Singapore River VS Korea Han River

I visited Singapore last week and could look around many places.:) I saw the Singapore River flows the central Area as the Han River in Korea runs through the center of Seoul, and got an idea to compare both rivers. Today I will compare two rivers and especially will introduce more about the Korea Han river.

Common

1. River cruise

Singapore river and Han river both have river cruise.

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This is the Singapore river’s cruise.

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This is the Han river cruise.

But when you are taking the cruise in Han river, there are one thing you should be careful. The water flows from the bridge at night that when the boat passes under the bridge, go inside the ship. Before when I took the cruise in Hans river at night, I saw some guys were standing in the rail of a ship and got wet from the bridge fountain which you can see in below.

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2. Many people are around the river at night

It would be a bad ideas to walk around the dangerous cities at night. However both Singapore and Seoul are all safe that many people are exercising or sitting around the river at night.

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This is the view of the Han river at night. You could see many people are around the river.

3. Many people exercise around the river

I could see many people are exercising around the river both Singapore river and Han river. I think the most reason of this is both cities are all high in the population density. Singapore and Seoul are all within top 10 of the density that many people are living in cities.

But in Han river less people are exercising in Winter, because it is really really cold. If you want to exercise in winter, mask and the gloves are essential!Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 4.08.21 PM

Difference

I will specially introduce about the Korea characteristic.

 1. Wearing Suncap and mask when exercising

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If you walk the Han river, you could find some people are exercising with wearing the suncap. Also what you can see in the woman’s arm is cooling arm sleeves which is called cool tosh(쿨토시) in Korean. This is for protecting your arm from the sunshine and to feel more cool in hot summer.

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This is the typical suncap which many middle aged Korean women wear. Suncap is to protect from sunshine.

 

 

 

2. Restaurant around the river

I could see many restaurants around the Singapore river. Some of them were right aside the river.

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This is the picture which I took in Singapore and you could see the restaurants in the right side of the river. Meanwhile, in Hans river most restaurants are little way off from the river. Instead the convenience store and the park are right aside the river. If people want to eat food around the Han river, they order the delivery food. Korea has the delivery culture that you can order almost all food like chicken, Jajangmyeon(black-bean-sauce noodles), pig’s feet…etc any food you want.

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What you can see in the picture is the Korean pig’s feet food which people got from the food delivered. If you order food around the Han river, the food is delivered within 20-30 minutes.

3. Weather

Singapore is always warm but Korea has 4 seasons that the river froze in winter and normally it snows from December to February.

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This is the winter view of the Han river.

4. Camping around the Han river.

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In summer many people do camping around the Han river. There are four major camping spot in the Han river and Seoul city lend the camping equipment in cheap price. Some of the camping place provides swimming pool and baseball diamonds that you could also do other activities.:)

Thanks for reading.:)

Pali pali culture- best known hot tempered Korean’s action

There is Pali-Pali culture in Korea, which means “Hurry up!” or “Faster!”. It is one of the Korean’s way of life. You can easily see people are running or walking fast that they won’t miss the buss or train. However, some Korean’s hot temper is excessive that this character easily appears in their daily life.

Today I will introduce the best known quick tempered Korean’s action.

1. Put hand inside the coffee vending machine before the coffee in done.

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2. Busy for finding the short line in Mart, ATM machine and fast food restaurant.

( “That line will be better than this line”. 3 seconds later “No! one next to that line will be better”…3 seconds later “No, no, no. let’s move to the other line….”)

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3. Can’t wait 3 minutes after pour the water in the cup noodle.

(They think ‘I’m hungry right now. How could I wait 3 minutes?” and just start eating.)

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In the above picture, it is written “Quick tempered Korean”.

4. Remember not only all the transfer station name but also the most fast moving route and the number in the floor.

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In Korea subway, there are numbers in every subway gate’s floor. Many Korean remember the gate number where is the fast spot for the exit or the most close gate in the way of the subway transfer.

