The store will be updated with many items and many new contests in 2019.
We are back! After a year and a half of being involved with the Olympics and Paralympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, we will be back to share the love of the Korean culture with global fans.
The store will be updated with many items and many new contests in 2019.
Selected as one of the Seven Wonders of Winter by CNN.com, the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival is a winter wonderland of activities and sights to see! The area of Hwacheon in the Gangwon Province is transformed into a city sized icy playground when the river freezes over. Activities scattered along the length of the river include ice fishing, ice sledding, ice skating, ice soccer, bare handed fishing, curling, bicycling and more. This festival has so much to see and do that you could visit for more than just one day. A short bus ride out of Seoul, this festival will run through February 5, 2017.
A group from many countries organized by CultureUs and sponsored by the Korea Tourist Organization had the chance to visit the festival. CultureUs has many opportunities throughout the year for foreigners in South Korea to experience Korean culture and activities. If you are currently living there or plan to visit, check out their website, CultureUs to see what adventure you can experience. They take applications and spots are limited, so plan ahead. Also, check out the Korea Tourism Organization website, Imagine your Korea to see what events are happening when you visit Korea.
OUR ADVENTURE BEGINS!
The bus departed Seoul on a snowy day just before sunrise. After a scenic drive out to Gangwan-do, we were greeted with a light dusting of snow, then treated to sunshine for the remainder of the day.
Outfitted in new warm headgear from the KTO, we joined our assigned groups and headed toward the festival!
This trip was also a chance to volunteer as SNS supporters for the Hwacheon Sancheoneo Ice Festival.
After a brief orientation of our duties, our first activity was ice fishing. Holes were dug in the ice for all to have a try at catching one of the sancheoneo (trout) out of the cleanest of water making them tasty and healthy. For a small fee you can have your fresh catch cleaned and cooked up for you.
In the group were seasoned fishermen, but for some it was the first time holding a pole. It took a little while, but after the first fish was pulled up, they started to really bite!
Luckily for those who did not catch their lunch, a variety of tasty foods were available. Bibimbap! Yum :)
Outside of the food court two from our group got a bit of exercise in a Gangnam Style dance-off accompanied by an energetic drum group. All had fun watching the improvised dance moves!
After lunch we went off to explore. Where to? So many places to see and things to do.
Huge ice sculptures towered alongside the river.
For a quick trip across the river, a few brave adventurers can zip-line over for a bird's eye view of the festival. Zip-line, why not? Thank you EMellee for giving me courage and for the video. It was my first time for zip-line and it was AWESOME!
With that exhilarating, new experience under my belt, I recruited 3 ladies from South America and 1 from Spain to join me in trying another sport. Curling! It was surprising how heavy those granite rock things are. After a few times sprawling on the slippery ice trying to propel these rocks, a Korean comedian and KBS TV crew joined our group to film a segment for a show to be aired on Jan 25th. A round of Kai bai bo (Korean rock-paper-scissors) decided team captains. The teams chosen, the mini Olympics began! (please someone tell me if you find the show to watch online) **update** One of the girls found the show! It is Let's go 평창, 웃어라 대한민국 and it shows the Road to PyeongChang. She said it is really funny, but I'll have to wait for You Tube in about a week or two. Those of you in Korea can watch it now on the phone app, my K. **updating the update** Here is the link to watch the video.
Following the zip-line and TV filming, I thought a short slide down the hillside on an inflated tube would be relaxing. After all, young kids to grandpas were walking up the stairs to slide down the small hill. Wrong! Sitting at the top waiting to go down, it seemed tame enough. But once gravity got you going, your speed accelerated and soon you are going airborne off of the icy bumps. Chilly wind cut into my face and my screams left a trail behind me. When I finally came to a halt I felt like kissing the ice, but I was afraid my lips might get stuck and that would be more embarrassing than the screams. With my feet back under me I thought, "That was awesome!", but when the group opted to go again I gave the excuse that I needed to film them. I'd love to watch the film the trio made!
