Immersive Postcards from South Korea
Each Olympics event is an opportunity for the host country to showcase itself—its culture, its people, its food—to the world. In 2018, South Korea stood center stage as home to the PyeongChang Winter Games.
In the spirit of exploring opportunities in virtual reality (VR) storytelling for public diplomacy, CPD partnered with JOVRNALISM (VR journalism) to send an immersive storytelling team to South Korea during this unique time for the country's world presence.
Below, you can step into five immersive postcards capturing distinct aspects of South Korea, from its tense militarized border with North Korea to a taste of daily life in a quaint fishing village, and more.
Tip: Use the mouse to click and drag to view in all directions!
The Demilitarized Zone is technically an active war zone, but South Korea's side maintains a popular tourist outpost. Here, visitors can peer across the divide into North Korean villages and experience the heavily defended border firsthand.
Use headphones starting at 0:46 to hear a sampling of pop music broadcasted by the South Korean side (toward North Korea). In this case, Lionel Richie's "Hello."
Gastrodiplomacy—sharing food as a means of cultural exchange—is abundant for visitors to South Korea, with its vibrant cuisines visible across both urban and rural areas.
Take a close look at sizzling sweet pancakes (호떡, pronounced "hotteok") on the streets of Seoul, then step into an intimate view of lunchtime in a rural seafood market, and more.
Welcome to Gangneung, home to the 2018 Winter Olympics Coastal Cluster events, such as figure skating and hockey. (PyeongChang held Mountain Cluster events, such as ski jumping and biathlon.)
More than 100 miles from Seoul, this rustic fishing village is a reminder of the nation's slower pace of life that remains in rural economies, dating back thousands of years. Take a look around.
Bukchon Hanok Village
The city of Seoul embraces one of the most visible idiosyncrasies of South Korea: where old meets new. This 600-year-old town displays Korea's iconic rooftop architecture and invites tourists to learn first-hand about cultural traditions.
Step inside Bukchon's Traditional Crafts Experience Center, where guests are learning from local artists how to make traditional Korean handicrafts.
At the intersection of palaces and skyscrapers sits Gyeonbokgung, a network of grand structures erected during the Joseon dynasty in the 14th century. With Seoul's city center a stone's throw away, the grounds are home to an hourly royal guard-changing ceremony, as occurred in historic times.
Look closely at those wearing colorful traditional Korean attire, called Hanbok (한복): they're tourists, and donning this look grants them free entry to Geyonbokgung.
These immersive postcards are published through our CPD 360 initiative.
To view versions previously published by national media outlets, click here.
This project is made possible in part by the Korea Foundation. Read more about the grant here.