5. Start packing the bag before the school bell ring.

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When I was in high school, especially when the school bell ring just before the lunch time, many boy students start running in a full speed to eat lunch. Students ate lunch in the school restaurant building which is different from the classroom. Restaurant was not that big that someone who arrive late, they have to wait in the long line.

6. Melt the candy in the mouth only the very first time and then chew the candy totally.

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 4.26.00 PM7. After press the microwave start button, looking at the plate spinning until finish.

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8. Constantly flipping the meat over and over again for checking if the meat is done.

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9. When the other person’s line is busy, keep calling more than 3 times without waiting.

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10. Turn off the music only after the first verse of the song is finished in the Karaoke room.

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This action is for quickly starting the next music. However, there are people who want to sing until the two verses that this is not a good manner. Need to ask first before pressing the next button, but sometimes hot tempered person press it right away.

There is an evaluation checking whether you are hot temper or not. 🙂

1. Do you feel you have to finish the work in a hurry?

No (0)

Sometimes (2)

Frequently (5)

2. Do you have a tendency to walk fast?

Yes(0)

No(5)

3. Do you have a tendency to speak fast?

Yes(0)

No(5)

4. When there is a heavy traffic, do you feel nervous or get mad to other driver?

No(0)

Sometimes(2)

Frequently(10)

5. Is it hard to sit still with daydreaming or thinking of the past?

No(0)

Sometimes(2)

Frequently(10)

6. Have you ever heard “Don’t rush”, “Take your time” from your partner or friend?

No(0)

Sometimes(2)

Frequently(10)

7. Are you getting impatient when waiting in line?

No(0)

Sometimes(5)

Frequently(10)

8. Do you cut people off when they are talking?

Never(0)

Sometimes(5)

Frequently(10)

 

Total score

0-1: Excellent

2-10: Sometimes impatient

11-30: Middle, often impatient, need to relax

31-70: High, chronic impatient, need a treatment(bad to health)

Thanks for reading.:)

Tips for Skiing in Konjiam Resort

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I went to the Konjiam ski resort on Saturday. The most big reason why I visited here is because the winter season of ski is almost over. I wanted to snowboard one more time in this season! Konjiam is near with Seoul that it is easy to go there. It took only 1hour with car from Gangnam district where is the central in Seoul. One month ago, I visited the Yongpyong ski resort where the biggest ski resort in Korea, and today I want to introduce about Konjiam with partially comparing with the Yongpyong ski resort.

The Pros and Cons which I felt after snowboarding in Konjiam ski resort are in below.

Pros

1. Starting time and finishing time for skiing is flexible that you can choose any length of time, and can

pay money depend of the time. It is called “Me-TimePass” in Konjiam resort. Also the starting time is from the time when you enter the door which you can see in below picture.

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Meanwhile, Yongpyong ski resort’ ski ticket time is divided in Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night/Twilight that you can only choose the time among them. Accordingly even I want to take ski about 1-2hours, I need to buy 4hours ticket. I definitely think the ski ticket system of Konjiam is much more reasonable and convenient for the customers.

2. Don’t need to worry for losing ticket.

Yongpyong Ski ticket

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Yongpyong ski resort’ ski ticket is made of paper that I had to ring in the clothes. However, it might be possible to loose the ticket, if the ticket’s ring get fall out. Actually one of my friends loose the ticket, and could not snowboard more on that day:((

Konjiam Ski ticket

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Meanwhile, Konjiam ski resort is using the E-tickets that when you take the lift you just have to touch the machine with the ticket. Accordingly, you can use the ticket just by putting it inside the pocket, and you don’t have to worry about losing ti.:))

3. Reservation system in Konjiam

Konjiam started the reservation system for the first time in Korea’ ski resort that they give the admission to the limited people. So once you ski in Konjiam,  you don’t have to worry about the excessively crowded. The time for waiting the lift is not that long.

Cons

1. Konjiam ski resort is not that big. Officially Kanjiam says they have 9 slopes but actually it seems to have only 4 slopes.

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So comparing with the Yongpyong resort which has 20 slopes, Konjiam is small. If you’re someone who prefers to ski in diverse slopes, skiing in Konjiam would be little boring.

