While I usually try to keep this website fun and light-hearted, it’s hard to ignore the current situation on the Korean peninsula. As the Coronavirus continues to sweep through the country, I’ve received multiple messages asking about the situation on the ground, and what will happen next.(more…)
If watching YouTube videos was a job, I’d make a decent salary. I spend way too much time watching everything from music videos to travel vlogs to whatever Shane Dawson happens to upload.
When it comes to YouTubers in Korea, there are plenty of channels in various sizes and styles. While you most likely know the ones who have been around awhile, you might find yourself wanting to binge watch some new content.
Today I’ll bring you 10 YouTubers in Korea to watch in 2020, and beyond! Whether you’re looking for information on moving to Korea as an English teacher, or you just want to be entertained, these are just a few (of the many) channels that I personally enjoy watching!
For this list, I’m choosing to only include channels with under 100K subscribers at the time of this writing, as well as channels in English. In no particular order:
Who they are: Amanda (Mandu) is from Canada, while Den is Korean. Together, they create videos on a range of topics related to Korea, including food, travel, and language.
Why you should watch: These videos include some professional looking camera work. They tackle various issues that aren’t normally covered by foreign YouTubers. ‘Den and Mandu’ upload regularly and consistently, and you’ll always find something that interests you in their content.
Who she is: Tasha wears many hats, including that of model, YouTuber, writer, and teacher. Her YouTube channel features various videos of her life in Korea, as well as her travel adventures.
Why you should watch: As a huge fan of travel vlogs, I’m always looking for places that aren’t documented a million times by other YouTubers. Tasha’s Malaysian travel series is some of her best work yet. I especially enjoy watching her discover new foods, as well as interacting with other travelers in her journeys.
3. Korean Ollie
Who he is: Ollie Gilbert is a British man living in Daegu, South Korea. He uploads videos focusing on his life as an expat teacher in the EPIK program. He is also a dog lover, Disney fanatic, and a vegetarian.
Why you should watch: If you are interested in coming to Korea as a teacher through the EPIK program, you’ll definitely want to check out Ollie’s channel. He has the most extensive library of content relating to the EPIK program, as well as other content for new teachers coming to Korea. He also takes requests, which is great if you have a specific question about moving abroad.
Who he is: Austin comes from Indiana and lives in Daejeon, South Korea. His YouTube channel primarily focuses on unique and interesting Korean foods. He often stands out as his videos are well-researched, and feature foods that even some of the locals don’t dare try.
Why you should watch: Austin is a true storyteller through his videos. The pace of the videos are relaxing, yet engaging. He features foods that I would hesitate to eat. However, he seems to really appreciate food, and the story and culture that comes with it. While his videos often run longer than most on this list, they are truly entertaining.
5. Alex Sigrist
Who he is: Alex comes from the great state of Ohio. After moving to Korea, he was able to learn the language, and found success on his Korean-language channel 미국친구 Michin Alex . He’s recently started an English-language channel and often features prominent YouTubers in Korea.
Why you should watch: No fancy edits, crazy jump cuts, or drone shots are needed for this channel. Alex is often times a one-man show, tackling various questions and giving his thoughts and opinions on various topics. For those of you looking for something a little more intellectual than random K-Pop reaction videos or Seoul apartment tours, Alex is the channel to check out.
Who they are: Steve Does Jobs is the newest channel on this list. While they only have roughly a dozen videos up at the time of this writing, they are surely destined to find success on the platform in 2020. The channel is the partnership of two people: Stephen Wagner and Wesley Chang .
Why you should watch: The channel has a fun concept (Stephen takes on fun jobs found in Korea), the host is fun and engaging, and the camera work and editing are pretty legit. Overall, the channel has something for everyone. If they continue to constantly upload with the same quality, I wouldn’t be surprised if they hit 100K subscribers in the near future.
7. How to Korea
Who she is: Victoria is an expat currently living in Seoul. Her channel features travel vlogs, as well was important information for those coming to South Korea.
Why you should watch: Victoria’s editing and voice are relaxing. Combined with informative insights and commentary, viewers really get to experience what it is like living in Korea. Furthermore, the videos are visually appealing with great camera shots and nice color corrections. I also enjoyed her Japan travel vlogs! Be sure to check those out.
