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[Well-curated] Evening stroll at Jeong-dong, waterway fest at Gimpo and kimchi interpreted in surprising ways

By Hwang Dong-hee, Park Yuna, Park Ga-young

Published : Oct. 13, 2023 - 09:01

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"Jeong-dong Culture Night" (Jung-gu Office)

Take a journey through time to the streets of Jeong-dong this weekend, where Jeongdong Culture Night will be held Friday and Saturday at Deoksugung Palace and the Jeong-dong area in Jung-gu, central Seoul. During its heyday, the Jeong-dong area was the epicenter of burgeoning new trends.

Cultural sites will remain open late into the evening during the two-day festival, featuring performances, guided historical tours, a stamp tour along the stonewall walkway, street performances, busking, nighttime garden illumination, food trucks and a colorful art market.

A number of historical venues that are not normally open to the public will be accessible. The Canadian Embassy will be open to the public for 40 minutes starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, and the British Embassy will be open for 30-minute sessions at 3 p.m., 4 p.m., and 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The festival starts at 6 p.m. on Friday with an organ duo performance in front of Chungdong First Methodist Church. The Deoksugung Palace Music Concert starts at 7 p.m. with an entrance fee of 1,000 won to the palace.

The pipe organ performances held at the church on Friday and the Seoul Anglican Cathedral on Saturday are the festival highlights. After the concert on Saturday, you can tour the cathedral, which combines Romanesque and traditional Korean architectural styles.

The National Jeongdong Theater of Korea will also host an outdoor concert, “Jeongdong Dahyang (Scent of Tea),” themed around coffee and tea.

Check the detailed schedule on the official website and social media channels.

Gimpo Laveniche March Avenue (Gimpo Cultural Foundation) Gimpo Laveniche March Avenue (Gimpo Cultural Foundation)

Golden Waterway

Gimpo in Gyeonggi Province is offering a waterway festival this weekend.

At 7 p.m. on Saturday, 11 boats will turn into stages that offer various performances including small-scale fireworks. The boats will move slowly along the 800-meter-long waterway of Gimpo Laveniche March Avenue -- a shopping mall adjacent to Hangang Central Park -- toward a pond at Hangang Central Park for half an hour. The boats of different shapes will then circle around the pond, offering a performance of a love story inspired by Aegibong, one of Gimpo's famous natural attractions, for another half an hour.

At 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, the country’s leading vocalists Kim Bum-soo and Park Wan-kyu will take the stage for an out concert. Street busking will take place throughout the festival.

Gimpo Laveniche March Avenue is about a 10-minute walk from Janggi Station on the Gimpo Gold Line. With the inaugural festival, Gimpo Cultural Foundation said it aims to promote tourism and revive business at the shopping center.

The events are offered free of charge.

A Jongga pop-up store at Seongsu-dong neighborhood in Seoul (Daesang) A Jongga pop-up store at Seongsu-dong neighborhood in Seoul (Daesang)

Kimchi blast

Kimchi, Korea’s staple side dish, accompanies virtually all Korean meals. However, kimchi can be turned into many other dishes -- from cakes and aranchini to tarts.

A pop-up store in Seoul's Seongsu-dong run by Daesang -- which owns the popular kimchi brand Jongga -- is one of the most popular pop-up stores in the neighborhood, attracting more than 5,000 people over the past seven days since it went viral among young locals.

Kimchi finger food offered at the pop-up store Kimchi finger food offered at the pop-up store "Kimchi Blast Seoul 2023" in Seoul (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

This weekend is the last chance to visit the pop-up store “Kimchi Blast Seoul 2023,” where one can taste kimchi culinary creations by chef Lee San-ho that includes a golden tart topped with baekimchi, or white kimchi without chili powder, and kimchi arancini made with yeolmukimchi, or young summer radish kimchi.

The pop-up store is open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will end on Sunday. Photos and videos of South Korean boy band Seventeen’s Hoshi, who is the brand's ambassador, can be found all over the pop-up store. Don't forget to take home some kimchi powder named “Hoxy? Kimchi!” made exclusively for the pop-up.