Tag Archives: south korea


7 Unique Beers You Can Order in Seoul

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Remember when we introduced South Korea’s beer and whipped cream combo last week? Well, it turns out that there are a lot of creative beers you can try at local pubs, according to Rocket News 24 and Korean info-guide Myung-poom Yoo-yong Jungbo (명품 유용 정보). Many of these beers are also incredibly affordable, with the lowest price being around $3.

So, if you’re in a mood for a drink that’s more adventurous, here are seven unique beers you can order in Seoul:

Classic cream beer
Chir Beer 369, Price: 3,600 won (USD $3.28)

크Photo courtesy of flycar.tistory.com

After our previous post, many of you asked where you can buy cream beer in South Korea. While there are a couple small pubs that serve this new classic drink, one bar you can visit is Chir Beer 369, which is located in Sangsu, Seoul. Chir Beer is also renowned for its fried chicken, so it’s a good idea to munch on some Cajun chicken wings to balance out the sweet cream beer.

Cotton candy beer
Pub: Bonggu Beer (봉구비어), Price: 4,000 won (USD $3.64)

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 5.02.06 PMPhoto courtesy of 명품 유용 정보

Bonggu Beer is a franchise draft beer bar known for its cheese sticks, french fries and high-quality beer. In addition to cream beer, the Bonggu Beer also serves beer topped with cotton candy. However, judging from the picture, it looks like you have to eat half of the hot pink mountain of fluff before you can even take a sip of alcohol.

Mojito Beer
Romance Salon (낭만싸롱), Price: 6,000 won (USD $5.47)

1598017_1457980351139003_279462513_nPhoto courtesy of Jinzzum

Romance Salon is a cute college bar located near the Seoul National University subway station. The bar serves a wide range of creative beverages, including the cookie beer, mango beer and mojito beer, in mason jars. According to reviews, the bar is pretty popular among young women.

Military Canteen Beer
Pub: Flying Chicken (닭날다), Price: 4,000 won (USD $3.64)

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 4.30.58 PMPhoto courtesy of 명품 유용 정보

Flying Chicken is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant located in Hongdae. The bar is designed after military barracks and is decorated with U.S. Army-related articles, including a propeller of a transport plane.  While the beer isn’t particularly exotic, most customers like to experience drinking from rustic military canteens.

Butter Beer with whipped cream and waffle cookies
Hello Hello Ssul (헬로헬로쑬), Price: 7,000 won (USD $6.40)

10948986_1537125039881867_1383211809_nPhoto courtesy of minsunny94

Hello Hello Ssul is a cozy bar that’s located in a more quiet neighborhood of Hongdae. Decorated with warm orange lights, the bar has a romantic ambiance that’s perfect for dates. If you want to drink like witches and wizards, then Ssul is a good place to visit as it serves butter beer, topped with whipped cream and a thin waffle cookie.

Frozen strawberry beer
: Sugatamori (스가타모리), Price: 9,000 won (USD $8.21)

Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 5.20.14 PMPhoto courtesy of 명품 유용 정보

Sugatamori is a Japanese-style pub located near Hongkik University. It serves its own variation of the Kirin Ichiban Frozen Nama by adding strawberry juice to the frozen beer foam. The pub also sells makgeolli, or rice wine, that’s combined with strawberries.

Beer-flavored ice cream
Molly’s Pops, Price: 3,000 won (USD $2.60)

tumblr_m5gv61meFy1rqx7a0o6_500Photo courtesy of SouthKoreanFood.tumblr.com

There are other ways to enjoy beer aside from chugging it from a pint glass. Molly’s Pops sells handmade popsicles with over 20 unique flavors, including powdered soybean, milk tea and squid ink. One of the shop’s most popular flavors is the beer flavor, which is made from real Erdinger beer. Since the popsicle is alcoholic, only customers who are at least 19 years old can purchase it. The shop also sells two other alcoholic popsicles: the Kahula & Makgeolli and Wine & Strawberry. If you’re not in the mood for ice cream, Molly’s Pops also sells regular beer.

Which beer would you like to try in Seoul? Let us know in the comments below.


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Team Korea Receives Hero’s Welcome Even After Asian Cup Final Loss

by STEVE HAN | @steve_han

Fans were pronouncing death for South Korean football only seven months ago when their national team returned home after failing to win a single game at the 2014 FIFA World Cup last summer.

Despite falling short of achieving their goal at the Asian Cup from this past weekend, Team Korea received a warm reception when they returned home from Sydney, Australia after finishing runner-up in the tournament, a stark contrast to last July when soccer fans hurled a barrage of yeot candy at them in response to their poor performance at last year’s World Cup. Hundreds of fans greeted Korea’s national team players at the Incheon International Airport, recognizing the team’s gritty efforts that led them to the Asian Cup final for the first time in 27 years.

