Seoul, South Korea
Ji Eun, 37
Art Curator
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What do you do and why do you do it?

I work as a art curator at galleries and write articles about travel & buddhism for magazines. Since I was young, I've been into beauty & history. I studied art history, which is the mixture of two! Plus, travel is just my passion throughout my life! I am still traveling, but especially after finishing non-stop travel for 1.5 year, I am trying to have one foot as a forever backpacker! That's why I keep doing things about travel!

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

If I were broken hearted, I would go for quiet & slow ballad music. But I wouldn't want to hear lyrics directly reflecting my broken-hearted situation. Ah, there's one exception. Park Hyo Shin's songs might be on the list, including 'Wild Flower'. Or I would listen to a slow jazz or classic like Bach's 'Aria on G String'

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Recently broadcasted Aalsseulshinjap (알쓸신잡)! It's a TV show of 4 experts from each fields like politician, food columnist novelist and scientist. They travel some Korean places and share their own perspective and stories behind places. It was awesome to see various perspective of specialized experts! What an opportunity to full up the intelligence! :)

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

For now, I don't go for a fashion that much! I prefer easy & comfortable casual. I have my favorite online & offline shops on my list. Especially for offline shops, normally I find shops while wandering my neighborhood. Once I like the sense or eye of the owner, I starts visiting there!

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

Yupgi Ddukbokki = Yupdduk! Yupgi means bizzare! It's super spicy Ddukbokki. It's served in the 30cm diameter bowl. I just dropped by the store and had super spicy one with beer at 11pm! What a guilty pleasure! Actually, it's also a favored delivery menu of late-night snack in Korea!

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

Surely! Hole in the wall! You will see one Ramyeon shop on my map. It's a very humble & tasty Korean instant noodle shop! Especially when you sit near kitchen, you will know what I mean! I love it, actually!

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

I would go to Mangwon Market and let him grab any food he wants! He is such a foodie! Or I would take him to a humble makeolli bar, which is his favorite hang-out!

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

Kkang Series Snack! Have you heard of Saewookkang(shrimp flavored crispy snack), Yangpakkang(onion flavor) or Gamjakkang(Potato flavor). They are my favorites! They are also great finger foods in Korean style for casual beer drinking!

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

Apgujeong & Sinsa Area(Garosoo-gil). Apgujeong used to be the most luxurious alley, but not any more! Garosoo-gil used to be famous for the shops with chic & refined sense. But now it's full of franchise stores.

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

Daehak-ro (University Streets, Hyehwa Station Area). I feel like this area is more natural & genuine. Daehak-ro used to be popular youngsters' hang-out area, and it hasn't changed that much so far.

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

Han River! You can get a glimpse of Seoul as seeing local people having time here and sky scrappers with mountains on the opposite side. Great mixture of them! Plus, Bukchon Hanok Village! You will see unique and beautiful traditional aspects of Korea!

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

As always, I go to my zen center early in the morning, listen to my Buddhist guru's speech. Take some time there chatting with people and having great tea. Will see my friends and chat & laugh! Come back to my parent's house and have relaxed time with family! Lovely!

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

Very difficult question! I love everywhere with different reasons! :) Ladakh in Northern India! That place is my second home! Just staying there makes me so comfortable and relaxed. Don't need to do anything there. Perfect vacation for me!

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Jisoek Lim