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Cancelling TPP, Protectionism Not Necessary for a Restrained Foreign Policy

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This is a local re-post of an essay I wrote for The National Interest a few weeks ago. Basically I argue that a restrained political and military foreign policy does not imply an isolationist or protectionist economic foreign policy.

This strikes me as an important distinction. There is a lot talk that Trump’s election implies a less interventionist foreign policy, that the white working class doesn’t want to fight neocon wars anymore. I am sympathetic to that. But a greater caution in military choices does not have an economic correlate of withdrawing from free trade, or picking foolish fights with allies. Restraint is neither economic protectionism, nor bashing allies Trump-style. Those tow together are more like isolationism.

As I say on this site regularly, the concern of foreign policy ‘restrainers’ is not to abandon American allies, but to get them to take their own defense more seriously. But I see no reason to extend that to trade. Greater protectionism will simply drive up prices for the white working class at Walmart, while re-shoring a few jobs at most. Recall that it is technology that wiped out smokestack jobs in the Midwest, not China. Worse, protectionism has a powerful long-term negative impact on security. States which seal themselves off start to fall behind technologically. That impacts military tech too, as one can see in the communist states during the Cold War. It is critical for American military pre-eminence that it remain a free-trade economy that regularly absorbs the most recent technologies, no matter how much dislocation they bring, no matter where they come from.

The full essay follows the jump:


President Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric raised hopes that might pursue a less interventionist US foreign policy. Trump was the only truth-teller on the Iraq War in the Republican primary. He mainstreamed the issue of low allied contributions to the American defense network, which hitherto was mostly a debate among foreign policy wonks. He talked of avoiding foolish wars. He intuitively grasped the disconnect between the insouciant belligerence of neoconservative and Washington-based US foreign policy elites, and the working class voters who filled out the ranks and fought those wars. More broadly, he demonstrated that even within the ‘national security party,’ there is a constituency seeking a less arrogant, high-handed, and meddlesome foreign policy.

The verdict is still out on whether Trump means this. His cabinet and staff picks include superhawks like national security advisor Michael Flynn and chief strategist Steve Bannon. But his belligerence toward allies – cancelling the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the haranguing tone, the dismissal of international organizations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union, and so on – is not a requirement of a more cautious foreign policy. Restraint need not mean isolationism, and alienating the US from much of the world – barring Russia, of course – is the likely outcome of Trumpism if the president and Steve Bannon do not slow down.

It is important to make these distinctions, because the long-standing retort to restraint is that it is retrenchment, abandonment of US leadership, withdrawing from the world, and so on. This was captured most famously in the relentless repetition of the Republican talking point that Barack Obama was ‘leading from behind.’ But much of that is false. Nothing in a restrained foreign policy says the US states should antagonize friends or practice protectionism or mercantilism. Mature diplomacy and liberal, trade-friendly economics do not require a parallel commitment to US global dominance.

Restrain seeks: greater care in choosing when and where to use US force; greater concern for the violence and destabilization the use of force unleashes; greater awareness of the spiraling financial costs of conflict; anxiety over possible American ‘imperial overstretch’; humility regarding the horrific human toll when the US unleashes its powerful military on others. None of that requires breaking US alliances. As I have argued before in these pages, the point of restraint instead is to incentivize US allies to spend more, build better, more interoperable forces, and strategize and plan more.

But for reasons only he and Bannon know, Trump has cast many US alliance relationships into doubt. Secretary of Defense James Mattis had to run to Japan and South Korea last week, and will go to Europe next week, just to quell the anxieties. In just two weeks in office, Trump has managed to inflame US relationships with its closest partners, including Britain, Mexico, and Australia. If countries so culturally close to the US as these are targets of Trump’s wrath, how will he deal with alliance friction and disagreements with more culturally distant states like Japan or South Korea?

Similarly, his cancellation of the TPP adds nothing to a more disciplined foreign policy. Free trade is entirely commensurate with a US pull-back from overstretch. Restraint is not autarky, mercantilism, protection, the denial of visas to legitimate foreign business operators, and so on. Restraint is not isolationism, which increasingly appears to be Trump’s impulse. Indeed, any serious strategist will see the obvious military threat of autarkic economic strategies. Militarily powerful states must be able to capture any and all technological gains generated by economic development, even by foreigners, lest they qualitatively fall behind. Communist states constantly suffered from this problem. Committed to closed, internal-only development, they quickly fell behind open economies in developing and deploying new technologies. While the lost consumer pleasures, such as like washing machines or televisions, could be ignored, the military applications of breakthrough technologies such as computers could not. Communist militaries were constantly forced to rely on quantity, because their quality was always a decade or two behind their opponents’. When Bannon speaks of restoring America’s “shipyards and ironworks,” he is invoking a long gone coal-and-steel US economy impossible to revive without a genuine autarkic turn.

