GIVEAWAY: Korean Vocab + Grammar Books!

September 3rd, 2015

the long awaited Korean books giveaway is here! and thanks to TUTTLE again, I get to give away two amazing books newly released by Tuttle!

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the last time, I gave away two sets of Japanese books and explained on how I learned Korean. so this time, I have two ultimate books to give away for people who are planning to master Korean by self studying! for those who are starting off with 0, I’d recommend you to get the book “Korean For Beginners” by Tuttle as I’ve used that in my earlier days when I first started learning Korean. you should know the basic stuff like “조사/particles” and how words changes before getting these two books as the Korean For Beginners book teaches more on particles and word structure and very limited vocab and grammar so with mastering that book and these two books, you can easily be as good as anyone in Korea in a normal conversation.

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I got the privilege to get my hands on these two new books and here’s a short review on what I think of it! so let’s start with the Essential Korean Vocabulary book!

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so here’s a sneak peak of the contents of the book! the vocabs are divided into many organized sections that’s easy for learners to search through words they are interested in learning.

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like above, the simple vocabs

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the words are explained with examples and ways to pronounce which is suitable for English speakers. well, these books are made to accommodate English speakers!

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the second book, Essential Korean Grammar! you may be surprised how this book is written by a foreigner. well.. to be honest, of course Koreans know Korean the best. which foreigner could be better?

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the answer is qualified Korean-English Translators.

and how do I know about that? because I know one. there aren’t many certified Korean-English translators around because going through the course is excruciating. it’s basically going through hell for 2 years, studying from 5am till late night and have almost no personal life. because they dedicate themselves to studying Korean and English and they are really really fluent. they probably know much more words and phrases compared to the average Korean too.

anyways, the best thing is that since it’s written by a foreigner, she knows best on where foreigners normally make mistake at and how difficult it is to learn another completely different language with different sentence structures and expressions that are non existence in English.

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this book teaches stuff that are similar to university level books.

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they even include example sentences to differentiate similar words and help you in understanding more about these similar words. which is great!

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who knew that there are so many different expression for just one word?!

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they also have a list of synonyms to help you in writing!

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just a simple picture of the appendix, look at the list of grammars! although I already know most of it as I’ve graduated level 6, but there are still a few I’ve never seen before so I’d absolutely keep this book for future reference. great book all in all =D.

so to the most exciting part!

I will giveaway TWO books by TUTTLE to TWO lucky winners:

1. Essential Korean Vocabulary
2. Essential Korean Grammar

how to enter this giveaway?

just follow these few simple guidelines and.. good luck!

1. leave a comment on this post telling me your Korean progress (how far have you learned) and why these books will help you and anything else you want to tell me! (with your name identical to your facebook name)
2. go to my facebook page
3. like my page!!!
4. leave a comment on the post so that I can contact you if you win!
5. share my giveaway post (it will be the top post on my page)

eligibility:
people from all over the world! because Tuttle is nice enough to send it to you where ever you are =D.

it’s this simple!

I’ll choose the winners based on the person whom I think wants it the most. so be witty with your words and hwating!

PS: I’ll close the giveaway once I get 50 applicants OR if there’s not so many people applying.. I’ll close it on the 1st of October. you have loads of time so quick! ask your brother, your sister, your cousin, your friends whom wanna learn Korean to try their luck!

Hidden Osaka

August 29th, 2015

I’ve always preferred Osaka over Tokyo as the food, people and environment here’s much better. it is just a personal preference but I feel much more relaxed here and.. a new Malaysian friend I met in Osaka brought me to a place which gave me even more reasons to love Osaka. and it is.. Tenma. it seems like a really run-down place and all but truth is, everything here’s really cool and hipster. stand up bars, cheap sushi places, ramen shops, wine bars, whiskey bars, beer places etc.