2. The quality of snow

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Konjiam snow quality is not that bad, but Yongpyong’ snow is better than Konjiam. This is because of the location and the temperature. Konjiam is near with Seoul that the average of January temperature is -3.1degrees(26.4). On the other hand, Yongpyong resort is in the highlands that the average temperature of January is -12.6 degree(9.3).

3. The distance of parking lot and the slope is quite far that you have to walk that distance with carrying the ski or snowboard.

Who will be good to visit?

If you live in Seoul or Gyeonggi(provinces surrounding Seoul) and want to ski only for one day, I recommend you to visit here. I came here about 10 times, but only for one day or half day without sleeping in the ski resort. Accordingly, it doesn’t cost the lodging expenses that I could saved money. 🙂

You can check more information in Konjiam homepage.

Thanks for reading.:)

Tips for Skiing in Yongpyong Ski Resort

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Yongpyong is the biggest ski and snowboard resort in Korea, and 2018 Winter Olymics will be held in Pyeongchang region where the Yongpyong ski resort is. Also, the view is beautiful that Yongpyong ski resort is the most preferred ski resort for me. 🙂 Until now I went to the Yongpyong ski resort more than 15 times, and in this year I visited twice in February.

Today I will introduce about the Yongpyong ski resort and tips for skiing or snowboarding in this resort.

1. Place you should go in the ski resort

There are two ski resorts that one is Yongpyong and the other is Alpensia. Alpensia is the brand new ski slope but it only runs about 6 slopes, meanwhile Yongpyong has 20 slopes that if you like to ski or snowboard in diverse slope, I recommend going to the Yongpyong.

If you took the Gondola in Yongpyong, you can go to the top of the mountain.

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In the top of the mountain, there are coffee shop, restaurant that it is good for enjoying the view and for taking a rest. It takes about 20 minutes to arrive there with Gondola and the slope is long that usually takes 10~20minutes to go down with ski or snowboard.

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This is the view in the top of the mountain. There were no clouds in the sky that the view was beautiful.

2. When taking the ski lift

The left picture is the Yongpyong ski lift and the right picture is Tahoe ski resort which is in border of California and Nevada. The difference is in the footrest bar. In Korea it is common for having the footrest bar as you can see in the lift.

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However, many of the Korean take down the safety bar quickly that after you took the lift first make sure you are in the right position when the safety bar comes down.

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Also some of the ski lifts in Yongpyong have the conveyor belt that it is convenient to take a lift. 🙂

3. Ski ticket

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Yongpyong ski resort is still using the paper ski ticket that make sure if the ticket ring is locked well.

Before one of my friends lost the ticket during skiing, but it was impossible to reissue the ticket for free. 🙁 What they said is “There will be some of the customers who sell the reissued ticket to other people and we made the ticket to be fully locked if you locked the ticket well. So we can’t reissue the ticket”.

 

 

In my opinion, they should change the ski ticket to the electronic card as the other ski resorts that this will help people not to worry about losing the ski ticket.

Whatever, Yongpyong resort’ snow quality is good that I really enjoyed skiing and snowboarding.

Thanks for reading.:)

 

 

How Koreans celebrate Valentine’s Day?

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In Korea, Valentine’s Day is simply a way for women to show their interest and affection to men by giving them chocolate. This custom of gifting chocolate started in Japan in 1936, and this Japanese style of Valentine Day came to Korea. Although Valentine Day is used to cater more towards couples, or those wanting to confess their secret loves using a romantic day as an excuse, in recent years, Valentine Day has expanded to include family, co-workers and pretty much anyone you come into contact with on those days. Accordingly, female coworkers give the chocolate to the male co-workers and female students give to the male friends.

However the presents in Valentine Day’s are not limited to the chocolate. Recently, Korean man’s wish lists have changed, due to the current economic climate. The research, which you can see in below, is the list of the presents what Korean men want in Valentine Day.

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As you can see in the survey, majority of men would prefer to receive cash.