The internationalist retort of course is to blend this all together: US participation in the global economy necessitates US global leadership and a consequent willingness to regularly use force. But the relationship is not as tight as neoconservatives would have you believe. The central pillars of the world economy outside North America are Europe and East Asia. The US can maintain a middling commitment in these places without sprawling elsewhere, most obviously the Middle East. US dependence on Persian Gulf carbon is diminishing rapidly due to fracking and renewables, and carbon needs to be significantly more expensive globally anyway due to its alarming global warming externalities. In short, US participation in the global economy need not mean hegemony outside a few core areas, and certainly not the Middle East given the high cost of US dominance there and the declining value of its one serious export.

For US allies, this is weird time. The next American elections, for the legislature, occur in 2018. Traditionally the president’s party loses; a large anti-Trump wave could stop much of this. Conversely, a moderate legislative defeat, followed by Trump’s re-election in 2020, would lock-in these grand strategic shifts. The wisest course for allies now is likely to ignore Trump’s outbursts whenever possible, smile gamely, make a few face-saving concessions, such as Shinzo Abe’s American jobs-program, and hold tight for 2018. If the orange storm does not subside by then, it may to time to consider more autonomous national strategies.

Filed under: Foreign Policy, Restraint, The National Interest, Trump, United States

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University


Best Korean Chain Restaurants in Korea

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The number of restaurants in Korea is pretty overwhelming. There are so many restaurants that in some districts, it is possible to eat at a different restaurant every day for a year. There are some restaurants that you will see in multiple locations around the city, these are Korean chain restaurants. Knowing about the best chain restaurants in Korea can be useful when you are visiting a new area and want to eat a particular type of food. Keep reading to learn about some of the top chain restaurants in Korea, and the types of food that they serve. Once you find one that you like, remember its name and you will find it easier to choose where to eat when you are hungry.

Saemaeul Sikdang (새마을 식당)

saemaeul sikdang

Baek Jong-won is Korea’s answer to Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey. The most well-known Korean celebrity chef also owns several chains of restaurants, coffee shops, and pubs. The most successful and long-lasting of these is Saemaeul Sikdang. The restaurant sells standard Korean barbecue options like galbi, but also has a few signature dishes of its own, such as its seven-minute jjigae (stew), or its spicy yeoltan bulgogi (열탄불고기). If you are struggling to find somewhere to eat, then you can often find this restaurant in any nightlife district for an easy meal.


Bonjuk (본죽)

When winter sets in and you need some warm comfort food, Bonjuk is the place to go. This rice porridge, ‘juk in Korean, restaurant sells warm filling food that is perfect for a cold winter day. There are plenty of different options here, from samgyetang (chicken and ginseng) porridge, to pumpkin porridge, and even octopus and beef porridge (I’m not kidding!) The portions are so large and filling that you will struggle to finish your dish. This restaurant can be found in almost every neighborhood in Korea, not just the main restaurant areas. It also does take-out if you want to order some ‘juk’ and take it home.


Yugane (유가네)


Korean restaurants are often specialized towards one particular dish, and Yugane is no exception. The restaurant chain sells Dalkgalbi (닭갈비), a spicy chicken stir-fry that is cooked in front of you while you wait. Dalkgalbi is the signature dish of Chuncheon, Gangwon province, and people will travel there just to experience the Dalkgalbi Street in that city. If you want to save yourself a trip, just visit Yugane instead. As well as the regular dalkgalbi, yugane offers several other options like octopus and chicken dalkgalbi or cheese dalkgalbi. The pre-barbequed dalkgalbi option is also excellent. If you find the dish a bit too spicy, take some of the sauce out before it gets stirred into the meal.


Oppadalk (오빠닭)


One of Korea’s many chain chicken restaurants; Oppadalk’s name means ‘big brother chicken’. The restaurant’s full name, Obeune bbajin dalk (오븐에빠진닭) means ‘the chicken that fell out of the oven’, and there are many other chicken restaurants that have copied Oppadalk’s naming style. Unlike many Korean chicken restaurants, Oppadalk specializes in baked chicken (hence the ‘oven’ part of its name), rather than fried chicken. The restaurant also lets you choose half-and-half chicken menus, so you can have a mix of fried and baked chicken, or chicken with spring onion mixed with roast chicken for example. Among Korea’s many chicken restaurants, Oppadalk stands out due to its quality, so it is worth looking out for when you are feeling like having some chicken or chimaek (치맥 – chicken and beer).


