Breaktime in Busan

Busan is the second city in South Korea, home to nearly 4 million people and will charm you with beaches, shops and numerous activities.

And, the more exciting news is that Busan is a candidate city for the World Expo in 2030 is certainly worth a long weekend or even a long spell!

YouTube – Feel the Rhythm of KOREA: BUSAN

The city of Busan offers easy access to nature with easy access to mountains that are simply waiting for you to take a hike, rivers and seas – not to forget opportunities to relax at some hot springs across the city.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

The most popular locations to be taken in on a visit include the famous Haeundae and Gwangalli beaches alongside the delicious food markets that will direct you to the beachfront with comfort!

If you can find time to escape the beach, there are a host of events to check the calendar before heading to the city, those include the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), The Busan Fireworks Festival and the One Asai Festival or SeoulTheJourney’s personal favourite the Busan Biennale (which reminds us to suggest those in Seoul to visit the KIAF).

Busan Art Gallery

Youtube by 부산시립미술관 / BUSAN MUSEUM OF ART
부산시립미술관 / BUSAN MUSEUM OF ART

One of the best galleries in Busan is The Busan Museum of Art.

Luckily, it is free to enter and really worth a visit. The gallerty showcases a wide variety of artists featuring leading artists from South Korea.

The gallery spreads over five floors alongside an outdoor sculpture garden. Don’t forget to check out the small shop on the ground floor sells arts-related gifts.

Checkout 부산시립미술관 / BUSAN MUSEUM OF ART for more videos from the Busan Museum of Art.

YouTube – BusanBiennale

Don’t forget to check out the Busan Biennale a bi-annual art event and one of the biggest art events in South Korea.

YouTube – ArtBusan

[Don’t forget] Earlier this year, Busan hosted ART BUSAN (May 2022) which will return in 2023 for the 12th year in bringing domestic and international art to the city.

YouTube – Art Busan

Check out Art Busan 2022.

Location:

58 APEC-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea

Shinsegae Centum City (신세계 센텀시티)

Shinsegae Centrum City (Department Store) in Busan is the essential hotspot for tourists and locals alike. The department store is a Guinness World Recordsholder for being the largest department store since 2009.

Explore the store, enjoy the food court and even a spa (SpaLand)

Check out our blog on the Starfield Goyang Aquafield.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Location:

35, Centumnam-daero, Haeundae-gu, Busan

for more information check out this detailed website in English.

Hiking in Busan

Busan is an ideal location for hikers. There is easy access to inland and waterfront hikes.

Take the opportunity to check out Visit Busan to plan your route..

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

Check out our personal favourite walk right here.

Take the opportunity to enjoy the beach and mountains

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Let us know how your visit went!

But, before we go.. let us suggest a hotel!

During our stay in Busan, we headed to the beautiful Hotel Nongshim that offered easy access to a spa and an ideal location to access the local feeling of the city and a short journey to the more touristic side of the sity!

YouTUbe –
앨리스의여행과일상


Take the opportunity to visit the nearby Beomeosa Temple.

Beomeosa is a temple that will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. It is known for the Hwaeom traditions to seek out happiness and generosity.

SeoulTheJourney wants to give you one more idea!

Busan Tower – 부산타워 – The tower offers a great view of the city day and night.

Location:

37-55, Yongdusan-gil, Jung-gu, Busan
부산광역시 중구 용두산길 37-55 (광복동2가) 용두산공원 내

Busan bids for the 2030 Work Expo at the BIE

YouTube – arirang
YouTube – KNN

Bakeries fit for the First Lady of Korea – and you!

Kim Keon Hee (김건희), the new first lady of South Korea’s and wife of President Yoon Suk Yeol made the news recently for a visit to a bakery.

In our latest blog, we will offer you a selection of cafes and bakeries that are well worth your visit – you don’t need to be the wife of the President!

The blog will cover a handful of gems found around Seoul and we have some surprises from Canada, Germany and England.

The one and only

7 Seongbuk-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul,

https://www.napoleonbakery.co.kr/

Take the opportunity to check out the menu at Napoleon Bakery right here and check out the security that were present on the First Lady’s latest visit.

Source: https://www.news1.kr/articles/?4709087

So, let’s hit the road with some ideas!

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Our first choice is the British bakery found at several locations spread across Seoul, Scoff Bakehouse.

Scoff Bakehouse

31 Pirundae-ro 5ga-gil, Nuha-dong, Jongno-gu

Changuimun-ro, 149 1층, Jongno-gu,Seoul

https://www.instagram.com/scoffbakehouse/

We recommend visiting each location (of course). Yet, we do certainly suggest trying a good number of treats but don’t forget to walk it off afterwards! (Korean fitness tips)

BreadOne Cafe

Next up, BreadOne Cafe is a lovely choice with several stores across Seoul. We’ve photographed the store just a few steps from Dongmyo Station.

207-24 Sungin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul,

Our personal favourite is the sweet potato treat!

And, check out the nearby Nam June Paik memorial house and more – see our blog.

Sullivan Bakery Cafe

Dangsan-ro, 241 유니언타운 1층, Yeongdeungpo-gu

https://www.nextkitchen.co.kr/nextkitchen_company

The Sullivan Bakery Cafe is an ideal choice for the workaholic or treat-loving coffee shop fan!

