If you are an international student, traveler, or English teacher in South Korea and are looking to move to Seoul, then figuring out the best neighborhood to live in is pretty important.
When it comes to moving to South Korea, the Noksapyeong neighborhood might be your best bet. Although regions like Hongdae, Sinchon, and Ewha are very popular for Korean language students, Noksapyeong offers a great combination of location, rent price, English-speaking foreigner community, and restaurants.
Shared Homies operates multiple share houses in Haebangcheon (HBC) and Kyunglidan – Noksapyeong and Itaewon – and the majority of our tenants are working professionals, international students, entrepreneurs, and English teachers!
If you are planning to relocate to Seoul here are eight reasons why Noksapyeong is the right neighborhood for you!
The Noksapyeong neighborhood is a very famous, centrally located area in the middle of Seoul, situated in the heart of Yongsan district.
The closest walkable subway station is Noksapyeong station, which is on Seoul Subway line 6, and if you want to take the bus, there are an array of bus stops within walking distance that may get you to your destination quicker. Itaewon station is also nearby.
- To learn how to get around Seoul, be sure to check out the ‘Top 10 Phone Apps for Living in Korea in 2021’
Noksapyeong is located at the base of Namsan tower. It takes about 15-20 minutes walk from the Main Street of Haebangcheon up to Namsan Park and the trails that lead up to Namsan tower. There are also stunning views from many of the houses here due to its higher elevation
The hike up to the tower can be walked up via several different pathways. You’ll feel like you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of the city once you are surrounded by trees and greenery!
Take it from me, there are very few places in Seoul to get away from the crowds – if you’re not used to living in a high density city, it can be jarring at first. Namsan Mountain and also the Han River park are two of the best escapes. And both of these are close to Noksapyeong and HBC.
Itaewon, Noksapyeong, and Haebangchoen have the most diverse expat community with a mix of internationals and Koreans all living in the same area.
HaeBang means “freedom” and Chon means “village”, so “freedom village” is known to house many international expats and is a great place to grab drinks with friends and socialize on a rooftop – if you have access to one that is.
Those who definitely want that rooftop chill feeling for their house can contact us!
Korea, in general, is very safe, with one of the lowest crime rates in the world. It is a regular occurrence for people to walk home alone at all hours of the night after drinking and partying.
If you do have an issue, there are police stations and fire stations in the vicinity, the local Yongsan-gu authorities know that foreigners live in the area and regularly patrol Itaewon since the area used to be off-limits to the nearby American army base.
In fact, American army MPs regularly patrol the area, and you will see Korean policeman who are tasked with patrolling nearby the American base which is at the base of HBC.
In general, practice safe practices anyway!
Street & Foreign Food Markets
HBC has a small street market on the top of the hill, which is filled with fresh veggies and fruits for decent prices. This is something every new student or visitor to Korea needs to learn – fresh produce is expensive in Korea and local markets are pretty much all Koreans save money.
Foreign amenities (clinics, dentists, barbers, etc.)
One of the toughest things foreigners in Korea face is finding quality amenities and services that are similar to what they experience back home. This includes things like health clinics, dentists, hairdressers, gyms, and government agencies – and many of these cater to the English-speaking community.
Places such as the local Yongsan-gu District office (용산구청) and Health Clinic (보건소) offer all sorts of services from free health screenings and cheap dentistry services. All available in English. This is not true for other Seoul districts.
English Commercial Services
Another troublesome thing foreigners in South Korea constantly face is signing up for a phone and bank account.
Your entire online identity – signing up for sites, online shopping, booking tickets, etc. – is dependent on phone verification in South Korea. And your financial independence requires you have a local bank account, as online bank transfers are the accepted way to pay for bills and other goods.
However, foreigners often have issues signing for these. The experience is often frustrating and inconsistent. It often depends on the clerk you get that day and if that person is having a good day or not.
Fortunately, most all bank and phone companies in South Korea put Global Branches in Itaewon or Yongsan-gu. These branches will have English-speaking staff on hand.
Check out the KT Global site.
Shared Homies Community
Shared Homies operates over 10 share house apartments in the Noksapyeong neighborhood and continues to grow by establishing partnerships with Korean share house operators in other neighborhoods – such as Hongdae, Sinchon, Korea University, and Ewha.
Especially for students who come to Korea alone, having access to a community of like-minded, friendly foreigners can often turn a neighborhood into a second home.