South Korea’s German head coach Uli Stielike, who took charge only three months before the Asian Cup, expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome, but insisted that his team will strive to improve after its heartbreaking loss to host Australia in the final match of the Asian Cup.

“I didn’t promise that we would win the Asian Cup, but I did promise that we would give it our best shot for the Korean people,” Stielike said at the press conference held inside the airport. “Our players showed that the Korean people could be proud of their players.”

While the Korean team gained precious experience from the Asian Cup, Stielike added, they will not remain content with the result of the tournament and will continue to strive for better results.

Star forward Son Heung-min, who scored a dramatic game-tying goal in the dying seconds of regulation in the final, also thanked the fans for the reception, but admitted that losing the title decider in extra time is lingering in his mind.

“We went to Australia to win,” Son said. “I feel honored that the fans are happy with our efforts, but I still would’ve preferred winning the title.”

Captain Ki Sung-yueng also admired his teammates and promised that the team will continue to stay focused on achieving its dream of winning the Asian Cup title, which it hasn’t won since 1960.

“We gave it our best shot,” said Ki. “We will try to get even better and win the tournament next time.”

The next Asian Cup is scheduled to be held in Iran or UAE in 2019.


Featured image courtesy of Yonhap News Agency

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South Koreans Drink Beer Topped with Whipped Cream

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

It’s no secret that South Koreans like to drink, but did you know that some like to drink beer topped with whipped cream?

According to Rocket News 24, saengkeulim maekju or “cream beer” has become very popular with the young folks in South Korea. This concoction was apparently invented a few years ago by a group of young Hongdae hipsters. The drink is very easy to make as all you need is a glass of beer and a can of whipped cream. Described as “sweetly delicious” by Korean drinkers, the whipped cream supposedly takes away the bitterness of the beer, making the beverage taste similar to cream soda. In a nutshell, it’s the Korean version of a butterbeer.

At first, this writher thought that cream beer was some kind of prank or urban legend, but one glance at Instagram and Twitter proved otherwise. Here are some photos of cream beer floating around social media:

cream-beer-12Photo credit: Rocket News 24

cream beerPhoto credit: 1300x.tumblr.com

IMG_7708Photo credit: taku7548

치르비어_생크림맥주 (1)Photo credit: hakjjin.tistory.com

크Photo credit: cfile6.uf.tistory.com

Some Korean pubs prefer to use ice cream instead of whipped cream, making the drink similar to a root beer float. Sometimes ice cream toppings like sprinkles, candies and cookies are included.

일반생크림은_아닌듯.Photo credit: jiyoonc

낭Photo credit: flycar.tistory.com

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 5.51.03 PMPhoto credit: @sesamekookie

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 5.57.07 PMPhoto credit: @z22zzz

In 2012, Kirin Ichiban came out with a frozen draft that’s similar to a slushy. Instead of whipped cream, the drink uses frozen beer foam that’s dispensed from a soft serve ice cream machine.  It’s most likely that the inception of cream beer came from the Ichiban Shibori Frozen Draft.


Featured photo courtesy of Naive Life via Daum

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Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 3.13.07 PM

Scammers Caught on Dashcam Staging Car Crashes in S.Korea

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Staging car accidents seem to the latest scam trend in South Korea, according to the Korea Observer.

Many Korean con artists have been extorting thousands of dollars by running towards stationary or slow-moving cars and pretending to be injured from a supposed car collision. These scammers usually target individuals who could be perceived as incompetent drivers by the police. That includes drivers who seem to be not paying attention to the road, traffic violators, student drivers, truck drivers and women.

Sophisticated scammers tend to work in teams, with one individual acting as the “victim” and other members serving as false witnesses. This setup usually forces the targeted driver to pay the con artist in order to avoid legal action.

According to the Korea Observer, one con group that was arrested in Cheongju earned about 541.45 million won (USD $491,095) from 81 staged crashes. That’s about 6.7 million won, or $6,077, per fraud.

Below is a compilation of car crash scammers caught on dashboard cameras: 

There is one fraudster who actually got run over by a car during his con. In the video below, you can see the scammer pretending to fall in front of a car driven by a Korean woman, who was checking for oncoming traffic as she was turning left. Oblivious to the scammer lying on the ground in front of her, the woman accidentally drives over him. She continues to drive on, believing that the man underneath her car is a speed bump.

