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When is it Time to Leave Korea?

When is it time to leave Korea?

When is it Time to Leave Korea?

When I first told my friends, colleagues and random Internet acquaintances that I was leaving Korea at the end of this contract (plane ticket is for Feb. 15th!), they mostly acted quite surprised and said they thought I was a lifer. A lifer is someone who has made Korea their home and plans to stay for life (a life sentence?).

In a lot of ways it was a compliment. It means that I made Korea my home, and it’s something I certainly tried to do. I attempted to have a really positive attitude about every aspect of working and living in Korea and for the most part, succeeded.

Trazy’s 8 Step Guide to Korean Restaurant Culture

Even the most experienced foodies can feel lost at authentic Korean restaurants.  Follow these 8 steps to enjoy the flavours of Korea like a local.


The most delicious Korean restaurants are often hidden in basements or behind small alley ways. Locals use Naver Cafe, a Korean-language-only free blogging service used in a similar manner as Yelp, to research restaurants and order the most delicious recommended foods on their menus. Don’t know Korean? Trazy’s got you covered, check out our restaurants section.

DIY Hand Mirror in Bukchon

Seoul, South Korea — Bukchon Hanok Village, literally means northern traditional village, is situated between Jongmyo Shrine and two famous palaces namely Gyeongbuk andChangdeok. Most visitors and tourists merely take photos at this very spot of the famous traditional village

Trazy’s 5 Step Guide to Understanding Korean Subway Culture

Korean metro systems are unquestionably some of the best in the world, acclaimed for its speed, proximity, convenience, cleanliness, and multilingual announcements. With approximately 9.8 million daily riders, Korea has developed both a written and unwritten decorum to keep most people happy while traveling on the trains. Politeness and manner counts!

Here are several suggestions that will make your subway journey in Korea more pleasant:

   1. Efficiency starts with YOU!

Avoid gridlock! Especially in Seoul, it’s highly possible that you’ll encounter waves of people at subway stations. So, when entering and leaving the exit, both the subway and the station :

Happy Pepero Day 해피 빼빼로 데이~

South Korea — Aside from Valentine’s day and White day, today marks another sweet occasion especially for high school students and couples. Today, Korea celebrates Pepero day. If one haven’t heard about Pepero, it’s a pretzel covered with chocolate, white or dark, almonds, melon or strawberry produced by Lotte. It can be compared to Japan’s snack called Pocky.

Korea 2014 by Chris Backe: Book Review

Korea 2014: A Guide for Entrepreneurs

An Interview with Stephen Mayeux–English Teacher turned JavaScript Developer


For those interested in web development, you can join Stephen this Sunday....
Free Code Camp Busan  is hosting a Web Development Meetup in Centum City on Sunday, November 8th from 1-5pm. Bring your laptop and go to the Korea Content Lab's Media Room on the 4th floor.
More info at:

Stephen Mayeux

What do People do When they Go Back Home?

Ever since I moved to Korea to teach English 10 years ago, I’ve been curious about what people end up doing once they return to their home countries. These days with Facebook, it’s easier than ever to do a little casual stalking to sate my curiosity. Now that I myself have decided to return to Canada in a few short months, I’ve leveled up my game and it’s turned from curiosity to more of an obsession as I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly it takes to make the transition home with the least amount of stress possible.

You Came to Korea for the Money, Right?

Teaching English in Korea for the Money

You Came to Korea for the Money, Right?

Doesn’t everyone come to Korea to teach English for the money? I guess it’s not always true, but it’s often the case and anyone who says that they’re here for purely altruistic reasons, well treat with suspicion. Korea is a first world country.

Anyway, I’m not going to lie to you-the money is why I came to Korea to teach English after university. I wanted to pay off my student loans, save up a bit of money to hike the Appalachian Trail and see another part of the world.

Korea: Don’t Waste your Time

Korea, don't waste your time

A Reader Question from E.J.

