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₩ 5,000 / US$ 4.99

ISSN: 1599-9963

Contents NO. 121

12 Exploring Seoul

Digital Destinations 16 Seoul travel bits 18


Crying Nut 20 Gangnam Spotlight

© Jeju Loveland

Introducing Gangnam’s Trendy Side 22 Travel

Pocheon 24 Korea travel bits 26

History walks

Dongmyo Shrine and Anyangam Hermitage 27

Seoul sub→urban

Mongchontoseong Station 28

광고 문의 T R A V E L




Seoul stories


No-haggle pricing 광고가는 정찰제입니다

Dining & nightlife

Adventures in Korean Dining 34

Talk of the town

To advertise in SEOUL, call (02) 734-9567 or email

The Pitfalls of Cultural Analysis 35

Book review

Korea through Her Birds 36


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Summer Survival Kit 57

Seoul of zen & Oriental medicine

Healing Your Soul and Body

• 38

Goings-on around town Previews, listings, more

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Expat community page 46

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Maps & guides

QR codes with gray borders directly link to individual Google Maps. QR codes with blue borders directly link to individual websites.

@seoulselection T R A V E L




About the Cover Bloggers Jun Michael Park, Mimsie Ladner and Joe McPherson at Changgyeonggung Palace (p12) Photographed by Ryu Seunghoo

Central Asia Village


August 2013


Publisher Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul Selection President Kim Hyung-geun (Hank Kim) Editor-in-Chief Robert Koehler Deputy Editor Choi Yong-shik Producer/Coordinator Ko Yeon-kyung Art Director Jung Hyun-young Head Designer Shin Eun-ji Designers Yu Hye-joo, Cynthia Fernandez Photographer Ryu Seunghoo Advertising & Sales Choi Goya Kim Yunjung, Koo Yongsung Copy Editor Daisy Larios Contributors Daniel Gray Merissa Quek Robert J. Fouser Daisy Larios Doyun Kim

| Raimund Royer | Subul Sunim | Charles Usher | Stephanie McDonald | April Jackson

Address 2nd flr., 138-7 Hwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-210, Korea Tel 82-2-734-9567 Fax 82-2-734-9562 E-mail Website Registration No. 서울 라 09431 Copyright by Seoul Metropolitan Government & Seoul Selection Printed by (주) 이펙피앤피 (Tel 82-2-332-3584) All rights reserved. No part of this publication covered by the copyright hereon may be reproduced in any form or by any means — graphic, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise — without the written consent of the publishers. SEOUL welcomes letters, faxes and e-mails to the editor ( regarding press releases, specific articles and issues. All correspondence may be edited for reasons of clarity or space. Seoul Selection also offers a free online newsletter, SEOUL WEEKLY, which tells you where to go, what to do, and who to see while you are staying in Seoul. For details, see



2 days / 1 night Explore Seoul’s lovely Joseon Dynasty Changdeokgung Palace [ Map 1 D2] . Enjoy traditional food in Insa-dong [ Map 2 ]. Take a stroll along the Hangang River at Seoul Forest. Explore the multinational eats of the multicultural neighborhood of Itaewon [ Map 8 ]. Party all night at a club in bohemian Hongdae district [ Map 7 ] or red-hot Itaewon [ Map 8 ].

Go Where the Bloggers Go

SEOUL asks some of the city’s bloggers for their travel recommendations >p12–15

DAY 2 Stroll through quaint Bukchon [ Map 3 ]. Try some Korean meat dishes at Maple Tree House [ Map 3 C1].

Cool Off in Pocheon

Finish up with a bit of shopping in electric Myeong-dong [ Map 4 ].

Valleys and lakes northeast of Seoul make for a perfect late-summer escape. >p22–23 DAY 1

Discover Some of Korea’s Offbeat Destinations

Visit majestic Gyeongbokgung Palace [ Map 1 B2]. Enjoy a bowl of Korean noodles at Myoung-dong Kyoja [ Map 4 C3] in Myeong-dong.

