ZenKimchi http://zenkimchi.com Exploring Korean food since 2004 Thu, 19 Jan 2017 01:56:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.1 https://i2.wp.com/zenkimchi.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/cropped-ZK_Logo_app_512.png?fit=32%2C32 ZenKimchi http://zenkimchi.com 32 32 Amateur Trader: New Rule–2 o’clock Trailing Stop http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-new-rule-2-oclock-trailing-stop/ http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-new-rule-2-oclock-trailing-stop/#respond Sat, 14 Jan 2017 03:26:33 +0000 http://zenkimchi.com/?p=49904 Last night I didn’t get to bed until 5 a.m. I also noticed that if I had just left things alone to what I originally planned without getting greedy, I would have profited more. I went back and checked all my previous trades. The majority of them, I figured this. If I saw which direction they were going, I could have put in some trailing stops and some safeties and have gone to bed. Now that I’m starting to enter trades with a cooler head, my next step is to learn to exit trades with the same coolness.


Chart analysis. News and social media analysis. Fundamentals analysis. Those work great. I’m finding in my readings that psychology is really what makes and breaks success.


I have gotten better at reading indicators. Last night, I misread one indicator, and that hurt me. I was even mocked on Twitter for that. But I’m a longtime blogger. I’m used to being mocked and trolled. I also made a technical error in the system, which made me lose more. I thought the trade had gone through, but it was cancelled.

So I also need to practice with the system more to make sure I don’t make mistakes in my trade triggers before going to bed. If I hadn’t caught last night’s error, I really would have been in trouble. I checked this morning, and it seriously fell after I exited. I’ve been lucky so far. I’ve gotten out of trades like Indiana Jones escaping the temple, grabbing my hat right before the stone door shuts. Sometimes I escape with the idol. Sometimes I’m lucky to at least have my hat.

If I’m staying up past 1 or 2, then I’m letting my emotions take over. Yeah, Friday night I planned to stay up anyway with a bottle of wine. It was fun. I really was fun, even though I saw most of my gains fall away. But I am still in the black. I still have more money than I did when I started this whole thing. I can do it again, and I’m much smarter now. It’s also small money. I can always reload the account later if a huge disaster happens. This is play money.

The most difficult discipline to master is resisting your loss aversion urge. We are more emotional when we lose things than when we gain things. So we stay in a losing trade, hoping our losses will return. I need to work more on my gain satisfaction. I need to be happy with what little I get and get out.

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Amateur Trader: 20% Plan http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-20-plan/ http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-20-plan/#respond Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:26:03 +0000 http://zenkimchi.com/?p=49892 I’m trying something a little ambitious with this. I have a target to gain 20% per week. Compounded that can get pretty big.

And off of just $2,200.

Start End
$2,200.00 $2,640.00
$2,640.00 $3,168.00
$3,168.00 $3,801.60
$3,801.60 $4,561.92
$4,561.92 $5,474.30
$5,474.30 $6,569.16
$6,569.16 $7,883.00
$7,883.00 $9,459.60
$9,459.60 $11,351.52
$11,351.52 $13,621.82
$13,621.82 $16,346.18
$16,346.18 $19,615.42
$19,615.42 $23,538.51
$23,538.51 $28,246.21
$28,246.21 $33,895.45
$33,895.45 $40,674.54
$40,674.54 $48,809.44
$48,809.44 $58,571.33
$58,571.33 $70,285.60
$70,285.60 $84,342.72
$84,342.72 $101,211.26
$101,211.26 $121,453.52
$121,453.52 $145,744.22
$145,744.22 $174,893.06
$174,893.06 $209,871.68
$209,871.68 $251,846.01

It’s stupidly ambitious. I don’t feel too pressured to reach the goal each week, though. I mean, for someone who’s never fully pushed the $50,000/year salary mark by age 42, I have no complaints about having $100,000 by August instead of June.

In my spreadsheet, I have this original list and another one where I adjust it to what I really make each week. By having these goals and this focus, it keeps me, well, focused. I’m less likely to be stupid. I’m more likely to be disciplined. Once I hit my 20% goal, I can slack off and put in a stop limit. If I go over, then it gives me breathing room for the next week. If I’m under then I’m under.

I also plan to start taking some of my profits in the next couple of months for family expenses and for my tour business–which will in turn bring back more profits.

See? There’s a plan thar!