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so for this time, we settled down at this restaurant popular for fresh delicious sushi for…

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a really low price. such low priced sushi isn’t easy to find in Japan. some of them cost even cheaper than 100yen!

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a downside to this restaurant though.. or maybe to most places in this area, is that there is no English menu and it will be super difficult if you do not have a friend who reads and writes Japanese with you. but I think it will be fine too if you read Chinese =D. you could always point!

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the sushi’s served on a huge platter like this! MMM. look at those raw fish cuts!!! I actually compared and the raw fish cuts with its rice and guess what.. that cut of maguro was 1.5 the size of the rice!!!

sushi from top left – extra spicy mentaiko, crab miso, kampachi, maguro, saba, salmon, chutoro and anago. =D.

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my favourite drink in Japan must be plum wine (umeshu) with soda!

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steam fish with ponzu!

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sashimi platter!!!

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lets feast! this was definitely too much for me. =S. but…. the extra spicy mentaiko was SOOOOOO good.

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so one more pair please! apparently when people come here, they’d end up at 2-3 places to drink and eat but.. our first round filled me up already.

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so we just took a stroll around the hood and.. I regret eating so much because there were so many places that I wanna try!!!

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there’s even a beer belly here! if you don’t know yet, beer belly is a chain beer bar which sells Osaka’s own beer, the Minoh beer. they apparently have many types and flavours and it is said to taste really good too!

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look at how hipster izakayas here are!

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and more!

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tiny Italian restaurant. dining on a bar? not bad!

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and the most hipster place of it all!

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sitting on plastic boxes, having barbecue and drinking wine? also, seems like Japanese people leave their phones and bags lying all around. it’d be gone in Malaysia in no time. ahhaha. just saying.

all in all, I LOVED Tenma. to get there, just get to Tenma Station (JR) and get out of the exit that looks like it has a lot of things to see!

Central and the amazing milk tea!

August 21st, 2015

during my one week visit to HK, I think I came here almost everyday. it was my absolute favourite place! not only was the skyline amazing, there are a lot of yummy stuff around like Mak’s Noodles and Kau Kee! further, Lan Kwai Fong is just around the corner heheheheheh. well one reason for coming here often’s actually because I like to take the ferry and the ferry takes me here all the time hahaha.

제가 제일 좋아하는 센트랄을 소개하겠습니다! 홍콩에 있는 동안 거의 매일 왔고요 여기 먹는 것과 골목들이 너무나 이뻐서 자주 오게 되었다. 그리고 스타페리를 이용한다면 여기에 많이 오게 될것 입니다~.

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hadn’t been here in 7 years and it seems like there are.. more “land” now. haha if you get what I mean.

센트랄의 경치~ 여기는 원래 땅이 그렇게 많지 않았다. 사진에서 볼 수 있는 땅들 7년 전에는 해였다.

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the most crowded apple store I’ve ever seen. filled with Chinese people because apparently it’s cheaper and more legit than mainland stores.

사람 가장 많은 애플매장! 중국보다 가격도 더 싸구 홍콩의 애플매장에선 짝퉁을 안 파니까 중국인들이 무지 무지 많습니다~

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and there’s the.. mid-levels escalators!

세계에서 가장 킨 에스컬레이터들입니다~!

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went there at noon and the amount of people…

점심 시간엔 회사원들 밖에 안 보임.

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after getting off after the.. 2nd escalator?  there’s this famous Char Chan Teng called Lan Fong Yuen that apparently sells the best Nai Cha in HK. Nai Cha = milk tea.

2번째 에스컬레이터를 타서 나가면 란퐁윤라는 가게를 보일거다.

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this is the milk tea shop!!!

바로 이 가게!!! 여기의 밀크티는 홍콩에서 제일 맛있다고들 합니다.

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even Chow Yun Fatt came here! must be good right? hehe. well I was told by a local that this shop sells the best Nai Cha.

넘 맛있어서 주윤발까지 왔다!

