Top 14 things to see & do in Seoul, South Korea

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The capital of South Korea, Seoul, has a fantastic mix of old and new, with great food and amazing sights across the city. The capital has a great many things to do, and today we take a look 14 great places to visit and see in Seoul.

1) Korea Furniture Museum: a bit of an unusual attraction to start, but this museum has over 2000 pieces of traditional furniture, which help you get a real sense of a traditional Korean lifestyle and culture. It’s a great way to spend some time looking at the Korea of old.

2) Insadong: This is a great insight into South Korean culture. The district is home to lots of shops, teahouses and market style booths. Along with this, is many great art galleries and restaurants, a place perfect to eat and drink to your hearts content, and pick up a few souvenirs along the way.

3) Bongeunsa: The temple of Gangnam is a calm place, right in the heart of the city; offering a beautiful and contrasting view between the traditional houses and the modern skyscrapers.

4) Gyeongbokgung Palace (GP): GP is the largest grand palace in Seoul and a must see. It’s a huge complex, and it’s a great idea to leave a few hours to explore the palace properly. Picturesque gardens surround the palace, intricate designs adorn it, and if you wear traditional Korean clothing, you get free entry.

5) Eating in the city: Korean food has seen a recent rise, so in typical fashion, eating in the city is a must do. The best thing to do is to wing it, that means walk around town and eat at wherever takes your fancy. The more locals you see at the restaurant, the better!

6) Jogyesa Temple: Amongst the skyscrapers in the city is this little Buddhist temple. Filled with artwork, statues and figurines, the temple is a spot of quiet amidst the hustle and bustle of the city.

7) Myeongdong: This is known as one of the best streets for shopping in Seoul. It’s a great spot for souvenir shopping and it’s a fantastic place to wonder with an open mind and wallet!

8) N Seoul Tower: If you want an aerial view of the city, then the N Seoul tower is where you want to go. Watching the city transform from the day into night is an amazing view, and one we definitely recommend. Book your spot before sunset to capture the transformation of the city!

9) Bukchon Hanok Village: BH Village is a traditional Korean village, and the perfect way to step back in time to a Korea centuries ago. You can look in the houses and pop into tea houses for traditional rice tea. There’s also a lot of cool shops in the area, and taking the time to weave in and out of the stores and houses is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in the city.

10) Changdeokgung Palace: The palace is a real must see in Seoul due to its history and heritage; so much so, that it’s been declared a UNESCO world heritage site, with elements dating back from the three kingdoms period (57BC to 668AD). When visiting, be sure to check out Huwon, the secret garden. This can only be seen via a tour that is pre-booked, but do leave plenty of time to explore the beautiful secret gardens after you visit the palace.

11) Hangang Park: Located by the banks of the Hangang River, the park has open pathways for visitors to bike along or simply stroll through. If you want a change of pace, or a spot to relax, Hangang Park is the place to head to.

12) Deoksugung Palace: Here is another one of the five grand palaces, and this was home to the Korean royal family until the colonisation of the country by the Japanese Empire. While a smaller palace than the others, Deoksugung Palace is open later than other palaces, and is worth an evening visit.

13) Hangang River: The River is lovely from its banks, and the best way to experience the river is via a boat cruise.

14) Everland: This is the largest theme park in Korea, it’s also one of the most visited in the world. However, don’t let the crowds deter you as Everland is a great way to spend a day in Seoul.

As you can see, Seoul offers so much to do and yet our list only scratches the surface of this modern, yet ancient city. The capital is a diverse place to visit, where a clash of old and new come together to create a uniquely Korean city, where skyscrapers neighbour Hanoks, and business suits mingle with traditional Hanboks.

To read more on what to do in Seoul, click here!

modern tree house – LA

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This is a Modern Tree House Inspiration by RPA architect. Located in Nichols Canyon, Los Angeles, California, Banyan Tree House, compact design house including art studio and holiday weekend with a view of downtown Los Angeles. It is inspiring – and inspired! – A tree house made of wood and glass sanctuary from the hustle of everyday life. Wooden structure is 12 meters on steel supports, and on the basis of a large pine tree. In keeping with the theme of course, this study was completed in luxury organic range of ready-tree branches, mahogany windows and roof Rheinzink. RPA

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Do You Get Less Wet Walking or Running in the Rain?