Jaws Ttokbokki (죠스 떡볶이) and Mimine (미미네)


Ttokbokki (떡볶이), the spicy red cylinder-shaped ricecakes that you see being sold in food stalls on the street in Korea, is often seen as a snack rather than a full meal. However, anyone who has eaten them before will tell you that they are very filling and could easily pass for a meal if they had to. There are lots of ttokbokki stalls, but sometimes you want to sit down indoors to eat it. Two of the most well-known ttokpokki chains are Jaws and Mimine. Jaws has been around for a long time and can be found almost everywhere in Korea. Mimine has fewer stores, but rather uniquely, uses smaller ricecakes than usual. This can be useful if you find it difficult to fit a whole ricecake in your mouth. When ordering ricecakes, Koreans often order sundae (순대), intestines filled with blood-soaked rice, which is kind of similar to English black pudding. As this doesn’t suit many foreigners’ palates, it is worth noting that Mimine serves tempura shrimp instead.

Hongma Banjeom (홍마반점) / Hong Kong Banjeom (홍콩 반점)

Hong Kong Banjeom is the most well-known chain for Chinese food in Korea, although rather confusingly it underwent a semi-rebrand so half of its restaurants are called Hongma (Hong Kong and Macau) Banjeom instead. It might seem odd that this is on a list of best Korean chain restaurants in Korea, but Korean Chinese food is very different from Chinese food in the West, let alone Chinese food in China. Common dishes in Korean Chinese restaurants include black-bean noodles, spicy seafood soup, and sweet-and-sour pork. Hongma Banjeom has a selection of other Chinese dishes that you can order too, such as kung-pao chicken, which are hard to find in other Korean Chinese restaurants.


Andong Jjimdalk (안동찜닭)

Andong Jjimdalk sells a hearty chicken stew that is great for a group meal. The stew is originally from the Andong region, hence the name, but the restaurants can be found around most Korean cities. The chicken is slowly cooked in a broth with potatoes and glass noodles. It usually comes in its spicy variety, but you can order the milder soy sauce version instead.

These are just a small selection of the various restaurant chains in Korea. There are many other chains in Korea, often specializing in other foods like pizza or sushi. Have you tried eating in any of these restaurant chains? Do you agree that they are the best Korean chain restaurants in Korea? Let us know in the comments below.



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We got married

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12 November 2016, Hotel Fort Canning




MMPK February 25th Meeting Registration Open!!

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With New Years and Seollal all safely under our belt for another year, it’s time to get back on schedule with our monthly MMPK Meetings!  We have been searching far and wide to find a suitable location for this month, and we stumbled on a very swish looking gem.


When it comes to Korean alcohol, most locations are fairly casual and cozy, even rustic in feeling.  Well, the place we are headed this Saturday couldn’t be more different! We are headed to an upscale cocktail bar with a carefully curated menu of some of the best Korean alcohol money can buy.  Makgeolli, takju, cheongju and soju, this bar in Gangnam offers some top quality sool with some tasty looking bites.


If you would like to join us for this meeting, send an email to to sign up 

Makgeolli Mamas & Papas

Migrant’s rights are Workers rights are Human rights

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IN little over two weeks, the wealthiest and most heavily armed nuclear state on Earth will have an narcissistic orange billionaire misogynist with highly suspicious hair become its 45th president.

During Donald Trump’s policy-light and hatred-heavy presidential-election campaign, he branded Mexicans criminals and rapists; boasted that he would “do a lot more than waterboarding”; called for “a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”; claimed he was “totally against abortion” and even threatened the freedom of the press when he said: “We’re gonna open up those libel laws, folks.” (The US currently has much more permissive libel laws than Britain.

The Tories plan to scrap the Human Rights Act — an act so vile, so morbidly dictatorial, so criminally insane that the likes of Kim Jong Un, Robert Mugabe, Benjamin Netanyahu and Voldemort must be green with envy

Frankly, whether he meant everything he said or if it was all just “truthful hyperbole” — a term he coined in his 1987 memoir as “an innocent form of exaggeration and a very effective form of promotion” — it doesn’t matter. The man’s right-wing populist rhetoric won him the most powerful job in the world. And if a politician’s words mean anything anymore, then many hundreds of thousands of US citizens will be expecting him to build the “Great Wall of Mexico” and stop those pesky Muslim refugees from seeking sanctuary in “the land of the free.”

