Seoul is always a vibrant and fun city, and my second month was filled with exploring, shopping, and weekend trips. My students are a crazy bunch and full of unique personalities, but they make me laugh every day with their antics. I never thought I would love teaching kindy as much as I do, but I truly adore it. There is nothing like getting paid to choreograph dances to Disney songs and play all day.
I continue to realize what an incredible privilege to lead the life that I do. It’s not always perfect, but I wouldn’t trade living abroad for anything. Whether it’s Seoul or somewhere else, I don’t see myself going home for a while.
Where I Explored
Iwha Mural Village
Perched at the top Mt Naksan, Iwha Village is a lovely and vibrant neighborhood. Less than a 10 minute walk from Daehakno, street art lines the walls and buildings. Staircases come alive with colorful paintings and mosaics.
How to get there: From Hyehwa Station (Line 4), head straight out of Exit 2 towards Marronnier Park. Turn left at the park, past the Arco Arts Center and continuing until Dongsung-gil. Make a right turn onto Dongsung-gil and then a left onto Guldari-gil. Following Guldari-gil will take you up to Naksan Park, and continues on through the heart of Ihwa-dong Mural Village before turning into Yulgok-ro 19-gil, making its famous P-turn and running back down to the southern end of Daehakno. Look for signs pointing to Naksan Park and the Mural Village.
Common Ground is a cool new hang-out and shopping center. It’s Korea’s first pop-up store built with blue shipping containers. The whole area is made with about 200 shipping containers. Many up-and-coming designers and artists sell their wares here. There are also several food trucks and restaurants.
200, Achasan-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 광진구 아차산로 200 (자양동)
The Dongdaemun Design Plaza has been one of my longtime favorites, and I wrote a full post about it here. It hosts key events in Seoul such as Fashion Week, and is a fun place to explore in both the daytime and nightime.
Address: 04566 281 Euljiro, Jung-gu, Seoul (Euljiro 7-ga)
The Hangang River flows from Gangwon-du towards Chungcheonbuk-do, through Seoul, and onto the yellow sea, so there are lots of places to explore. The Han River is the perfect place to spend a sunny day. Bring some kimbap and have a picnic, or check out one of the many bike rental shops.
Address: Seoul-si, Gangwon-do, Chungcheongbuk-do, Gyeonggi-do
서울특별시, 강원도, 충청북도, 경기도
Shopping in Sinsa
Sinsa (Garosu-gil) is one of Seoul’s most famous shopping areas. Sinsa-dong is a hip neighborhood in Gangnam that has become increasingly popular with the city’s trendsetters, foodies, and fashionistas. Check out my full guide on where to shop in Seoul here.
How To Get There:
800m from Exit #8, Sinsa Station, Subway Line 3 (15-minute walk)
Where I Ate
Bad Farmers is one of my favorite healthy places to eat in Seoul. However, seating is very limited and it is quite a popular place, so I would recommend coming early. Bad Farmers offers open sandwiches, salad bowls, and fresh pressed juices. I’m obsessed.
서울특별시 강남구 압구정로 4길 31 1층
523-21 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
Hailing all the way from San Fransisco, Mr Holmes Bakehouse has come to Seoul to share its tasty pastries. It’s most famous for it’s cruffins, a mix between a croissant and a muffin. I went here to my birthday, and indulged in some serious gluttony.
서울특별시 강남구 압구정로10길 34
34 Apgujeong-ro 10-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Where I Drank
Joon’s Bar is located in Hongdae, Seoul and is always packed and full of people. The drinks are cheap, there’s beer pong, and the location is convenient.
Seogyo-dong 362-14 Basement Mapo-gu , Seoul
Daegu Lantern Festival
The lantern festival in Daegu was absolutely magical! Check out my full post here.
What I Learned
- People who don’t wait for others to get off the subway before trying to get on are the WORST types of people.
- It it possible to be a well-dressed Korean in Gangnam and still cough up a giant spit ball in the middle of the subway station. No one will care or even give a second look.
- Koreans are obsessed with their pastries. I had parent-teacher conferences this month, and probably consumed half my weight in gifts from Paris Baguette.
- Lantern festivals are possible the most magical thing in the world to witness.
Check out my previous recap here.