Korea enjoys a rich culture, made up of a mixture of deeply historic elements alongside modern aspects like the blossoming K-pop world. Visitors to Korea can enjoy a variety of cultural and modern experiences unique to this fascinating country. Read on for ten fantastically unique products that can only be found in Korea.
K-pop, or Korean pop music and culture, is taking the world by storm, and is largely responsible for the burgeoning popularity of Korean dramas. Television dramas like Descendants of the Sun have enjoyed worldwide popularity, and Korea knows how to capitalize on the unexpected popularity of its pop culture.
K-pop merchandise can be found almost everywhere in Korea, but the real treasures lie in licensed souvenir shops run by major entertainment agencies.
While socks are certainly not a uniquely Korean item, the prevalence of sock-buying opportunities and the wide range of colors, designs, and characters available undoubtedly is. And they're not just targeted to children, as wearing socks emblazoned with favorite characters or even political figures is commonplace for modern Korean people too.
In fact, sock buying so common in Korean culture that sock vending machines can be found in popular areas of Seoul.
Much like the "kawaii" culture in Japan, Koreans love anything tiny and cute. Many cute items can be found throughout Seoul and other parts of Korea, from tiny teddy bears and dolls to intricate miniatures on keychains, and trinkets to attach to bags and cell phones.
As an offshoot of Korea's "cute" culture, the selection of cell phone cases available to purchase is almost unrivaled in Korea. The range of cases in the United States is a tiny proportion of what is available in other parts of the world, so it makes sense to bring home a selection of cell phone cases for yourself and as souvenirs for friends and family.
BB Cream is one of the hottest beauty items on the market today, and by all accounts its popularity will only continue to rise. With BB Cream being a uniquely Korean invention, it is little wonder why people are exporting it in all its forms around the world.
But the Korean beauty market is so much more than BB Cream, with facial packs being another common and inexpensive item in Korea. In addition, a selection of strange and unusual beauty products can be found, from jaw massagers to double-eyelid tape, and antibacterial hand wipes to facial slimming masks.
Back to the traditional, the hanbok is for Korea what the kimono is for Japan. And just like in Japan, Korean men and women still wear their hanbok with pride during celebrations and social occasions. Visitors to Korea can order a custom-made hanbok, however they don't run cheap and can take up to three weeks to made.
As such, a variety of hanbok dolls and teddy bears are available for sale at various places throughout Korea, which have proven to be popular keepsakes.
Soju is the Koreans' alcoholic drink of choice, and like much of Korean culture, has become so popular overseas that the most well-known soju brand, Jinro, has been known to outsell other popular liquors in the United States.
A clear liquid like vodka, soju is typically made from rice and is considered to be quite bitter to taste, and not as strong as vodka.
Soju was traditionally made from rice, until rice shortages from the mid-1060s until the turn of the century caused the government to prohibit the use of rice in soju distillation. Creators needed to become inventive, and even today soju can be found with a tapioca, barley, wheat, or sweet potato base. The more expensive brands are once again made from rice, and soju that has been aged ten years in oak barrels carries a premium price.
Masks have long featured in Korean culture, in royal courts, battle uniforms, ceremonies, and rituals. Today, traditional Korean masks still play a role in re-enactments of traditional plays and ceremonies, and as good-luck charms.
Korea has a strong tea culture, with a variety of traditional and newer teas available. Meshil (sweet plum tea) and omija (five taste tea) are traditional variants that are still widely enjoyed today, while jakseolcha, an expensive form of green tea made from only the young buds of the leaves, is a firm favorite.
Koreans have been making traditional paper, known as hanji, for thousands of years, and the tradition still endures today. Made from the bark of the mulberry tree hanji was traditionally used to over the windows, doors, and walls in Korean houses, but today is more commonly used for artistic purposes including stationery, paper dolls, and lamps.
Folding fans have long been a part of Korean culture, with their use being considered essential, even in colder weather. Folding fans are widely available for purchase, and have traditionally been used as props in Korean dances and performances, providing shelter from the elements, and even to hide a person's face from onlookers.
Which of these products would you be most interested in bringing home from a trip to Korea? Are there other quintessentially Korean products that should be included on this list? Have your say in the comments below, and please like and share this article.
