Where to Go & What to Do over Korea’s Long Weekend Holiday in May

Mark your calendar now as there is a long weekend ahead of us in May in Korea!

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※Children’s Day Weekend: May 3~7

This year, with Buddha’s Birthday on May 3 and Children’s Day on May 5, you can make it a five-day holiday by using a vacation day on May 4.

You may even be able to extend your holidays to May 9 if you get your day off on Korean Labor Day on May 1 and use two vacation days on May 2 and 8.

Now, if you still haven’t decided where to go and what to do over the long weekend in May, make sure to check out this cool travel idea below. Start booking!

Have a Sand-sational Time in Busan!

How about a seaside escape to a vibrant southern port city of Busan, the country’s second largest city? Offering a different atmosphere from the capital city of Seoul and incredibly diverse experiences to be had, Busan is a destination absolutely worth traveling to.

Surrounded by seven beaches, the city is an all-time favorite summer destination and the long weekend in May can be the perfect time to visit before the big summer rush begins!

Trazy.com is offering an all-inclusive 3D2N package deal at an early bird price of $158 USD per person from now until April 16. Bookings will be valid for travel until May 2, 2017. For more information, click here.busan-citadines-hotel.jpg

Why book this package?

  • Worry-free: confirmed transportation and accommodation even on a busy holiday – everything is covered!
  • Convenient location & comfortable accommodation: 2 nights at Citadines Busan Haeundae Hotel, only 5 mins away from Haeundae Beach
  • Optional tour to historic sites: 1-day tour to the neighboring historic city of Gyeongju available at an additional cost of $79 USD
  • Free time of your own: 2 full days of free time to explore Busan’s best sights (one free day if you book the optional tour)

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For those who are going to stay only in Busan, consider entertaining yourself with the following activities during your free time!

Trazy’s Picks: Top 5 Things to Do During 3D2N Trip to Busan

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  1. Try sailing on a yacht or cruise around the waters of Haeundae Beach.
  2. Hop on the Busan City Tour Bus and discover the highlights of Busan.
  3. Soar up the sky and peer down the entire city while paragliding.
  4. Try the street foods in Nampodong and visit Korea’s largest seafood market, Jagalchi Market nearby.
  5. Take a tour around the best night viewing spots Special City Night Tour.

Browse more awesome things to do in Busan here.

Book at early bird prices until April 16, 2017 KST!

Browse the best things to do in South Korea now at Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop.button31

Photo Credits
magicvsmagic72 광안리 수변공원 야경 via photopin (license)

3 Things You Need to Know About Gwangbokjeol (Aug 15) in Korea, the Korean Independence Day

광복절August 15 is one of the most meaningful days to Koreans. It is a national holiday in Korea and the National Liberation Day of Korea, Gwangbokjeol. It is celebrated every year on 15th of August, and it will be marking 71st year of Independence in 2016.

On this day, you will get to see many buildings and streets with Korean national flags called “Taegeukgi”.

1. Why is Gwangbokjeol so special?

광복절5August 15 is the day when Korea was liberated from the Japanese colony in 1945 and also when Korean government was established in 1948 after overcoming the fuss generated from the liberation.

It is the day when Japan declared unconditional surrender and the World War 2 was over, which made Korea restore its own power. ‘Gwangbok‘ means to regain the light, which perfectly describes the restoration of national independence that was lost for 36 years under the Japanese invasion.

2. People who sacrificed their lives for greater purposes.

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Ryu Gwansun, one of the most famous independence fighters.

Many people were suffered and killed during the colonial period. Some voluntarily gave up their lives in exchange of the liberation of Korea.

Ryu Gwansun (1902~1920) is the most famous figure who became the symbol of the March 1 Movement (1919) that took a big role in taking back Korea’s independence.

She was only a 16-year-old student when she organized the March 1 movement at her home town. In the demonstration on March 1st, her family members were brutally killed by the Japanese soldiers and she was imprisoned.

