Thursday, August 30, 2012

Guest Post - Jeju Highlights

Hi everyone!,

Sorry about the lack of posts on the blog!, as some of you know I've been busier than I would like... I haven't had a nothing-to-do-except-laying-in-bed weekend in a while since my sister and I started our Cupcake business a couple of weeks ago (333Cupcakes), anyway, a couple of weeks ago I found a very entertaining blog written by Tom Stockwell and after a couple of emails he was kind enough to contribute with this blog, so here's Tom's post about Jeju Island :) ... Again  Tom, Thank you so much for this great post! :) 

Jeju Highlights 

Jeju island is known as the “Hawaii of Korea”. Tucked down in the south of the country, the island has a climate very different from mainland Korea and the volcanic landscape renders it unrecognisable as part of the peninsula.
Jeju’s flora has evolved differently from the rest of the country thanks to the climate, and ditto the accent. Many people who live on mainland Korea often say that when people from Jeju island talk, they simply can’t understand what is being said due to the difficulty of the dialect and the different words used.
It’s not easy to sum up the island in just a few sentences, so here are a few photos with some short descriptions that display the incredible diversity that Korea’s most beloved island has to offer.

1.      Walking Trails
Jeju has walking trails all around the island and these colourful trinkets can be seen dotted along them helping you to find your way.

 2.      Flora

The variety of plants and flowers on Jeju is truly magnificent and you’ll encounter their beauty wherever you stroll, whether it be through the hiking trails or the island’s gardens.

3.      Swirls

The seas around the island can become rough and produce some dramatic effects against the black volcanic rock which make for mesmerising views and stunning photos.

4.      Black Pork

Jeju is well renowned for its black pork, rightly considered a specialty and served as Korean barbecue. It’s eaten wrapped in a cabbage leaf with soybean sauce and garlic.

5.      Galchijorim

A spicy fish stew choc full of vegetables, galchijorim is full of flavour and another dish that the island is famous for. Avoid the tourist restaurants and go for somewhere that may look less glamorous but will offer more hearty, homemade fare.

6.      Strange Seafood

As well as the more traditional fare, strange creatures from the sea are sold around Jeju as food. I have no idea what any of these are.

7.      Theme Park

This theme park consisted of just a Viking boat and precisely zero people when I passed it on a rainy July day.

8.      Dutch Hero

Korea has a rather close affinity with the Netherlands, most specifically football coach Guus Hiddink who led the national team to the finals of the 2002 World Cup. This patch of Holland in Jeju is located around an area dedicated to Dutch explorer, Hendrick Hammel.

9.      Halla Mountain

On the top of Halla Mountain, the highest in South Korea, lies a crater filled with a lake. The top can get extremely windy, so proceed with caution if you decide to venture up there.

10.      The Descent

The steps leading down from Halla Mountain will make you pause to admire the view ahead of you. The weather at the top is often drastically different from that at the bottom. I didn’t expect the rain and sleet.

11.      Cacti

There are cacti all over the island, which surprised me but made for some great photos. Chocolate made from the plants is produced and sold on Jeju.

12.      Stone Men

These little stone men are dotted all over Jeju island. I’m not quite sure what they represent, but the quirky characters and individual expressions make for interesting viewing and story making.

13.      Sunrise Peak

The view from my pension room over the sea with Sunrise Peak in the background. We didn’t go as it was clogged with tourists when we drove past it, unfortunately.

14.      Puppy Love

OK so this one might be cheating. This puppy was chilling out in the port town of Jangheung, where I caught the ferry over to Jeju.

15.      Volcanic Beach

The beaches on Jeju consist of a special kind of volcanic sand and are by no means your white sand paradise like the islands of Thailand and Indonesia. Crowded in summer, your best bet of having a bit of beach to yourself is if you go in June or September, before and after the main tourist season but while the weather’s still nice.

16.      Robotosaurus

If you visit just one museum in Jeju, make sure you go to the Believe It Or Not! Museum. Thoroughly cheesy but thoroughly entertaining, there are plenty of wacky and interactive exhibits inside to keep everyone amused.

17.      You’re Not in Korea

It’s moments like driving down a motorway and seeing a horse just ambling down the lane that make you realise you’re not in Seoul anymore. Jeju can, at times, seem like a completely different country.

