Destination: Jeonju, part 1 (Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do)

Jeonju has just enough to offer for a full weekend – not so much that you feel overwhelmed, but enough that you like you saw it all. There’s enough variety in the sights, enough walking, and enough places to take pictures for your friends back home. There’s even a couple of local dishes worth trying. It ain’t perfect, but as a weekend getaway it’s hard to beat.

Five easy day trips out of Seoul

Seoul is a wonderful place to go exploring. With several historic palaces, dozens of Buddhist temples, and more shopping than you have money, you might be wondering ‘why go anywhere else around Korea?’ The simple answer is to get off the beaten path, and to explore some places tourists / foreigners don’t go as often.

All of these day trips are easy to reach from Seoul’s excellent public transportation system.

Destination: Pinnacle and the Antidote / Rock Tigers

In the interest of documenting a kick-ass show at DGBD, I present this photo essay courtesy of Angie Gilman. She’s a writer with the Lonely Planet that came out to the show, sharing a story about how a monkey stole her Canon in Thailand. She did some pretty cool stuff with my Nikon D80, although all edits and words below are my own. Lest my wonderful readers think I lend my expensive camera to any person with a sob story, she was a friend of a friend.

Having recently written about them for the Groove, I give you Pinnacle and the Antidote:

Destination: Beomeosa (Busan)

The largest Buddhist temple in Busan, Beomeosa feels both homey and solemn, if such a thing is possible. Enter through the storied gates and become aware of the temple’s 1,300 year history.

Destination: Uireung (Seoul)

I blogged about Uireung over a year ago, as the sort of place one stumbles across while looking for something else. With my Joseon-Dynasty tomb quest now in full swing, it’s high time for a revisit.

Located in Seoul, Uireung is easy enough to reach; while it lacks the sereneness of the more rural tombs, it’s an excellent starting point to learn about the historic elements.

Hacked and back to good – preventing WordPress from getting hacked again

UPDATE 4 – In case you’re looking for the Cliffs Notes on WordPress security – or, what I learned from restoring a site:

Step 1: until you’re off of the default settings, assume that every hacker is circling like a herd of sharks. You might think that a hacker cares about how popular your site is, or how many posts you have. I’m here to say if it can happen to me, it can happen to you too. The way these things are written, they’re looking for backdoors, workarounds, and any other vulnerability they know about. Your Alexa ranking has nothing to do with the bot’s decision-making process.

Step 2: see what your viewers see. I didn’t get an e-mail alert or a notice that something was awry; I noticed a link leading to a pill site, which led me down this whole rabbit hole.

Destination: Jeongneung (Seoul)

Not too many tombs left in the Joseon Dynasty tomb quest! Jeongneung is a reminder of how much power people had in the afterlife, and that your rank can still fluctuate even after death.

Jeongneung (정능) is the burial place of Queen Sindeok (신덕왕후 강씨, 神德王后, ?-1396) – second wife of King Taejo (the first Joseon-Dynasty king) and mother to . While located in Seoul, Jeongneung will require some looking to find – it’s at the top of a hill, past a residential area and not far from a traditional Korean market.

Destination: Shinsegae Centum City (the largest department store in the world – Busan)

Assume for a second that you enjoy big malls, or you enjoy meandering aimlessly for an entire day. Bigger than the Mall of America and the Macy’s flagship store in New York, the Shinsegae Centum City behemoth features almost every franchise Korea offers. Without needing to step outdoors, one has access to restaurants, a gym, a spa, a cinema, an ice rink, an art gallery, and a golf driving range. Oh yes, and hundreds of stores. With 509,810 square meters (that’s 5.49 million square feet) worth of floor area and 293,904 square meters of store area, there’s more room under this one roof than 2,355 average-sized American houses. To say ‘there’s a lot to see’ seems a huge understatement.

Destination: Songgwangsa (Suncheon, Jeollanam-do)

The monks were everywhere. One was beating his wooden moktok, another was laboriously carrying a load of plants, and a third was walking through the courtyard. A number were meditating behind one of the hall’s closed doors, while even more were seen walking in a separate section of the temple, restricted to visitors. One was even seen bringing a Dunkin’ Donuts bag into the monks-only section. At that point, the Lady in Red pinched me, telling me that this is indeed not a dream – there really are lots of monks here. Then again, why wouldn’t they be?

Destination: Burlesque girls in lingerie (NSFW)

Author’s note: this post is rated NSFW – not all workspaces can handle pretty girls in lingerie. You have been warned.

Yes, I’m fascinated by burlesque. I was while living in the US, and that fascination has recently been stoked (pun, um, not intended) by the girls of Frills & Thrills. This all-expat, all-female group performed in Hongdae on Saturday, and I’m happy to say this show went far better than the previous one I attended. Let the record show that the Lady in Red not only came with me, but dressed properly for the occasion.

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