How Do I Transfer Korean Won Home

Whether it’s once, multiple times, or (for the unlucky) monthly at some point you will need to transfer your Korean Won back to your home country.The first time is always the most time-consuming.  As a me-gook (American), the following information would have limited the return trip I had to make.

1. Make sure your bank branch does international bank transfers. While all Korean banks can, not all branches of those banks have the ability.

This Nonghyup branch in Ajungly will do an overseas transfer, the branch in nearby Inhu-Dong will not

2. You will need the following information from your US bank account:

  • Your 9-digit routing and account number found at the bottom of any of your checks . . .

  • Your bank’s swift code. A swift code is an identification code for a particular bank used when transferring money or messages between banks. theswiftcodes.com has a list of all bank codes in the US. However, I didn’t need the last 3 letters of the branch code it provides.

3. The following documents

  • Your Korean Alien Registration card
  • Your passport
  • You Korean bank book (or you can withdraw the money with your bank card from the ATM)
4. Depending on your Korean bank and your home bank you may incur up to 3 charges. They are
  • A remittance charge 
  • A correspondence charge 
  • A cable charge 
Some banks do not have a remittance charge. Transferring money from Citibank in Korea to Citibank in the States, for example, will decrease your charges.
Hope this helps 🙂
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DJ Rood Box and Daniel Kilduff T-Shirt and Art Show

The Event

Photo curtosey of Dean Crawford

Last weekend, Sticon in Jeonju played host to the talented duo of Nate Rood and Daniel Kilduff. The gathering was part art show and part promotion for Rood and Kildof’s latest endeavor into the world of wearable artwork that is fashion.

Photo curtosey of Dean Crawford

While Rood and Kilduff undoubtedly have different styles of execution, their take on pop culture has a serious funk factor that has propelled them into positive critical reception in Jeonju’s fledgling art community. Have an affinity for Jack Nicholson? Think a soju bottle or Hite can epitomizes your Korean expericne? Rood and Kilduff have something for you.

Photo curtosey of Dean Crawford

The Host

Photo courtesy of Dean Crawford

Sticon, with a desire to make their name synonymous with Korean street culture, was the perfect proprietor for the hybrid event.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Lee

Co-owned by 6 lively personalities, Tinno, Nukpa, D. , Queen, Nagui, Harim, shopping at Sitcon feels like you’re there on a social visit. You won’t be stalked around the store while you do your “eye shopping” either. Adding to this personable personalized experience is your ability to customize you t-shirt. You chooses the art you want along with the shirts color, size, and even style. With Western sizing available, there is perhaps no better retailer from which to garner some appropriate attire for this years Jisan Valley Rock Festival.

To get to Sticon and pick up your own Rood or Kilduff design head to Gaeska in downtown Jeonju.

Map to Sticon

Lost? Give the store a call-063)288-3335

Posted in . . . in Korea, Art, Jeonju, Uncategorized, Where can I find . . . in Korea? | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

안녕히가세요 Jenny von Weisenborn

My dear little roommate and friend Jenny MvW closed the Korean chapter of her travels this Monday. After four years in Korea, one as my 룸메이트, she’s gone on to pursue new horizons.  In celebration of our time together I wanted to include some photo highlights.

The Lotus Lantern Festival in ’09 was the cementing of our friendship. Guess the Beatles song this reminds me of. . .

. . . with a little help from my friends.

A few seasons passed before we came together again to work on ’10’s production of The Vagina Monologues. The following photo was taken at the Deepinto wrap party. Around this time the plan to become roommates was hatched.

Jenny's Favorite Photo

Jenny helped me bring my 26th in with a bang. This was also the start of us being inseparable.

Rock and Roll!

We spent most of that spring as each other’s favorite accessory . . .

Hawk the Strong Man

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty

MUAH!

Good Evening Alice

Summer of 2010 marked the start of a great party season and us moving into the greatest apartment in the history of foreigner apartments in Jeonju.

Jonathan's Thumb

Jisan Valley Rock Festival

Home At Last

We rolled into fall of 2010 in high spirits as our boys brought home glory and we (as always) did it up right for Halloween.

Ulsan Champions

Kim Yuna and Neytiri

And we celebrated Jenny turning 26 on the 26th.

Mama and Baby Bear

Winter’s arrival meant lots of quality time with great people. The hosting of a major Christmas dinner and ringing in my :::gasp::: 27th year.

Family Photo

Christmas with a Few Friends

Care for a Cup of Tea?

As winter wore on Jenny and I had opposite schedules but I found ways to keep in touch and she lent her hands to V-day ’11.

Hi Jenny

MMRP Poster

Spring was fleeting this year and quickly turned to the early days of summer.

Hello Mr. Turner

I Got You Babe, In Busan

And after making a splash with her solo show,

JMvW's Solo Show

it was time for my little roomie to make her big move.

xo!

Bye Bye Turtlie Baby Bear

Much love darling, all the best on your new adventures!