The Sullivan Bakery Cafe is within a building that serves as a coworking space and communal center for entrepreneurs.

It is worth a visit!

Bakery in Jeonga – Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Spotted around the country are bakeries that offer rice bread 쌀빵 . One of the bakeries in Jeonga is featured above and we dare you to try to find it!

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

As you explore the Seoul and the rest of Korea – take a moment to look out for the simple sign of a treat: 쌀빵

Vienn Boulang

Previously featured on SeoulTheJourney is lovely bakery ‘Vienn Bouland’ and we certainly recommend this to the First Lady and our loyal readers!

Seokchon-dong, 1-1 신동아로잔뷰 105호, Songpa-gu, Seoul,

비엔블랑

LALA Jamsil 라라브레드 잠실점

LALA stands out for the great location, a short walk from the iconic Lotte Tower and the super cute treats that they have on offer. It is one hundred per cent that pictures say it all!

4 Ogeum-ro 16-gil, Songpa-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul

라라브레드 잠실점 LALA

Boulanger Maison Bukak

This location is certainly ideal for a First Lady as the location is very secure and won’t cause as much hassle for the general public who might be blocked by the guards!

156 Seongbuk-ro, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul

Boulanger Maison Bukak

Mamre Croissant

Mamre Croissant is located only a short walk from Balsan station and is surely a pitstop on the way to explore the area (shops, coffee shops, restaurants and even more can be found!). – equally, take a few croissants home for the week!

269-15 Gonghang-daero Gangseo-gu Seoul 07803

Mamre Croissiant

SF Bagels

This is an obvious location for folks looking for a decent bagel in Seoul.

29 Donggyo-ro 46-gil, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

SF Bagels

Leaders checking out bakeries!

As we featured the news of Kim Keon Hee’s visit to the bakery we have featured a few choice celebrities who popped into the bakery!

Youtube – Royal Family

Prince William visited an independent bakery to hear how they have been impacted by coronavirus.

Youtube – WeeStream

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will make a stop in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario today, visiting Beechwood Doughnuts at 5 James St.

Youtube – Telegraph

US President Barack Obama buys all the cinnamon buns at Alaska cafe

We won’t stop here

All presidents and their partners end up with some global travel, eh!

We have a few more suggestions for the globetrotters.

Danish Pastry Canada

If President Yoon Suk Yeol and his wife are in Toronto, we would totally recommend they visit Danish Pastry for a few treats!

So Bo Ro in Dusseldorf, Germany

So Bo Ro will be an essential spot for visitors to Dusseldorf to check out, the taste of Korea can certainly be found here!

(Photos by Simon Williams-Im)

Zeit Für Brot

Another gem of a bakery that can be found in Germany – we fell in love with the branch in Frankfurt!

Princi at Starbucks Reserve Seattle

No trip to Seattle is a trip without a visit to a Starbucks and we picked the Roastery at 1124 Pike Street. Our first love affair with Princi was at the lovely store in the heart of London that we couldn’t find on our last trip there!

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

Kavhe Vancouver

In a city that boasts JJ Beans (another gem) we want to recommend Kavhe because their pastries/cakes are just delicious! (We also want to suggest a visit to JJ Bean, so don’t worry ;).

Try the scones and the cakes at 1822 W 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC V6J 1G5.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

The Handmade Brownie Company

Yeah, we’ve saved the best treat for last – The Handmade Brownie Company isn’t a bakery but it is heaven in the heart of England!

Discover an amazing array of treats that will keep you wanting more!

Photos by SImon Williams-Im

Explore Suwon: The Toilet Museum and so much more!

Start your adventure in Suwon with something unique, a visit to the famous ‘Mr. Toilet House’.

The well-known toilet-shaped house will add a certain sparkle to your day. Suwon is not only the home to famous international technology but is taking the lead on toilet culture.

Photo by Simon Williams-im

‘Gaeddong-yi’ is often given to folks born in a toilet at their maternal grandparent’s home. Perhaps, this is why Sim Jae-duck has such a bond with the Toilet?

The former Mayor of Suwon spent his time in office campaigning for better toilet facilities and played a role in establishing the World Toilet Association.

The former mayor replaced his former home of thirty years and built the Toilet House to celebrate the establishment of the World Toilet Association.

Designed by Go Gi-woong and was completed in November 2007.

A visit to the iconic building will teach you about the role of toilets in our lives!

Don’t flush at the opportunity!

Don’t forget to explore the gardens surrounding the building.

Youtube –
Corea, Casos de la vida real

Location:
86-3 Imok-dong, Janjan-gu, Suwon, South Korea

Don’t forget to explore beyond the toilet culture… DownieLive explore the famous penis Park – Haesindang Park

YouTube – Downie Live

Buksuwon Spa Flex

Why not head over to BukSuwon Spa after learning about toilet culture?

The BukSuwon Spa is clean and spacious.

Experience Korean culture in a refreshing way?

The Korean spa or, jjimjilbang will allow you to relax and explore some dry and wet saunas, relax in a pool.

If you are game – get a full-body cleaning or settle for a nice massage.