Who they are: ‘Our Korean Journey’ is a family channel based in South Korea. They are Min and Tasha, a British/Korean couple, with two young children. They often show their adventures of traveling throughout Korea.
Why you should watch: If you’re looking for wholesome, family-friendly content, be sure to check them out! They always seem to be up to something fun, and the kids are often pretty funny!
Who he is: Cedric (Sky Cedi) is an American who moved to South Korea to teach English. He is a Korean/African-American man, and often discusses the social issues in regards to race, and the experience of growing up as half-Korea.
Why you should watch: Cedric’s videos are well-shot and produced. But beyond that, he is tackling issues that are rarely discussed. His most popular video, Growing Up Black & Korean | My Blasian Family Story, has been watched over one million times, and is an interesting insight into his life. He also has an on-screen charisma that keeps viewers engaged throughout the entirety of the video.
Who he is: What? You didn’t think I wouldn’t take the chance to plug my own content, did you? Well, I’m an American, living and eating my way through South Korea, as well as the other occasional trip through Asia.
Why you should watch: Because you’re on my blog, that’s why! But other than that, if you like watching videos of different foods, be sure to subscribe! While the majority of my videos are focused on Korea, you’ll also find content relating to Bali, as well as the Philippines. I hope to someday evolve the channel into discovering food and cultures around the world!
Well, there you have it. 10 YouTubers in Korea to watch in 2020, and beyond! There are so many that I could have listed, but forced myself to narrow it down to just 10.
Who did I miss? Who should I include in the next version of this post? Tell me in the comments below!
Seeing as Korea is a peninsula, it isn’t difficult to find fresh seafood. Raw fish can be found at restaurants all over the country, as well as in large fish markets, small outdoor markets, grocery stores, and even convenience stores.
For this video, I traveled to the Hapjeong District of Seoul. This neighborhood has a hip vibe to it, and it well known for couples as it makes for a great date evening.
Visiting ‘Miyavi’ (합정 미야비) was a great experience. The restaurant is small, and located on the second floor. The restaurant only has a few tables, while the counter can seat six patrons. You’ll get a first-row seat to the sushi chef in action.
Speaking of the sushi chef, Choi InHo (최인호) has a decade working at one of the finest hotels in the country. Watching him meticulously slice the raw fish proves his knowledge, passion, and creativity for delivering a memorable product.
While the ambiance of the restaurant exudes a romantic feeling, the random pop music playing in the background seems out of place (hello, Justin Bieber!). If I had to change one thing about the experience – this would be it. Businesses in Asia love to blast up-beat music, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by this. However, it was super random.
We started our meal with a dish I had never heard of. Raw flatfish (광어) is plated on a sauce made from vegetables and truffle. More truffle is grated on top of the fish. It is then fused with oak smoke.
While this may sound like a gimmick, the result was actually the highlight of the meal. The fish was soft and tender. Faint traces of the oak could be picked up. The sauce was rich. I could have left after this, and been satisfied.
What followed next was an assortment of 13 different types of raw seafood. I was most familiar with the raw tuna and salmon. After eating raw tuna on dozens of occasions – I can confidently say this was like none other. It was the best bite of raw fish I have ever eaten. It melted in my mouth with a flavor unlike any other tuna I have tried.
The other 12 pieces of sashimi on the plate, while amazing, just could never live up to that tuna. This is one piece of fish you don’t want to kill with going overboard with the soy sauce and wasabi! Please us it sparingly!
Moving on, we tried the potato/cheese/fish egg concoction. This was topped with a slab of butter. It seemed like a true dichotomy from all the raw fish we had just eaten. However, it was so tasty! The outside was like a deep fried mashed potato, while the inside was gooey and melted cheese. This is the type of food you need a beer to companion it with!
We also tried their beef hot pot, as well as the sorbet. These were both impressive as well!
Overall, 합정 미야비 is serving up some great food at reasonable prices. There are other izakayas and restaurants serving up fish with lower prices, but the quality is on a totally different level.
If nothing else, I would stop by for the truffle flatfish ceviche, as it is worth going out of your way for!
