Seoul, South Korea
Daeun, 33
Project Manager, Education NGO
see her Seoul city guide

What do you do and why do you do it?

I’m a Project Manager in NGO for youth and education based in Seoul. I organize overseas projects which care for youth education, health service, emergency relief, women empowerment and so on. As you might have supposed, I am interested in social and global issues and taking part in making some positive changes in the community.

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

Songs by Damien Rice

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Korean Comedy Show ‘Infinite Challenge’

Name some spots in Seoul that are good for a Tinder date.

Yeonnam-dong. You can find many small restaurants, cafés, and pubs there that young people like. It has also a good trail to walk around in a small park.

Who’s your hero and where in Seoul would you take them out for a serious hang?

I don’t think that I have a hero, but if I had to, I would nominate my two friends who have been inspiring me a lot for last 10 years. I’d like to take them out to a hidden garden called Seokpajung, to walk through good scenery and nature, and Seochon village, to visit some galleries, restaurants and cafés.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

Small shops in Hongdae area

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

Myeongdong. There are too many tourists there, and cosmetic shops. There’s nothing unique or interesting.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

Paragliding in the city center

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Seoul and where did you get it?

It's a barbecue platter at Manimal Smokehouse in Itaewon! I ate pork, beef, chicken and sausage barbecue with bread and salad. It was so much heavy for me, but, it was delicious!

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Seoul that you particularly like?

There There, a music bar in a narrow alleyway in Yeonnam-dong. Their playlist is so amazing. You can listen to modern rock there, and try various reasonably-priced cocktails and delicious dishes.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Seoul? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

The most expensive spa I’ve ever been to is the Conrad Spa in Seoul. It was located in the Conrad Hotel in Yeouido. It costs about 150 to 300 US dollars based on the type of massage you choose. I got a scrub, tea, massage and relaxation there.

What restaurant in Seoul looks crap, but the food’s amazing?

I can’t say this restaurant looks crap, but they usually have waiting lists because it’s a small place with only four or five tables. However, if you try their Mexican food like burritos and tacos, and also drink, you may decide it was worth the wait.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Seoul? Which one do you like?

I can get the best cocktail at The Bermuda in Itaewon. It is not the typical bar you might imagine with dim lighting, but I can order good cocktails there with different kinds of delicious food in a casual atmosphere.

Where would you take your partner in Seoul if you wanted to really pamper them?

I want to take my partner to a rooftop bar in Itaewon.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

I’d like to recommend Korean style ice flakes with a syrup called Bingsu. These days there are so many different types of ice flakes with special toppings such as melon, strawberry, cheese cake, and bean powder. It is also easy to find Bingsu places in Seoul.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Seoul?

Myeongdong. Most tourists visit this area. For that reason, the place is always very crowded and commercial. Major companies choose this area for their chain stores. I don’t like it.

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Seoul?

Mountains. There are a number of mountains in Seoul. You can experience this city with nature and with a variety of views.

What are the Seoul spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

A palace. It is not necessary to visit all the palaces in Seoul, but I’d recommend visiting one palace. The contrast between tradition and the modern city is very awkward, but oddly it feels really comfortable as well.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Seoul. How do you spend it?

In the morning, I will go to Mt. Ansan to hike with my friends. After hiking, I will have a lunch for Korean soup and rice. And then, I will go to a gallery and cafe to relax.

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

Bangkok! I have kind and funny Thai friends there and love Thai food and Bangkok’s chaotic life.

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