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Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Seoul Mosque in Itaewon: Entrance ( pictures by D.H in 2008)

Street where the mosque is located... (pic: 2008)

Towards the prayer halls!


Behind the pole is the mosque of Seoul (Itaewon)

Itaewon is famous for many things since the Late Choson period. Over the years, it has been evolving into something that we can call -the melting pot of cultures in greater Seoul region. Of course the leading city is Ansan in Gyeonggido when it come to its ethnic diversity.

Itaewon, Bokwangdong and Hannam crossing lines in this picture from the window seat. It is my old neighborhood too.

This place has over 30 embassies and diplomatic community prefers to reside here and they are in abundance. Embassies of Pakistan, Germany, Egypt, Malaysia, India, Italy are all at a walking distance from each other. English is frequently used hence, getting around is not a problem.

Information guides @ your service

In case you need any information about anything, walking guides from KNTO are at your service, they speak Japanese, Chinese and English fluently.

There is an information desk inside the Itaewon subway station - where you can get brocheurs etc besides information. There is a full fledged Itaewon-Hannam Global Village Center - for all sorts of activities, information and community work - near Itaewon Hotel. Free Internet services, Korean classes for kids and adults, cultural programs and much more is offered here!

Socks at a make-shift store

Here socks sell like hot cakes - Korea is a leading exporter of high quality socks in all the different styles, shapes, forms and colors. It is a whole project to do a research on...:D In Korean culture people wear socks pretty much all the time - a favourite in all weathers and all the times - inside the home, with flip flops, with sleepers, while going to bed and the list goes on.

Money Exchange

This specific money changer- right next to a bus stop on the street going down to Chunghwa Apartments is one of the oldest. The (odd )couple (possible owners) at this money exchange are good at ripping people off and with the passage of time they have become rude.


Fast food chains, ethnic food and halal food restaurants are in plenty. My favourite 'Foreign Food Store' is a heaven for grocery shopping is also here - they have their sister restaurant named Foreign Food Restaurant (Halal) close by-food is good and so is the interior and the service.

청화 (Chunghwa Apt Map): An old neighborhood!

Antiques shops are in plenty but it can NOT beat Dapshimni which is the "real" antique hub.

119 Rescue Center/Famous as Fire StationThis street will take you to the Seoul Mosque/ Islamic Center, the Foreign Food Store - one has to take exit 3 of the Itaewon Station to get there.

This place is turning into a small Islamic community of Seoul. We have a Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz madrassa here as well. Islamic books store, halal bakeries, fabric shops, used cell phone shops, travel agencies with a monopoly of merchants from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Turkey and Bangladesh can be witnessed at this place. By the way, this same street can also take you to the 'red light area' which is found en route to the mosque, many gay bars are located in the vicinity. This was the only choice given to the foreign governments to build a mosque during general Parks' era - which took years of diplomacy.

Extension project underway of the already huge 'International School of Korea'.

Lake behind my place trying to defreeze ~ it just snowed for 15 minutes again in a partly cloudy day!

Itaewon is 'the place' if you want to try your regional cuisines at a comparatively cheaper price than anywhere in Seoul. A part of its street towards Hangangjin is called the 'Japanese Street'.

Restaurants from Morocco, Egypt, Jordon and Dubai are all located on the main street. You can also find Italian, Irish, French and German restaurants easily. Places specializing in food from Bulgaria and Serbia to Turkey and Iran are located in this small neighborhood.


  1. Hi, Sara.I'm from Malaysia. I would like to ask about your opinion which university to chose study in korean language in Seoul. I prefer nearby in Itaewon (muslim community).

  2. Hi Maiza,
    If you want to stay near/in Itaewon & attend a language school among the top 5 programs then it is Sogang University (takes 18 minutes by subway ride). It is among the top schools and considered best if you want to focus on 'Korean conversation' however, for writing and academic comprehension, Yonsei University is a common choice.
    Other universities where students frequently go are:
    Kyunghee University
    Korea University
    Seoul National University
    Ehwa University

  3. hi sarah ..actually i don't know which university to choose either sogang university or yonsei university but anyway thanks for the information.i will bring my son(7yrs old) so i would like to ask your opinion which area i can rent a place which is suitable for student budget and i can sent my son to a suitable school for him

  4. Hi Maiza,

    Itaewon "IS" the place...cheapest neighborhood with all sorts of schools for foreign community from very expensive to public school (free). Check out the neighborhood of Noskapyeong too. It is 5 minutes from Itaewon & offers cheap housing and still is in the center of Seoul and close to universities.

    All the best!

  5. hi there, dear friend I am traveling to Seoul and I prefer to find accommodation for around 4 people near Muslim communities. Do you have any recommendations pls. thx alot

  6. Hello Christopher,

    I would suggest you to look for accomodation (short/long term) on the following sites - where you can post your ad. One is: Craiglist Seoul and the other is: WorknPlay, Korea. They have an active forum and most likely you will find something. However, if you are already in Seoul, visit a "Boodongsan" or Real Estate dealer in the area where you want to live (in this Itaewon neighborhood).
    There is Itaewon Global Village Center and they can guide you on short term stay at places like motels etc.
    If you are backpackers - Hamilton Hotel's Sauna is another choice.
    Best of Luck!




  7. thank you very much very good information
    best regards

  8. Hi Sarah. I'm Aifa from Malaysia. I wish to further my studies in Bachelor's degree level but I don't have any sponsorship. Then, I decided to go to Korea to study the language first. I mean going to any Korean Language Centre/Institute in Korea. But still, I hava financial problem. What should I do ? All the deadline for scholarship already closed. Is there any chance for me to further my studies on Winter 2014 ? Thanks. :)

  9. Hi Aifa,

    You can apply for scholarships twice a year - spring and fall semesters. Look up for Yonsei's Underwood College. Regulations are same for everyone in entire Korea.

    For language there is NO scholarship unless your university in Malaysia has a contract with a university in Korea and you visit as an exchange. If you have financial problem - stay home and find a Korean language program there. Finish at least a 6 month program and then apply in Korea - that's how you can save more money....start learning Korean from level 2 onwards. You can do self study or use You Tube to learn the language.

    For further details write me at: sarahinseoul@gmail.com.

    Best of Luck!