K-pop concert to celebrate Bhutan-Korea ties

As part of the celebrations of 30 years of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and the Republic of Korea, a K-pop super concert will be held on June 17 at the Changlimithang stadium in Thimphu.

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) and Dynasty Co Ltd are organising the event.

The highlight of the concert is a performance by world-renowned artist Park Jae-Sang, popularly known as PSY. Five other K-pop artists, Badkiz, Boys Republic, Girlfriend, Hwang Chi-Yeul and Lovelyz will also be performing at the concert.

The concert starts from 3pm and the show is free to Bhutanese and non-Bhutanese working in the country.

Country manager with Dynasty Co Ltd, Wangchen Dradul, said the public would need to sign up for a free invitation ticket by sending an email to superconcertbhutan@gmail.com.

“They can send their citizenship identity card or a work permit number to the given email,” he said. “After signing up, they can collect the free invitation ticket from TCB office or from a stall near the entrance at the stadium on the concert day.”

The ground has a capacity of 5,000 individuals including seats for 500 VIPs while the stadium can accommodate about 10,000 people.

A two-day Korean food festival and Korean film festival were also held in Thimphu last week as a part of the celebration.

TCB’s spokesperson, Damcho Rinzin, said the Council has launched the Bhutan-Korea friendship offer to mark three decades of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

As part of the offer, all Korean nationals visiting Bhutan this year from June 1 to the end of August may choose not to pay the all-inclusive mandatory minimum daily tariff of USD 200 a person a night.

Instead, they will pay only the government royalty of USD 65 per person per night. Visitors can also avail a 30 percent discount fare on Drukair and Bhutan Airlines and up to 50 percent discount in hotels.

Visitors also have the flexibility on choice of services and they need not pay the surcharge of USD 40 a person per night and USD 30 each for two persons.

Visitors should book their trip through a licensed Bhutanese tour operator.

“The first group of Koreans visiting Bhutan had a special airport reception on arrival,” Damcho Rinzin said.

The first group of 208 Koreans arrived in the country on June 1. Economic affairs minister Lekey Dorji who is also TCB’s vice-chairperson received them at the airport. Another group of 99 Koreans arrived in the country the following day.

After the introduction of Internet and television in 1999, Bhutanese were exposed to entertainments and styles from across the world.  In 2005, South Korea’s Arirang TV Channel became popular among Bhutanese especially, the youth. Hairstyles and dressings of the K-pop and the Korean drama stars became fashionable among the youth in Bhutan followed by Korean cuisines and cosmetics.

Diplomatic relations between Bhutan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) was established on September 24, 1987.

Dechen Tshomo

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