What people from Busan think of Seoul

This is bound to get interesting. Whenever you compare to cities, you run the risk of stereotyping and oversimplification.  It’s complicated, we know. We asked a bunch of people living in Busan to give us their opinion of Seoul. Some people might have gone a little overboard, but you’ll get the idea…


Seoul is too busy! Busan has fresh air and the sun reflects off the cold, blue water. Nature is accessible and feels like it’s just… closer. I feel like I can breathe here.

2. You mean, there are no waves?

Sure, the water isn’t too far from Seoul… but you won’t find a beach with waves like the ones we have in Haeundae. This definitely increases my quality of life in Busan.

Winters in Seoul

Winters in Seoul

3. That’s the cost???

The cost of living is way lower in Busan! Seoul is very class-based. Clubs and bars in certain areas (Gangnam, Apgujeong, Itaewon) can be pretty expensive.

4. Too cold!

Busan is the warmest city during Korea’s freezing winters. Seoul is too cold for me.



5. Wait, I can actually speak English here?

It’s always crazy how many people speak English in Seoul. The people are generally more conservative and English is not as widely spoken in Busan.

Seoul Subway Map

Seoul Subway Map

6. How am I  suppose to read this subway map?

Busan isn’t as big as Seoul, so it’s a lot easier to get around here. The subway in Seoul is huge – I’m sure people living there get used to all the different transfers, but it’s just more simple down here.

7. Too many people!

Sure the beaches get pretty crazy during the summer down here, but Seoul is crowded all the time. There are just too many people for me.


Here’s more on what people from Busan think of Seoul: what would YOU add?

10 Apps You Don’t Want To Miss in Korea!

When you arrive in Korea, you will quickly realize the value of having a smart phone. It will help you stay in touch with friends and document your daily adventures (selfies heeey!), it will help you navigate your way around the country and look up info about local restaurants. Here are 10 apps you don’t want to miss while you’re teaching English in South Korea!

mzl.zxzzkxtx1. Subway Map for iPhone + Android

Not sure how to reach your destination? This app provides you with the latest subway maps for Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Daejeon, and Gwangju.


2. Gyeonggi-do Bus Map for Android

Access real-time bus route information in the Gyeonggi, Seoul and Incheon areas. Search for the the closet bus-stops,  look up specific bus routes, or map your own trip. The times of arrival are pretty accurate, too !


mzl.ubmrskep3. Visit Korea for iPhone + Android

What better way to see the country than to listen to those who know? This app offers you the opportunity to really experience Korea.


mzl.biicxeos4.  Naver Maps for iPhone + Android

For those who don’t already know, Naver is to Korea what Google is to North America. Naver Maps is like Google Maps. No wi-fi or data where you’re going? No problem! You can download the map beforehand.


mzl.bkxzouzi5. Hidden Camera for Android


You’ll quickly notice the shutter sound your phone makes whenever you take a picture. Annoying, right? Oddly enough, that sound cannot be switched off. Good news – this app will allow you to snap a pic of your best friend sleeping on the shoulder of an ajumma on the subway… and your phone won’t make a peep!


skype-icon6. Skype for iPhone + Android

Seriously, how did the world ever function before Skype?


 SRZ9o7Z7. Google Translate for iPhone + Android

This app is MAGIC. You can speak into it, type a word, or take a picture of something… and boom = translation.


p56dutd7vfzm8ja78. Kayak for iPhone + Android

When you’re booking flights for epic vacations during your time off, this app will come in handy. Kayak helps you search flights from a handful of airlines to get the best deals!

cgv-app9. CGV for Android

Movie times at your local theater! This app is currently in Korean only, so ask someone to help you out. If it’s not an English movie, make sure there are English subtitles! You don’t want to be end up watching a Spanish movie with Korean subtitles when you are a monolingual English speaker… and yes, those movies exist in Korea. You’ve been warned.


Kakao-Talk-app10. KakaoTalk for iPhone + Android

Korea’s most popular texting and group-texting app. You can add friends from all around the world (up to five friends per chat at once) — for free!



So there you have it – a quick guide to getting the best smart phone apps in Korea. If you are moving soon and are wondering about getting a phone, the team at The Arrival Store can help get you set up!

 Want to learn more about communication in Korea? CLICK HERE!


Seoul vs Busan: 6 things Seoulites think when they go to Busan

What do Seoulites think when they go to Busan? This is the Seoul vs Busan showdown!

Busan is often called the “Summer Capital of South Korea” and as the city’s slogan goes, it is a vibrant and dynamic city. Some might say that this city has it all…but what do Seoulites really make of it when they go to Busan?


Streets in Busan

1. They don’t understand me…

The minority of people here speak basic English. Seoul is slightly more international and has more people that speak English. Here in Busan, you will also be less likely to understand signs around the city.

2. Can I make this go any faster?

Life is slower in Busan, whereas Seoul has developed into a busy city with massive developments over the years.

3. Okay, I’ve seen it all. Now what?

Sure, there are things to do like hiking, shopping, visiting Spa Land, Yonggungsa Temple and going to the Busan International Film Festival, but there is perhaps much more choice in Seoul when it comes to activities.


Beach in Busan

4. Did winter skip this part of Korea??

With four distinct seasons, the weather is milder, and it’s not nearly as cold in the winter. It also has a cooler version of a humid subtropical climate in the summer.

5. So this is how it feels to spread my arms out

It’s not nearly as crowded or busy in Busan, whether it is on the subway, in the streets or in shopping districts. If you are agoraphobic, you should probably move to Busan, rather than Seoul.

6. I can breathe…

Comapred to Seoul, Busan is a breath of fresh air. It has been given”good” Air Quality rating by AQICN. The natural environment of Busan is a perfect example of harmony between the mountains, the rivers and the sea.

Of course, there are two sides to every story…don’t miss our article about what people from Busan think of Seoul!




Useful Websites in Korea

Are you new to Korea? Have you been here for a few years? Either way, we’ve found these useful websites in Korea to be super helpful in planning nights out, weekends away, or exotic trips out of the country.  We hope this list will assist you as you create memories overseas!


English Magazines in Korea – up to date events, photography and entertainment.

Movie showtimes in cities throughout the country, all in English!

Find friends in your area – a super helpful interactive map of Facebook groups in South Korea.

Adventure Korea and WINK –  want to travel Korea AND meet people? Check these sites out!

Korean Gig Guide – Concerts & Shows in Korea – great calendar listing many of the great shows in Korea.


Bus / Train Schedules all over Korea – so that you can choose the easiest / fastest / cheapest way to get places.

Cheap flights – want to go explore Asia? This list is an amazing resource!

Seoul Subway – an interactive Seoul subway map.

Driver’s license – Get your driver’s license in Korea


Kimbab Heaven – an online menu, full of cheap Korean comfort food. It’s a little outdated, but the basics are there.

McDonalds Online – watch out for the McDonald’s delivery scooters zooming around the streets of SoKo – McD’s does delivery in Korea!

Teaching Resources

Learn to Read Korean in 30 minutes.

Lesson Plans – if you don’t know about Waygook yet, well, you should!


Gmarket – quick finds when you need something in-country.

Expat mart – the one stop online grocery store for shopping fresh fruits, vegetables, frozen food and daily use essentials

iCompany – the place to get hold of furniture

Hummus in Korea – fresh, homemade hummus is just a click away

iHerb – they sell nutritional supplements and other healthy products

High Street Market –  offers a relaxed western style shopping experience with hard-to-find foods such as imported meats, artisanal breads, gourmet cheeses and imported beer and wine, all under one roof.


Can you think of any useful sites we need to add?

Let us know: [email protected] or comment below.


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China Town in Incheon

China Town in Incheon

China town IncheonLocated just west of Seoul, Incheon is the 3rd largest city in Korea with a population of 3 million people. Nestled right next to Incheon Station is the bustling, historic, lively center of China Town. It was founded in 1883, right around the time that Incheon Port opened. Trust us – it’s worth a day trip.

To get here, take the Seoul metropolitan subway to Incheon Station. The main entrance (Junghwamun Pailou gate, pictured above) is right across from the station’s only exit.

Jajangmyeon Museum, opened in April 2012, celebrates the birthplace of the delicious Korean dish, jajang-myeon.

Not a fan of Jajangmyeong? Don’t worry – options for other delicious dishes are easy to find!

Gonggalbbang: Hollow large crispy bread buns

Jajangmyeon: A noodle dish topped with a thick sauce made of chunjang, diced pork and vegetables, and sometimes also seafood

Tangsuyuk pork: Korean-ized version of sweet and sour pork or orange chicken

Onggibyeong: Baked dumpling

There are dozens of unique little shops – it’s a great place to find one-of-a-kind keepsakes to take home with you


China town Incheon2




Want to find out more about Incheon’s China Town? Check out the links below:RJ Koehler (2006)

The Korea Blog (2013)

The Korea Blog 2 (2013)

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