Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Check list for expats leaving South Korea

 There are many things or issues which need to be taken care before your leave South Korea. The whole process might take at least two weeks or so. One should prepare in advance for getting the final clearance. I have made a checklist for the expats leaving Korea. Please see below:
  • Experience certificate
  • Reliving certificate from employer 
  • Recommendation letter from the Senior
  • Residence proof of your stay and duration.
  •  Police verification from the nearest police station that you have no criminal records there.
  •  Keep copies of Korean ID, Driving ID, Gas Bills, Electricity Bills.
  • Translate all Korean documents to English and get attested from legal advisor.
  •  Or get attested from govt officer preferably attested with seal.
  • Withdraw national pension from National pension office National Pension
  • Dispose off your car (if you have any)Scrap your car , Sell your car
  • Convert Korean won to USD or Euros Money conversion
  •  Close your Korean Bank Account (after withdrawing / transferring all your money)
  •  Take your tax clearance certificate in Korea from National Tax Dept.Tax Office
  • Collect your severance pay be leaving the bank account details of your home country Severance pay
  • Apartment Rental contracts with heavy fixed deposits should be terminated
  • Employment Insurance and Workers insurance may be collected which is a high amount of money. It is generally deducted every month from your salary and can be received at the end. But the rule may not be valid for all expats, it depends on your employment contract.Employment insurance
  • Terminate your NHIC, National Health Insurance Cooperation.Health Insurance
  • Clear all electricity, water etc bills.Electricity
  • Inform immigration office and submit your alien card
  • Cancel your credit card and mobile service
  • Claim your Air-ticket and extra baggage charges from your employer (if mentioned in your contract)
 Give your comments or suggestions, if you want to add some more to do the list.

Good luck and Best Wishes!

Traditional dress of South Korea for Chuseok

The traditional Korean dresses are beautiful with vibrant colors.
The dress is considered a formal wear which is worn on special days like weddings, festivals (like Chuseok) etc. It's beautiful to see the families in their traditional clothing.
The design of hanbok are generally inspired from their historical tombs and historical paintings. The hanbok was an influence of multiple invasions in Korea.

HANBOK(for woman) =Jeogori(Top part)+ Chima(sleeveless one piece)

HANBOK(for Man) =Jeogori/Coat(Top part)+ Paji(Pants)



 Various accessories such as foot gear, jewelry, and head-dresses or hair pins completed the outfit.

The hanbok give a very elegant and decent look to Korean couples.
Also the Hanbok may be considered as the beautiful ceremonial robe.
The cultural dress is very comfortable with loose fittings. It is also called the costume of winds with the voluminous look, which retained air within. It depicts  as the symbol of the Korean culture and the cultural heritage which generally mesmerizes the non-Koreans.
I love the elegance of the dress.
Best regards,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Save yourself from Typhoon, South Korea 2012

The news and radio channels are announcing the residents and expats in Korea to cover the windows to avoid Typhoon damages.


This will protect your glass windows and your home.
You might have the windows broken with the strong winds of the Typhoon.

Method I: Cover your windows with the newspaper

  •  Take a Clean newspaper
  •  Spray some water on the windows
  • Stick the newspaper on the window

Protection from Typhoon
Method II Cross tape your windows to protect from Typhoon
  • Use the scotch tape or any tape

  • Paste it on the window in cross shape

Safety first!

Preparation and Warning for Typhoon in South Korea

What is Typhoon? It is a type of Hurricane, Thunderstorm, Cyclone, powerful winds and abrupt strong rainfalls. The level of the Typhoon might vary. I have experienced different levels of Typhoon while living in South Korea but this time, it is expected to be a very strong one.
An intense Typhoon is with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph or higher. The winds have great velocity and as they move ashore they sweep the ocean inward giving birth to torrential rains and  flooding.  
Higher the Intensity of the Typhoon higher is the destructiveness!