17 Uniquely Korean Items to Buy in Seoul - http://www.gpsmycity.com/articles/73-17-uniquely-korean-items-to-buy-in-seoul.html
A Guide to Cool “Korean” Things to Buy in Korea - http://grrrltraveler.com/countries/asia/korea/cool-things-to-buy-in-korea/
Top 20 Things To Buy In Seoul To Take Home - https://blog.trazy.com/2016/07/07/top-20-things-to-buy-in-seoul-to-take-home/
Top 13 Korean Souvenirs That Friends Will Love You For - https://www.tripzilla.com/buy-souvenirs-south-korea/19531
10 Best Seoul Souvenirs Worth Your Money - http://www.therealtravelers.com/south-korea/seoul/10-best-seoul-souvenirs-worth-your-money/
Top 10 Items to Buy in Seoul - http://english.visitseoul.net/top10/Top-10-Items-to-Buy-in-Seoul?indexSn=1§ionSn=77
Items to Buy - http://www.lifeinkorea.com/shopping/items.cfm
There are but few things that make life spicy - having to celebrate anniversaries is one of such. From birthdays to marriages, friendship to festive celebrations and even death, there is always this aura around the anniversaries celebrated. Anniversary milestones are not all equal, various anniversaries call for different types of gifts. Meanwhile, one would ask,' what is so special about marking anniversaries?' You do not know right? That memory of the past and how it all started in a positive light is not something to trade with stupidly. It is equally a time to make your spouse, lover or friend feel amazing and letting your actions reflect your inner feelings that they indeed, are the single most important part of your life.
The celebration of anniversaries come in different colors and forms from going to see a movie to going on a vacation, renewing of vows and of course giving of gifts to make it more thrilling.
Gifts ranging from chocolate and champagne, down to long stemmed roses are best to give someone on an anniversary. Does it look expensive? Right, others may say ' does it worth much to give?' Hell, yes, it does! Knowing how dear, that special person is to you, you would want to go the extra mile to make their day. Anniversary gifts in a whole give people the chance of remembering past lovely moments and also bringing them into the present, which is true.
Roses with scent are the best to give to a loved one on an important day like an anniversary. Ladies are said to be general lovers of scented roses, taking it as a way of being romantic and touchy- you know that feeling right? Moreover, if you want to make their day? Roses, carefully arranged with the sweet fragrance of perfume filling the room and candles set to illuminate the way to the gift, are sure the best. I bet you on it.
People have plenty ideas to make their anniversary a memorable and classic one. White cream, pastel pink, mauve colored rose bouquet with wine like most and chancellor, Domain Perignon Vintage, Glenmorangie Whisky, and chocolates, but don't forget the candles with a scent to add more aura to a couple's anniversary dinner, making it romantic and creating an inevitable love in the atmosphere.
In most cases, instead of a store-bought present, give your partner something truly unique, like a digital collection of your favorite songs (or songs that make you think of him/ her), or keep the dying art of handwriting alive by penning an old-fashioned love letter. If you are the creative type, craft an original song, poem or painting that comes from the heart.
Amidst all the gifts to be given to that special one are sweet smelling roses. Roses, especially red ones still stand the test of time creating more ideas of beauty, love, and romance. The color of traditional roses; red, represents passion. Unbelievably, a pink rose may stand for appreciation and grace, a yellow rose may stand for friendship and happiness, while the white rose may stand for innocence.
People say 'your lady will love you more if you get her teddy bears, chocolates, and candles ' but like hell would they appreciate something to be presented with the chocolate and teddies, and that is a ROSE.
So when next you are thinking of what to get for that special one, consider getting a bouquet of rose.
Over this past weekend, I decided to play around with Google’s new app called Auto Draw. It’s a vector based app that responds to your tablet or phone sketch and then creates an icon based on recognition of shapes. For instance, let’s say you need a flower icon for a button on your site or an app you’re developing. Simply draw a flower on your tablet/phone and voila, you got a clean vector icon of a flower that can be easily manipulated and edited with a few clicks on the interface. At least, that’s what the video presented and which was what got me very interested.
The Google Auto Draw app is currently in a beta testing mode where it’s been integrated into the site itself. I found it not as easy to use as the video suggested and tried it on both my iPhone and my iPad. There didn’t seem to be, that I recognized, any ease of use from either device.
My 5-year-old son is a whiz on his iPad so I let him try it out and see if maybe I was a bit too hasty in my critique. He played with it for about 2 minutes and was not in the least bit interested. The shape recognition seems to be lacking in a few areas, but for the most part, it’s very cognitive of what it is you might be trying to draw. The stroke of the lines, curves, and angles are spotless and reminiscent of the Bell System logo from the 80’s. I like that, and it’s a clean and simple rendering that just about anyone can do. In my professional opinion, I think it’s perfect for a less experienced marketing executive looking for fast and inexpensive vector art for a PowerPoint presentation.
I also see Auto Draw being of use to seasoned designers that need instant vector art on the fly. A lot of times I spend valuable minutes looking thru files and folders trying to locate something from a year ago. After testing the Auto Draw app on tablet surfaces, I decided to try it out on my MacMini with a 24” monitor, and it worked so much better. I attest that to the speed if of the processor, video card, and Mighty Mouse. The shape recognition is faster and intuitively accurate, to say the least. It was here where I found the link to download the app itself, and I’ve been using it all week.
It’s a powerful tool in the ever-expanding world of vector based graphics which can be used in print, web building, and multimedia. You can create flow charts to keep your projects organized or for creating visual presentations for clients. However, with the interface being so easy to use, I can’t help but wonder if Google will introduce more apps in the near future putting designers out of work. Honestly, I don’t see that happening but this is definitely a powerful and free vector based app that may sway software developers to follow suit.
