Market Buzz

You could disappear for a week in Seoul's mind-boggling markets and still not see everything. Whether it's fresh fish, antiques, Asian medicines or the latest electronic gadgets, you can find them here in the sprawling markets of Seoul. This huge market (Map pi22 subway Lines 1 or 4 to Dongdaemun, Exit 6 or 7 or subway Line 2, 4 or 5 to Dongdaemun Stadium, Exit 1) is famous for the thousands of small fashion shops packed into four neighbouring high-rise shopping malls Doota Mall ( 3398 2386 S...

Dreamtel Youth Hostel

2667 0535 www.idreamtel.co.kr dm f W22,000 72,000 subway Line 5 to Banghwa, Exit 4 (B) 1) Dorms and family rooms have a TV, fridge, air-con and en suite but are nondescript and need more airing. The large modern hostel has an institutional feel and is 45 minutes from downtown by subway. A YHA card is necessary and free Internet is available. For exercise walk around the green hillside out the back or pop downstairs to the large swimming pool (W4500), gym and sauna. From the subway exit walk...

Inwangsan Shaman St Hillside Walk

On this short, but uphill, walk you can see Seoul's most famous shamanist shrine, visit small Buddhist temples and see part of the Seoul fortress wall. The walk only takes an hour if you just want a quick look but it's sensible to take longer and soak up the unique atmosphere. From subway Exit 2 turn down the first small alley on your left. Walk uphill past the golf driving range and grocery shops for 10 minutes, and you should see a colourful temple gateway 1 on your left. Walk through it to...

Millennium Seoul Hilton

753 7788 www.millenniumseoulhilton.co.kr d ste from W390,000 510,000 subway Line 1 or 4 to Seoul Station, Exit 10 (Q) S, The Namsan-facing Hilton has all the bells and whistles of a luxury hotel from an eight-desk, three-meeting-room business centre to the flashy Areno's nightclub and a casino (opening in spring 2006). Standard rooms have large windows but a mixed-bag of furnishings and are usually discounted to around W230,000. It's a climb up from the subway station, but nearby Namsan (262m)...

Useful Words Phrases

We'd like nonsmoking smoking, please. geumyeon seogeuro heupyeon seogeuro juseyo Do you have seating with tables and chairs jeon (ttangkong)e allereugiga isseoyo noodles in black bean sauce sweet and sour pork raw fish on rice raw halibut grilled eel rice porridge with abalone razor clam steamed blue crab mixed raw fish platter octopus chamchi gimbap mode um gimbap samgakgimbap tum gimbap assorted gimbap ti'mga r gimbap cabbage kimchi the spicy classic version barbecued beef slices and lettuce...

HONGIK

335 1512 admission incl a drink W5000 S 6pm-midnight Tue-Thu, 6pm-2am Fri & Sat subway Line 2 to Hongik University, Exit 6 A Latin American dance club that is buzzing by 9pm with a friendly atmosphere, great music and W5000 beers. Wednesday is bachata (music originating from the Dominican Republic) night. 010-6428 0248 admission incl a drink W10,000 S 7pm-5am subway Line 2 to Hongik University, Exit 6 This small club (sometimes called Club FF) combines a live band with a DJ who plays...

Air

South Korea used to have only two domestic carriers - Korean Air ( 1588 2001 www.koreanair.com) and Asiana Airlines ( 1588 8000 www.flyasiana.com) - but recently low-cost regional airlines such as Jeju Air have appeared on the scene. Domestic flights are reasonably priced and run to most of the country's major cities as well as Jejudo, Korea's southern holiday and honeymoon island. Fares charged by both major companies are virtually identical on domestic routes. Fares are cheaper from Monday to...

Tracing History In Seouls Neighbourhoods

The World Cup celebration has passed and Koreans have long since gotten back to work. But as they build their future, working out their differences with North Korea and adjusting to the emerging order in East Asia, the past still lingers on in the streets and neighbourhoods of Seoul. In Pukchon (Northtown), the neighbourhood between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung, remain the traditional mansions, called hanok, of the Joseon-era noble families. Descendants of these yangban still live here, and...