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Steve’s Birthday

As I love surprises, I couldn’t wait to begin planning something special for Steve’s 26th birthday. So in March I already had the idea of getting a group of us from Jeonju out to a lake in June for our three-day-weekend to swim, wakeboard, and BBQ. My first thought was to go to Daejeon as I’d been there before and thought it was the closest lake to Jeonju. However, our dear friend TK (who really deserves tremendous thanks for all the time she donates to helping bewildered foreigners plan things) suggested we head to a lake she had previously visited in Jangsu.

After checking out the photos on the internet and some photos from the infamous Jay Turner, I was super pleased with the suggestion. I was even more excited when I learned the rate had been seriously discounted! Note to the wise, when they say something is too good to be true . . .

So on Saturday, June 4th we all surprised Steve in from of his apartment, grubbed on some Valley House, and loaded up to head to Jangsu for some lake action. A very special thanks to Alice Ryu who helped contact/organize the bus for us.

Loading up outside of the Valley House

It was a tight squeeze

Spirits were high with morning beers abound. However, upon arrival in Jangsu we were all bitterly disappointed to discover the lake missing from the lake (see above warning).

A lakeless lake

The beach created by the lack of lake would have been nice were it not for the trash piles

I was devastated as this was a precious long weekend for all our friends. Bitter at the ruination of my expectations and planning, I was thankful for all the positivity from everyone. We decided for to suck it up and stick it out and started having fun.

Going for a swim

Banana boating

Boys playing football

I think the beautiful weather and abundance of good food, drink and friends really enhanced the charm of the place because by the end of the first day we were loving it.

Photo with the birthday boy

Big Nate on the BBQ

The next day things despite cramped sleeping quarters we were lively again.

A boat ride

A short wakeboard ride

This grandmother was on the gin with the rest of us

And while two nights of insufficient sleep made me cross when we finally arrived back in Jeonju it was really a great weekend.

And we discovered some nifty ways of keeping our stuff together when our sobriety is compromised.

Chris keeping his stuff together

Till next sunny and sandy adventure.

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Daedunsan

Daedunsan

The Famous Daedunsan Bridge

A couchsufer turned great friend of mine, Julie Dupuis, first conjured images of a bridge in Jeollabukdo that connected two mountain peaks. It sounded slightly frightening, one of my favorite kinds of slightly. So after being in Korea 2.5 years I finally arranged to give the hike a go with my mate, the lovely late riser, Rachel Jones.

Rachel and I have very similar hiking styles in so far as we don’t. Perhaps sylish walkers who happened upon an incline would be a better description of the pair of us. I was relieved that she shared my abhorrence to waking up at dawn on our precious weekend. So an afternoon hike it would be.

Our afternoon excursion would have worked out much better if there was a bus at anytime between 9:30 am and 2:30pm, sadly, there was not. Fine, we thought, we’ll take the 2:30pm bus and the tram up and down the mountain. The actual hike across the bridge is only an hour and change. So with this as our plan of action up we went.

We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiul afternoon to be out in nature. I really enjoyed the abundance of comical signs at the start of our hike.

What It Says

Much sooner than I expected, we found the spot all the hype and hub bub is built around.

The Bridge Across Two Mountain Peaks

A Side Shot

After being inundated with photographs of hiking groups crossing this bridge and the warning sign I was a bit dismayed by it’s brevity.

Warning to the Drunken, Only In Korea

Nonetheless, we celebrated our crossing.

Still Alive

It was after this mini-celebration that, we stumbled across a stair case that more than made of for the adrenaline rush I expected on the bridge.

A Staircase Up a Mountain

A Look Back Down the Staircase

In about 40ish minutes we made it up the slick rock laden path to the peek.

The Peak

It was here that we made a time management error that sent us hurrying down the mountain so quickly we missed the path that lead back to the bridge and wound up very far down the peak without the bus stop. As the sun began to sink lower into the sky we realized that we lacked basics (food, water, flashlight, warmer clothing) and just as a 127 hour like panic began to set in we crossed paths with  two hikers who informed us A) that the last tram down from the peak leaves considerably before the last bus from the mountain and B) That they would drive us back to Jeonju! Have to love Korean kindness.

Our Saviors

We treated our saviors to a meal at Jeonbukdae’s famous Dakdoritang (닭도리탕) restruant and this distressed damsel will be packing a flashlight in her daypack from now on.

Thanks a ton to the lovely Rachel Jones for use of all these photos!

Posted in . . . in Korea, Hikes | Tagged , , ,

Cris and Mike Visit Korea

Last month, Steve’s parents came to visit him in Jeonju. The only offspring of two devoted parents, I love that he was as happy to see them as they to see him.