Location:

South Korea, Gyeonggi-do, Suwon-si, Jangan-gu, Yuljeon-dong, 서부로 2139

경기도 수원시 장안구 율전동 서부로 2139

Time for some retail therapy?

After a super relaxing morning, it is time to head downtown to grab some coffee and lunch.

We recommend a visit to the awesome AK Plaza Department Store, AK Town Branch in Suwon offers wide range of facilities including many shops, a cineam (CGV), book store and so much more.

Take time to enjoy and, if you are staying locally why, not come back for a film later!

Photo by Simon Williams-im

Location:

924, Deogyeong-daero, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do

If you are looking for a local hotel, we would suggest checking out the well located Novotel a minutes walk from AK Plaza.

The Wolhwawon Garden

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

For any reader who has visited China, the Wolhwawon Garden will remind you of your travels.

The Wolhwawon Garden influenced by the gardens of the Guandong Province.

The garden celebrated the signing of the memorandom of understanding between the Gyeonggi-do region and Guangdong provinc

Take time to explore the gardens and if time permits, enjoy a nice coffee in this magical garden.

Location:

Ingye-dong, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do

Local government website.

Suwon Ipark Museum of Art

We will now take you to the iconic Suwon Museum of Art. Take time to explore the website to check for the latest exhibitions and check out previous shows here.

The gallery is only a short walk from Hwaseong Haenggung that will be featured in a future blog

Ilwol Park

Hopefully, there will be plenty of time or even a couple of days left for you to explore Suwon.

If you are seeking some light relief, take a walk to Ilwol Park.

Location:

453-1 Cheoncheon-dong, Jangan-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

Gwangyo

We would suggest a visit to nearby Gwangyo for a lovely dinner at Penny Lane.

You will find a wide number of locations in Gwangyo that are certainly worth a visit that include Platz Coffee, The Lotte Outlet and Nam June Paik’s musuem.

Youtube – Seoul

Not to forget an essential time for visiting Gwangyo Lake Park, the iconic Galleria Mall and Avenue France Gwangyo.

Avenue France – Gwangyo by Simon Williams-Im
Youtube -SeoulWalker

Let us know how the trip went!

Six things to do on a lazy day in Seoul

With that summer feeling in the air, a luxury hotel for a relaxed weekend in Seoul is on the cards!

Start your weekend with an early evening check-in at the Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of Seoul. The hotel is stylish and well placed to get to all parts of Jongno with easy transport links in case you fancy going beyond!.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Be sure to take a look at the latest offers ahead of arriving and take advantage of the facilities at the hotel (such as the spa).

You should keep in mind the view from your room will really impress you with the great windown on the Cheong Wae Dae that was recently returned to the Korean people by the current President, President Yoon.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Take an early evening walk along the Cheonggyecheon, the 10.9-kilometre-long public space that is frequently decorated or lit up at night and take the opportunity to search out a delicious pick for dinner.

Of course, we are going to suggest that you visit the Korean Dessert (설빙 종각점) for a delicious bingsu and within walking distance.  

Location: 84-1 Jongno 2(i)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul.

Nevertheless, Jongno is full of great choices. We suggest you explore over the weekend!

Saturday morning – a day full of art and more

Start your morning with a lovely breakfast at the hotel or head out for a morning coffee. Jongno is overload with choices. We suggest you check out our blog for more ideas.

During your relaxed weekend, we have no doubt that you will be checking out the newly designed Gwanghwamun Plaza and nearby palaces.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

We suggest that you take a walk around the smaller galleries dotted around the very well known and must visit MMCA Seoul and Daelim Gallery. Our personal favourite is Gallery Simon.

We want to suggest that you find the opportunity to check out Amore Pacific’s gallery in nearby Yongsan.

We suspect that you will likey be bursting for some lunch after exploring several galleries and even a quick coffee at Samcheon Blue Bottle Coffee shop or one of the many other coffee shops.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

In Gongdeok, there is a good number of places to eat – there is a beautiful park space called the Gyeongui Line Forest (경의선숲길공원) which is found at 서울특별시 마포구 염리동 – Yeomni-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea.

For a light lunch, try out Egg Drop.

With plenty of options, we guess you will likely want to jump back on a metro or a bus and head back to Jongno and enjoy some shopping in Myeon Dong. We do have some suggestions before you head back.

Grab the Arex from Gongeok to Seoul Station. Take the chance to check out the cultural hub located at the Old Seoul Station or explore Seoullo 717 Skygarden designed by the same company that introduced Rotterdam food hall (why they didn’t do that in Seoul, I don’t know!).

Alternatively, head to the Old Ferry Donuts and relax with friends, a podcast or book over a scumptious donut and treat. For more ideas in this neighborhood check out our blog.

Or, the alternative is the backstreets of Yongsan coffee shop Oats Coffee for a quieter coffee and some free time to explore the backstreets of Yongsan before heading back to Jongno or maybe clubbing in Itaewon, Hongik or a hike up Namsan?

Check out this awesome Walking Around Jongno video for more ideas.

YouTube – J Road

Let us know how the visit went!

[KHR] Korean Art: Toronto Art Show 2022

The long-awaited return of the Toronto Art Show by Sunny Gallery returns after delays due to COVID-19. Toronto Art Show showcases several works by Korean-Canadians and Koreans based back in Korea.