“I am now beginning my second year of teaching  in Korea. I was calculating  how I’m doing with my student loans and how long it might take me to pay them off (which is looking like quite a while). That got me thinking about.. well, everything. Specifically, I want to make sure I’m spending my time wisely while I’m here in Korea. As a teacher, I have a nice chunk of free time and I try to use that in the most meaningful ways possible.

이화 벽화마을 (Ihwa Mural Village)

Seoul, South Korea — After church service, we headed straight to Hyehwa to see the Philippine Flea Market which happens every Sunday. By the sidewalks under the tents, Filipinos sell instant cooking mix, chips, shrimp paste (bagoong), canned goods, soaps, deodorants, and even Filipino dishes such as adobo, banana ques, and many more. Surprisingly, some Filipino sellers were even talking in Korean among themselves and, we ran across some more Filipinos buying goods with satisfaction painted on their faces.

Walking around the area, we also spotted an ice cream stand selling ice cream that form into a flower just like this:


Top 3 Fall Foliage Trails in Korea

Bi-Weekly Top Trazy Contributors (Sep10~23)

Congratulations Mini EFat Girl, newcomer Ellie P and Jennie S. There were a lot of new participants this week although they couldn’t make it to the top 3. :)



Bombay Brau • Busan, South Korea

Despite my often futile attempts to research restaurants in advance before visiting a new city in South Korea, it seems like the best places that I find I stumble into by accident once there. Before a recent trip to Busan I trolled the web looking for places to scout out for dinner. However, as often happens in Korea, most of my pre-selected establishments turned out to be out of business or nonexistent. One evening, after failing to track down a few places I found online, I took a cab from Haeundae to Gwangan to check out Galmegi Brewing Co. and afterwards, wandered along the beach hoping to grab a late night bite. With my expectations relatively low, my curiosity piqued when I spotted Bombay Brau, a very tiny beachfront joint boasting the odd but surprisingly exciting combination of craft beer and Indian food.

Jagalchi Fish Market • Busan, South Korea


On a recent trip to Busan, I found myself fixated on the idea of visiting Jagalchi Fish Market. I knew absolutely nothing about the market but a few weeks earlier had spotted it as a tiny dot on a map and ever since, had an intense desire to explore it. I learned, once visiting the market and subsequently reading its history, that Jagalchi is the largest seafood market in all of Korea and was established as the Korean War ended.

The market proved fascinating, with one booth after another offering squirming varieties of every kind of live seafood imaginable, tables of dried squid and fish carcasses, bowls of live sea urchins, and hot griddles with today’s catch fried and ready to eat. After winding my way through the outdoor bazaar, I assumed my exploration was at an end and almost called it quits when I spotted an official looking sign hanging outside a large two-story building that read “Jagalchi Fish Market.” Inside were impressive stalls, much cleaner and larger than their outdoor counterparts, showcasing a wide selection of live seafood. After working through some language barriers, I learned from a vendor that any live seafood I picked out and paid for downstairs would be cleaned and prepared as I waited and then brought with me upstairs to be cooked and eaten.

America’s Roll & Sushi • Jeju Island, South Korea

Very simply put, if while on Jeju Island in South Korea you are craving “American” style sushi, i.e. steamed edamame, simple miso soup and familiar rolls like California, Philadelphia, and Alaska, America’s Roll & Sushi is about as fresh and delicious as you can get. Besides those previously mentioned staples, America’s serves some of the freshest, largest portions of sushi and sashimi and other interesting roll combinations I’ve seen in similar establishments. They restaurant is a bit small with 6-8 tables but is a perfect option near the Jungmun Beach area to get away from the exorbitantly expensive resorts nearby And if you go more than once you may just end up with your photo plastered on the wall.

