20 Mar 2010, Posted by Matt


About Discovering Korea is a travel and culture blog created and maintained by Matt Kelley. It was named the “Best Korean Travel and Culture Blog” by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).

About Matt Kelley

Matt Kelley of

A native of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, I moved to Korea in 2007 after running an award-winning non-governmental organization (NGO) in the United States. My plan was to learn more about my mother’s country and to be closer with my maternal family. Early on, I realized that travel was one of the best ways to get to know his new home.

I’ve written extensively about Korea for a wide array of old and new media, including Wallpaper*, TimeOut, the Boston Globe and Seoul Magazine. Article topics have run the gamut, from a snapshot of Korean buckwheat crêpes to a Seoul gay guide and a profile of a teenaged North Korean female defector who was also a world champion boxer.

I’ve also created a bunch of digital content about Korea – hundreds of videos and online travel guides that have received millions of views. I’ve consulted with travel-related groups like the United Nations World Travel Organization, Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) to help create tourism resources and policy. I’ve also helped foreign media crews to develop their Korea content.

One of my primary day jobs was being a writer and host on KBS World Radio. From 2008~09, I hosted a travel program called “Discovering Korea with Matt Kelley.” In September 2008, I launched In 2009, I hosted another KBS show called, “Seoul Scene with Matt Kelley.” The travel-themed show, which profiled the best places in South Korea’s capital, aired every Wednesday for four years, and was produced by Sophia Hong.

Over the years, I also hosted several travel and news related programs on Korea radio and television, including TBS eFM 101.3, EBS’s Morning Special, and on Arirang TV. In 2012, I returned to the U.S., but yearn to return to Korea almost daily!.


2 April 2010 14:52

Parvez MD. Juel

It was really nice to read your history. As I am also doing Masters on NGO and I have also come Korea for learning morea about Korean NGO and cultures, so it probably been good to see your blog.
wish to your best.

April 03 2010 09:54 am


Hi Parvez,
Thanks for your note. I visited your blog and saw that you visited Korea when we had some snow. I expect you don't see much snow in Bangladesh.^^ I hope you enjoyed your time here!

Best, Matt

10 April 2010 13:22


Really enjoy your blog as well–please keep your insightful comments and updates coming.

April 13 2010 10:10 am


Thanks, Danny. I also think your website is a great help to expats living here! Maybe we can collaborate in the future. Best, Matt

13 April 2010 17:19


Thanks, Matt. Much appreciated. We just launched at the end of February, but have had some encouraging signs thus far.

Drop me a line ( and let’s chat further.



21 April 2010 05:14

Hana Choi

Hi Matt, usually I don’t leave any comments on any blogs, but yours is just so so impressing.
i’m in Houston right now, and I’m so glad that you are ‘advertizing’ Korea.
Thanks for beautiful pictures and postings.
-homesick though haha! –

hope you enjoy Korea.

21 April 2010 07:20

Julie Ha

Dear Matt,

I’m an editor at KoreAm Journal magazine. How are you? Would you be open to allowing us to run some of your Korea photos from your website–in particular of Buddhist temples and pics from Lantern festival, etc. We would run them very small to accompany a short blurb about Buddhism in Korea for our Heritage page. We will provide full photo credit. Could you please email me and I can explain further? Thank you!!

April 21 2010 09:14 am


Hi Julie,

No problem. I'll email you off-site. Thanks.

21 April 2010 21:20


Hi Matt,
My name Tri and I’m from Indonesia
I’m a high school teacher
I’m really interest in everything about Korea
I have few korean friends who lives in different cities in Korea
I really excited reading your site because it helped me learned more about Korea
Many of Indonesian not knew about Korea yet,such as my students
Well..I’d like to ask you about Gimhae
My friend said that it’s one of historical city in Korea
But because of our limitation language, she didn’t gave me a lot of information
So..where can I search about Gimhae,maybe it will become my source for the subject i teach..
Could you please give me a clue??
Thank you before and after…

30 April 2010 16:04


Greetings from Guatemala! You videos are amazing and I have learned a lot with them. I have a website dedicated to Korean culture ( in spanish) and I would like to translate your videos and add subtitles to them.

Let me know if interested.


May 18 2010 14:31 pm


Thank you by answering my message.... not.

5 May 2010 20:59


Hi Matt,

I run a Korean news aggregator called Korean News Feeds.

Your RSS feed is listed here:

If you like our site do you think you could give us a shout out or link back to us. I know we are not really connected to travel – the theme of your site – but I thought I would ask anyway.

Thanks for your consideration.


May 06 2010 07:40 am


Hi Todd,

Thanks for your note. I'm a big fan of your news aggregator and already have it saved to my favorites. Really glad Discovering Korea made the cut.^^ I'll be adding a links section soon and will be sure to include you. Thanks again!
Best, Matt

5 May 2010 21:12



I didn’t want to leave a comment of my previous message. I got confused and thought I was contacting you but actually I was leaving a comment. My mistake.

Anyway what I said is still true, sorry about that.


7 May 2010 13:35


Hi Matt,

Just wanted to congratulate you on winning 1st Prize “Korean Travel and Culture” Blogger.

When I saw that being announced on KTO’s website, I was like “Oh my god, I’ve been following THAT blog!!” You definitely deserve the recognition. I promised myself that I will have to congratulate you.

Hope you don’t get bored doing this anytime soon. Your work here is totally awesome :)

I’ve learned a lot through your blog. I’ve also used the information shared in your blog on my trips to Korea. Also, I’d like to say thank you for sharing what you’ve learned. Sorry for not getting to say a proper thank you before I took the information and have fun with it :)

Again, Congratulations!


May 20 2010 15:25 pm


Hi again, Kristy,
Thanks a lot for your very nice message. It means a lot that you've taken the time. Thank you for visiting!^^ Best, Matt

17 May 2010 02:39


hi matt,

im getting to love korea, hope to visit there someday. great website.

May 20 2010 15:15 pm


Hi Marvin,
I'm glad to hear it! Hope you can visit Korea some day soon... I hope to make my own trip to the Philippines in the next couple of years. Best, Matt

18 May 2010 12:17

Alice Gaillard

Hi Matt,
Sorry for the spam. I work for advertrip, a travel-centric online media and affiliate marketing platform based in Singapore and Paris that works in favor of publishers. We are looking for premium websites with global reach and I would like to explore with you how we can partner.
Best Regards,

Account Manager
Mobile: (+65) 8187 8464

62 Koon Seng Road, Singapore 426997

May 18 2010 14:10 pm


Hi Alice,

Thanks for your email. I'll write you off the site.
Best, Matt

20 May 2010 10:41

Jeff Bolognese

Hi Matt,

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve visited your blog. It’s really grown into an amazing resource on Korea. I’m going to have to make sure I follow it more actively. By the way, congratulations on your new dog! Let me know if you plan to go hiking with her and want any tips.


May 20 2010 15:13 pm


Hey Jeff,

It's great to hear from you and thanks for reminding me about your specific expertise in the area of hiking with a dog. Does this expertise extend to Korea? If so, I'd definitely like some tips... especially about where I can take her as I'm sure she'd love the opportunity to hunt some rabbits outside of Yeouido Park (in front of KBS).^^

I hope you and your family are doing well.

Best, Matt

20 May 2010 20:49

Judith Fabian

Hi Matt,

am more than glad to have found your side. Indeed, Korea is a very rich country blessed with beautiful sceneries. I am excited to visti Korea soon.

I am momentarily writing a novel in dedication to my dear friends who are nurses in Germany. Now I need to know a river coming from the big Han river ending to a small town near the sea surrounded by hills or mountains.

I guess, I am asking too much? At any rate, should that be quite a distruction to your daily work, your blog here would certainly visited often by me. More power!

