The system for paying bills in Korea can be a little complicated from what you are used to in your home country. The banking system in Korea relies on bank transfers, which is quite organized once you get used to it. When you first receive a bill in your mail box, you might be confused and unsure how to pay it. You have a few options. You can:
- Pay through a bank teller inside the bank, between the hours of 9am and 4:30pm. (beginner)
- Pay through your banking app on your phone. (advanced)
- Pay through the ATM. (moderate)
The first two options are the beginner and advanced levels of bill pay because of the level of Korean and understanding of the system they require. I will explain the option that is the moderate option that is a good balance between convenience and skill; paying bills through the ATM. For the purpose of this post, all banking instructions were done with a NONGHYUP (농협) bank account and bill payments were also made to a Nonghyup (농협) account.
In the small town of Gosan, east of Jeonju in Jeollabuk-do, there isn’t much to do. Gosan is known locally for it’s proximity to the Gosan Recreational Forest that touts a lush forest area for hiking, picnicking, and general family outings in a natural setting. As a Foreign English Teacher that must pass through Gosan often, I get to see the city more as a local would see it.
Throughout the year, every 5 days, the town will hold a market day for all of the local agricultural producers to sell their fresh fruits and vegetables. In Gosan, this market is every day ending in a 4 or a 9. As a foreigner, these market days seem so unique and special, but for most local residents, it is an important opportunity to travel into town to stock up on fresh produce and get some much needed socialization.
In the countryside especially, the population tends to be exclusively retirees. The rare young person I see is either vacationing in the mountains or one of my students. It is even more obvious on market days that the countryside is predominantly people over the age of 65.
I love watching the seasons change through the offering of produce. In the winter you see persimmons. In the spring, strawberries. The summer brings red peppers, and the fall produces sweet potatoes. The seasonal production of produce seems a bit odd to me, as I am a product of California, the land of eternal summer, where any and all produce is available year round.
Here is a taste of the summer wares sold here in Gosan at a Market Day. You’ll see the heavy dominance of red peppers (gochu) and garlic, as well as notice that both the buyers and sellers are all elderly.
It is often said that “it’s a girl thing” to have that burning urge to dye, cut, or otherwise change your hair style. People have always told me that my natural hair color, strawberry blonde, is something that “people die for” and have a hard time replicating, so I shouldn’t change it. For that reason, i’ve always been a bit hesitant to change my hair color too drastically. But, as I said, I started feeling that urge to try something new and i took the plunge with the help of the experts at Lucy Hair Salon in Seoul.
Here is a little bit about my great experience dyeing my hair light white blonde at Lucy Hair Salon near Hongdae in Seoul.
If you’re hoping to travel while in Korea, I recommend using the train system. I believe that the Korean train system is the best way to travel in Korea. It is fast, efficient, comfortable, and very accessible. To give you a bit more insight into using the trains in Korea, i’ve made a condensed how-to use the website to check and order tickets.
Although I have never been a huge seafood lover, some of the freshest seafood you can find in Korea can be found in Busan. I adore Busan’s laid-back vibe for being such a huge city. The warm days and cool evenings of Spring are perfect for a stroll along the waterfront. I recommend taking a trip to Jagalchi Market to check out the seafood selection. Be prepared for a meal between 50,000 and 100,000 won, but it’ll be fresh and delicious.
Since this was my first time at Jalgalchi Market, I didn’t know the procedure for ordering and eating on premises. You’ll need to choose your selections and pay for them, then have them prepared (for Korean shashimi – Hwe) or brought upstairs to the seating area for cooking.
You’ll be expected to pay a fee for cooking (about 10,000 for the whole order) and a fee for sitting at their tables (about 4,000 per person), but the fee includes water and ban chan side dishes. The beer and soju are overpriced in my opinion, but they do offer a basic selection.
There are many hanok villages throughout South Korea, yet the Jeonju Hanok Village is a very fine example of traditional Korean craftworks and beautiful sights. I recommend going to Cafe Tomorrow for a rest accompanied by a coffee or refreshing drink overlooking the village.
If you love tea, want to see the process of growing green tea, or just want to be in some beautiful scenery, the Boseong Green Tea fields are splendid! In spring, the tea is harvested and the hills you can hike through are filled with green tea laden bushes. The smell is wonderful and the green tea products are delicious!
I highly recommend taking a walk through the green tea fields in Boseong!
I truly loved wandering through the Maisan Mountains, aptly called the “Donkey Ears”. This mountain range has two peaks which resemble donkey ears. The amount of hiking was completely worth the beautiful sights. At the top, you can choose to continue on to the peaks, or follow the trail down. There is also beautiful temples and a lake nestled with blooming flowers.
This is a trip you should make to the southern province of Jeollabuk-do.
If you’re looking for a good tour of the DMZ while you stay in Seoul, I recommend checking out Cosmo Jin Tours. It was affordable and the tour leader was professional, prompt, and even quite funny at times. I found it to be well worth the cost and a great experience!
Here are some pictures from the DMZ tour and sites around Seoul in the Springtime. One note, our tour required that we bring our Passports / ARC (Alien Registration Cards), so remember those if you plan on taking a tour!
Intended level: Grade 2 ESL
Vocabulary: Sport, Soccer, Tennis, Basketball, Badminton, Golf, Baseball, Table Tennis/Ping Pong, Volleyball, Fish, Beef, Chicken, Vegetables, Milk, Juice, Rice, Bread, Fruit, Kimchi, Cheese, Ice Cream
Key Phrases: I like ______. I don’t like ______. My favorite ~