However, giving the chocolate is the most common presents in Valentine Day and many women (or girl) are interested in, making the handmade chocolates.

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Hand made chocolates and the hand written letter are also the good way to impress the Korean boyfriends. 🙂

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Then what about the men? The men get their turn to give presents to women on March 14th-White Day. Men are expected to reciprocate with non-chocolate candy to the women who remembered them the previous month.

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Consequently, you can see all kinds of candy offering in all the same places in Korea as you saw chocolate in Valentine Day.

Thanks for reading:)

 

 

 

What is Chopstick Diet?

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Have you ever heard the “Chopstick diet”? It is quite common in Korea, Japan and today I will introduce about the chopstick diet. If you don’t know how to use the chopstick? Don’t worry! Then it will be more effective for doing the chopstick diet. 🙂

The way of doing Chopstick diet is only using the chopstick during having a meal. There are 3 reasons why the chopstick diet can help you the diet.

  1. Eat slow and less

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If you use the chopstick, you can control the speed of eating that can eat less and slowly than using spoon, knives and fork. This is because the amount of the food, you can grab with chopstick, is less than the spoon or fork. Also the time of grabbing the food with chopstick is little longer than spoon or fork that you will chew more and eat slower during grabbing. 🙂

 

The reason why eating slowly helps you to eat less is in the body system. After you eat the food, it needs time until the message “I’m full” travel from stomach to brain. Normally it takes 30minutes for the message to arrive to the brain and then you will feel full.

So using the chopstick is good for eating slowly and will help you to eat less. 🙂

  1. Eat less salt

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In Korean food, soup is always in the dish, and even some of the Korean drink all soup liquid. But there are lots of salt in the soup that it can raise your blood sugar level. Also the salt is the enemy in diet that eating less salt is important to lose weight. If you do the chopstick diet, you can’t drink the soup and only can eat the ingredients in the soup what you can grab.

FYI, in Korea one of the eating etiquette is you should not raise the soup bowl with hand to drink. People only can have a liquid of soup with spoon. This is different from Japanese’s food etiquette that they can drink the soup with hand.

  1. The time you feel hungry will come later

Eating pace effect the blood sugar that if you eat the food fast, then your blood sugar will rise sharply. However, once the blood sugar goes down which raised quickly during the eating, the feeling of hunger will come fast. This is because, blood sugar also will go down quickly and then the body will feel nervous that it will make to eat.

  1. Food you choose with chopsticks have calories less.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 7.15.13 PMIn Korean food spoon is for rice, soup and chopstick is for side dishes. People also eat rice with chopstick, but it is quite hard to pick up the rice with it. Accordingly, if you can only use the chopstick, it will make you to eat less rice and eat more side dishes. The main component of the rice is carbohydrate that eating low amount of carbohydrate is important to do the diet. In my experience, when I only use the chopstick, I tend to eat side dishes more rather than the rice. The good thing is many Korean side dishes are vegi, fish, tofu..etc that these have less calories than the rice.

Why don’t you try the chopstick diet and also learn how to do the chopstick? If you try eating salad, noodles or other food with chopstick, it will help you to eat slowly.

Thanks for reading.:)

Interesting Korean chopstick tools

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When you think the Asian people, probably you will suppose they are good at chopstick. Yes it is true. But we are not born with good at chopsticks. Korean usually start learning chopstick when they are 3~4 years old that since that age naturally having practice in every meal. In my case, I got used to the chopstick and did quite well,  when I was 7~8 years old.:)

Today I will introduce about  special chopstick tool which Korean children use when learning the chopstick and also the other kinds of interesting chopstick tool.

4 kinds of Chopstick tools

1) Edison Chopstick 

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Early 2000s the Korea company get patent of this Edison chopstick. It is  good for training. the chopstick because the rings in the chopstick help for fingers to keep still. The way of using it is put the forefinger and middle finger in each chopstick’s ring.

 

 

However some of the Korean adults are still poor at using  chopstick or the position of using it is not right as below picture. The left position  is not right because the chopstick  is crossed. The right position is holding the chopstick too low that it is not right.

