Here are ten websites that have made our lives as expats in South Korea much easier – they are sure to do the same for you!
Last year we loved our quaint neighborhood in Yeongdeungpo, Seoul. It was close to Hongdae, but away from all the chaos. That is of course if don’t count the chaos that is COSTCO on weekends. Yes, we lived right by the Yeongdeungpo Costco. haha. While many of you may be thinking that we’re incredibly spoiled, wait till you hear about this website. Now that we live in a suburb outside of Busan, we’re about an hour and a half from the nearest Costco. Instead I somehow stumbled across this amazing website that DELIVERS Costco and Homeplus goods TO YOUR DOOR, anywhere in Korea. Anywhere. I made a short video of one of the orders we got. They do need a valid phone number, and they almost always call beforehand on the day they deliver the groceries. A little korean may be desirable, but I think you’d get them at your door regardless. 😛
Let’s face it, the one thing we ALL miss when we live in Korea is good, cheap mexican food. It’s nearly impossible to find, especially for those outside Seoul. Gringos Burritos to the rescue! These guys craft a truly excellent, authentic burrito and then in true Korean service fashion, they ship it to your door. It’s excellent stuff. They also have chorizo and bean dips. Try ’em out!
- English Gmarket
GMarket is the famous Korean online store front. It’s actually owned by eBay, but functions a little bit differently. Perhaps lesser known is English GMarket, the English language portal to this huge shopping site. GMarket is your ticket to getting things you can’t find in Korea, and even for importing goods from other countries (just watch out for customs fees!).
- Daum Dictionary
I discovered this recently thanks to hangukdramakorean.com, an awesome self study korean blog. It’s a great dictionary for learning korean because not only does give you the definition of a word, it gives you common phrases in which its used. If you are studying korean this is a great resource to use.
- Talk To Me in Korean
We almost excluded TTMIK because it just seemed too obvious, but just in case you don’t ALREADY know about this amazing Korean language resource, I can’t say enough good things about it. Not only is their material easy to understand, well-organized, and relevant, it is FREE! The teachers are also just really great people who interact with and care about their listeners/students. Go check them out.
This message board is often called the Bible for teachers in Korea, and it is an endless resource of materials, lesson plans, ideas, and questions answered. I prefer this site waaaayyy more than Dave’s ESL cafe, and I actually would never recommend Dave’s ESL cafe to any newcomer of Korea. Waygook has a much more positive, productive vibe, so when your first week of teaching is approaching and you’re scared out of your mind, Waygook.org will save your life.
- Adventure Korea.com
Adventure Korea is a club that organizes trips for foreigners all over Korea. From tours of the DMZ to bungee jumping trips to island hopping by bicycle, adventure Korea is an awesome way to get out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and explore more of this new country you’re living in. Make the most of your time here and book a trip with them! While Evan and I are far from being the biggest fans of group/organized trips, sometimes its nice to have everything already taken care of as far as itinerary, money, and transportation are concerned. They are professional and reliable, and their trips are just good fun. 🙂
- Korail – Korea Rail System
I’ll always say that one of my favorite things about living in Korea is the transportation. You can get anywhere in this country for super cheap and in comfort. The Korail site can be viewed in full English, and they let you book right online. Super simple, super convenient.
- Korea Tourism Organization
One thing you’re sure to do when you’re living in Korea is go to festivals! Koreans LOVE their holidays and festivals, and you will too. There is always something going on, and the Korea Tourism Organization will tell you what’s up. Their site is easy to navigate, and has all kinds of useful information – where to stay, what to eat, how to get there, and more.
Not all of us live in Seoul. For those on the coastal metropolis down south, there is Busan Haps. This magazine and it’s attendant website are a great resource for what’s going on, where to go, what to see and what to do in Busan and the surrounding areas. They also sport a classifieds section and some great articles!