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2 Popular Weekend Getaways Near Seoul To Visit Right Now

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winter_04“Take vacations. Go as many as places as you can. You can always make money. You can’t always make memories.”

Every season is a fabulous time for adventure when it comes to 2 popular travel destinations near Seoul, Nami Island and Petite France. So, with your beloved ones go on an excursion to these wonderful places during weekend! Takes around an hour and half by drive, FYI. ;)

1. Nami Island

남이섬 (76)Situated 63 km from Seoul in the middle of the North Han River, appears the Nami Island, or Namisum, which resembles a half-moon in shape. For more details and directions, click here.남이섬 (3)Best known as a filming location of the popular K-drama ‘Winter Sonata,’ you can understand why this island was chosen for the setting, right? :)남이섬(1)See how beautiful the island is in winter. It’s truly a winter wonderland!

But not just the winter, but every season offers a reason to visit to Nami Island.

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Along with its beautiful natural scenery that changes in colors by season, Nami Island also provides various cultural facilities and leisure activities that anybody can enjoy.남이섬 (73)So, when you’re in Nami Island, either rent a bicycle or a cart. They are the best way to enjoy the nature of the island to the fullest! ;)

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allowto_freedownload_landscape_1470Near Nami Island, there are various attractions and activities like you may want to check out as well, such as Gangchon Rail Bike, the Garden of Morning Calm, Elysian Ski Resort, and  a strawberry-picking experience at a local farm.

2. Petite France

쁘띠프랑스 (15)Near Seoul, in Gapyeong, there’s a charming little French theme cultural village called Petite France, where you can spend a great time taking photos, watch marionette and puppet performances, and many more!

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This place is also well known as the filming location of popular Korean dramas: ‘Beethoven Virus (2008)’, ‘Secret Garden (2011)’ and ‘My Love from the Stars (2014)’. Plus, a popular Korean entertainment show called ‘Running Man’ was also filmed here. For directions, click here. :)

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From Orgel House, European Doll House, Marionette Museum, Antiques Museum, to Traditional French House, there are plenty of exhibitions halls and facilities where you can feel and explore about the culture of France!

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At Petite France, you may want to step inside the ‘Saint-Exupery Memorial Hall’. This is where you can appreciate the works of Saint Exubery, the French writer of “Petite Prince” and “Night Flight”.

쁘띠프랑스 (8)Boasting beautiful scenes all year round, every season is a fabulous time for a visit!
쁘띠프랑스 (14)In winter season, you will be able to see the starry lights all around the place! So, take your lover to Petite France this weekend, it’ll be absolutely romantic! ;)marionette_4.jpgFYI, here are what you can enjoy at Petite France: Guignol Puppet Performance, Marionette Performance, Orgel Demonstration & Explanation, Supernatural Power Time of Do Minjun, and Street Musician.photo_1And various cultural experience programs as well! Ex. Plaster Art & Powder Painting, Stamp Event, Petite Photo Zone, Traditional French Games, Caricature, Petite Cloche, and Instant Digital Oil Painting. For details, click here.

Click to view slideshow.

Now, here’s the easiest way for travelers to go on an excursion to Nami Island and Petite France in one day. There’s a shuttle bus package that takes you to these two places all in one day. For more details, click here. Without having to worry about transportation you can enjoy both of the most popular suburbs destinations in South Korea!

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OinK - Only In Korea Podcast: Konglish, Showry & Korean Winter Habits

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2016_01_14 Konglish, Showry, Korean Winter

OinK - Only in Korea members chose this week's topics & one brave soul left a voice message. On today's episode, Travis & Chance discuss the wonderful world of Konglish, the Korean YouTube sensation Showry, & finish by going through the interesting & often a bit odd winter habits you encounter here in South Korea.

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A First-Time Traveler’s Guide To Seoul

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“You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you with yourself.” – Ella Maillart

First time traveling in Seoul? If you have no ideas where to go or what to do in Seoul, South Korea, here we are to help you plan your itinerary and make your trip the best!allowto_freedownload_snap_1037Here, we’ve picked 4 not-to-be-missed sightseeing spots in Seoul, and you can visit all of them in one day! :D

1. Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Gyeongbokgung Palace, of all, is a must visit palace for first time Seoul visitors. It’s probably the most beautiful and the grandest of all five palaces remaining in Seoul.

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Built in 1395, this palace is also commonly referred to as the “Northern Palace” because it is the furthest north when compared to the neighboring palaces of Changdeokgung (Eastern Palace) and Gyeongheegung (Western Palace). seoul-364118_1920FYI, Gwanghwamun is the Southern main gate of the Gyeongbokgung Palace’s 4 gates!

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You can also find this amazing pavilion built on pond! It’s called Gyeonghoe-ru Pavilion, where the king used to have joyous occasions and feasts. See more pics below. ;)

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The palace holds various events and ceremonies, so check out their website, here.

  • Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000KRW / Group (over 10): 2,400KRW
  • Children (ages 7-18): 1,500KRW / Group (over 10): 1,200KRW

*Tickets for Gyeongbokgung Palace are also valid at the National Palace Museum and the National Folk Museum.

2. Changdeokgung Palace

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The second spot we highly recommend for the first time travelers is a royal palace called Changdeokgung Palace, which is recognized as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s reputed as a well-preserved palace, so you will be able to learn a lot about Korean palace architecture here. For details and directions, click here.

  • Regular Tour : Adults(3,000KRW) / Children(1,500KRW)
  • Tours for the Secret Garden : Adults(5,000KRW) / Children(2,500KRW)

3. National Folk Museum

IMG_1968As we’ve mentioned before, the National Folk Museum is located on the compound of Gyeongbokgung Palace. And this museum has 3 permanent exhibition halls with over 98,000 artifacts!! WOW! at the exterior of the building. Isn’t it beautiful?baekje-815067_1920In this museum, the retrospective of the traditional Korean lifestyle is exhibited, so try a visit and take a look!

namdaemun-326138_1280For those who wants to feel like a local in Seoul, here’s Namdaemun Market. It is the largest street market in Seoul, especially popular for shoppers looking for bargains! ;) This historical marketplace is well-reputed for its cheap price and wide variety of products!

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Try the delicious local street foods as well. The dumplings and steamed buns taste great! :) For directions, click here.

If you are looking for an easy, convenient way to look at all these spots and more, there’s a guided tour with 3 different options to make your day trip in Seoul better. The tour is available here!

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  • Full Day Tour (09:00~17:30)

    Hotel→Blue House (pass by)→Changing of the Guard ceremony→Gyeongbokgung Palace (Deoksugung Palace on Tuesdays)→National Folk Museum (History Museum on Tuesdays)→Jogyesa Buddhist Temple→Ginseng Center→Lunch→Changdeokgung Palace (Hanok Village on Mondays)→Insadong Antique Shop Alley→Amethyst Factory→Namdaemun Market→Hotel

See Mastering Seoul in 1 Day.seoul-410264_1920Of course, there are plenty of landmarks and attractions for travelers to visit in Seoul. So, check out Seoul Palace Tour or Top 10 Things To Do in Seoul to find out what kind of things you can do and make your trip the best!button3

Slice Of Life: Pizza

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Spice, comfort and flavour.

I had been hearing a lot, and I mean a LOT, of buzz about Slice of Life Pizza, so I decided it was high time I paid it a visit. Opened in late 2015 by Kim Chanu, a native Korean who had been living in New York. The aim of the restaurant is to serve authentic, NY style pizza, paired with a craft beer menu. Being a big fan of pizza, and craft beer, I was looking forward to this one.

The first thing that struck me as I approached the shop front was how chic and cool the place looked. It’s situated in a fairly narrow, dark street and the place manages to blend in and stand out at the same time. Sleek, black metal and clean white tiles make it look welcoming and professional. I also think their logo is awesome, check it out in the pictures.