It’s one of the more interesting thought experiments to ponder when you’re stuck inside on a dreary day, but Minute Physics finally breaks out the math and science to determine once and for all if walking or running through the rain will keep you the most dry.

The answer ends up being the most obvious solution, you should run. But not just because it will get you out of the downpour the fastest. There are actually a lot of factors that come into play, but the bottom line is the less time you stand in the rain, the less soaked you’ll be. Easy peasy.

Final Wooden House – Japan

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I wanted to create an ultimate wooden architecture. I thought through this bungalow, which can be considered as a small and primitive house, it was possible to do a primitive and simultaneously new architecture. 350mm square profile cedar is piled endlessly. At the end of the process appears a prototypical place before architecture became architecture.

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Wood is amazingly versatile. Due to its versatility, wood is used in a conventional wooden architecture by intentional differentiation in various places. Not only in structures, such as columns and beams, but it can also be used in everything else from foundation, exterior wall, interior wall, ceiling, flooring, insulation, furniture, stairs to window frames. I posit that if wood is indeed multifaceted, then conversely it should be possible to create architecture that fulfills all functions by one process, and by one way of using woods. It is an inversion of versatility. From that originates, new architecture that maintains an undifferentiated condition of the harmonized whole before function and role underwent mitosis.

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350mm square profile cedar has an amazing impact. It transcends what we usually call “wood” and becomes “an existence” of an entirely different material. While the dimensions adequately display its materiality as wood, 350mm squared is simultaneously the dimensionality directly corresponding to human body. Thus, three-dimensional space is created out of 350mm increments. This stepped space was a long fascination of mine for couple of years as its defining characteristics are the generation of a sort of spatial relativity and a new sense of various distances unachievable by coplanar floors.

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There are no categorization of floors, walls, and ceilings here. A locality that was thought as a floor transforms into chairs, ceilings, and walls from different perspectives. Floor levels are relative and people reinterpret the spatiality according to where they are. People are three-dimensionally distributed in space and will experience new sensations of depths. Spaces are not divided but is rather produced as a chance occurrence within fusing elements. Inhabitants discover various functions within those undulations. It is a place akin to nebulous landscape. This resonates with the undifferentiated condition of above-mentioned architectonic elements. Both as a constructional methodology and experiential space, this architecture is synthesized by the fusion of various undifferentiated elements. Here, conventional rules of architecture is nullified. There is neither a plan nor a stabilizing point. This is possible purely because the wood is that versatile. Perhaps it is only possible with wood to be simultaneously the insulation and the structure, the finish and also the furniture. By being composed of the wooden blocks instead of slabs, the method of creating the undifferentiated condition was made clear.

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Subbuteo

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In the latest instalment of our regular series Beautiful Games, we get all nostalgic with these specially-crafted Subbuteo figures made by enthusiast Terry Lee. Using body parts salvaged from crushed players and with kit details painstakingly hand-painted, each model takes up to two days to create. The resulting figures, which depict classic moments from footballing history such as Roger Milla’s corner-flag celebration and Diego Maradona’s ‘hand of God’, are located within original Subbuteo stadiums and, of course, set on the undulating Astroturf that was the bane of every young Subbuteo fan’s life.

By Jonny Weeks

more on: http://www.subbuteo-art.blogspot.it/

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DOG IS DEAD – on tour

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So powerfully do Nottingham’s Dog Is Dead evoke early adulthood, they even appeared in an episode of Skins, singing Glockenspiel Song, which features on this debut album and goes: “We are a mess, we are failures and we love it!” They’ve been together since school and singer Robert Milton doesn’t sound a million miles from Noah and the Whale or Bombay Bicycle Club, his flamboyant voice laced with a sulky, sixth-former crackle. The real surprise comes in their broad musical vision, which is more like Vampire Weekend’s, with snaky jazz bass-lines (Get Low), highlife guitar (Do the Right Thing), nifty art-rock twists and 80s sax courtesy of Lawrence “Trev” Cole. Lyrics may operate in a relatively small sphere – breaking up, getting back together, talking through the night – but these are solid goldindie pop songs ornamented with real precision and flair. dogisdead