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MMMMM. it was so yummy! we had it on take away and strolled around central. there are markets and small lanes. very very interesting. totally recommend strolling around this area.

완꿀맛! 우리는 포장해서  마셨지만 가게 안에도 마실 수 있다.

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the famous dimsum place in Central, Lin Heung. go there for an old HK feel!

옛날 홍콩의 딤섬 모습을 볼라면 린히옹으로 가면 좋을 거다.

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around the corner there’s the stone steps!!!

주변에 걷다보면 이 유명한 돌로 만든 길을 찾을 수 있다!

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love it so much I spent so much time here hahaha. well there were benches around so..

여기 너무 이뻐서 드라마에 촬영도 많이 했고 저도.. 사진을 무지 많이 찍었다. 부끄.

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you can also take the “ding ding” which is the tram around. it’s probably the cheapest transportation around! if you go during summer, you can even redeem free tram and ferry tickets from the airport. not sure if they are still giving it out now.

홍콩의 가장 싼 대종교통은 바로 띵띵입니다!!! 다른 말로 트램.

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the view from the tram. pretty amazing huh? get off here and find yourself at causeway bay!

띵띵 탈 때 보이는 뷰. 죽이죠?

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I have a thing for sago lolo/sai mai lou and guess what!!! they have durian sai mai lou too! weird how the ones in HK don’t have shaved ice in it. but still, it’s soooo good! especially the durian! I didn’t expect such quality and price from HK. pretty reasonably priced and the durian was good!

that’s all for today!

마지막으로 망고랑 두리안 사이마이로우! 두리안 좋아하신 분? ㅋㅋ 여거도 진짜 맛있는데 위치가 까먹어서 기억이 안 나요 ㅠ. Kau Kee근처에 있는 것만 기억해요.

오늘은 여기까지!

Australian Dairy Co., Hong Kong

August 17th, 2015

so they say that if you visit HK you need to go to this place called Australia Dairy Co. for their scrambled egg sandwich. and I did.

not only was looking for that place difficult, I reached at 8am and…

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this was what I saw. some super duper long queue! if I wasn’t there with a HK friend, I guess I would’ve lined up like the rest of the crowd.

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oh and Yee Shun Ngau Lai is only a few shops away! I absolutely love their milk pudding ^^.

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anyways back to the topic, this place is also known for their “service”. as you can see, the queue to this place is no joke and the staff are really efficient. and in order to be efficient well.. they are pretty rude. but if you behave nicely, order quick and know what you want before hand, then they would be nice and give you a smile. if not.. I don’t know. since I’ve never experienced that haha. but I heard they’d ask you to be quick and all =S.

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anyways! we had it on take out and it only took 5 minutes! very efficient no?

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tada! I’ve never had scrambled eggs sandwich to be honest. I wouldn’t even order this if I saw this on a menu in a cafe. =S. so I was really reluctant to try it but since it’s sooooo famous I thought why not!

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they weren’t stingy on the scrambled eggs! so let’s give it a try…

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mmm… I am not sure about this sandwich. it was a little bland for me. the scrambled eggs was good yes but not like fabulous. I guess I like mine better with tomatoes. they had some other ones with cheese in it too where many HK people ordered. maybe that one’s nicer. I would say the queue is definitely not worth it. if you are not a fan of scrambled eggs sandwich you should just skip it IMO.

[Jongro] Samhaejib Oyster Bossam [종로] 삼해집 굴보쌈

August 8th, 2015

I was devastated ever since Hongik Bossam closed down. I felt like there were no more good Bossam’s around. until I found Janggun Bossam at Myeongdong, which costs a bomb.

then I thought to myself.. okay, there is no more good AND affordable bossam anymore..

and my friend brought me to this bossam shop hidden at the alleys of Jongro, Samhaejib 삼해집.

홍익보쌈 닫아진 후 맛있는 보쌈집은 명동의 비싼 장군보쌈 밖에 없었더라구요.. 근데 친구 소개로 종로의 유명한 보쌈집, 삼해집을 알게 되었다!