Latest Update of the Typhoon from Japan

Present Situation: Typhoon is approaching South Korea!!!!A powerful typhoon lashed the southern Japanese island of Okinawa and surrounding areas Sunday, injuring four people and cutting off power to about 57,000 households.
Weather officials had warned that Typhoon Bolaven
The most powerful typhoon in a decade is set to hit the Korean Peninsula early this week, weather forecasters said Sunday, prompting authorities to brace for a worst-case scenario.

Predictions for the consequences in South Korea:
  • Tree might fall, small plants get damaged
  • Blackouts and no electricity for few days
  • No water supply
  • All grocery stores close down
  • No restaurants are open
  • Its a major close down
  • Blocked roads

Preparation for the Typhoon:
  • Keep your refrigerator to highest settings
  • Store Water and buy drinking water
  • Pack some food which does not need refrigeration
  • Buy some candles, prepare some battery torch or falshlights
  • Keep your first-aid kit ready
  • Throw away all garbage stuff from home
  • Find a safe place for your pets
  • Keep in track with the media through TV, radio etc for emergecy info
  • Keep plenty of food for infants
  • Fuel your vehicles
  • Fix the broken door or windows
  • Find the emergency evacuation places
  • Keep the important documents handy
  • Unplug the small appliance
  • Charge the mobile, ipad, notebooks in advance
  • Stay at home or any safe place
Just small preparations are needed. Hope things are fine and everyone is Safe.
May be the velocity of winds slow down while approaching South Korea.

Stay safe!!!!

love and prayers,

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chuseok for expats in South Korea

Chuseok holidays start from Last week of September,(September 29 - October 1, 2012)
 Chuseok (추석), is the biggest festival of Korea.
It is called the Thanks giving day or also called the Harvest festival. The Koreans say prayers and thanks to their ancestors by offering food, or flowers to the ancestors graves.
The Korean families conduct ancestor's worships at their home and hometown.
In modern days, Korean family get-together and celebrate by cooking special foods  and playing games at home. Some Koreans visit the temples and offer prayers.
You can eat a lot of sweet dak(rice cake) at this time and also songpyeon.

Top 5 Korean customs and traditions in Chuseok Holidays:
  • Charye is the Ancestor memorial service which is performed by Korean families at homes.
  • Beolcho is cleaning the dust around the grave
  •  Seongmyo is visiting ancestral graves
  • Ssireum is Korean wrestling
  • Chuseokbim is the Korean dress, special for the festival

All the family is well-dressed in Korean traditional clothing's and offer prayers.The festival is a totally family affair. Hence Korean friends get busy with the preparations and celebrations.
Being an expat, Chuseok holidays can be boring as they are long holidays. I miss my home in this festive season. Most of the expats prefer visiting their home country in these holidays.

If you are staying in Korea in the Chuseok holidays, it might get boring as most of the shops & restaurants are closed and trains, buses etc all are overbooked. There are many traffic jams on the road, as Koreans are travelling to their home town. Even homeplus, Emart etc are closed for few days.

Good thing about Chuseok is that the Korean Govt. organizes several events and activities for Chuseok Holidays especially at the National Parks, National Museums and Korean folk villages, in order to promote Korean culture. They offer discounts for the foreigners to visit the National museums and parks. Also there are many Folk games, programs, and performances held at Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, and Deoksugung Palace.

Last year, I was in Seoul for Chuseok 2011 and I really enjoyed the Korean traditional parade at Gyeongbokgung Palace. The palace is really magnificent and magnanimous. In chuseok time it was very beautifully decorated. See some glimpses of my visit:

Chuseok 2011 at Gyeongbokgung Palace

Also you can get information about the Chuseok events on korea4expats website. I have found the site has many good information for expats in Korea.
See the link below for more information about the events:

Happy Chuseok in advance!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hawaii of South Korea, Jeju-do

Jeju-do is the National pride for most of the Koreans. Jeju-do is the best tourist place in South Korea.There are many World Heritage tourist points in Jeju-do.
The Koreans consider it as the Hawaii of  South Korea.
According to my view point, I cannot consider it totally Hawaiian style but Semi Hawaiian.
The points which make Jeju-do similar to Hawaii are as follows:

  • Jeju-do is located in Southwest side of South Korea. It Is the tropical region with strong sunshine similar to Hawaii

  • Jeju-do has many Beautiful, clean beaches with white sand  and also have freash sea-food similar to hawaii


  • Jeju-do is a volcanic island similar to Hawaiian Islands. Hence Jeju also have the Lava tubes similar to Hawaii.
  • Volcanic mountain
  • Its famous fo hiking, horse riding, golfing,snorkling, scuba diving etc and has many sports activites like Hawaii. Jeju hot springs are also very famous.
  • Jeju has famous ports and harbours. It offers special cruise trips and submarine trip which are awesome.

    Submarine trip
  • Some museums in Jeju-do are similar to Hawaiian museums
  • There are many beatiful waterfalls to similar Hawaii
Jeju -do is the biggest island in South Korea. 
It has the resemblance to Hawaii Island.
Jeju-do is different from normal South Korean cities and also considered the best place for honeymoon couples.
So if you are in South Korea I strongly recommend to travel to Jeju-do.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Top 8 Unknown facts about South Korea

There are many facts and figures which are well known about South Korea but there
 are some unknown facts. I have listed top 8 unknown facts on which I keep thinking and pondering:

  •  Christianity was propagated in many Asian countries but it got well rooted in Korea.
  • It is one of the safest country in the world. The crime rate is very low. Though Koreans drink a lot of alcohol but they generally are disciplined. The Koreans are very honest and well behaved. There are very few cases of cheating or theft.
  • Korea was invaded several times. It is surprising how they fought and became the world's 11th wealthiest country in the world
  • Any foreigner for Koreans kids is Migu -Ki i.e American. The geographical knowledge about other countries of Korean kids is little poor. Korean teens have a lot of knowledge about USA.
  • Most of the restaurants in Korea are run by woman. Woman play a strong role in controlling money at home. Though in the past the Korean woman didn't have much say in the family issues.
  • Korean eat a lot and drink beer, soju etc but still they are considered the slimmest country. Most of the Koreans have flat tummy and maintain good body line.
  • Why most of the Korean men eat food so fast?
  • Korean woman are among the top cosmetic users. The Korean woman are very cautious about the make-up which they put daily and keep applying it in the public places.
These unknown facts are based on my experiences in South Korea. 
If you have the answers to these unknown facts just let me know.


Teddy Bears in Jeju-do, South Korea

My favourite in Jeju-do was the Teddy Bear Museum. The super cute Teddy bears were waiting to greet us. 
The museum contains two galleries, a museum gift shop, and a museum cafe.
The museum had many Teddy bears which were moving and showing some cute situations.
There were teddy bears portraying Mona Lisa, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Munroe, Gandhi, Mother Teressa etc.
I just loved and cherished the amazing displays of the Teddy Bear in a unique style.
 The cutest Teddy was of  America's 26th president, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt and NASA astronauts.

Wedding of Teddy's
 I was really excited to see the Korean Teddy couple, it was very cute.
Korean bride and bride groom
 I loved the Teddy Bear fashion models which displayed the scenes very well. It also showed the green room and the fashion show.
Teddy Fashion Models
 The best one was the Mona Lisa teddy bear. It depicted her picture so well.
Teddy Mona Lisa
All the teddy bears were really cute and lovely. I was totally in Teddy's world.
I enjoyed it a lot. Hope to visit again someday.

For more information:

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Refrigerating Ice Museum in Jeju-do, South Korea

I visited Ice Museum in Jeju-do. The depictions were wonderful and fanciful. I was amazed to see the ice structures. The carvings on ice were beautiful.
 At the entrance, an employee of the museum distributed the blankets to each person. The temperature inside the museum was -5deg. It was really freezing temperature. I was really impressed by the ice sculptures in the form of Teddy bear, Jeju Hallabeong, beautiful angels, ducks etc.

Jeju Hallabeong

Ice Teddy bear
 The ice sculptures were impressive. There was a beautiful ice castle which had ice bed, ice sofa and ice table.

Ice sofa set

Ice sculpture

Ice castle
The ice depictions were beautiful. The best part was the Ice bar shop. It looked so real.
Though the ice museum was small but it had a lot to offer.
Also I was freezing in the refrigerating museum.
I just loved it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I was shocked and surprised!

Add caption

Jeju Island is the largest Island in South Korea. Jeju Island has many tourist attraction points. One of the famous museum is titled " BELIEVE IT OR NOT". It is located in Seogwipo-si, in Jeju Island. Korea is the 11th country for the chain of such a museum. The museum is unique.

Perfect Couple of the Century
The concept was invented by Robert Ripley (1893-1949) who started a newspaper named " BELIEVE IT OR NOT".
The museum portrays the mysteries of the world and many astonishing facts.
Recently, I visited the museum, it features almost 700 astounding, one-of-a-kind items and facts from 198 different countries. I was awed and shocked  by a large selection of hard-to-believe pieces.
The museum gives the details and the historical facts from the different countries.

I was really surprised.
See below some of the famous items of the museum:

House made of match-sticks

Elvis portrait made by m&ms

Incombustible man never got charred, stayed in oven for hours

Man who fought with the whale and survived
Tallest man on earth
Also on the second floor of the museum, there are some haunting facts which are hard to believe.
I will surely recommend you to visit the unique museum.
For more information:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wall of Sound to kill Dolphins

Sad but true
Soon Dolphins will become extinct !
Technique to Kill the Dolphins:
Using a technique called drive fishing, hunters in a line of motorized boats create a “wall of sound” between the dolphins and the open ocean by banging on metal poles lowered into the water; the poles have bell-shaped devices at one end to amplify the sound. The dolphins, who rely on sonar to navigate, are immediately disoriented and terrified and swim frantically to shore to escape the noise. There they are corralled into a small cove and trapped overnight by nets; at sunrise the next morning they are herded into an adjacent “killing cove,” where they are stabbed to death by hunters using harpoons, fish hooks, and knives. The emerald waters of the cove literally turn red with the animals’ blood. Some injured or exhausted dolphins simply drown.

Dolphin meat is also a part of food. The dolphins are dragged by their tails and slaughtered.

I really hope we can save and protect the dolphins.

Save the dolphins:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"SAY KIMCHEE" instead of saying cheese, South Korea

The Health magazines have considered KIMCHI as one of the world's healthies food.
In general,  Kimchi is spicy fermented cabbage.  It is stored in large jars, it has a strong aroma and a sour & spicy in taste.
Kimchi Jar

It is available in endless variety. It might take few days to adapt to the taste of Kimchi but it has several benefits  with high content of vitamin B-12 which keeps your immunity high. It has high content of Vitamin C  especially from cabbage Kimchi and  the special seasoning and kimchi has high content of Vitamin A and carotene which prevents lung cancer and breast cancer.
I think we need to re-frame the health statement in Korea.

"40 pounds of Kimchi a day, keeps the doctor away"

Kimchi has thiamine B1, riboflavin B2, calcium, and iron. It has bacteria lactobacilli which helps in better digestion. Recent studies also say that kimchi lowers the cholesterol. It helps to fight many diseases.
I love the animation created by Young Man Kang called
 "Kimchi Warrior".
The Kimchi Warrior animation series is a unique blend of martial arts, comedy, and the promotion of good health. The Kimchi Warrior obtains supernatural strength by consuming the most prominent Korean dish, Kimchi to defend mankind from the world's most notorious diseases (i.e. The Swine Flu, Mad Cow Disease, Malaria, SARS etc.) Each episode a new "disease character" is summoned by Evil Lord of Disease to wipe out mankind. Under the tutelage of the clairvoyant Kimchi Master, the Kimchi Warrior is sent to fight and ultimately annihilate the disease with a different "ingredient weapon". It's very entertaining and educational for children. It is also advocates good nutrition to everyone, since Kimchi is deemed one of the healthiest foods in the world.


