7 Places to Go Hiking in Seoul (for Free!)

Hiking in Seoul has long been a Korean pastime, but the word ‘pastime’ is a bit of an understatement. Koreans love hiking, and if they invite you to join them, they seriously mean that you will be trekking with them through the woods, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. The best hikes in Seoul are usually … Read more

Complete Primer on Korean Food for Visitors

Five tastes generally describe Korean food: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and spicy. But did you know Koreans have another sense of taste? This intriguing sense is called siwonhan-mat (시원한 맛), which is the refreshing sensation that courses through the nerves of the tongue, stomach, and even the intestines when eating. In other words, this is the sense of … Read more

First Timer’s Guide to Everland Theme Park (Korea)

Also known as the largest theme park in South Korea, Everland is like a mini-city of its own, just two hours from Seoul. Everything at Everland Theme Park looks like it came straight out of a fairytale, with an interesting mix of fantasy and science fiction, tall rides and slides, and never-ending entertainment. It makes … Read more

Best Souvenirs from South Korea (Seoul)

A heavy focus on manufacturing has transformed Korea’s economy into a global industrial giant ever since they opened up to global trade in the 1980s. It’s also been growing continuously ever since, and recently the world has taken notice. Across the globe, industrial souvenirs from Korea are hard to miss since most of our electronics, automobiles, … Read more

An Introduction to Drinking Culture in South Korea

These days drinking is frowned upon by health experts all over the world. But in South Korea, oftentimes refusing to drink is frowned upon.  Drinking after a long workday— Koreans typically work 10-12 hours a day— is part of the daily grind here. If you’re working here and you’re not up for it, that could … Read more

Why Koreans Don’t Speak English

Controversial opinion alert: Koreans don’t speak English well, for all of the time they spend on it. Learning a new language is a mind game, but that means it comes down to acquisition ability and motivation, each complicated in their own right. But I’ve had this post half-written for years, since shortly after I moved … Read more

Korean Coffee Culture: Instant Coffee to Siphon Drip

Many Koreans both young and old enjoy lingering for an hour or two over a café latte, especially on weekend afternoons. In the evenings, bigger cafes in Seoul usually sell bottles of beer and cake by the slice. Even during the holidays and in the middle of summer, Korean cafes are as crowded as ever. Nobody wants to … Read more

19 Tips for Learning Korean Language + Alphabet Quickly

My latest round of Talk To Me In Korean Books.

After 3+ years living in rural South Korea, I’ve picked up lots of tips for learning Korean quickly, mostly from needing to understand my coworkers. Having moved abroad without even being literate in Korean, I cannot understate how intimidating it can be to try and navigate a new life in Korea without knowing Korean. Unless … Read more