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that red and yellow is the sign for this yummy place!

굉장히 작은 골목이긴한데 맛있는 집 많은 것 같았다. 신기한게 종로의 큰길에서 골목으로 들어가면 다른 세계로 들어가는 느낌이 있었다.

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what’s even better about this place is that a Gamjatang will be provided as a basic side menu– FOC!

여기서 보쌈 먹으면 기본으로 나온 감자탕! 짱 좋은 서비스 ㅋㅋ.

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now, now, just look at that amazing plate of bossam. bossam at many other places are normally too hard and chewy and the pork’s not fresh/kimchi tastes bad. but this place’s purrrfect. so juicy and porky. except the pork isn’t from Korea. it’s imported that’s probably why it’s so much cheaper than other places. but hey! it tastes really good!

we ordered the large portion (30,000won). there’s a medium (25,000won) and a small (20,000won) depending on how much you want to eat. for 3 people, I’d normally take the medium but it was our main course and I had two big eaters with me. so we ordered the large. but heck, we were so filled!

대자로 시켰는데 완전 배고픈 우리 3명의 배를 꽉 찼다. 굴은 완전 꿀맛이죵 ㅋㅋㅋ. 보쌈은 외국산이라 다른데보다 좀 더 싼것 같지만 질이 떨어지지 않아요~ 완전 맛있었어요! 부르럽고~ 맛도 좋고~ 다른 데의 딱딱한 보쌈보다 훨 맛있었다. 김치는 제일 맛있는 것 같아요~ 그래도 보쌈 먹으면 김치 젤 중요하죠! 그래서 삼해진 강추! 돼지고기만 외국산. 다른것 다 한국산인 것 같다.

대자는 3만원, 중자는 2만5천, 소자는 2만원였습니다~

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ohh glorious ja-mong-e-i-seul. this grapefruit flavoured soju is DA BOMB in Korea right now. beware and not order the OTHER grapefruit flavoured soju. because you know only this brand rocks. =D.

요즘 핫한 자몽의 이슬 2병!

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lets dig in!

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I HAD TO UPLOAD THIS PICTURE! look at Neoh’s face!!! he was very hungry because I was late haha. it was my last day in Korea! so……………….. . my eyes were closed halfway so I had to cover it ahhahaha.

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Neoh’s single and looking. well after uploading this picture.. I hope he gets more girls hahahahaha. he’s my most adorable friend. =D.

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and just a few hours later, I saw Chanyeol at the airport. D=. CHANYEOL I’m TALKING ABOUT. total coincidence. I was glad I arrived hours before my flight. there were so many people around with their large cameras. and I was inside the airport. AND I got a good viewing spot =3. I’ve never said this on my blog, but I have Chanyeol on my phone’s background picture for over a year now. I really like him. heheeh. I guess it was just meant to be.

몇 시후에 공항에서.. 찬열을 봤다!! 찬열이 <3. 전 찬열이 완전 좋아했는데 우연히 공항에서 봤던게 말도 안 됐다.

right, before I get carried away, here’s the map to the restaurant!! 그리고 삼해진의 지도~ 종로3가역 15번 출구 근처라 찾기 어려운거 없었다.

Dreamy Camera, Yangpyeong 꿈꾸는 사진기, 양평

August 6th, 2015

okay, to be honest, I had a hard time translating the name of this spectacular cafe in Yangpyeong, South Korea. it’s literally called the dreaming camera. but.. it can also mean dream camera too. like.. the camera that’s like a dream. and it actually is. and it is a place for you to share your dream.

there were actually nothing much nearby and it’s ridiculously difficult to go as it’s ridiculously far from Seoul. but for a ridiculous reason I find myself having the urge to go back there every season. because.. well look at it.