It’s hard to believe how anyone could put their faith in a man with such contempt for human rights. The eminent philosopher and political activist Noam Chomsky believes the people who voted for Trump did so because they were “inspired primarily by the belief that he represented change, while [Hillary] Clinton was perceived as the candidate who would perpetuate their distress.”

In hindsight, of course, it was rather foolish for the Democratic Party to choose Clinton — the very embodiment of the US Establishment — over Bernie Sanders at a time when the mood across the West is so fervently anti-establishment.

Image skanked from here

Image skanked from here

Podemos in Spain, Syriza in Greece, the Pirate Party in Iceland, the Five Star Movement in Italy, the National Front in France, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, the Freedom Party in Austria, Jobbik in Hungary, the Danish People’s Party, the Alternative for Germany, Sweden Democrats and, of course, Britain’s Ukip and the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn are all manifestations of the Western public’s disposition for anti-Establishment political parties, be they left-wing, right-wing or Establishment figures in disguise.

Neoliberalism — the privatisation of everything and the economic system forced upon us since the late 1970s — is in decline and whether working or unemployed people know it by its name or not, they are all too keenly aware that someone somewhere has them over a barrel, economically speaking.

We the people protest splash Fairey

An enormous problem here is that the right and their corporate-media mouthpieces put forward a very simplistic, if mentally inconsistent, answer to society’s problems: blame immigrants, the unemployed, the disabled, the left, Islam and the poor. The right-wing populists deliberately misconstrue the problems caused by capitalism and the growing power of international corporations on the Other, who simultaneously take all the jobs and welfare from the “natives.”

As Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said at the Party of European Socialists conference in Prague in early December: “Often the populist right do identify the right problems but their solutions are the toxic dead ends of the past, seeking to divert it with rhetoric designed to divide and blame.”


Image skanked from here

Feeling the populists’ fire under their designer shoes, the Tories have aimed many of their harshest policies at migrants.

They’ve made driving a car a criminal offence for irregular migrants; locked immigrants up indefinitely in privatised detention centres for the heinous crime of crossing imaginary lines; forced Brits and their non-EU spouses to live across continents due to the money they currently earn; dragged their feet after promising to home unaccompanied-child refugees in Calais; deported migrants back to countries the Home Office advises Britons not to travel to and so much more.

The Tories speak of a country that works for “everyone” while at the same time making a mockery of the human rights to freedom of movement, to family life, to an education, to seek asylum from persecution and the freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. And yet the populous right and much of the media claim these efforts are not enough.

The way a government treats migrants and refugees, as Tony Benn once said, “is very instructive because it shows you how they would treat the rest of us if they thought they could get away with it.” And you only have to look at the way the Tories have slashed the welfare state, fostered inequality, deprived disabled people of the care they need, corrupted the education system, attacked trade unions and maimed the NHS to see he was right. Clearly, their definition of “everyone” is very narrow indeed.


It is either under the pressure of the populist right or due to sheer despotism that the Tories plan to scrap the Human Rights Act (HRA)— an act so vile, so morbidly dictatorial, so criminally insane that the likes of Kim Jong Un, Robert Mugabe, Benjamin Netanyahu and Voldemort must be green with envy. They plan to replace the HRA with a British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Its almost as if only British citizens are worthy of human rights.

In the wake of the Trumpinator, the West’s right-wing populists and their media allies are first going to up their efforts to convince working people that immigrants don’t deserve human rights and second that “we” don’t need them anyway.

They’ll protest that the Human Right Act is a “get out of jail free” card for rapists, paedophiles, criminals, immigrants and terrorists (ie Muslims). The Daily Mail’s attacks on human rights lawyers and foreign aid is a current example of this.

Yes, the HRA probably has protected a few horrible people but so what? If they were convicted, then they more than likely went to jail where they paid their debt to society and perhaps even reformed their ways — if only the government invested in rehabilitation rather than ineffectual punishment.

It is a monumental fallacy to say that the HRA is bad because it sometimes protects bad people. The HRA protects conservatives, liberals, anarchists, communists, fascists, refugees, religious extremists, athiests, criminals, victims, witnesses, whistleblowers, spies, soldiers, workers, employers, the young, old, rich, poor, LGBT, straight, men, women and everyone in between because they are human.

