol, Hosoe Eiko, Nam June Paik, Lee U-Fan, and a contemporary art exhibition of contemporary photography of works as part of its celebration. Check out the official website for more information and a list of exhibitors:


Saturday, August 30

Mariya Haponenko is running another of her drawing workshop at the GIC from 12:15-3 P.M. This series of classes continues to be a popular outlet for the Gwangju Art Community and helps local artists to develop their skills by focusing on various subjects.

This time the focus will be on drawing hands. The cost for the event is 5,000 won. For more information, check out the event page:

The second night of the 2014 Gwangju World Music Festival begins at the main stage at the new Asia Culture Complex downtown at 5:30 p.m. and is listed to go until 11 p.m.

The Gwangju Performancec Project (GPP) will hold an Audition Workshop on Saturday August, 30, from 6:30-8:30 P.M. at the GIC. It’s an event to help folks get ready for the actual auditions. They will give tips and advice on how to audition for a play and run you through various acting exercises to make you feel more comfortable about performing.  It will be run by Anna Bellury Volle, the president of the Gwangju Performance Project and director of the recently completed play Rumors. The next project for the group is the play “Proof.” You can come and participate in the workshop even if you are not planning to audition, and maybe you’ll decide to find out about other ways to help out the GPP like set design, props, etc. For more information:


Sunday, August 31

This is your chance to be famous! The Gwangju Performance project will hold auditions for their newest production, “Proof” at 12:00 P.M. at the GIC. To sign up for an audition, you must go to the Facebook event post (, click that you are “going” and then leave a post about which time slot you would like from a designated list. There is an included link for scripts for you to review before your audition ( Check the official GPP website ( for a synopsis of the play and descriptions of the characters.  Anna will also be asking about your future schedules and availability, so make sure to bring along your calendar! Most rehearsals will occur over weekends, with a plan for the actual production to be performed in December. If you are unable to audition this weekend, you can message GPP and try to arrange an alternate time.

“The Collective” is a group for folks interested in comics and sci/fi fantasy stuff. Chris Bleeker runs the geeky book club, known as the Collective Collaborative Book Club, focusing on the authors who will Skype into the Alleycon event.  The group meets at 1 P.M. on Sunday at the First Alleyway restaurant in the couch area by the bar. This weekend, the book they are discussing is the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin. You should have read the book to join in the discussion.  If you don’t have the book, you can contact Chris at the Facebook group ( to borrow an available extra copy.  If you join the group, you can learn about the upcoming reading selections and be ready for next time.  They meet about every two weeks.


Special Guest Post by Nancy Harcar

News of the Week: August 28

Substitution Holiday to be Applied for Chuseok Holiday

Korea’s first substitution holiday will go into effect for the upcoming Chuseok holiday, replacing one of the three Chuseok holidays that falls on Sunday with an extra holiday on the next Wednesday, September 10th.

According to the Ministry of Safety and Administration, the upcoming substitution holiday on September 10th is the first holiday that will be adopted since the passing of the relevant law that allows the designation of the first weekday after the holiday as an additional holiday when one of the holiday dates falls on a weekend.

With the adoption of the law, this year’s Chuseok Holiday or Korean Thanksgiving day weekend will be extended to five days, from September 6th to the 10th.


Subways in Gwangju Now Allow Bikers to Carry their Bikes on Subway

The Gwangju Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation has announced that bikers will now be able to carry their bicycles when using subways on weekends and public holidays from August 30th.

Passengers have been allowed to bring their bikes onto subway trains on Sundays and public holidays since May of 2011, but as the number of bikers in the city continues to grow, the program has been expanded and bikers can now enjoy greater access to subways by being allowed to carry their bikes on Saturdays as well.

Passengers with bicycles can ride on the subway while carrying their bikes in the first and last cabins of the trains, numbered 1-1 and 4-4.

However, if bikers carry bicycles that are disassembled or that can be folded, they can use the subway regardless of the dates.


Low Cost Flights to be In Service in Gwangju Airport

Low cost flights traveling between Gwangju and Jeju will be in service at Gwangju Airport starting September 4th.

According to the city of Gwangju, one of Korea’s low price air carriers, T-Way Air Liner, will operate low-cost routes linking Gwangju and Jeju Island from September 4th using Boeing B737-800 planes that can accommodate 190 passengers.

Departure time is set at 7 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m. from Gwangju with the Jeju route leaving at 8:15 a.m., 2 p.m. and 8:25 p.m.

One-way ticket prices for each flight are set at 61,000 won on weekdays and 70,000 won on weekends.

In the meantime, the city of Gwangju is planning on launching a new flight route connecting Gwangju and Incheon International Airport.


Jeollanamdo to Crackdown on Smoking in Public Facilities

Jeollanamdo has announced it will carry out inspections and crackdowns on smoking in public facilities across the province all this week.

In cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Welfare and 22 cities and districts across the province, Jeollanamdo will conduct an intensive patrol of 25,000 public places in Jeollanamdo.

Since the initial passing and adoption of the regulation on prevention of smoking in public places, Jeollanamdo has been promoting smoking-free environments in provincial tourist attractions and public facilities.

Public restaurants, pc rooms, tourism facilities, and forestry regions will be target areas for the crackdown on smoking in public places until the end of this week.

In the crackdown measures conducted in the first half of this year, provincial inspection officers handled a total of 110 cases and some 24 smokers paid 100,000 won fines as penalties.