Anytime I have felt like Googling Korea and cool things to do in Seoul, an army of bloggers have come to the aid, completely blowing my mind away– both by the sheer quantity of them, and the generally very good advice they offer. God bless the internet generation?
In no specific order;
- Dana in SoKo, which I used mainly for advice on how to get accommodation. Priceless advice– and even more importantly, relatable, real writing– that I have allayed some of my concerns because the local situation in Korea are a complete blank to me. Here: https://danainsoko.wordpress.com
- Good read for at least a basic understanding of customs and behaviour, and then a ton of fun articles on what to do/see/eat. Here: https://seoulistic.com/seoul-travel-guide/
- Someone who told me you can get tax-emption slips, IF you ask for them, and then save a ton of money when you leave the country. Not sure if that is feasible for a whole semester’s length. Here: http://triplerin.com/2014/04/seoul-2014-itinerary-super-free-easy.html
- Also told me where to get the best exchange rates (across the Chinese Embassy) thank you god bless you.
- I forgot I even had this blog bookmarked. Good entry point into how to be vegetarian in Korea, or at least to know that some one IS talking about it. But long since this, I have googled every cheap/local/hipster/Instaworthy vegetarian-friendly food place I could spot in Seoul– at least online. Usually when I travel, I mark up a map of places I’ve been to, and I intend to do that for vegetarian spaces in Korea when I go, soon. I expect that list to be much more nuanced and delightful than the list of predominantly “Jyoti” Indian restaurants on my radar right now. For now: https://matadornetwork.com/abroad/how-to-be-a-vegetarian-in-korea/
- While we are at essentials, I briefly used this website to get a head start on the alphabet, the weekend before I went for my first Korean class. (Because my pick up is a truck from the 90s… and I can only recall things the day after I’m taught them. Which would mean the poor instructor would spend that entire first session trying to get me to speed with what character is what sound if I didn’t read a little beforehand.) They are super clear, informative and mostly FREE, which can be such a booster when you’re trying out a language… No seriously, do you go to the store and buy the big red coat you’ve heard of and probably like, or do you try it on first? For free? In the store’s own trial room, not in your house with the expectation to return it if it doesn’t fit because you’re a frigging capitalist consumer like that? It’s like the shopping period of classes, and free language blogs are a blessing: http://www.howtostudykorean.com/unit0/unit-0-lesson-3/
- Ok now, listen up for the important stuff, this is some VERY COOL ice cream and if I’m still on a regulated diet when I go to Korea, somebody else needs to eat all of this and tell me in detail which ones were good. Please? For public service? Go get it: https://seoulistic.com/korean-food/places-to-eat-in-seoul-ice-cream/
- Ok my list is positively spiralling right now, much like my state of mind (this is Day 2 in Korea and goshiwons are giving me nightmares with eyes open.) So, let this bootifulhumanbeeeen save your souls: http://sarahinsouthkorea.blogspot.kr/2011/06/accomodation-in-korea.html?m=1
For some reason or the other, I have landed at these vlog channels on YouTube and must have completed (and enjoyed) at least one of their videos for them to make it to this list. I am probably less fickle than most people, but these are by no means your 15 minute “Things to do in Korea” videos that only talk about why the video is being made for the first 7 minutes. But a general tip for browsing: turn CCs on, skim the transcript, and skip ahead to what you’re interesting.
- JayKeeOut: not much of a fan of the collab stuff, but the simple JayKeeOut-in-the-street-talking-to-strangers is fun to watch. Also, he seems very sweet, which makes me feel better about Korea on many levels. It’s good to know actual faces of actual nice Koreans without ever needed to meet them, plus he speaks English and would clearly not be irritated with someone on the learning curve for Korean. Good stuff.
- 1Million and Lia Kim: I mean, everybody should follow 1Million. The blogs are fun too. Must always look at people you look up to when they’re doing things other than what they’re known for– even if it’s just eating. Lol.
- Actually, I just follow a bunch of dance studios– I probably only know of the more famous ones atm– because it sets up a nice vibe for the youth dance space in Korea.
- Smyang Piano: Actually… I don’t know if this channel should be on this list or is affiliated with Korea at all… besides the fact that I like to joke Smyang stands for “Suga Min Yoongi jANG”. But the talent tho!!
- Korean Culture Studies & Quick Korean: mostly because my uni Korean class referenced some of their vids for practice. Tad slow, but you can use all the practice you can get in those first few weeks.
- them idols and their fan content. I will defend to death the right to watch K-pop content because I have learnt so much from those, and you can choose what’s healthy for you yoself. One of my friends who’s Korean actually told me to watch any Korean drama or TV show I liked to pick up the language faster– which makes sense, the logic is the same, that practice builds exponentially. You just have to find what kind of practice you need and like. And I like the stuff that goes behind insane music talents.
Most vlogs are actually not on the list yet– will update soon. Still collating!
Edit 27 August, Day 2 in Korea: Why did I not think of this? http://www.korea4expats.com Goldmine of information of sorts.