Spatz (Sparrow)

May 23 2010 09:16 am


Hello Spatz (Sparrow),

Writing a novel, eh? Good luck to you! Thanks for visiting and making a comment.

RE: your question, the Han just gets bigger and bigger until it meets with the Imjingang River and empties into the Yellow or West Sea. Unfortunately, this estuary is lined with barbed wire due to its proximity with North Korea. If you'd prefer some little hamlet along the Han, I'd suggest looking eastward more to its source. At Yangsuri, the river splits in two - the Bukhangang (North Han) and the Namhangang (South Han). You're more likely to find a small, riverside town the farther you get from Seoul.

Best, Matt

21 May 2010 21:24

Jeff Bolognese

Hi Matt,

Alas, I have no experience hiking in Korea. We didn’t get much opportunity to make it out of Seoul the two times we were in Korea. I’d be interested in knowing how “dog friendly” the parks in Seoul and beyond are (not that I’m likely to be able to apply that knowledge). The rules for pets in state and national parks in the US vary widely. One of the challenges we had with our dog hiking club was finding parks that were accessible to people hiking with leashed dogs.

Take care!


May 23 2010 09:10 am


Hey Jeff,

I assume you already know about the Korean Mountain Preservation League (KMPL)? They're a great organization that, among other things, has hauled of some 3,500 litres of garbage from the trails. Anyhow, the next time you're here, there are plenty of great half-day (or less) hikes within the Seoul city limits - Gwanaksan, Inwangsan, Bugaksan, Cheonggyesan, or something a little more ambitious (but still within Seoul) - Dobongsan and Bukhansan. Who knows, maybe on your next visit you can also volunteer with Animal Rescue Korea (ARK) and take one of their more leash-trained pups on a hike?^^

Take care and thanks for writing!
Best, Matt

22 June 2010 10:54


hello matt
how are you? i did hear about you from steve heatherly show
for a long time. you’re good.nice. and very informative about
discovering korea. actually you are indeed very source person in depth.

i do have a question, a small question
which i want to ask. is it okay if i ask you to your email directly? (you would mind if you reply back to my email
address since i don’t have your email address)

thankyou in advance for your lovely hard working all
about discovering korea. i am learning alot!!!!!!!!

June 23 2010 22:52 pm


Hi June,

Thanks for your note. Glad to know you listened to my old travel corner on Steve's show.^^
Yes, feel free to ask me any question. My email is easy, just:

Hope to hear from you soon! Best, Matt

23 June 2010 04:21

Frances Darwin

Hi Matt,
I found your personal site but I am unable to send you an email since my internal email isn’t set up. I was corresponding with you ealier this year about a project at the STO. I’ve recently been contacted by them again and I was wondering if I could have your email so I can ask you some questions?
Thank you,

23 June 2010 23:06


Hi Bernal,
I’m not able to unsubscribe you. You must have checked the “subscribe” button when you made your first comment. Perhaps you can un-check it?

Good Luck, Matt

4 July 2010 01:20


Great photos, posts, info and more! I was advised of your blog through a friend and am glad for the recommendation. Your perspective on exploring Korea is fresh and inviting – thanks for the fantastic work.


July 08 2010 09:09 am


Hi Sue,
Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comments. I enjoyed your blog as well and hope to keep tabs on your future posts.
Best, Matt

21 July 2010 11:15

Car Costa Jose Rental Rica San

Hi Matt,My name Tri and I’m from IndonesiaI’m a high school teacherI’m really interest in everything about KoreaI have few korean friends who lives in different cities in KoreaI really excited reading your site because it helped me learned more about KoreaMany of Indonesian not knew about Korea yet,such as my studentsWell..I’d like to ask you about GimhaeMy friend said that it’s one of historical city in KoreaBut because of our limitation language, she didn’t gave me a lot of informationSo..where can I search about Gimhae,maybe it will become my source for the subject i teach..Could you please give me a clue??Thank you before and after…

3 August 2010 17:17

Sean Kim

Dear Matt,

My name is Sean Kim and Director of Huijun Communication.
At Huijun Communications, we are currently in the works of creating a website [ (temporary now), and new design will soon launch in the middle of this month] that serves as a hub and a community for foreigners living in Korea. At the moment, since we are at the beginning stages, we are just trying to gather more information on everything.

We want to make life easier for foreign nationals living in Korea, and our vision is to eventually create a website where people can get all info and service they want through this website without need of searching and looking here and there, and through which people communicate with Koreans also. Many bloggers are currently helping us with posting their articles to share with others.

In that regard, I asking
1) if you will be able to share your articles with our website, either by allowing us to post your articles or your participation in our website.
2) if you will be able to trade banners in order to draw more viewers and followers.

Your articles show your incredible time and effort. Our members will do appreciate your articles.

If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to contact me any time.

Truly yours,

August 08 2010 09:38 am


Hi Sean,
Thanks for your note. I'll contact you off-site.

Best, Matt

15 August 2010 13:53

Discovering Korea « jiheeya

[…] 방법으로 YouTube을 많이 사용한다. 그리고 내가 제일 좋아하는 사이트는 Matt Kelley의 Discovering Korea이다. Matt Kelley is a Korean American writer who resides in Seoul. His […]

21 August 2010 19:17


Hi Matt,

I lately have to come quite often to Korea and your page has been a nice guide to find interesting things to see, so thanks.

Out of curiosity, why did you never bother to answer Bernal´s message when he showed his interest in promoting Korea and its culture in his own page? If you were uninterested you should’ve just said so. It is evident he was hurt, but in your final answer to him you still demonstrated you had read his first message, but you could not care less.

Is it skin color, or culture or what is it?

August 22 2010 20:58 pm


Hi Nacho,

Thanks for your nice words about the site.

RE: your question, while I'd love for Spanish speakers to learn more about Korea (and his offer was a generous one!), I felt like the second comment was rude and I didn't feel responding to it, much less working together. This blog is an unpaid hobby. I do my best to research and respond to comments/questions but sometimes it takes me a while. I guess he was tired of waiting. That said, when he wrote me again about something else, I responded promptly.

To your (silly) last question, "what was it?" It wasn't skin color or culture. It was perceived rudeness. And yet, something tells me that future comments by Guatemalans will receive expedited service... especially if they're from my brother-in-law. ; )

Anyhow, thanks again, Nacho, and I hope you continue to visit and enjoy Korea.

Best, Matt

28 August 2010 14:18



It was fun hanging out with you at the conference. Just thought I’d say something here, since I’m not sure how to contact you otherwise. Send us a line!


28 August 2010 18:27

Concerned User


I think what you mean to say is, “I want to try to promote my website by using other people’s comments section. Thus, I’ll promote my fledgling website here for link value and to hopefully pick up 3-4 visitors. Nice to meet you at the conference.”


August 28 2010 18:43 pm


Dear Funny,

Whoa now! I can attest to the fact that Simon was the only guy at the conference beer and bekseju table that didn't get a name card, so this really is the only way he could get in touch. And I surely hope gets more than just 3-4 visitors from this blog.

3 September 2010 13:45


Hi Matt,Planning a trip to Seoul this coming Sep’10…Your blog gave me a greater insight of some places.Can i email you my agenda so that you can comment if it is feasible? :)

September 07 2010 18:52 pm


Hi Diana,
Thanks for your note. Sure, send me your agenda. No promises on a thorough response, but I'm happy to take a look.

best, Matt

5 September 2010 22:43

Craig Hartrick

Dear Matt,
Fantastic site; kudos!
A group of friends will be attending a medical conference in Seoul in late April-early May 2011. We are planning to arrive early and stay late to experience some of what we see on your site. One companion uses a wheelchair, so we need to be careful about venues and transportation. Any advice you might have as to someone to help us to make arrangements would be greatly appreciated.
All the best,

September 07 2010 18:58 pm


Hi Craig,

Thanks for your note. I'm so happy to hear that the blog has helped inspire your group to stay in Korea for a while longer. RE: Accessibility issues, Seoul and Korea are far from ideal for wheelchairs. That said, many (perhaps most) of the subway platforms are accessible via an elevator (line 9 is especially good), and most sidewalks are reasonably wide. I think bus travel is out. If your travel companion will be moving around with other members of your crew, that should help, since many doors don't open automatically. Should you want to travel around the country a bit, there should be private companies operating wheelchair-accessible vans. Anyhow, if you have any specific questions, I'll do my best to answer them.