When I went inside I was greeted and given time to peruse the small menu by the door. SOL currently offers six types of pizza: New York cheese, pepperoni, the Bronx, spicy garlic, white pie and margherita. You can get your fix either by the slice, a half pie, or a whole 18 incher! When I visited they also had some seasonal specials on offer, including an Artichoke and Spinach Calzone.

As I was visiting alone I decided to opt for some slices, as I wanted to try as much of the menu as possible.

I believe that all pizzerias should be judged by their margherita, so I opted for this first. This is the classic slice, and should be simple, elegant and bursting with flavor due to the quality of the ingredients. This slice didn’t disappoint. The first thing that hit me was the crust. It was hot, crisp, and chewy, with a slight crunch on the outside. The tomato sauce and the mozzarella cheese were also excellent, one rich and creamy, one sharp and tangy, making for an amazing combination. Part of the joy of eating pizza is in the mechanics of it, and again here the slice excelled. I started at the front, all cheese-y and sauce-y, and then four bites in folded the crust and started munching the outside, getting crust and the fresh basil they sprinkle on there. Pure, pizza joy.

Second up I went for the white Pie. This has no tomato sauce, and ricotta cheese on there. Now this is pizza, done as comfort food. I ate a lot of white pie in Rome, and it really is defined by the quality of the cheese on the slice. This hit it, rich, warming and gooey, with the ricotta forming that wonderful crust it does on pizza, hiding it’s fluffy centre. The cheese was extra generous on this slice, making it a real filling classic. Visiting on a chilly Wednesday afternoon it was just what I needed.

I had to have just one more slice. I always like to give a place a chance to push their best, so I asked the staff for a recommendation. The spicy garlic was suggested. This has Italian sausage, garlic, and jalapenos. Boy, did it have a LOT of jalapenos! If you like your pizza spicy, then this ones for you. The savory, meaty sausage was offset by the sharp, lip tingling smack of the jalapenos, making this a firm favorite, the staff assured me. It was perhaps a little hot for my taste, with the spice slightly masking the wonderful flavor combination the sausage and cheese were providing. I’m sure many people would dig it though!

The slices I had were priced at 4,300 each. Which is a little steep, but considering the size and quality of the pie it’s hard to argue. To wash it all down I went for a glass of the Booth x Mikeller. It was delicious, and complimented the pizza perfectly. However it was served in a plastic glass, which I thought was a bit of a shame, especially at 6,300. Good beer just tastes so much better with the clink of glass against your mouth.

All-in-all its hard to fault what SOL are doing over in KSU. The pizza was some of the best I’ve had in Korea, and the décor and staff were excellent. I’m sure it’s going to be a big hit with the KSU faithful. I’ll be returning for a slice for sure!

Visit their Facebook page here.


Slice of Life is located just out of the north gate of Kyungsung University. To get there come out of Gyeongsong station, then take your first left and follow it down until you can see the university campus. SOL is located in one of the small, narrow streets just out the north gate. If your driving your best bet would be to park in the university campus.

Address: 43-55 Daeyon-dong, nam-gu, Busan/ 남구대연동 43-55, 부산.


Filed under: Food Tagged: busan, craft beer, Food, italian, pizza, restaurant

Eat Busan, Eat The World!

Korean Phrases Ep. 38: 금상첨화

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This week we have a new "Korean Phrases" video, and we're going to be learning another useful idiom from 한자 (Chinese characters used in Korean).

We'll be learning about the idiom 금상첨화.

Check out the video below!

The post Korean Phrases Ep. 38: 금상첨화 appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Teaching English in a Korean University: How to Get the Job

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If there’s anything you can count on me for, it’s this: I’ll give it to you straight and not sugar-coat the hard stuff. If you’re looking for a job teaching English in a Korean university, this is the stuff that you might not want to hear:

#1: It’s Very Difficult to Get a Uni Job in Korea These Days

Everyone and their dog seems to want a university job in Korea and for good reason-they’re prime. Usually a decent amount of vacation (3-5 months), decent pay (2.5 million-ish) and not that many teaching hours. For more details, see: Is my Korean Uni Job too Good to be True?

