Brrrrr! Seoul is freezing COLD!

winterEarlier, I wrote about how it was getting colder here in Seoul.  However, if you see this snapshot I just took with my iPad, you’ll see that there’s a huge difference between 41 degrees Fahrenheit and -2 degrees Fahrenheit – 43 freaking degrees difference!  

Excuse my french accent here, but it is definitely colder now and according to Yonhap, today may be the coldest day this winter here in Korea.  In contrast to the temperatures in the article though, it was actually -19 degrees Celsius vs. the -16.5 they reported.

Being from the Northwest region of the U.S., this is definitely a stark contrast to the mild temperatures I am used to.  When I originally wrote about 41 degrees being cold, I really did feel like it was weather that would require a few extra layers.  However, after walking literally just 3 minutes from one meeting at 6a to breakfast at a little after 7a, I felt like my face was going to fall off.  I can’t even imagine what it’s like in other cold places in the world like Canada, Greenland or Moscow.

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Definitely getting colder (rapidly)

As you may have read, the weather’s turning chillier in the mornings and at night here in Seoul.  However, you could really feel it today.  See the temperature out right now?  It’s almost in the 30’s now despite still being in October.

So, if you’re planning on traveling to the land of the morning calm, bring a sweater, a jacket or at least a few extra layers.  It’s getting cold!

Weather’s turned very cool here in Korea

ImageAs I mentioned earlier about the weather being much better here in Seoul, it’s definitely cooled down from the sweltering summer heat. It’s actually cooled down enough where you have to start wearing extra layers.  And as I remember from the past, the fall will be relatively short with Winter upon us.  So, I went to get some extra clothes today at Dongdaemun.  I’ll be picking up a bit more once I get paid here in a few days.  :)

1st Thing You Should Do When Arriving in Korea

Register with the US Embassy in Seoul

Whether your visit is for 3 days or 3 years, you should first register with the U.S. Embassy telling them you’re here.  I was speaking to a senior level diplomat within the organization and he was telling me that 2 people die every day here in South Korea that are U.S. Citizens.  Seems alarming, eh?  I definitely was surprised.  It’s not as dangerous or as extreme as some of the other stories he was telling me about other assignments he had throughout the world, but it’s still an alarming number.

So, check out this website which registers you with the US Embassy in general.  It can keep track of you whether you land in Seoul, Korea while experiencing “gangnam style” or if you’re doing the “macarena” somewhere else throughout the world.  It takes 5 minutes of your time.  It is definitely worth the small investment in time.  You never know.  Plus, you can help yourself if you lose your passport or have other issues while you’re abroad.


Suh Long Tong – Great Early Morning Dish in Korea

No need to recreate the wheel, so let’s use what wikipedia writes about the popular Korean dish:

Seolleongtang is a Korean broth tang (soup) made from ox bones (mostly leg bones), brisket and other cuts. Seasoning is generally done at the table according to personal taste by adding salt, ground black pepper, red pepper, minced garlic, or chopped spring onions. It is a local dish of Seoul.

Seolleongtang is typically simmered over a low flame over a period of several hours to an entire day, to allow the flavor to be gradually extracted from the bones. It has a milky off-white, cloudy appearance and is normally eaten together with rice and several side dishes; the rice is sometimes added directly to the soup. Continue reading

Eating and Shopping on Chuseok

During two holidays a year in Korea, the Korean’s take a break from their vigorous working schedules:  Chuseok and Lunar’s New Years.  As a result, you’ll find many businesses closing down as a result.  In case you depend on your local selection of restaurants for your daily diet due to your extra small kitchenette, you might read the guide below to plan for these 2 big Korean holidays.

It was a brutal month in September for me where I couldn’t find much time to do anything besides work, eat and sleep.  The big holiday came up on me unexpectedly and I thought I might be a bit limited with my food options for the 3 day weekend.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that there was more open than I was expecting.   Continue reading