The opening night that which was held on Thursday 28th May 2022 featured the inspiring Salpuri dance and music by Korean Music Canada.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

The exhibition that runs from 25th May – 2 June 2022 at Arta Galler based in the trendy Distillery District is well worth a visit. Explore the historical gem of Toronto and enjoy the amazing works featured at the Toronto Art Show.

The former Victorian Industrial estate was reborn with an offering of modern art, galleries, restaurants and shops waiting for you to visit!

Check out the amazing works by HoSung Kim (b.1975) (above) an example of hyper-realism and we at SeoulTheJourney had the urgent need to grab some yoghurt to dip the strawberries and to enjoy the delicious taste of 딸기!

Explore the beautiful exhibiton at Arta Gallery and take in the in-person experience or experience the exhibition from your laptop/computer – just hit the link here.

http://www.sunnygallerytoronto.com

‘The Persimmon Tree’ by BoYeon Kim will have your lips seeking out the fresh taste of persimmon – for that reason, we will redirect you to a fantastic read about a Korean farmer Kim at “Natural Garden” (자연의 뜰).

Or, take a moment to dream as you look at ‘Trace of Time’ by YooKyung Cha and let your mind float.

The magical sounds of Korea presented by KTMAC Ensemble during the opening night in Toronto.

Photos by Simon Williams-Im
https://www.facebook.com/ktmacensemble/

The event was attended by a wide range of folks from across Toronto.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im
Photo by Simon Williams-Im

The event was sponsored by The Korean Consulate in Toronto and ran alongside the national celebration of Canada’s Asian Heritage Month.

Celebrate Canada’s Asian Heritage

Check out the event photo on the social media of the Korean Consulate in Toronto.

https://www.facebook.com/KoreanConsulate

Don’t forget to check out the Korean side of Toronto – check out blog and video suggestions:

Youtube by SeoultheJourney
YouTube by Lance

Learn more about Asian Heritage Month (Canada)

Sunny Gallery Toronto

Event details

Toronto’s Korean Consulate

Prepare for your trip to Korea -> K-ETA application here and check out our blogs for your trip to Yongsan or maybe a few other places.

Arta Gallery

The Distillery District

Check out the Distillery District:

YouTube by Ian Greenwood

Tell us about your travels!!

Exploring the new Presidential playground

Just north of the Han (Han River) lies the Yongsan district of Seoul.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

The neighbourhood neighbours several historic areas of the city. Yet, Yongsan remains trendy for the deep relationship that the district had with the international communities: Americans, Japanese, North Koreans and countless others.

The district is home to more than 250,000 people and spans 20 dong areas (neighbourhoods). 

For many a visitor, the neighbourhoods of Itaewon and Hanganjin will jump out as the center of foreign nightlife, Yongsan station the hub of shopping and entertainment. Yet, in all honesty, it offers so much more to be discovered.

Back in the day, Yongsan used to house a former United States of America base that served as a helicopter parking yard for former President D. Trump. The US base recently moved to Camp Humphreys in nearby Pyeongtaek with the number of troops that would party in Itaewon!

Looking further back to the Baekje Dynasty, Yongsan became known for the belief of the mountain range looking like a dragon hence Yongsan itself means ‘dragon mountain [( Yong + San) Yong: dragon]. 

As for the Joseon dynasty, the neighbourhood served as the entry into Seoul for travellers and merchants.

Yongsan now returns to serve on the national stage of politics, housing the new Presidential office. President Yoon moved his offices to the neighbourhood, his first major success as previous presidents had failed to move from the infamous Cheong Wae Dae (most presidents from the former presidential compound found themselves in jail).  

Learn more about the President and read about his enthusiasm for women’s and LGBTQ rights.

You can visit the Cheong Wae Dae (Blue House) and learn more here – it is worth noting for ease to use Naver, Kakao or Toss.

This blog will recommend our top places to visit

during a visit to Yongsan. Let’s go!

#1 [A touch of history] – Namyeong-dong Anti-Community Investigation Office

The investiagation office dates back to 1976 and remains a reminder to the dark days of South Korea.

The building’s dark history as a site of intimidation, violence and a boundary between the land of the living and the entry point to death.

Those who passed through this building experienced water torture and electric currents alongside the daily sound of normality just beyond the walls – the sound of the Seoul metro.

A visit to the site is essential im understanding the harsh history that is often unknown to foreigners. Take a look at the website and images on our blog.

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

Location:

37 Hangang-daero 71-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

[민주인권기념관] 04322 서울특별시 용산구 한강대로71길 37 

#2 [A spark of creativity] Storage Book Store

Next up, we take you to a nearby book store that sparks creativity (don’t forget to bring your own photos and make your own book).

Storage Book Store on a hill, we recommend taking the bus from Garwol-dong Subway Line 4 Bus stop to Namyeong Station and a short 17 min walk).

Location:

115-1 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

After visiting the bookstore, we would recommend taking the opportunity to explore Haebangchon Sinheung Market the local area.

What else to do!