Tom always had his nose stuck in an atlas as a child, and pretended that the stairs in his home were a magic carpet whisking him away to some faraway country that hed seen on the map. Now, he’s travelling the world and has taught in Korea, explored snow covered beaches in Poland, partied at Sydney Mardi Gras and almost thrown up from trying durian in Kuala Lumpur. You can keep up with Tom’s adventures through his blog, Waegook Tom, via Facebook, and by following @waegook_tom on Twitter, too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Psy and his Gangnam Style

Horse ridding step

If you don't know what I'm talking about it must be because you are living in some kind of Cave...or at least in an Internet Free World....

Psy is a South Korean singer-songwriter, he is popular for his funny videos and stage performances, he is currently working with YG Entertainment (BigBang/2NE1's record label)

Just 5 weeks ago PSY released the song "Gangnam Style" on his youtube channel and just passed the 40 million views, the video is everywhere, went from the Internet to the News such as CNN, CBC and soon famous artists such as Robbie Williams and T-Pain blogged or Tweeted something about this video.

Not only famous people are talking about this, the video went Viral and there are numerous Parodys of the Video and recently found the cuttest one thanks to a tweet.... this time is Oppa Ponny Style :) Watch and go..."AWWWWWWW!!!" with me.

Just as I was looking at Gangnam Style's wiki and I found out Daesung and Seungri (BigBang) ar the to Ajusshi's playuing a board game while Psy does his dance... and I don't know about you but Comedian Noh Hong-Cheol plays one of my fave parts on the video when he dances on top of PSY at the elevator O_O lol...

Just a couple of days ago Psy was contacted by Justin Bieber's manager and recently he traveled to LA to meet up with them to make a new version of the song...Justin Bieber's "LA Style" or something like that... to be honest I don't even like Hyuna's version that much.... :/ it's just not the same, NOONE does the Horse riding step like Psy, am I right?

So, if you still don't know PSY or his Gangnam style... here's the video... enjoy (I can almost bet you'll be trying the Horse step within an hour....)

-Gisela V.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TalkToMeInKorean Around The World

Hey everyone!

I'm SUPER-HIPER-MEGA excited, this morning I found out that TTMIK and Guests are coming to Mexico City in October.

Mexico will be the 1st country they will visit for the TalkToMeInKorean Around The World Tour.... As some of you know I started learning Korean from Hyunwoo at Korean Class 101 about 2 years ago, ever since I've been trying to do the self-studying thing for a while but its not working very well because...well I have a full time Job, I took Cooking/Baking back and you know all the situation with my mom :( , anyway I've been following Hyunwoo for a while, I got the TTMIK lessons at MyKoreanStore, I follow them on Twitter and Facebook, so when I heard they were coming to Mexico I was SUPER-HIPER-MEGA excited and specially because Javi Maldonado, Caeli and Eat Your Kimchi (!!!!) are coming along :D

Anyway... as you can see I'm VERY excited and I want to share you the information about it.

(Just as posted by TTMIK)

TalkToMeInKorean Alrededor Del Mundo – Festival de Cultura Coreana organizado por TTMIK

Estamos muy emocionados de anunciar nuestro 1er Festival de Cultura Coreana “TalkToMeInKorean Alrededor Del Mundo”. No te preocupes si esta vez no vamos a tu país porque vamos a ir alrededor del mundo para organizar eventos y reunirnos con nuestros amigos y seguidores en varios países.

El primer evento de “TalkToMeInKorean Alrededor Del Mundo” será en:

La ciudad de México
Día y hora

Domingo 7 de octubre de 2012   / 1 PM – 6 PM

World Trade Center, Ciudad de México
En este evento tendremos las siguientes actividades:

1. Lecciones divertidas de cultura coreana
2. Quiz de cultura coreana
3. Concurso de lengua coreana (Una beca total para los ganadores con valor de $21,000 pesos)
4. Concurso de K-Pop Dance (Premio total para los ganadores con valor de: $21,000 pesos)
5. Concurso de canto K-Pop (Premio total para los ganadores con valor de: $21,000 pesos)
+ Más actividades divertidas y tiempo para bailar “party time”
* Vamos a seleccionar a una persona de entre los asistentes al evento para que viaje a Corea con todos los gastos pagados. ¡Podrías ser tú!

