Korean Shooting Game

In South Korea, it’s common to see a wide variety of claw games outside stores. Over the years, I have inserted several bills into them in an attempt to win “fabulous” prizes. Most often I come up short. Sure, there are a few times when I walk away feeling like a big winner, that’s rarely the case.

Around our apartment, claw games were replaced by pokey games. They were the rage for about a year, but they too have now been replaced. With what you ask? Shooting games.

The idea behind the shooting game is brilliant. Take a prize and place it in plain view. It rests on a shelf held up by a lever affixed with a large or small target. The player then has to use an airsoft gun to push the target back far enough so the shelf drops, releasing the prize. The shooting games near us have a laser pointer on them to help you aim as well.

I actually found the game a lot of fun, even though I didn’t win. Unlike claw games, there really is no gimmick to it. You just really need to line up the gun and shoot enough times to push the target back. This does mean to win, you’ll need to put in more than W5,000 to get anything though. Unless someone runs out of money with the target a single hit away, there’s just no real way to win a prize.

Overall, this experience was worth it and I probably will stick more money into it in the future.

Black and White Photos

When I first purchased my iPhone 4 a few years ago, I became hooked on taking pictures. When I received my iPhone 5S, I was blown away by what I could do. Recently, I’ve been challenging myself to take and upload a new black and white photo every day. I share it through my various social media outlets, but in different forms. On Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, I share a square version. However, on the QiRanger Facebook page and on Google+, I actually share the full image.

If you want to see what my life looks like in monochrome, I hope you’ll check out my pictures. If you have a special request, let me know. I’ll try to seek out and shoot it in black and white.

Korean Games – Feats of Strength

Today I have a great little video. Why? Because I divulge one of my dirty little secrets. I absolutely love carny games. Not any carny games, but ones that require feats of strength. There are many such Korean games to be found at arcades. Sometimes it’s a batting cage, bb-gun, or my personal favorite – the punch bag.

Recently, Jo and I hit up one of these places. It was so much fun that I had Jo film me with the iPhone 5S so I could slow it down in post. While I didn’t get the highest score that not (I was just shy 50 points). But, as we were leaving Jo spotted something else. It was an area set up only that night. A guy had several tiles out and you could pay to see if you could break them. If you did you got a prize. I opted to pay W7,000 to break 15 tiles.

This by far has been my favorite feats of strength Korean game. It was a real rush slamming down and breaking those tiles to win the Teddy Bear. Do you love carnival games? Do you enjoy feats of strength games? Let me know!

The Awesome Jeju Olle Trail Adventure – Get QiRanger Out There #6

Because of the high gain mic, engine, and typhoon, there’s a lot of audio popping in this video.

While in Jeju, Jo and I hiked Jeju Olle trail number 6. The views along the Jeju Olle Trail were amazing and the experience made a lasting impression on us. The following day, we embarked on a grand adventure – try to circle the island and hit all the Jeju Olle Cornerstones.

We failed.

jeju olle route

We did, however, manage to hit all the cornerstones from 6 through 11. It was an all day experience that really highlighted why the Jeju Olle trail is amazing.

yakchunsa jeju olle

Our favorite place along the way was Yakcheonsa (also Yakchunsa). This temple is amazing. It’s the second largest temple compound in Korea and was something totally unexpected we found along the way.

yakchunsa jeju olle

I think what we really enjoyed about the journey was that it really made us think. The original plan was to hit the cornerstones and the midway markers. As I mention in the video, there are several places that didn’t register on the car’s GPS. This meant we had get creative to find the locations. What we usually did was type in a place near the marker and then follow the Jeju Olle Trail markers to where we needed to go. It worked out well, but we did get turned around a few times. All in all, it was an impressive day.

VLOG: Seoul to Jeju

Greetings and salutations my excellent friends! Day one of our trip to Jeju is coming to a close. Here is today’s VLOG. It starts off at Gimpo Airport before the place really opened for business and concludes with us high atop a volcanic cone in Jeju. Take a look to see how we’re starting our weekend and let me know how you are going to spend yours!

Korean Beer… To Go!

That’s right everyone, not only does Korea have open container laws, but restaurants can also sell you Korean beer to go! In this quick VLOG, I show you just how it’s done. The total price for this Max draught beer is W3500, which is the same price for a 1l bottle of the same beer at your local convenience store… but this is draught beer, so we all know it will be better.

Don’t you think more places should do this?

Seorak Mountain and Paragliding – Video Rodeo (9.23.13)

Hey everyone, it’s time to CATCH THE WAVE! This week on Video Rodeo, we chatted up a storm about one of my favorite times of the year – the fall. This really is the best time to visit Korea and what better way to show that, than with a few great videos detailing Korea’s diversity. So if you missed this week’s show LIVE, sit back and enjoy the video version, that includes all of our off-air discussions, plus Adrien’s reaction to the international version of Crayon Pop’s 빠빠빠.

This week’s videos

Don’t miss us next Monday evening at 6:30pm Korean Time on Arirang Radio!

Get QOT! Run DMZ Event [GoPro Korea]

It’s part scavenger hunt, part Amazing Race; however, no matter how you describe it, the 2013 Run DMZ event in August was 100% fun. The event was held in Inje County, about two hours east of Seoul in Gangwon Province. Since the end of the Korean War (called the 6-25 War in Korea), the DMZ has continued to be one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world. To promote tourism and peace, many are trying to re-brand the DMZ as a Peace and Life Zone. The Run DMZ event was part of that effort. Jo and I were invited to participate in one of this year’s contests – I’m glad we went.