10 years ago, there were plenty of uni jobs floating around but times are tougher these days. There are simply fewer university age students in Korea and there’s no sign that this will change in the future. And, more and more people have an MA in TESOL so you’re competing against some pretty qualified people.

#2: University Jobs in Korea = Dead-End Jobs

Now, I’m not being a total hater. I myself worked in Korean universities for nine years and had a fabulous time. Who wouldn’t with only nine teaching hours a week and five months of paid vacation?

However, if you want to get a university job in Korea, thinking it’s going to be good for your career, it’s not. That’s the harsh truth. There’s no room for advancement. Employers outside Korea don’t look favorably upon it. Even employers in Korea don’t look that favorably upon it. Koreans mostly think that the job we do is one that anyone who speaks English could do. That should give you some indication of the respect level for foreign teachers in a Korean university.

Aren’t Convinced?

So, despite these two things, you think to yourself, “I still want to get a university job in South Korea.” Well, I can help you. Here are a few resources that’ll get you started down the path towards 5-month vacation awesome.

#1: The Mother-list

103 Things to Do to Get a University Job in KoreaIt’s the super-list that’ll get you started. Follow even a 1/3 of the stuff on here and you’ll be well on your way. Level up to 1/2 or 2/3? How could you not get a uni job? Level up my readers! Go!

#2: University Jobs Korea Website

Check out University Jobs Korea. It has all kinds of resources and advice for you, including plenty of excerpts from the book that I mention below. There’s no other website dedicated specifically to helping you get a university job teaching English in South Korea.

#3: Profs Abroad

Profs Abroad

Sure, Profs Abroad a paid site, but it’s also awesome. Don’t waste a ton of time searching for all those job ads when you can get them all in one place. Here’s my review of Profs Abroad for all the details. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee so you really have nothing to lose by checking it out. I’ve heard from a ton of people that they found themselves a sweet job through Profs Abroad.

#4: How to Get a University Job in South Korea

University Jobs Teaching English in South Korea

University Job in South Korea

This book is going to be pure gold for you if you’re serious about teaching English in a Korean university. You can get: How to Get a University Job in South Korea on Amazon today. It’s the most comprehensive resource for those looking for a university job in Korea and it’s also something that will save you a ton of time. Get all the information in one single place without looking around all over the Internet for it. In my world, time is money.





The post Teaching English in a Korean University: How to Get the Job appeared first on .

Jackie Bolen: How to Get a University Job In Korea


My Life! Teaching in a Korean University

University Jobs



One of my favorite Korean foods is kimchi jjigae (김치찌개, kimchi...

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One of my favorite Korean foods is kimchi jjigae (김치찌개, kimchi stew). Once you have all the ingredients, it’s easy to make. 


  • 7 large dried anchovies, heads and guts removed
  • 1/3 cup Korean radish, thinly sliced
  • 4 x 5 inch dried kelp
  • 3 green onion roots
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 pound kimchi, cut into bite size pieces
  • ¼ cup kimchi brine
  • ½ pound pork shoulder or belly
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (hot pepper paste)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 small package of tofu, sliced into ½ inch thick bite size pieces
  • 1 small package of spam, sliced into ½ inch thick bite size pieces
  • 3 green onions, diced


1. Boil the dried anchovies, radish, dried kelp, onion roots, and water for 20 minutes on medium high heat and then 5 minutes on low heat.

2. Strain 2 cups of that stock into a pan with the kimchi, kimchi brine, pork, salt, sugar, hot pepper flakes, hot pepper paste, and sesame oil. Don’t stir. Cover and put on medium high heat for 10 minutes.

3. Uncover, mix, put tofu on top. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

4. Add spam (or any canned meat). Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.

5. Turn off heat. Put sliced green onions on top. Ready to serve.

Note: If you’ve never made it before, I suggest watching one of the many videos available online first.

About the girl

Hi, I'm Stacy. I am from Portland, Oregon, USA, and am currently living and teaching ESL in Busan, South Korea. Busy getting into lots of adventures, challenging myself, and loving people. Something more than an ethereal will-o-wisp.