It should not be up to a political party to decide which freedoms apply and to whom, especially one which won the last election by a narrow margin and one whose leadership nobody actually voted for.

The Tories’ austerity policies have already amounted to “grave and systematic violations” of the rights of people with disabilities, according to a UN inquiry. Imagine the power they would wield if they were the ones who set the terms. Life would be so much easier for the ruling class if everyone below them had no claim to human rights — like the good old days of the industrial revolution or before that the slave trade and serfdom.


In a 1945 article on the freedom of speech, which also applies to human rights in general, George Orwell wrote: “The relative freedom which we enjoy depends on public opinion. The law is no protection. Governments make laws, but whether they are carried out, and how the police behave, depends on the general temper in the country.

“If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.”

We must not let the Tories, the populist right and the corporations with their “free trade” deals diminish the rights of migrants or inconvenient minorities. For their rights are workers’ rights, are human rights.

A note from the editor-in-chimp: This article originally appeared in the Morning Star, where I work as the deputy features editor.

The post Migrant’s rights are Workers rights are Human rights appeared first on Monkeyboy Goes.




Battle For Seoul’s Noryangjin Fish Market

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While Seoul’s Noryangjin fish market is one of the top fish markets in the entire world, the stories making the news in South Korea & abroad have lately focused on the ongoing battle between the company that owns the market & fish sellers who have been operating businesses there for decades. Writer Dave Hazzan chronicled the struggle going on between the two sides for online publisher Zester Daily, & last summer, Korea FM reporter Chance Dorland spoke with him to learn more about what Hazzan describes as a battle that will “determine the fate of one of the city’s most iconic food markets.”

This episode is brought to you by Podcast Assist & its $30 per hour flat rate podcasting voice overs, editing, mastering, transcriptions & even hosting (select a topic, they’ll create & host the podcast). Visit for more information. 

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Daesansa Temple – 대산사 (Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

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The beautiful artwork dedicated to Yongwang at Daesansa Temple in Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

Hello Again Everyone!!

Located in south-western Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do, on the northern ridgeline of Mt. Cheonwangsan, sits Daesansa Temple. The temple is scenically located past the Daesan-ji lake and up a zigzagging mountain road that looks down on the valley below.

As you first enter the grassy temple courtyard, you’ll notice the monks’ dorms and the visitors’ centre bookending the main hall at Daesansa Temple: the Wontong-jeon Hall. Out in front of the Wontong-jeon Hall is a one tier pagoda that’s seen better days. Lining the tiers and base of the pagoda are figurines that have been left behind by devotees. Painted around the exterior walls to this newly constructed main hall are beautiful, large Palsang-do murals depicting the eight stages from the Buddha’s life. Up near the eaves of the roof are smaller Shimu-do, Ox-herding murals, that are just as intricate and masterful as the Palsang-do set.

Stepping inside the Wontong-jeon Hall, you’ll notice a unique set of main altar statues. The largest one in the middle is dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). And the golden capped statue to the left is Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife), while the one to the right is a statue dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). Rounding out the artwork inside the Wontong-jeon Hall is an older mural dedicated to Jijang-bosal to the left of the main altar.

To the right rear of the main hall are a set of three shaman shrine halls. The first to the far left is the Sanshin-gak. The all-natural wooden exterior houses a mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit). Sanshin is joined in the painting by a dour looking tiger. To the right of the Sanshin-gak is the Chilseong/Dokseong-gak. Inside this shaman shrine hall, which has an all-natural wooden exterior, as well, are a pair of shaman murals. The first to the left is an older mural dedicated to Chilseong (The Seven Stars), and to the right hangs a beautifully vibrant mural dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint).

The final shaman shrine housed at Daesansa Temple is dedicated to Yongwang (The Dragon King). The Yongwang-dang lies down a set of stone stairs. The white screened shrine houses one of the most amazing paintings dedicated to Yongwang that I’ve ever seen in Korea. This masterful painting is a new addition to the temple, and the former red wooden tablet that used to be housed inside the Yongwang-dang now rests out in front of it.

HOW TO GET THERE: From the Cheongdo Intercity Bus Terminal, take Bus #1 and get off at the bus stop named “Nokmyeong 2 ri” after seven stops (or 17 minutes). And from this stop, then take the town bus named “Punggak Sunhwan” (풍락 순환 버스). And after six stops, or 19 minutes, get off at the “Oksan 2 ri” bus stop. From this stop, you’ll need to walk for about 30 minutes, or 2.1 km, to get to the temple. Follow the signs as you make the climb towards Daesansa Temple.