The premise was simple. At each of the three staging areas, teams would complete a series of tasks. Each team would need to “pay” for each event with a Mission Coin – which would allow a single attempt. Unsuccessful attempts would require an additional Mission Coin. When judges felt that a team had successfully completed the task, they would award a Mission Stamp. Each location had a time limit for completing the assigned tasks. Usually, the events allowed for teams to complete other events, or bonus missions, for extra stamps.

run dmz mapHere’s a break down of the events we completed:

  1. Walking on reflexology stones and doing math
  2. Museum item quiz (local farming equipment)
  3. Identify the animal through charades
  4. Find the Chinese characters
  5. Paper butterfly flight contest
  6. Ball toss
  7. Find the animals
  8. Identify the paw print
  9. Photo scavenger hunt

As you can see by the map above, we completed all nine of the major events. We also racked up an impressive 44 extra stamps through bonus missions. So how did we do?

get-qot-run dmz-koreaThat’s right – 3rd place. It was a total blast, despite having to get up at 3:30am in order to shower and get ready to the bus stop early enough to ride into Seoul. Would I do the Run DMZ event again? Sure. It was a great time and had nothing to do with the fact we came in 3rd. While the events themselves really didn’t do much to promote peace or nature – it was fun and a beautiful place to escape to at the end of the summer season.

Another thing that really made the event successful, was the fact we didn’t have to plan everything ourselves. The Korean English Network (on Facebook) and a marketing manager for the DongA Ilbo put the group together and provided Korean team leaders for us. This insured that we had at least one member of our team who was bilingual to respond to questions and directions, since none of the official documents were presented in English (however, organizers did speak enough so our “translators” could actually enjoy themselves).

VLOG: Passport Tag

Evan and Rachel created a little Passport tag on their YouTube channel and asked me to participate. While we’re preparing to head out today, I thought I would shoot a quick response.

If you have a passport, and are keen to answer the questions, here they are:

1. What is your most recent stamp?
2. What was your first stamp?
3. What’s your coolest looking stamp?
4. What’s the most meaningful stamp?
5. What was the most difficult stamp to get?

Exploring Gyeongju’s Namsan

Summer is here and one of my favorite things to do when the sun is shining is to get out and hit the trails. This month on The Korea Blog, we’re exploring Gyeongju – the museum without walls. For this second installment, I have a special treat. While we filming the original second video for the series (which will be seen next week), we stumbled into Gyeong-ae Lee. She’s a volunteer for Gyeongju Tourism and offered to take us to Namsan. It wasn’t something we were planning on, but hearing her talk about the beauty of the mountain, we knew we couldn’t resist.


Gyeong-ae drove us to the eastern side of the mountain. From what she told us, most people go hiking on the western side, so this would be a little more secluded. It was also her favorite area to hike, so maybe she was a little less than objective.

Steve Miller qiranger gyeongju namsan

Our starting point was just off the main road near the Hwaranggyo. Jo and I walked down the main road until we reached the Borisa. This small temple was beautifully decorated after Buddha’s birthday and we were the only ones there besides the lone monk sweeping the steps. I ventured inside a small shrine and instantly found myself more at ease. The reason she took us to this location could be found just behind the main temple compound.

Carved Buddhas

The main draw of Borisa is a massive boulder about three minutes past the temple. The surface of the stone has been etched to form a relief of a seated Buddha on a lotus. On either side of the Buddha are bells. The rest of the rock face is equally ornate, making it a truly special experience. Following the staircase behind the boulder, you’ll find another Buddha.

steve miller qiranger gyeongju namsan

The second Buddha doesn’t have a placard, but Gyeong-ae told us many in Gyeongju seek out this particular statue. The eroded Buddha has one hand position in typical fashion, but the other rests over the abdomen. It’s said praying to this Buddha helps with fertility, easy delivery, and increases the chances of having a son.

Once we left this area, it was time to set out exploring the mountain. Jo and I didn’t really plan on going hiking, so we had no extra water and were only wearing sandals. Not exactly the most advisable way to hit the trails, but we took our time and managed to have a great experience. Scattered throughout the entire mountain were numerous burial mounds. Most were unkempt, with the foliage reclaiming them. However, on occasion, we did see a few neatly trimmed with fresh flowers poised in front.

On our trek, we also managed to stumble upon the Namsanseong wall. This mountain fortress occupies the northern region of the mountain. Unlike the Seoul Fortress wall, or even Hwaseong, the Namsanseong wall is not nearly as well preserved and in places, completely covered by brush. If one didn’t know where to look, it would have been easily missed. These portions are fairly fragile and easily crumble.

The ultimate destination of our hike was the Sanseojang. A small shrine used for some rituals at the base of the north side of the mountain. Usually the area is not open to visitors (we were greeted by a half dozen barking dogs), but we asked the caretakers if we could look around the shrine and they agreed. It was a lovely spot to end our hike before catching a cab and going back into town.

You can read more about the hikes available on Gyeongju’s Namsan by clicking over to my article on The Korea Blog. The entire video was shot with the GoPro Hero2 and Edutige ETM-001.