‘I will serve as your Korean guide’

by Chihon Kim
Stripes Korea

Did you hear the news? On Nov. 2, various artifacts and armor in perfect condition dating back to the 4th century, were excavated at a construction site in Gangneung, Korea. Although this was a great find, this is a common occurrence in Korea. It is no wonder that old artifacts continue to be discovered in this country with a history covering more than 5,000 years. “The whole land is a museum,” one of our celebrated historians once said.

 

Yeah, I agree that this whole county is like a big museum, just waiting for you uncover all its riches. But, I also know a lot of things in my homeland may seem strange to you. But don’t be afraid, I will serve as your guide. And, I’ll do my best to ensure you don’t waste your time and money finding things to do. I’ll point you in the right direction. 

If you want to experience something special in Korea, please remember my name: ChiHon Kim. I am the new writer for Stripes Korea. You may know BTS (BangTan Boys), kimchi and bulgogi, but my country has so much more to offer. I have a plan to show you Korea’s true colors.

 

I was born and grew up in Daegu. Some say Daegu and Gyeongsang province are famous for unappetizing food. Those who say that, are people who have never visited a good restaurant. I know many holes in the wall in Daegu. The interiors may not be fancy at these places, but the cooks take much care in perfecting the taste of their dishes.

 

So, for the folks living in the Daegu, let me steer you to some of the best food Korea has to offer. I will break people’s stereotypes about the so-called bad food of Daegu. Of course, I will also travel to different places around Korea and give you my take on where and what to eat.

 

I worked at Camp Carroll before I came here at Pyeongtaek a few weeks ago, so I am familiar with Waegwan. Have you been to Chilgok Dam? It takes less than 10 minutes by car to get there from Camp Carroll. It’s the best place to refresh yourself. It is also a popular place to take a date. If you cross the dam, you will find a camping area with a peaceful river view that you can enjoy at a reasonable price.

 

It is a little chilly these days, but if you are a serious bicycle rider, I recommend the mountain bike course that links to the dam. And, although I have yet to climb it, there is a 9-meter tall climbing wall next to the main gate. Sooner or later, I’ll give it a try and let you know if it’s fun. Or, if you have tried it, tell us about it.

 

My country has been called “Geumsu Gangsan.” It literally means that the river and mountains are embroidered on silk. No doubt. Korea has countless scenic spots. Among many other things, I want to tell you about the famous and not-so-famous temples that are scattered all over the country. And if you are interested in really understanding life in a temple, I will share with you information about a couple of templestay programs that are available.

 

There are some bloggers who exaggerate about different places in Korea. But as a Korean, I’m going to give you the real deal so you can enjoy your time in my country. Listen, Korea’s cultural assets may be a bit different from those of China and Japan, but there are unique aesthetics and beauty that only Korea has. I want to show you that beauty and help you make lasting memories of Korea. So, read my stories in the upcoming weeks and months and then go out and explore. You won’t be disappointed. I promise!

 

kim.chihon@stripes.com

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