Many small business owners set up a website, fill it with content, and then forget about it. Unfortunately, you can’t afford to adopt such a passive approach if you want a successful website that actually generates useful traffic. Luckily, website analytics are an excellent way to drill down into your website for clues on how to make it perform better.
Back in the day, you may have hired a Magento agency to create a fantastic website. It probably still looks amazing now, but you still need to monitor your website traffic. Analytics make this job so much easier. There is a wealth of detailed information available, and you don’t even need to be an SEO expert to access this information.
Anyone can open a Google Analytics account. It won’t take long to get your account up and running, and once it is, you can add a tracking ID to any website you own. This allows you to analyse website traffic, and a whole host of other metrics.
Top Performing Pages
Look at which pages attract the most visitors. Analyse these pages in depth to find out where your visitors are coming from, what keywords they use to find the page, and how long they spend on the page. This information will help you create more of the same. You can also leverage your high-performing pages by adding a strong call-to-action or more prominent ads on these pages.
Google Analytics offers a geographic breakdown of visitors, so you can see where your traffic comes from, right down to the town or city. This is more useful than you might think; especially if you are looking to expand your business into new areas. You might discover that you already have traffic from a specific country, which indicates your products or services are of interest.
What’s Your Bounce Rate?
There will always be visitors who click on a page and then click away almost immediately, but if your bounce rate is higher than expected, it indicates you have a problem. Look at page loading speed. If a page takes more than a few seconds to load, this could be the reason why your bounce rate is high. If so, ask yourself what’s causing the problem. Is it your server, or do you have too many graphics and videos on the page? Whatever the underlying cause is, fix it, as it is hurting your website.
Where is your traffic coming from – paid ads or organic traffic? This information tells you what is working, and also what isn’t. Check whether traffic is coming from mobile or desktop devices. Again, this is very important for future optimisation.
If you pay close attention to how visitors interact with your website, your traffic will grow a lot faster.
Millennials are consistently seen as reluctant investors. Some are a decade into their career, but they’re still relatively risk-averse, which many analysts believe is largely the result of the fact they grew up or came into adulthood in the midst of the Great Recession. Millennials have seen one of the worst financial environments in history, which has understandably made them gun-shy when it comes to investing, particularly in the stock market.
To combat that sense of hesitation, fintech companies have been creating platforms and technology that speak specifically to Millennials, and many of these companies have been quite successful in the process.
One of the biggest fintech trends leading the way not just for Millennials but investors in a range of age brackets is robo-investing. The premise behind robo-investing is one that Millennials tend to embrace because it’s seen as easy, inexpensive, and it gives the ability to create a set-it-and-forget strategy that requires minimal effort.
Robo-investing is also a viable alternative to the old way of doing things, which was to work with a financial advisor. Financial advisors, however, have been lumped in with many others in the financial services industry, such as bankers and lenders, and they’re not necessarily viewed in the most positive light by Millennials. Robo-investing platforms like Betterment give them the opportunity to skip the financial advisor, while still getting similar advantages, such as diversification and tax efficiency.
In the past, most investors would use services such as YAHOO! Finance to do their research and to track stocks, but there has been a new wave of trading software popping up that’s more comprehensive than ever before. Options such as Stocks to Trade, which was introduced by Millennial investment professional Timothy Sykes, is designed not just for the Wall Street elite, but is instead for real people.
These trading software platforms include some of the most varied data points available, and they give users the opportunity to see everything they could need or want to know about all of the big markets in one location.
Budgeting and Spending
When looking for strategies to invest, it’s just important to decide how you’ll allocate your assets. It’s also important to look at your investment capabilities versus your income and spending needs. That’s why budgeting apps and banking services are also an essential component of many Millennials financial and investment strategies.
Just one of the many examples is called Simple, which is essentially branchless banking where everything can be done on a mobile phone.
This helps investors and would-be investors because it has features to create specific, personalized goals, such as putting aside a certain amount of money each week to invest. It also includes a feature called “Safe-to-Spend” which lets users see how much they can spontaneously spend without sabotaging their budget and existing goals.
Finally, another big way fintech is changing the investing landscape not just for Millennials but for everyone? Peer-to-peer lending.
Peer-to-peer lending offers the opportunity for people to bypass the traditional bank environment for personal and business loans, and it gives investors the chance to look outside the stock market for investing opportunities. There is a high level of risk, particularly when it comes to investing in certain borrowers, but Millennials seem to like the concept because the potential returns are much higher than they would be with something like a high-yield savings account, and as long as funds are spread out over many loans, the level risk isn’t incredibly high.
Fintech is changing the way Millennials invest and shifting how they view the concept itself, creating not just new opportunities for investors, but new possibilities in technology as well.