Penis statue parks, toilet museums, historic outhouses and more! >p24

Pop by Gangnam Tourist Information Center

3 days / 2 nights

Shop till you drop in Myeong-dong [ Map 4 ]. Head to traditional Insa-dong [ Map 2 ] with its wonderful restaurants and teahouses. Party like there’s no tomorrow in posh (and pricey) Cheongdamdong [ Map 11 C2].


The newly opened Gangnam Tourist Information Center is a hands-on intro to an iconic district. >p20

Greet the morning with a stroll through Seonyudo Park. Head to atmospheric Samcheong-dong [ Map 3 ] for lunch. Explore historic Bukchon [ Map 3 ] , including Simsimheon House [ Map 3 C2]. Head to Itaewon [ Map 8 ] for some great international eats. Shop for clothes all night at endlessly huge Dongdaemun [ Map 5 ].

Discover Crying Nut’s Newest Album Korea’s grandfathers of punk are at it again. >p18

DAY 3 Explore 5,000 years of history at the National Museum of Korea (see Try some Korean kimchi stew at Gwanghwamunjip [ Map 1 B3] . Finally, head downtown and stroll along Cheonggyecheon Stream [ Map 1 C3, D3] .

Jamiroquai © Jisan World Rock Festival

See Jamiroquai at Jisan On the program of Jisan World Rock Festival are Weezer, Placebo, and Jamiroquai. >p40

Stay Outdoors Seoul is lovely in August, so why stay indoors? >p16

Exploring Seoul



hether you’re a first-time visitor to Seoul or an expat who has been here several years, the city’s bloggers often shine a light on places tourist guides don’t even mention in passing. SEOUL spoke to four bloggers on what to see, where to eat, and, importantly, where to get a good drop of Korean alcohol.

Mimsie Ladner

Seoul Searching

Wall mural in Ihwa-dong © Mimsie Ladner

Mimsie Ladner runs Seoul Searching, a blog about different aspects of Seoul, from funerals to quaint areas to visit. She came to the city in 2009 on an impulse, knowing nothing about Korea. Four years later, her blog is rated one of the most popular by expats and native Koreans alike. One of her favorite areas in Seoul is Ihwa-dong 이화동, near Daehangno. (From Exit 2 of Hyehwa Station 혜화역, Line 4, go straight for 200 m. Turn left onto Dongsung-gil Street. Walk straight for another 200 m until you reach the Lock Museum. Follow the mural and turn right onto Naksan Gongson-gil Street.) “It is one of the few places in the Korean capital where visitors can get a feel of what Korea was like in the 1970s, as well as take in some amazing views of the city,” she says. “Many of the old houses in the area have been decorated with colorful murals and interesting sculptures, making Ihwa-dong a destination for art lovers and photography enthusiasts.” Baeksasil Valley © Mimsie Ladner

A little artwork goes a long way in Ihwa-dong. © Mimsie Ladner

Another favorite of hers is Buam-dong 부암 동. (From Exit 3 of Gyeongbokgung Station 경복궁 역, Line 3, take bus No. 7022, 7212, or 1020 to Buam-dong Community Center.) A step away from the neon and noise of Seoul, the area is dotted with quaint little cafés, galleries, and restaurants. But the real jackpot in the area is Baeksasil Valley 백사실계곡, which Ladner calls a little oasis. “With easy trails and plenty of shaded places to rest, Baeksasil is the perfect spot for a private picnic or a family outing,” Ladner says. When hunger strikes, Ladner enjoys eating at Samcheongdong Sujebi 삼청동수제비 [ Map 3 C1] near Gyeongbokgung Palace. A no-frills restaurant with great atmosphere, Ladner says the seafood and dumpling soup is the best in Seoul and goes well with savory pancakes. Kimchi is also made on the premises, so customers are able to watch the ajummas while they make it.


