Category: Changwon story of foreigners

The Next Generation of Nubija Bikes Have Hit the Streets

The new generation of Nubija bikes were rolled out during the first week of April. A total of 800 of the fifth generation Nubija bikes are set to matriculate and replace old and damaged bikes within the system by the end of April. The 800 new bikes were a joint donation from the Lotte and Denso corporations, in exchange for prominent advertising on the new bikes’ rear wheel hubs.

누비자1 누비자2

The new Nubija bikes have several differentiating features from their fourth generation counterparts. Firstly, these new bikes were made by the Korean bike manufacturing company, Samchuly, and feature a Samchuly logo on the frame.

누비자3  Frame: The frame’s under-bar is a straight diagonal downward slope, as opposed to the curving shape of the previous’ generations frame. In addition, the “Nubija” emblem is less pronounced and more subtle than the previous models.

누비자4  Basket: The new bikes feature a wider and shallower basket.

Handlebars: Gear shifters and brakes have been updated, but not drastically changed. The bike bell however has been improved substantially and is much easier to ring than the last generation’s bell.

On-board Computer Console: The new on-board computer console has been simplified and only just displays the rider’s speed in large red numbers. In addition to this simpler design, the computer now features a caution light that blinks when the rider has exceed 20 KM/HR. In addition to the blinking red light, the console also makes a cautionary beeping sound when the rider is riding over 20 KM/HR. At a speed of 25 KM/HR and over, the console maintains a solid, even “beeeep” until the rider’s speed decreases to under 25 KM/HR.



This feature was added to warn nearby pedestrians, and to remind riders that they are riding too quickly and should reduce their speed. This also serves as a reminder to riders that riding public bikes at above-normal speeds places an unnecessary burden on the bikes by creating abnormal wear and tear.

All in all the new bikes ride fantastically. They’re brand new, have fresh components, and a superior design.  Now that spring has finally sprung it will be a perfect time to get on a new Nubija and better explore the beauty of Changwon’s many parks and streams.

/Posted by  Coby Zeifman, Changwon Blogger Repoter




Spring Cleaning

For most foreigners living in Changwon, less is more. That is to say, that owning less stuff is better. This is because eventually when we move back to our home countries, it’s less stuff we need to move, throw away or sell. Most of us live in crowded studio apartments, where stuff can exponential grow causing clutter and overall headache. Simply put, stuff can be a hassle.

That being said, it is now springtime, meaning that it’s time for spring cleaning! Thankfully across Changwon there are three Beautiful Store thrift store locations. Beautiful Store is a thrift store where customers can buy second-hand clothes, kitchenware, small appliances, books and sports equipment at a reduced price


Each Beautiful Store also offers convenient donation drop-off bins that allow people the ability to conveniently donate their unwanted items.


There are Beautiful Store locations in Junagang-dong, Palyongdong and Bonggok-dong


So if you feel like clutter is taking over your apartment, do some good in your community and head over to a Beautiful Store donation drop-off bin to bring peace to your home.

/Posted by Coby Zeifman, Changwon Reporter Blogger

New Year’s Hike on Muhaksan (Mt. Muhak)

January 1st marks the beginning of a new year, and many Korean families partake in the traditional custom of hiking to the top of a mountain before sunrise, so they can watch the very first sunrise of the new year from the mountain’s peak.


Some other foreigner friends and I set out to bring in the new year in this traditional Korean fashion by climbing Changwon’s 2nd tallest mountain Muhaksan (Mt. Muhak: 761.4 m). We however, lacked the gusto for a pre-sunrise hike and began our trek in the early afternoon.


It was a beautiful early winter’s day in Changwon, with slightly frigid air, a shining sun and clear blue skies. We hiked for five hours from the base of mountain to its windy peak. We hiked through temperate forest and over granite boulders. Once at the summit, we quickly took some photos before retiring to stop and eat our snack of gimbap and cookies.