There are always places to leave your mark at a Korean festival.
So much to see!
Our volunteering begins. Each team had a turn in sharing the fun at the festival. Enthusiastic attendees joined in.
Too soon it was time to board the bus to return to Seoul. There is so much more to see and do. Someday we will have to journey to Hwacheon again to see the rest of the festival.
by Melodie Everson
To: Hallyu, with Love
Hello again! This is Anna, back with an awesome story for you straight from Korea!
I was recently honored to win a place on the inaugural run of the K-Travel Bus! Along with 14 other winners from around the world, I was shown amazing places to visit in the North Gyeongsang Province. It was such a treat getting to travel outside of the big cities of Korea!
You can take a look at the itinerary of the trip, then join me on my photo tour below!
On Saturday, we left Seoul bright and early to head towards our first event, Archery! On the bus, we met our awesome tour guide Jin and introduced ourselves to everyone. It was so much fun meeting people from so many different countries! Some people then chose to get in a quick nap, but those of us in the back row chatted the whole way to Yecheon.
When we arrived at the Archery event, there was a welcoming committee there to greet us! We even got to meet two olympic gold medalists in Archery! They gave us some tips, then it was time for us to try our hand at shooting an arrow!
My instructor was amazing, and he helped me look like a natural! (Believe me, I'm not!) It was fun hearing all the 'Oooo's when I scored a bullseye! I really want to go back and practice more, archery was so much fun!
After Archery, it was time to EAT! K-Travel Bus chose such awesome places for us to eat at. Just look at this food~
After filling our bellies with amazing food, we headed off to Andong to visit the UNESCO world heritage site Hahoe Folk Village and watch a Mask Dance! Our wonderful guide Jin told us stories and other interesting facts about the area on the way! It was so neat seeing such a historical place where people continue to live to this day!
After leaving Hahoe, we went to a Hanji workshop to create our own masks out of rice paper! It was so much fun spreading the rice glue and forming very unique masks that reflected the artists!
Then we visited a traditional market! (Sorry there are no pictures, I was so busy drooling over all the delicious looking foods!
Finally it was time for dinner.When you travel in Korea, you must try each area's local specialty. So naturally... the menu was Andong's famous Jjim Dak, a braised chicken and veggies in a spicy sauce! We had a trading market set up between the tables, with people calling out their deals to get more of their favorite parts. "Chicken for Kimchi! Potatoes for cabbage!" It was so yummy, I would travel all the way back to Andong just to eat dinner...
Before checking into the hotel after a long day, we visited the Woryeonggyo Bridge to see the amazing night view! It was so beautiful and calming.
With a refreshing nights sleep in, we were ready to take on day two! At the Mungyeongsaejae outdoor drama set we learned about the history of the area and were able to transport back in time walking through the Josean Era village and dressing up as royalty to sit on the throne inside the Gyeongbokgung palace (replica)! It was amazing how wearing the hanbok and hairpiece transformed me into a queen in both appearance and attitude! (My posture was so much better! Maybe I should dress up more often!)
The Mayor came to greet us! He was so happy and very kind to us, it made my royalty illusion carry on even after returning to my modern-day clothes!
After saying goodbye to the mayor, we visited the Andong Ceramics Museum! The tea bowls were so beautiful, I wish I could go and study to make one of my own someday!
We worked up quite an appetite with all our time traveling and such, so we happily traveled to... lunch! The restaurant was kind enough to prepare a special menu for the vegetarians in our group. I tried a bite, and it was so delicious!
Then, it was time for our last experience, a trip to the shooting range! We opted out of the clay pigeon shooting and went for the stationary target. A good choice I must say, since I learned that I am a terrible shot! I'll stick to archery~
It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone when we got back to Seoul! Though it was only a two day trip, we became great friends! I hope we can all meet again ^^
If you are planning a trip to Korea, I highly recommend going on one of the K-Bus tours! There are currently 4 different routes that will show you amazing places outside of Seoul. It's a great way to see more of the countryside without needing a high level of Korean speaking. (I have spoken with so many people that say that the thing stopping them from traveling outside of Seoul is their fear of not knowing enough Korean!) It is a beautiful country, go see all that you can! Also, you will learn so much about the history and culture of the area from the wonderful tour guide. I want to try every route!