Mural reveals the artistic side of Hongdae. Photograph by Ryu Seunghoo

Joe McPherson

Zen Kimchi

Joe McPherson became a self-confessed Koreaphile after he studied Korean history in college. While he was initially only going to stay in Korea for a year in 2004 to teach English, he’s still here nine years later. McPherson says visitors to Seoul should go to the Noryangjin Fish Market 노량진수산시장 [ Map 10 ]. He calls it a visit to an aquarium where you can eat the exhibits and says the best time to go is on Saturday at around 6pm because you can buy your seafood and have it cooked at an on-site restaurant. He also recommends an obligatory visit to Hongdae 홍대 [ Map 3 ]. Although the area is known for its clubs and party atmosphere, McPherson says people should go for the people watching, for you’ll find hipsters, punks, and skaters mixing together in quirky cafés. McPherson also says there is an exciting food scene developing at the Hapjeong end. “On weekend evenings, expect to see a Neo-New Wave duo play at the triangular park area; shop for unique trinkets at the flea market; and soak up the post-mod folk art that is becoming the new Korean style and infecting the country,” he says. “The Korean culture that your grandkids will know is getting its start here.”

Mapo 마포 is another go-to area for McPherson. In particular, he likes Mapo Jeong Daepo 마포 정대포. (Get off at Mapo Station 마포역, Line 5. Walk along the street behind the Seoul Garden Hotel for a few blocks. Look for the orange sign with a picture of a cannon.) McPherson says the restaurant specializes in galmaegisal, a tender and lean cut of pork cooked over charcoals. The pork fat is also collected from the barbecue and mixed with egg for a Korean-style scrambled egg. Also in the area is Bongpyeong Memil Makguksu 봉평메밀막국수, a restaurant dedicated to Gangwon-do cuisine. (From Exit 3 of Hyochang Park Station 효창공 원역, Line 6, go directly behind the Seoul Garden Hotel and look for the restaurant with the yellow signs.) “Gangwon-do is a rural area that is off the culinary radar and waiting for its time in the spotlight. If you can’t go to the countryside, bring the countryside to you,” McPherson says. The restaurant specializes in buckwheat dishes; McPherson says visitors should order the cold buckwheat noodles, makguksu.

Scenes at Noryangjin Fish Market. Photograph by Elizabeth Groeschen

Dining & nightlife

Adventures in Korean Dining Korean food might seem quite extreme to the uninitiated. Some might find pork knuckles, blood pudding, head cheese, silkworm larva, and fish intestines to be disgusting, but to Koreans they are just another meal or snack and often considered delicacies. This issue we present to you some of Korea’s more adventurous eats.

Written and photographed by Daniel Gray

Poor Man’s Lobster at Masan Agujjim


Insa-dong area The flesh of the deepwater monkfish is said to taste and have the texture of lobster. However, in Korea this fish is prized for it’s chewy meat and gelatinous liver. The bigger the liver, the more expensive this dish can get. Masan Agujjim in Nagwon-dong is famous for their chunks of monkfish in a spicy sauce stir-fried with bean sprouts and other veggies, a dish called agujjim. The monkfish chunks are chewy and gelatinous and full of flavor, and the crunchy bean sprouts are very cooling. Koreans consider this deepwater fish a delicacy and love to enjoy the sauce with rice. I really like this place because of the quality of the ingredients, the sauce, and the simple banchan. The sauce is thick, spicy, and flavorful, and they make an amazing fried rice with the leftovers. There are many imitators in the area, but you’ll know you found the right place when you see the place with the long queue.

Masan Agujjim 마산아구찜 T. 02-763-7494 Hours: 11am–11pm Price: KRW 38,000 for 2–3 people [ Map 2 D2] © Ryu Seunghoo

Frog Legs at Yeonsuk Yanggochi Jeonmunjeom 연숙 양꼬치전문점

Dongdaemun area

Spicy Chicken Feet as Stress Relief: Hongmi Dakbal 홍미닭발 Gangnam area

The French consider cuisses de grenouilles a delicacy and consume around 4,000 tons

I asked my Korean friends why they would want to eat something so spicy that it burns

of these spry amphibians per year. Koreans don’t eat quite as many, but they do enjoy

both going down and going out. They said that it relieves stress—they feel alive, and all

them grilled, fried, and as a liquid (usually steeped in alcohol). It is believed that frogs are

the problems of the day burn away. Now the most popular clinic for this therapy—spicy

rejuvenating and good for increasing strength. A great place to get frogs in Seoul is over at

chicken feet—is over at Hongmi Dakbal. Warning. The chicken feet here is uber spicy. It’s