El evento tendrá lugar en el World Trade Center de la ciudad de México el día 7 de octubre de 2012. Los conductores del evento serán Caeli del canal de YouTube “Caelike” y Javi de las páginas & Los invitados y jueces serán los profesores de y Simon & Martina de la página!


Los boletos comenzarán a venderse el 20 de agosto en la página
Registro para los concursos

¿Quieres ser parte de los concursos y mostrar tus habilidades en coreano, baile y canto? Puedes concursar y ganar fabulosos premios. El registro para los concursos comenzará el 20 de agosto el mismo día que comenzará la venta de boletos. Los participantes de los concursos también deberán comprar su boleto para poder participar y solo podrán registrarse a un solo concurso.
Grupo de Facebook

Tenemos un grupo en Facebook donde podrás recibir más actualizaciones sobre el evento e interactuar con otros asistentes al festival. Únete al grupo siguiendo el “link” de abajo.



We are very excited to announce the 1st event of our Korean culture festival, “TalkToMeInKorean Around The World.” Don’t worry if we are not coming to your country this time, because we are going to go around the world to host events and meet up with our listeners in various countries.

The 1st event of TalkToMeInKorean Around The World is going to be at:

Mexico City, Mexico
Date & Time

October 7th, 2012  / 1 PM – 6 PM

World Trade Center, Mexico City
At this event, we will have the following activities:

1. Fun Korean Culture Lessons
2. Korean Culture Quiz
3. Korean Language Contest (Total scholarship to winners: USD $1,800)
4. K-Pop Dance Cover Contest (Total prizes to winners: USD $1,800)
5. K-Pop Singing Contest (Total prizes to winners: USD $1,800)
+ And more fun activities and party time!
* We will choose one person to travel to Korea for free among the attendees. It could be you!

The event will be held at the World Trade Center in Mexico City on the 7th of October, 2012. The MCs will be Caelie from the YouTube channel “Caelike” and Javi from & The guests and judges will be all the teachers from and Simon & Martina from!


The tickets will start selling on the 20th of August at
Registration for Contests

Want to join the contests and show off your Korean language skills, dancing skills or singing skills? You can join the contests and win a prize! The contest registration will start on the 20th of August, the same day when the tickets will start selling. Contest participants also need to purchase a ticket, and you can only register for one contest.
Facebook Group

We have a facebook group (in Spanish) where you can receive further updates and interact with other attendees. Join the group by following the link below.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My 1st Korean Restaurant BiWon

Hi everyone, I feel like I've been very distracted from the blog lately....I just don't wanna bring all my saddness and worries over Sorry for my random blogging.

Anyway... Last week I realized I never wrote about my 1st experience in a Korean Restaurant, the very 1st time I tried Korean food was with the people I love the MOST -My mom and
my sister-  they were always very supportive with me when my Korean-Crush started and I still feel they continue doing it, only my mom is now doing it in a whole different level...

It brings me happiness (and some tears) to think about that 1st time at the Korean Restaurant... it was sunday and I honestly don't remember how we chose that one but it was definitely
the right choice, the place is quite big, clean and one of the "prettiest" Korean restaurants I've visited in Mexico, plus they have very decent prices, I mean being able to eat a whole
meal for $100 Pesos ($10,000KRW-$10USD) is a pretty good deal when talking about "international" food in Mexico.

The 1st time we went there each one ordered a Dish but if I may say...the thing I was most excited to try was the Kimchi...I have read about Kimchi before, I have a book with different
kinds of Kimchi and well... it's Kimchi one of the 1st things you learn about Korea is Kimchi, right?

My mom ordered a Haemul Pajeon (Korean Seafood Pancake), my sister had the Bibimbap and I had Yukaejang (Spicy beef soup).

The Kimchi... I knew I had to be cautious because of the strong taste... but my mom adventured to try it in a second (aww!!), it was garlicky and spicy...I can handle Spicy but Garlic is
something I wasn't very used sister? well she didn't want to try it really but at the end she did...a small bite but she did it and 3 years later she still can't eat it (lol), after
that 1st Kimchi I just fell inlove with it n_n

Okokokok,,,so back to the Food

The Haemul Pajeon was way to big for me mom so my sister and I had to help her (lol)...I had tried something like that in Veracruz sort of like a Spanish Tortilla but with seafood and less eggs...
I guess she liked it because she had that same dish on a different restaurant and everytime we visited the "Cultures Fair" (each May) she would have that at the Korean Pavilion :)
~Oh mom... how I miss you and your "I'm up for it!!" spirit~

My sister's Bibimbap came with the egg fried of course... she really liked and ate the whole thing (Weird thing is...she almost never finishes her food...) and now that I thinkg about's
weird she never said anything about the Gochujang paste tasting "weird" or something... I'm very proud of you sis :D haha

As for my Yukaejang... I LOVED IT... it is actually the reason why we keep going back to BiWon, specially now that has been raining, it's the perfect stew to have on a cold/rainy day....I don't care
that everytime I have it I leave a new stain on my clothes lol (I'm not very good eating soups).