#3 [A brew for the journey] Oyster Cafe

Oyster Cafe is ideal for those planning to explore the neighborhoods found across Namsan and is only a short walk from Sinheung Market – for those fancy a quicker route, take a cab!

Check out Oyster Cafe’s Instagram.

#4 [Hunger strikes] Little India

Of course, hunger may well strike and this is where we suggest you grab a bus or a short cab ride over Itaewon. Itaewon is jam-packwed with international food options and we at SeoulTheJourney would recommend heading over to Little India Seoul리틀 인디아 서울.

Location: [리틀 인디아 서울]

21 Usadan-ro 10-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

#5 [A touch of Islam and a view] Masjid – 서울중앙성원

The Seoul Central Mosque-Masjid is well worth a visit. The site was offered by former President Chung-Hee Park and that was met with support from a number of Middle Eastern nations to pay for the construction. Funds are known to be largely from Saudia Arabia.

The Masjid offers Seoul a beautiful Islamic style that certainly gives a unique view of Seoul from the Han River. Don’t forget to take the opportunity to explore the neighbourhood and to enjoy the view of the Han River in reverse!

For more information on Islam in Korea check out the site here.

Location: 39 Usadan-ro 10-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

#6 [Books, coffee and more] Still Books

Still Books – 스틸북스

Still Books is a trendy bookstore that offers a large array of books and is surrounded by a good number of coffee shops and more shops!

For fans of Magazine B a visit is essential and those in the known -> checkout the amazing ad-less monthly publication and be swept away by the design and content!

Take the opportunity to relax with a book, flip thru a few magazines and even grab a brew and just take time out!

Location:

Sounds Hannam 2F, 35, Daesagwan-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 04401

#7 [Unique coffee date] r.about cafe

r.about cafe have several branches across the city. SeoulTheJourney would recommend a visit to the unique branch hidden in the streets of Yongsan. Check out their website to learn more about the brand.

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

Just be swept away by the unique design and soak up the magical atmosphere!

Location:

15 Daesagwan-ro 8-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Kore

#8 [Time to put the feet up] Yongsan Park – 용산가족공원

Head over to Yongsan Park and get that ‘Central Park’ moment with views of the city, a lovely stroll with coffee in hand and enjoy the sculptures.

Yongsan Park is spread out across the former US Army base and is truly a new gem in the heart of the city. Take time to explore the plans for the redesign here.

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

Location:

185 Seobinggo-ro, Yongsandong 6(yuk)-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

#9 [Soak up the art] Leeum 리움미술관

A visit to the amazing Leeum gallery is essential for a visit to Yongsan.

The gallery is part of the Samsung family and will really impress you with amazing use of space for all collections!

Location:

60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

#10 [dive into difference] enDive

After a busy day of exploring, the need for coffee will be on the agenda. Seoulthejourney wants to suggest something quite unique – enDive.

The atmosphere makes for a unique place to end the day (let alone to start it – but be mindful, they open at noon!).

Alternatively, a perfect spot for a date before dinner 😉

Location:

52-2 Itaewon-ro 54-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

We would like to suggest a visit to Fill Up Coffee but we aren’t 101% sure they survived COVID-19. For now, we leave you with a few snaps.

Location:

3 Noksapyeong-daero 32-gil, Seoul, South Korea

Check out Time Out Seoul coffee suggestions.

#11 [Welcome to the hub of Itaewon] Itaewon Station & Hamilton Hotel

As we weave our way towards the end of the blog, we wanted to introduce you to the famous Hamilton Hotel which is at the heart of the party center of Yongsan.

The Hamilton Hotel Sauna (Korean spa) is a good spot for cheap sleeps and a soak if you don’t want to pay for a night taxi or to take the bus! Nevertheless, the saunas of Itaewon will come with a very much LGBTQ vibe for our straight friends who aren’t so familiar.

Itaewon is certainly a neighborhood that all will feel welcome – don’t fear if you are LGBTQ as this has long been the home of the community.

Location:

119-25, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Itaewon | Seou

#12 [The Jewish Bath] The Korean Mikveh

In start contrast, we want to introduce an equally unique location for Jewish readers and that is the Korean Mikveh.

The Korean Mikveh comes with unique Korean architecture and full Jewishness.

Take a read about the new recently opened Mikveh. The Mikveh is managed by the local Chabad organization and was widely reported on in Jewish media.

For more information on the Jewish community in Seoul – visit Chabbad Korea.

For more liberal Jews and those from the LGBTQ community, take time to look up Hakehillah whcih will offer a more friendly welcome.

Hakehillah can be found on Facebook and website.

#13 [Namsan strolling]

No doubt, it was a very busy day of exploring and we only have a couple more ideas for you.

A visit to Namsan Library is essential for bookworms. The library is well known for appearing in a number of Kdramas and gives you easy access to amazing views of the city.

Location:

109 Sowol-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

#14 [ And for fun] We introduce you to the best place for adult fun – Piooda

Piooda needs to be checked out for their variety of adult toys and the unique design of the store.

Check out their website here (only for 19+) and check out a report in the Korean Times.

And… we guess you are wondering what to do tomorrow?

Check out the blog on Cheongju or Incheon.

Let us know how the journey went!

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

Touch of Korea in London

Exploring London must include time to check out the Korean side of the city!