Yeonsuk Yanggochi Jeonmunjeom, which is a local haunt for lamb skewers cooked over

so spicy that your mouth will burn the entire time. I can’t really describe the flavor of it—it’s

coconut charcoal. It is nothing fancy and the service is polite. The diners are locals looking

just burny. There is little meat on the chicken feet, and as you nibble, the heat ignites your

for a beer and a snack after work. Their lamb is the main event, but they have a very diverse

entire head. The burn started from the corner of my mouth and went to my temples. From

menu that includes fried frog legs. Here you can get a large platter of our jumpy friends,

there it went to my forehead, and later it caused a sweat behind my ears. It was a painful

which are simply battered and fried till crispy. They are seasoned with a bit of red chili,

experience, but it felt quite good after a bit. Pain so painful it is euphoric. To balance out

which gives them a bright heat. You don’t get the whole frog here, just the torso (which

the spiciness, the restaurant offers several different “cures.” The starch and sesame seaweed

makes it easier to hold) and the legs. If you’d like to be dainty, you can chew the meat off

in “ugly” gimbap (motnan gimbap and jumokbap) will calm down the spice. There is also

the bones, but I found that you could just as easily eat it bones and all. The taste of the frog

bindaetteok (mung-bean pancakes). My favorite fire extinguisher is their their steamed egg

was like that of a chicken that had gone swimming in a clean pond. I can easily see frog legs

(gyeran jjim)—it’s like smooth custard, and holding it in your mouth will settle the burn.

becoming a popular snack at sporting events.

The other cure for the spice is peach juice. The pectin is believed to get rid of spice, and I have to say, it does work. If you are looking to enter a world of pain, I recommend you give this place a try. Yeonsuk Yanggochi Jeonmunjeom 연숙 양꼬치전문점

02-2256-8831 Hours: 4pm–late Price: KRW 11,000 for lamb, KRW 18,000 for the frog legs

Hongmi Dakbal 홍미닭발

[ Map 5 D3]

[ Map 11 B2]

T. 02-545-2119 Hours: 5pm–late Price: KRW 4,000–17,000


SUMMER SURVIVAL KIT THE HEAT IS NO EXCUSE TO CUT BACK ON STYLE Here are seven must-have items to fight the summer heat and help maintain your style during the hottest months of the year.

Written by April Jackson Photographs courtesy of various manufacturers



Protecting your skin is the number one priority every summer. The amount of SPF, water resistance, and coverage are the main features to look out for in sunscreen. Tony Moly’s UV Sunset Waterproof Sun Block SPF 50 for face and body has it all.

Walk out with the glow of a star with Skin Food’s newest body product. Seeing the word “sparkle” might be a major turnoff to some, but this balm is really only a slight shimmer. It gives your complexion a nice radiance that reflects the sun’s rays quite well. It’s great to add to your arms, legs, or face. Fortunately its available to in two varieties: Secret Pink goes well with paler skin tones while Glam Gold is amazing for tanned or mocha complexions.

KRW 14,000 Tony Moly Various locations throughout Korea

KRW 13,000 Skin Food Various locations throughout Korea

SANDALS What is summer without sandals! They come in many prices and colors, so choosing a pair can be difficult. When deciding on colors, go with a cream or metallic since they’re easy to match with your wardrobe. If you want to add even more style, why not try cool and eyecatching gladiator sandals?

TIP: Try purchasing a pair that are small enough to carry with you. They’ll come in handy when you’re out and need to switch out of the high heels that are killing your feet!

KRW 69,000 Zara Various locations throughout Korea

Goings-on around town


Jecheon Intʼl Music & Film Festival (JIMFF) Aug 14–19 Various locations in Jecheon, Chungcheongbuk-do General screening: KRW 5,000 T. 02-925-2242 Intercity buses bound for Jecheon depart from Express Bus Terminal or Dong Seoul Bus Terminal.

