Life in Busan: What It’s Like to Live in Seomyeon

Looking for an area to live in Busan? Our new series looks at locals in Busan giving the inside scoop on what goes on in their neighborhood.

In our fourth installment, we talked to American Erin Wuchte about life in Seomyeon.

About the Area

The hot spot at the center of Busan is Seomyeon, one of Busan’s top areas for shopping and nightlife.

Often called the busiest area of Busan, Seomyeon is sprinkled with mostly one room and studio apartment. Although, the ever-developing area has many larger apartments, and more are being built almost constantly.

Between Busan Station and Haeundae beach, the downtown area is just a hop and skip away from Busan Citizens Park, a former military base converted into a 133-acre park, which opened in the spring of 2014.

There is always something to do, see, or experience in this area of Busan that never sleeps.

The Basics

Name: Erin Wuchte

Occupation: Teacher, Reporter

Where are you originally from? Florida, USA

What area do you live in? Seomyeon, Busanjin-gu

How long have you lived there? 7 years

Why did you choose there? I was placed in this area, in the same apartment, by the first academy I worked for in Korea, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

The Area

What kind of people would you say tend to live in your area?

There is a lot of one room and studio apartments in my area so I tend to see a lot of young people in my area and around my apartment.

Do you know any of the neighbors or anyone in your building complex?

Yes, one of my dearest friends lives in the same building as me which makes meeting up easy.

What are the best local spots in your area?

A good meeting place is Judie’s Taewha, then from there you can go shopping in the Seomyeon underground shopping area, or visit unique cafes on Jeonpo Cafe Street (전포 카페거리). There’s a cafe there where you can pour warm chocolate over a chocolate egg which always makes me feel fancy and decadent.

What kind of stores are within a 5-minute walk to your front door?

There are a couple of convenience stores, a hair shop, a couple of restaurants, and a small little fruit stand that I try to get my fruit fix from there weekly.

What’s the view like from your living room?

I live on the 20th floor of my building so I have a great view over all of Seomyeon and a photogenic view of the mountain. I get the sparkling lights of Seomyeon at night and the scenic mountain top during the day. I couldn’t ask for a better view!

Are there any restaurants, shops nearby in case you need a taste of home?

Yes, there is a wonderful local burger restaurant Burgers Almighty and an American-style pizza place called Slice of Life. There are even some chain restaurants like On the Border, Shake Shack, and of course, McDonald’s and Burger King.

Image: Lotte Shopping

Any recommendations on local restaurants in your area?

Of course, I do! My favorite Korean barbecue restaurant is Nano Galmegi (나노갈매기) which I love going to because I can get unlimited pork for a set price. Also, right next to my house is a dwaejji gukbap (돼지국밥) restaurant and I love eating there, especially after a night out!

Are there any grocery shopping places nearby?

Yes, there are small marts like Top Mart all around, a Lotte Mart, and Emart Traders are close by.

Where could you pop out for a quick drink?

There are a ton of bars in Seomyeon like Garage, Mammoth, and Savoy. They are my bars of choice depending on my mood because they each play a different style of music.

Image: Erin Wuchte

Any good hangout spots to recommend?

Two places to relax after shopping or dinner, which also make great meeting spots, are the heart sculpture and the underground Lotte Trevi Fountain. By the heart sculpture, you can listen to local musicians busk or visit a pochangmacha food tent (포장마차). Sitting and chatting by the fountain helps me escape from the heat or the cold and brings me back to my travels in Europe.

What are some of the more interesting things you’ve seen in the area?

I’ve seen many famous rappers, and DJs come to the area. Also, there is an arcade with this ride called “Disco pang pang” that people, including me, sit in as it spins incredibly fast.

How expensive would you rate the area?

The area isn’t too expensive, there are some stores in the area on the expensive side, but on average, shopping and dining aren’t very expensive at all. There’s something for every price range.

Image: Erin Wuchte

Would you recommend your area to live in?

Yes, it’s located on the Orange line (line 1) and Green line (line 2), so it’s really easy to get around. Also, if you love the nightlife with a view and don’t want to break the bank, Seomyeon is for you!

If there was any other place I could live in Busan it would be:

I would live in Gwangan or Haeundae because I’m from Florida and sometimes I miss having the beach so close and smelling the ocean air.

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Haps Staff
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