tourism

Raphael Rashid
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From Love Motel To Boutique Hotel, Adultery To Pajama Party

Prostitution, extramarital affairs, one night stands… these are the words often associated with motels in South Korea. This is where you go to have sex, shame attached. But over the past decade, motels in South Korea have seen an interesting rebirth of sorts: Their shady image is shifting towards that

Kathy Yun
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Jeju: Museum Heaven or Tax Haven?

Driving around Jeju island and you’ll come across not just white sand beaches and UNESCO World Heritage sites but an endless succession of museums. In fact, tourists can choose from over 100, on themes as diverse as Greek mythology, seashells, African art, teddy bears, sex and health, and stone

Ben Jackson
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Dark Tour: Jeju Island Beyond Teddy Bear Museums

Jeju Island is where South Koreans love to get away from it all. Hundreds of flights a day deposit mainlanders hungry for escape, relaxation and selfies. With its sea-locked isolation, black soil and relentless wind, Jeju feels almost like a different country altogether. So it’s hard to believe that

Fitsum Areguy
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The Ocean Between Jeju’s Island Natives and Mainland Newcomers

Lee Hwan-jung wavers in his small boat, harpoon in hand. Looking back to shore, black rocks and dark waves sway under a granite sky. On this early February morning on the Jeju coast, cold water sloshes over his shoes. Lee is a self-taught fisherman from Seoul. Still robust at 43,

Juwon Park
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Can South Korea Tap into Growing Halal Market?

Up the hill from the subway station in Itaewon, one of Seoul’s most diverse neighborhoods, a quiet road lined with a random jumble of shops leads to Seoul Central Mosque. In among the tattoo studio, the corner grocery shops and the LGBT bookstore stands Eid, a small eatery serving

Raphael Rashid
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Finding Pyeongchang Accommodation: A Hard Time Even for Die-Hard Fans

Salt Lake City businessman Everen Brown is an Olympic superfan, having attended no fewer than 14 Olympiads. To continue the momentum, he flew to South Korea in October to search for accommodation for the coming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, having failed to find anything online. But even on the ground in

Youngjoo Lee
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The Palace's Painful Past

When it was built in 1909, the Grand Conservatory in Changgyeong Palace was the largest of its kind in Asia. After years of restoration, the conservatory has been opened to the public just last month. Is it a symbol of colonialists and capitalites tainting the royal legacy of the Joseon

Ben Jackson
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Plane Madness? Second Airport Plan Angers Jeju Islanders

On Tuesday morning, the wind blew tufts of black hair across freezing paving stones by the Blue House. Giant fiberglass Pyeongchang Olympic mascots — a white tiger and an Asiatic black bear — looked on as five electric razors hummed across five scalps. Villagers from Seongsan, a quiet county on

Juwon Park
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K-pop to WeChat: S. Korean Start-ups Want Chinese Tourists

Off the beaten path from Apgujeong, a glitzy and upscale neighborhood in Seoul known for ever-soaring housing prices and neon sign boards of plastic surgery clinics, there’s a burger restaurant, around the corner of which is a narrow stairway leading down to a basement. There are no burgers in

Ben Jackson
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Pretty and Polluted: Jeju Overfilling With Tourists

2011 was a busy year for the civil servants of Jeju Island. South Korea’s most famous island — bar Dokdo — had made the shortlist for the so-called “new seven wonders of nature.” With no restrictions on the number of telephone votes cast by each individual, Jeju’s public

Raphael Rashid
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Visit Seoul: The Unintended Undertones of Sex Tourism

The tourism ad was meant to be displayed in New York City, promoting Seoul as a vibrant city where old meets new. Instead it faced immediate backlash due to its apparent sexualization of women’s bodies and unintended undertones about sex tourism. This prompted Seoul City Government to cancel the

Jieun Choi
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Broken Clocks, Rising Dust: Death of a Street

If the places with history all close one after the other, what will Insadong be? * Read our in-depth coverage about the end of the Insadong of the past: Insadong: Breathing Its Last