Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

Learn About Seollal: Korea's New Year

Posted on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 @ 01:50 PM

Annually Koreans celebrate their New Year, Seollal. The holiday falls on different days each year. This year the holiday is being held over January 27-29. The period is decided according to the Lunar Calender.

Seollal and Chuseok are two of the biggest holidays in Korea where millions of Koreans take time off to travel to their home cities to spend time with their families. The Western equivalent would be Thanksgiving and Christmas. Seollal is very traditional with various associated foods and activities. Our students usually get money from their parents, aunts and uncles and Koreans festively say  to one another 새해 복 많이 받으세요 (sae hae bok manhi bah doo seh yo) – which means “Happy Seollal.”   This blog will help explain the customs and traditions of Seollal, so you will have a better understanding of the holiday when you are teaching in Korea.

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Tags: things to do in Korea, Vacations in Korea, vacation, Lunar New Year, Holidays in South Korea, seollal

Planning a Trip to Tokyo? Make Sure To Visit These Top Attractions

Posted on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 11:56 AM

As soon as I found out about the Lunar New Year holiday, I was excited to plan a trip to Tokyo with friends for our first ChungDahm vacation. The Lunar New Year holiday  (Seollal) granted us a 4-day weekend to explore Tokyo.  One of the perks of teaching in Korea is that Tokyo is a mere 2 hour flight from Seoul. Flying from Gimpo into Haneda was the best option for us, as Gimpo is a mere express stop from my place in Seoul, and Haneda is the closest airport to the center of Tokyo. We booked our flights online a month before the trip, through Orbitz. However, traveling anywhere during the Lunar New Year in Korea is expensive, and we ended up paying quite a bit for our tickets (around $500). If you are planning on traveling during holidays in Korea, I would recommend arranging transportation as far in advance as possible, and taking your time researching the cheapest route possible! It is possible to get a round trip to Tokyo from Seoul for as cheap as $150... obviously not during peak traveling periods. We flew ANA and had a good experience. 

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Tags: japan, Tokyo, visit japan, Lunar New Year, traveling

Celebrating My First Lunar New Year While Teaching in Korea

Posted on Tue, Feb 16, 2016 @ 03:52 PM

Korean New Year, also known as Seollal or Lunar New Year, occurred this past week! It was celebrated from Sunday, February 7th to Wednesday, February 10th, departing from the year of the ram and entering the year of the monkey. People associate the year of the monkey with joyfulness, playfulness and some consider it the year of the fool. Lunar New Year falls on day of the second moon after winter solstice. It is one of the most significant traditional Korean holidays. All citizens get time off work, or school to be with family, enjoy tteokguk (a traditional rice cake soup enjoyed especially at Lunar New Year) and honor past ancestors. More recently, Korean’s have used the holiday to travel to distant family, so it is often the most expensive time of the year to book any form of transportation.

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Tags: busan, Lunar New Year, Holidays in South Korea

Dining Your Way Through Hong Kong While Teaching English in Korea

Posted on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

In my third and final installment of my hard-hitting blog series on my magical Chinese Lunar New Year adventure, I will be covering the food and overall dining experience of Hong Kong. Although still obviously part of Asian cuisine, Hong Kong has been influenced heavily by foreign cultures, and of course this is going to be reflected in its food as well.  While I have gotten used to eating many of the exotic foods in Asia teaching English in Korea, Hong Kong was still a bit different from what I was used to. 

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Tags: Lunar New Year, Hong Kong, traveling

3 Places To Visit in Thailand While Teaching English in Korea

Posted on Mon, Mar 09, 2015 @ 01:37 PM

Lunar New Year (Seollal) is one of the major festival/holidays in Korea and that is usually one of the only two vacations that ChungDahm teachers get while teaching English in Korea. Thankfully, for my branch, this holiday was celebrated for five days which meant...time to travel and leave Korea! Although airfare is extremely pricey during this holiday, I thought it would be better to go travel than to just stay in Seoul where most of the city would be shut down. Also, I decided to meet my parents who were on holiday in Thailand.


Before I give you my top 3 places to visit while you are visiting Thailand I first want to offer you some advice on traveling there and what airport you should fly into. 

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Tags: Southeast Asia, Thailand, vacation destinations, Lunar New Year

3 Attractions to Visit in Hong Kong While Teaching English in Korea

Posted on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 04:53 PM

This past weekend was significant on many levels as a English Teacher in Korea at ChungDahm. For one, it was the weekend before a new term at ChungDahm began and secondly and probably most importantly it was the Lunar New Year holiday.  As a result of the holiday we had a four day weekend which meant a few friends and I decided to travel to Hong Kong to refresh before the new term began.  Now squeezing the contents of a 4-day Chinese whirlwind adventure into a single blog seems like an injustice, so this week I will give you three must-see attractions to visit in Asia’s most dynamic and multi-cultural cities.

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Tags: Lunar New Year, Hong Kong, Holidays in South Korea, travel

Three Hotspots in Macau to Visit While Teaching in Korea

Posted on Wed, Feb 18, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

The Lunar New Year is here, and that means it is one of the best times to travel while teaching English in Korea at ChungDahm. For the Lunar New Year holiday, my family and I decided to meet in Hong Kong and travel to Macau, the Las Vegas of Asia.

Macau does have direct flights from Seoul but it can be either expensive or limited because Macau has a small airport. Instead, we flew into Hong Kong and took the one hour Turbo Jet boat ride across the bay. After going through immigration, we took one of the many free buses from the port to one of the numerous casinos. We did not stay at a casino/hotel but we were still able to jump on one of the buses and walk to our hotel across the street.


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Tags: vacation destinations, Lunar New Year, travel

English Teacher in Korea Travels to Hong Kong

Posted on Tue, Feb 10, 2015 @ 10:26 AM

The Lunar New Year holiday (Seollal) is one of the two major holidays that most ChungDahm teachers will be able to take off. Because of that, most teachers will try to vacation outside of the country. Last year, while I was on my Lunar New Year break, I met up with my parents and we went to two popular destination in Asia - Hong Kong and Macau.

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Tags: what to do on the weekend, Lunar New Year, Hong Kong, travel

Everyone knows Seoul, but what about Busan

Posted on Tue, Feb 07, 2012 @ 10:18 AM

As Chungdahm teachers, we don’t get many holidays off, but Lunar New Year is an exception. I had four days off and I wanted to take advantage by exploring more of Korea. I had already been to Seoul a few times so I wanted to go somewhere that foreigners don’t know a lot about, so I decided to go to Busan with my girlfriend for 3 nights.

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Tags: vacation, busan, teaching at Chungdahm, Lunar New Year

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