Discover The Other Side Of Seoul: K-Style Hub, Trick Eye Museum (Hongdae), BIBAP “The Chef” (A Hilarious Nonverbal Performance)
This trip focuses on the other side of Seoul that tourists don’t usually go.
For the coming PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games (9 February to 25 February), I had the pleasure to be invited by Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) to South Korea from 29 November to 3 December 2017 on Wow PyeongChang fam trip, together with 12 fun-loving participants from eight countries across the world.
For the itinerary, we took some time to visit Gangwon province, where PyeongChang, Gangneung and Jeongseon are the host cities of the coming Olympic Games. We also spent 3 fruitful days in Seoul, where we were treated to a special type of experience that most visitors might not have experienced before, and for us to keep our readers up-to-date, especially if you are planning for your next Korea trip.
On the first day in Seoul, we arrived at Incheon International Airport from all around the world, namely Canada, China, Malaysia, Russia, Philippines, Singapore, Turkey and Vietnam.
Without wasting our precious time in the Hallyu motherland, we kicked off Wow PyeongChang with our first destination of the whole trip – K-Style Hub.
It is one of the top must-visit places for all foreign tourists, especially for first-time travelers. Operated by Korean Tourism Organization, it is the only centre that provides all types of tourism information on travelling within the country for local and foreign tourists. It is an ultimate venue for everyone to experience the charms of hallyu and culture and tourism of Korea.
K-Style Hub was only recently opened in April 2016 with much fanfare and publicity, graced by the appearance of the then-President Park Geun Hye and famous actor Song Joong Ki. As what its name suggests, K-Style Hub is a centre for everything that is in Korean style.
On the 2nd floor, the Tourist Information Center is the only place in Korea to provide tourism information for local and foreign visitors. The Korean Culinary Culture Exhibition Hall is located at the 3rd floor, with a special display area inspired by the windows of a hanok (traditional Korean house) that promotes Korean seasonal customs and foods.
Moving up to the 4th floor, we visited the Korean Food Experience Hall where we can explore and experience Korean cuisine. There is also a Learning Zone where various cooking experiences are conducted. With the Eating Zone, you can try out different types of Korean specialty dishes. And finally, although we did not go up to the 5th floor due to time constraint, we were informed it is the Cultural Products Promotion Center. As the name suggests, it is a space for all forms of Korean culture; appreciating traditional Korean clothing, promoting tourism and venture businesses, and for holding traditional cultural experience programs.
We were able to do a brief tour around the K-Style Hub where our guide showed us the different zones such as medical tourism zone, virtual reality (VR) experience zone, K-star zone and Korean food zone.
For a comprehensive tour around K-Style Hub, it could probably take at least half a day or so. There are really many fun things to do and explore as you get to learn more in-depth about Korean culture such as attractions, foods, costumes and traditions. Also, kudos to KTO for being thoughtful to even accommodate prayer rooms specially for our Muslim friends!
Address: (2nd – 5th floor) 40, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul (04521)
Public hotline: +82-2-729-9457
How to get to K-Style Hub:
Subway Line 1: Jonggak Station Exit No. 5. The KTO Building is located across from Youngpoong Books.
Subway Line 2: Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station Exit No. 2. The KTO Building is in the direction toward Cheonggyecheon Stream.
Subway Line 5: Gwanghwamun Station Exit No. 5. The KTO Building is in the direction of the Dong-A Ilbo Building
Seoul Trick Eye Museum
Tucked in the bustling streets of Hongdae, Seoul Trick Eye Museum is an art gallery with 2D paintings created using ‘trompe l’oeil’ techniques to illusionize 3D effects for visitors’ interaction. It’s all about optical illusion.
Unlike typical art galleries, you don’t just view the paintings, but instead, you interact with them by posing yourself imaginatively in the right spot so that you look as if you are part of the original work. So if you love taking photos, this is the right place for you!
Trick Eye Museum is also available in Busan, Jeju and Yangpyeong in South Korea. Outside of Korea, it has branches in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Apart from Trick Eye Museum, there are also two other museums located in the same building to complete your museum illusion day. They are Ice Museum and Love Museum.
Ice Museum is located at the other corner from the Trick Eye Museum. It isn’t a big museum like the other two, but it’s also you wouldn’t be able to stay there for long too.
With temperature maintained at sub-zero to keep the ice sculptures frozen, Ice Museum is freezing cold. Visitors can get to know how cold it would be with the temperature display at the entrance.
Love Museum is a trick eye museum that is all about eroticism art. It is a place where fantasy becomes a reality for mature adults with all those erotic images everywhere, and of course, you can’t enter if you are under 19.
The museum also offers different themes of images which you can take photos of, such as Femme Fatale and Dream House.
Guide tip: If you are too shy to take pictures with the exhibits, no worries. A pair of love glasses is readily available for you.
*Since there are readers who are below 19, most photos of Love Museum cannot be uploaded into this article.
20, Hongik-ro 3-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 마포구 홍익로3길 20 (서교동)
BIBAP: Bibimbap Performance
For the last program of today, we did not visit any specific attraction but went to watch a funny performance called Bibap. A quick intro of Bibap since its debut in 2009 – It is generally a nonverbal performance based on the Korean representative dish bibimbap which is rice mixed with vegetables and beef.
So what is a nonverbal performance you may ask? Basically, the actors perform using the sounds of making bibimbap with beat-boxing and acappella, with energetic movements through b-boying, acrobatics and martial arts. Above all, it is hilariously funny!
For the past eight years, Bibap has been making its rounds in Korea and overseas through food conferences. Today, it is known as the pioneer of a new cultural trend Eatertainment, which is the combination of eating and entertainment.
Typically, Bibap is staged in a regular kitchen where chefs of different personalities make (or perform) different dishes according to the orders. It is highly interactive and engaging as the two rival sous chefs compete against each other with random audience members selected as the judges of each dish.
And yes, we laughed a lot on that evening. It was probably the only day that I laughed so much this year. Even though all of us just arrived at Korea on that day in the morning and afternoon, Bibap is like a laughing gas that kept us laughing uncontrollably but shook off our fatigue effectively.
In fact, performances of Bibap in different countries have been found on YouTube which you can preview what’s expected from this nonverbal performance. But please take note, you have to experience the live performance to actually crack you up, so be sure to head down to Cine Core Building and watch the actors performing right in front of you. It’s worth every dollar spent!
More information on Bibap can be found on KTO website.
Cine Core Building B2, 386, Samil-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul 서울 종로구 삼일대로 386 (관철동)
- Discover The Other Side Of Seoul: K-Style Hub, Trick Eye Museum (Hongdae), BIBAP “The Chef” (A Hilarious Nonverbal Performance)
- Experience [email protected], Seoul Sky, Changdeokgung, Gwangjang Market & MBC World
- Discover Arari Village, Byeongbangchi Skywalk, PyeongChang Tourism Night
- Experience “Goblin” Woljeongsa Fir Tree Forest Path & Jumunjin Breakwater, Making Hangwa, Gangneung Coffee Street
- Exploring PyeongChang 2018 House In Gangneung
- This Aesthetically Pleasing Hotel In Korea Is An Art Museum – Haslla Art World
- Hunting For “Goblin” At Woljeongsa Temple, Jumunjin Breakwater & BBQ Premium Chicken Cafe
This article is presented for 2017 Wow PyeongChang Fam Trip, invited by Korean Tourism Organization (KTO). Special thanks to KTO staff Miss Lim Nam Hee, Miss Jinny Kim and Miss Jenny Oh.
Reporting by Adrian Cheng