Surviving Picasso

"Art is a lie that makes us realise the truth." - Pablo Picasso

The Lost Words

In June 1950 the North Korean Army crossed the 38th parallel, invading the Republic of South Korea. By September, most of the Republic had fallen, with only the area around the city of Busan, or Pusan as it was then known in English, remaining under the control of anti-Communist forces. As the Republic collapsed, half a million refugees fled south to the coastal city, swelling the population to around 1.4 million. The Battle of Pusan Perimeter raged, and conditions within the titular city were equally chaotic.

Fresh Air

After our pottery class in Haeundae on Sunday, we went to Songjeong Beach. It wasn't far, which surprised me. I realise in retrospect that every time we've been there before it was by car, and since separate trips to Haeundae and Songjeong have never connected, I'd never made the geographical connection between the two. This tells me I'm still orientating myself when it comes to getting around Busan.

Up Pompeii

A large crowd gathered around a sixty-foot bonfire on a waterlogged beach, tents on the ground nearby, kites in the air, Korea's famous health and safety culture. What could possibly go wrong?

Last Sunset

Cold. That will be my overriding memory of the 2010 Busan New Year Festival.

Dante's Inferno

Can you stop the cavalry?

Christmas Day in a Buddhist household be a rather anti-climactic affair so rather than stay in all day reading or watching TV, and considering that I'd already done the Kosin University Christmas Tree Festival two years ago, I planned to go to the Nampodong district, where we could have a quick look around the new Lotte Department Store before finding somewhere nice to eat in the shopping district. But leaving Korean Mother at home on her own on Christmas Day was deemed to be to awkward, even if she was a Buddhist, so she was invited along, and it became a fully-fledged shopping trip.


I've never been to see a basketball game before; it's not very popular in England. So I jumped at the chance to see a game in Busan last Saturday afternoon, where judging on the crowd turnout, it isn't very popular either. Which is a shame, because while it doesn't have the epic feel of 30,000 people crammed into Sajik Stadium for a baseball game, being seated closer to the action allows for a much more personal experience.

How NOT to make a tourist website

Brian in Jeollanam-do and Stafford of the Chosun Bimbo have already weighed in, but I sincerely hope this is a lesson in what NOT to do when building websites. Here's the website in question,, now presenting: What NOT to do when building a tourist website:

A screenshot of the home page to, current as of the posting date.

On Korea tourism and promoting the country through foreigners

If this sounds like a repeat of this story (and post), it's not :)

While not precisely linked to the recently-ended VANK contest (and the wonderful prizes won by 100 bloggers about Korea), far more needs to be done to encourage tourism in Korea.

As you might have guessed from reading my blog, travel is a subject near and dear to me - and for obvious reasons tourism is part of that equation. This article from the Korea Times reminded me that tourism is a difficult nut to crack. One excerpt:
In the past, a seeming lack of grounded foreigner input has been a downfall in campaigns, according to an international studies professor at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

Expats helping out the Korean tourism industry?

The discussion has already been going for some time over at the Marmot's Hole about an article from the Korea Times about using expats in Korea to aid in tourism / marketing. A second article, published today, was titled "Expats Ready to Help Seoul's Globalization", and is almost certain to garner some more comments or thoughts on the subject.

As a blogger that focuses on traveling around Korea (but especially Seoul), I can't help but say that yes, Seoul (and Korea) does have a lot to see. So does China. So does Japan. So does (insert your home country here). So does (insert neighboring country of your home country here). Take a quick look at how many Lonely Planet guidebooks are out there and you'll get my point:

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