Even though she was locked up in the prison, she continued to declare the liberation of Korea. However, due to the harsh torture that 16-year-old body could not stand, she passed away in the prison.

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Ahn Jung Geun, the nationalist who killed Ito Hirobumi.

Ahn Jung Geun (1876~1910) was a Korean independence activist and nationalist who is known for his assassination of Ito Hirobumi, the prime minister of Japan and former Resident-General of Korea back when Korea was about to be colonized by the Japan.

He shot Ito Hirobumi and yelled for Korean Independence in Russian, waving the Korean flag. He was later sentenced to death by the Japanese government but his perspectives of Pan-Asia, which is similar to the concept of European Union but among Korea, China and Japan, were highly praised even by the Japanese.

You can visit Ahn Jung Geun’s memorial hall located in Seoul.

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Kim Gu, Korean nationalist politician

Kim Gu (1876~1949) is another historic figure who cannot be excluded when talking about the liberation. During the Japanese colonial period, he moved to China to establish the provisional government of Korea that worked as the main quarter for the liberation movements. As he was always threatened to be killed by Japan, he had to move to one place to another frequently, but never gave up working for the liberation.

Finally after the liberation, Kim Gu came back to Korea, but Korea was divided into South and North. He insisted on building one single country, instead of two. However, in 1949, one year later after the establishment of South Korean government, he was assassinated by a Korean soldier. There are many political rumors behind his death, but nothing has been proved yet.

3. The place of despair and will, Seodaemun Prison

광복절4When people in Seoul were captured for the action that led to the liberation of Korea, they were sent to Seodaemun prison located in Seoul. People who were captured went to court run by Japanese and were tortured brutally in the prison.

After the liberation, the prison changed into an educational place to remember how the prisoners under the Japanese colonial were treated inhumanely. If you are interested in learning about Korean history, try a visit to this prison. For directions, click here.

You can also learn more about the historical backgrounds of the anti-Japanese struggle and the historical figures during the colonial rule by visiting the Independence Hall of Korea located in Cheonan.independence hallThere will be a variety of events taking place across the country to celebrate this meaningful day for the peoeple of Korea.

In Seoul, there will be a walking contest, performances, a photo exhibition and many more programs around Cheonggye Stream from 10am until 4pm. In Busan, you will be able to enjoy face painting, Taegukgi fashion contest and plenty more at Yongdusan Park from 11am until 1pm.

If you want to learn more about Gwangbokjeol, take a look at this great video. 😉

Stay tuned for more travel updates on our blog, or simply visit our website, Trazy.com, for all the latest things to do in South Korea! 😉button_main 2

Understanding March 1st of South Korea | Independence Movement Day

allowto_freedownload_snap_1000Today, the 1st of March, also referred to as ‘Samil Jeol’ in Korean, is a public holiday in South Korea. It is a day that commemorates Samil Independence Movement in 1919.

However, this day is more than just a national holiday. In fact, March 1st was a turning point in Korean history, because it triggered a nationwide civil protest or an independence movement against the ruling of Korea by Japan, and ultimately led to the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.

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1. Background

In 1919, right after the Paris Peace Conference, (in this conference, president Wilson proclaimed “self-determination”) many Korean patriots thought that the independence is not far away. At the same time, Korean students studying in Tokyo published a statement demanding freedom from colonial rule.

2. Progress

At 2 pm, 33 people who formed the core of the independence movement convened at Taehwagwan Restaurant and read the Korean Declaration of Independence. Initially, they planned to assemble at Tapgol Park, or Pagoda Park. However, they decided to do it in a private location to prevent it from turning into a riot. They wanted to do it in peaceful way without making innocent victims. The leaders of the movement signed the document and sent a copy to the Governor General. They even called police themselves and informed their action to be arrested.Nac050Despite the leaders’ concerns, massive crowds assembled in Pagoda Park waiting for the leaders. However, a young student started to read the declaration publicly instead of the leaders because they didn’t show up. Afterwards, the gathering formed into a peaceable procession, which the Japanese military police attempted to suppress.

