Saturday, April 22, 2017

Sindorim 연탄 Museum or something

I met The Stumbler for lunch today at Sindorim. Sindorim, for the uninitiated, is the location of one of Seoul's busiest subway stations, on one end of which is TechnoMart, a ten story mall, largely dedicated to electronic goods, and on the other end of which is D-cube City, an enormous "lifestyle" mall, which also contains offices and a tony Sheraton Hotel.

It is also, as The Stubler pointed out, the location of a small, but interesting, outdoor "museum" or display relating to the production of yeontan, 연탄, which are the "Korean Kingsford", charcoal briquets, commonly found in Korean barbeque restaurants (the computer has tried to correct my spelling of both briquet and barbeque, but frankly I don't believe it).

Tucked away in a little corner of the D-cube City side's park, it actually has good English-language signage (above) explaining that the briquets, or 연탄, were first manufactured by Daesung Corporation as a result of the government's desire to slow the decimation of the country's forests for firewood in the middle of the twentieth century. Nowadays most home heating is done by gas. Daesung had a manufacturing plant in Sindorim--the "rim" part means "forest", but I don't know what the Sindo means.

First, coal is brought in and pulverized in the hammer mill:

Then it's sorted:

And then formed by pressing:

Here's the final product.

Interesting ten minutes.

Interesting Seoul Patch fact: The Sindorim Technomart post linked to at top is the seventh most visited page on this blog.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

13th Yeouido Spring Blossom Festival

There are only so many good photo ops at the Cherry Blossom Festival, so I have used this one virtually every year--it has cherry blossoms, the Han River and the Seoul skyline. Of course, the flowers are the star of the show:

There are also street performers:

...a "powder room" (new this year):

...and an old-timey coffee shop (new last year):

There are also some other good photo ops:

...participation opportunities:

...and other sorts of flowers besides ornamental cherries:

The dates for this year's festival are April 1 to April 10, so you have one more chance!