Great condition, small/slim size - 40,000
see photo for measurements2CC67070-668B-4045-B107-6CAF20484038.png 28E85E3E-A3D7-4F36-97C2-5828E7588728.png
2000 원 each, or take all four for 6000 원
Approx. display areas:
20 x 25 (3)
20 x 28.5 (1)
上 (상) and 下 (하) are opposites, but are also used in different ways. I'll cover some of the most common words you'll see them in, as well as show you how you can recognize the meanings of new words that use these characters.
I've only filmed a small handful of these Hanja episodes, but if the response is good I can make more in the future. Thanks for watching~!
The post Important Hanja Pairs: 上 (상) and 下 (하) (한자) | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.—
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The Korean language has its own alphabet letters that are made up of Korean vowels and consonants.
If you have been studying with us for a while, you may have already noticed our article on learning the Korean alphabet that gives you a guide to learn Hangul.
Based on that article, in today’s lesson, we will specifically focus on Korean vowels. After this lesson, you will have a deeper understanding of what Korean or Hangul vowels are, how to pronounce them and how Korean syllables are constructed with them. Let’s get started!What is “vowels” in Korean?
In the Korean language, vowels are referred to as 모음 (moeum).How many vowels are in the Korean alphabet?
There are 21 vowels in the Korean language. Of these 10 are basic vowels, and the remaining 11 are double vowels built upon these basic vowels.What are the vowels in Korean?
Korean vowels can be categorized into basic and double vowels. We’ve listed down the complete list of vowels below, along with their vowel sounds or their closest sound approximation to English letters.Korean Basic Vowels
There are ten basic vowels in the Korean alphabet. Below is a list of the ten vowels in Hangul with their character pronunciation. However, it’s important to note that the character pronunciation below is just a close approximation of the Korean alphabet letters. Their sound may vary when they are combined with other Korean letters.VowelsRomanized Spelling ㅏa ㅓeo ㅗo ㅜu ㅡeu ㅣi ㅑya ㅕyeo ㅛyo ㅠyu Korean Double Vowels
There are 11 double vowels in the Korean alphabet. These Korean letters are formed by combining the basic vowels.VowelsRomanized Spelling ㅐae ㅔe ㅒyae ㅖye ㅘwa ㅙwae ㅝwo or weo ㅞwe ㅚwi ㅟwui ㅢeui Korean Vowel Names
Similar to all other letters of any language, such as English, Korean letters also have their assigned names. However, the naming systems for Korean consonants and vowels are different. Consonants in the Korean alphabet have their specific names assigned to each of them, while vowels simply follow the sound they produce for their names.
Let’s take a look at the different vowel names in the list below.VowelsKorean Vowel NamesRomanized Spelling ㅏ아a ㅓ어eo ㅗ오o ㅜ우u ㅡ 으eu ㅣ이i ㅑ야ya ㅕ여yeo ㅛ요yo ㅠ유yu ㅐ애ae ㅔ에e ㅒ얘yae ㅖ예ye ㅘ와wa ㅙ 왜wae ㅝ워wo or weo ㅞ웨we ㅚ외wi ㅟ위wui ㅢ의eui How to pronounce Korean vowels?
As with Korean consonants, the pronunciation of Korean vowels may not be directly what you expect from the romanization of the Korean word. Therefore we encourage you to learn the pronunciation directly from the 한글 (hangeul) instead.
If you’d like to focus on Korean pronunciation first before moving forward with Korean vowels specifically, we have an article focused solely on it. Otherwise, let’s keep getting friendly with Korean vowels!
The basic rule of thumb with pronouncing each Korean vowel is that each character tries to resemble the sound they make as accurately as possible.ㅓ and ㅕvs ㅗ and ㅛ
In both ㅓ and ㅕ, the “e” is skipped in pronunciation, making their pronunciations “o” and “yo” respectively. As you may notice, there is already a different character for both “o” and “yo,” which are ㅗ and ㅛ respectively. So how do you differentiate between the sounds they make?
