Conversation with a Local
HANA SUH Tour Guide
Hana Suh ditched IT engineering three years ago to become a tour guide in South Korea. A keen traveller, she recommends visiting Busan and Jeju Island as well as Seoul.
Favourite spots to eat in Seoul?
I like Itaewon, it offers a lot of variety when it comes to food. Vatos Urban Tacos is a bar that serves tacos – I like the fries with kimchi topping, frozen margarita and Corona beer.
Where to chill?
There’s an area called Hapjeong, one stop from Hongik University, which has a lot of cafes, small restaurants and clubs and pubs. If you want to have coffee at a cosy cafe, I really recommended the area.
Best shopping districts?
There is an outlet in Seoul called the Gasan Digital Complex, which has several outlet malls. If you get there at the right time of the year, you’ll get great discounts on clothes.
Best place for fried chicken and beer?
I like BHC, made famous by the popular Korean drama My Love from the Stars. The original chicken with spicy sauce is the best. Order takeaway to eat at Hangang Park – the deliveryman will find you and give you chicken and beer.
What’s the most scenic place in Seoul?
Noeul Park, near Seoul World Cup Stadium. Noeul means sunset.
It’s famous for its golf course and on top of the hill there’s a campsite where you can have a barbecue with amazing views of the Han River.
What do you love most about living in Seoul?
Convenience. It is easy to find places to eat and easy to get around. A lot of events are held here, like marathons, hikes and any kind of meet-ups.
Where can you get temple cuisine?
Near the Kimchi Museum, there’s a temple called Jogyesa. Across from the temple there is a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant named Balwoo Gongyang. It may not be the best temple cuisine out there, but it’s easy to find for travellers.
If we only have one day in Seoul, what should we do?
I like hiking and would recommend the two mountains behind Gyeongbokgung Palace, [called] Bugaksan and Inwangsan.
If you climb the mountains, you’ll get a nice view of Seoul, including the president’s house, Gyeongbokgung Palace and the main square. It only takes two to three hours, and gives a great overview of the city. Then definitely go for a coffee in Hapjeong, and a jjimjilbang, where you can relax in several rooms at different temperatures. Koreans believe you sweat out all the toxins so it’s good for your health. Food is served in the common area. [It’s the] perfect to end the day, especially in winter.