Day 2 started at 8 in the morning. It was a freezing minus three degrees as we have our breakfast at the hotel (Koreana Hotel). We then made our way to Namsan to visit one of the most popular attractions in Seoul, the N Seoul Tower.
N SEOUL TOWER
N Seoul Tower, also known as Namsan Tower/Seoul Tower, is located in Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Standing tall at 236m, Namsan marks the highest point in Seoul which is why it is colder during winter. We took a round trip cable car (which costs 8,500 won) to get up and down Namsan. Since it’s winter season, it was hard to stay long outdoors so we decided to spend more time indoors.
We went up to the Observatory (10,000 won per entry) to see the view of Seoul from above. One of the fun fact here is, the lift that goes up to the Observatory takes only 25 seconds to go up or down. It was a bit hazy that day, so the view is not that decent. We actually prefer to visit N Seoul Tower at night since we can see all the lights and magnificent view of the city.
We then moved to our next destination to have lunch with the host of our trip (Mr. Kim Ji Hyuk and Ms. Song Yun Sook from Korea Press Foundation) at a Middle Eastern restaurant called Hummus Kitchen, located at Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Well known among Muslim tourists, this restaurant opens from Mondays through Thursdays from 11:30 to 23:00 and till 01:00 on Fridays. The place is also open on Saturdays from 11:30 to 01:00 and till 23:00 on Sundays.
MYUNG FILMS ART CENTER & MYUNG FILMS INSTITUTE
After lunch, we went to Myung Films Art Center, located in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, Korea. Myung Films was founded in 1995, and has produced more than 30 films including ‘The Contact’, ‘Joint Security Area’, ‘Forever the Moment’, ‘Leafie’, ‘A Hen into the Wild’ and ‘Architecture 101’.
We had a tour around Myung Films Art Center, which consists of Cine-M, Theater-M, Book Café-M and more. There is also an institute called Myung Films Institute, located in the same area as Myung Films Art Center. Myung Films Institute was established as an effort to contribute to the growth of a healthy film culture. Anyone interested in movie productions are encouraged to enroll with the institute. They will teach you on how the movie production process works; starting with writing scenarios, casting the actors, shooting the scenes, editing the videos until the production of the final movie. And on top of that, the learning process is free of charge, sponsored by the company. They even provide dorms for the students.
We then had an enjoyable time chatting with Ms. Oh Chaejin from the production team of Myung Films. Ms. Oh told us that the casting process usually starts with writing complete scenarios before the director, writers, producers and investors meet and decide on the candidates for each roles. Then, the proposals will be sent to the entertainment companies to cast the actors or the actresses. There is this trend in the industry now whereby they cast a lot of hot actors in one movie, so it was hard for them to cast all of them at one time. Sometimes they had to wait for one year, to cast for top actors that they had set their eyes on, and Ms. Oh spilled the bean saying that they waited for a long time for Lee Byung Hun since he has a busy schedule. And the film he acted in, called J.S.A (Joint Security Area) was the most expensive movie produced by Myung Films!
The film industry in Korea is a very competitive industry in Korea. Some companies even fell apart after producing a movie. It is amazing that Myung Films is standing strong even after 20 years. They will be releasing 2 new movies next year, starring GOT7’s Jinyoung and Lee Won Geun, so stay tuned for that!
PAJU BOOK CITY
HEAVEN! A hot cup of coffee or tea accompanied by books during winter! We had a quick tea break at Paju Book City, where you can find a library and a cafe combined together in one place. Such a creative idea I might add!
Paju Book City is a giant cultural complex, home of 250 publishers with over 10,000 workers. It covers the entire process of publishing from planning to printing and distribution. This area boosting attractions such as book cafes, used books stores, galleries, and restaurants.
GWANG JANG MARKET
Our last schedule for the day is roaming around Gwang Jang Market and we had our dinner there. There is a huge variety of street food sold in the market. We ate small kimbap, pajeon (pancake) and odeng (fishcake). You can also try kalguksu, mandu, tteobokki and many more famous street foods here!
That’s all for Day 2 of the ‘Power Blogger Program’. Stay tuned for our next travelogue coming up soon!
This trip was hosted by Korea Press Foundation and organized by Hyundai Asan.