My top 3 fav dishes here are Yukaeyang, Samgyeopsal (Fresh! not frozen and very yummy for about $15USD) and Bibimbap :)

Besides the great food, the affordable prices and the general atmosphere of the place, I really enjoy going there because it reminds me of my mom :) and I'm glad everytime I go there I go with people
I love (or at least people who really do enjoy Korean Food).

For those reasons... BiWon is one of my fave places to eat Korean Food.

Oh!! I forgot... the Banchan is nothing out of this world but they have one of the spiciest Kimchi's I've tried in Mexico <3

-Gisela V. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Korean Food in Mexico 6

Restaurant: Chang Won
Location: Florencia 19 Col. Juarez, Cuauhtémoc, D.F
Price Range: 150-300MXP (Per Person)

2 Weeks ago I went for some Korean Food with a friend, it was a Restaurant I've tried before a couple of years ago, to be honest the 1st time I didn't like it very much but on a rainy Sunday afternoon not many places were open so we (I) gave it another chance...

The place is right across the street of BiWon (The 1st Korean Restaurant I visited EVER).
When we got there the place was almost empty, only 1 table was occupied with 3 Koreans, and so we had the place all for ourself and decided on a table by the window, just when we got seated the waiter handed us the Menu.... Everytime I go for Korean food with someone who dosn't know much about it I recommend Bibimbap because the flavor is not so strong yet is one of Korea's most recognized dish, but my friend wanted something different....something very Korean and so we ordered 김치찌개 (Kimchi Stew), 된장 찌개 (Soybean Paste stew) and 삼겹살 (Thick slices of pork belly).

When we got there I was wondering why the tables were covered, for those of you who have never been to a Korean Restaurant, most of them have a table with an Electric grill... but this time it was covered.... My friend was kind enough (lol) to ask the waiter WHY it was covered and he just said "Because the owner got this portable grill" O_O..... hmmm and WHY oh why did the owner got Portable grills???...that was something we didn't dare to ask because on the inside we were laughing at his first answer... I think it's just waisting money but who knows....

 So... the Food...

The 삼겹살 was frozen so it wasn't that good :( plus we were so into our conversation that we forgot about it and it got cold ...and let me tell you... re-heating it is NOT a good idea (hahah)... I sort of thaught him "how" to eat the 삼겹살 (I'm no expert ok!!) ...for this Dish I would give them 2 out of 5 stars.

You can't go wrong with 김치찌개... it's hot, spicy and an excellent dish for a rainy day :D...By the way I just asked him how the 김치찌개 was and he said "It was good" so I will say 4 out of 5 stars (???)

As for my 된장 찌개 .... it was OK...a bit greasy (don't know why....) and it had clams and I don't like'em very much.... so I didn't eat them so this one will get 3 out of 5 stars

된장 찌개

What I did notice was that portions were smaller thant other places I've been... and I don't complain just because it was smaller but because it was a bit more expensive than...let's say BiWon (By the way... I realized I never actually wrote about this place so I'll do it SOON!) and BiWon is considered one of the "best-nicest" Korean Restaurants of the area. 

As for the 반찬 it was good...everything except for 1 that I never knew what it was... it looked like Kimchi-something but it had the consistency of worms O_O ... we received a great variety plus a very yummy rice... I think it was too much food for the 2 of us but we were there like 2 hours so we had plenty of time to finish almost 
everything :) 

To be honest... I don't think I'll be going back to that place... I have it 2 chances and non of them amazed me... neither the Food, the Service, the price or the atmosphere ... so Chang Won will only receive 2 1/2 stars out of 5. 

Next time I'll write the review of BiWon (one of my fave places in Korea Town).... I guess I'll have to go back!! Anyone wants to join me?? :D 

-Gisela V.