What the heck’s a taeguk? – or, how I rate destinations

:

If you’ve seen my taeguk ratings on my Destination posts, you probably recognize the simple five-star scale on several different characteristics. But what the heck’s a taeguk?


A taeguk (technically the sam-taeguk variation) – source: Wikipedia

If you’ve seen my taeguk ratings on my Destination posts, you probably recognize the simple five-star scale on several different characteristics. But what the heck’s a taeguk?


A taeguk (technically the sam-taeguk variation) – source: Wikipedia

From the concept of Taiji comes yin and yang – a swirl of blue (representing earth) and red (for heaven). This symbol is in South Korea’s flag, through a third swirl of yellow (representing man) is added as a variation. That’s the variation you’ll see on some palaces and around town, so I chose that one to rate destinations.

My ratings are of course subjective, though I try to stay open-minded and considerate of individual circumstances.

The four areas I rate are:

Ease to arrive – this is not a question of distance from home to destination; it’s about closeness to a subway stop, a bus stop, or the ability to use another form of public transportation. Are the maps placed in subway station correct? What about the directions in official publications? Five taeguks in this category means a place is easy to get to, easy to find the entrance, and easy to navigate the trip there.

Foreigner-friendly – I don’t want to be patronized; by foreigner-friendly I’m referring to understanding the place. Are there English-language brochures or signs, or are the only explanations in Korean? Five taeguks in this category means a place has plenty of information that’s easy to understand.

Convenience facilities – Walking around and exploring can get thirsty or tiring; thankfully, most places offer restrooms, convenience stores, rest areas, and the like. Are they clean, well-stocked, and reasonably priced? I don’t expect every modern-day accessory at the top of a rugged mountain trail, but a bottle of water from the bottom of the hill isn’t too much to ask. Five taeguks in this category means you’re never too far away from what you need.

Worth the visit – Some places will come highly recommended, while others are not worth the time and effort to reach. Elements considered in this category include interesting things to see, do, or experience, uniqueness, educational, and so on. Five taeguks in this category means I’ll be coming back over and over again.

For the fun of it, I usually create another category and rate the place based on a five taeguk scale. You’ll figure it out.

Questions? Comments? Comments are on 🙂

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2009



Leave a Comment