In both ㅗ and ㅛ your mouth forms a tight o-shape, which makes the sound more emphasized than it does in ㅓ or ㅕ.ㅐ and ㅒ vs ㅔ and ㅖ
Similarly, in ㅐ and ㅒ, the “a” is skipped in pronunciation. In fact, the most prominent difference between pronouncing ㅐ and ㅒ versus ㅔ and ㅖ is that the e-sound is lengthier in the latter two.Compound vowels
Additionally, take note of each vowel combining two vowels into one. Examples are ㅘ and ㅞ. While ㅗ alone has the “o” sound and ㅜ alone sounds more like “u,” when combined into a vowel with another basic vowel, both develop a sound closer to “w.” This is simply for making the vowel sound more natural.ㅡ and ㅢ
Lastly, explaining the sound of ㅡ and ㅢ in romanized letters is the hardest as the sound is largely different from its romanization. Not necessarily more complicated, but one for which a character in the Roman alphabet does not exist. As you may notice from how the letter is drawn, your mouth is expected to form a wide stance with your lips and teeth nearly pursed together when creating the sound.How to construct syllables with Korean vowels?
Most of the Korean syllable construction with vowels is rather straightforward. You simply add the vowel after the consonant, including the soundless one, ㅇ. Remember that ㅇ is used as the first letter in a syllable in cases where the syllable sound begins with a vowel.
If the Korean syllable has an ending consonant, then another consonant will be added after the vowel. Otherwise, you move to build the next syllable.Syllables with double vowels
In the case of double vowels starting with ㅗ or ㅜ or ㅡ, the consonant will be added above this portion of the vowel, while the latter part of the vowel combination is “left over” as its own part of the syllable. For example, the verb 와 (wa) means “come” in the present casual tense.
It is also entirely possible for a Korean syllable to have one vowel (that is not a double vowel) with three consonants! But you will want to check the lesson for Korean consonants to learn more about this.
And that’s it for Korean vowels at this time! Perhaps you would like to move on to other Korean grammar we have in store for you? Although first, after learning both consonants and vowels, we highly recommend you learn to memorize each one, how they sound like and how you construct Korean syllable blocks and Korean words with them. You may enjoy learning this through our Korean slang article!
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Want to learn how and why English is often mistranslated into Konglish? Need a good laugh? Then these 60 funny Korean signs will give you a quick giggle and offer some interesting insights into the weird and wonderful world of Korean translations.
One of the joys of living in Korea is spotting the strange, unusual, and often confusing images and words that are meant to entice people in, but might actually put you off.
From sexy eels, to befuddling ‘Konglish’ phrases, these funny Korean pictures, signs, and images will show you a different side to Korea.
Take a look at the best of the Konglish and bad Korean translations that I’ve collected since 2015 and let me know which one you liked the most.What Is Konglish And Why Are There Funny Korean Signs?
Before looking at these 60 funny Korean signs, I want to very quickly explain what Konglish is.
Konglish is a portmanteau of Korean and English. It describes English words with funny spelling mistakes, translations, or sometimes completely new words in English.
The picture above is a good example of Konglish. Narcotics are something we’d associate with drug use and wouldn’t be something you’d add to your hotdogs (I’d hope!).
In Korea, the expression is meant to suggest that it’s addictive, something you can’t resist. Therefore, narcotic hotdogs are irresistible, addictive hotdogs.Image credit: Hanmadi
Skinship is another example. It’s a combination of skin (touching) and friendship that describes friendly, close physical contact between two people.
Konglish is also used to describe nonsense sentences that have been really badly translated. You’ll definitely find a lot of these funny Korean signs with this form of Konglish.
In fact, some of these pictures you probably won’t understand at all.
Warning: Some of these pictures might not be safe for work / children.
There are lots of different types of funny Korean signs, so I’ll break these down into different categories, such as warning signs, Korean shop signs, Korean translation mistakes, Konglish fashion, and suchlike.Korean Safety Signs You Might Want To Avoid
Korea is a very safe country, but there are times when emergencies happen and you need to know what to do. Unfortunately, these funny Korean signs show that you can’t always trust the advice you see.
Of course, some of the advice is very helpful, especially the one about how to use a toilet. I was struggling a lot before I saw that…1: How To Use A Toilet In Korea
You can find these signs in many parts of East Asia where squat toilets were traditionally used instead of seated toilets. I wonder how many people were actually using them as you see in the picture above?Image credit: Instagram 2: Clothes Cause COVID?
I’m not sure how being naked will stop the spread of COVID-19, but whatever you say, Korean sign. Got to follow the rules for public safety!3: Panic At The Disco
This is a sign demonstrating safety measures during an earthquake. Something you definitely don’t want to do would be to calm down. It’s better to rush around and panic, right?4: The Toilet Is Painful!
