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Moving to Seoul : 5 Things you need to know

If you are thinking about moving to Seoul, you have the chance to live in one of the most lively cities in Korea. Seoul is the capital city of South Korea, is home to many international people and is a top tourist destination.

The city is located in the centre of the SCA region and it is a hub for tourism and business. Seoul is divided into two parts, the south and the north which are divided by the Han river. Gangbuk is north of the river and Gangnam (just like the popular song Gangnam style by PSY) is south of the river.

Moving to a new city can be daunting and so here are 5 essential steps to get you started.

 

Where to live

There’s so much choice of accommodation in Seoul that it’s hard to know where to look. Seoul is the most expensive city in South Korea to live in. Here is some more information about the different residential areas in Seoul. The public transport in South Korea is excellent and Seoul is no exception. It is it easy to travel to any area in the city no matter where you are living. Housing prices south of the Han river are more expensive than north of the river.

Expensive

Gangnam-gu: south of the Han river is Seoul’s business and entertainment centre so the traffic in this area is very busy during rush hour. There are lots of places to shop, eat and drink, which makes this area very popular with young professionals.

Yongsan-gu: this area is located in the centre of Seoul and it is known as the commercial and business district. The accommodation is mostly studios and apartments in residential complexes, but there are also luxury modern houses if you are prepared to splash out! Itaewon and Samgakji are areas where lots of international people live because of the US army base, which is situated close by.

Seocho-gu: this area is south of the Han river and is next to Gangnam-gu. There are lots of housing complexes and apartments to live in. It is a little bit cheaper than Gangnam-gu and there are lots of cultural sights here like the National Centre of Korean Traditional Art. This area is famous for street food and cafes. There is also a huge express bus terminal in this area.

Mid-range

Gwanak-gu: It is located between Seocho-gu and Gumcheon-gu. There are lots of students living in this area as Seoul University is located here. The big student population means that there are cheap restaurants, pubs and many stores are open late.

Youngdungpo-gu: This region is located the in the south west of the city, it is called the ‘Manhattan of Korea’ because finance, broadcasting and media companies dominate the area. There is a large park here and a building with 63 floors, which is popular landmark in Seoul.

Budget

Seongbuk-gu: It is located the north of Seoul under a mountain called Bukhan. This area connects Seoul with the Gyenggi region. There are many universities including Korea University and lots of historic places to visit. There is of course the option of hiking the mountain, or at the very least getting accommodation with a stunning mountain view.

Gumcheon-gu: in the south west of Seoul this area has been called the cultural village since 2006 because of the various ongoing public art projects.

For more information about accommodation in Seoul check out this excellent website, (http://www.acerent.kr).

 

2. Where to work?

It can be hard to get a job in Seoul, but recently many Korean companies including Samsung have a special recruitment program for foreigners. Many international people start work as an English teacher in a school or private academy. However, the most important thing is that you have all the documents necessary to work, such as an E 1-10 visa (depending on you chosen occupation) or H-1 visa. Visit the Korean embassy in your country for more information or check out these websites (http://www.immigration.go.kr/Index.do) and (http://global.seoul.go.kr, and go to the working section).

 

3. How to get around

Seoul has two public transport systems, the underground, which has 9 different lines and the bus network. There is also the option of taking a taxi. The transport network has a T-money system, which includes buses and the underground. With the T-money card you can travel anywhere in Seoul as well as in Gyenggi-do and Incheon. The cost is very cheap, depending on the region the average cost is 1100 won, which is less that 1 pound. You can also pay taxi fees with your T-money card. The card costs less than 2 pounds and then you will need to top-up the card and away you go!

Seoul metros(Underground maps)

 

4. What to see as soon as you arrive

Seoul is considered both a modern and a historical city. The skyline is stunning at night and you need not worry as Seoul is a very safe place. The main tourists sights are: Gwanghwamun, Namsan tower, Gyeongbok Palace, Bukchon Hanok village, Cheonggaecheon stream, Myoung-dong, Insa-dong.

If you want to know more about the tourist sights in Seoul check this website (http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/mapInfo.kto).

 

5. How to spend your free time

There is never a dull moment in Seoul. The night life here is excellent with no shortage of theatres, cinemas, pubs and clubs. If you enjoy the theatre check out Daehakro (Hyehwa). There are lots of music concerts in the city, so look at this great website for more information and tickets (http://ticket.interpark.com/Global/index.asp). If you enjoy partying visit Hongdae or Gangnam, Hongdae is the street where Hongik University is located and Gangnam was made famous by the song ‘Gangnam style’ and is home to the hottest clubs.

Seoul is a shoppers paradise. An excellent area is Hongdae, which sells vintage clothes and unique accessories. For pretty clothes at bargain prices check out Myoung-dong, Dongdaemoon. Myong-dong and Dongdaemoon where there are brand stores. Make sure you don’t miss out on the underground shopping arcade, where you can get great clothes for an even better deal.

For fitness fanatics there are lots of parks in Seoul such as Banpo, Yeouido, Jamsil, Nanjido, Seonudo, Dduksum. If you prefer watching sport, check out the baseball stadium.

 

Moving to Incheon : 5 Things you need to know

Incheon is located to the west of SCA region and it consist of many islands. The weather in Incheon is hotter than Seoul in summer, but colder than Seoul in winter and has a wet season from June to August.

Moving to a new city can be daunting, so here are 5 essential steps to get you started.

 

1. Where to live

There’s so much choice of accommodation in Incheon that it’s hard to know where to look. That’s where Room in the Moon can help! Check out our accommodation listings here (LINK to accommodation part of the site)

Expensive

Yeonsu-gu: this is in the south of Incheon and it is located near the sea. Songdo-dong has lots of IT and Tech companies and the economy here continues to grow. Lots of people want to live in this area and so house prices are increasing gradually.

Bupyeong-gu: This area is a little cheaper than Yeonsu-gu. Lots of people live in here and so all transport gets particularly busy in rush hour.

Mid-range

Jung-gu : Jung-gu is where Incheon International Airport is located and so has excellent transport links.

Seo-gu : In the north west of Incheon, this is where the industrial complex is situated. There is a foreign school in Cheongla and so this area is popular with international people.

Budget

Gyeyang-gu: It is separated from Bupyeong-gu, but has easy access to Seoul.

Nam-gu : This area is known for the Institute of Technology and Institute of Stewardesses.

For more information about accommodation and where to live, take a look at this excellent website (http://www.incheon.go.kr/icweb/html/web39/039004002.html).

 

2. Where to work?

Many Korean companies have a special recruitment program for international people. Many foreigners start by working as an English teacher in school or private academy. The most important thing is that you have all the documents necessary to work such as an E 1-10 visa or H-1 visa. If you need more information go to the embassy or check out these websites (http://www.immigration.go.kr/Index.do) and (http://global.seoul.go.kr, go to ‘Working’ section).

Teaching English in South Korea

Many foreigners come to work as an English teacher in South Korea. This position can be very well paid and so is popular job for foreigners. There are two options if you want to work as an English teacher. One is working in a public school, the other is working in a private academy. Working in a public school is stricter that working in a private academy. It is common to be asked for reference letters, a criminal record check and for your education certificates. You will need to apply for a working visa. Many foreigners get their teaching job through recruitment agencies, some good websites to check out are (http://myenglishjob.co.kr/), (http://seoul.craigslist.co.kr/jjj/),

(http://www.immigration.go.kr/Index.do).

 

3. How to get around

Incheon has two public transport systems, the underground and the bus network. There is also the option of taking a taxi. The transport network has a T-money system, which includes buses and the underground. With the T-money card you can travel anywhere in Incheon as well in SCA. The cost is very cheap, depending on the region the average cost is 1100 won, which is less that 1 pound. The card costs less than 2 pounds and then you will need to top-up the card and away you go!

Underground map

 

4. What to see as soon as you arrive

 

Incheon has the biggest china town in Korea, which is definitely a must-see. The other main tourist sights are Kanghwa island, Songdo central park and Wolmido. If you want to know more about the sights in Incheon check out this website (http://english.visitincheon.org/).

 

5. How to spend your free time

Bupyeong is a great place to visit and has lots of excellent restaurants and pubs, some of which are open till 8am. Bupyeong has an excellent underground shopping centre, which is the biggest shopping centre in Incheon.

The amusement park in Wolmidok is a great for thrill-seekers, be sure to try the 90 degree swing!

 

In September 2014 Incheon is hosting the Asian games. For more information see (http://www.incheon2014ag.org/en).

For more information about things to see and do in Incheon check out this website (http://www.incheon.go.kr/icweb/html/web39/039004005001.html).

 

Moving to Gyeonggi : 5 Things you need to know

Gyeonggi surrounds Seoul and is part of the SCA(Seoul Capital Area) region, many people live here are commute to Seoul to work.

Moving to a new city can be daunting, so here are 5 essential steps to get you started.

 

1. Where to live

Gyeonggi is a popular place to live because it is easy to commute into Seoul.

Expensive

Gwacheon: This area is in the middle of Gyeonggi and it has the Government office. It is the nearest to Seoul as the commute from here is less than 30 minutes and so prices are expensive. There are many apartments and studio flats, which are called a ‘Villa’ and they come fully-furnished.

 

Bundang-gu: This area is located in the southern part of Gyeonggi. Even though this is not big city, it is more expensive than Seoul and the commute takes less than an hour. People usually commute by driving on the highway, which is heavily congested during rush hour.

Mid-range

Yongin / Suwon : They are located in the south of Gyeonggi. The commute to Seoul is within 1 hour, so they are popular places to live.

Anyang : In the middle of Gyeonggi and next to Gwacheon. The landscape around the city has an ice hockey stadium and basketball team.

Budget

Osan: Located in the southern part of Gyeonggi, it is a little bit further to travel to Seoul and so the housing prices are cheaper.

Pyeongtaek : Located in the south west of Gyeonggi it is where many factories situated.

For more information have a look at this website (http://www.nicerent.com/mn_seoul_real_estate_advenced/advenced_main_frm.asp).

 

2. Where to work?

Many Korean companies have a special recruitment program for international people. Many foreigners start by working as an English teacher in school or private academy. The most important thing is that you have all the documents necessary to work such as an E 1-10 visa or H-1 visa. If you need more information go to the embassy or check out these websites (http://www.immigration.go.kr/Index.do) and (http://global.seoul.go.kr, go to ‘Working’ section).

Teaching English in South Korea

Many foreigners come to work as an English teacher in South Korea. This position can be very well paid and so is popular job for foreigners. There are two options if you want to work as an English teacher. One is working in a public school, the other is working in a private academy. Working in a public school is stricter that working in a private academy. It is common to be asked for reference letters, a criminal record check and for your education certificates. You will need to apply for a working visa. Many foreigners get their teaching job through recruitment agencies, some good websites to check out are (http://myenglishjob.co.kr/), (http://seoul.craigslist.co.kr/jjj/),

(http://www.immigration.go.kr/Index.do).

 

3. How to get around

There are two public transport systems, the underground and the bus network. There is also the option of taking a taxi. The transport network has a T-money system, which includes buses and the underground. With the T-money card you can travel anywhere in Gyeonggi as well in SCA. The cost is very cheap, depending on the region the average cost is 1100 won, which is less that 1 pound. The card costs less than 2 pounds and then you will need to top-up the card and away you go!

Underground map

 

4. What to see as soon as you arrive

The main tourist sights are: Suwon Hwasung Fortress, Paju Heili village – art valley, Namisum, Namhansansung, Panmonjeom – Joint Security Area, DMZ Ecological Park.

For more information have a look at this website (http://en.ggtour.or.kr/).

 

5. How to spend your free time

Gyeonggi is similar to Seoul in that there is easy access to theatres, cinemas and clubs. If you enjoy music concerts visit this website for more information and tickets (http://ticket.interpark.com/Global/index.asp).

Everland is a big amusement park and is located in Yongin, have a go on the T express – a wooden roller coaster, which has a 90 degree drop. There is also the world cup stadium in Sunwon where you can watch the local team play.