Thank you so much for visiting and reading.

Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, LastfmFlickr, and FacebookAsk me anything


New Website Up!

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After some revisions, the English firm website has been launched!  Check the services page and let us know if there is anything we can assist you with.



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Redevelopment (Groove)

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Groove Magazine recently featured a discussion of the laws surrounding redevelopment in Korea, reprinted below:

Housing to Dirt to Housing Again

While Korea’s economic development has been stunning, it’s the ongoing redevelopment that currently brings awe. It’s difficult to turn a corner without seeing a concrete skeleton or a crane: new apartment complexes and rings of twenty-storied buildings open less than a year after dirt was leveled. Investors and developers have boasted stunning profits in an ongoing bull market for real estate that has continued almost uninterrupted since the IMF crisis of the late ‘90s was resolved.
However, this impressive feat is not without its dark side — functional homes are demolished by the dozen. Despite the seeming glut in supply, housing prices, particularly in metropolitan areas, soar year after year while other consumer price indexes barely increase. Renters, particularly the impoverished or elderly, are forced to relocate, resulting in a decline in Seoul’s population.
But today we only briefly touch on the economic viability of continued housing redevelopment. Rather, we focus on the law governing redevelopment. What qualifies a district for redevelopment? What are owners’ and renters’ rights and options? And how are decisions made for the district?
The curved and crowded streets of old districts are a pleasant stroll but also a safety hazard. Emergency vehicles might not be able to traverse the streets, and on some hillsides one must take the stairs to get home. The Act on Maintenance and Improvement of Urban Districts recognizes these areas as desirable targets for redevelopment. Moreover, if there is a lack in the quality of residence (such as wiring hazards, lack of sunlight or water or hygiene issues), those areas may also be redeveloped.
In the past, landowners would gleefully refuse to maintain homes in the hopes of redevelopment. The ability to get in on the “ground floor” of rocketing housing prices gave a huge financial incentive to redevelop. But as the fear of bubble markets creeps in, this is no longer the case and communities are often dramatically split regarding redevelopment.
johap (redevelopment committee) is formed to determine the fate of the area. More proactive johaps, actively seeking redevelopment, can petition the gu office for designation of its district as a redevelopment target. Otherwise, the johap will be formed after the gu office decides to designate the area as such. In the johap, each landowner holds one vote. If two thirds approve of the redevelopment, it proceeds.
Landowners who sell get credit of the value of their holding against a new apartment. The difference in value must still be paid by the selling landowner, but the early valuation conducted by a jeongbi (urban rearrangement specialization manager) typically appraises a lower price than the market will hold after the apartment can be resold, hence profit to the landowner. Landowners who do not want to buy in will be compensated at the appraisal value of their real holdings.
Business owners will be compensated based on the receipts they can show from tax filings. Goodwill is often minimized and is a source of discontent among business owners forced to relocate. The red flags flying in Itaewon are landowners opposed to redevelopment, many believing they will be inadequately compensated.
The designation, regardless of the johap vote, also affects renters, as renters who entered into a contract (and registered it) before the designation can expect their contract to be fulfilled. Those who enter into (or registered) a contract after the designation may be forced out, but the johap will have some liability in terms of giving notice to the tenant and paying a resettlement allowance.
Johaps are a common source of corruption and graft as the managers have the power to choose several important partners for the development. Law firms billing hundreds of millions of won, loans worth hundreds of billions of won, and other business is decided by the managers who often illegally claim a sum for referrals in addition to their compensation as managers.
Lacking a background in real estate development, johap members are often unable to spot problematic valuations or expenditures; hence City Hall recently established an auditing program to try to ensure appropriate procedures are followed in development. Whether the ongoing bubble can continue without graft and despite shrinking demand is yet to be seen.
Yuna Lee is an English-speaking Korean attorney practicing in Seoul who has served as an auditor of real estate development committees under the auspices of City Hall.
Darren Bean is a California-licensed attorney based in Seoul.

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