Please check out their website for more information!
Also, if you have any questions about this tour, please feel free to ask via email or in the comments section below! I would love to help provide an answer ^^
#KTRAVELBUS #VISITKOREAYEAR #MUSTSEEROUTES_KOREA
Saturday, October 17 from 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Following up on the success of the 1st Korean Culture Festival, this 2nd installment will have demonstrations and activities for festival attendees to both watch and to participate in. Through this festival, people of all heritages will be able to experience Korean culture.
It is our goal and desire to continue to celebrate and promote Korean culture and heritage through this annual festival.
The 2nd Annual Korean Culture Festival will be taking place in Millbrae, California on Saturday, October 17 from 1:30 - 4:30 pm at the Chetcuti Room (450 Poplar Avenue, Millbrae, located across from the Millbrae Library main entrance). It is being organized by the Peninsula Korean American Parents Association under special sponsorship by the Overseas Koreans Foundation and the Korean Consulate, as well as many local businesses.
The first half of the festival will feature various performances, including opening performance by Berkeley Korean Drumming Group EGO, martial arts demonstration by Kook Sool Won of Millbrae, K-Pop Dance by the Mills High School Korean Culture Club, and more.
The second half of the festival will be themed "Experience Korean Culture". There will be traditional Korean rice-cake (songpyeon) making demonstration, kimchi making demonstration, opportunity to try on Hanbok (traditional Korean outfit), Hangeul calligraphy, traditional Korean games for children, and more.
Highlights from last year's festival
Read more about last year's festival here: 1st Annual Korean Culture Festival
To: Hallyu, with Love
Fans came ready to show their V.I.P. status!
V.I.P. Carlos M. has been a fan of Big Bang since their debut. He showed off his skills in the line party by making it to the final round and scoring 5 out of 5 in the trivia contest.
Fans who registered on Facebook for the Big Bang MADE Tour Line Party played for chances to win prizes. Those going to the final round were given a special bokjumeoni luck pouch with a ten won coin for good luck. They had 5 chances to answer more trivia questions in the final round. The first 5 with perfect scores received a pair of Big Bang socks and bonus entries.
Southern California hosted two Big Bang concerts on consecutive days, Oct 3rd & 4th. Starting out in LA at the Staples Center, the event went smoothly with friendly staff. They quickly processed 18,000 fans into the arena and to their sections. Tour merchandise was available at many locations as was food and beverage.
The view from above was a little unsettling at first, but that went away once the show began. Being able to see backstage was a nice perk to our nearly hanging from the rafters seating.
Big Bang put on a fantastic show!
Sunday in Anaheim at the Honda Center was equally a great show from Big Bang. The rules there were a bit different for the fans. No cameras and yes, you were tapped if caught. So no pics from this show. Waiting in line was a bit stressful as security tried to cram hundreds into cattle chute style barricades. After standing for hours and facing many more hours waiting, no sitting was allowed. For some reason even after it started to rain, security once more made an uncalled for demand that the people in line could not use umbrellas. Fed up, people sat anyway. A couple of people passed out at the venue, perhaps due to these crazy rules. With the tons of room outside the Honda Center, this kind of fan treatment is unnecessary and poor business. Plan your potty stops if you are going to the Honda Center. Inside were ample bathrooms, but for the fans waiting outside, your choice were two horrific porta-potties in the parking lot or a long hike to a store far away. Once our bag of the half eaten Chex Mix and half-full water bottle were confiscated at the door, we had the option of the $5 glass of water and stadium food. Pass on both. I think some of the Honda Center staff needs to take a class in hospitality. Pardon the rant. (not all staff were rude, the elevator operator was very sweet and asked us in his best Hitchcock-movie monotone voice, "Did the concert meet your expectations?" Yes, and we did exit quickly...still has us laughing).
Thankfully as the concert began, all was left behind and Big Bang once again owned the building for a stellar performance to the end with several encore songs.
Tuesday we began compiling all of the entries for the fan prizes. a record 1110 entries were logged in and sent to the random number generator. Here are the winners!
Grand Prize Winners for select Big Bang merchandise: Ann Nguyen, Belen Carrillo, Carlos Matsumoto, Helen Chiu, Jenny Zavala, Kendra McCray, Madeline Wentworth, Osmara Bautista, & Tammy Nguyen.
Grand Prize Winners: Make sure you leave your mailing address in the comment section of the form so we know where to mail your prize.
Prize winners of your choice of idol socks: Ashley Glenewinkel, Cassandra Sio, Grace Shi, Griselle Ochoa, Jay Chan, Kai Amana, Kailie B, Kayla Johnson, Lindy Wong, Maritza Villegas, & Song Lor.
Prize winners: Leave your email so I can send you your code for your free socks.
Thank you to all who participated. Congratulations to all of our winners! To the rest, we always have monthly and ongoing contests here at To: Hallyu, with Love. Visit our store for fun stuff from Korea. All sales go towards our give-aways.
It was great to meet so many fans in LA & Anaheim. See you at upcoming concerts and events. If you would like to volunteer in our fan project, make sure you register and let us know!
Melodie & Elise Everson
To: Hallyu, with Love Staff
After weeks of anticipation and hours waiting in the rain, over 100 ticket holders where denied entry into the BTS Concert on Saturday, September 26th at the Center Stage in Atlanta, Georgia. The rather small venue of 1100 was oversold by the tour promoters, TGM Events. This is the same company which was blacklisted in Maylasia for the B1A4 event earlier this year.
After a 2 1/2 hour wait in the rain, ticket holders were stopped at the door and told the venue was at capacity. Event staff sent the venue manager to deal with the unhappy crowd. They were told that they would receive a refund for their tickets. Their names were hastily jotted onto a piece of paper, but not told how the refund would be handled. A few were allowed to attend the hi touch and participate in the group photo before being sent out of the building and back into the rain. No autographs were given to any of these fans. Other fans were promised a hi touch and picture, but were later told they would not, after they were lead into the room with a thread of hope that they'd at least see BTS.
Two friends planned in advance to meet in Atlanta. Tickets were purchased through Trinity Grace Marketing (TGM) via Highlight Tours. Carefully planning their airline flights, hotel, and transportation, this duo invested nearly $1000 for a chance to spend a few hours enjoying the entertainment of BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys, a popular KPOP group from South Korea. Instead they were met with confusion and disappointment as all of their efforts and expectations were crushed through the error of the promotion company.
One mother brought her two children to attend their very first first KPOP concert. Usually a KPOP concert is a place where you find many families enjoying the KPOP experience together. For these two young fans, the evening ended standing outside in the rain, their clothes drenched, and tears blending with the rain.
I'm so upset, I don't even have the words. I'm even more upset for my kids. My 12 yr old loves V, and she had been talking about it for two months. It was to be their first KPOP concert. Kirsten crying into my chest, and Brianna trying so hard to put on a brave face was almost too much for me to handle. -Michele B.
Instead of celebrating and reliving the moments from the high energy concert BTS is known for, their evening will consist of a trip back to their hotel and a long drive home without the memories they came to create.
Compensation? Concert ticket refund? How can refunding the concert ticket come close to compensating for their monetary loss and disappointment?
Even after the ordeal of missing one of their favorite groups perform, neither had any ill feelings towards BTS. Their fan status of A.R.M.Y.'s are unwavering. For these two, the flight back to Philadelphia and the drive back to Birmingham will be filled with thoughts of missing out being able to see BTS perform.
They are just two of the over 100 fans who met with the same disappointment. 98+ other fans will be ending their day with tears and an emptiness that should have had another outcome - one filled with the excitement and energy BTS brings to the stage.
By Melodie Everson
Founder of To:Hallyu, with Love
The 13th Annual KORUS Festival will be held on September 19th & 20th at The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center located in Northern Virginia. This two-day festival is one of Greater Washington DC’s premier community events. A celebration of the Korean American way of life, Korean heritage & culture, and the beauty of America’s diversity. The event features modern and traditional music and cultural performances, demonstrations, Korean cuisine, and much more.
( from korusfest.org - visit the website for more info and up to date announcements)
The Korus Festival will feature a range of Korean Culture activities from traditional folk dance to KPOP.
Every KDrama fan has that special location that stands out from the others. The place that makes them wish they could close their eyes and teleport.
If I could grant you that wish, would you let me?
Well...maybe not literally, but we can get you there in our virtual world.
Your first visit to Seoul, South Korea will have you whirling as you find yourself standing in the very same places you saw in a drama. In the midst of sightseeing around this picturesque city, you get that tingling deja vu moment as you realize you've seen this place somewhere before. The aha moment connects as you remember the scene from your drama. Once you find one, it may become an obsession to search for more. Some have blazed the path before you, so you may find directions online. Other places can only be found through intense sleuthing.
Seoul is huge. More like a state with lots of counties, then cities, and finally neighborhoods. Learning to navigate the subways and bus lines will help you locate specific places. Signs help, but some are only in Korean. Not to worry, phone apps help you to find the correct line and mode of transportation. Not all dramas are filmed in Seoul, but a great number have at least some scenes filmed in this sprawling metropolis.
We've found several places from our favorite shows. Some of these landmarks and popular destinations have been in multiple series. See how many of the following places you can recognize! List a drama for each of the pictures in the comments below. Whoever lists the most will earn a souvenir from Namsan Tower. Good luck!
Here's what we can do for you!
Let us know some of your favorite locations and we will set out to find them. If yours is one of the film sites chosen, we'll have a special surprise for you!
Comment below and we'll send out our super sleuths to the streets of Seoul, and maybe beyond!
Here are a few scenes that inspired us to find some of these places.
filming location from My Unfortunate boyfriend currently airing in South Korea and Dramafever.
During an early episode of My Unfortunate Boyfriend, a neighborhood looked really familiar. The view of Namsan Tower looked very similar to the view out my apartment window in Seoul. It had to be near my part-time home at the base of the mountain.
The quest to find this house took three outings. The one to the tower gave a bird's eye view and helped to pinpoint the area. You can imagine my elation upon finding this rooftop view! At first, it had so many differences that I wasn't sure if it was the one I was looking for. Once I looked past the house, I could see the view that cemented the fact it was indeed the right house.
In the world of filming, many locations are embellished a bit to create the best "set". The set dressers have an eye to make it look just right for the script. Facades are built and props are added to create the perfect look.
Here is challenge #2. List the differences in the house between the two pictures. Comment below. All comments will be private until the contest is over (June 30), so everyone will have a fair chance. Happy hunting!
9/2015 UPDATE! You will also see this same house used as Yong Pal's house where he and his sister lived in the early episodes.
NEXT: Want to visit the place from your favorite drama scene?
by Melodie Everson
During a trip to Busan, South Korea, we visited a film festival and met directors and actors at the movie screenings. We shared this one because we later saw him in a couple of dramas, Pinnochio & Blade Man. We asked our facebook followers to leave his name in the comments to win a $10 Gift Certificate to My Kpop & Kdrama Store here at To: Hallyu with Love.
The odds were definitely in your favor! Here are the results-
THE WINNER IS
CONGRATS TO OUR $10 WINNER - YASHASHREE!
Because I am feeling pretty excited for my month long trip to Korea in a few days, everyone who posted a comment on Facebook will receive a $2 coupon for the store. Rahma Abukar, Mao Vue, Noemi Medina and Ducky Hamilton - Message me on Facebook and I'll send you your own special code.
Visit the site often for all kinds of give-aways!