Best, Matt

9 September 2010 11:15


Hi – great site! I thought maybe some of your users would be keen to check out – it’s my new website which focuses on providing bus and train schedules in English for Korea, as well as info on towns and cities and their attractions….
The site has been self funded, and there have only been two of us putting it all together – been a major challenge!! We’re keen to find keen writers and photographers who might want to contribute to the site and help it to grow :-)
Anyway, check it out and let me know if you like it – it only covers Gangwon-do at the moment but is growing fast!!

Also keen to know if you or any of your users have any tips or advice regarding cycling around Korea? Have had a lot of questions about it and am also thinking of taking a little cycling/camping trip myself for Chuseok!

Thanks so much – really awesome blog.

Facebook: The South Korea Travel Guide
Twitter @SKoreaTravel

September 09 2010 19:15 pm


Hi Claire,
Thanks for your note and congratulations on starting your site. It's great to see more information about transportation for English readers, and I especially think the info about Gangwon Province will be greatly appreciated.

RE: Cycling... I'm not the best person to ask, although my friend (Jin) did a bicycle tour around the country recently and has been writing about it on the blog (albeit with a few month break ;)

If you have any specific questions I can pass along to her, please let me know!


10 September 2010 13:21


Thank you so much!!

I will check out the blog for the cycling stuff :-)

Thanks for the support – we are adding other provinces in the next 2 weeks, so hopefully it will be of some help to people.

Keep up the good work – I love the site.


30 October 2010 20:19


Hi Matt

I am so pleased I have found your site. My husband and I are taking our kids ( son 12 & daughter 10) to South Korea next April. They are Korean born Australians and we are taking them on a trip to Korea so they can learn more about their country of birth. Can you offer any suggestions on where would be the best places to take them? We will be in Korea for about seven full days. Thanks. Sharyn

28 November 2010 02:35


Dear Matt,

I live in Texas USA, and I’m strongly considering teaching ESL in Korea. Could we chat off the board? My email: Thank you!

November 28 2010 21:50 pm


Hi Carr,
Thanks for your note. I'm happy to help but I don't know much about the ESL biz here. Should you wish to consult me anyhow, please send questions here: Best, Matt

November 29 2010 03:26 am


Hi Carr:

Without plugging HiExpat too hard, you may want to check out sites like, well,, of course, for information on teaching English & living in Korea, as well as Dave's ESL Cafe for general information, Park English for recruitment listings and blogs like this Matt's, Chris in South Korea, and Roboseyo.

Good luck.

Disclaimer: yes, I help run HiExpat.

28 November 2010 05:05


I lived in Jinhae for three years(2007~2010)! How come we never met? Congrats on your radio show and blog, I just started my own about a month ago. Any tips?

November 28 2010 21:49 pm


Hi Christina,

Thanks for your note. I like your blog! Hmmm... not sure why we never met. Oh wait, it's because I'm holed in my apartment whenever I'm not traveling.^^ Jinhae sure is a nice place to be based out of.

RE: Blog advice... hmmm... Although I don't always follow this, I'd suggest trying to cover new ground. Of course, there are plenty of places in Korea that have not been covered much or at all in English language blogs. The last thing the blogosphere needs is another post on Gyeongbokgung Palace (I'm guilty.)^^ Good luck!

5 December 2010 13:54


thanks matt about your info in this blog.
i’ve found manyyy info about korea and going to discover some more places before sad to leave korea. ㅜ.ㅠ

December 18 2010 16:43 pm


Hi Siti,

Thanks for writing and sorry you have to leave soon! Hope you enjoy the rest of your time here!

Best, Matt

3 February 2011 11:49

Kristian Ablan

Hi, Matt!

Have you heard about the new Zip Line activity in Nami Island? The website ( is in Korean and I’d like to know how much and where it is exactly in Nami Island.

I am visiting Korea in March and would like to try it out.


February 26 2011 14:22 pm


Hi Kristian,
I just visited Nami Island a few weeks back. The zip line is located in the same area as the parking lot and ferry so it's impossible to miss! I didn't get a chance to ride it but it looks pretty cool... Hope you have fun. Best, Matt

2 March 2011 09:59


Hi Matt,

I just want to say what a fantastic site “Discovering Korea” is – one of the best, easy to follow and informative websites I have seen on Korea. Well done!

I have a business which promotes Korea through various services such as travel consulting, cultural & language training to Australians. Australia is still not fully exposed to the beauty Korea has to offer. Hopefully, with great inspirational people like yourself, we can achieve getting Aussies to fall in love with all Korea has to offer.

Thanks again and if you have a mailing list, please place me on it.

Maria Camerotto

21 March 2011 14:04


Thank you for this awesome blog.
I’m sure it will be a big help during my time as an exchange student in Seoul & I found myself dropping by your blog at least once a day ;-)

Keep it up & Greetings,

28 March 2011 16:18


hi matt…
i will in seoul on 1 April until 8 april. hope your blog will help me. thanks

29 March 2011 16:24

Soo-youn Choi

Hi Matt.

This is Sooyoun, I am working in Gyeonggi provincial government building and in charge of Gyeonggi Province’s foreign language websites and blogs. I must say that your blog has lots of good information about South Korea. So I was wondering if I can put some of your posts on our English blog with your permission. It will be useful for many people. Please give me your thoughts. You can also e-mail or call me if you need more information.

Soo-youn Choi

Thank you.

March 29 2011 20:49 pm


Hi Soo-youn,

Thanks for your message. I'll email you off-site.
Best, Matt

1 April 2011 23:44


Hi, Matt
I,m from Romania and I discovered Korea watching on the tvserial film (korean films). So, I sent you some comments about it, from the site of National Romanian TV.
I like the language, the music, the landscape from Korea, the artists and I’d like to visit Korea, to know more about this country…but for me is just a dream.
So, I visit your blog and…well…it’s enough ! Thank you for what you do !
Sorry, for my poor “english language”.

April 04 2011 19:08 pm


Hello Marinela,
Thanks so much for your kind note. I'm so happy to hear about your interest in Korea, and I hope you can travel here at some point!


21 April 2011 17:47


Hi Matt!
thanks for your amazing blog!
I’m going on a trip all around South Korea this summer and you gave me some good advices about where to go.
Do you maybe know a website where I can find apartments in Seoul?we are staying 10-12 days in Seoul and we’d like to stay in a flat…

thanks in advance

April 26 2011 10:05 am


Hi Eli,
Glad to be of help. Hmmm... Your best bet may be one of the furnished "service apartments" that are located around the city. For example, Fraser Suites and Somerset Palace are pricey, but there are cheaper options.

This list might be helpful:

For something considerably less expensive, the Namsan Youth Hostel has nice large rooms for families.
Please note, however, that I haven't stayed at any of the aforementioned places, so I can't speak from personal experience.

Good luck! Best, Matt

25 April 2011 19:02

Thibault Paquin

Hi Matt,

I am a huge fan of Seoul too and I have been there many times; work trips that I would make a bit longer to experience new neighbourhoods, new restaurants, etc at different times of the year!
I am now in HK and working, among other projets, on bringing to Seoul the Grevin Museum concept from France ( that we would adapt to Korea to reflect both the past history and the Hallyu wave.
I wonder if you would let me pick your brain. I have been looking for 1 year already and find myself in a dead corner right now. Maybe your insight could help if I can share with you some of my findings!?
Cheers, Thibault

April 26 2011 10:00 am


Salut Thibault,
Thanks for your note. I'll contact you off-site.

