Category Archives: Traveling

Busan lights up the air over Gwangali in the 2009 Fireworks Festival

busan fireworks5A beautiful gallery of photos of the 2009 Busan (Gwangali) Fireworks festival is here on Naver.com

Sometimes the city is spelled “Pusan” with a “P” and so if you want to look up more photos, video and other details about the Busan (aka Pusan) Fireworks Festival, you may need to type in “Pusan” with a “p,” just fyi.  Nevertheless, this show was one of the most AMAZING shows you’ll ever get to witness.  They did it up quite well here in Busan and it seems to get better each year.

Following are some great photos taken by John Bernardi and also a link to the actual show on Youtube.  It was impressive… Continue reading

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AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER in South Korea NOVEMBER 2009

korea prayerU.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
NOVEMBER 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please disseminate this message broadly to other U.S. citizens.

In this issue:

1. U.S. Embassy Seoul Launches Consular Information Unit
2. Online Passport Form Wizard makes applications a breeze!
3. Tips for a Smooth Consular Visit
4. Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Influenza Information
5. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
6. Twitter for Worldwide Travel Warnings
7. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
8. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: November 11, 2009 (Veterans Day), and November 26 (Thanksgiving Day)
9. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES NEWSLETTER in South Korea OCTOBER 2009

US_Korea_PosterU.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
OCTOBER 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please disseminate this message broadly to other U.S. citizens.

In this issue:

1. Introduction of new American Citizens Services Chief, Buck Waldrop
2. Online Passport Form Wizard makes applications a breeze!
3. Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Influenza Information
4. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
5. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
6. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: October 12, 2009 (Columbus Day)
7. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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AMERICAN CITIZEN SERVICES (for South Korea) NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2009

korea_usU.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
SEPTEMBER 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea. Please disseminate this message broadly to other U.S. citizens.

In this issue:

1. Next Consular Services Visit to Busan, September 29-30
2. Federal Voting Assistance Program Available on Social Networking Sites
3. IRS Seeking to Enforce Penalty for Failure to Provide SSNs on Passport Applications
4. Seasonal Flu and H1N1 Influenza Information
5. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
6. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
7. Upcoming Embassy Holidays: September 7, 2009 (Labor Day)
8. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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Talk about sh*t hitting the fan…

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Is it me?  Or did I just land in the country most well known for “drama?”  

Just visited my great friend Derek at his wedding in Hawaii with the beautiful bride Bonnie and great friends.  It was seriously a beautiful wedding. Here’s the couple dancing to “Bella’s Lullaby” played by you would think a professional piano player, but rather by their niece “Rachel” who is AMAAAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZING!!!! (think of Will Ferrell yelling this like he did at the Harvard Commencement speech).

Continue reading

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US Embassy information for Expats in the Republic of Korea April 2009

U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
April 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea. Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. IRS Information for Overseas Taxpayers
2. Additional U.S. Tax Information Resources
3. Association for Teachers of English in Korea
4. Access to Korean Websites for Foreigners
5. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
6. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
7. Upcoming Holidays
8. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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US Embassy information for Expats in the Republic of Korea March 2009

Here’s the latest news from the US Diplomatic core here in Korea for us U.S. Citizens around the country.  By the way, don’t forget to file your taxes before the April 15th deadline! :

U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
March 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. U.S. Tax Information Resources
2. New IRS Brochure for Overseas Taxpayers
3. New IRS Regulation: Disclosure of Tax Information by Preparers
4. Next Consular Services Visit to Busan, March 17-18
5. A Message to American Communities and Organizations in Korea
6. Foreigners to Get Unified Identification
7. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
8. Upcoming Holidays
9. Embassy Contact Information
Continue reading

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US Embassy information for Expats in the Republic of Korea February 2009

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U.S. State Department, U.S. Embassy Seoul
Consular Section, American Citizen Services (ACS) Newsletter
February 2009

The U.S. Embassy is transmitting the following monthly newsletter via its warden system as a public service to U.S. citizens in the Republic of Korea.  Please feel free to disseminate this message to U.S. citizens in your organizations or to other Americans you know.

In this issue:

1. U.S. Tax Information Resources
2. New IRS Regulation: Disclosure of Tax Information by Preparers
3. New Law Makes Escape Tougher For Tax Exiles
4. Foreigners to Get Unified Identification
5. Korea Launches English-Language Legal Information Website
6. Recent Travel Warnings and Alerts
7. Upcoming Holiday: February 16
8. Embassy Contact Information Continue reading

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Koreans can enter the U.S. and Americans can enter Korea visa free for 90 days NOW

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As of the 2nd week of November 2008, Korea and the USA have entered into agreement to allow each others’ citizens to visit “visa free” up to 90 days.  Americans don’t have many restrictions, but Koreans have to check with the U.S.’s Homeland Security 72 hours before they depart.  More about the changes below (originally published in the Korea Times): Continue reading

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California Beach gets a thumbs up from this Korean American

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california beach group photo

california beach group photo

No, I’m not talking about any California Beach, but rather THE California Beach in Kyongju (or spelled Gyeongju) here in South Korea. Several posts ago, I wrote about how I was considering going to California Beach this weekend & despite almost falling asleep through the departure time, I threw my hurried & perspiring body into a cab to arrive at the bus to Kyongju on time (of course, after getting to the bus, we find they weren’t leaving until 40 minutes after the deadline they gave us this morning of 7:30a). Continue reading

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Korean food becoming trendy?

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I noticed a recent article in the U.S.’s leading newspaper profiling Korean food. It appears their travel writer decided to profile cuisine from the land of the morning calm. However, one article doesn’t necessarily allow me to generalize so hastily. It takes two examples for me to plaster the world with a generalization that could be the furthest thing from the truth…but for me, it works.

The other example telling me Korean food is trendy now was from an email a friend of mine from Seattle forwarded. She passed on another one of her friend’s emails saying:

” Look what McCormick & Schmick has on their menu now! Our very own Kbbq & Kimchee! Continue reading

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A Californian Beach in Korea?

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One water park I’m considering visiting this weekend is called California Beach in Gyeongju, just an hour+ north of Busan. Some pictures I found on Naver of the place follow. During July (18th) through August (24th), it supposedly is open from 9a to 8:30p (with potential extended hours to 9:15p). The cost is 54,000 won for an all day pass, but if you come after 3p, they have a twilight special for 43,000 won. If it turns out to be fun & I have some pics & stories to tell you, expect a post here!

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Kooling off in Korea…

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Yes, I mean cooling off in South Korea…

The summer’s turned balmy and very hot here in Korea & the thoughts of jumping into cool waters are on my mind constantly.  This past week, I saw a sign advertising a waterpark on a subway ride home, but couldn’t remember the name of it before I got home to find one nearby online.

So, my quest to find a water park near Busan grew stronger.  I’ve learned a bit & thought I should share my findings to anyone wanting to play a little in the water to reduce their body temperatures a few degrees — probably would help with all the many people getting heated even at work. Continue reading

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Just short of 600 views…

Like I said “porcupines,” “Korean women” and many others like “how to say hello (or thank you) in Korean” are dominating the traffic on the blog these days.  For a snippet of the rest of the popular posts, check out the following WordPress stats for The Real “South” Korea: Continue reading

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Traveling to Korea without a visa…

So, a friend of mine here at work asks me a great question about if “their friends can visit Korea without a travel visa” from the United States.  Well, the answer is:

If they don’t stay for more than 30 days.  Supposedly, U.S. citizens with valid visas can travel into South Korea without a visa up to 30 days.  If they plan to stay for more than 90 days, they need to get a working visa or suitable alternative.  More details here.

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