Address: 31-7 World cup-ro 3-gil, Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
People travel for different reasons. Personally, I travel for food! Sure, great beaches, cheap beer, and nice climates are great – but I allow my stomach to decide where I go to.
So when I recently found myself in Kalibo in the Philippines, I knew I simply had to try tamilok. Tamilok, also called a woodworm or a shipworm, live in dead trees in the mangroves.
There are a few places in the Philippines where you can harvest tamilok, and then eat them. One of the places just happened to be at the Bakhawan Ecopark in Kalibo.
After taking a quick tricycle ride from my hotel (Cess Summer Boutique Hotel) to the Bakhawan Eco-Park, I was greeted by a lovely staff member. I paid the entrance fee of 120 PHP, and then set off to enjoy the park.
The park is one of SouthEast Asia’s largest restored mangrove areas. Visitors can enjoy a 1 KM walk through the mangroves. At the end, they’ll be met with a lovely view of the sea. The walk is peaceful, and not too difficult.
The highlight though was the tamilok. What is tamilok? Well, believe it or not – it’s not actually a worm at all. While it is called a woodworm or ship worm, it’s actually a mollusk – similar to a clam or an oyster.
To see the harvesting of the tamilok, you’ll need to pay 300 PHP. A piece of wood is presented, and a worker starts to harvest the tamilok by chopping at the wood with a large axe.
After the tamilok are harvested, they are cleaned. The ‘mouth’ and intestines are removed, and they are rinsed several times. Salt and vinegar are added to the creatures, and then they are eaten raw.
I was a bit hesitant, but decided to try it out. The taste? Surprisingly – not bad! They were a bit chewy, and tasted like an oyster. More than anything, it tasted like the vinegar they were marinating in.
Overall, it was a really fun experience. I would recommend stopping by Kalibo the next time you are in the area, and visiting Bakhawan Eco Park. Definitely try the tamilok. It’s an experience you won’t forget!
Recently, I was in Boracay, Philippines for a little vacation. I was able to try a lot of great foods. However, one evening I decided it was time to try a local dessert. The one that I kept being recommended was called ‘HALO HALO’… So I set off to experience my very first Filipino halo halo!
Halo halo is a unique dessert. To put it simply, it is shaved ice with a variety of toppings. This is nothing new. Koreans eat ‘bingsu’. Americans eat snow cones. Shaved ice isn’t revolutionary.
What sets halo halo apart is the sheer amount of ingredients. Each place serves it a little differently, so no two halo halos will ever be the same. My halo halo included shaved ice, vanilla ice cream, red beans, CORN, corn flakes, ube paste, coconut, and a variety of different cubes with a jelly-like texture.
While the recipe for halo halo might change, it seems that the shaved ice, condensed milk, red beans, and ube are staples.
The key to eating halo halo is in the name. It literally translates to ‘mix, mix’. While the tower of ingredients might look pretty, you’ll want to take the time to mix everything up and eat all the ingredients together.
I found that the more ingredients I had in each bite, the better the dessert tasted. Each ingredient seemed to play a role. The ice cream and condensed milk gave sweetness. The jellies added texture. The cornflakes gave a bit of crunch. The corn added a bit of saltiness. Everything combined to make a symphony of deliciousness in my mouth.
Overall, halo halo is a great dessert. It is very sweet, though. So I believe these might be good for sharing. The price is quite affordable, though some upscale places to sell luxury versions of the dessert.
No trip to the Philippines would be complete without trying halo halo!
Have you tried halo halo? Tell me in the comments below!
Having lived in Korea for a decade, I have been to my fair share of Mexican restaurants. I remember being so happy when Taco Bell opened its doors in Itaewon, as it finally meant reliable TexMex food. I could always count on them to deliver tasty, greasy, yet semi-affordable tacos and burritos.
Fast forward a few years later, and I was invited to check out a new restaurant in Gangnam, Seoul. The restaurant is called Kim’s Taco, and is owned by some Korean Americans from Los Angeles who decided to bring LA style Mexican foods to Seoul.