As the processions continued to grow, the Japanese local and military police could not control the crowds. The panicked Japanese officials called in military forces to quell the crowds including the naval forces. As the public protests continued to grow, the suppression turned to violence resulting in massacres and other atrocities.

3. Massacre

For example, according to a foreign journalist who witnessed the massacre described that the Japanese police herded the inhabitants of the Village of Jeam-ri and locked them up in a church and burnt it. While the church was burning, the Japanese police shot through the burning windows to ensure that no one made it out alive.img_168_01Approximately 2,000,000 Korean had participated in the more than 1,500 demonstrations and many were massacred by the Japanese police force and army. According to the book, ‘Bloody History of the Korean Independence Movement’, 7,509 people killed, 15,849 wounded and 46,303 arrested.

Many arrested were taken to the infamous Seodaemun Prison where they faced torture death without trial or due process.s29_E03

4. Result

The movement was a catalyst for the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea in Shanghai in April and also influenced nonviolent resistance in India and many other countries. The Korean Liberation Army was also subsequently formed and allowed to operate in China. The movement also triggered a rise in mobilization of Catholic and Protestant activists as well as activism mobilized in the U.S., China and Russia.

After this huge movement, Japanese government changed its way to rule Korea. Governor-General Hasegawa accepted the responsibility for the loss of control and was replaced by Saito. Then the military police force was replaced by a civilian force and a limited press freedom was permitted.allowto_freedownload_snap_996And finally, after the Korean War (May 24th, 1949) March 1st was designated as a national holiday in South Korea.

5. Where To Commemorate Independence Movement Day

In order to commemorate this day of great significance, Koreans put national flags on the windows at homes or pay a visit to historic sites. n these historic sites, various performances and hands-on events are held to commemorate March 1st Movement. Take a look and see where you can also join the commemoration events! 😉

A. Seodaemun Prison History Hall

13575253823_383b60b5a8Many Koreans visit Seodamun Prison History Hall to remember the brave spirits of those who fought for the country’s independence and democracy.1869_20140713172924It’s an actual prison where independence activists were jailed and tortured. So here, you will be able to witness the pain and struggle of Koreans during the colonization period. 112_20130109230831The place is well preserved and you will be able to take a look around the real prison cells back then, the torture chambers and the tools that were used to torture the Korean patriots, as well as the displays photographs of execution. For details and directions, click here.

B. The Independence Hall of Korea

2764843653_8807fb78f0Another best spot you may want to visit on March 1st is the Independence Hall of Korea, which is highly reputed as one of the best museums in South Korea.
5355832097_c211848a3b2764842443_94097ec0ecFrom indoor to outdoor exhibitions, various monuments, and displays of photos, the Independence Hall of Korea is an awesome museum where you can learn everything about the Korean independence movement history.korean-flags-804528_1920.jpgAnd if you do make a visit to this place, don’t miss out on Taeguek Square where 815 Koreans flags are raised and the view is truly amazing! For details and directions, click here.
djsim_377058_1[661695]Now, if these historic sites amaze you and you want to discover and explore more about South Korea, visit Trazy.com, Korea’s #1 Travel Shop, where you can find out all the latest things to do in this wonderful country. 🙂button_main 2

Photo Credits
Seodaemun Prison History Hall via photopin (license)
독립기념관 獨立紀念館 Independence Hall of Korea via photopin (license)
SS100391 via photopin (license)
SS100382 via photopin (license)

8 Best 2015 Christmas Highlights in South Korea (Photos)

IMG_0685Here comes the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas. Right now, South Korea is completely filled with awesome vibes only! Here are the highlights of Christmas in South Korea that’ll glisten up your travel!

1. ‘Happy Christmas Party’ at Lotte World

Photo credits to @happylotteworld (Lotte World’s Instagram).

