CHINATOWN IN SEOUL - DAELIM
HOW TO GET THERE?
You can take Lines # 2 or 7 to get to Daelim Station.
CHINATOWN IN SEOUL - DAELIM
Speaking of Chinatown in Korea, most people would tell you about the one in Incheon. Very few, including Koreans, know about the one in Seoul. Daelim, which is located in the western part of Seoul, is inhabited by a large ethnic Korean-Chinese or Joseonjok (조선족) community. You don’t need to go all the way to Incheon just to have authentic Chinese cuisine! How does that sound? ;)
HOW TO GET THERE?
You can take Lines # 2 or 7 to get to Daelim Station.
WHERE TO GO?
In my opinion, the best lamb skewers in Daelim is near exit 6.
Once you walk out from exit 6, you should be able to spot the restaurant immediately. It’s the place with the red lanterns near GS25.
It’s a tiny restaurant run by two ajummas. Both ajummas speak Mandarin Chinese and Korean. Please note that English does NOT work here. The prices here are very reasonable, and the ajummas ALWAYS give “service” (aka free food). Who doesn't like free food?
Unlike most lamb skewer places, you do not need to manually turn the skewers. The grill turns the skewers automatically so the meat is cooked evenly. BIG bonus!
Has it been a frustrating experience to order stuff from online shops because they do not mail their products to Korea? Are you worried about annoying your family or friends to mail things that you can’t get in Korea all the time? If you answered “yes” to both questions, this information might be very useful for you.
How can I solve this problem?
The answer to this question is very easy: GET A US ADDRESS!
Yes, that’s right. You can get an address in the US while living in Korea.
How does it work?
You can “rent” a US shipping address from certain shipping companies. These companies provide package forwarding and international shipping services to ship to Korea from the US. It’s as simple as that!
how can I get a us address?
Here are some companies that provide such services:
how much WOULD it cost?
Each company provides different package deals. You will have to go through their websites and choose the best option that suits your wants and needs.
The information contained here is for general information purposes only. I do not work for any of the above mentioned companies.
I hardly ever go to Dongdaemun (동대문 / 東大門) area. If I do, it is for two reasons only: (1) when my Asian female friends visit Korea, most of them choose to stay in that area; (2) Russian food! …and booze.
Gostiniy Dvor is a Russian restaurant that was recommended by an ex-colleague of mine who is Russian-Canadian. According to him, it is one of the few restaurants in Seoul that serve authentic Russian cuisine. Unlike most foreign restaurants in Itaewon, the prices here are VERY reasonable.
Gostiniy Dvor is located in “Little Russia.” The area is located south of Dongdaemun Market (동대문종합시장) and is home to a large population of migrants from Central Asian nations particularly Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
You can take the subway (lines 2, 4, and 5) to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station. Go to exit 7. Make sure that you do NOT walk out of the station just yet. If you take line 5, it should be a 5 to 7-minute walk. As for lines 2 and 4, it’s probably a 15-minute walk.
Once you’re at exit 7, make a U-turn.
Go straight for about 50 meters, and you should be able to see a “Russian mart” on your left. Gostiniy Dvor is on the second floor.
Walk up the tiny staircase next to the Russian mart. The first thing you'll see is a big flat screen TV above the staircase. Gostiniy Dvor may remind you of your grandmother’s living room. It’s small but has a warm feeling to it. The lady that served us spoke very little English, and some Korean. Bonus: They have English menus.
As soon as my buddy and I sat down, we each ordered a beer. He ordered a Baltika #4, which is a dark lager and is pleasant as a starter beer. If you like the type of beer that is loaded with good caramel malt, then this would be a great choice. (₩ 5,000 for 1 bottle of beer)
We shared a bowl of Solyanka, it is also known as the “Russian pizza soup.” A mix of beef, sausage, black olives, tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, two slices of lemon, and sour cream gives this soup a refreshing flavor with a classic sweet after taste.
For the main dish, we both ordered beef stroganoff (₩ 10,000). For the side, you can choose to have mashed potatoes or fries. This is a dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a creamy brown sauce. Heaven!
Of course, we had to order more beers to go with the scrumptious food. My buddy prefers lighter lagers, so he went with a #3.
Later, a #7.
I had a #9, then a #4. If you like stronger beers, you may want to try #9.
Many EFL teachers in Korea would agree that the process of getting an Apostilled national criminal background check is a pain in the butt. Despite all the difficulties and challenges that the Korean Immigration put us through in order to obtain/keep our visas (e.g., E1, E2, F2, F5, F6), we must give them credit for their effort to rule out those who may cause problems in their society. To be fair, if I were a parent, I wouldn’t want someone who has committed major crimes (e.g., molestation, rape, murder, armed robbery…etc.) around my child, either. But, that’s another story.
are you a first timer?
If you are planning on coming to Korea, I HIGHLY recommend that you have your Apostilled FBI criminal background check in your hands before you hop on a plane. **Note: FBI results are only valid for 90 days. Make sure that you get your Apostille done within 90 days of the issue date of the FBI report.
are you already in korea?
