Last weekend to catch the Seoul Photo Festival | Through December 30
Get a sense of Seoul’s expansiveness—in space as well as time—with these photographs from each of the city’s districts and major historical periods. Images collected from professional and amateur photographers will reconstruct places and events, not according to journalistic accounts but rather to regular citizens’ experiences. The theme of the festival, sponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, is “Thousand Villages, Thousand Memories” and promises to offer an intimate record of the city. Exhibitions at the Seoul Museum of Art, City Hall and Seoul Museum of History. Free admission. See the official site (Korean) or KTO for more info.
Namsangol Ice Festival | Through December 31
This beautiful hanok village in the heart of Seoul comes to life in the dead of winter with brilliant outdoor ice sculptures. The Namsangol Ice Festival runs through New Year’s Eve. Open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Take the metro to Chungmuro station. The entrance of the Namsangol Hanok Village is between exits 3 and 4. See photos here.
Encore screenings from the Seoul Independent Film Festival | December 29–30
Indie Space’s last screening of 2012 is a collection of films from the Seoul Independent Film Festival showcasing “the 99%”. The encore screening includes: The Women of Brukman (Isaac ISITAN), High Tech, Low Life (Stephen MAING), Sounds Like a Revolution (Summer LOVE, Jane MICHENER), Reporting…a Revolution (Bassam MORTADA), Cold January (Romany SAAD), The Sun’s Incubator (Ammar AL-BEIK). 6,000 won admission. At Indie Space (1-152 2nd Floor, Shinmunro 2-ga, Jongno-gu), located within Garden Place (map).
Reflect upon the past year by watching the sun set on 2012 | Monday, December 31
From VisitSeoul.net: “For sunsets, the two best places to go are Noeul Park in Sangam-dong and Dongjak Bridge on the Hangang River. Noeul (“sunset”) Park was once a landfill, but it is now an elevated grassland that offers a wonderful spot to watch the sun set over the Hangang River. Dongjak Bridge, meanwhile, offers breathtaking sunsets over the river and the skyscrapers of Yeouido. If you don’t like the cold, the bridge’s Sunset Café lets you enjoy the sunset warm and sound over a hot drink.”
Ring in the New Year at Jonggak | December 31–January 1
Ring in the new year with the crowd, cameras, celebrities, concerts and a whole lot of chaos at the Bosingak Belfry (보신각터). Take the metro line 1 to Jonggak station (exit 4) and follow the mob of people and the police barricades to the festivities. A word of advice: Not for the claustrophobic. Leave your children at home, or on your shoulders.
Catch the first sunrise of 2013 from Mt. Achasan | January 1, 7–8 a.m.
Performances, making New Year resolutions and wishes and other activities will greet early birds at Seoul’s easternmost mountainside on New Year’s Day. Organizers behind the Mt. Achasan Winter Festival claim that the mountain is first place in Seoul to see the sunrise, and this year’s is expected at 7:46 a.m. so get your hot packs ready and arrive early. Afterwards, reward yourself with the brunch buffet at The Kitchen at the W Seoul or stick around until 11:30 am and catch a vegan lunch at Loving Hut, located just in front of Achasan Station (exit 1). Directions to Achasan Winter Festival: Take the metro to Achasan Station (exit 2) and walk straight about 100 meters and take a left at the intersection. Walk straight approximately 500 meters and follow the curve of the road to the right for about 200 more meters. Following the curving road and you will pass Younghwasa temple and Dong-ee elementary school on your left. Soon you’ll come across the Achasan parking lot on your left and a hiking path that will bring you to the Sunrise Plaza (해맞이광장). The entire walk from the station should take up to 40 minutes. Map here http://me2.do/GXrDh6q.
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