Lotte World is the only indoors amusement theme park, located in Jamsil, eastern Seoul. In addition to the rides that are available at Lotte world, the “Happy Christmas Party”, which runs until the very day of Christmas, promises to bring an amazing show with a variety of characters and performances throughout the evening. Tickets are available here. If you’re a K-pop fan, here’s a video of EXO having fun at Lotte World below! 😉

2. ‘Christmas Fantasy’ & ‘Romantic Illumination’ at Everland!

Here’s the most exquisite Christmas tree you’ll ever meet in Korea! Just visit Everland, one of the most famous and largest amusement parks in Korea.photo_cont3_03For this special season, Everland is offering two main events, ‘Christmas Fantasy’ and ‘Romantic Illumination’, which include various entertainments such as fantastic display of lights and Moonlight Parade, and the magical fireworks in the sky! Want to go see the lights in Everland? Go ahead and get a One-Day Pass at a discounted price here.

Oh! And don’t forget to experience the notoriously thrilling roller-coaster ride on T Express, which boast the steepest ride in the world with a top speed of 104 km per hour at a 77-degree angle! Try the ride, you’ll know what we’re talking about 😉

3. Winter Festival- ‘Christmas Party’ at Seoul Land

Full of Christmas spirits, Seoul Land is also offering Christmas Magic Show and Light Fantasy Show, as well as a great excursion like snow sledding! You and your family will love it! For details, click here.

Now, enough of amusement parks! Let’s get out on the streets in Korea to see what’s going on at this time of the year!

4. Myeongdong Lights Festival

Here’s the most famous and popular shopping district in Seoul, Myeongdong, and awe-inspiring Christmas decorative lights have gone up everywhere on the streets!

But! Take note. During Christmas Eve, this place gets jam-packed 😦 So, try to avoid at all costs, and visit it another day (usually the Christmas day itself is less crowded than Christmas Eve).

5. Seoul City Hall Plaza

Year after year, Seoul City Hall never fails to bring the Christmas cheer and it brings it hard. As a busy place with festivals happening nearly everyday, it’s no wonder that City Hall goes full force with Christmas spirit.

6. Namsan Tower

Right now at N Seoul Tower, you can meet this huge Christmas tree called a Kissing Tree. A Kissing Tree….hmm…couples and lovers, you get the idea, right? So, take your love to N Seoul Tower and make unforgettable memories beneath this wonderful Kissing Tree! 😉

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Photo credits to N Seoul Tower.

And don’t forget to visit the observatory, where you can enjoy the spectacular 360 degree view of the entire city of Seoul! The admission ticket for N Seoul Tower is available here.

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Photo credits to N Seoul Tower.

Want to see what’s more out there outside of Seoul? Then, here are the Christmas highlights in Busan!

As the second most populous city in Korea after Seoul, there are definitely many festivals that can rival those in the capital. Here are some that you should definitely check out if you’re in Busan:

7. Nampodong Christmas Tree and Lights Festival

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The Christmas festival in Nampodong, in Busan, has been going on for 7 years in a row now, and has been making its name known as one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Korea. Want to take a trip to Busan? See ‘Private Van tour in Busan or Gyeongju‘ or ‘Busan Night Tour with the Locals‘, which offer a convenient tour around other cities in Korea!

And watch this wonderful video of a stage at Nampodong, and have yourself a merry little Christmas!

8. Seomyeon Christmas Festival

Here’s another downtown area you should visit in Busan, called Seomyeon, that has literally everything that you can imagine, from great food to an amazing shopping experience! It’s now lit up with Christmas lights and decorations, so take a look.Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 11.22.39

Feel the vibes from the photos and videos? Then, spend your Christmas or winter holidays in South Korea!

Korea’s #1 travel guide, Trazy.com will help you, from convenient travel arrangements to easy and simple booking, just about everything to make your travel in South Korea the most wonderful trip in your life time. 🙂

See “SOUTH KOREA’S 10 BEST WINTER ACTIVITIES & FESTIVALS (VIDEOS)” 

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