OVERALL RATING: 6.5/10. The main highlights to this temple are the amazing shaman artwork at Daesansa Temple. While there, have an especially close look at all four major pieces of artwork. Also of note are the statues resting on the main altar inside the Wontong-jeon Hall and the one tier pagoda out in front of the main hall.

The view from Daesansa Temple.

The Wontong-jeon main hall at Daesansa Temple.

The one tier pagoda out in front of the Wontong-jeon Hall.

One of the beautiful Shimu-do, Ox-Herding, murals that adorns the exterior walls of the Wontong-jeon Hall.

As well as this intricate Palsang-do mural.

Inside the Wontong-jeon Hall during morning prayer.

The view towards the shaman shrine halls behind the main hall at Daesansa Temple.

The Sanshin-gak at Daesansa Temple.

The dour looking tiger and Sanshin together.

The Chilseong/Dokseong-gak at the temple.

The older mural dedicated to Chilseong.

And the vibrant Dokseong mural housed inside the Chilseong/Dokseong-gak.

The Yongwang shrine.

The amazing Yongwang mural housed inside the Yongwang-dang.

And one final look up at the Wontong-jeon main hall at Daesansa Temple.

Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 1] – Intermediate Korean (Dictation)

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Are you preparing for the TOPIK test, a government Korean test, or a Korean test at school? Then let me help you prepare with a brand new series focused on Korean test questions and explanations.

This episode will cover an example of a dictation question. More episodes to come soon!

The post Korean Test Practice with Billy [Ep. 1] – Intermediate Korean (Dictation) appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Gyeongju Hanok Stay

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Known as Korea's historical capital and often referred to as the 'museum without walls', Gyeongju is frequented by locals and international tourist alike. A more immersive way to experience traditional korean culture and lifestyle while visiting Gyeongju is with a hanok stay.


Gyeongju Hanok 'Hwangnamguan'
Gyeongju Hanok 'Hwangnamguan'

A hanok is a traditional korean house constructed with natural materials. These houses are characterised by mud walls, hanji paper doors, and wooden roofs pieced together with clever joining and no nails. These houses are considered to have health benefits due to their ability to 'breathe'. Ondol (heated flooring) makes the houses comfortable in Winter and the open design allows for ample ventilation in Summer. Visitors should be aware that traditionally hanoks don't feature elevated beds but rather sleeping mats on the floor.  

Most hanok houses have been updated slightly for the comfort and convenience of guests and include a tv, western bathroom and electrical outlets. Each hanok will differ in age, price, and activities offered. Some houses offer experiences like pottery making, tea preparation, traditional games, or trying on Korea's national garb 'hanbok'.

Sodamjeong Hanok

Sodamjeong Gyeongju hanok

Sodamjeong caters for both Korean and English-speaking guests and is a very economical option for a Gyeongju hanok stay. A single ondol room (9m squared) will set you back around 70,000원. The rooms and ground are Sodamjeong are quiet small but staff are welcoming and personable even leaving a personalized welcome note for guests. Visitors have unlimited access to the hanok kitchen and complimentary breakfast items like eggs, bread, jam, and juice. The location at Sodamjeong is one of its strongest attributes, a short walk from Gyeongju bus terminal and nearby attractions.  

Hwangnamguan Hanok 


Gyeongju Hanok 'Hwangnamguan'
Gyeongju Hanok 'Hwangnamguan'

In a prime location walking distance to Gyochon Hanok Village and Cheomseongdae, Hwangnamguan Hanok Village is a premium hanok experience. Guests can reserve single ondol rooms (16m) or a family suite (40m) with additional living spaces. For added comfort to foreign guests some rooms also feature western style beds. The grounds include traditional games, hanbok, and craft workshops. The adjoining hanok style cafe offers clear views of the kings tombs, a nice place to rest after day a day of walking around Gyeongju's many historical sites. 

Gyeongju Hanok cafe
The view of a King's tomb from Cattle & Bee cafe

While a Hanok stay is a great way to experience Gyeongju Korea has many other cities famous for their traditional Hanok villaages. Hanok stays are offered all over the country in Seoul, Gongju, Jeonju, and Andong.  

Other Gyeongju hanok stays...

Yettle Hanok Stay 

Floral Space Hanok Guesthouse

Soi Hanok Stay

Hanok Raon

A list of hanoks by destination can be found here.

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