Toilets are a tricky issue in Korea, something that might confuse some and cause problems for all. And sometimes the toilet will hurt you if you don’t put the tissues and wet towels in the bin. You’ve been warned!Image credit: Instagram 5: Hurry Up And Flush
There’s no time to waste in balli-balli (hurry, hurry) Korean society. You’ve got to rush that toilet paper as it is. Don’t waste your toilet time folding it up nicely.Image credit: Instagram 6: Pregnancy Is Not Allowed!
No wonder the birth rate in Korea is so low with signs like this claiming that women aren’t allowed to be pregnant! Actually, this was a warning sign to forbid pregnant women from travelling on a certain train, but the English translation from Korean doesn’t quite work.Image credit: Instagram 7: Only Leave Your Troubles In The Toilet
I’ll talk about the No! Smoking! sign soon, but more worrying than the extra punctuation is why (and how) you’d leave your troubles in the toilet. You’re meant to drown your sorrows… but I’m not sure a toilet is the right place for that!8: Trouser Elephant?
Saw this in a men’s toilet at a hotel on Jeju Island. I’m not sure what they were asking or reminding me to do with this sign. Make sure I don’t leave the toilet naked? Don’t worry, there were no elephants (or snakes) on display that day.9: Do Not Use Outsiders
Expats in Korea (like myself) don’t like to be used, and I’m glad to see someone has made a nice sign to tell others not to. If you want to use outsiders, you’ll have to go somewhere else.10: No Smorking!
I’m sure you can guess what this Konglish sign is trying to tell you not to do, but the added ‘r’ makes it sound like there might be something else that you can ‘smork’. Maybe it’s the name of a Scandinavian rock group?11: No! Do That!?
A common confusing Korean translation mistake that you’ll see a lot comes from using English punctuation. This Korean sign should be very clear, but the ! after no makes it sound like this is a smoking area…12: No! Let’s Have A Drink!
The wild punctuation is back again in this anti-drinking Korean sign. Again, stop what you’re doing and start drinking! That’s an order.13: Watch Out For The Headman!
One thing I love about Konglish signs is that they often have some very strange word choices. This is usually because they’ve used Google to translate their signs or they learnt English from classic English novels. Either way, be sure not to trifle on the bridge with the children or the headman will be after you!
These two safety signs are from the N Seoul Tower Cable Cara nd are packed with unusual Korean translations and Konglish. I love the use of terms such as ‘befuddlers’, you don’t hear that word enough. Also, please refrain from screaming, singing, or ‘clamping’ in the cable car. How many times did this happen that they had to make a sign?15: Watch Out For Cliff!
I don’t know if this Konglish sign is meant to be a warning or a challenge. Should you approach the cliff, slide over the edge, and then let go? Whatever you do, make sure you walk slowly (or fall slowly?).Funny Konglish Fashion Fails
One of the most common places to find random English words is in a clothes shop. Whether you’re in a department store, or browsing one of the many fun traditional markets in Korea, you’ll probably find one or two examples of Konglish.
There are a lot of other hilarious slogans and messages on Korean clothing that I wish I’d been able to take pictures of.
Sadly, it would have seemed very strange to walk up to random Koreans to ask for a picture of their Konglish clothing…
Still, I managed to get a few, and here they are.
Warning: Some of these are not safe for work / children. Korean fashion has no limits and there can be some rude words used.16: Are You Feeling Thoughful?
Even though I use though a lot, can I really be said to be thoughful? Full of though? There are countless Konglish slogans like this on jumpers and t-shirts in Korea – some random word pairings, others made up words that were probably meant to be others.Image Credit: Instagram 17: Don’t Hide Your Feelings!
I wonder what goes on in the mind of Korean fashion designers. Was this intentional, or did they simply take some random words from English without considering their meaning (which often happens). Not the rudest Korean fashion fail I’ve seen, but one you might not want to wear to a family dinner.18: The Worst Kind Of Story
Having a bad spot day and don’t want to talk about it? Then wear this lovely jumper and it’ll explain it all. The word ‘story’ is used so much in Korean shop signs as a way to create some kind of persona to whatever it is they’re selling. I assume. In my apartment there’s a ‘tax and coffee story’… which doesn’t sound like a fun story!Image Credit: Instagram 19: Only For Maniacs!
Another word that’s misinterpreted a lot in Konglish is ‘maniac’ (as well as ‘holic’). I think Koreans translate it as someone who is enthusiastic about something, but in English we’d see it as someone who’s a bit too mad for something! No idea what the rest of this Konglish fashion fail means though…
It’s so easy to sell baseball caps in Korea. Make a hat, write something weird in English on it and people will snap it up. It doesn’t matter that Korean kids are going around with swearwords on top of their head at all…21: Not A Child-Friendly Activity
This is the name of a clothing brand in Korea, not a suggestion for what to do with naughty children. I hope.22: Only For Porkies?