If you have friends or family visiting Jeonju chances are, unless you can pick them up at the airport, they will take the limousine bus from Incheon Airport to the Jeonju Core Hotel. Finding the ticketing booth for the bus is easy (there is almost always a friendly English-speaking person at the information booths inside ICN that will direct you). Purchasing tickets to your destination can be a bit more difficult. For starters, once you exit the airport the chances that the people you encounter will speak English decrease. Secondly, for those who lack a solid command of the Korean language Jeonju sounds kind of sounds like Cheonju (a different city in a completely different part of Korea).  To clear up any confusion while purchasing the tickets, Steve’s mum added that it was Jeonju in Jeollabuk-do (전주 전라북도). Very K-town travel savvy Cris 🙂

After safely arriving in Jeonju,  Cris and Mike checked into the Jeonju Rivara Hotel. While a stay at the Riviara is a bit pricey and less spacious than a stay at a love motel, it does lessen the chances of running into men bring back call girls for the evening. Their view facing Hanoak Village is also one of the nicer in Jeonju.

Photo courtesy of Cris O'Hara

I met the family and their adopted Korean child (hehee, our dear well-traveled friend TK) for brunch the next morning at an amazing cafe in Ajungly called Gisto.

Tk, Mike, and what used to be brunch

After brunch we went to the Intercity Bus Terminal to catch a bus to Jinan. Our final destination, the motor-less splendor of Maisan. At Jinan we were supposed to transfer to a local bus that would take us to the base of the mountain but we missed it by minutes and to avoid waiting another hour the 5 of us squished into a taxi and headed for the base of the mountain.

The Korean and English Buddhas

Maisan, or Mt. Mai, Korea's mini Machu Picchu

On our way up Horse Ear Mountain

Monday morning I was lucky enough to have the day off of school because my students were busy taking their mid-terms. What good timing! I met Mike and Cris at the Rivara and we walked downtown to have brunch at another favorite spot of mine, Namu Rado (Namu means “tree” and “a lot” I’m not sure which it is). It was also the Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) and downtown was buzzing with film watchers and makers.

Cris and Mike arrived at the start of JIFF

We walked from Gaeska and past the remaining old gate to Hanoak Village. A Hanoak is an old style Korean home.

A tiny Mike and Cris in from of Jeonju Gaeska

The old gate, which as been rebuilt, so maybe the new old gate

Getting some official history from an English-speaking tour guide

Two English pandas in Korea

On Thursday I tried to take everyone to one of the JIFF Children’s Day films, but the movie I chose went from having no Korean subtitles to no English subtitles. We spent some time on Steve’s roof and then went to dinner with TK and Big Nate.

A game of cards at Deepinto brought the evening to a close

On Friday, after a great time in Jeonju, Steve’s parents went east to check out the seaside town of Busan. We followed suit and found they had booked us an amazing ocean view room at the Novotel Ambassador Hotel on Haeundae Beach. It was a truly beautiful view! While the weather was more miss than hit due to a super fog, I slept on the western sized bed better than I have in ages.

View from our room in Busan

Another little treat of staying in the super room was getting breakfast and happy hour treats in the lounge. We weathered the weather playing cards, going for a sing, visiting the aquarium, and playing a great game of screen golf.

Noraebang Rooms-a popular Korean pass time, you sing Karaoke with just your friends (or in this case family) in a private room

Smiling with a giant stingray

My favorite fish lacked a name tag, this guy sure looked human to me

4 Mike!

Time flew and there were a lot of emotional hugs on Buddah’s Birthday when we had to pack up and go home.

See you soon Cris and Mike!

I’d like to give photo credit to Cris O’Hara for many in this post as I FORGOT my camera!

Posted in Foreigner Necessities, How do I . . . in Korea?, Jeonju, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Taking the Bus in Korea

If you are planning to visit another city while in Korea, chances are you will take either the Express Bus (고속) or Intercity Bus (시외).

For all major cities (Busan, Daejeon, Gwanju) the Express Bus Terminal is the place to go. You can hop in any taxi and tell the driver 고속 버스 터미널(pronounced go-suck bus-a terminal, no I’m not kidding).

Jeonju Express Bus Terminal Photo courtesy of Visitkorea.or.kr

While some major destinations like Seoul have buses leaving every 10 minutes, others like Busan may surprise you with the infrequency of service. Jeonju to Busan only has 3 bus times in the afternoon/evening: 5:30pm, 7:00pm, and 10:20pm. To avoid tickets selling out, especially on the return trip home from a city, you can purchase tickets in advance online from Kobus. The schedule can be accessed in English, although you will have to book the tickets in Korean. You also will still need to get to the bus station with time to go to ticketing window and pick up your tickets.

For more obscure destinations, shorter distances, or cheaper tickets to big cities the Intercity Bus Terminal is where you want to head. Tell the taxi driver 시외버스 터미널 (she-way bus-a terminal). It will take you a bit longer to get to your final destination and the buses are not as comfortable but if price is of the essence it is a good alternative.

Happy Travel

Posted in Foreigner Necessities, Jeonju, Travel, Uncategorized, Where can I find . . . in Korea? | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment