Friday, July 31, 2009

Seoul Grand Park – A trip to the zoo (서울대공원)

To get to Seoul Grand Park we took the Subway from Nakseongdae Station (낙성대 역) up to Sadang (사당 역) and then changed from the green to the blue line which goes directly to Seoul Grand Park.  For more information on Seoul Grand Park check out their website - 
There are a whole lot of things to do in Seoul Grand Park that would probably be impossible to fit into a single day.  That day we only made it to the Seoul Grand Park zoo, which is reputed to be the 10th largest zoo in the world.  
mosaic45188350792ccdfe1b8e965a8f725238e2784061 My grandma had come to visit us in Seoul from Nepal for a few days . My friend in the picture is Mr.B, he is from Vietnam.  His dad and mom are my parents friends.  They came to the zoo along with us.    mosaicea11226a3abb1a250f15ad4f41c4098a7c18c7bc   On our way to the zoo, at first we took a tram.  The scene by the lake overlooking the amusement park was awesome.  Then we took the sky lift.   I was so excited seeing the lions from above that my mom was scared we would fall down.  
animals mosaic     There were all kinds of animals from all over the world.  Some of them that can also be found in Nepal are the Red panda, Buffalos, Tigers and Rhinos.  But the two horned Rhino is only found in Africa.  In Nepal we have the one horned Rhino.    
IMG_5548I enjoyed looking at the bears the most, coz they were doing all sorts of tricks to beg for food and looked really playful.
birds mosaic    There were also different species of birds from all over the world.  I thought the ostrich looked strange and enjoyed the colorful pheasants the most.  I think that the national bird of Korea is supposed to be the Korean Magpie (까치), whereas the national bird of Nepal is the Impeyen Pheasant (lophophorusimpejanus), called Danfe in Nepali (डाँफे).
IMG_5640There were also a lot of rest spots along the way, so it was really convenient for me and my friend, Mr. B, coz we were famished with all the sight-seeing we did that day.
IMG_5712The flowers in bloom were also real pretty, so I posed for a picture with my grandma.
IMG_5776 and finally it was time to head home…

Monday, July 27, 2009

POSCO and Hyundai - Korea's Top Companies

My dad visited POSCO on July 23rd, 2009. He says POSCO stands for Pohang Iron and Steel Company. Founded in 1968 it is the fourth largest Steel Company in the World and the first integrated steel company in Korea. They say that Korea's industrialization kicked off with the inception of this company.

Dad said all the visitors had to put safety helmet and goggles before they could go on a tour of POSCO. Dad says POSCO was nothing like he ever saw before. The size of the company was as good as a city. In fact, the city of Polhang is known as POSCO city. Above gentleman in the picture is my Dad's and Mom's friend John from Tanzania.

No cameras were allowed, but dad said he could take some snaps of the area from the bus window before their guide warned them. Anyway, if any of you are interested in knowing more about POSCO here is a link to their site - I am sure there will be more pictures there.

Dad says all major companies in South Korea are going environmental friendly. His guide told him that there are about 5 million trees of different kinds planted within the vicinity of POSCO and that there is a 24 hour environmental watch facility. Within this company my dad says there are schools, stadiums, a university, and a hospital. WOW!

Next day, July 24th, 2009, my dad visited the city of Ulsan known as the Hyundai city. Within the city there are two major companies: Hyundai heavy industries co. ltd (HHI). and Hyundai motor company. Hyundai heavy industries co. ltd. is the number one ship building company in the world. By 2008 it has built about 1300 ships, including 364 oil tankers, 390 container ships and 296 bulk carriers. Sorry folks, dad said no pictures allowed, so he could only manage a few snapshots of their ship model.

The HHI has contributed immensely to the development of Korean economy and Korean society. Similarly, Hyundai also had schools, stadiums, a university, and a hospital within the company. For more information visit their website-

The next site my dad visited was Hyundai motor's main production facility, the Ulsan plant. The company sprawls over 4 million 990 thousand meter squares and has five independent plants with over 34 thousand employees and produces approximately 56 hundred vehicles per day. On his visit inside the plant my dad saw a car being made for a client in Brazil and another one for a client in Australia. Hyundai cars sure are world famous! Dad said Hyundai even has five more plants outside of Korea.

Sea of cars manufactured by Hyundai waiting to be shipped out to various locations around the world. For more information on Hyundai motor company you can visit

Visitors to the Hyundai company museum checking out a list of Hyundai company clients worldwide. I hope you enjoyed this tour folks.

The best part for me was that I got a free miniature toy car of Hyundai Santa Fe SUV and think it is real sleek.

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Dol-Chan-Chi '돌잔치' My First Birthday!

'Dol-Chan-Chi’ (돌잔치) is a ceremony to celebrate your first birthday here in Korea.

Of course, I had to get dressed in traditional Korean dress called 'Hanbok’  (한복)

On this day it is customary to eat rice (쌀밥) and brown sea weed soup (미역국), but I was hooked more on strawberries, cake and kimbab (김밥). Relatives, friends and teachers get together on this day to throw a party and pray for your health.

I received a lot of presents. On this day they also have a tray of various things to choose from like a bow and arrow, pen, money etc. It is called ‘Dol-cha-bi’(돌잡이). If someone picks the bow and arrow it signifies that you will become a soldier in the future, pen signifies a scholar, and money represents wealth.

I was lucky I had a similar one to ‘Dolchanchi’ called 'Pasni’ (पास्नी) in Nepal when I was six months old. Surprisingly the concept in Nepal is also the same and I was given a tray of things to choose from, but I grabbed the whole tray, ha ha...I wonder what that foretells for my future...

We had a blast singing......

and dancing....