4 Apps To Make Life in Korea Easier

Two months into the Korea adventure and I’m finally starting to feel settled. I know the bus routes, can get to the supermarket with my eyes closed, and finally got a cell phone! Because of the language barrier, I spent a month and half trying to find the elusive English-speaking  store all the foreigners here go to. Now that I have my phone , I’ve been putting it to good use. Here are the 5 apps that have made the transition to life in Korea so much easier.

Translator With Speech

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Any old translator app will do but using this one is as simple as typing and clicking. Just type in your native language and the app will translate it and say it out loud if you desire. No lie-I use it every time I leave the house.

Retro Camera

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This apps has different camera settings and filters to make perfect pictures. There are different settings for close-ups, panoramas, portraits, and any other type o f picture you can think of. 

Learn Korean

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I use this when I’m waiting on the bus. It’s an easy and simple way to pick up basic vocabulary quickly. The categories range from essential sayings to travel to numbers ( the hardest part of the Korean language in my opinion)  . The only problem I have so far is that some of the sayings don’t  match with the Korean phrases I pick up living here. Either I’m learning the slang or the Learn Korean sayings are very formal and possibly outdated.

OTO-International 

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Everyone in Korea is obsessed with the app  Kakao Talk. The app allows for free texting and calling as long as both users download the service. I use it all the time but OTO-International trumps it in one major way: You can make free international calls to both cell phones and landlines. I love this app because it makes getting in touch with my 80- year- old nana –who doesn’t use the computer- easy and , most importantly, free. The free call feature only works in certain countries. Luckily, Korea is one of them.

If your outside of Korea, you can pay for this service or use  a more mainstream app like Skype.   

* Do you know of other good apps for expats? Share below!

5 reasons to visit Jukdo Market in Pohang, SK

Jukdo market is often referred to as one of the must-do’s of Pohang, South Korea. In less than 3 hours,  I discovered parts of Korean culture I didn’t know existed before.  Jukdo market is huge and , unlike most flee markets, isn’t filled with second hand goods worthy of a side-eye.If you need more convincing, here are 5 reasons to visit Jukdo. **

One section of Jukdo Market

One section of Jukdo Market

5.  The Food

Both local and foreign foods abound here.  Dozens of streets are filled with fresh-water tanks and stands where seafood is sold and cooked right in front of you. Even if you’re not grocery shopping, it’s a place for sightseeing.  I saw a live crab almost as big as my head!

The baby crabs

The baby crabs

Fresh Fish for sale

Fresh Fish for sale

There’s also tons of cheap veggies and fruits as wells as some Korean specialties.

Veggies

Veggies

Rice cake desserts

Seaweed

Korean rice cake dessert

Korean rice cake dessert

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Red bean paste sugar donut

4. The Clothes

You can find traditional Korean clothes -like Hanboks- and Western style clothing also. Beware-like most clothes in Korea-they run small.  

Hanbok

Hanbok

3. Handmade Art 

In need of some inexpensive decorations for your new apartment? Browse through streets and streets of handmade pottery,furniture, and paintings.

Handmade pottery

Handmade pottery

2. Unique Souvenirs

There are children’s toys, stationary,plants, and shirts with “Engrish” settings. If you’re after a unique gift for someone back home, you won’t have to look too long to find one in Jukdo market.

Pretty Plants

Pretty Plants

Intresting "Booby" signs

Intresting “Booby” signs

1. The Experience

Nothing quite says “Welcome to Korea!”, than a morning here . Besides being surrounded by Korean language , cuisine, and culture on all sides, the many stares and people running up to greet you in English are sure to remind you how far away from home you are. It seemed like I was always the center of attention here, whether I was taking  a picture, attempting to explain I didn’t  speak Korean, or dodging out of the many motorcycles speeding by. Everyone was friendly, however, and seemed satisfied when I answered every question with “Miguk” (American).

**Pohang’s Jukdo Market is opened from 8 am-10 pm and closed every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month. Buses 101, 103, 105,107, and 108 all make stops here.

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