Check out my full review on YouTube-
I arrived at the restaurant at 4 PM on a Saturday. They had just re-opened after taking a short afternoon break. The restaurant immediately filled up, and the kitchen had to go into overdrive to meet the demands of the patrons. Luckily, I was able to secure a seat on their small patio outside.
We started the meal with a signature cocktail – the Cantaritos. This large cocktail combines classic Korean soju with Jarritos – a Mexican soda made with cane sugar. The result was something that tasted like a light margarita. Was refreshing, but also packed a nice alcohol punch!
The serving was for 2, however I may have consumed it all by myself. Ooops! Cost: 15000 KRW (can also be made with tequila)
Next up we were able to sample a variety of tacos, quesadillas, as well as their french fries.
I quite enjoyed all the food that I tasted. Portions were quite large, and the price was very reasonable. I personally really enjoyed the fish tacos. The fish was light and flakey, and was battered using Cass beer.
What makes Kim’s Taco unique is the fact that they hand press the tortillas throughout the day. This, combined with their other fresh ingredients, makes for an experience similar to what I would have in the USA.
The restaurant mainly serves tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and tostada bowls. Each item can be served with either chicken, beef, or pork.
If you wish to check out Kim’s Taco – I would recommend going early, as the shop is small, and seating is limited. Also, plan to check out their cocktails! I would also advise bringing a group of people, if possible, and ordering family style. This way, you’re able to try as many different foods as possible!
**Although we were invited to the restaurant in exchange for a review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
To see our full review of the top five foods to eat in the Summer in Korea, first watch this video!
Summers in Korea can be quite difficult to handle. As the temps soar, everyone does what they need to do to stay cool. This might include going to a public sauna for a public bath, blasting the air conditioner, or using a portable fan.
However, Koreans also use food to help them stay cool. Today we will look at five foods that help Koreans beat the summer heat.
- Ice Cream
While ice cream obviously isn’t unique to Korea, it has a special culture, unlike what we foreigners may be used to. Ice cream is consumed in all four seasons, and at any time of the day. It can be found in a multitude of varieties in convenience stores, served in a cafe, or, in this case, at an ‘Ice Cream ATM’.
The ATM is outside of Baskin Robbin’s in Seoul. Users pay 3300 Korean Won (approx $3 USD). They can pay by cash or credit card. In just a few moments, a container of ice cream is delivered. A small spoon is included as well! It’s an amazing invention!
Baskin Robbin’s is located all around Korea. This ATM was located in Hannam Dong, Seoul.
Bingsu is like a more sophisticated version of a traditional snow cone. It has a base of finely shaved ice, and is topped with a variety of ingredients. I tried the ‘pineapple bingsu’ from a place called Tokyo Bingsu in Seoul. The shaved ice was topped with a pineapple mousse, pineapple bits, and pieces of waffle cone.
The bingsu was light and refreshing. While sweet, it wasn’t overly sweet. It made the perfect mid-day snack without being too heavy.
In this video I visited Tokyo Bingsu (10 Noksapyeong-daero 46-gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul). The price of the pineapple bingsu was 11,000 KRW. Check out Tokyo Bingsu’s website here.
Samgyetang is a chicken soup that is eaten in the summer. A whole young chicken is stuffed with rice, ginseng, and a jujube. The samgyetang is served boiling hot in a stone bowl. A variety of side dishes are included to enjoy with the soup.
Koreans often believe that it is best to beat heat with heat (fight fire with fire!). Therefore, they enjoy this boiling hot soup to refresh themselves on a hot summer day. They believe it gives them stamina to get through the hot days.
The restaurant in this vlog is called ChoonChu Samgyetang. The price for the meal was 14000 KRW. Location information: (삼계탕전문점 춘추 : 서울시 용산구 대사관로 52, 2층) ChoonChu Samgyetang: Seoul, Yongsan Gu, Daesagwan Ro 52, 2F.
ChoonChu Samgyetang has no official website.
Literally translate, nangmyeon means “cold noodles”. Nangmyeon is buckwheat noodles in a broth of yuksu, which is a bone broth. The noodles coming cold with ice floating in it. These noodles are topped with sesame seeds, gochujang (red pepper paste), half of a boiled egg, daikon radish, and cucumbers.