Percent Craft Beer Pub • Daegu, South Korea

The vast majority of cities I’ve visited in South Korea have a notoriously crowded, neon and flashing light laden, sensory overloading, heavily concentrated nightlife, dining and shopping district where local students, expats and tourists converge. Although these areas are a sure guarantee for a lively night on the town, sometimes you just want a night that’s a little less…extreme. Cue Daebong-ro in Daegu, a relatively quiet, unobtrusive street lined with craft beer bars, open air BBQ restaurants and small, intimate eateries. On this road sits Percent Craft Beer Pub, an oasis of sorts in a city as “colorful” as Daegu. Although they do not brew their own, Percent features an oft-changing variety of draft beers from local and international breweries as well as a significant list of bottled craft selections.

HaHa HoHo Cafe • Jeju Island, South Korea

I have a habit of doing something I refer to as “unicorning.” Unicorning is the act of ascribing superior qualities to an object or experience you’ve yet to attain due to the elusiveness of said object or experience. This fantastical practice often results in an inevitably disappointing return to earth when that once glorified and enigmatic object proves to be just eh, average, basic and not so unicorn-like after all. Yet once in a rare while, that unicorn confirms its exalted existence in the form of a meal or experience that actually meets or even exceeds my once lofty expectations. One such proven unicorn is HaHa HoHo Cafe on Udo Island in South Korea.

Johnny’s Pub • Daejeon, South Korea

Any of you who have spent a reasonable amount of time in NYC can agree that the phrase “New York Style Pizza” used anywhere but New York is more often than not, synonymous with “huge disappoint, walk away.” However, when you’ve spent a year in a foreign country inundated with fermented soy beans and kimchi, the desire for a good old New York slice begins to grow increasingly towards desperate. I found myself in this particularly vulnerable state when I encountered “Johnny’s Pub” a self-described New York style pizza establishment in Daejeon, South Korea.

House Grill • Daejeon, South Korea

You know that overwhelming sense of excitement you get when you discover a gem of a restaurant or bar and can’t decide whether to hoard the knowledge of your new found secret outpost for your own selfish indulgence or to blab about the place to every single person you encounter? Well I found myself in that very predicament when I unknowingly stumbled into Willala Fish & Chips in Seongsan on Jeju Island in South Korea. In a quiet town otherwise populated by dingy seafood restaurants and black pork BBQ joints, a trendy Western-style fish and chips establishment seemed like a possible mirage.

Willala Fish & Chips • Jeju Island, South Korea

You know that overwhelming sense of excitement you get when you discover a gem of a restaurant or bar and can’t decide whether to hoard the knowledge of your new found secret outpost for your own selfish indulgence or to blab about the place to every single person you encounter? Well I found myself in that very predicament when I unknowingly stumbled into Willala Fish & Chips in Seongsan on Jeju Island in South Korea. In a quiet town otherwise populated by dingy seafood restaurants and black pork BBQ joints, a trendy Western-style fish and chips establishment seemed like a possible mirage.

Liquibean • Daejeon, South Korea

Daejeon, the so-called “Silicon Valley” of South Korea, is not exactly the first place you might pick for a weekend getaway. However, after spending several weekends exploring what this tech and transportation hub has to offer, I did discover a few gem-like finds tucked away in this less-than-illustrious city. One such discovery was Liquidbean, a perfect spot for the health conscious or fresh juice lovers in the Daejeon area. Liquibean describes itself as “The Organic Detox Juice Bar” and sells made-to-order pressed juices. You can order 13 different options in 2 sizes – 250mL (average price ₩7,500) and 500mL (average price ₩13,500). Although a bit pricey, each juice is pressed while you wait and incredibly fresh.

Farmer’s BBQ • Cheonan, South Korea

If eating Texas style BBQ in South Korea in a little neighborhood mocked up to look like Santorini, Greece sounds like a trippy travel/food dream gone awry then this post is sure to disappoint. However, if this strange mashup sounds curiously appealing to you, I recommend you find your way to Farmer’s BBQ in Cheonan, South Korea. Farmer’s is situated in a quaint neighborhood about an hour and a half drive from Seoul that in a strangely enjoyable way, is modeled after the whitewashed blue roofed homes of Greece’s Santorini. Farmer’s smokes their meats in-house and serves them up with a pleasant combination of American favorites (mac ‘n cheese, french fries, baked beans) and Korean staples (pickles, kimchi). They offer platters with combinations of brisket, pork belly, and pork ribs, (₩32,000, ₩49,000 or ₩54,000) or you can opt for the crowd pleasing beer can chicken (₩18,000). Snag a bottle of Kona Brewing Co.

