WOWZERS!!! My husband and I’s first EVER video together on Hallyu Back! Crazier things have happened. \(^o^)/
We love living in Korea! We really do. I’ve been living here now 4 ½ years, and Richard has been here nearly 5. And, as much as I love watching dramas and reviewing them for you guys, living in Korea is very much part of my everyday experience! Even though Richard and I very much would like to share our experience with you from living in this awesome country, we haven’t been able with the way the format is set up on TOAD’s and Top 5 Fridays.
So, we brainstormed long and hard to figure out a way to express ourselves in a fun and interesting format for YouTube, and ‘Life in Korea: Experience It’ (LIKE IT) was born! YAY!!!^^
This ‘Cost of Living’ blog was an important one for us to do first because, if the cost of living in South Korea were too high, he and I wouldn’t be able to do what we do with the vlogging on YouTube let alone even live here. But in reality Korea overall is not a very expensive place to live. With the exception of some places in Seoul, like Gangnam for instance, most people can come here and expect to live comfortably. This I believe is in stark contrast to those who come here to visit for a week or two here and there, because visiting this place can be extremely expensive. But living here, we consider it reasonable.
Take housing situation here for example. As is anywhere in the world, you pay for what you get. That being said, I do feel like that in Korea housing is a bit more reasonable even if you’re living in a city. The only exception to reasonable prices is the amount you must put down wolse (wolse = 월세) along with the monthly rent. Expect to put down between 5-10 million Won (Roughly $4,500-9000 U.S.) as well as pay monthly rent. Or if you prefer (AND if you have enough money!) you can go the jeonse (jeonse = 전세) route. This entails putting down an extremely large quantity of money and paying little or no monthly rent. It’s also the original way Korean people paid for housing. It’s becoming less standard but definitely still exists for some people. Once you have that deposit money ready, I think anyone would find that some of the living arrangements that can be discovered are not that expensive. I must note that people coming from western countries such as those in North and South America, and Europe might find some of the size of actual apartments small here. This is just something you’ll have to get used to because Koreans have been doing it all along.
Moving On, the public transportation in Korea has got to be some of the best of anywhere in the world. Seriously. It’s difficult to put it all down into words and it’s truly a ‘must see it to believe it’ sort of situation they have going here. We both have cars (for particular reasons might I add), but we still use public transportation regularly. It goes pretty much everywhere, in every form, and is affordable. I heard once from someone long ago that the government keeps it affordable for the elderly. If that is true, how nice of them.
As for shopping, If you ask me the people in this country are professional shoppers! I say this in jest of course, but everywhere you go people are always shopping. It’s almost too easy to spend money here, and although many items are inexpensive, this is because, just like where I am from, they are made in China. This place is most certainly a consumer society, and if you’re a shopper like most people here are (even though they might not claim to be), you’ll find pretty much whatever you may be looking for. You just have to know where to look, which in time also isn’t that difficult to figure out.
Food in Korea is the real deal. I love this part about living here. Richard and I still cook at home most of the time, but when we go out there are almost an unlimited amount of choices we have in restaurants. Meals are generally priced between 5,000-12,000 Won ($4.50-$11.00 U.S.) per person, and with drinks (alcohol) the price goes up a bit from there. This is another category better experienced than explained.
Last but not least, our lives are comfortable and things are affordable because of the neighborhood we have chosen to live in. It’s an older neighborhood, and if I had to be brutally honest, I’d say it’s not the area that most Korean people would choose first on their list to live in. A lot of the homes in this section of Suwon were built some 40 years ago, and don’t have all the new, modern conveniences that are being installed in houses and apartments that are being built today. But consider this: not only is the cost of living in this area well within our range as university professors (well I’m a student now and don’t really work), living here is also extremely convenient. Literally, within 3 blocks walking we have at our disposal:
– a bakery
– a kimbap restaurant
– 2 markets where we can buy fresh produce
– a shoe repair shop
– a hardware store
– a pet shop (we need this if we ever get one!)
– about 7 corner stores
– about 10-15 restaurants (I haven’t actually counted them all)
– our bank
I’m probably leaving something off that list, but you get the picture. I think I may just have to persuade hubby to help make a video about this!
Anywho, seriously for all the information that we gave in the video, we still left a ton out! If you have any questions about this blog please let me know in the comments below, on YouTube or on Facebook. We will do our best to answer them. Also, if there is a question about Korea in general that you would like us to take a crack at, do not hesitate to ask. If I don’t have a clue how to answer I’ll just make hubby do it. That’ll be fun!^^