  • Animation is super cute
  • Gives a message about the benefits of eating Kimchi
  • Good graphics and good story
  • Describes the diseases

Watch the Animation   " KIMCHI WARRIOR"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

7 Golden rules to Survive in South Korea

I have been living as an Expat in South Korea for a long time.
Korean culture, food and living was very different for me. Based on my experiences I wish to list up seven golden rules to survive in South Korea.
  • AGE :Respect the age and respect the seniors! Age is very important in Korea. You must respect the elder persons.

  • LANGUAGE PROBLEM: Learn Basic Korean words!Its better to learn some basic Korean for communication.

  • ALCOHOL: Enjoy Drinking alcohol! Koreans love to drink alcohol with their friends and mates. They drink a lot.

  • SPICY FOOD:Enjoy Spicy food! Kimchi is the famous side-dish and is spicy. Also there are many foods which are very spicy. You may adapt it otherwise the choices are limited.

  • CLOTHES & SHOES: Bring your own Clothes!  difficult to find XXL or big size in many store. Other options are online shopping or visit Seoul to buy big size clothes and shoes.

  • ENGLISH:Speak English slowlyThere are different kinds of people with different backgrounds and experiences. Some Koreans are well versed with English. Mostly Koreans can read English well but cannot speak well. If you write and explain your problem they will understand, but you have to speak slowly to make them understand.

  • Don't be shocked: Koreans like the foreigners and love to talk to them. It is little unusual for them to see a foreigner on the street.Sometimes they give some strange gestures but don't get offended.

In general, living in Korea is not difficult, as Korean people are kind and very helpful.
 “The weak die out and the strong will survive, and will live on forever”
Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank
Just enjoy your stay here!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Top 7 Konglish Words in Korea

I have been living in Korea for long time.
There are special Korea+English=Konglish words
There are many such Konglish words but Top 7 which are commonly being used are as follows:

  • KEOP for CUP
  • PI-JA for PIZZA

Do let me know your experiences.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Status of South Korea in Olympics 2012

Korea has been considered a big competition for other countries in the Olympics. The score for Korea is going good and it is included in the list of Top ten favorite countries of London Olympics by CNN. There are very high expectations from Korean athletes. The  performance of Korean athletes is so far excellent. The Koreana athletes grabbed 9 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 5 bronze medals. This is an excellent performance.

 South Korean team was awarded the best dressed in the London Olympics.
The medals are received in Archery, Fencing, judo, shooting, swimming and badminton.
Best wishes for the Korean Athletes!
Keep fighting!

Top 6 Chicken dishes in South Korea

I love Korean food.My favorite dishes in Korean cuisines are endless but I would like to list up my top 6 Chicken dishes in Korea especially for Chicken lovers. Please see the following list : 

  •  Samyetang ( Chicken Soup with Ginseng) Its a special Chicken soup with a special herb called Ginseng. The food is served on a hot day. It is considered as a healthy food with proteins, minerals and hormones from a young chicken stew.
  • Dak galbi ( Spicy marinated Chicken) The boneless marinated chicken is stir fried on the charcoal. The dish is a mix of cabbages, potatoes and capsicum. Optional rice or noodle can be added in it.
  • Dakdoritang(Spicy chicken soup with potatoes) It's a traditional Chicken soup with potatoes and has spicy flavour. Succulent chicken pieces are used such as chicken thigh and breast. It also has carrots and is served with rice.

  • Chickengas (Chicken cutlet) Similar to Dongas (pork cutlet), the Chickengas is available is some restaurants. It's the fried Chicken cutlet which is served with sauce, rice and salad.

  • Fried Chicken It's the most popular night food. The fried Chicken shops are open till late night. You can order at home or eat at the restaurant. There are variety of flavours from the most spicy, sweet and sour and mild ones. It is generally served with cola or beer.

  •  Chim dak (Sweet Soy Sause Chicken) It's sweet and spicy flavoured Chicken with the thin Korean noodles, vegetables(like potato, sweet potato and carrots) and cooked in Soy sause. Generally, it is served with rice. Really yummy!

All the dishes are delicious.
Though Samgyetang is top in my list of favorites.
Enjoy eating!

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