I’ve no idea who chose the name for this large chain of children’s clothing and whether they thought about the meaning behind the word porky. Porky, as you’d imagine, usually suggests someone is a bit of a pig, or greedy. Is this their target market?23: What a Knobskin!
I spotted this sign years ago in Hongdae in Seoul and I think it was a streetwear shop. Which doesn’t explain the name at all! Knobskin translates to ‘an annoying or frustrating person, somebody who is useless.’ on Urban Dictionary. However, the literal meaning is the skin of… something an eel might help you grow. Want to buy clothes there?24: Man Chesta United?
This shop owner seems to be embracing foreign culture and decided to name their shop after the famous English city. Perhaps it was in tribute to Park Ji-Sung‘s time at Manchester United? Unfortunately, it looks like the owner didn’t actually own an official shirt with the correct spelling of Manchester on it.25: A Story Of Youth
Another example of a Korean fashion store using ‘story’. This time, it’s for emos and goths? Yes! It’s a young emotional story that makes you feel the Konglish. Also, no idea why there’s a random apostrophe at the end.26: Millenium Spirit From Hazzy’s
I don’t know if any other Brit’s have seen Hazzy’s clothes around before, but their signs don’t have the dignity and formality they think they do. This funny Konglish sign is what you’ll see when you enter their store.27: Do You Need An Old People Stick?
Found this hiking in Seoraksan National Park. The mountains can be tough so be sure to take an old people stick with you! A walking stick, but only for old people, I assume?28: Cream For The Ladies Only
Seen in Gunsan, this (I assume) is a ladies fashion store that doesn’t sell men’s clothing. It’s a story. A story of cream that’s for the ladies only. Unfortunately, my dirty mind finds this amusing for the wrong reasons.Konglish Food Signs & Menus
The next selection of Konglish signs can be found on food packets, restaurant signs, and on descriptions which may put you off eating what it’s describing.
Literal translations of Korean dishes are often funny, and you’ll see them on menus all the time. Sometimes the mistake when choosing between certain letters (such as r/l) can leave you very confused, too.
These funny Korean pictures are from across Korea and will show you there’s some very strange translating going on.29: Cold-Hearted Wife?
The first part of this Korean sign seems quite harmless for an ice cream shop. However, when you add in a bride, things get weird. I saw this in Gyeongju recently and no one seemed to think it strange. In fact, there’s a picture zone to have your photo taken next to their sign and the frozen wife-to-be.30: Embracing Konglish Fails
One common error when translating English to Korean is using the wrong vowels. The Korean word for hotdog sounds more like hatdog. And it looks like this shop in Cheongju has embraced this to make a great Konglish sign by putting hats on the hotdog sausages. I really appreciate this type of Konglish humour. If only they were dogs though…Image Credit: Instagram 31: What A Load Of Crap!
A classic example of Korean translation fails here where a single wrong letter completely changes the meaning of the word. The letters P and B are often confused in Korean as they’re very similar. Unfortunately, a crap salad sounds a lot less appetising than a crab salad!Image Credit: Instagram 32: Aggressive Cabbage
It looks like this supermarket used a translation app for this red cabbage and ended up with another funny Korean translation fail. I tried entering it into Google translate and it came up with ‘red sheep cabbage’. Be careful relying on translation apps…33: Unappealing Combination
I can see what they’re trying to do here. It’s a waffle that’s awesome. Great! But mixing those words together is just… awful!34: Deep Pain Pizza?
I’ve lived in Korea long enough to accept squid ink in doughy goods, but pain is something I’m not down with. Is this a Konglish translation from pain, the French word for bread?Image Credit: Instagram 35: No Time To Waste!
Can you imagine casual swearing on shop signs in English speaking countries? Maybe it’s something that should be embraced. It certainly attracts attention.36: What’s A Soft Potato?
Located in Daejeon, this place seems to be a bar but is selling ‘soft potato’, too. Is this a way to introduce mashed potato into the Korean bar scene? Are they a new kind of potato? Who knows?37: Are You A Spicy Taste Maniac?
Another example of maniac being used instead of an enthusiast. Although, these wasabi flavoured green peas were very spicy, so you would probably have to be a maniac to eat them!38: How Are You, Sandwich?
