Once you hear his name, it’s hard to forget it especially when it reminds you of ‘Korea’. Korea Chan started his career to meet and communicate with foreigners, and it made him what he was aspiring to be.
Korea Chan has been an influencer, professional photographer, and now runs a hanbok rental store. All his passion comes from the thought ‘how can I create good memories about Korea for foreign tourists?’. He is one of the top experienced hosts on Airbnb as a photographer in Seoul, and he met more than 500 foreign tourist groups in the last 4 years. In June 2022, he fulfilled his long-held dream – he opened ‘Daehan Hanbok’ to help people experience the beauty of Korea.
About Korea Chan, specifically, his name.
“I’ve been always thinking I was born to do something for Korea. My Korean name is Han Kook Chan (한국찬). It means ‘to elevate the country’ in Chinese characters, and is pronounced ‘Korea(=Han Kook=한국)’ in English. And since I was interested in foreign language and culture, I named myself ‘Korea Chan’.”
Korea Chan’s career: youtuber, photographer, and hanbok business entrepreneur.“I started to learn English at the age of 20, which is quite late for studying another language. However, I got so much engrossed in learning to understand the new language and culture right away. I have been enjoying communicating more and more with foreigners since then, and that’s why I started a YouTube channel.”
His first attempt to meet foreigners made him a famous communicator in a short time. A video interviewing foreigners in Korea hit more than 700k views(*original video on YouTube was removed). Korea Chan has also been running other YouTube channels to promote himself in different countries.
“I was not a trained creator at that time, but it was when I was working at a marketing company, when my ultimate passion was ignited. My job was promoting Korean tourism, as well as creating content and managing foreign influencers. I found my new passion in the tourism field, especially introducing the genuine Korean culture and making memories for foreign tourists. I’ve always been thankful to Johnny, you know that (haha).”
Interviewer Johnny from Interesting Korea was a senior at the marketing company, and he recommended Korea Chan to become a photographer. “Photography was the thing that I genuinely enjoyed. In the past 4 years, I have met more than 3,000 foreigners visiting Korea. Photography is a simple and clear way to make memories while traveling. I tried capturing the happiest moments of the tourists at the most authentically Korean spots – the palaces in Seoul. What made me distinct compared to the other photographers in Seoul was my communication skill. My previous experiences as a youtuber and a tourism marketer were very helpful and it made me the top-rated photographer by foreign tourists on Airbnb.”
“Most of my customers visiting Gyeongbukgung Palace rent hanbok. It’s because not only you can enter the palace for free with a hanbok on, but also it makes the visitors experience the time flow of the Korean history. And, of course, it’s beautiful. I also tried many traditional costumes when I traveled abroad, and I found something special about hanbok. Even though nobody tells them, people wearing hanbok tend to suddenly slow down their footsteps, constantly fix the collar, and smile gently.”“I was fascinated about the fact that somehow wearing a hanbok changes not only your look, but also your behavior and attitude. I think that’s the real beauty of hanbok. Since then, I have wanted to expand the boundary that I can give my customers from making memories to making ‘beautiful’ memories, and now I’m here, as a CEO of Daehan Hanbok.
“What differentiates it from the other hanbok rentals, in my opinion, is probably the fact that I’m a communicator. I’m the youngest out of the hanbok business owners in the neighborhood. Representing a younger generation, I am full of fresh ideas and unlike a conventional hanbok rental shop, in Daehan Hanbok we don’t treat our guests like customers, we treat them like friends.” Korea Chan wishes people associate Daehan Hanbok with all the best travel experience in Korea they can have.
When asked about his life credo, Korea Chan answered:
“Do what other people don’t and what other people think is a crazy thing to do”. I have set some goals I am planning to achieve in the future while running Daehan Hanbok. One of them is making Deahan Hanbok the best experience based off customers’ reviews within one year. And I am also hoping to develop a rather modernized and casual version of hanbok while preserving the beauty of the traditional one. I would also love to introduce hanbok to the global audience by hosting hanbok runway shows abroad.”
We are delighted to have Korea Chan as one of Interesting Korea Leaders since his vision corresponds to Interesting Korea’s mission – connecting the world with Korea.