Gay Lesbian Travellers

Korea has never passed any laws that overtly discriminate against homosexuals. But this should not be taken as a sign of tolerance or acceptance. Korean law does not mention homosexuality because it is considered so bizarre and unnatural that the topic is taboo. Only one celebrity, TV actor Hong Seok-chun, has admitted to being gay and no-one has followed his example. Some older Koreans insist that there are no gays in Korea. Attitudes are changing, especially among young people, but virtually...

Index

See also separate indexes for Eating p 194 , Entertainment p 194 , Sh p 2 95 . Sea World Aquarium 5 Sejong Gallery 52 Sejong University Seonnongdan 62-3 Seoul Arts Centre 65, 1 Museum 65 Seoul Fringe Festival 9 Seoul Grand Park 65-6 Seoul International Cartoon amp Animatioi festival 9 Seoul Land Amusemen History 52 Seoul Net amp Film Festiv Seoul Olympic Art Museum 60 Seoul Racecourse 113, Seoul Science Park 80 Seoul Tower 56, 81, 80 shamanism 12-13, 79 ceremonies 79, 80 festivals 9 shrines 79...

Muuido

Muuido is a hilly green island with little development up to now. The Jamjindo ferry drops you off at Keunmuri wharf on Muuido where you can catch the local bus to Hanagae beach, the best on the island. It has plenty of golden sand, a handful of seafood restaurants and a hundred very basic beach huts under the pine trees or on the beach. The chalet-style house on the beach is a film set built for the Korean TV drama Stairway to Heaven. Just beyond it is the start of a 2.5km hike through dense...

Myeongdong Guesthouse

755 5437 bravoinn yahoo.co.kr r W30,000-50,000 subway Line 4 to Myeong-dong, Exit 2 Q Retired English-speaking bank manager Mr Park will take care of you in his clean and tidy budget guesthouse that is tucked away on a quiet road. The 19 rooms in this converted motel vary and, though small, have all the usual facilities plus free Internet and laundry. It can fill up with young Asian tourists who love the nearby Myeong-dong shopping.

World Cup Stadium Mall

SS 2128 2002 subway Line 6 to World Cup Stadium, Exit 1 Costing US 151 million, the spectacular 64,000-seat World Cup Stadium was built to stage the opening ceremony and some of the matches of the 2002 World Cup soccer finals, which Korea cohosted with Japan. Under the stadium is CGV 1544 1122 , a five-screen cinema multiplex that shows films from 10am to after midnight. Also in the mall are lots of small shops, a food court meals W3000-9000 , Starbucks drinks W4000 and Carrefour S...

Dobongsan Hike

This is the most popular hike and is easy to reach as it is within walking distance of the subway station. The hike is cool and shady but moderate fitness is required. Take subway Line 1 or 7 north to Dobongsan station don't get off at the previous station, Dobong . Follow the nattily dressed Korean hikers across the main road and up through the long lines of hiking-equipment shops and food stalls. The best restaurants are near the ticket office under the trees and overlooking a stream, and...

Changing Money

You can use US dollars on American military bases, including the United Service Organizations USO , at Panmunjeom on the Demilitarized Zone DMZ tour, at duty-free shops, and in some tourist shops in Itaewon, but otherwise you will need Korean won. Duty-free shops also accept Japanese yen and some other foreign currencies. Many banks in Seoul offer a foreign-exchange service and there are licensed moneychangers, particularly in Itaewon, that keep longer hours than the banks and provide a faster...

Hotel Sunshine Map pHotel

5411818 www.hotelsunshine.co.kr cnr Dosandaero amp Nonhyeonno rW115,000 subway Line 3 to Hak-dong, Exit 8 Q Rooms, decked out in white and neutral tones, are on the small side but are pleasant enough. This friendly, unpretentious hotel on the fringe of upscale Apgujeong has a relaxing restaurant and coffee shop, and the corridors are light and even smell nice. Ask for a 30 discount. VILLE Map p211 Long-term Apartments 549 4999 no English Hakdongno per month W1.7m minimum 2 months subway Line 7...