Secret Garden Aug 28, 8pm Sejong Center for the Performing Arts [ Map 1 B3]

KRW 33,000–143,000

T. 02-720-3933

Secret Garden, an Irish-Norwegian duo playing new instrumental music, is returning to the Korea stage on August 28 with its signature new age, crossover renditions. The duo has sold over three million albums and won the Eurovision Song Contest for Norway in 1995 with the composition “Nocturne.” Their accomplishment at Eurovision spearheaded the success of their first album, Songs From a Secret Garden. It sold a million copies around the world, going platinum in Norway and Korea, in particular.

Due for August 14 through 19, JIMFF strives to celebrate films that feature exhilarating music, enriching the local film festival scene. World Music Film Today, JIMFFʼs sole competition section, will present eight films from around the world this year. Other sections will introduce the various aspects of music cinema and showcase a number of musical performances outdoors against the beautiful landscape of Cheongpungho Lake.

Justin Bieber NEWS Gymnastics Arena, Olympic Park Oct 10, 8pm Olympic Park Station 올림픽공원역 (Line 5), Exit 3

Seoul Intʼl Youth Film Festival (SIYFF) Aug 22–29 Arirang Cine & Media Center General screening: KRW 6,000 T. 02-775-0501 Sungshin Womenʼs University Station 성신여대입구역 (Line 4), Exit 6

The Seoul International Youth Film Festival will kick off its 15th edition on August 22, featuring 40-plus films that have been created by young adult directors or that depict peculiar adolescent issues. Under the auspices of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, SIYFF also hosts a number of satellite events such as a film camp for aspiring teenage filmmakers and educational forums on media copyright and school violence. Screening sites are concentrated in the Seongbuk-gu district, near Korea University

KRW 99,000--132,000


T. 02-3141-3488

Platinum-selling pop sensation Justin Bieber is bringing his Believe world tour to Korea in October. The tour was launched in support of his third studio album, Believe, released in 2012. With his debut extended play, the seven-track My World, he became the first artist to have seven songs from a debut record chart on the Billboard Hot 100. With a global fan base, known as “Beliebers”, he was named by Forbes in 2012 as the third-most powerful celebrity in the world.



MUSEUMS The 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice: Lo. how could we forget! War Memorial of Korea Thru Aug 13 Free T. 02-709-3041 Walk 3 minutes from Samgakji Station 삼각지역 (Line 6), Exits 11 & 12. [ Map 8 A3]

Royal Court Embroidery National Palace Museum of Korea Thru Sep 1 Free T. 02-3701-7500 [ Map 1 B2]

Folk Painting—Land of Imagination Horim Art Center Thru Sep 14 Adults: KRW 8,000, Students: KRW 5,000 T. 02-541-3523 [ Map 11 C2]

Territorial Expansion of Baekje Seoul Baekje Museum Thru Sep 14 Free / T. 02-2152-5811 Mongchontoseong Station 몽천토성역 (Line 8), Exit 1 or Olympic Park Station 올림픽공원역 (Line 5), Exit 3.

Embroidered Parasol Honoring Officials Charitable Deeds National Folk Museum of Korea Thru Sep 23 Free / T. 02-3704-3114 [ Map 3 A2]

Art of Islamic Civilization National Museum of Korea Thru Oct 20 KRW 12,000 T. 02-2077-9000 Take the underpass at Ichon Station 이촌역 (Jungang Line, Line 4). [ Map 8 A3]

Classical Music Little Singers of Monaco Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center

Jul 28, 2pm KRW 20,000—90,000 T. 070-7434-4502 Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미 널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.

Summer Classics with Seoul Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Sejong Grand Theater, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts Aug 10, 3pm, 6pm / Aug 11, 6pm KRW 5,000—30,000 T. 02-399-1792 [ Map 1 B3]

Music for Healing with Yuichi Watanabe, Sojiro, Norihiro Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center Aug 11, 8pm KRW 30,000—120,000 T. 02-338-3515 Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미 널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.

Academy Percussion Ensemble 20th Anniversary Concert Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center Aug 13, 8pm

KRW 20,000—100,000 T. 02-3487-0678 Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미 널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.

200th Anniversary of G. Verdi: Opera Highlight Sejong Grand Theater, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts Aug 20—21, 8pm KRW 30,000—170,000 T. 02-2279-5312 [ Map 1 B3]

Anniversary Concert to Celebrate 21 Years of KoreaChina Ties Kumho Art Hall Aug 22, 8pm KRW 30,000 T. 02-6303-1977 [ Map 1 B3]

Puellarum Pragensis Chamber Orchestra Concert Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center Aug 24, 6:30pm KRW 30,000—100,000 T. 1600-1803 Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미 널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.

DITTO Encore Recital Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center Aug 31—Sep 1 T. 1577-5266 Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미 널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.

“Musicians” from New York Phil in Korea Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center Sep 4, 8pm T. 02-522-1790 Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미 널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.

DANCE Seoul International Dance Competition Korea National University of Arts, Seoul Arts Center, National Gugak Center Aug 18—24

T. 02-588-7570

Korean National Ballet— Don Quixote CJ Towol Theater, Seoul Arts Center Aug 28—31 KRW 5,000—30,000 T. 02-587-6181 Nambu Bus Terminal Station 남부터미 널역 (Line 3), Exit 5. Transfer to shuttle bus, or green bus No. 4429.

MUSICALS Avenue Q Charlotte Theater Aug 23—Oct 6 KRW 50,000—130,000 T. 1644-0078 [ Map 12 ]

T The Musical Chicago National Theater of Korea Thru Aug 31 KRW 40,000—120,000 T. 02-577-1987

Maps & guides45 Shopping Bratson Bratson is a Korean streetwear brand inspired by 70s punk rock, 90s street style, and subcultural art forms. Itʼs very popular among K-pop celebrities such as 2NE1, Girlsʼ Generation, Dynamic Duo, and many more. If youʼre into hardcore tattoo art, skateboarding, or street dance, Bratson will definitely suit your style. T. 02-325-0824, [ Map 9 A2]

Info Seoul Global Center Relocates to Jongno The Seoul Global Center has relocated to a new office in Jongno near Youngpoong Bookstore building and Jonggak Station. The center provides foreigners with information and foreign language services in business consulting and public administration. These languages include Vietnamese, Mongolian, Russian, and Uzbek. Also available at the center are a range of daily living services, such as orientations on living in Seoul and language classes. On the 5th floor you can find general services, including a KT Telecom office, bank, and travel agency. The 6th floor specializes in business services.



T. 02-2075-4117, [ Map 1 C3]










8 9 12 11

Forever 21 Apart from the store in Garosu-gil, you can now also find a renovated Forever 21 in Myeong-dong, where it recently reopened its doors. The store has become bigger and better, now selling the brands Forever 21, LOVE21 (for a modern office look), and 21MEN (menswear). Map

T. 02-727-3300,


Gwanghwamun Area Seoul’s old downtown

[ Map 4 C3] , [ Map 11 B2] Map


Insa-dong A whimsical neighborhood of Korean antiques and art galleries



info Fireflies Find Home in Seoulʼs Ecological Parks In an effort to create a more ecologically sound environment, the Seoul Metropolitan Government released 4,700 fireflies into five ecological parks throughout Seoul in the month of June. The five locations where the insectʼs large habitats have been created are Mt. Namsan, Noeul Park, Yeouido Saetgang Ecological Park, Godeok Waterfront Park, and Choansan Neighborhood Park. T. 02-120

Samcheong-dong / Bukchon



Drink, dance and be merry in Seoul’s university district Map


Tradition and modernity in beautiful harmony Map




Dongdaemun Feel the energy in the city’s largest market





Hangangjin Quickly turning itself into the trendiest spot in town



Yeouido The Manhattan of Seoul



Sinchon / Ewha Two of Seoul’s most hippest college town areas

Itaewon The heart of Seoul’s multicultural community

The lively commercial district where shopping and history meet Map


Gangnam Area Dynamic business district south of the river



Jamsil Area Lotte World and beyond

SEOUL (August 2013)  

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