tour on: http://dogisdead.co.uk/live.htm

Best knives in the world – Deutschland

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Possibly no other knife in the world conveys its provenance and the consistency in its artisanry as clearly as the handmade knives from Nesmuk. Around four dozen work steps are involved in the production of a Nesmuk EXKLUSIV knife, from drawing and forging, tempering, annealing and the wet grinding of the hollow ground blade to the mounting of the handle. This is unusual, even in a craft establishment, resulting in maximum precision and perfection.
The Nesmuk EXKLUSIV with cutting edge is a masterpiece that is hand-crafted at our forge by our Nesmuk bladesmiths. It takes focused concentration over a period of many hours and, in some cases, days to produce the very fine black cutting edge in the best carbon steel below the wild Damascus. The Nesmuk EXKLUSIV with cutting edge has a Rockwell hardness of 64–65.

By http://www.nesmuk.de

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Dolce e Gabbana 4 Christmas

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If he needs a new headset to listen to Chrismas carols on his way to work, Dolce & Gabbana makes these super comfy and high-quality headphones with a wooden trim—an unexpected touch even among the most sophisticated electronic gear.

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Dolce & Gabbana + Grado DS2012 Handmade Mahoganey Wood Headset, available by calling 877 703.4872.

By Caroline Grosso

 

How to cook perfect hash browns

If a potato has any place at all on the breakfast table, surely it must be in the form of butter-golden, crispy yet fluffy, hot hash browns

I’ve spent the last fortnight in the United States. Yellow grits, blueberry pancakes, biscuits and gravy – I managed to tick off most of the breakfast items in the I-Spy book of American cliches, but to my disappointment, not a single one came with hash browns. I’d hoped to return home an expert, but my principal experience of hash browns remains the crunchy orange triangles traditionally served with spaghetti hoops at school. These, however, were certainly preferable to the greasy, floppy rosti-like creations I ate in Chicago a few years ago – and neither, I’d hope, are representative of the true glory of the hash brown.

I lugged three large American cookbooks back in my suitcase, but only one had a recipe for hash browns, and that, in the 75th anniversary edition of the classic Joy of Cooking, sounded remarkably like a rosti. Panicked, I wondered whether they were in fact different names for the same dish, but the Oxford Companion to Food reassured me that hash browns are “small rissole-like cakes of cooked and finely chopped potato” in the fine tradition of American hashes rather than the cakes cooked from raw or parboiled potato favoured in Switzerland.

Hashes, the American equivalent of British bubble and squeak, have always been a favourite way of using up motley leftovers, so this makes sense. Hash, of course, comes from the French verb hacher, to chop up, which suggests the spuds should be cut up and, of course, browned rather than just heated through. But apart from these clues, I’m going into this challenge somewhat blind. According to the various recipes, hash browns can be anything from a loose collection of crunchy fried potato chunks, often labelled as “breakfastpotatoes” on the menus I came across, to crunchy, latke-like potato pancakes – but which fits the breakfast bill best?

Unless you’re a cattle rancher they may not fit the bill on a Thursday morning before work, but crisp, buttery hash browns are well worth the effort on a lazy Saturday morning. Serve with a poached egg, and then go out for a long walk before lunch.

Serves 2-3

500g floury potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
35g butter or 25g bacon drippings
½ onion, thinly sliced

1. Put the potatoes in a large pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer until tender, then drain well and set aside to cool and dry out completely.

2. If using butter, clarify it by putting it in a small pan over a medium heat and skimming off the foam that rises to the top. When it stops bubbling, pour it through a fine sieve or cheesecloth to strain off any solids, then set aside until ready to use.

3. Heat a small heavy-based frying pan on a medium heat, and add half the butter or dripping. Cook the onion until soft and golden. Meanwhile, finely chop the cooked and cooled potatoes and season well.

4. Turn up the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes to the pan in one layer, stirring to incorporate the onions. Push down to make a cake, then cook for about 15 minutes until crisp and well browned on the bottom, then tip on to a plate and add the rest of the butter or dripping to the pan. Slide the hash brown back into the pan, browned side up, and cook for about another 10 minutes, then cut in half and serve.

Are hash browns the best kind of breakfast potato, or do you prefer tattie scones or country fries – indeed, does a potato have any place on the breakfast table at all? Do you yearn for the crunchy, orange cafeteria variety, and if so, does anyone have any suggestions about how to recreate those guilty pleasures from scratch?

By Felicity Cloake