Best, Matt

12 May 2011 14:43

Nathan Willock

Hi Matt,

I would like some advice on good areas to stay in Seoul for two weeks at the end on this month? I’m here as an architectural photographer and I’m also interested in all the arts. I’ve been temped by your description of Samcheong Dong, as it seams authentic and more quite than Iteawon or Mapo-Gu. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Thanks, Nathan

23 May 2011 23:54

Matt Snyder


That Makgeolli post was awesome. I use to teach in Korea and I’m coming back for a visit. I miss my makgeolli so I googled it and found your blog. Its extremely well done; great research and facts. Really enjoyed it!


10 June 2011 05:53


Great blog Matt! I’m about to travel to Seoul for a few days and was wondering if you know of a place where I can get soccer jerseys of both Korean and other international teams (Italy, Germany, etc.). I’ll be staying near the City Hall.

14 June 2011 20:18

Jamie Lee

Dear Matt, I just came across your blog and instantly was awed by all the information you have ever so gracefully diplayed not only tastefull to the eye but with your own personal experiences and detail.

I welcome any ideas to possibly collaborate in the future as I believe many of our clients (Teachers in or to be) would find your blog a treasure.


16 June 2011 23:54

Kathy Hill

I love your blog. I’m living in Korea for a few months and am trying to learn everything I can about it. Your blog is very helpful in terms of learning about Korea and a good example for blogging.

July 04 2011 16:54 pm


Thanks for your message, Kathy. I'm glad you've found the blog helpful!
Best, Matt

29 June 2011 23:57


Hi, Matt

I stumpled across your blog while searching for information on makgeolli. I’m currently working for Korea Tourism Org, promoting Korean food, and you blog seems to have a lot of useful information. I also came back to Korea to rediscover my roots and my true self and there seems to be many people in the same boat. I’d love to get to know more of your work.
Thank you for your inspiration.

July 04 2011 16:56 pm


Hi Nancy,
Thanks so much for your kind note. I'm glad to hear that you're working with the KTO and promoting Korean food! I'd enjoy seeing if there are ways we can help each others' efforts. Just let me know.


5 July 2011 23:25


Hey Matt awesome place! I’m going to Korea 2nd time to travel further after my first teaching experience in Korea last yr! Need yr help! Any good yet cheapmhostel or guest house to recommend? I’m going to plan my itinerary with yr site as my tour guide!!

July 09 2011 23:50 pm


Hi Rue,
Glad to hear you're coming back to visit! For cheap motels or guesthouses, I suggest checking out a somewhat new website put together by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. It's called Innostel. I've also heard good things about a big hostel located on Mt. Namsan, which is very close to the popular Myeong-dong shopping area. Just a few weeks ago I discovered a website called Basically people rent out rooms or their apartment to travelers. Seems like some good deals there if you don't mind the format. Good luck!

Best, Matt

12 July 2011 17:32

buzz KOREA

Dear Mr. Matt Kelley,

Greetings from buzz KOREA administration team! We enjoyed your aspiring stories in Korea uploaded to your blog.

In a week, buzz KOREA( is hosting a familiarization tour for bloggers currently residing in Korea. There will be many fun experiences like eating Ssambap (Korean tacos using leaves rather than tortillas), learning Samulnori (Traditional Korean percussion music), and visiting Bukchon Hanok village (A cluster of traditional Korean architecture) together. The reason we are preparing such event is to create more of the rich online contents about Korean culture and spread them through social networking sites such as blog, facebook, and twitter. It will be our great pleasure to have you at this event. After the event, we would like you to create contents about this experience and publish it on your blog.

Proposed date for the tour is July 20th(or 22nd), and the event will last from 10am to 5pm. We would like to know whether you are available on either day. Please let us know through the email Also, if you are participating, please provide us with your contact information. The schedule is tentative; we might modify the schedule if the date we proposed is not available to accommodate many people. We believe that this familiarization tour will be a great opportunity for you and other bloggers to have fun and to broaden your perspective about Korea.

Thank you.

Date and time
Wed, July 20th or Fri, July 22nd from 10am to 5pm

Fam-tour program summary
Bukchon Hanok village tour – Ssambap lunch – Samulnori experience

July 13 2011 08:42 am


Thanks for the invitation. I will respond off-site.
Best, Matt

22 July 2011 01:50


Hello Matt,

Can you please email me, I have a question about your photographs. Thank you!

July 23 2011 22:34 pm


Hi Valeria,
Sure. Will do.

2 August 2011 18:21

buzz KOREA

Greetings from buzz KOREA!

We would like to invite you to our Real 「Touch Korea」 Season 1. Seoul Tour!

On Wednesday, August 17th, we are planning to invite bloggers in Korea for our “Real 「Touch Korea」 Season 1. Seoul Tour.”
The tour will guide you through the traditional Korean food culture of “Ssam,” a sightseeing tour of Bukchon Hanok Village, one of the popular dating sites, and an electrifying and rhythmical Samulnori lesson.

This will be a great chance to experience Korean culture and meet other Korea-based bloggers from abroad.
We hope to share this wonderful opportunity with you.
If you could let us know by email whether you will be participating, it would be very helpful.

Thank you.

All the Best,

buzz KOREA

*Buzz KOREA is an online community site where bloggers freely produce and share diverse contents about Korean tourism and Korea in general.

7 August 2011 04:30


Thanks Matt for your recommendations!

9 August 2011 17:22

Miyi BAE

Hello. Matt
Can you please email me? I have several question for you.
Thank you very much


August 11 2011 07:43 am


Hi Miyi,
I'll email you offline. Thanks.

4 September 2011 14:58

Michelle Park

Hi Matt,

Great blog! I’m an architecture student writing a piece about great interiors in Seoul. I thought you might have a few places in mind. Please e-mail me!


10 September 2011 15:08


Hi Matt
I chanced upon your blog while researching for information about Mt Bugaksan. I’ll be visiting Seoul in October, and would like to do some hiking at the Fortress. Just want to find out how long does it take for the trail that you recommended. And also, once at the Sungkyunkwan University rear gate, is there signage that will lead me to the starting point of the trail. Thank you.
By the way, great blog!! =)

September 13 2011 08:51 am


Hi Samantha,
Hmmm... Maybe 2 hours with I.D. check? It's kind of hard to say because I was also busy snapping photos, scribbling notes, and I took a detour to Samcheonggak (which I highly recommend). From the Sungkyunkwan Univ. rear gate, from what I recall there are only two ways to go - up the hill or down. You want to go up :) From there, veer right at Waryong Park, and soon you'll come to the wall. Lots of signage, so shouldn't be a problem. If you go all the way to Changuimun Gate in Buam-dong, be sure to check out the funky neighborhood. It's one of my favorite places and there are a number of great places to eat, and galleries, too. Don't forget to bring your passport for the security check!

October should be perfect for hiking!
Best, Matt

14 September 2011 16:12


Hi Matt
Thank you for your reply on Mt Bugaksan hiking. It will be useful. If I need further info about Korea, can I email you?

December 22 2011 02:19 am


Of course!


27 September 2011 22:31



I have really enjoyed looking at your site. I have applied for a job to teach English is Korea. I have my final interview in the next couple weeks so I’m really hoping to get the job. Your site has really helped out, and helped me to see how beautiful Korea is! Thanks!

28 October 2011 12:34


Thanks Matt.