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Accordingly, there is Edison chopstick which is for adult.

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The way of using it is as same as the children one. Put the forefinger, middle finger in each ring.

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2) Spoon+Chopstick 

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Usually the children who are not good at chopstick use  this. When I was in elementary school, some of my friends used and it seemed easy to grab the food.

The way of using it is, when you want to grab the food just use as the tongs, and if you want to eat the soup, make no space between the tools and lift it.

 

 

3) One ring chopstick 

 

wjfkfjWhen using the  Edison chopstick gets used to it, one ring chopstick is good for next step of practicing the chopstick. It has only one ring that you have to fix the rest of the fingers well. Use when someone is possible to control the power of handling the chopstick and if it is possible to move the fingers quite freely. This is also the popular kinds of the chopstick for kids to practice.

4) Chopstick tongs 

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This chopstick tongs are not common, but it is easy to use it. Especially the one you can see in the picture has both spoon and chopstick. 🙂 If you want to grab the food, use as the tongs and if you want to drink a soup,  grab it in opposite way and use it.

 

 

Thanks for reading and if you want to learn the chopstick, I recommend the Edison chopstick.  🙂

All about the Korean delivery culture

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In many countries, delivery is quite common, but there is a unique delivery service what you can only see in Korea. Deliver service is common in Korea that you can deliver anything such as all food, document, present…etc and the price is cheap. You can eat almost all the food like pizza, chicken, Hamburger in a same price as you eat in the store. There is no tip culture in Korea that you don’t have to give tip to the delivery men.Today I will introduce about the interesting story about the Korean delivery culture.

1. Quick Service

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Quick service means delivering with motorcycle, that it is quicker than any other delivery system. Usually people use this service to deliver the document, parcel or just about anything that’s not too heavy or big. Normally it took 1 hour for the item to be delivered. But sometimes they deliver the person! :O

Every year 3rd grade in high school has the university entrance exam which is like the SAT in US, but this test is only in once a year. So if you are late for the test, you have to wait one more year to have a test. Because of this  reason on the test day, you can see the unusual sight. One of the interesting scene is if the students wake up late or in a heavy traffic that they are expected to be late at the exam, they use the “Quick service”. I saw this news in every year after the university entrance test day.

2. Deliver Everywhere, Anytime

The screen shots in below is the Korea TV program-“I live alone”. In this show, the French men( name: Fabien) ordered the food in the park.

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Subtitle means: “Does the food delivers in the park?”

 

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Within 30minutes,  the food was  delivered in the park as you can see in the left picture.:)

 

You will be curious, how the deliver men can find the place between the large park? But in Korea everywhere, anytime the delivery is possible. When I was a university student, I frequently ordered food with delivery and the food was delivered normally 15minutes and no later than 30minutes. Also the deliver men know the specific place in university that if I ask to the delivery men “Please bring the food in business school building”, then he brings the food to the right place.

It is common to deliver food at night or even the raining, snowing in outside. But the picture in below, seems quite dangerous. Motorcycle accidents during delivery happen quite frequently in Korea. 🙁  I also experienced once that I ordered the food in chicken store but the food was not coming. I called the store and they said “Sorry but the delivery person had an accidence in the road that it will be delayed”.

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3. Metal Delivery Box

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If you are walking the street in Korea, the men delivering with the motorcycle and the metal box  is easily seen. Korean Chinese food restaurant start delivering the food since 1950’s and they are using the steel box in deliver.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 9.19.58 AMThe advantage of delivering with metal container is in preserving the heat well. It can keep the food warm during the deliver, also the steel bag is hygienic, because the food stained in the bag is easily cleaned. Many Korean food has a soup that the soup can be flowed out of the bowl during delivering this soup food. Accordingly, the bag which can be easily be cleaned is the  important element of choosing the deliver bag.

 

 

4. Fast food Delivery Service

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All the major Fast food stores in Korea are delivering the food: McDonald, Burger King, Lotteria. Also the good thing is they deliver in 24hours and if you order the food more than $5, no charge for delivery.