This was actually a special sandwich offered in Starbucks, who appreciate the Korean love of English and Konglish. There seems to be no reason why this sandwich would be named like this except for the image of ‘foreignness’ that it brings. Weird.39: Don’t Touch My Sack!
I’ve never seen anyone so possessive about their sack. Perhaps the snack food is there to tempt you away from their sack? Or perhaps they meant to write ‘saek’ (색) but didn’t translate it properly? Whatever happened, it’s probably best not to ask to borrow their sack.40: I Really Lobe You!
Just one simple letter really changes the meaning of a sentence. This is a common mistake in Korean signs due to the fact that there is no ‘v’ in the Korean alphabet. Unfortunately, this means that you might end up putting beer in your ear lobes… which is a very wasteful way to enjoy beer! I found this funny Korean sign at a bar in Daejeon.41: Eely Good For Something
This sign made me do a double take when I first saw it. I thought the eel was lifting weights with his hands… until I looked more closely. If you’re not aware, eating eel is meant to be good for boosting your ‘sexual energy‘ (like oysters). You can probably work out just how effective it is from the picture.Image Credit: Instagram 42: Doing It On The Table
I think this shop is trying to imply that they are making something lovely just for you, but instead we end up with a great Konglish fail where a very different meaning is presented. Or maybe it’s a very naughty cafe?43: Good Job!
It’s nice to see an encouraging Korean sign in English for once. It was indeed a rough day and I did a good job. Thanks!44: What Kind Of Chicken Is This?
I was surprised by this place when I first visited Korea in 2012. Ho Chicken (and Ho bar) are a popular chain of chicken shops that, for some dirty-minded westerners, seems to be rather suggestive. Maybe they want it to seem merry, like Christmas?45: I Will Find You…
This Korean sign, from a food truck near Cheonggyecheon Stream, gets on the list because it made me giggle for a different reason. Liam Neeson fans will probably recognise the mis-TAKEN quote here. It makes me wonder, though. Who will be doing the finding and eating? That bull looks pretty angry!46: Extra Ink, Hold The Cream Cheese
This is from California (my local bakery, not the state) and is one of many examples of very ‘creative’ English that they use to describe their baked goods. I’m really happy they’re trying to make it easier for foreigners to buy delicious foods, but this Konglish sign left me confused.
The ink in this bread is squid ink, which you can find in bread, pizza dough, and other places where you need to make something black. Squid ink is okay, but with cream cheese bread? Are they serious? I wonder what the other version without cream cheese bread is like?Funny Korean Translations & Other Signs
Finally, this last collection of Konglish signs, pictures, and other images shows how confusing and humorous life in Korea can be as an English speaker.
From random Korean street signs, to Konglish textbooks, shop names, and badly designed adverts, there are so many great examples of Konglish fails to enjoy.Image Credit: Instagram 47: Only A Bitch For Summer
Even large corporations like Lotte can make massive Konglish fails when trying to spell English words. This advert for a summer ‘beach’ festival had a lot of foreigners laughing and hopefully taught Lotte about the problems of Korean translation mistakes!48: What Are You Suggesting?
This innocent looking arcade machine with children’s toys has an interesting collection of English words that used together become quite suggestive…49: Fun Time With Maths?
These next two Konglish fails come from Daiso, a discount store that offers so many hilarious Korean translation fails. This is a very unusual passage to include when trying to encourage your children to learn maths. And who thinks studying maths is a fun time? Haha.50: The Struggles Of An English Teacher
I spent 5 years teaching English in Korea with EPIK and I’ve seen some inspiring and wonderful uses of the English language. Learning a language is an uphill struggle and seeing ‘English’ exercise books like this just makes me want to face palm. Hellow?51: Opne Your Hearts & Make Korea Great Again
I actually bought the ‘Make Korea Great Again’ notepad for a laugh, but it’s the other common Korean misspelling that confuses me. ‘Open’ is a word you’ll find on every shop or cafe in Korea, and yet it’s sometimes written as ‘opne’ by mistake.
The designers managed to get so many other words right, but how come Korea struggles with open? Come on! Make Korea great again by fighting against these Konglish mistakes.52: Just Give Up…
This massage shop in Myeongdong is probably not too worried about using English, but they could have asked one of the many foreigners in the area to check if this sign was right.53: What’s That Smell?
What’s the worst image you want to give people when going to a hair stylist? People with hair on fire? Probably. I wouldn’t know as I shave my head. But choosing a name like this is a massive fail for this chain of hair stylists. They’re not on fire with this Konglish.54: Football Club Korea It!
