Korean Trains: The Nooriro

Probably one of the best ways to travel in Korea is by train. There are several different classes of trains one can choose from, but if you’re a commuter, chances are one you might elect to ride is the Nooriro (누리로).

The Nooriro is a newer train, essentially a glorified subway. It is nicer than a subway and can travel at speeds up to 150kph. It’s also electrical rather than diesel powered.

I’ve had the opportunity to ride nooriro trains a few times and have found them a better ride then their slower counterparts.

Songdo Global University Campus Tour

Many times when we think about going to college, we dream about going to one of the best schools in the world. Each year, Times Higher Education releases a list of the world’s best universities. Slowly but surely, Asian schools have been creeping to the top of the list. It means that for American and European schools, they need to come up with a new way to attract Asian students, who want an international university experience, but might feel more at home in the Asia-Pacific Region and question the cost of moving abroad.

Songdo Global University was built with that in mind. Eventually it will host ten of the world’s best universities to bridge east and west and have an enrollment of 25,000 students. Currently it features faculty and curriculum from the following schools: University of Utah, SUNY Stony Brook, George Mason University, and Ghent University.

Today, I get a personalized tour around their campus as they get ready for summer and some hosting duties with the 2014 Asian Games and the fall semester. For more information on Songdo Global University, be sure to check out the featured story on ASIA NOW.

The Happy Han River Cafe

Jo and I have lived in the outskirts of Seoul for nearly five years. During that time, we’ve seen this one cafe pass us by as we cross the Han River while traveling over the Hannam Bridge. It took us a while, but we finally managed to get off a bus and check it out.

I will say that the views from the cafe are great, but inside, there’s no air conditioning. The day we went, it was nearly 30C (86F) outside, so indoors it was considerably hotter. With no fans or moving air, it was just too unbearable to remain there. It’s a pity, since the views were grand.

Overall, not being able to remain inside was a bit of a disappointment, but certainly has sparked my desire to return in the fall/winter.

To get there, just take any of the blue trunk buses that cross the Hannam Bridge. On the route, make sure they stop at the cafe. The bus stop ID is 23-531 (한남대교전망커페) and buses 140, 142, 144, 241, 400, 402, 407, 408, 420, 421, 470, 471, 472, and 3011 stop there.

Banpo Bridge Water Fountain

Last night, Jo and I were in Seoul enjoying a date day. Since the sun had set, we opted to make our way to the Han river and Banpo Bridge. It’s one of the more than twenty bridges that traverse the Han river and actually holds a World Record for being the longest water fountain bridge.

The water show runs for about 15 minutes every half hour or so. What makes the Banpo Bridge Water Fountain Show so great, is that so many people come out to enjoy it. There’s really a great community vibe going on there, and in the rest of the Banpo Bridge Han River Park area.

So if you’re in Seoul and looking for a fun place to relax along the banks of the Han, this is one of my personal favorite locations. It’s easy to get to from the Express Bus Terminal station and since it is so popular, you can also order some food and have it delivered there.

Experience a DMZ Tour

Greetings and salutations my excellent friends. Today on the Walk and Talk, we’re going to take a special trip. Usually I simply pick out a location, walk around, and share my thoughts in real time. However, today, I’ve decided to share with you what it’s like to go on a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) tour in Korea.

Today’s DMZ tour features an inside look at the Joint Security area and Panmunjeom. We departed from the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, then arrived near the DMZ to take a quick walk around Imjingak before entering the Civilian Controlled area. When we reached that portion of the DMZ, I had to stop filming much of the time, as security is very high.

This DMZ video takes to to Conference Row (blue buildings) in Panmunjeom and inside Building T2. If you’re thinking about signing up for a DMZ tour, today’s video will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Korean Elections

June 4th is the next Korean election, so we’ve now entered into the two week period where candidates and their supports got out en masse to get the vote out. One of the things I think is pretty good about Korean elections is that each candidate is assigned a number (1, 2, etc.). That number denotes where they appear on the ballot. Here’s a quick example of how campaigning for Korean elections look this year.


Changes, they are happening. This spring I started out ready to achieve a new running goal of running 5 half marathons back to back. Training was going well and I found it easy to ramp up from 6km to 15km five days a week over the past few months. But I need to change things up, because there aren’t enough hours in a day to get all I want done.

When I started Asia News Weekly, I thought it would be good practice for me; however it has turned into a massive undertaking- and I love it. I love it so much, I decided to start a second podcast and that is starting to take off as well. This means that now I’m spending a lot of time working on these projects, but don’t really have the time to run the sometimes 2 hours I need.

So, the goal of making this run happen has to be put on the back burner, because I feel I need to ride the wave of ANW right now. Because of the time being put into production of these two podcasts, I am also going to cut back on vlogs. I will continue to upload videos on a regular basis, but I’m going to lift the requirement of posting every day so it doesn’t start feeling like a chore and remains fun.

As always, thank you for your support. Like I always say- stay true to yourself, and that’s what I’m doing. So until next time, let’s all be awesome.

Dunkin’ No More

Another store closes in my area – this time it’s a Dunkin’ Donuts. Seriously, I am very surprised this one closed down given what it has to offer. I guess it’s no longer time to make the donuts.