On our way down he hiked down Muhaksan’s ridge directly into Masan’s Changdong neighborhood, all the while looking over Masan and the sunset lowering over Masan’s Bay, aptly nicknamed “Dream Bay.” In the twilight, hotel and restaurant signs brightened, and office and apartment windows one by one started to illuminate the Masan skyline as we watched from above, overseeing the first day of 2014 peacefully draw to a

/Posted by Coby Zeifman, Changwon Reporter Blogger



CAFÉ HAU is a great coffee shop with a purpose here in Changwon.

CAFÉ HAU is a great coffee shop with a purpose here in Changwon. I sat down with Cecile Hwang and Gyunghee Moon to ask some questions about this unique place.

Café Hau is a great place for coffee. What is your history?

After meeting Seoul City Mayor Park Won-Soon at a lecture about social enterprises and grassroots organizations in April of 2011, Prof. Moon Gyunghee (Dept. of International Relations, Changwon National University) was inspired to work on a project. Four other members joined –Hye Yeon, Tae Hyeon, Sujin (Changwon University graduates) and Cecile Hwang (English instructor) and the Hau project was born.

The word “Hau” means “a good gift” in Vietnamese and “the spirit of giving” in Maori language, and its meaning is significant to what the group wants to do—that is to share a good space with good food/coffee with the local community and give back something to society. Hau submitted a business proposal to Gyeongnam Social Enterprise Support Center and was chosen as one of the teams for “Young Social Entrepreneurs Business Development” Program by the Gyeongnam Provincial Government in June of 2011. In March of 2012, Café Hau coffee shop in Yongho-dong was opened. In June of the same year, Hau Social Enterprise Incorporated was established, and in December, Hau received a “Special Award in Communication” from the Office of Minister of Special Affairs for promoting communications among multicultural families. In March 2013, Café Hau celebrated its first year anniversary, and is still going strong.

hau1   What would you say is the café’s specialty?

Café Hau’s specialty is hand-drippred coffee. We don’t use espresso machines. We brew our coffee from Kalita pots only. We have three varieties of Arabica coffee: Mexican Chiapas, Kopakabi from Rwanda, and Pangkhorn from Thailand. We only serve Fair Trade coffee, and our coffee beans are roasted by a local roaster regularly, which guarantees freshness in every cup. At Café Hau, we use organic and fair trade products only. We also have vegan cookies, organic cheese cakes, chocolates, and a variety of locally produced teas and fruit juices.


Café Hau is more than just a coffee shop. What makes it special?

What makes us special is the fact that we are the only social enterprise coffee shop in Changwon, serving fresh roasted, fresh ground, high quality coffee at all times. We have friendly staff and excellent baristas, and we provide a space that encourages communication, social interaction, and creation. We also do our best to integrate with the local community by supporting local events and activities by different organizations. We also have special classes such as the recently concluded “Barista Class” for the “Association of the Disabled”. We also hold special events at the coffee shop, such as flea markets and single’s parties. Recently, we have started a fund-raising campaign for the flood victims of the super typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. We also do catering services. Café Hau definitely does more than serve coffee.

hau3  What kind of staff do you have? Do people volunteer?

Café Hau is lucky to have a staff composed of hardworking, dedicated, and socially-conscious people. As of now, we have a total of 10 staff members—2 managers, 1 baker, 3 baristas, 1 accountant, and 3 part-timers (2 Changwon University students and 1 foreign spouse from Kyrgyztan). We also have Prof. Moon Gyunghee and Cecile Hwang as advisors. Sometimes, we get help from friends who come to help us and volunteer their time whenever necessary. We are very thankful for that, really.

I noticed that you have a great room in the back. What do you use that for?

Café Hau is proud to have a seminar room, a space we designed for anyone who needs to use it, provided that they order drinks. The room is available for use after making a reservation. It has a beam projector, a screen, speakers, and a seating capacity of up to 30 people. This room is very popular among our clients. We have people who use it on a regular basis, like ukulele club, English club, local theater group, and other study groups.


The artwork seems to always be different, do you have local artists do work for you?

In support of local artists and photographers, we put their art work and photos on display in the coffee shop. Some of our art pieces and pictures are donated by friends and supporters. We encourage and welcome people to display their art work at the coffee shop. We’ve had sculptures, paintings, and even hand-painted fabric and Hanbok on display before. People can put up posters or announcements and sell tickets for their events at the coffee shop. Café Hau is an open space for people, and we welcome those who need a space to advertise their events.


//Posted by Heather Henrichs, Changwon Reporter Blogger

Paryongsan Stone Pagodas in Masan

The Parysongsan Stone Pagodas are located in Masan.


Parysongsan (lit, “Eight Dragons Mountain”) is a 328-meter mountain located in Yangdeok-dong of Masan spreading towards Bongam-dong. The name of the mountain originated with the legend that eight dragons came down from heaven to the mountain.


The mountain was originally called Ballyongsan (“Earthbound Dragon Mountain”), but its current name has gradually gained favor since the liberation of Korea in 1945.


The construction of Paryongsan Stone Pagodas was begun on March 23, 1993 by Yi Sam-yong, a resident of Yangdeok-dong, who was moved by pity by the tragic situation of families divided by the Korean War. Since then, he has continued to build stone pagodas to soothe the grief of divided families, praying for family reunions and Korean reunification. His ultimate aim is to build 1,000 pagodas.


The story behind the stone pagodas has received extensive media coverage, turning them into a major tourist attraction in the area. Their location has now been designated as one of the Nine Scenic Views of Masan.

/Posted by Coby Zeifman, Changwon Reporter Blogger

The Masan Chrysanthemum Festival

The Masan Chrysanthemum Festival closed out November 3rd, ending its two-week run along Masan Bay.


There were  vendor booths, stages for performances and festival foods including glistening pork spinning over fires, fried spiral potato sticks, chicken skewers and for the adventurous, cups of steam silkworm pupae called, beondegi.


The festival featured a variety of impressive chrysanthemum sculptures, fields, and flower collages spelling words and forming giant pictures. The highlight of the festival was two 20 ft tall chrysanthemum sculptures of tigers facing one another in attacking poses.


In addition to the wide array of beautiful golden, white, pink and orange chrysanthemums on display outside, there were two large tents where festival-goers could shop for homemade crafts and observe traditional stone art and impressively groomed Bonsai trees on display by local artists and trimmers.

I was most impressed by how the roots of the Bonsai trees trickled down over these angular stones, gathering moss in their effort to thirstily suck up water from the potted soil.


Lastly the festival featured a tunneled trestle where hundreds of ripened gourds and squash hung. Many of these squash where longer and wider than human arms and more closely resembled baseball bats than vegetables.


As the festival closed, Changwon citizens exited the festival gates, happy to have seen some bright flowers on a cool autumn day, right in their own backyard.

/Posted by Coby Zeifman, Changwon Repoter Blogger


Ice Hockey in Changwon

  For hockey fans looking for a home away from home, look no further than to The Seobu Sports Center in Dogye-Dong. Seobu is the practice facility, and home arena of the Changwon Lycons, Changwon’s only amateur ice hockey

The team is a mix of foreigners and Changwon locals. The Lycons play every Friday Night with the puck dropping at 11PM. They play three 18-minute periods at a grueling pace with only two-minute breaks in between periods. They face rival teams hailing from Busan, to Ulsan, and across Gyeongsangnam-do. Most games have a full roster, substitute players and a

The match I saw was self-regulated without any referee. It was a friendly match where individual players made the calls and sorted out the penalties. However, this did make for more exciting viewing because it resulted in mostly-continuous play.


The Busan Hockey Club visited Seobu Sports Center to face the Lycons on Friday, October 25th. After a scoreless first period, Busan got the go ahead goal in the second period. In the third period however, the Lycons tied the game thanks to a goal from Jeong Do Hyun with assists from Luke Kavanaugh and Jacinto Wong, making the score 1-1. Then within the last 5 minutes of the third period, Jeong Do Hyun scored once more, thanks to an assist from Kong Tae Young. The game clock ran down and Changwon edged out Busan 2-1


It was an exciting, physical match full of powerful shots and hard hits into the boards. But, given the friendly nature of the league, both teams shook hands afterward and even posed for a picture together, smiling and relishing in this special opportunity to play organized ice hockey while in South

/Posted by Coby Zeifman, Changwon Reporter Blogger