Blogs from Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea, Asia

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Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon August 18th 2015

After being in South Korea for longer then what I expected, I left Seoul yesterday and already I'm missing the place. I was only in the city for 8 days but by god I packed in a lot and not just during the day, hangovers were not planned! Arriving from Jeju Island I had heard so much about Seoul from westerners that lived there. Around South Korea while I was there it seemed to be the holiday season and I met a few people who were working as English teachers and there seemed to be lots of them. Seoul was the place to be they all said with so much to do, see, eat and drink! I booked the hostel for one night online as usual, just in case it turned out to be nothing like ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon May 19th 2015

Our research group had two amazing experiences today. We interviewed the Land and Housing Corporation (LH) as well as the Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS). I personally went on the LH "tour" of affordable housing units in Seoul. Our guide was Senior Researcher, Meeyoun Jin, Dr. Lee (professor) as well as an interpreter. Both women were so hospitable and friendly. They picked us up at the hotel, took their entire morning to drive us to 3 separate areas, all while filling our research data with solid and interesting information. Our other group took the metro to KRIHS and had an unbelievable time with 3 lectures and a plethora of useful information for us to use in our project. After our interviews we had a free afternoon to explore. A small group of us ate ... read more
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Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon March 2nd 2013

It's March 2nd 2013 and it's my last day in the country that has been my home for the past 3 years. Korea we have had some good day, bad day and God damn strange days hahahaha. So today I am going to the boat to China and the lovely Anna has been invaluable in helping me get my ticket for the boat and also lodge a cheque my landlady gave me. What was she thinking oh Korea ^^. So anyway I was leaving the apartment when the landlady wanted to get more money out of me because I didn't have Dave's key. He forgot to leave it and so he gave it to his "Friend" hahahaha. So there was a little argument but I gave her some seaweed (that she gave us a few months ... read more
1. lobby
2. staircase
3. reception

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon November 19th 2012

A couple of years ago Seoul started the Seoul Lantern festival in November. I tried looking up the exact reason why they have it every year but I couldn't find any. So they do it because the Koreans love to have festivals. So anyway, we decided to head over to Seoul for day/night to spend some time in the nice fall weather and to relax a bit. Later that night once it got dark we headed over to Cheonggyecheon Stream which is a manmade 1.5km stream that runs through the heart of Seoul. Kind of like Cherry creek in Denver. There is a streamside walkway that runs besides it and then one above that you can walk along as well. One thing about Korea, you always have to assume that there are going to be a ... read more
View of Seoul/Itaewon
City Hall area of Seoul
Gyeongbukgong Palace gate

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon September 6th 2012

A few fun observations about Korea that I managed to pick up today - 1. they appear to be as obsessed with white cars as the Brits are with silver cars, 2. the women are really tall (although I'm still taller, but not by as much as I'd expect) and 3. I think some of the (straight) men might shave their legs... hmmm. So, still in the company of my new Taiwanese friends, I started the day with a rather random and out of the way trip to a pound store the other side of Seoul for one huge souvenir shopping trip. Don't ask. These girls can seriously shop, but - credit to them - they carried their purchases all day without complaint. Once the day actually began, we went to the French quarter (read: rich ... read more
Seorae Maeul Park
Seorae Maeul Park
N Seoul Tower

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon August 31st 2012

So after my last entry I took a one hour bus journey north to the city of Gyeongju. Gyeongju is a bit of a treasure in South Korea as it is the country's most traditional city. This is because during the 1970s and 1980s, during Korea's boom years, the then President of South Korea introduced height restrictions on anything built near the city centre and passed a bill requiring almost all buildings to have a Korean traditional roof so that the city would remain traditional. For this reason you don't see any of the skyscraping hotels and apartment blocks that you see in cities like Seoul or Busan. More recently the rules have been flaunted and there are now big banks and office buildings but still nothing like in the other cities and on the outskirts ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon August 23rd 2012

So I've arrived in Seoul and am staying in a small, homely hostel in the city. The owners have a very cute minature bearded collie who follows you everywhere and likes to sleep on your shoes. It's a funny place with an 11pm 'lights out' policy. Is it a tragic sign of my increasing age that this doesn't actually bother me? Despite my fears of waking up early due to jetlag I didn't actually wake up until 10am ( apart from when a girl in my room shrieked something in a foreign language in her sleep at 4am and nearly gave me a heart attack). I decided to go and visit the War Memorial Museum in preperation for tomorrow's trip to the border with North Korea so that I could be sure I knew what it ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon May 11th 2012

We decided to head up to Seoul and take care of some errands. Jen wanted to go to Insadong, a touristy part of Seoul loaded with antique shops, art galleries and keepsakes. She wanted to pick up some (spoiler alert) gifts for people back home and for those who will be in our wedding. And I wanted to walk around a crowded area of Seoul wearing a bulky backpack and lugging around a roller suitcase full of old books on bumpy streets dodging tourists and street vendors. Wishes granted. There are really four ways to make it up to Seoul. The bus, which is the cheapest option. The regular train, which is te cheapest option but somehow takes longer than the bus. The KTX uber fast laser train that speeds you towards Seoul in style and ... read more

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon April 30th 2012

I wasn’t sure if my 3-hour flight from Tokyo to Seoul would warrant any food, but apparently it was deserving of a full meal. Gotta love international flying. After landing at Incheon and going through immigration and customs, I called my friend, Brian, who I would be staying with, and told him I was on my way. But first I needed to stop at an ATM and withdraw some money. However, when asked how much I wanted to withdraw, I was not given any “Fast Cash” options, which are very useful when you haven’t researched the exchange rate of the currency you are about to withdraw. Luckily, there was a currency exchange right next to the ATM, and I was able to lean over and determine that it was a little over 1000 won per US ... read more
Downtown Seoul
Market
Admiral Yi Sun-Sin

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Itaewon April 28th 2012

Seoul, South Korea. Hadn’t really pictured myself coming here ever, and was not really sure what to expect. I just knew it was a big city with lots of people in a developed country. It is clean, organized, safe, and very populated. There are poor people, very wealthy people, and most people are working hard just trying to live their daily lives. KIAs and Hyundais, mostly in white, black and gray, are everywhere. Koreans love signs and hang them all over the place. They love pop stars and rice. They respect their elders, to the point where some older people are rude to younger people on the street and there is no recourse (someone old woman on an elevator snapped at my friend). Baseball is the most popular sport, and I keep seeing men in what ... read more




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