Apartments in Korea

20190107_123917When we first came to Korea, we were very ignorant of how things work here. We had “free” housing included in our contract so we were very happy to know that we didn’t have to pay rent every month. The problem was that we didn’t expect what was waiting for us here. Our apartment was a little bigger than a shoe box. After about 6 months we asked our director for a bigger apartment. We were now living in a one bedroom apartment and although it wasn’t huge, it was big enough for the two of us. We lived in this apartment for another 3 years. Before we moved down to Busan we decided to try and get a housing allowance instead of the housing the school offers. Check out the type of apartments given with contracts in Korea.

When we were negotiating our contracts, we both asked for a housing allowance to rent our own apartment. We got a lovely 2 bedroom apartment in Marine City, Heaundae. Here is our monthly rental breakdown

  • 1,000,000 won – rent
  • 300,000 won – management fee; free gym, sauna, parking, electricity

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We’ve lived here for almost 6 months and although the apartment is more expensive than anticipated, we’re very happy with our decision to live in a 2 bedroom apartment.

What would you prefer?

Hard Rock Cafe, Busan – Review

When we went to Busan for the first time we tried to do some research of places to go and see. We were particularly looking for a place where we can eat a western or american style meal, as those are so rare in Korea. We found a website that had some suggestions and we went out of our way to find the place. We even had a meal at one of the restaurants suggested. Although the meal was nice it wasn’t nearly as nice as what we found on our own.

On our 2nd day in Busan we were walking around to find a restaurant that sells breakfast and came across the Hard Rock Cafe. Although they only open at 11 am we immediately decided to go there for dinner. We are not familiar with Hard Rock but I’m sure I’ve heard the name somewhere before. Therefore dinner it was.

We decided on burgers and some cocktails.

The atmosphere was amazing. They had a live band ( I don’t know if they have this in all the Hard Rock cafe’s :p ) and the waiters were really friendly and helpful. All their staff speaks English which always helps when you’re in a foreign country. Personally I think that the food is truly worth the price. Usually all Western style restaurants are expensive but Hard Rock was reasonable compared to other restaurants and the food was much better than said restaurants.

We loved it so much that we took my brother and his wife there the next time we went to Busan and I heard from my brother that he’s been there again a few times afterwards.

P.S A meal cost us about 80,000 won per couple, including drinks. Burgers range from 23,000 -29,000 won. Fillet mignon was around 46,000 won. Ribs were less than 40,000 won and it was a lot of ribs. T-bone steak is 76,000 won and the Large cocktails are 13,000

Map

Phone number: +82-51-742-7625

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A habit I wish I didn’t have

Today is day 4 of my 30 day blogging challenge. So far so good…

One habit that I wish I didn’t have is.. wait for it… impulsive on-line shopping. Usually when we go to Seoul for shopping I have my husband to keep me in check. But when it comes to on-line shopping all I have to do is press proceed to checkout. The only thing that stops me from spending too much is that I can only import 150,000 won’s worth of products per order from international on-line stores but local stores like G-market and booking.com has no limits.

Here is what I’ve bought this month.( some of these were for myself and others were gifts)

Wow now, only when I had to gather the pictures for all my purchases I realise how much I’ve actually bought this month 😮

 

What to pack for a summer holiday in Korea

 

This weekend we’re off to Busan to meet up with my brother and his wife for 3 days. We’ve booked the hotel, bus and train tickets, and we’ve printed out the itinerary. The only thing left to do is pack our clothes.

Travelling clothes. Because we’re going to travel first by bus and then by train I’ve decided to wear something simple and easy to move around with. This entails a comfortable but pretty shirt, jeans and some comfy sandals.

 

We’ve decided to go out for dinner the first night so I’m taking a cocktail dress with some high heels. I’m also taking a scarf because it’s not really appropriate to let your shoulders hang out in Korea.

 

As is always the case, living in Korea involves lots and lots of walking, therefore a pair of comfortable shoes is always a must. For walking around I’m taking some shorts and casual dresses.

Black monochromes

Cream and salmon ensemble.

 

For the ride home I will probably wear my jeans and mix it up with one of the other shirts, depending on how I feel.

 

 

Types of accommodation in Korea

Recently we’ve been travelling a lot through Korea and we’ve had the opportunity to look at the variety of accommodations available.

Today I will be discussing my own experiences and preferences. I know that a lot of people like to go to jimjibangs for 2 main reasons… Number one, its very Korean, and if you’re looking for a truly Korean experience then go for it. Secondly, its very cheap, for around 15,000 Korean Won you can use their sauna’s hot tubs and even sleep there. This is obviously a very cheap choice if you’re looking for somewhere to spend the night.

Last year on New Years Eve, we decided to go to Seoul for the day. We planned to do some shopping in Myong-dong and then go for a late lunch at Braai republic in Itaewon, We would then go back to the bus terminal and go home. BUT… we sort of forgot that is was New Years Eve and that people like to travel on holidays like these in Korea. Therefore the earliest that we could go home was 10 am the next morning. So now we had to find a place to stay for the night. We’re not really that familiar with Seoul or Gangnam for that matter. The closest hotel was inside the Gangnam Express terminal complex. This hotel is JW Marriots. So a small outing cost us much more than we expected. There’s not much I can say about Marriott that you don’t know already. It is a 5 star hotel with a gym and dining area. You can have dinner for 95,000 Korean won per person and breakfast for around 45,000. Everything was clean and we had a lovely view of the city. Although the room was kind of small for a Hotel room we had a bath and big screen TV, which is pretty much standard for hotels. This room cost us 358,000 Korean won for the night.

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JW Marriott

About a month ago we had to go to the South African embassy in Seoul. this meant that we had to sleep over in Seoul on a Sunday night to be able to go to the embassy and catch a 2 hour bus ride in order to be at work at 1 o’clock on Monday. We didn’t want to spend too much money because this was not a pleasure trip but rather ‘business’. We booked into a place that said Hotel. It even had breakfast included. When we got there it wasn’t really a Hotel, it was more like a hostel with separate rooms. It occupied the 16th floor of one of the buildings next to a Hotel. Not really what we expected I might add. The room was quite small which was OK but my biggest problem was that the walls were dirty, the toilet didn’t work and the pillow cases and sheets had dirty brown spots… and this wasn’t part of the décor I can assure you. This to me meant that they didn’t replace the sheets. The price for this hotel was 65,000 Korean won

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Ekonomy Hotel

 

 

Then a few weeks ago we went to Busan to see what it looks like there, unfortunately we had to change our travel plans and go a few weeks earlier than expected which means that most of the nice hotels and motels were already fully booked. We had to opt for a Love Motel. My biggest problem here was the location, and the fact that we had to witness another couple doing their business in the building across from us. Otherwise the price was low, we received clean towels and robes everyday. There was a huge bathtub which, if you live in Korea, you know that this is not to be taken for granted. Everything was clean and we had a very nice time there. This love motel cost us around 100,000 Korean won/ night.

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ForU Hotel

 

Although the Love Motels aren’t really my scene we’ve booked into another one this coming weekend when we are visiting my brother in Busan.

Additionally to these 2 experiences I have learned that booking early is key and that there are very nice options if you book in advance. Places like Busan and Seoul have a lot of hotels. there is also the airbnb option. With this option you can stay in a fully furnished apartment with a kitchen for your holiday or weekend. The prices are really reasonable and you can look at what the apartments have to offer by doing the virtual tour. These apartments range anything from 50,000- 300,000 Korean won

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