It is not the end of the world. There are different alternatives and routes to obtain your Apostilled FBI criminal background check while you’re physically in Korea. I wished someone could have given me the right information when I first came to Korea. Oh well...
step 1: application form
It’s very straightforward. Download the file from here. Fill it out on your computer, and print!
OR.....If you are old-fashioned (now there’s nothing wrong about it) and would like to complete this task using the “pen and paper method,” you may also choose to do so.
Voilà! Congratulations! You have completed the first step!
** Note: If you are going to send your application directly to FBI, put down your Korean address. If you have family or friends who can mail it to you, fill out their US address. I shall explain more in STEP 4.
step 2: fingerprinting
You need at least 2 standard fingerprint cards/forms just in case. You can download a copy of FD-258 from the FBI website or from here. Fill it out and go down to one of the major police departments/stations in your city. Note: Local police stations won’t be able to help you in most cases. You will need to find a police station with a CSI (detective) office.
Recommended Police Offices in and around Seoul:
a) Jongro-Gu Police Department (종로구 경찰서)
Address: #90-18, Gyeongoon-Dong, Jongno-Gu, Seoul (서울시 종로구 경운동 90-18)
b) Yongsan Police Station (용산경찰서) 2nd floor
Address: #12-12 Wonhyo-Ro, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul (서울시 용산구 원효로1가 원효로12-12 )
c) Seodaemun Police Station (서대문경찰서)
Address: # 165 Migun-Dong, Seodaemun-Gu, Seoul (서울시 서대문구 미근동 165)
d) Gwangmyeong Police Station CSI Division (광명경찰서)
Address: #5 Digital-Ro, Gwangmyeong-Si, Gyeonggi-Do (경기도 광명시 디지털로 5)
I have had personal experience with the gentlemen in the CSI Division at Gwangmyeong Police Station. The two detectives that helped me were extremely friendly, nice, and patient.
Once you have completed your fingerprinting, don’t forget to ask one of the officers to sign on the form/card.
Bravo! You have completed the second step!
STEP 3: Payment
Based on the information provided on the FBI website, here are your options:
§ Option 1: Pay by credit card using the Credit Card Payment Form. Don’t forget to include the expiration date of the credit card that you are using.
§ Option 2: Obtain a money order or certified check for $18 U.S. dollars made payable to the Treasury of the United States. Please be sure to sign where required
Important note: Cash, personal checks, or business checks WILL NOT be accepted and sending any of these will delay processing of your request.
I chose to use the credit card payment form as it is less of a hassle.
STEP 4: Mailing it out
This is where the fun begins.
Option 1: If you have family or friends in the US who can mail your FBI criminal background check to you or get it Apostilled in DC on your behalf, you could send your fingerprinted forms/cards to one of the FBI-approved Channelers. Your family or friend will receive your results within 5 to 7 business days. Unfortunately, the Channelers are NOT allowed to mail your criminal report to an address outside the United States. I have personally contacted several, and they have all told me the same thing.
Here is a list of FBI-approved Channelers.
Option 2: If there really isn’t anyone in the US who can send your FBI report to you or get it Apostilled for you, your only choice is to send the fingerprint forms/cards to FBI at:
FBI CJIS Division – Summary Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
Phone number: +1-304-625-4995
The processing time is 4 to 6 weeks.
If you wish to use FedEx (which I HIGHLY recommended you do), you can set up an account on their website easily. Fill out the application form. For “company name” or “company registration number,” just type NA. Once you’ve completed this part, someone will email you a form that looks like this. Fill out the form, you can either FAX it or scan it and email it back.
This is what I did:
I “filled out” the form with PowerPoint, created my digital signature with Digital Signature APP on my phone, and pasted my signature on the form. I saved it as a PDF file, and emailed the completed form. They called me 5 minutes later to confirm the remaining 8 digits of my credit card number. Within an hour, I received an email with my FedEx account number.
Go to the FedEx website and order envelops. They’re FREE. I got a bundle of envelops delivered to my door the next day.
Once you’re all set, you can choose to drop your envelop at one of the HUB FedEx locations or schedule a pickup online. They came and picked up my envelope within 5 hours.
STEP 5: Apostille
It’s not over yet! Now that you have received your FBI criminal report, you need to get it Apostilled. That’s right! You have to send it BACK to the US!
If you have no family or friends in DC, I highly recommend that you use a courier service. Google “Apostille courier service” and you should be able to find a list of couriers. This is when your FedEx account number comes in handy, again! They can get it completed and shipped back to you within 2 to 3 business days. The fee should be around $50-70.
**Note: Some couriers do not accept credit cards.
YOU DID IT!!! Now, go celebrate! (^_~)
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. For the latest policies, it is recommended that you contact the parties involved in the application process.
A professional who currently teaches at a university in Seoul.