Now, I am addicted to your blog. Hiks ;)

December 22 2011 02:13 am


Hi Nora,

Addicted? Yikes... I better post more!^^

15 December 2011 22:54


I´m a Swedish photo journalist who would like to get in touch with you. Can you give me your email adress?
/Linn Bergbrant

December 22 2011 02:02 am


Hi Linn,
I'll email you off-site. Thanks, Matt

27 January 2012 21:52


Hi Matt!

My family and I are planning to go to Korea for 5 days this April. I was wondering if you could give us an advice on how we could fit destinations in those 5 days and hoping you can suggest destinations for us. Hope you could email me back.



21 February 2012 10:33

Chi Nguyen

Hi Matt!

I’m working with Roking Korea, a magazine company that publishes English content about Korean culture for foreigners. We recently launched Bridge Paperzine (, a biweekly magazine about Korean society, entertainment, travel, people, lifestyle and more. We curate the best content from bloggers and other offline providers, and would love to syndicate your excellent blog with Bridge. If you could give me your email, I’d like very much to send you more info!

Thanks so much!

February 27 2012 20:16 pm


Hi Chi,
Thanks for your note. I'll respond off-site.

Best, Matt

1 April 2012 06:35


Hello Matt,

You have a wonderful blog! I have a question I hope you might know the answer to. I recently watched an episode of a Korean drama series and in it was a beautiful cemetery which sat high on a hill or maybe a cliff top. From the top looking far down in the distance you can see a highway that stretches out across a body of water (maybe a river?) and then beyond that, in the distance, you can see tall mountains. Do you possibly know the name of this cemetery and where it is located? For reference purposes, I can tell you the drama is called Scent of a Woman and the episode I saw was the 15th episode, I believe.

February 06 2013 07:32 am


Hi Naffy,
I don't know the series, but from your description, it could very well be the Jeoldusan Martyrs Shrine and Yanghwajin Foreigners Cemetery in Seoul (they are connected). The closest subway station is Line 2 & 6's Hapjeong Station. Best, Matt

11 April 2012 20:20


Dear Matt,

I am a journalist from Berlin and I have a question about something you mentionned in your blog. I would like to ask you this off-site; would you mind giving me your email address? Or just answer to mine. Thank you very much!


12 April 2012 17:04

Ivan Karlo Jacob Marquez

Hi Sir Matt!

I am Ivan from Manila, Philippines. I would like to thank you for your very informative blog. I already know alot about Korea even before but your blog really helped me to deepen my understanding about its culture, people and must-visit attractions.
I visited Korea last March 2012 and used all the things that I’ve seen and learned in this blog. I even downloaded the videos into my smartphone so that I can have an idea what to expect on the places that I will be visiting. Truly, DiscoveringKorea made my trip alot easier and memorable and I hope to see more posts and updates from you, Sir. Because of this, everytime I read your posts, I can tell myself, “I love Korea more today than yesterday!”

Thank you and best regards :]

15 April 2012 23:37

Ivan Karlo Jacob Marquez

Can’t see my previous comment post :(

17 April 2012 10:12


hi matt…your blog is very interesting and attracting a lot of people to go i right? :)
I just wanna ask your opinion what is the most attracting places in seoul in spring. I am planning to go there in spring.

27 April 2012 00:35

Nancy Allen

Hi Matt
I am a chef-educator in the final stages of writing a culinary textbook on global cuisines. I loved looking at your photos of the Buddhist temples. Amazing. When I visited China I ate at a temple and saw families spending the entire day in the temple compound. I wonder if that’s the case in Korea as well. I would love to have a quote from you about this or any facet of Korean food/culinary life.
Warm regards, Nancy

30 May 2012 11:31


Thank you for the excellent blog. We will be back in September 2013 for my son’s 10th birthday. We are renting in Insadong, but now that I found your site, we will be building an itinerary using your recommendations. If you would like to see our pics from June 2011, let me know. Anyong hi giseyo!

27 June 2012 22:14

Chris Hokin

Greetings Matt Kelley! My name is Chris Hokin, from Tucson, Arizona. During July, I will be in Korea competing in an international martial arts tournament [Haidong Gumdo, the Art of Korean Swordsmanship]. My plans while there include the collection of film footage of the tournament and my travels and experiences in and around Korea. A cinematographer will join me in Seoul a few days after I arrive and will be with me several days before, during and after the tournament. When I return to the USA, this material will be assembled into a film about Korean martial arts, Korea and international friendship.

While looking for inspiration to plan my tour itinerary, I came upon your excellent productions, “Seoul Scene” and “Discovering Korea”. It occurs to me to ask you for specific suggestions and advice that might be interesting, unusual or inspirational for an American to include in a film about his experiences in Korea. I’m well aware that there is no shortage of fascinating geography, culture, food etc. in that beautiful part of the world, but you are unique in having a bi-lateral take on the country. This could be very interesting to international viewers.

I’d like to meet you, if possible, and talk about our mutual interests. How about joining me for a bite at one of your favorite spots in Seoul? I’ll pay! Perhaps also, you could appear in our film! Korean/American friendship and relations will be one of our major themes, and your unique position and outlook are certainly worth including. May I call you when I get to Seoul? What’s you phone number?

I’d also like to suggest that you consider covering the Haidong Gumdo tournament for one of your programs. It’s a major bi-annual international event, attended by participants from about 50 countries. I’m sure your fans would find it interesting, although it’s held outside of Seoul in Gangwan-do. The HDGD Federation website gives the details [link below]. I presume the Federation would want to give permission before allowing anyone to film. We’re still waiting for specific permission. I would be happy to do a solo HDGD demonstration and/or interview in your studio if you’re interested, no permission required.

I will arrive in Seoul on July 2, nearly a week before the opening events of the tournament. Tournament events run from July 9 through July 15. Afterwards, I plan to travel in the South to Yeosu Expo, Jeju Island, Busan and points unknown.

Please have a look at my LINKS to get an idea of what I’m doing. I was successful at running an online fundraising campaign, and you can still see that appeal and my short demo film. Please see also my blog and website. [see web addresses below]

Thanks a lot for your attention to this. I look forward to your response and hope to meet you.

Yours sincerely,

Yours sincerely, Chris Hokin
(520) 955-2962

Indiegogo fundraising campaign [includes a short demo film]
Website :
Blog :
Chris trains at:
World Haidong Gumdo Federation website:

23 August 2012 15:58

Joosung Kwon

Hey Matt,

Really love your blog. I’ve recommended it to a lot of my family who have moved back to Korea. I noticed you haven’t done many pieces around Chuncheon. I was there two winters ago and found some amazing spots. I think they also recently opened a light rail that connects Seoul and Chuncheon. Not sure if you take recommendations but it would be great to see a report on Cheongpyeong-sa Temple and the surrounding park! Probably one of my favorite places in Korea. Anyways keep up the good work! Maybe Ill see you in Korea.

-Joosung Kwon

October 06 2012 00:08 am


Hi Joosung,
Thanks for your note. I'm a big fan of Chuncheon, and not just because I love dakkalbi (딹갈비)!
But thank you for the recommendation... I haven't been able to visit frequently and should put a trip together, especially with that convenient train you mentioned.


13 September 2012 14:02


Hello! GREAT blog, thank you for sharing. I see that you have a dog and I wonder- what are the best places to go travelling with a dog? I love hiking but I know National Parks are off limits. What would you recommend? THANK YOU!

February 06 2013 07:11 am


Hey Cris,
Yeah, it can be tricky to find places to take your dog - especially off-leash. That said, all Seoul parks (except Seoul Grand Park and the Childrens Grand Park) allow leashed dogs. Another options would be to take your pooch to one of the smaller peaks around Seoul that aren't actually national parks, per se, like Ansan mountain behind Ewha Woman's University. You might get some folks annoyed with you, but there aren't any park gate keepers, as far as I can remember. There are also a few "dog parks" in Gyeonggi Province that are a bit pricey, but a place for dogs to socialize and play in an enclosed area. Good luck!
Best, Matt

20 September 2012 10:30


Hi Matt, i wanna ask some questions on traveling in Korea, is this the best place to ask?


