Monthly Archives: December 2014

Soul of Asia, Seoul

Discover Historical sites in Seoul

The South Korean capital, Seoul has a long history that dates back to ancient times. Seoul was the capital of the Baekje Kingdom and the Joseon Dynasty for around 500 years. Currently, many relics and ruins still remain throughout the city. This map of Seoul was specifically designed to introduce major historical sites in Seoul. Where the past and present exist side by side let’s begin a journey to discover Seoul’s hidden charms.


Seoul Museum of History

The Seoul Museum of History is a city museum of Seoul which opened up on 2002. This museum shows the history and culture of Seoul and the lifestyle changes of people in Seoul.



Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace is the only royal palace from the Joseon Dynasty that was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was built without harming nature, and is widely commended as being in perfect harmony and balance with its surrounding environment. Its rear garden shows the characteristic of Joseon’s palace architecture and garden culture that emphasized the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature.



War Memorial of Korea

The War Memorial of Korea is a war history museum, located in Yongsan-gu, Seoul. It exhibits many historical documents and other records of wars that occurred in Korea. The purpose of the museum is to prevent another war and to promote the peaceful unification of Korea by teaching people about war. Over 9,000 historical pieces are displayed at indoor and outdoor exhibition areas.


Seoul, city of magical one hour

Seoul has become a metropolitan city with sparkling buildings and striving IT. However, Seoul does not lose its history and culture amongst the vibrant city. Seoul has become a city that welcomes modernization while harmonizing with nature. In Seoul you can see 500-year-old palaces and in the same day by taking the subway you can go shopping at traditional markets or current Korean fashion shops. Let’s take a tour of Seoul through this video!

VANK would like to guide you through Seoul, the city of magical charms. Seoul is a city of miracles that gives hope to developing countries. Only 50 years ago, Korea was one of the poorest countries. However, Korea has worked hard to become one of the 10th richest countries. Among all OECD member nations, Korea is the first to have transformed from a beneficiary to a donor. Seoul is a city of miracles. It is a symbol of hope for developing countries in Asia and Africa.


For over 600 years in Korea’s 5000 years of history, Seoul has remained as the center. Korean palaces adopted unique architectural aesthetics, different from Chinese and Japanese styles. Korean ancestors avoided altering nature. Their philosophy of construction was to have buildings in harmony with nature.

Young Koreans are motivated to become the new leaders of the 21st century. With Voluntary Agency Network of Korea VANK, young Koreans become ambassadors for Seoul. With these young Koreans, Seoul is becoming a truly glittering city.


Let us show you the charms of Seoul. Come and Experience Seoul, the Soul of Asia.



Hangeul Stickers



VANK’s Hanguel stickers!

As Hangeul (the Korean alphabet) is increasing becoming popular around the world VANK designed these stickers to help make the learning experience more fun and easier.

These stickers not only help you learn the basic structure of Hanguel by using consonant and vowel stickers, they also include phrases and expressions in Korean to gain more knowledge of the culture. Interested in Hangeul? Use these stickers to introduce Korea to your friends!

you can also download these stickers HERE


List of Comparisons: Have you heard about this country?


Ever since ancient times, this country has acted as a cultural bridge between countries. This country is Korea, where the 21st century hub of Asia is located. Korea is becoming famous for its music, food, and traditional culture. However, there is more to Korea such as a King who created an alphabet for his people and an admiral who conquered numerous battles for his country.

Have you heard of this country?

For 5000 years of history Korea has created many remarkable cultural assets and heroes. However, such legacies are not well known outside of the Korean peninsula. Before watching this video here is an introduction of some of the legacies you can find in Korea.


VANK members visiting the Changdeokgung Palace

 1. Changdeokgung Palace

The palace is inherent majesty in harmony with nature.

The palace was built close to the residences of the common people to reduce the distance between the king and the people. It was also designated as a World Cultural Heritage by the World Heritage Committee on December of 1997.

This country pursued social unity and harmony between architecture and nature.


Changdeokgung Palace during the fall

2. Admiral Yi Sun-sin (1545-1598)

 Admiral Yi Sun-sin was a naval commander who is considered one of the greatest leaders in world naval history. Yi Sun-sin was never defeated in all his battles during the war. During the Hansando battle, Yi used an innovative tactic called Hakikjin (crane wing formation). He also used the Geobukseon (turtle ship), the world’s first ironclad vessel. Admiral Yi Sun-sin was a brilliant strategist, who used innovative tactics and technologies. After his heroic death, he gained fame of Korea’s greatest national hero. To this day people still admire Yi Sun-sin for his accomplishments.

Geobukseon (turtle ship), ironclad vessel  source:

Geobukseon (turtle ship), ironclad vessel



3. King Sejong (1397-1450)

 Over 500 years after his death, one king is still greatly respected by his descendants. One of the greatest legacies was the invention of the Korean alphabet, Hangeul. King Sejong sympathized with the illiterate common people so he invented an alphabet specifically for the common people. King Sejong was a leader who truly cared about the people, regardless of their status. He not only created an alphabet for the common people, during the time he was king Korea’s science developed increasingly.

King Sejong’s legacy is still deeply ingrained in the life of Koreans.


100-23-copy-711x1024 (2)



4. Queen Seondeok

Queen Seondeok, was the first queen in this country’s 5000 years of history. When she took the throne in 632, Silla was the weakest of the three kingdoms. Despite challenges she faced, Queen Seondeok took care of the people and assigned talented people to proper positions. Queen Seondeok laid the foundation for the unification of the three kingdoms.





5. Goryeo Celadon

Goryeo Celadon has received much praise for being the best for its creativity and color. Goryeo applied Egypt’s inlay technique to decorate porcelain for the first time in the world. It created an innovative decorative technique for porcelain. Fusion of Egypt’s inlay technique and China’s ceramic forming technique. Korea’s Goryeo Celadon is estimated to be a major Korean relic of the blended cultures of the East and the West because it accepted Chinese ceramics’ culture to develop it into a unique product.



100-22-copy-711x1024 (1)


6. Jikji

Inscription of Jikji on the UNESCO Memory of the World registers in 2001. Jikji was printed 78 years earlier than the 42-line Bible. The metal type printing technology of this country largely influenced Japan and other Asian countries. This country has become a leading country in information technology by following the spirit of their ancestors, who created the best invention of all time, moveable metal type printing.


7. Korean diet

The Korean diet is as healthy as the Mediterranean. In Korea, food is the same as medicine. Food and medicine come from the same sources. Korean diet prioritizes health benefits. Generally, Korean cooking keeps the original flavors of each ingredient. Korean food is also receiving increasing attention as diet food in Australia, America, and many other countries.




Bibimbap is the harmony of five colors, indicated in the philosophy of yin, yang, and the five elements – white, yellow, red, blue, and black

Bibimbap reflects the philosophy of this country.


Kimchi, selected as one of the world’s top five healthiest foods by US Health Magazine.