Cha Dong-young: I'm a Big Fan of Chengdu

Authors: Go Chengdu


Dressed in a crisp black suit and wearing a pair of framed glasses, the man who is refined in manner and elegant in speech speaks very fluent Chinese. This is our first impression of Mr. Cha Dong-young, the chief representative and general manager of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO)’s Chengdu branch.
“I’m a big fan of Chengdu. I enjoy living in the city and love its people and profound culture and civilization. ” Mr. Cha told us that he voluntarily applied for the job in the city two years ago.
The KTO’s Chengdu branch was set up in December 2012, following the Chinese branches in Beijing, Shenyang, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It has been two and half years since he came to the city.

A Foreigner but not an Outsider
We can feel Mr. Cha's strong affection for Chengdu during the interview with "I immediately acclimatized myself to the life in Chengdu when I first came here. It makes me feel very comfortable and the local people are very kindhearted and friendly." Mr. Cha said he had made quite a number of friends here. "At times when dining at local restaurants I say “Hello” in Korean to the people around me. The youngsters there always gather around me and call me 'OPPA' (in Korean meaning 'elder brother', which can only be used by women). They are so lovely."
Every time when his Korean friends come to Chengdu, Mr. Cha always recommends the city’s typical tourist sites and food to them. "Chengdu has 'Four Attractions' — delicious food, beautiful natural scenery, good wine and beautiful women. You can experience the Chengdu food, drink the Chengdu wine and see beautiful Chengdu ladies in any other place, but only when you are in Chengdu, can you appreciate the wonderful natural beauty of the city,” said Mr. Cha.
According to Korea Tourism Organization’s Chengdu branch, in 2014, more than 140,000 Sichuan people visited South Korea, a 25% percent surge over the previous year. The tourists from South Korea to Sichuan also increased significantly and it is expected to reach 200,000 this year. Mr. Cha feels proud of and attributed the achievements to the contributions made by his team.
Leading a relaxing and pleasant life in Chengdu, Mr. Cha likes to go to tea houses with his friends,and he has learned how to play mahjong. He is often invited to some universities and elementary schools, such as Southwest University for Nationalities and Shuangliu Tanghu Elementary School, to give lectures and presentations on how to promote mutual understanding and cultural exchanges between China and South Korea. Mr. Cha said he loves Sichuan food very much, and Mapo Tofu, Twice-cooked Pork and hot pot are his favorite. Almost every week he eats out with friends to experience various Sichuan cuisine.
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