Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Host Your Holiday Party at Tailgate

With Christmas and New Years fast approaching it's time to start looking for the perfect place for you company, friends, or organization to gather and feel some cheer. Where I stopped for dinner last night, Tailgate Tavern, happens to be one of the best places in the area for large groups. Not only is the place huge (holds up to 75 people), but there is plenty to do like pool, darts, poker, Christmas movies, or Christmas Karaoke.

Of course, planning Christmas parties is hard right? Not with Tailgate. No, seriously. They have the best system I've heard about so far. All you have to do two things:
  1. Pick a date. Christmas is coming fast so do this SOON. They may even have some lunch options if that's something you need.
  2. Order your food and drinks 2 days before the event. This is sooo easy and it's one of the main reasons I think they are a great choice for events like this. Tailgate has a very structured ordering system that is clear and straight forward. Cost shouldn't be a mystery or surprise.  They have menu for groups (I've seen it, it's very organized) and you just pick what you want and send it to them.
After you have done these two things you just show up and have some fun. Oh, and pay them. lol. Not many businesses in town are this organized and ready for large groups of people, they really do take the stress out of things.

If you are worried about transportation, they can also coordinate a bus to help move people from place to place and work with a local taxi company to ensure everyone gets home safe. They have thought of every detail to make this easy for you. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

SOS App Coming Soon!

It's Since (where SOS also volunteers) and the South of Seoul community has been growing faster than we ever anticipated so we've decided to get fancy! We are launching an iPhone and Adroid app that will tell you everything you need to know about living in Pyeongtaek. The app is currently being tested by a few local volunteers and should be ready for download in a few weeks.

South of Seoul is partnering with local businesses to do an official launch - hopefully before Christmas - with a party and giveaways to get us started. Currently we have collected gifts from:

  • Loft33, 
  • Louis' Bar & Grill, 
  • Tailgate Tavern, 
  • Boiling Crab & Shrimp, 
  • Braai Republic,
  • Coffee Loves Coffee.

Here are some of the exciting features on the upcoming app:

SEARCH for Food and Fun
  • A database of places I love.
  • Search is divided into neighborhoods.
  • The ability for users to add their own favorites.
  • Easy fast reviews of listings.
  • A map of all the listings directly around you.
  • Bookmarking places to save for later.

  • Indie businesses can list themselves OR you list ones you love.
  • Services like childcare, health, tutors, etc.
  • You can support these businesses withe your reviews.
  • Ability to bookmark services you want to use.
  • Ability to send a request for services through the app.

ATTEND Local Events
  • Integrated with google calendar
  • PIEF Events
  • Pyengtaek City Events
  • Business Events

FOLLOW Foodies and Fun
  • Restaurants and foodies can share images and information.
  • You can follow your favorite foodies to see where they go.
  • Basically, we can geek out in our own private space. lol

HELP Us Grow / Eat
In order to make sure South of Seoul can stick around and keep coming up with great ways of making life outside Seoul aweseome, we are building in a variety of was the community can come together to support and encourage continued growth. Here are two ways that you can give if you find the South of Seoul blog and app 
  • Patreon: ($2-$45 a month) If you would like to support Lanae's work in particular, then you can contribute through Patreon. When you signup you will contribute monthly to the work that goes into making sure all the best places are found. Just cancel it when you leave Korea. The reason this is a monthly system is that research is never ending. In order to always be on top of current information, South of Seoul needs to keep exploring and this helps make sure we can afford to be out there every month finding the best places.
  • GoFundMe: (Current goal is $750 for the years expenses) Separate from this is the GoFundMe which will be used to fund the app itself. This will pay for the monthly fees associated with keeping it live and working smoothly for the first year. If we raise OVER the $750 then I will use that money to develop the app further. Pay some folks to add in better features, speed up load times, adjust preset to things that make us all happier. So give to GoFundMe and I'll make the app more and more badass.
Both of these funding options are linked to in the app so you can make a decision after using it for a while. This isn't a shake down, just and opportunity to all do this together if you think it's something that makes your life better :)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Dog Town Club Pet Grooming and Pet Hotel

Although I've driven past Dog Town Pet Grooming many times and I've seen their posts on FB I've never really given them much thought since my little ankle biters don't need any pet grooming. However, last night Saem (the owner and groomer) messaged me and asked me to swing by and check it out. Since I had some free time I thought, "Why not?" I mean, I'm sure there there are lots of folks in the Pyeongtaek Restaurants & Things To Do Group have dogs with long hair and might need a recommendation. Plus, I'm just generally curious. I've seen FB posts for Dog Town and I've never been able to figure out what to think.

