South Korea’s cuisine
South Korean cuisine is particularly different from all Japanese influences. Because Japan had occupied the country for more than four decades in the middle of the 20th century, so that a kind of “intimate hostility” developed. The particularly distinctive aesthetics and mild balance of Japanese cuisine are less likely to be found on South Korean plates. Rather, Koreans love hot spices hot and deep.
Hot and versatile
In South Korea, spices are spicy: Manul, the garlic, is particularly popular and is probably only used more breathtakingly in Romania. Because of the rather changeable and cold weather, the South Koreans really heat themselves up with loads of spicy spiciness at all the meals that are rather formally celebrated at the beginning – and some winter soups cause violent sweats after a few minutes.
The vegetables and meat are also richly and challengingly seasoned with chilli as the meal continues, which is becoming more and more fluffy. South Koreans prefer meat from the bone – so the meat of poultry legs is eaten out of hand. Otherwise, chopsticks are common in South Korea, but our western cutlery is by no means unusual.
Bulgogi and Dutch Oven
The Korean hot pot is part of the food tradition in the East Asian country. In addition, you can put together your own stew from the numerous ingredient bowls with deliciously fresh products from one of the many Korean markets. With the chopsticks, everything is dipped into a wide variety of hellishly hot sauces.
With Bulgogi, another national dish made of marinated and grilled beef slices with hot vegetables and sauces, the stew comes ready on the dining table.
South Korean feast
The Koreans often eat dishes from one of the predominantly vegetarian, traditional Buddhist temple kitchens, which surprisingly do not use hot spices such as onions and garlic. In return, the cooks in the cookshops, which can be found in abundance everywhere, reach for the spices all the more courageously.
If it is really festive, whole fish are prepared. They come to the banquet table with seaweed, prawns, mussels and crabs from the coasts of South Korea. There are also fermented Korean vegetables and of course Pap. Pap is Korean sticky rice, the consistency of which corresponds to the sound of the word.
Loud and lively
With everything, the South Koreans are lively eaters who especially love long lasting food. This or that Shoju, a tasty, mildly sweet schnapps that is served either cold or warm depending on the season, is also popular. If the Shoju is all too eagerly awarded, even the connoisseurs of a gourmet restaurant are unabashed and always accepted, taking a little nap.
Those who relax afterwards like to enjoy fresh fruit afterwards – apples and nashis are very popular and form a good end to a South Korean feast.
Contrasts and connections in cooking
In Seoul, it is worth visiting gourmet restaurants that offer New Korean cuisine. They succeed in bridging the gap between European cuisine and traditional cuisine from the land of dawn.
But also, and especially during a study trip to Korea, the food stalls and temple kitchens are worth a visit. In the temple kitchens, good food is always synonymous with healthy food, because a healthy mind only lives in a healthy body. Eating in the temple kitchens is strictly vegan and has been for almost 2000 years.
Lotte World Tower
The newest attraction in Seoul
In the South Korean capital Seoul in the Jamsildong district, the Lotte World Tower is one of the most important sights in the city and is also the tallest building in the city and the country. The skyscraper also plays an important role in the global ranking and ranks fifth among the tallest buildings in the world. Interesting for visitors to Seoul is the viewing platform, which is located in the upper area of the 555 meter high structure. It offers a wide view of the city, the surrounding commercial buildings and the area around Seoul.
The specialty of the Lotte World Tower
The Lotte World Tower has 123 floors above the ground. The upper six floors are open to the public and offer access to the tower’s observation deck, among other things. It has a glass floor that offers a view of downtown Seoul. This visitor platform received an entry in the Guiness Book of Records as the highest viewing platform with a glass floor in the world. Visitors take the elevator to the 118th floor, from where they can go directly to the platform. The elevator travels at a speed of 600 meters per minute.
The remaining floors of the Lotte World Tower have been used as a hotel area, commercial building and apartments since the construction work was completed in 2017. There is also a shopping mall in the building. The Lotte World Tower has a total floor space of around 304,000 square meters. The architect Kohn Pedersen Fox provided the plan for the construction of the skyscraper . According to his specifications, the skyscraper was built from 2012 to 2016.
History of the temple
The Haeinsa Temple in South Korea, founded in 802, is located 650 meters above sea level on Gayasan Mountain, about 30 kilometers from Daegu in the Gyeongsangnam region. The name Haeinsa means Temple of the Great Sea of Meditation. It is one of the three most important Buddhist temples in Korea and represents the Buddhist teaching. A visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site is part of the program on many study trips and the destination of pilgrimages by believers from all over the world. Since 1398, the Haeinsa Temple has guarded the Tripitaka Koreana, one of the most complete collections of Buddhist scriptures, comprising over 81,000 printing plates. The temple complex has been renovated several times in the course of its history and almost completely rebuilt after a fire in 1817.
Sights and activities
The area around the monastery is designated as a national park and offers some steep hiking trails with beautiful vantage points. The temple is actively operated as a monastery and visited by many tourists. As part of a trip through South Korea, there is also the option of staying overnight in the monastery. The temple complex comprises 16 buildings and is entered through the temple gate with its four stone temple guards. The main prayer hall Daejeokkwangjeon, or main hall of the great light, with the beautiful Buddha and the three-story stone pagoda in front of it is impressive.
Behind the main hall of the Haeinsa Temple is the Janggyeong Panjeon building complex. It is a group of four warehouses that have been preserved from the 15th century and are arranged in a rectangle. The 81,258 wooden printing plates of the Tripitaka Koreana are stored here. They were made between 1236 and 1251 after the original version from 1087 was lost during a Mongol invasion. For the production of the panels, wood from trees over 50 years old was used, which was soaked in salt water and then dried for several years. After the characters had been carved in, a protective layer of lacquer was applied. The open warehouses with their constant ventilation prevent the build-up of moisture and thus enable the wooden panels to be perfectly preserved.