February 06 2013 07:07 am


Sure, or email me at:

28 September 2012 05:30


I just moved to Seoul 2 months ago and I will have to say…WELL DONE! I love how you describe everything with such an obvious respect for it but also with fresh enthusiasm. Your blog and all of your travels has just saved our family from one “bored” day! We only have 22 months left in Seoul…might as well take FULL advantage of the time we have!

October 05 2012 23:56 pm


Thank you, Christy, and what a great attitude YOU have as well! Happy travels! :)

2 October 2012 02:16


Hello Matt,

I enjoy reading your blog immensely. I actually tried clicking on the link to connect me to your email address, however, I had no success. Could you please post your email address?

Warm regards,


4 January 2013 09:36


Hi Matt, do you know anyone who is willing to drive us around in Seoul for 80,000won daily from 12-16 April 2013? My family and myself (altogether 3 adults & 1 toddler) will visit around 4-5 places each day. Thank you!

February 06 2013 07:06 am


Hi Julia,
I'm not personally aware, but I'm sure the folks at can hook you up. Another possible option would be the tourism info line: +82 2-1330. Good luck!

6 January 2013 21:30


My name is Anca and i am from Romania.
I found your blog by chance.
I am interesed in Korean culture since when i descovered the films of Kim Ki Duk…:)
Thank you for what you do here,on blog,and i hope to learn more and more about Korea.
Happy New Year!

22 January 2013 17:47

Kazmier Maslanka

Hi Matt,
Your blog is impressive but I am a bit disappointed that you have not more coverage into what I feel is the most important part of Korean culture and history – The ancient temple complexes – When I visited there I was stunned by the historical ambiance emanating from these treasures.

23 January 2013 16:41


hi matt,
i visited seoul for the first time last august & your site provided a fantastic jumping off point in planning where to go & what to see.

i love how walkable seoul is… getting lost in the tiny alleys of samcheong-dong, the serenity of bongeunsa, discovery the many k-bbqs at hongdae uni area… it was a fantastically lazy week marred only by the inability to hike bugaksan because of a typhoon.

i’ll be back for sure!

January 24 2013 02:24 am


Hi Daria,
Thanks for your note and I'm so glad you had a great trip. Yes, walkability can really make or break a trip... especially if you don't want to plan every minute. I agree that "getting lost" in winding alleyways in a very safe city like Seoul is one of the most fun things to do. Hope to hear from you again on the blog!

24 January 2013 06:32


Hi Matt. I am from Romania and i am one of many Korea fans in my country. I love Korea and i like olmost all about Korea. I like very much you articles. And i write many articles about Korea for romanians fans Korea blog. I hope to visit Korea one day. Congratulations for your great work.

January 28 2013 02:20 am


Than you, Dana!

24 January 2013 06:39

DANA this is our official blog and sorry for my poor english language.

29 January 2013 14:11


I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and looking at your pictures. Just moved to Seoul a month ago, and we were wondering what foreigners do on Seollal? Good thing I found your blog! Looking forward to reading your future posts.

30 January 2013 10:34


I randomly found about your blog and I am so happy to find it! I love it! I am actually a native Korean, but I found out so many cool places from you blog. It’s impressive how much you know about my country :) I usually don’t write online, but just want to give you a positive comment. Have a good day!

30 January 2013 10:44


Love reading your blog, and will continue to explore it. My wife and I are going to be in Korea from August 30-September 10. I haven’t been in Korea for over 30 years, so it will be like I was never there (I do speak a little Korean still). Would love some pointers and tips.

My wife is concerned about lots of things, but she hasn’t really been outside of the US. I spent 2 years in Korea from 1980-1982 serving a church mission. Let me know if you would be able to help us.

Erick – 하경인

30 January 2013 20:47


With welcome Matt. I’m glad that you saw my message. I hope you don’t mind that your articles are a source of inspiration for me. I want to write a few articles for romanians fans of Korea on this blog , and theories of me your articles. And congratulations for your great work again and for cute blog.

3 February 2013 12:23


Thanks for the blog, Matt, it looks really useful.

Do you have a newsletter that people can subscribe to?


February 06 2013 07:02 am


Hi Enrique,
Thanks for your note. Nope, no newsletter, but it's a good idea :)

Best, Matt

9 February 2013 05:12

pascal beauchesne

Hi Matt
awesome blog,

2 fellow industrial designers from Montreal will be in Seoul this coming May:

Would you like to have them at your radio show? As well as giving them a few good addresses in Seoul, of course.

You can reach out by email

February 12 2013 00:50 am


Hi Pascal,
Thanks for your note. I'm not currently hosting the interview program. You can reach the production team, however, by emailing your request to: Good luck!


14 February 2013 07:20

Pamela Kramer

Hi Matt,

I just accepted a 3-month teaching contract in Seoul, and I recently came across your blog when doing online research about the city. I have learned so much from your posts and videos, and I am truly looking forward to exploring the cafes, restaurants, historical sites, and museums you’ve blogged about. Thanks so much for sharing!


March 07 2013 03:03 am


Hi Pamela,
Thanks for your nice words and good luck with your contract! I hope you enjoy all that Seoul and Korea have to offer!

25 February 2013 12:55


Wow, Matt.
It’s been a while and I ended up reading your blog by accident to find some photos of 정월대보름 at 새별오름 in Jeju. Whoooa.
How have you been? I knew you’re still hosting the show on KBS. I’m coming to Seoul on the 27th for work and go down to visit my family before I come back.
Good to see you again.

March 07 2013 03:10 am


Hi Sejin,
It's good to hear from you. I'm no longer hosting at KBS, but still doing some writing for them. Are you back in Korea for a while? I hope all is well!

March 08 2013 01:23 am


I'm flying back to Thailand on the 11th and will be there for about 1-2yrs. If you have a chance to travel one day, give me a shout.

26 February 2013 01:46


Hi Matt,

Just wanted to let you know how great your blog is. I think it helped me even more than the official tourism websites to plan our trip to Korea in May.

Can’t wait to get there


March 07 2013 03:00 am


Hi Stefan,
That's really kind of you to say. Thanks and you've chosen a wonderful time to visit Korea. Have a great trip!


9 March 2013 03:22

Jenny de Guzman

Hi Matt,

I love this site! My kids and I will be visiting Korea next month, and I was wondering if you might have any suggestions for an English speaking private tour guide? We’re a fun family and are looking for a guide who can really help us get a feel for the culture. Thanks!


March 17 2013 01:12 am


Hi Jenny,
Thanks for your note. Unfortunately, I don't have any contacts for guides, but I bet the folks at the Korea Tourism Organization or Seoul Tourism Organization could help you. Good luck!

Best, Matt

17 March 2013 22:57


I like your blog, its very helpful for who wanna travel in Korea. . . I just came back from my Korea trip, its very beautiful place, culture and people.

Do you have facebook then I can follow ?

20 March 2013 17:59

Anna Fedotova

Dear Matt,

My name is Anna, i am an assistant to picture editor at Conde Nast Traveller Russia magazine. Could you be so kind to send me your email? I would like to ask you about images of Hampyeong Butterfly Festival. Thank you in advance! Best, Anna

May 03 2013 06:20 am


Hi Anna,
Thanks for your inquiry. I'll contact you off-site.


19 April 2013 11:59

Maria Regina Arquiza

Hi Matt,

I’m Regina from the Philippines. I saw some of your videos and I’d like to ask if it’s possible for us to use one of those. I’d like to send you an e-mail but I couldn’t find it.

Anyway, this is kind of urgent. Thank you.\


May 03 2013 06:17 am


Hi Regina,
Thanks for your inquiry. I'll contact you off-site.