Firstly, I’m happy that Koreans are calling football by its proper name (not soccer, not sorry), but why choose this acronym to describe your team? I wonder how many fans have that tattooed on their arm? Maybe they should refer to themselves as the Korean Football Club.
Talking of dodgy TLA (three-letter acronym) choices, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) changed its name a few years ago. No idea why.55: Your Days Are Numbered, English!
I find it deliciously ironic that this sign for an after school academy teaching English should provide an example of a Konglish fail. This is close to where I live in Daejeon and I’m always worried that someone is looking down as I pass, waiting to terminate me!56: The Happy Zelkova
Zelkova trees are lovely and you can see them when you’re out hiking in Korea, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard them hum. I’ve certainly never seen one smiling at me, either. But that doesn’t matter. This is another example of random English words and expressions that get added to Korean signs for no apparent reason.57: We Are Still Making Mistakes!
Ubuntu is a nice philosophy, one that’s usually translated as “I am, because you are”, and I can’t fault them too much for the capital letter, but I wish they’d checked with an English copywriter before writing it.58: Push Or Pull?
These door signs at a shop at Deogyusan National Park in Muju are very confusing. I don’t know if I’m coming or going!59: Let’s Get Bussy!
I don’t know if Koreans know what ‘BJ’ can also mean, but it’s probably not something that should be associated with business. Or Bussiness…60: Faulty Goods?
You should probably nun-chuck this in the bin (sorry) as it’s damaged. Or so the Konglish sign on the package tells you. This has so much Konglish I was tempted to buy it and read it every day. I would use it carefully and not aggressively towards people. Unfortunately, I don’t have a shady and management to store it in. Too bad.How To Avoid Making Language Mistakes
If you’re worried about making your own language mistakes when coming to Korea, then why not brush up on your Korean before you arrive by learning some useful Korean phrases before you travel.
These two articles will help you learn some essential phrases for travelling around Korea and when ordering food:Essential Korean Phrases Korean Food Phrases
And if you’re worried about making Korean cultural faux pas, then be sure to learn these Korean etiquette secrets:Korean Etiquette Guide
Of course, the best way to avoid language mistakes is with a guided Korean course, such as the one I’m learning Korean with, 90 Day Korean:90 Day Korean Course How To Avoid Konglish Mistakes
If you’re a Korean designer, or in some way involved in using English, and you want to avoid these common Konglish mistakes, why not get help from a professional?
Dean, a native English speaker who has been living in Korea for more than 20 years, offers extremely reasonably priced copywriting services that will help you avoid English mistakes.
Visit the link below to get in touch with him and bring a world of better English to Korea.DC Copy Pro Share Your Thoughts
If you enjoyed reading this article, or if you have any thoughts about it that you want to share, please feel free to leave a message in the comments below. I’d love to hear your feedback about this article and the subject.
If you want to share some more funny Korean signs, then why not post them in the Korea Travel Advice group on Facebook.Korea Travel Advice Group Liked This? Pin It For Others
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Travel tips to help you explore, travel, enjoy, and see all the joy and wonders of South KoreaInMyKorea.com JoelsTravelTips.com
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If you're curious about Korean universities, then how about taking a tour of one of the largest, and Korea's #1 Women's university, Ewha Womans University (이화여자대학교) or "이대."
I met up with "Jenn from KOREA" on YouTube, and she showed me around the place where she used to go to school. We walked around campus and checked out the buildings, stopped for a snack, and Jenn shared some inside stories about the university.
The post Touring Korea’s #1 Women’s University: Ewha Womans University (이화여자대학교) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.—
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It’s not often that you find an abandoned Korean Buddhist temple. When you do, it’s a haunting reminder of the passage of time and that time waits for no one and nothing. In my time in Korea, and during my travels to some five hundred temples, I think I’ve only ever encountered three abandoned Korean Buddhist temples. Bokcheonjeongsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do is located high up on Mt. Togoksan (855 m) about two hundred metres below the peak. Bokcheonjeongsa Temple formerly belonged to the Cheontae-jong Order. And the temple appears to have been abandoned some time around 2014, probably with the passing of the head monk at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple. Even with the temple being abandoned, Bokcheonjeongsa Temple has a beautiful and commanding view of the valley below.Temple Layout
Nature has started to reclaim the land where Bokcheonjeongsa Temple is located, and the very first sign of this reclamation is the overgrown trail and stairs that lead up towards the temple grounds. From where the road recedes and the trailhead begins, you need to hike an additional eight hundred metres to get to the temple grounds. The trail is covered in several spots with fallen leaves and can be quite treacherous and slippery in the thicker spots where the leaves have fallen, so caution is definitely advised.
