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Things I miss about Korea

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Hello, my name is Manon! I have studied and interned in Korea for about a year in total now and I’ve fallen in love with this country. I have many fond memories of all the beautiful experiences I’ve had in Korea and in this article I’d like to share some of them with you.

 

Food

First of all, I’m a big food lover, and as such I must put the cuisine as one of the things I will always miss about Korea. Korean food is getting more and more popular overseas but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. My favorite dishes are cheese kimchi fried rice on a hot plate (철판치즈김치볶음밥) and Kimchi Stew. As you may realise, I’m a spicy food lover and I really miss eating spicy when I’m not in Korea. Another dish I really miss is noodles. Even the noodles found in convenience stores are great, especially the spicy ones such as the spicy carbonara noodles. Korean noodles are a must try and fortunately many kinds are exported to abroad. However, you’ll find many more interesting noodles in Korea for way cheaper, something I really miss. If you are going to the little restaurants owned by Ajummas who are always making delicious Kimbap, you can easily eat for less than ₩5000 (about $4). 

Shops and restaurants are everywhere. While, in some countries you have to walk a lot to find somewhere to eat, in Korea everything is less than a stone’s throw away. Even more so for convenience stores. Koreans also love coffee no wonder that there are many cool coffee shops to spend time with friends, to work or study at.  I really love going there to drink coffee because the atmosphere is really cool, the people are very welcome and of course the coffee and snacks are great. The atmosphere is different from your average starbucks, but that's a good thing. Every coffee shop has its own unique style in Korea, so try them out!

It may seem crazy, but a lot of places are still open at night or even 24 hours per day. In Korea, shops usually open around 11am and it is not surprising to see them close around 11pm. If you forgot to buy a gift or anything else, you can find it everywhere. You don’t have to worry anymore. Same as restaurants, while a lot in Europe closed after the 2nd service no later than 1 am, it is common in Korea to find some who are open even later. It’s so convenient when you're hungry after watching some mukbang late at night or after going out to a bar or a club. In the same way, you can order food for delivery at any time. Korea seems to never sleep and always be hungry:p

 

 

Cosmetics

Korea is the paradise for cosmetics and skincare lovers. You can find cosmetic shops everywhere in Seoul. so many brands exist that give you endless options. Funny fact, in the touristic district of Myeongdong, the same exact cosmetic store will only be a few meters apart. One of my personal favourite brands of cosmetics and also an icon in Korea, is Etudes house. Look for a cute pink store styled like a Disneyland house with a big sign and you’ll find Etudes house.   

 

 

Subway

Other important things I miss are wifi, air conditioners and heating in the subway. The internet speed and overall coverage of wifi in Korea is among the best in the world and the Subway makes great use of this. You’ll alway have wifi to do some homework, stay connected with friends or play some games. The first thing you’ll see when you enter the subway is people playing games or watching videos. The connection is pretty good on buses too, because big cities like Seoul have public wifi almost everywhere. It’s easy to connect and enjoy the content you want. 
Delivery 

During my latest travels in Korea, I noticed it is really easy to get packages delivered. First of all, you need to know Korea is always “pali-pali” (quick-quick) all the new shops closing and opening so fast is a proof of this concept. On internet such as Coupang or Gmarket you can find everything you need. Usually you buy an item and the day after or 2 days later you have it delivered to your door for free. The most convenient thing is they also deliver on weekends! Moreover, since crime in Korea is really low, your package is delivered in front of your door when you’re not home and you don’t have to worry about it being stolen! As a personal note, I also sent a package to someone who lives in the south at around 3pm and the next morning the person already receiving it. It is crazy how packages are delivered to a long distance so quickly. 

I also like the fact Korean doors don’t have keys. No more need to watch out your keys or even be scared to lose them. All you need in Korea is to have a good memory of your door passwords.

 

Hongdae/Sinchon

If there is a place, an area I miss the most, it is certainly Hongdae/Sinchon. Why? Because I lived there for 6 months and it was the best area for me as an exchange student. There are famous university districts so obviously a lot of young people are there at every hour of the day, plus everything is cheap. Sinchon is the district to live because it has everything and is calmer than Hongdae, however Hongdae is THE area to be for having fun at night and during weekends. It is only 15 minutes by walking. Not only you will find a lot of restaurants, shops, but also all the best nightlife with so many clubs and bars. I recommend going to Thursday Party and Mike’s Cabin. Hongdae is always exciting and bubbling. You can find busking performances where people are dancing to Kpop or singing songs. It is really fun to watch the performers. There is always a big crown around them so make sure to come early for the most famous ones. 

Some honourable mentions that didn’t make my list are: bubble tea, fast internet, PC bang (PC rooms), Korean barbecue and of course kpop! 

 

 

 

 

If my article has sparked your interest in Korea have a look at our internship opportunities in Korea. If Korea still isn’t your cup of (bubble) tea, check out our destination page to see the internship availability in all the cities across Asia.

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