The National Gallery London – by Simon Williams-Im

The Korean Cultural Center UK lies in the heart of London, a short walk to the iconic National Gallery, Canada House and even the heart of the British Royal Family – Buckingham Palace. 

The Korean Cultural Center hosts several events that include a range of workshops, screenings and much more. Take a look at their programs here.

On my recent visit to the KCCK, I visited the inspiring exhibition titled ‘Drifting Terrain’ that hosted works by Euphrosyne Andrews, Nia Fekri and Seungwon Jung.

The exhibition reflected on the concept of urban space and reconnection based on the experiences of migrants. Each artist highlighted their own perspective in an inspiring style.

SeoulTheJourney really gained inspiration from Seungwon Jung, an artist based in London who studied at Chung-Ang University in Korea. Jung’s artwork demonstrated how the natural world and time work together and  the beauty of nature. 

Take a moment to visit the KCCUK. We also suggest you check out Canada House, which regularly hosts exhibitions from time to time, just a short walk from The National Gallery.

Canada House by Simon Williams-Im

Of course, SeoultheJourney would like to suggest a visit to Seoul Bakery and don’t even dare to think we are sending you to a bakery. We are sending you to a gem of a restaurant that is only a short walk from Tottenham Court Road and serves up a range of delicious meals (photos by Simon Williams-Im).

Don’t forget to take the opportunity to check out nearby Covent Garden and we would like to recommend a visit to the amazing Stanfords store.

London offers a wide range of Korean food options. SeoulTheJourney highly recommends a visit to Bibimbap ToGo Leadenhall Market.

Location: 39 Leadenhall Market, London EC3V 1LR, United Kingdom

Which is located only minutes from the amazing and free Sky Garden the ideal opportunity to take in an amazing view of London.

And don’t forget to take the opportunity to jump across the city to the awesome and new Westfield Mall (CoEx, eat your heart out!).

London is a city of many surprises and will keep you busy for days! We recommend that you take a moment to explore Coal Drops Yard but we know you will need some nosh for the experience!

Pop to the awesome Oseyo (Korean supermarket) to pick up some treats or even grab some Tteokbokki from Bunsik.

For readers who are planning to travel beyond London, we have more ideas on our previous blog here. We also have more ideas for your next visit to Seoul.

Our last suggestion is a necessary visit to the amazing Design Museum London and nearby Holland Park. The park is an ideal place to grab some treats and head for an awesome picnic and great opportunity to enjoy a magical park in the heart of London. Below, a few snaps to give you some inspiration!

Location: Design Museum  224-238 Kensington High St, London W8 6AG, United Kingdom with Holland Park just a few steps away.

Korean treats around the world

#VANCOUVER, BC

The journey starts in the trendy heartland of British Columbia, Vancouver.

If you find yourself feeling hungry for Korean, we have some recommendations.

Start your Vancouver adventure with delicious Korean food at Manna Sushi and head over for some treats from Earnest Ice Cream.

Locations: Manna Sushi @ 6 E 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 1B1

Earnest Ice cream: 1829 Quebec St, Vancouver, BC V5T 2Z3

Don’t forget to check out a few other great locations in Vancouver:

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

La Foret that delivers on a very Korean atmosphere and is only a short walk from the must visit shopping mall – Metropolis at MetroTown of BC.

Location: 6848 Jubilee Ave, Burnaby, BC V5J 4B3

We also recommend visiting one of the many JJ Beans dotted around the city. The brand used to have a presence in Ontario until COVID-19 hit.

And, just a few more ideas for your time in Vancouver.

Stanley Park – Photo by Simon Williams-Im

There are a few more spots around the city that are perfectly Instagrammable and suitable for a short visit.

Locations:

Medina Cafe –  780 Richards St, Vancouver, BC V6B 3A4

The Garden of Strathcona 868 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1R6

Take time to explore BC – Vancouver, Vancouver Island..

#Jerusalem & #Tel Aviv Israel

Arriving in Israel, we would suggest heading into Tel Aviv for some beach time (R&R) and time to explore the dynamic art scene, breakfast/lunch and more.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Explore Sarona Market where it is easy to find a range of Asian food stores with a good supply of Korean foods. Although, it isn’t Korea, we would love to suggest that you take the chance on a breakfast at Benedict.

Location: שרונה מרקט, Aluf Kalman Magen St 3, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel

Sarona Market – Photo by Simon Williams-Im

After a mooch around the stores and malls, beaches, galleries and much more.. it will be time to catch a train or express bus to the capital city of Israel – Jerusalem.

#Jerusalem

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Our suggested first stop is the delightful ‘Seoul House’ which is a Kosher Korean restaurant within the Old City of Jerusalem. It can be found at 34 habad st, Old City of Jerusalem.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Enjoy the experience of eating and even if you happen to decide – a lovely Soju in the heart of the Jewish capital.

Photo by Simon Williams-im

Of course, a visit to Jerusalem we would suggest checking out Western Wall, The Israel Museum, Yad Vashem.

Be sure to check out the following websites for more ideas –

And, take time to visit Azrieli Mall in Tel Aviv before heading home

Israel – by Simon Williams-Im

#Birmingham

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Next up is the European city, Birmingham which is in the heart of the West Midlands / England and home to Aston Villa, Birmingham City Football Club and even Cadbury’s Chocolate.