So, last night I grabbed my soy pumpkin spiced latte at 커피에 반하다 and headed over. The shop isn't huge and it's located maybe a 5 minute drive straight out of Camp Humphreys main gate just before Korea Mart. The shop is also only open by appointment. You can't just stop in and check it out.

When I arrived it was a little awkward at first. Saem is very reserved in English. It's difficult for him and he struggles through details with diligent efforts. It's very hard for him and I know how that feels. That is me on so many days in Korean. So after torturing him with questions in English for a little bit, I decided to switch to Korean so I could learn more and help him feel more comfortable. That's when he really came out of his shell and just started talking and talking and talking about his feelings concerning dogs, vets, grooming, customer service, etc.

Which brings me to something I want to talk about, language barriers. On FB and in person it can be VERY hard for Korean's to communicate their feelings, experience, and services. Sometimes it's hard to know if you are being taken advantage of, or if it's just an in ability to clearly understand each other's intentions. Which is why I try to speak to local business owners both in English and in Korean. It gives me a better idea of who they are, what their motivations are, where their passion comes from.  Even if I can't understand 100% of what they may tell me in Korean, I can learn a great deal from their manner and use of the language which tells me a lot about who they are as people. 

That said, here are my cliff notes from my visit with Saem:
  • He is passionate about what he does and deeply cares about the animals. 
  • He even pays attention to their skin and their coat and will let you know if there are allergies or health issues. 
  • He works with clients from Camp Humphreys and Osan because he feels a connection with Americans and their priorities for their pets. 
  • Dogs that stay with him (for the pet hotel services) stay in his home and he doesn't keep them kenneled the entire time, he lets them play and roam. 
  • He doesn't want to rush through a cut, he wants to do it right. This isn't his job, it's his passion.
  • His specialty is Cocker spaniel cuts. 
  • Big dogs are no problem for him and what he does the most.
  • He wants to be affordable and fair, but also needs to charge a reasonable price since he has 25 years of experience (Which I agree with. This isn't a chop shop. This guy knows what he is doing.)  
  • A basic cut for a large dog is going to run 60,000W. As you know, more demanding and complicated requests will need to be negotiated, but Saem is reasonable and he isn't' just thinking about the dollar signs. He is trying to find a balance between quality and affordability.
  • For this pet hotel services, it's 20,000 per day for small and medium dogs and 40,000 per day for big dogs.  This isn't just a "leave them in a cage until I get back" situation. Although I haven't been to his house, his no-sense attitude and passion for animals makes be believe he is going to do a good job.
Here are some questions that you need to ask so that there aren't any misunderstandings with ALL dog groomers:
  • Will my dog be sedated? It's a common practice to sedate dogs who get upset during grooming in order to decrease their stress, protect the groomer. This is not unique to Korea. It's done in the states as well. However, in Korea they may not ask you first and so it might be a shock to you to learn about it after the fact since we are used to having these things cleared with us ahead of time.  If you DO NOT want you dog sedated you need to be clear about this up front.  You must be clear about your expectations on this.
  • If there is a change in the price, will you contact me? Sometimes what groomers begin working on the dog they discover that there are more issues than they expected. You need to make sure the groomer understands not to do anything extra without checking with you. This is a complicated part of doing business outside your own language in a new culture. 
  • What does the service include? Will the toenails be clipped? Ears cleaned? etc. Be sure to understand what services are being provided. Every groomer is different and you might expect something will be done, but it's not. You also might expect something else to be left alone, but the groomer includes it in their service. 
Is Saem all cuddles and rainbows when you meet him? No. He is intense and serious, but when he starts talk about dogs you see his sincerity and it feels deeply honest. If my dogs had long hair I would bring them here at least once to try it. Honestly, this guy is super passionate about animals and taking care of them. There is also a cultural and language barrier you will need to work through. Be patient and make sure all your needs and expectations are communicated.