3 Things you need to know about Gwangbokjeol (Aug 15), the National Liberation Day of Korea


August 15 is one of the most meaningful days to Koreans. It is Gwangbokjeol, the National Liberation Day of Korea . You can see many Korean national flags “Taegeukgi” hung in the street or on the windows of the houses.

1. Why is Gwangbokjeol so special?


It’s not “goodbye.” It’s “안녕히 계세요.”

2-3 students

Goodbyes are always tough. But yesterday, during my last day as an English teacher at Ulsan Sports Science School, I experienced a whole new level of emotional farewells. Over the past year, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by wonderful coworkers and enthusiastic students, all of whom consistently went above and beyond with their generosity, kindness and sincerity to make me feel welcomed and cared for.

10 EPIK Haikus

As my year with EPIK comes to a close, I find myself thinking a lot about the experience. Below are 10 haikus that reflect what I’ve learned while living, teaching and traveling in South Korea (though really they’re applicable to anyone teaching or living abroad anywhere!).


15 Korean Expressions That I’ve Learned

Having been married to a Korean for 4 years gives me the opportunity to develop my understanding about the Korean culture. Learning how to speak Korean fluently can be challenging and frustrating at the same time. I don’t know why I find it difficult to master the Korean language. When I decided to move to Korea with my husband and our 2-year-old son, I have accepted the fact that whether I like it or not, I have to learn the language in order for me to communicate well with other Koreans especially with my in-laws who couldn’t speak and understand English. When we arrived in South Korea on April 2, 2015, we stayed at my parents-in-law’s residence in Uiryeong County, Gyeongsangnamdo for 3 months. I’ve learned some Korean phrases/expressions just by listening to their daily conversation.

Here are the Top 15 Korean Daily Expressions that I’ve learned so far…

1.) Annyeonghaseyo!

Community Supported Agriculture Part 2: More Fun with Fresh Veggies

By Taryn Assaf

Summer can be a difficult time for farmers. Weather can be unpredictable, with high temperatures, too much or too little rainfall; crop eating pests are at their peak. That hasn’t stopped the gorgeous leafy greens and fragrant herbs from growing on Gachi farms. Most people would be weary of buying greens with little holes in them, bruised fruits, or yellowing herbs. We prefer perfection: our greens rich in colour, glistening in the supermarket spotlights; our fruits shining and vibrant; and our veggies without a spot of dirt. You’d be hard pressed to find any evidence that most produce ever existed in an ecosystem. How much food goes to waste simply because its appearance is deemed less than perfect?

Vlog Entry #19: The Countdown Begins

In just 34 days, my time in Korea will have officially come to a close! As part of the countdown, you’re invited to submit any and all questions you have about my experience this year! It can be related to teaching, traveling, living in Korea or anything else…within reason. Write in the comments section below and each day I’ll answer one question!

My last 72 hours in Korea: Exploring the outskirts of Incheon

You know what’s complicated? Personal finances abroad. I discovered the other day that my Korean Exchange Bank check card cannot buy international plane tickets unless they’re from a domestic Korean airline, such as Asiana or Korean Air. So instead of flying out to Vietnam on Wednesday as planned I am now flying tomorrow morning.

I’ve been staying at a really the Globetrotter’s Lounge, which is conveniently located in the middle of nowhere Incheon.

ISC’s Open Lecture Series July Event: “War, Peace, Reunification”

We can easily forget as foreigners living in Korea that we are living in a forcibly divided country still at war. Join the ISC in a reunification tour to explore regions of significance to the inter-Korean conflict. You can sign up at 

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