There are two varieties: mul and bibim. The only difference is that mul nangmyeon has broth, while bibim nangmyeon lacks the broth.
I recommend ordering mandu (steamed dumplings) to complete the meal.
The restaurant I ate at in this vlog was called DongA Nangmyeon. They have multiple locations all around Seoul.
This location (동아냉면) is located in Itaewon (265-576 Bogwang-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul). The basic price is 5000 KRW.
What can I say about watermelon that hasn’t been said before? It’s yummy, it’s refreshing, and it’s healthy. It is the perfect summer time treat! Koreans love eating fresh watermelon in the summer. It is often eaten on picnics, and shared in the office with co-workers.
You’ll also find plenty of watermelon-flavored foods including juice, milk, ice cream, and shakes.
With all of these amazing foods, it might be hard to know what to eat first! One thing’s for sure, though. Summers in Korea are HOT, and you’ll definitely find yourself looking for any excuse to eat any of these foods to stay cool!
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On June 23, Korea faced Mexico in the World Cup. While Mexico ultimately beat Korea, those of us in Seoul still had a great time cheering the team on.
I was invited to an event with other foreign residents. It was sponsored by #iseoulu and was held in Seoul Plaza.
Those who attended were given free gifts including a t-shirt, tumbler, and an interesting head band thingy.
The event started with various K-Pop cover groups dancing to popular songs. Most of the groups were actually from abroad. I assume they were flown to Korea to perform for this event.
There were both boy and girl groups. Everyone was quite impressive and energetic. It was easy to see that they are passionate about K-Pop.
After that, we were treated to a performance by the group KARD. They performed two of their hit songs before leaving. If you’d like to see their performance, see the video above.
After that concert, I headed over to Megan Bowen’s meet and greet. I have watched her video for years, and it was fun chatting with her for a few moments.
Overall, it was a long but fun day! Although Korea lost the World Cup match, I still had a great time watching the 2018 K-Pop cover dance festival, KARD, and meeting Megan Bowen!
For more info, watch the video above.
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Recently, I ran across a burger place on Instagram. I knew it was near my work place, and figured I should check it out. As much as I love eating local food while abroad, sometimes I just gotta have a little taste of home.
Mils Burger is a 2-story restaurant located near Samgakji Station. Conveniently, it is also located right by an entrance to the Yongsan Army base. The restaurant has an Army theme, which truly sets it apart from other theme restaurants. I sat on the second floor, which had an old-school bed, and various uniforms and other 1960’s memorabilia.
The restaurant serves different types of burgers and sandwiches, along with beer.
I opted for the Air Force burger, which had a fried chicken leg, lettuce, cheese, onion, and sauce. The sauce was sweet and spicy. The chicken was nice and juicy. My only complaint is that the sandwich had a bit too much sauce, which made it very difficult to eat. A little less sauce would have made the sandwich much better.
The owners of the restaurant are very nice and inviting. They also speak English (and have English menus).
Overall, if you’re looking for a cool place with good food to eat around Itaewon, you should head to Mils Burger in Yongsan Gu!
To reach Mils Burger, take the subway to Exit 11 of Samgakji Station. Walk straight 100 meters. It will be on your right side.
If you are going to the War Memorial of Korea, you should plan to stop by!
Address: 210-2 Hangang-daero, Yongsan Gu, Seoul, Korea 04353
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If you have ever been to Seoul, you’ll know that there is a coffee shop on almost every corner! In addition, coffee is sold in convenience stores in a variety of ways.
Seeing as there are about 2 bazillion cafes in the city, owners have to come up with new and interesting ways to gain customers. You might find yourself at a Charlie Brown cafe, a cafe with live sheep or raccoons, or even a poo cafe (yes, really)!
My favorite cafe to visit on the weekend is located in Itaewon. It is a dog-friendly cafe called 3239 Cafe. My pups and I love visiting the cafe. I find myself with a nice Americano (iced, thank you), while the doggo gets to play with his friends and run around.
This weekend we visited 3239 and documented our adventures. Check it out!
If you’re interested in visiting this great dog cafe in Itaewon, Seoul, you can find the address in the description box of the video!
#seoul #dogcafe #3239 #itaewon #korea