As recently as seven years ago, Bokcheonjeongsa Temple was a thriving and active temple but, following the passing of the head monk, it became a shell of its former self, with overgrown paths and decaying buildings. Upon arriving at the base of the temple grounds, one gets the sense that they have entered a ghost town with only an eerie collection of abandoned temple shrine halls to greet them. The buildings are starting to fall into disrepair with even some of the windows having been smashed out. You’ll notice this as you stand on the crumbling cement stairs at the entry, as you look towards the discoloured white exterior of the former kitchen to your right and the fading yellow façade of the monks’ quarters to your left.
This is only a taste of things to come at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple. Straight ahead of you stands the two-story main hall. The first floor of the main hall looks to have once been a Geukrak-jeon Hall. With that being said, all of the paintings and statues that were once dedicated to Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) have been removed. In their place is the detritus of a once active temple. The second floor, on the other hand, appears to have once been the temple’s Myeongbu-jeon Hall. Unlike the first floor Geukrak-jeon Hall, the Myeongbu-jeon Hall has a solitary altar mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) still hanging; albeit, off-centre, on the main altar. Besides the garbage that has collected in the subsequent years of its abandonment, this is all that remains inside the second floor of the main hall. It’s also from the second story of the modern main hall that you get an amazing view of the valley below.
To the rear of the main hall is the former Yongwang-dang Hall. And next to it is a slow flowing waterfall that collects at the base in a beautiful clear pool of water. To the left of the main hall, and up an incline, are what look to be a collection of temple structures that once included the monks’ dorms.
Throughout the temple grounds, as you travel, you can’t help but be overcome with a certain unease. And this creeping sensation is only enhanced if the weather is overcast. This feeling of unease is in opposition to almost all other Buddhist temples in Korea that exude a feeling of relative calm. This feeling at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple can create a certain sense of emotional conflict of the transitory nature of life and being.How To Get There
You’ll need to take a taxi from the Mulgeum train station in southern Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. The taxi ride will take about thirty-five minutes, and it’ll cost you 17,000 won (one way). Depending on where the taxi drops you off, it’ll take an additional thirty minutes to hike up the eight hundred metres of hiking trail to get to Bokcheonjeongsa Temple.Overall Rating: 6/10
The views from Bokcheonjeongsa Temple are second-to-none from the heights of Mt. Togoksan and the second-story of the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. The temple grounds at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple are much larger than I thought, and it must have once been a very beautiful place. But now that it’s been abandoned, and especially if you visit Bokcheonjeongsa Temple during the winter months, it can make for quite the haunting experience. If abandoned temples are your thing, or if you’ve never visited an abandoned Buddhist temple before, Bokcheonjeongsa Temple is the place for you.Part of the climb up towards Bokcheonjeongsa Temple. The view as the temple grounds first start to appear. The administrative office and kitchen at the former temple. A dry stream that once flowed past an outdoor shrine. The overgrown pathway that leads up to the two-story main hall. The modern two-story main hall. The first floor was probably a Geukrak-jeon Hall. Now it’s just filled with detritus. The view from the second story of the main hall. A mural of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) inside the second story of what was probably the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. The amazing view from the second story of the main hall. The abandoned Yongwang-dang Hall at Bokcheonjeongsa Temple. And a pool of water where the waterfall collects at the abandoned temple. The overgrown stairs that lead up to the former monks’ quarters. The stairs leading away from the former temple grounds. —
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Munsusa Temple, which is named after Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom), was first constructed in 547 A.D. by the Buddhist monk Yeongi. The temple is located in Gurye, Jeollanam-do in the southwestern portion of the famed Jirisan National Park. Throughout the years, several prominent Korean Buddhist monks such as Wonhyo-daesa (617 – 686 A.D.), Uisang-daesa (625 – 702 A.D.), Seosan-daesa (1520 – 1604), and Samyeong-daesa (1544 – 1610) have all called Munsusa Temple home at one time or another. Much of what you currently see at Munsusa Temple was built in 1984, nearly four hundred years after it was partially destroyed by the Japanese during the destructive Imjin War (1592 – 1598). The temple was further damaged during the Korean War (1950-53).Temple Legend
Like so many other Buddhist temples in Korea, Munsusa Temple has a rather interesting creation story attached to it. One day, a young monk named Cheongheodang was meditating, when an old man approached Cheongheodang and asked him if he could meditate with the old man. At first, Cheongheodang hesitated, and ultimately said no, because he didn’t have enough food for the two of them. Eventually, however, he relented, after the old monk implored Cheongheodang to stay and eat. The two then meditated night and day, until one day the old monk three down his staff against the face of the neighbouring mountain. The staff then turned into a yellow dragon, and the old monk rode the yellow dragon off into the fog. With this story in mind, Munsusa Temple became known as a temple where an individual can attain enlightenment through meditation.Temple Layout
You first approach Munsusa Temple up a long and winding road that runs through a long valley. Finally arriving at the temple parking lot, you’ll gain an amazing view of the rolling peaks from the neighbouring Jirisan National Park. Passing under the arched entryway and past the monks’ living quarters both to your left and right, you’ll finally enter into the main temple courtyard at Munsusa Temple.
