Tag Archives: K-Pop

Celebrating Buddha’s Birthday with the Lotus Lantern Festival

The Lotus Lantern Festival in Seoul was quite the celebration. For more than one week leading up to Buddha’s Birthday, which is a national holiday in Korea, the city hosted numerous Buddhist events and decorated its sidewalks with bright, colorful lanterns. The traditional lanterns are made with hanji, a tough, Korean paper made out of the inner bark or fiber of mulberry trees.

First, we witnessed the massive gathering in Gwanghwamun Square for the Conference for World Peace and the Reunification of Korea. It was organized by the Great Equal Assembly of Ganhwa Seon — part of the Jogye Order, the country’s largest Buddhist sect, which practices Seon (aka Zen) buddhism. If you look closely in one of the photos, you can see the large group of monks sitting right in front of the stage.

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We Found Wonderland

Just when I thought I’d seen practically everything there is to see in Seoul, I stumbled across Yongma Land. A true hidden gem — it’s not a destination that comes up when you Google things to do in Seoul or when you flip through a travel guide book — I came across it on a few blogs. So, what is Yongma Land?

It’s an old, abandoned amusement park located just a few minutes’ walk from Mangu Station. I don’t know the full story of when it closed, why it failed, or how the current owner came by it. When you walk up to the gate you see a sign forbidding trespassers, but listing the phone number of the older gentleman who owns the property. You can call him and he’ll let you in for 5,000 won/person.

Welcome to Yongma Land

Once you’re in, you pretty much have free reign. Walk around and explore, step into the rides, climb, run, jump, whatever you please (at your own risk, of course). Continue reading We Found Wonderland