5 May 2013 04:31


Hi Matt,
First of all, thanks a lot for sharing these informations & guides.

My friends and I are planning to go to Seoul in early October. We’re from tropical countries so we have no idea what clothes would be suitable for us. We’ve asked around but people have been telling us different answers lol. What do you suggest is suitable for the Autumn weather? We’re not used to the cold temperature haha.

Oh another thing, would it be too much if you could briefly skim through our planned itinerary and give us an idea whether its good or bad?

Thanks a lot Matt! Hope to see you when we’re in Korea :)

July 15 2013 03:14 am


Hello Izzie,

Thanks for your note. The typical early October temps in Seoul are between 7-19 degrees Celsius, so while that's pretty comfy for me, you may want to bring a sweater or jacket, especially in the evenings. To be honest, autumn is my favorite season in Korea, since the hot and humid summer weather is finally behind us!
Best, Matt

7 May 2013 02:04


Just a note to thank you for all the information you have on your blog. We have just returned from 2 weeks travelling around Korea and your advice and travel ideas were great to follow. As well as seeing Seoul we explored Busan, Oedo Island, Jinhae (beautiful cherry blossom), Boseong tea plantations, Wolchulsan National Park and Jeonju Hanok Village.
Looking forward to visiting Korea again someday.
Caroline, UK

July 15 2013 03:05 am


Hi Caroline,
Thanks for taking the time to write. It sounds like you had a wonderful (and extensive!) trip! If you blogged about it, I'd love to read about your experiences.

Best, Matt

21 May 2013 23:04

hae young

Nice to contact you

This is hae young from Seoul.

Your postings and video clips are really impressive:)!

So I wanted to ask you about using some of the video


I will leave you my email address and office number,

Please contact me:)

July 15 2013 02:55 am


Hello Hae Young,
Thank you for your inquiry. I'll respond off-site. Best, Matt

1 June 2013 06:01

Kelsey Phillips

Hey Matt!

Awesome and super helpful blog you have here! I have lived in Korea myself for 2 years and have definitely heeded your wise advice!

I would like to extend a unique opportunity your way, however I think it would be best explained through email.

If you could email me I would be glad to give you further information!

Best of luck to you in for future endeavors! You are very creative and an excellent journalist!

Talk soon…


July 15 2013 02:53 am


Hi Kelsey,
Thanks for your note. I'll contact you off-site.
Best, Matt

11 June 2013 22:34


Hi Matt,
we have been searching for some information about Korea, and just discovered your site! We just fell in <3 with it!
We are Lithuanian community in United Kingdom. Would love to tell you a bit more about the great aim that we have and the reason that we wish to contact you! If you could email us, please, would be great!
Hope you are having a good day,
looking forward to hear more from you and read more about the country!

Best regards,

August 31 2013 04:13 am


Hi Agne,
Thanks for your note. I'll contact you off-site. Best, Matt

18 June 2013 04:23

justine ng

hi! we love your site, my boyfriend and I have been booked for korea on october and its gonna be our first time, we viewed almost all your articles regarding the historical places and We really want to visit them all, selfishly we were thinking about that, but we only have 6 days, ummm we were hoping maybe you could help us in regards to the places we can visit all together in a day?, its really our first time and we are not familiar yet with the places, we just know about the myeondong haha but we are surely ready for the great adventure ahead of us!! hope to hear from you soon, thank you and your site is really a big help :)

July 15 2013 02:38 am


Hi Justine,
Glad you and your boyfriend have found the site helpful. As you might guess, it's hard for me to guess how many places you guys can visit in a day, since everyone travels differently. That said, if you want to focus your activities in the Gangbuk (north of the river) area, Myeong-dong, the palaces, Insa-dong, Jongno, the Cheonggyecheon, etc., are all located very close together. Lots of historic places, museums and galleries, too, so if you two wear some good shoes, you should be able to tackle most before sundown.^^ Good luck!
Best, Matt

21 June 2013 10:10


Hi Matt, I just moved to Suwon a week ago from the Pacific Northwest. Looks like you have a lot of useful information here that’ll I’ll be digging through. Excellent photography!

July 15 2013 02:34 am


Thanks a lot, Tim. I hope you enjoy Suwon... as I'm sure you've realized, there are lots of great historical and cultural sites there.
Best, Matt

10 July 2013 01:54


Good day.
How far is the Seoul AREX station to Dongdaemun area.

July 15 2013 02:32 am


Hi Lili,
The Seoul AREX (Airport Express) Station is the same as "Seoul Station." Both Seoul Station and the Dongdaemun area are served by subway lines 1 and 4. Line 1 will take you to Dongdaemun Station (5 stops ~ 10 mins.) and Line 4 will take you to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (4 stops) or Dongdaemun Station (5 stops). So, either will work and will get you there quite quickly. Have fun!
Best, Matt

10 July 2013 22:11


Just wanted to say how helpful this site is. Thank you for posting and updating it.

Just moved to Jeju Island and all the tips and to do’s are great! They will be very helpful in the months ahead.


July 15 2013 02:26 am


Thanks, Ronda! I hope you enjoy beautiful Jeju Island!

23 July 2013 13:13

Alex R


Loved reading your blog, after googling korea tourism for a bit. Am coming tomorrow through Monday (for a week) and was keen to read you GLBT recommendations. Are those bar recommendations recent? Can you recommend which place is biggest and busiest? I’m also Yelp Elite in NYC and couldnt find equiv in Seoul, suggestions?

Many thanks!


October 01 2013 06:31 am


Hey Alex,
Thanks for your note. That post was published back in January, so you may want to do a general query for gay bars in Seoul to make sure they're still operating. However, there are so many gay bars in the Jongno area (although not entirely foreigner-friendly) and more international clientele in Itaewon, that you're sure to find something on the weekends. Happy hunting! Best, Matt

25 July 2013 12:59


Hey, i just discoved your blog and i love it, im from México, but i have a great fascination with Korea, im in love with the people and culture

7 August 2013 00:15

Jon Paul

Hi Matt –
Fascinating site. A bit hard to tell what’s new and what’s not, but it’s all really great content. I visited Korea in the fall of 2012, and visited family and friends and did the “cultural monuments” thing, i.e., Gyeongju (I think this is the correct spelling!) and some temples and palaces. Keep posting and I’ll keep reading.


October 01 2013 06:27 am


Thanks, Jon. I hope to get some of my embargoed content up soon!

10 August 2013 03:39

Jos Tan

Hi Matt,

Thank you for having such an informative blog. The photos are lovely too. I have visited Korea 6 times and after reading your posts, I think I need to go back to this beautiful country again soon to discover the many places that I have missed. ^.^

October 01 2013 06:27 am


Thank you, Jos!

25 August 2013 18:01


Thanks for the tips on Suwon. I am heading over there for a conference this Friday. I will be sure to read up about other parts of Korea too. Cheers.

August 31 2013 04:10 am


Thanks for your comments, Julia. I hope you have a great time in Suwon. It has so many great historic and cultural destinations!
Best, Matt

19 September 2013 19:43


Hello Matt,

I wonder if you can help me.
I had a lovely Korean friend back in 1998 (we met int the UK). We used to send letters by post to each other for years then we lost touch…. I am not sure if she lives at the same address as she used to….
I am visiting South Korea soon and I would love to meet up with her but I havent got a lot of time left…
I am sure she has an email/tel.number/facebook page now but as I dont speak Korean, it is pretty hard.
I have her address though….
Do you think you could help me track her down? I would love to see her again. I would really appreciate your help.

Many thanks,

Aniko (let’s talk privately – if possible)

October 01 2013 06:13 am


Hi Aniko,
Thanks for your email. Regretfully, I can't help you with this request. If you know details about her- full name, a previous address, etc., it's relatively easy to find people in Korea with the help of Korean speakers. Good luck!
Best, Matt

24 September 2013 07:54


Hi Matt,
I just discovered your blog now (as I prepare a visit to Seoul).
Your blog is OUTSTANDING!
Please keep up the excellent work and keep it coming!