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

There is a lovely blend of Korean restaurants in the heart of the city and we recommend a visit to #Topokki which is within easy walking distance from Birmingham New Street/Grand Central and the iconic Bullring.

Of course, we would sugget a visit to the lovely Quarter Horse Coffee which is only a short walk from Topokki.

#Berlin

We saved the best for last, Berlin!

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

No doubt, hunger is striking and we will dive right into the favourite locations!

Kimchi Princess,

Followed by, Gung Korean Restaurant:

And..

YamYam Berlin

Some inspiring shots of Berlin

And, the most amazing touch of Korea in Europe:

And, we leave you with a moment of reflection.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Time for a little Cheongju!

Cheonju is a magical day trip from Seoul. It is home to a good number of tourist bucket list locations and SeoulTheJourney fell in love with their new kid on the block, MMCA Cheonju which opened back in 2018.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

The location serves as a gallery and a storage space for the amazing MMCA galleries.

Earlier this year, MMCA Cheonju start its latest exhibition that included works from Andy Warhol’s portraits, a collage from David Hockney and even more.

Check out the photographs from our visit to the gallery.

As many art lovers will know, Daejeon will be the next outpost of the MMCA in Korea and will serve as a new hub from 2026.

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

Don’t forget that the MMCA offer online viewings – check out the article from The Guardian here

Youtube – MMCA

YouTube – MMCA

Location: 314 Sangdang-ro, Sangdang-gu, Cheongju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea

Before or after the gallery, we recommend a visit to 지구별여행자 which sits just opposite the gallery. A lovely cafe that can be used as a quiet place to read, enjoy the music, the atmosphere and meet up with friends. Check out a Korean blog for more details.

Next up, explore the history of printing and change your perspective – did you know that bookmaking started in Korea.

Explore the story of the JikJi

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

The Jikji was published at the Heungdeok Temple in 1377 and is the world’s oldest book.

The Jikji was published 78 years before the well-known Johannes Gutenberg’s 42-Line Bible (printed 1452-1455).

The last volume of Jikji has survived and is kept safely at the National Library of France.

YouTube – Youtube KCCLA

So, what is the Jikji?

The Jikji is a collection of quotes from well-known Buddhist monks recorded by Gyeonghan (1298-1374), the chief priest of Anguk and Shinwang Temples in Haeju.

At that time, Buddhism was the national religion of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) or modern-day Korea.

The collection of quotes spread out over two volumes, a metal-print Jikji from Heungdeok Temple is kept safely within the Manuscrits Orientaux of the National Library of France. (https://heritage.bnf.fr/bibliothequesorient/en/libraries-art)

Experience more:
Virtual Collection of Asian Masterpieces

National Museum of Korea

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

Visit Jikji Early Printing Museum

At the heart of Cheongju, the Jikji Early Printing Museum is waiting for you to visit.

The museum opens the world to the unique early printing that originated in Korea, involving movable metal type – it is the oldest in the world.

The museum offers a detailed exhibition and illustrations to help visitors understand the real impact of the Jikji.

Numerous international elements help to highlight the development of printing globally.

Also, take a look at the Diamond Sutra

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

YouTube –
청주고인쇄박물관

Getting there:

Take a bus from the Express (inter-city) Bus from Cheongju City (831) then get off at Cheongju Art Center Bus Stop.

The journey is around 20 minutes from the terminal to the Museum area.

A visit to Cheonju requires a visit to Suamgol Mural Village which is found in Su-Dong. Formally it was the shantytown that housed the poor just after the Korean War but it was rebuilt in 2008 into a popular trendy and tourist-friendly neighbourhood.

Frequently featured in several Korean dramas.

Photos by Simon Williams-Im

Let us know how your trip around Cheonju went and what else did you find?

Don’t forget to check out some more blogs from SeoulTheJourney – we want to suggest our 3 top alternative day trips and a perfect spring blend from Signiel Hotel to a springful day in Seoul.

The top 9 things to do around Incheon & beyond!

#1 The perfect Incheon Coffee Shop

Photo by Simon Williams-Im

After a long metro ride to Incheon, the first stop will be a coffee shop, so why not pick the best one!

SeoulTheJourney suggests the beautiful Akira Coffee is based just a short walk from the subway, nestled in the side streets of China Town.

The concept is Japanese – the space is magical, relaxing and Instagramable.

Equally, a lovely location to end the day and take in the fresh air!

Location: 9-69, Bukseong-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Incheon

 인천광역시 중구 차이나타운로44번길 16-24

Afterwards, take a walking tour around the neighbourhood and get some great ideas from the video below.

YouTube – Seoul Walker

#2 China Town, Incheon

After a long metro ride to Incheon, the first stop will be a coffee shop, so why not pick the best one! 

SeoulTheJourney suggests the beautiful Akira Coffee is based just a short walk from the subway, nestled in the side streets of China Town. 

The concept is Japanese – the space is magical, relaxing and Instagramable. 

Equally, a lovely location to end the day and take in the fresh air!

