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-   -   What living and climbing in Korea like? where to live work ect. (http://www.koreaontherocks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3420)

Topher 07-13-2014 04:31 AM

What living and climbing in Korea like? where to live work ect.
So I'm thinking of moving to South Korea for about a year or so to teach English. Currently I'm in San Jose, CA. I love climbing especially trad and technical alpine is my favorite. I'm wanting to know which places would be best to accommodate this, as well place to live that have great access or hubs. I can be a city or country person as I grew up in small washington town.
On Another note what would Korea be like as a vegetarian, actually I'm vegan. As well as dirtbagging / camping there.
the other question is What do you guys do for work over there as Foreigners. I'm actually a research Mircobiologist, and have been teaching programing. So I'd be open to other positions or things I might not be aware of.

Tyler T 07-26-2014 12:09 AM

Gangwondo is the heart of Korean trad climbing centered around seoraksan National park near Sokcho. If you can land anything on that side of the country you'd be in heaven for climbing. Being a vegetarian here is going to be tough. Be prepared to turn down lots of dinners with korean climbers and crag meals that people are inviting you to share which almost always revolve around korean bbq in which meat is unavoidable. Dirtbagging and camping here is nothing like the U.S. Be prepared to apply for permits just to climb, not to mention camping. Seoraksan requires you apply for a permit to climb listing your route plans for each day, where you are staying, what food you are going to eat and what gear you are bringing. So much red tape, its a bitch. Northern Seoul would be a more realistic place to look for a gig. Anything near Suyu or Mia station area on the metro system will put you really close to bukhansan National park. No permit required to climb and there's some pretty damn good trad climbing. I'm going to sumeun byeok again this sunday. I see a lot of climbers hiking into bukhansan when I'm hiking out so I assume they must be camping at the base of the climb for climbing the following day. I think bukhansan is a little more flexible with camping restrictions than seorkaksan, but you still probably need a permit to camp (technically). That should be enough to get you started, let me know if you have other questions.

Topher 07-26-2014 04:15 AM

Thats good info. I hate red tape. It also looked like Sokcho would be sweet. As far a veganism goes. It sounds exactly the same here in the states, I just plan on fending for myself.
How hard is it to get the permits? I like to go climbing every weekend if not more, but will the permit system limit me. And is this everywhere or just in the big parks. Thanks for actually reply as well. What you do for work over there?

Tyler T 07-26-2014 08:21 AM

I think as long as you fill out the form correctly you should get your permit. And its free. But its just a hassle to fill out that form. And its kinda bullshit at the same time because I'd much rather just show up with an idea of what I want to do, check things out and go from there. This is my first time applying for the permit to go to seoraksan because I live in the Seoul area. Other climbing areas have no such requirements, this is just a seoraksan thing. But I could see it being a real pain in the *** if you were living in Sokcho and having to do it all the time. I live near Ori station in Bundang and I teach in Bundang-Dong at a kindergarten/elementary hagwon called GDA.

Tyler T 07-26-2014 09:19 AM


Topher 07-28-2014 03:49 PM


Originally Posted by Tyler T

Awesome thanks tyler. I was also thinking of coming over to teach English. I wasn't sure of timelines when they hired ect. either. I'd rather teach science as I'm a researcher in microbiology but whatever. It's good to know that the permit system isn't in all the areas. How easy is it to get to climbing area by public transit or do you need to own/ rent a car?

skinsk 11-04-2014 09:09 PM

Hey, sorry to see this so late! I am a vegetarian living and climbing in Korea for 11 of the last 16 years. Not so hard. I do have a car, but I didn't for the first 5 years or so. Korea has excellent public transport. Most climbing is accessible by public transport. Of course, if you are old and like to camp comfortably (like me!), getting a car is relatively easy-- but get an international permit (required to rent or buy). If you're near a big city, Tesco (HomePlus), Costco, E-Mart and Lotte Mart have many western foods available. Wherever you might be, they'll be plenty of fresh fruits and veggies and of course, rice (most places have other grains, beans, etc also. . . and lots of tofu). Eating out in small towns can be a challenge. While my Korean is limited, my vegetarian Korea sounds fluent. . . I'd be happy to help you learn the important phrases. There are always standbys-bibimbap, hold the meat and egg, or kimbap-- point and choose your ingredients. If you live in a small town, once you explain to a restaurant or two you pecise eating habits, they can remember. You can also order comfort foods (mostly organic) quick and easily from iHerb.com They'll deliver to your door in a couple of days. Just use MY code NAP702 for $5-10 dollars off your first oder (so I get credited for turning you on to this amazing site!).

Topher 11-05-2014 03:52 AM

Hey Thanks. I'm not sure what I'm doing right now. I might eventually head over to teach english but right now I'm having fun learning to program and climbing on unemployment. I'll see what the future brings.
Thanks for the reply

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