October 01 2013 06:03 am


Thank you, Monica!

27 September 2013 19:48


Hey there! What an amazing blog ! It is so well done and well organized with alot of information!!
I live here in Seoul and would love to talk more with you! I am not a blogger, but a photographer!
Hope u shoot me a message when you get some time! Take care and keep blogging!

October 01 2013 05:57 am


Hi Patrick,
Thanks for your compliments and for getting in touch. You can contact me directly at:
I look forward to hearing from you.
Best, Matt

9 October 2013 14:45


nice to know this page!
theres lots of places i dont know.. even though im a korean
thanks for good pics and imformation!
now i know where should i have to bring my foreign friends

22 October 2013 17:27

Shanna (Hangukdrama)

Hi Matt! Just discovered your blog and I must say it’s really informative (: I have been to Korea for several times (mainly Seoul) but there’s still so much I don’t know! Discovered some new places that I’ll definitely visit on my next trip.

I write a blog too, but mainly about language learning (:

5 November 2013 22:02

yasir afridi

hey there
i am student at ´Turku School of ecnomics´
and in subject of Innovation and cluster and regional development
as my final assignment i take your DMC as case to analyze the cluster development.
i neéd some information about( future viability of the cluster)
analysis of DMC cluster
if you some litrature,Article, web Link regarding my required information kindly share with me .
hope to hear from you soon

kind regards
yasir afridi

12 November 2013 09:48


My son is in the army and located in Korea. If I wanted to surprise him with an apple pie for thanksgiving how would someone go about ordering this and having it delivered? After watching your video posts about the best bakeries I was hoping to see a web link to place an online order, but cant find one. Can you help at all?

Donna (A solider’s mom!)

December 06 2013 04:04 am


Hi Donna,
That's so thoughtful of you. I know that the Dragon Hill Lodge's deli puts together wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey dinners. They are located inside the Yongsan Garrison in Seoul. I'd assume they would be your best bet. Good luck!
Best, Matt

25 November 2013 10:37


Hi Matt,

I’m planning to go Korea next year, most probably Spring. Is it good to go in May?

December 06 2013 03:59 am


Hi Fong,
May is a great time to visit Korea - the spring flowers will still be in bloom (not the cherry trees, though) and it's a few weeks before the hot summer weather hits!
Best, Matt

30 November 2013 16:59


I will be moving to Seoul next March, and your blog will be of extreme help! thanks

December 06 2013 03:58 am


Hi Paola,
I'm so glad and good luck on your move and time in Korea!
Best, Matt

23 December 2013 15:10


Dear Matt,

I am an editor from ELLE MEN Magazine HK, and I am writing a feature about the Heyri Art Valley and would like to request from you a few of your beautiful Heyri Art Valley images.

Please contact me.

Thanks very much.

Daisy Chu

January 15 2014 14:59 pm


Hi Daisy,
I'll contact you off-site.

Best, Matt

30 December 2013 10:50


Dear Matt Kelley,

Hello :)
I work for the Goyang International Flower Foundation in Korea and was searching ‘Flower Festival’ on GOOGLE and found your blog. But unfortunately, I could not find our show,International Horticulture Goyang Korea2013(IHK2013) on your ‘Spring flower festival in 2013′.

If you are planning to upload ‘Spring flower festival in 2014′, would you kindly put the name of our show as well? I can assure you that our flower exhibition is one of the biggest flower show in Korea.

Just to let you know, we have held Flower Exhibition since 1997 and we had around 550,000 visitors. If you want to find out more, please e-mail me or visit our website

Thank you very much and Happy new year ! :)

Bomyi Ji

January 15 2014 14:57 pm


Hi Bomyi,
Thank you for letting me know. I'll be sure to add a post about the festival to the blog. Best, Matt

7 January 2014 07:30

Jim R.

Hi Matt,
I head out to Asia Thursday, but not scheduled to arrive in Seoul until the 27th. Any ideas on guides you can send before I depart? Your insight is greatly appreciated! Best,

January 15 2014 14:49 pm


Hi Jim,
Sorry! I'm not in touch with any local guides. Your best bet might be to get in touch with the folks at Seoul Tourism Organization (STO).
Good luck!
Best, Matt

14 February 2014 13:29


Hello, if you are interested in learning korean language, you should check out the book “As Much as a Rat’s Tail” by Peter Liptak. It covers a lot of korean slang that you can’t learn in other conventional text books.

3 March 2014 11:57

Nancy Goh

Hi Matt

Your photos are lovely

We are a publisher based in Singapore, and would like to use
your photo 090225 climbing hallasan mountain on jeju island, in our book on Korea

Do let us know how we can get permission for the use of this photo.

Best regards

March 03 2014 13:32 pm


Hi Nancy,
Thank you so much for your query. I'll contact you off-site. Best, Matt

13 March 2014 09:35


Hi Matt, it’s written on your website that yeouido spring flower festival is from 12-18 April 2014 (

But on KTO website, it’s written as 16-20 April.. (

May I know which are the correct dates?


March 31 2014 14:14 pm


Hi Yvonne,
Thank you for your note. These things tend to be a bit of a moving target, due to last minute weather changes, etc. As of right now, organizers are saying April 12-20. It's been a weird non-spring here in Seoul this year... winter straight into summer!
Best, Matt

14 April 2014 15:05

Valerie Rogan

Hi, I stumbled on your site when I was trying to identify some pictures I took in South Korea 30 years ago while I was stationed there for 2 years. I took many pictures but I was too inexperienced to keep a log. Now, I am trying to remember where and what I saw and I have had some success but not with every picture. Is there somewhere that I can send a scanned copy and see if anyone recognizes it? Thanks for any help you can provide me. Valerie

May 08 2014 08:15 am


Hi Valerie,
That's an interesting request. You can send it to me ( and I can post it here and see if you get a response?
Best, Matt

25 April 2014 11:18

Peter Kahl


Any information about the Gay Pride Parade 2014 or any events in June surrounding Seoul Gay Pride? Thanks.

May 08 2014 08:04 am


Hi Peter,
Thanks for your question, but don't you dare call it "Pride." ;) It's the Korean Queer Culture Festival. No queer pride in Korea... yet. Actually, that's not entirely true, but I digress. According to the official website (, it looks like festivities will be June 7-15! The English site is actually functional, so I'm hopeful it contains all of the info you need. Have fun!
Best, Matt

9 May 2014 12:58

Taehyeong Kim

Hello! My name is Taehyeong Kim. I’m 24years old, lived in seoul, Korea.
I major in Communications and PR(Public Relations).
Recently, I am planning the project ‘Public diplomacy’
so I have a project team, South Korea digital PR team in KwangWoon Univ with VANK(Voluntary Agency Network of Korea)

We have a plan that Korea culture and foods introduce to many foreigner tourist used by Sam-cheong-dong street photos in our FlickR
So we want to post your blog, also your social Network service(SNS).
in fact, We hope that you’ll be our co-creator!

Thanks to reading my letter :)

July 15 2014 15:09 pm


Thank you for sharing and for promoting Korea!
Best, Matt

11 July 2014 00:45

Na Yomi

Hi Matt, I am planning to go to Korea this year. I am thinking to go there from Nov 26 to Dec 3 to experience autumn and winter. do you think this dates are OK to see the autumn leaves at Southern Korea and do some skii?


July 15 2014 14:58 pm


Hi NaYomi,
Thanks for your note. Hmmm... based on the autumn color charts from previous years, you may be too late to catch the leaves! My advice is to arrive in mid-late October, if possible. Good luck!

Best, Matt

August 20 2014 01:59 am


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