Examination Hell

It's not just recently that Korean students have had to study 12 hours or more every day to squeeze themselves into a high-status job. In the past yangban aristocratic sons had to torture their brains learning Chinese characters and memorising Confucian classics in order to pass through the very narrow gwageo gate, the examination that gave them access to the all-important government jobs. From over 10,000 hopefuls, only the top 30 or so were offered high-ranking posts. The kings took a...

Bukchn Hanok Experience

Anguk Guesthouse Map pp202 3 736 8304 www.angukhouse.com off Byeolgunggil s d tw f W40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000 subway Line 3 to Anguk, Exit 1 B Soak up the historical atmosphere in this hanok with gorgeous varnished wood that nevertheless has all mod cons-every room has its own toilet and shower as well as a computer. This excellent choice has a young owner who speaks English, and beds rather than yo mattresses are supplied. Guests can use the kitchen and washing machine, and the simple...

Euljiro Coop Residence

Map pp200-1 Serviced Apartments 2269 4600 http rent.co-op.co.kr studio ind tax amp service W84,700 subway Line 2,4 or 5 to Dongdaemun, Exit 12 Q These small but cute ultra-modern studio apartments have wafer-thin TVs and tiny shower rooms. All the studios are clean, bright and stylish - perfect if you don't need a lot of elbow room, especially when the price drops to W58,000. You can make your own breakfast or cook up a meal in the kitchen. A simple business centre, exercise room and...

Nakwon Musical Instruments Arcade Map pMusical Instruments

924 0604 S 9am-8pm Mon-Sat subway Line 1 amp 5to Jongno3-ga, Exit 5 On the 2nd floor are 200 small shops that sell all kinds of musical instruments and equipment. Local musicians may put on impromptu shows as they choose their instruments. Be careful about fakes. SSAMZIEGIL Map p205 Handicraft Complex Insadong-gil S lOam-IOpm subway Line 3 to Anguk, Exit 6 This stylish new three-floor complex is packed with small arty-crafty shops, has a mini vineyard on the roof and a cool restaurant in the...

Sinchon Yeouido

323 6385 S 7pm-3am subway Line 2 to Sinchon, Exit 2 An enviable record collection of over 10,000 LPs fills a wall in this basement log cabin 'old music bar' where beers cost W3500. The host is laid-back and the atmosphere is quiet and relaxing. 332 3831 S 6.30pm-2am subway Line 2 to Sinchon, Exit 2 Young couples are attracted to this bar, which has a romantic ambience with comfortable chairs around tables that are adorned with flickering candles, while soft jazz plays moodily in the...

Daehangno

Diners are spoilt for choice in this youthful entertainment district with lots of outdoor seating in summer. 3676 6981 meals W11,000 S 11am-midnight subway Line 4 to Hyehwa, Exit 1 or 2 A popular jjimdak restaurant with paper lanterns and Zen-style d cor that offers large platters of freshly cooked chicken pieces, potatoes, carrots and onions on top of noodles and a sauce with a kick. You need two people for this party food, no kimchi side dishes are served, and you have to wait while it's...

Im

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Cheap Sleeps

764 6353 r Mon-Fri W40,000, Sat amp Sun W50,000 subway Line 1 to Jongno 3-ga, Exit 1 Q Looking for a love nest If circular beds and starry skies painted on the ceiling turn you on then stay at this love motel, with its space-age exterior. It's near Tapgol Park, set amidst a medley of love motels that have plastic drapes screening their guests' cars and number plates. It has a lift to conserve your energy, and a room with a computer costs no extra. MOTEL SARANGBANG Map p205 Motel 733 3033 r...

Gwanghwa Motel

738 0751 r W38,000 subway Line 5 to Gwanghwamun, Exit 7 The helpful owner speaks a little English and takes great pride in her motel where rooms and bathrooms are immaculate and larger than most. The 31 rooms all vary so look around a few if you are choosy. A few, such as room 205, have a touch of class with ornate furniture similar to the luxury Lotte Hotel. A bagel breakfast awaits just over the road at Witch's Table and a supermarket is next door. JONGNOWON MOTEL Map p205 Motel 763 4249...