If you don't feel comfortable there are always other options to try.

For a Reservation text or call 010-4000-9614

Thursday, November 10, 2016

J. Dog Cafe

Over the summer we were going everywhere trying to find the perfect places to play with our doggies who spend far too much time inside. Although we found many wonderful options for summer, with winter on the way I knew we needed to find ones that might offer a big more warmth.

Which is how I found the fabulous J. Dog Cafe located near my favorite new area of Pyeongtaek. This cafe has everything you need to enjoy the long winter months with your fuzzy family members. The large spacious facility offers ample outside and inside space for puppies to play. Large and small dogs are welcome and all for the cost of one drink per human who accompanies the dogs. No fee per dog. The drinks are a little pricey - ranging from 7,000 and up - but considering it costs at least 20,000w for two humans and two dogs at the larger parks and THEN we have to spend another 10,000w on coffee, this is a great deal for us.

Also, what makes J. Dog different from other cafes is the fact that they have a huge yard for the doggies to play in so it's like a park and a cafe in one space. Also, the owners both spoke English and were very kind. We felt quite welcome.

The cafe isn't only for visiting, they also have boarding options as well if you are in need of a place to leave your beloved babies over the weekend or while you are traveling. We might try leaving our doggies there in the future.

Looking forward to running into all the local expat dog owners at J. Dog this winter. We can all hangout together while hugging our puppies and mochas.

*** This listing and all other restaurants reviewed by South of Seoul can be found in the South of Seoul app which can be downloaded from Google Play and the Apple App Store. ***

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Thanksgiving Celebrations Outside Seoul!


If you are a community, business, church, or person with a Thanksgiving event you need shared, please FB us with the location, date, and price (or a link to the FB event) and we will add it to the list. 

For all the rest of you fabulous folks, Happy US Thanksgiving. Enjoy your turkey hangovers.

Thanksgiving Buffet
Where:  Craftworks Pangyo
When:  November 24th
Time:  6pm -10:30pm
Price:  45,000w

Thanksgiving Potluck
Where:  BAOBAB
ADDRESS:  경기도 용인시 기흥구 죽전로15번길 3-12
When:  November 20th
Time:  2:30pm
Price:  Bring a dish of your choice.
No FB Event. Just show up :)

Thanks Giving Dinner 11/26th (NEW)
Where:  Dublin's Irish Pub
When: November 26th
Time: Seatings at 3pm and 7pm
Price: 30,000w

DCC November Symposium and Thanksgiving Dinner
Where:  Wosong University
When:  November 26th
Time:  6:30pm (for the dinner)
Price:  30,000w

Thanksgiving Potluck
Where:  Moes
When:  November 20th
Time:  3pm-6pm

Thanksgiving Dinner
Where:  Songtan Baptist Church
When:  November 20th
Time:  5pm - 7:30pm
Price:  Bring a side dish or a dessert to share

Thanksgiving Lunch (NEW)
Where: Mission Baptist Church
When: November 20th
Time: Service starts at 10:30 and lunch will be served about 11:45
Price: Please bring a side dish or a dessert to share.

5 Course Thanksgiving Dinner (for charity) (NEW)
Where: MANNA the kitchen
When: November 24th
Time: TBA
Price: By donation. ALL money collected will be donated to KUMFA

Thanksgiving Dinner (NEW NEW)
Where: Braai Republic
When: November 24th
Time: Seatings from 16:30-18:30 and 19:00-21:00
Price: 32,000 adults 15,000 kids under 15
Call 031-657.7580 or email: for a reservation

Thanksgiving at Harry's
Where: Harry's Beer House
When: November 26th
Time: 3pm
Price: 20,000 - 40,000w depending on when you buy tickets.

Thanksgiving Buffet
Where:  The Big Chill
When:  Nobember 26th
Time:  6:30pm - 9pm
Price:  30,000w for all you can eat buffet