Those found guilty of staging these accidents can face up to seven years in prison or a 15 million won fine.


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AFC Asian Cup 2015

5 Reasons Why Team Korea Must Win the Asian Cup Final

by STEVE HAN | @steve_han

After reaching the Asian Cup final for the first time in 27 years, South Korea’s national soccer team will now take on host Australia with the hopes of winning the coveted continental title.

South Korea last won the Asian Cup in 1960 when it was merely a four-team competition. Since then, the tournament has grown into a 16-team extravaganza. Averaging nearly 20,000 fans per game, the 2015 Asian Cup is on course to reach a record overall attendance of 650,000 as the final between Korea and the home team at Stadium Australia in Sydney, which seats 84,000 this Saturday at 1 a.m. PT, has already been sold out.

Here are five reasons why it would be amazing for Team Korea to finally win the Asian Cup:

1. Winning a continental championship on a six-game win streak would boost Korea’s currently abysmal ranking in world soccer.

The FIFA Coca Cola World Ranking   Ranking Table   FIFA.com

After failing to impress at the World Cup in Brazil last summer, South Korea’s nation soccer team’s ranking plummeted to an all-time low at 69th in the world, according to FIFA. Per FIFA’s ranking procedures, the best way for a team to climb up the ladder is to win games in continental tournaments, such as the Asian Cup, European Championships and Copa America.

If Korea beats Australia in the Asian Cup final, then its six-game winning streak will certainly guarantee a significantly higher place in the FIFA rankings when the new list is released in February.

2. As Asian champions, Korea would be sent to the Confederations Cup, where it would play against the world’s best teams a year ahead of the World Cup. 

confederations-cup-trophy-600x223Photo credit: WorldSoccerTalk.com

It isn’t always easy for national teams like Korea, with its limited funding, to arrange games against top class opponents to prepare for the World Cup. An Asian Cup title would solve this issue immediately at no cost, as continental champions are invited to compete in the Confederations Cup, a quadrennial tournament held a year before every World Cup.

If Korea wins the Asian Cup, it would earn an invaluable chance to play against the European and South American champions in 2017 as well as play in venues where the World Cup will take place the following year.

3. There is no better way to send off soon-to-be-retired veteran Cha Du-ri than making him an Asian champion in his last game for Korea. 

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 1.12.20 PMPhoto credit: Osen

Cha, a 34-year-old fullback who has represented Korea for the last 14 years, is set to retire from the national team after the Asian Cup. The bald-headed veteran was controversially left out of the team roster for last year’s World Cup, in which he took part as a color commentator for South Korean TV network SBS.

When Korea lost 4-2 to Algeria in the World Cup, Cha cried during the nationally televised broadcast and said, “I apologize to our players, because experienced players like me weren’t good enough to make the team. Our young players were forced to carry a burden that was just too heavy for them.”

Cha, who has since returned to the team, already assisted two vital goals for Korea in the Asian Cup, and will have a chance to avenge the disappointment of missing what could have been his third World Cup appearance.

4.  Team Korea has an opportunity for redemption after its embarrassment at the World Cup.

soccer-team-yeotPhoto credit: Yonhap

When the Korean players returned to the country last July after failing to win a game at the World Cup for the first time in 1998, some fans held a sign that read, “Korean soccer is dead,” and threw a barrage of yeot candy at them to express their disgust.

After beating Iraq in the Asian Cup semifinals, South Korean captain Ki Sung-yueng said, “The No. 1 reason we have to win this tournament is to restore our pride. We would feel hugely undone if we don’t win it at this point.”

Lifting the Asian Cup trophy for the first time in 55 years will surely be the best way for the team to recover the Korean people’s support and faith.

5. Korea’s national soccer players would gain immeasurable experience and a psychological boost if they become Asia’s best team with a depleted roster. 


With injuries to first-choice forwards, such as Kim Shin-wook and Lee Dong-gook, South Korea’s newly-appointed German head coach Uli Stielike was left to bank on Lee Jung-hyup, an inexperienced 22-year-old striker who hasn’t even been a starter for his K League club Sangju Sangmu.

Lee has been a revelation during the Asian Cup after scoring two game-winning goals for Korea, but the national team has suffered devastating blows since the start of the tournament, especially with two of its best players–Lee Chung-yong and Koo Ja-chael–ruled out with injuries.

While it’s true that the team would become much stronger once the injured players recover, winning the Asian Cup with a wounded team would serve as a badge of honor for Team Korea.


Featured image courtesy of AFCAsianCup.com

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ROTC Cadets

South Korea’s Marine Corps Accepts First Female ROTC Cadet

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

The South Korean Marine Corps will see their first female ROTC cadet next month, according to the Korea Times.