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this cafe has a surprisingly short history. it opened back in 2013 but from what I heard from the lady owner, they had planned for this from a long time ago. it was modeled after a twin lens Rolleiflex and it just look phenomenal from every angle. and there IS a reason to come here. similar to how this couple managed to build this dreamy camera, they try to spread their positive aura to motivate others achieve their dreams too! and the owner would LOVE to listen to your dreams! that’s actually what this cafe is for, to share your dreams. it ain’t just a normal cafe you go to and it is definitely not just a camera themed cafe.

 

IMG_4221 copy the interior of the cafe was clean cut and well.. filled with cameras. it wasn’t really big so if you’re here on a busy day.. you might have to wait. but lucky for me, I went there right at 11am and the shop just opened! so I had the luxury to occupy the entire cafe for at least 30 minutes until it started getting packed.

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Americano! glassed prettily.

IMG_4220 copy I was so glad I ordered Cammomile tea because of their cute teapot/cup. hehehe.

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the view was really calming and look! the pot the plant was put into looks like a film!

IMG_4224 copy there were plenty of games for the kids and also coloured pens and pencils for you to write down your dream. I’m pretty sure I took pictures of them but I couldn’t find where those pictures went. they magically disappeared hmm. well you should write 5 of your dreams on a piece of paper and have a picture of it taken then the owner will place it on their wall. if you succeeded one of your dreams/all of them, you can either write back or go back and let them know and they will give you a small gift or something as an award ^^. IMG_4226 copy the amount of camera’s there was just.. overwhelming.IMG_4227 copy

I wanted to buy this polaroid tissue holder so bad but I had my luggage packed and I didn’t have any extra space to store them as I was leaving Korea right after visiting this cafe T_T. if I’m not mistaken it’s sold for only 15,000won. or was it 25. hmm. I think it was 15. haha.
IMG_4231 copy maybe you can try spot anyone you know on the walls! only my “dream list” is going to be on the wall hehee.IMG_4232 copyIMG_4233 copy IMG_4237 copy

IMG_4235 copy their mad camera collection is actually one of their dream. and they made it! it’s a very impressive camera collection I must say.

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the camera this building was modeled after!

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I was actually there with Sangjun of onedayhanbok so I wore.. “a few” hanboks.

IMG_4297 copy we were there for a long time since we took LOADS of pictures. and since there were no other customers (it was the MERS period. I am guessing it’s going to be much more packed during weekends and without MERS haha) the kind lady owner made us more tea. in these beautiful teacups.

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the kind lady owner =D. she’s really passionate about her cafe and she’d tell you all about the history if she’s free! provided that you speak Korean as well hehehe. because she did mention that her English is pretty limited.

there’s also a sad story amongst the amazing ones where they got married and have a pretty daughter. and it’s that their dog passed away just the end of last year and it left them heart broken..

 

IMG_4327 copy but they have 2 more pups now! and they are soooooo people friendly.

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they literally ran towards me as soon as they saw me!

IMG_2321 copy and they kept trying to lick me on my lips hahaha. for those who’d like to rent a Hanbok in Seoul, visit www.onedayhanbok.com =).

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there’s a separate blog post on onedayhanbok here.

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that’s all for now! I loved the cafe very much. 5/5 stars despite their location. so I really recommend you to visit this cafe if you have extra time on your itinerary! =3.

directions to the Dreamy Camera:

1. take the subway to Hoegi or Cheongnyangni Station (line 1)
2. head to Yongmun Station (Jungang line)
3. take a cab and tell them to bring you to “ggum ggu neun sa jin gi” =). (it’s literally pronounced like.. goom goo neun sah jihn ghi)

it’ll take more or less 2 hours to get there so please plan your time carefully =).

operating time: 11:00 ~ 18:00

address: 341-13, Jung-won-ri, Yongmun-myeon, Yangpyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, Korea, Yangpyeong 476-843

website: https://www.facebook.com/cafedreamy