Almost instantly, you’ll notice the amazingly beautiful three-story wooden pagoda straight ahead of you. Inside this beautiful structure on the first floor, you’ll find solitary statue of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) on the main altar. To the right of the main altar is a painting dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars). And to the left of the main altar hangs the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). Out in front of the elaborately painted exterior of the three-story wooden pagoda is a solemn-looking statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife).
To the left of the three-story wooden structure, you’ll find a temple shrine hall that’s divided into three sections. This unpainted shrine hall only has the middle section open to the public. In the middle section, you’ll find a Reclining Buddha statue on the main altar. Above this image are two additional statues: one is dedicated to a contemplative Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha), while the other is dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).
Rather surprisingly, and to the left of the three-story wooden pagoda, you’ll find a penned in area that’s home to four Asiatic black bears. All four are housed inside a red cage. Originally, the bears had been given to the temple in 2001, and originally the plan was to re-release them into the wild. However, after much time, this has yet to happen. It’s not clear as to why they are still penned-up at Munsusa Temple. This is rather strange because the Korean government is attempting to re-populate Korea, and specifically Jirisan National Park, with the Asiatic black bear. Whether it’s because the black bears have now grown too accustom to human contact, of whether it’s something else; either way, the four Asiatic black bears still remain housed at Munsusa Temple for all visitors to see.
Just up the embankment, and up an uneven set of stairs, are three more temple structures in the upper courtyard at Munsusa Temple. The first of these, and the one to the far right, is a meditative hall for monks to meditate and enjoy the beautiful of Mt. Jirisan. In the centre of these three structures is the Munsu-jeon Hall. Housed inside this temple shrine hall is a solitary image of a crowned Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom). And to the far left, you’ll find a Sanshin/Dokseong-gak Hall. Inside this shaman shrine hall, you’ll find two rather simple murals dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). It’s from this vantage point that you get the most beautiful view of the valley below.How To Get There
From the Gurye Intercity Bus Terminal, you’ll need to take a taxi to get to Munsusa Temple. The reason for this is that there isn’t a bus that goes directly to the temple from the Gurye Intercity Bus Terminal location. From the bus terminal, the taxi ride will cost you 14,000 won (one way). And the ride will take about forty minutes. And if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s a trail that leads from Munsusa Templeover to the famed Hwaeomsa Temple.Overall Rating: 7/10
Munsusa Temple is a tough temple to rate. If you love bears, and you don’t mind seeing them caged up, then this temple easily becomes a ten out of ten. However, if you prefer your bears in the wild, Munsusa Temple should suffer a far lower rating. With that being said, there are a few other highlights outside the four Asiatic black bears like the newly built three-story wooden pagoda and the stunning location of Munsusa Temple in Jirisan National Park. Either way, this temple can leave you feeling conflicted.The entry to Munsusa Temple. And a statue of Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife) along the way. The prominent three-story wooden pagoda at the centre of the Munsusa Temple grounds. A different angle of the elaborate dancheong colours that adorn the wooden pagoda. A look inside the pagoda at the main altar. To the right is this shrine hall with a Reclining Buddha statue. To the left of the wooden pagoda is the temple’s Jong-ru (Bell Pavilion). The enclosure for the four Asiatic black bears at Munsusa Temple. One of the Asiatic black bears. And another. The Munsu-jeon Hall in the upper courtyard at the temple. A crowned image of Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) inside the compact Munsu-jeon Hall. A look towards the Munsu-jeon Hall from the Sanshin/Dokseong-gak Hall. And the amazing view outwards towards Mt. Jirisan from the Sanshin/Dokseong-gak Hall. —