Thanks for reading and I would be thankful if you leave the comment of your thinking or about your countries’ unique deliver culture. 🙂

What is the Korean study room?

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This is the one of the common place where Korean students study. Mostly high school students use this study room, but also the middle school students, the adult who are preparing the test and few elementary students use the study room.

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In the study room there is a front desk that people charge the money and get the seat to study. After you assigned the seat you go to the passage which seems as the right picture.
독서실1In each room there are many desks and when the high school, middle school exam day comes these seats get all full. As you can see in the left photo, there are curtain in each desk. When students study many of them draw a curtain and study. For my experience, it blocks the back and side of the view that it is good for concentrating.:)

 

I started using the study room when I was 13years old that I usually did homework, prepare and review the class. The cost is about 7K~10K KRW($7-10) for one day and 140K~200K KRW($140-200) for one month. But it is depends on the place where it is.

I think there are 2 main reasons why this kind of the study room has been developed in Korea.

First, Korean students study hard and they need some place to study until midnight.

The Korean high school life is quite hard for studying. Normally they wake up at 6:30am and leave the house an study until 12-2am. The common students’ daily life cycle is study in school until 4-5pm and then go to the Hagwon(private after-school academies). When the Hagwon is finished, they go to the public or privates study room. Finally come home at12-2am. So the study room is one of the popular place for students to study after the school and the Hagwon are finished. Accordingly, there are many Korean study room and running the study room is the one of the well known business in Korea.

Second, EXAM EXAM

In Korea, many things are determined only with exam and we call this “Gosi system”. Gosi is the difficult civil servant examinations that if someone want to be a lawyer, middle, high school teacher, public institution employees…etc, they all need to pass the hard test. Normally these test has 2steps and it only has once in a year. If someone failed the test, they should wait another one year to take a test. The number of selecting is decided that some test only select 10-20 people in a year and the competition goes to 100:1 or more than that. Because of this reason, passing the exam is really hard that normally it took 2-3years. Accordingly, students study 13-16hours in one day and many of them study in Korea study room. In Seoul there are special towns for studying the national exam which are called Sinlimdong and Noryangjin that in these towns there are lots of study room.

Exotic type of the Study room

1. One room for one person(Study cube)

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 9.21.11 PMWhat you can see in the left photo is the study room for one person and it is called ‘study cube’. In some of the study room it is also prepared that people can use it. But the price is little more expensive than other common study room which you saw in the above picture. When you are studying, you can close the door that it is free in the noise and good for concentrating. However for some of the students this place gives the feeling of stuck that they don’t prefer this place to study.

 

2. Study room in home

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This is the common desk which is in the Korean students’ room. But Some of them prefer the below one that they put the study room in home.

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One of my friend had this study table in home and I asked “why you bought and put in home?”. Then she said “It is good for concentrating”.

Pros and cons of study room

I used the private study place for more than 10 years in my life and I will explain the pros and cons depends on my experience.

Pros

  1. Good for concentrating:

Blocks are both side of your seat that there is nothing to disturb your sight, and there is no TV, computer which can interrupt your study.

2. Get good effect from others:

Other people are studying in the same study room, and you can get the desire to study. When other people are studying hard, you will feel that I should study hard too.

Cons

  1. Can feel stuffy:

The study room’s table and the space are small. In my case, sometimes I felt stuffy that couldn’t study in study room anymore in that day. The blocks in side of the table can good for concentrating, but sometimes that can make you feel stuffy

  1. Have to pay money:

If you study in home or in public library, you don’t have to pay money. But this place cost money for everyday. 140K~200K KRW($140-200) for month can be a big money for students.

3. Except the study table, it is dark:

In the first picture in this article, you can see the study room is dark. Personally I don’t like this dark. This is because it made me sleepy and for me this environment made my eyes to have astigmatism. After I entered the university and stopped studying in study room, astigmatism of my eyes got disappeared.:)

Thanks for reading and if you have some exotic table in your country, it would be grateful to leave the comment about this or the link.