Location: 9-69, Bukseong-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Incheon

 인천광역시 중구 차이나타운로44번길 16-24

Afterwards, take a walking tour around the neighbourhood and get some great ideas from the video below.

Incheon’s Chinatown is South Korea’s official Chinatown and unlike the small side streets that surround Seoul’s Chinese Embassy and Myeon Dong – it is bustling. 

It was established in 1884 and includes a beautiful 11-meter high Chinese gateway or paifang (牌楼) – the first image below!

The area is packed with Chinese restaurants and coffee shops along with a wide range of options to keep any tourist busy!

Plus, we recommend you search out Jajangmyeon Museum!

As you explore Freedom Park, there is a landmark location called Jemulpo Club which has a strong history for the foreigners of South Korea as the first bar/cafe for the non-locals. Take a walk around and if the chance is there, have a nice drink!

Location: 25 Jayugongwonnam-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon, South Korea

인천광역시 중구 자유공원남로 25

#QuickSnaps

#Incheon is accessible by metro from #Seoul take a look at Seoul Metro

Below, the beautiful first Incheon Post Office that is found at Hang-dong 2 ga. It opened in November 1884 and provided delivery services between Incheon and Seoul.

In 1982, the post office was restored and updated. It also gained the titled as Incheon City’s Cultural Asset #8.

#3 Incheon Art Platform 인천아트플랫폼 

Incheon Art Platform incorporates thirteen red-brick buildings dating back to the 1930s and 1940s and houses some studios, exhibition spaces and performance halls.

The site was funded by Incheon Metropolitan City and made Haean Dong into a creative hub for the city.

Location: 3, Jemullyang-ro 218beon-gil (1ga Haean-dong), Jung-gu, Incheon 22314, Korea

인천문화재단 인천아트플랫폼 400-021 인천광역시 중구 제물량로 218번길 3(해안동 1가)

#4 Walking Tour

After a lovely morning coffee and a walk around the beautiful China Town and Art Platform, we recommend taking a walk to the waterfront – take in the view, find some lunch or even visit the fish market.

DON”T FORGET TO Take in the beautiful Freedom Park, Giant Murals / aka Silo Super Graphic (인천항 곡물저장고) and Incheon Ferry.

As you continue to explore the area, a short walk or even a bus ride down Wolmi-ro – you will find yourself in Wolmi Park home to a good number of activities. The most popular include the beautiful Wolmi Viewpoint, a walk around Yangjindang (historical location) and of course the Silo Super Graphic (above -murals).

#5 Yongyu Beach and cafe street (Airport Island)

The unusual location that SeoulTheJourney discovered for an evening coffee and a lovely sunset was found on Airport Island. Of course, it is only a short train ride from Incheon Airport!

From Incheon Airport take the maglev to the final stop and be ready for a little walk, numerous restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops await you!

The view was amazing!

How to get there: Incheon’s Maglev take it to Yongyu station.

And if you fancy a hotel with a view, check out the well-known Nest Hotel.

YouTube – Luke Starkenburg

#6 Incheon Airport

Incheon Airport is well known to a good number of visitors to South Korea. The airport is award-winning and pre-pandemic was always bustling with travellers and it will once more.

There are so many facilities at the airport’s two terminals and even the lovely spa – Spa On Air is a gem that can be used as a traveller or just to end a perfect day of exploring Incheon and the area.

Get inspired about your pending trip to Korea with some snapshots of the new terminal!

YouTube Traveller-Two Travel

#7 – The Wildcard – a visit to Joyang Textile (조양방직)

Admittedly, Joyang Textile isn’t in Incheon – it is a short drive or 1.5 hour from Seoul. Joyang Textile is a well-known cafe in the heart of Ganghwa Island and is built on a former mill that was built in 1933.

As textile factories come and go.. it was reborn into a gem of a cafe! This is a must-visit, great coffee, great location and Instagramable!

Check out the video by Jocelyn in Korea.


YouTube – Jocelyn in Korea

Location: 12 Hyangnamu-gil 5beon-gil, Ganghwa-eup, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon, South Korea 인천광역시 강화군 강화읍 향나무길5번길 12

Next up:

#8 강화 평화전망대 – Ganghwa Peace Observatory – take a look at North Korea

Take a short drive to the Ganghwa Peace Observatory (ensure that you are carrying ID) and take a look from the northern border of South Korea and look north towards North Korea.

#9 Ganghwa Bugeunri Jiseokmyo(Dolmen Site) – 강화 부근리 지석묘

Ganghwa Bugeunri Jiseokmyo (Dolmen site) is essentially a 1st millennium BC tomb, it is made up of large stone slabs and relates to the Megalithic culture

Visit a UNESCO World Heritage site on Ganghwa island with a visit to the Gangghwa Bugeunri Jiseokmyo (Dolmen site).

Entry to the location is free and is generally always open. There is a museum only a short walk from the site.

If you e a bus from the Ganghwa Bus terminal or a taxi, it will cost around 8,000KRW.

Location: 317 Bugeun-ri, Hajeom-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon, South Korea

인천광역시 강화군 하점면 부근리 317

For more information on local transport.

Looking for some alternatives in Seoul – check out our blog or for alternatives

Let us know how your day exploring Incheon went!

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: