Ten Most Wonderful Things About Korea (my list!)

Jon Huer, a columnist in Korea Times, is writing a series of the Ten Most Wonderful Things About Korea. I don’t really like his writing style but the topic is a good one. This list is more about the wonderful things about life in Korea.

1. Civil Service/Customer Service – Coming from a country where the civil servants make you feel you’re indebted to them, civil service in Korea is topnotch. I’ve never had to spend hours lining up to get some paper work done in a government office except when I applied for my citizenship at the Immigration Office in Mokdong. It usually takes me about 2 minutes to get a Family Register at the “Dong Office” and the three times I applied for a passport, I was only at the District Office (in Jongro) for half an hour, including the time I had my picture taken. The civil servants are polite too.

2. Broadband Internet – We’ve been with Hanaro for almost six years and I’d say that we don’t have any plan of switching ISPs even with the tempting gifts that comes with a new subscription to another ISP. I like that I don’t have to wait for a long time to load a 10MB web page overloaded with heavy JPEGs.

3. Transportation – My father-in-law has been asking me to get a license but I continuously refuse because I don’t see the need to drive living in Seoul. I like that with a transportation card (CC or T-money/U-Pass), I don’t need to pay extra when I transfer from subway to bus, bus to subway, or bus to bus. Isn’t that wonderful?

4. Online shopping – I’ve practically done all my shopping in Korea online. I can do this anytime of the day with no salesperson breathing down my neck. I hate to be salestalked and I hate it more asking the salesperson to leave. Shipping is usually free for purchases of 25,000 won and delivery is just a day or two after placing an order. I’m a member of almost every online shopping mall – Auction, 11st, G-market, Lotte (I like that they deliver even on a weekend!), Shinsegae, CJ Mall and of course, dnShop.

5. Delivery – Where else can you order food at 2AM and have it delivered? We once did this while watching the Korean soccer team play at 3AM during the Athens Olympics. My husband and I craved for crab stew and at 2AM we called the restaurant for a delivery. Some food establishments would require a minimum order (like 7,000 won at Bareun Saenghwal) but the Chinese restaurant near us would deliver even when I just ordered a 3,000 won jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles).

6. Freebies – Granted that a lot of the things here in Korea are expensive, I really appreciate it when I get freebies or free samples. I like trying new stuff and buying a bottle of a new shampoo or cosmetics would be really costly if not for the free samples that you can get.

7. Street Food – I’m a street foodie even in the Philippines. However, I try not to eat on the streets back home but instead would ask my sister to buy fish balls or banana-que from the market. Here, my husband and I would go to Jongro on weekends to have our favorite tteokbokki (spicy rice cake), ojingo twigim (battered and fried squid) and odaeng (fish cake). While I buy ddalk kkochi (chicken barbeque) and ho ddeok (Chinese pancake) near a seller in Dongdaemun.

8. Museums, Parks, Palaces – I would’ve listed this as my number 1 since I’m a museum goer. However, I’ve been to Washington DC and New York City and the museums there (and of course Central Park) are just superb compared to what we have in Seoul. Anyway, I really like that instead of going to shopping malls my family would spend a weekend in a park or a museum. Our favorite is the Children’s Grand Park for the free entrance and its proximity to our place.

9. Old People – You read it right. Sometimes I like them. Sometimes I’m apathetic to them. A few times I hate them! LOL… Eversince I had my child, I began to appreciate these most-often-than not nosy people. They are the ones who’ve offered their seats to me in a crowded subway train or bus. Sometimes they would offer to help you carry things or even entertain your toddler. The ajummas at my apartment have even offered to give me free Korean lessons.

10. Recycling – I used to recycle and reuse things when I was in the Philippines. I could’nt be happier knowing that it’s a must to recycle in Korea.

20 thoughts on “Ten Most Wonderful Things About Korea (my list!)

  • April 1, 2009 at 11:00 pm
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    we also use hanaro for our internet but they changed to SK broadband recently….I think SK bought Hanaro or something.

    chers last blog post..The White House Chef

    Reply
  • April 1, 2009 at 11:03 pm
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    i practically agree with almost everything in your list…except for number nine….bwahahahaha.i guess number nine is a case to case basis…kkkkk.

    chers last blog post..The White House Chef

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  • April 2, 2009 at 12:03 am
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    i have a draft already of “The Things I Like in South Korea” to commemmorate my 3rd year here in Seoul this April hehehe. You have some of those above. By the way, I also have “The Things I Dislike in South Korea” LOL.

    wendys last blog post..Watching Television

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  • April 2, 2009 at 1:42 am
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    i would really love to visit Seoul one day. hopefully soon =). i’d have to say moving to the US 14 yrs ago, it’s the street food that i’ve missed the most.

    kaynis last blog post..Walking Away

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    • April 3, 2009 at 9:58 am
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      hi Marian… 10 is a short list… more to come 😀

      Reply
  • April 3, 2009 at 11:01 pm
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    I also agree with most things in the list. I love online shopping because I can shop at the comfort of my own home. However, online shopping experience will not be great if we have a poor internet connection. That’s why finding the right ISP is really important. We must be careful in choosing the right ISP.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2009 at 10:15 am
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    hi!!! I’m heading out to seoul this May and had streetfood-trip as part of my itinerary (likewise, a streetfood fan in the Philippines). Is there any specific place in Jongro that I should NOT miss? ^_^

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  • April 6, 2009 at 5:45 pm
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    i love ur list. i’m quite sure #1 & #3 will make it to the top 10 worst things here in the Phils. hay!

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  • April 13, 2009 at 11:13 pm
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    wah! i wish i can visit korea someday..
    🙂 korea seems interesting country to visit..
    i want to try the street food like what i’m seeing in the korean dramas..

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  • July 28, 2009 at 7:33 am
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    i enjoyed reading your 10 list of wonderful things in Korea — if i may stress something about numbers 5, 7 & 9 pls allow me. #5 i’ve seen food deliveries watching some Kdramas & was really impressed where they deliver your food from a metal box from a guy on a motorcycle; #7 likewise in the Phil. i probably would think 2x eating from street vendors but Korea would be a place that i wldn’t mind at all. perhaps i’ve been watching too many Kdramas & first Kdrma i’ve seen eating from a street kiosk was in Lovers in Paris among others & i thought one day I’d love to experience that in Korea; #9 i think Koreans have that qualities of being so helpful & accommodating again as i’ve seen in some dramas where they help strangers in carrying some heavy stuff & just being helpful! I can only say there’s so many good qualities in Koreans that I’ve always been impressed about & I’m afraid to ran out of adjectives to describe them! I just wanna say, I love Koreans!

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  • September 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm
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    yeah korea is really that wonderfull ive been there for 3 years..politeness and thoughtfulness of the people really touch me.sana makakabalik uli ako he3..

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  • March 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm
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    This was a respectable list until you mentioned that the museums in Seoul are better than the ones in DC or NYC. You’re kidding, right?

    Smithsonian
    National Gallery of Art
    MOMA
    Guggenheim

    SK would give up Jeju and Dokdo to have the cultural treasures of ONE of the above. Seoul may have the upper hand when it comes to Korean artifacts, but if you’re looking to stimulate the mind instead of looking for a playspace for the kids, give me a day in one of the above rather than a day in Seoul.

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    • March 21, 2010 at 11:13 pm
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      oops my mistake. I love the museums of NYC and Washington, DC that I’m hoping to go back there someday.

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  • October 4, 2010 at 8:46 pm
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    thanks for sharing! fully agree with all.

    here is my top 10 (in no particular order):
    – subway (clean, fast, well organized, not complicated)
    – hotels (even those little motels are so clean and good equipped)
    – shopping (it is a shopping heaven)
    – taxis (are cheap)
    – korean politeness
    – toilets
    – parks
    – the way they keep the cultural heritage (folk villages etc)
    – children (unders 13 – they are so cuteeee)
    – autumn (the most beautiful season i’ve seen)

    Reply
  • March 4, 2011 at 9:23 am
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    I just visited a website that had horrifyingly mean comments about Korea. This one just made up for all the things back there. Thank you SO MUCH! You are a very positive person on this website. And also the commenters.

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    • March 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm
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      I’m a happy person and I’m happy with my life here. Korea and Koreans aren’t bad. I get to meet nice people everyday ;p

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  • March 4, 2011 at 8:49 pm
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    U mentioned everything datz really wonderful living in Korea.
    I strongly agree~
    Almost everything is organized too.

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  • August 17, 2013 at 8:58 pm
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    Haben Sie Sich auch schon gefragt, ob eine Risikolebensversicherung für Sie sinnvoll ist? Auf dieser Seite erfahren sie alles Wissenswerte über Vor- und Nachteile und darüber, über eine solche Versicherung für Sie Sinn macht. Denn wer möchte bei solch wichtiger Entscheidung schon gerne ins kalte Wasser springen?

    Reply

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