Kim Sang-a, a 24-year-old sophomore at Jeju National University, passed her Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) screening test last June and, earlier this month, completed her two-week military training. Kim’s cadet enlistment ceremony is scheduled for next month.

Sang-a-kimPhoto credit: Korea Times

“I am proud of myself to realize my dream after a long and hard time at the camp,” Kim told the Korea Times. “I want to become a role model for junior female ROTC cadets, proving women can also serve in the military.”

The Seoul native has been studying in the Department of Marine Industrial and Maritime Police with the goal of becoming a ROTC cadet. Until recently, however, female students had not been able to apply for the Marine Corps as an ROTC cadet.

The women’s ROTC program is still relatively new as it was established in 2010 at seven universities. That number has grown to 70 schools with an ROTC program for female students. The program has subsequently increased the number of slots available to 250; last year, nearly 1,500 female students applied.


Featured photo courtesy of Zimbio

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North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il  speaks

Kim Jong-il Demanded $10 Billion for Summit with South Korea

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

When former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung met with the late Kim Jong-il on North Korean soil in 2000, it was seen as a landmark event and a huge step towards possible reunification. Whatever optimism the meeting inspired, however, was quashed when it was revealed the South Korean administration secretly paid hundreds of millions of dollars to make the summit happen.

According to former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak, Pyongyang set even steeper demands for a summit when Lee began his own term, which ran from 2008-2013. In his memoir The Times of the President, which is set to be published next week, Lee writes that Pyongyang demanded $10 billion in cash and half a million tons of food as part of a deal for Lee to meet Kim Jong-il.

“The document looked like some sort of standardized ‘summit bill’ with its list of assistance we had to provide and the schedule written up,” Lee writes, according to excerpts obtained by Reuters.

The “conditions for a summit” included 400,000 tons of rice, 100,000 tons of corn and 300,000 tons of fertilizer. The $10 billion would go towards setting up a development bank.

Lee flat out refused. “We shouldn’t be haggling for a summit,” he wrote.

Lee’s predecessor, President Roh Moo-hyun, traveled to Pyongyang in 2007 and met with Kim Jong-il as a follow up to the 2000 summit. However, the conservative Lee brought a more hardline approach when dealing with North Korea, and he left office without ever meeting Kim Jong-il or Kim Jong-un. Along with pushing the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program, Lee refused a meeting because Kim Jong-il denied any North Korean involvement in the 2010 torpedo attack on the Cheonan naval vessel.

Current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean president Park Geun-hye have both brought up the idea of a possible meeting this year, but they’re still working on it. On Friday, North Korea demanded that South Korea lift sanctions imposed by Lee’s government following the Cheonan sinking as a condition for getting talks started again.


Photo courtesy of Time

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Donkey Milk and Horse Oil Are South Korea’s Latest Skin-Care Trends

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

South Korea is no stranger to bizarre ingredients in beauty products. After all, Koreans have been using snail slime, bee venom and bird’s nests in their 12-step skin-care routine for the past few years. But two new unusual ingredients are gaining traction in the Korean beauty scene.

Donkey milk and horse oil are the latest skin-care trends in South Korea, according to Alice Yoon, CEO of beauty site Peach and Lily.

memebox-special-7-milk-box-07Skin Ceramic’s Donkey Milk Steam Cream. Photo courtesy of Helloprettybird.

In an interview with New York Magazine, Yoon explained that donkey milk is “gentle and soothing for those with sensitive skin and eczema, and [has] four to five times more vitamin C than cow’s milk and [is] rich in proteins.”

Apparently, donkey milk is a tried-and-true beauty treatment because Cleopatra used to bathe in it.

Yoon also said that horse oil is renowned for its healing and highly moisturizing capabilities. It is “featured front and center” at some of the flagship stores at Olive Young, one of South Korea’s largest cosmetics and supplements distributors. The product is very popular with Chinese tourists.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 1.20.52 PMGuerisson Miracle Korean Horse Oil. Photo courtesy of Aliexpress.

When asked why South Korea uses such experimental ingredients in its beauty products, Yoon answered that Korean women tend to be “more open to exploring” while American women tend to stick with well-known ingredients, such as retinol and vitamin C.

While donkey milk and horse oil may be a bit too adventurous for the American beauty market at this time, some Korean skin-care trends are already making their way to the States. Sheet masks, essences and overnight sleeping packs are expected to “make a huge splash” in the U.S., according to Yoon.


Featured photo courtesy of Groupbuyer.com.hk

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