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Amateur Trader: Ah well, let’s try it again $2,375.23 [1 Day -667.47 (22%)] [YTD +92.34 (1.27%)] http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader/ http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader/#respond Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:19:27 +0000 http://zenkimchi.com/?p=49890 $2,375.23




Actn  Shr  SYMB  Price  Type  Price 
 Buy 1120 TBIO 1.25 limit 1409.99
 Sell 2172 TBIO  1.073 market 2330.56

What happened

  • Calm. Zen.
  • As predicted, the market fell. It fell really hard. It actually triggered my safety. I had set up a trigger to put a limit order close to the price I bought at if it got low enough. I made sure to cancel that order because I knew it had support and would go back up.
  • And yes, it did. The bullish morning trend was more intense this morning.
  • Bought 1120 more shares at 1.25. Just above the day’s low.
  • I watched indicators. The two that were most reliable were the auto trend recognizers (a feature of Think or Swim) and Parabolic SAR. A bullish trend marker popped up. It gave me a better idea of what price to enter at. The Parabolic SAR was still pressuring down, but it was tapering, about to go bullish. So I put in an order at 1.25. It filled. Then I watched it drop -0.02 and bounce back up. Just like Han Solo slapping the Millennium Falcon.
  • It looks like it was going to break out, but then it plummeted. I got out just in time.
  • NO I DIDN’T!!!! While I was typing this, I went to check the numbers, and it showed that the order was cancelled. I don’t know why. I think it may be because I hadn’t cancelled another order. So it plummeted even more before I could get out.

What I should have done

  • Eh, I did pretty well. I think I should have stuck to my initial exits. DON’T BE GREEDY.
  • Cancelled all other orders before getting out.

What I learned

  • StockTwits
  • Take your profits when you can. This sounds so easy, but it’s so hard to stay true to.
  • StockTwits loves to hype things, but it’s fun.
  • Put your stop limit above the price you bought your highest stock in.
  • Check your outstanding orders before getting out.

Licking my wounds


Yes, I’m new to this. Well, everything has changed since I last dabbled. I’ve added StockTwits to the social channels I follow. Getting used to the rhythm and style of this one. They and Twitter are predicting that TBIO will go past $2.00, maybe even $2.50. My plan is to stay in. I’m still going to put in a stop just below the closing price from yesterday. Just in case. If the rest of my funds from my CALA trade get liquid (available to trade) today, I’ll put more into TBIO if there are any dips–while keeping track of the charts and social signals. Yesterday again proved the power of using streaming social media as a tool. I would have lost money yesterday by getting out early if I hadn’t found so many overwhelming positive signals on Twitter. High positive Twitter volume. I’m always negative when reading these, though. Healthy skepticism. I put more weight into the bears than I do the bulls. And even then when the bulls so overwhelm the bears, I decide that it’s safe to stay in. Checking out the chatter on TBIO on StockTwits confirms this. I’m going to keep watching both these channels, along with Bilo Selhi. Bilo is a very stark chat room. They only mention the names of stocks. I guess that’s because it’s Google+, and people get notifications every time someone posts in there. That could be annoying if people were having idol chatter. I’ll respect that and reserve my talky posts to StockTwits.


This time I had a few plans set up. I preset “Buy” actions at different levels (1,000 shares @1.40, 1076 shares @1.30, etc.). I’m forcing myself to be restrained. I’m trying to not touch anything until one hour into market opening. I’m at least waiting for the Parabolic SAR to go bullish. But if any conditions change, I’m all cocked and ready to take action.

The bullish indicator I was waiting for hit. I put in my buy order for 1.25.

I feel like I’m getting the hang of this a little better. I’m able to calm down. I can predict when the trends are coming better. If it starts going down, I’m not as stressed as I was before. In fact, I was able to take a break and hang out with my girls until they went to sleep. Right now, I’m just chilling during the lunch lull. Thinking of even catching an episode of Star Wars Rebels.

I’ve almost hit my 20% weekly mark. This week it’s $3,168.00

Yep, hit it. And on a downtrend, no less.

OMG, it’s really plummeting.


If I had a day trading account I would have gotten out sooner. But I’m limited in the number of trades I can make during a period of time. So I have to be really sure if I really want to get out because I can’t get back in for a few more days.

Okay, that was a technical fuck up. Yeah, I still got out just in good time before it all went to hell. Practice, practice, practice. To put things into perspective, the whole market wasn’t doing well today. TBIO was the only one making gains until that very end.


This is my first burn in chart analytics. I had two patterns indicating it was going to break out, and it didn’t. I got out just in time. Again, EXIT KING! It’s still plummeting as I type. I actually got away by the skin of my teeth. Yes, my position is lower than it was yesterday, but it coulda been worse. I’m still higher than I was a couple weeks ago. I’m below my 20% goal, but MEH!

What I got out of this was a better organized Zen state. I didn’t let shit get to me. Actually, if I had put this one trigger in correctly, I would have gotten out sooner. I tried to sell more shares than I had, so it cancelled my order.

Well, well, well!

Back to where we started. Let’s try this again.

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Amateur Trader: Fell for a Pump & Dump $3,042.70 +484.46 (19%) http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-fell-for-a-pump-dump/ http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-fell-for-a-pump-dump/#respond Thu, 12 Jan 2017 18:53:18 +0000 http://zenkimchi.com/?p=49881 $3,042.70


Shr  SYMB  Price  Pct $ change 
1052 TBIO  1.51  46.60%  504.96


Actn  Shr  SYMB  Price  Type  Price 
Buy 1052 TBIO 1.03 stop limit 1093.55

What happened

  • I planned to do a limit on APRI at 1.73
  • In the chat room, I saw TBIO, and it was having some serious volume before the bell. I was afraid it would be a pump and dump.
  • I cancelled the APRI order and did an OCA on TBIO at 1.140 and APRI at 1.73
  • The Ameritrade website was crapping out. I still haven’t figured how to use Think or Swim’s more advanced trading features.
  • I saw immediately that TBIO was plummeting, and it filled my order before I could cancel it.

What I should have done

  • Anticipate that it will go down. A lot!
  • Research
  • Wait. Don’t buy before the market opens.

What I learned

  • Use the damn indicators on Think or Swim
  • RESEARCH!! Twitter!
  • Buy on dips
  • Don’t buy before market opens
  • Wait for one of Bilo’s live calls with price.
  • If your heart is beating hard, it’s lust. Not logic.
  • Not losing your cool also means backing off and letting things unfold. I almost left the trade way too low. Glad I cooled down and waited.
  • Level II Quotes are fun to watch and gives you a look at the gears inside the engine.

Licking my wounds, checking my ego

I learned better how to use Think or Swim. I need to learn even more. The Ameritrade website is unreliable. It was sunk. I later checked Twitter, and they had warned against it. FUCKHEAD!!!!

I knew about this! I had read so much about this. And I stupidly fell for it. I didn’t research before putting in the trade.

Ohh… this was  close. I’m actually writing this as it happens. After I read that pump and dump stuff from the Tim Sykolites, I freaked out. I tried to get out at 08.500, but it wouldn’t get up there. You know what? THANK GOD I learned about Level II Quotes today. I could see who was putting in orders and where it was going. But they were staying in the 0.7500s. Wouldn’t go up. But I kept it there. I checked Twitter again, and others were anticipating that it was going to go up after the dip from low float.

I went back to look at the Level II quotes. My order for 0.8500 was right there, sticking out above all the 0.7500s. I right clicked my order. SUDDENLY!! I saw a bunch of Asks selling at .8000. Then one came up for 0.8600, higher than the price I was selling for. I quickly clicked “Cancel.”

You know, I really don’t have that much in this play. $1100, around. Even if I lose it all, I can replace it. I’ll just go long.

Seeing if it can shake out all the shorters. There’s some guy trying to sell 500 shares at 1.2000. I thought I’d join him and post a sell on 1000 shares at 1.2200. At least if it does trigger, I make a profit. I mean, when it’s down this much, and it’s not that much money anyway, just let it float in the stream.

Here we go. I think other traders are seeing that the Parabolic SAR is losing its bearishness. The Asks are all in the 0.800s now. Twitter is predicting another run after lunch. Bedtime for me. Others are going to go in long.

Broke resistance.

Parabolic SAR is bullish now. Just switched. Bilo has also stated that it’s starting to turn.

0.8500 is the next resistance. I hope it breaks through.

Okay. It’s pretty much doing nothing now. I got some other work done. I’m about to turn in for the night. The buzz on Twitter is that the market is generally down anyway today.

Lunch must be over. Two bullish signals while it just consolidates. The bids are starting to break 0.8000. It’s popped the 0.8000 hymen. Will it go for the full thrust?

Why, hello, Volume. How was lunch?

In profit territory. 😯

Hovering just under. I’m feeling much better now. Unless something weird happens and it plummets in the next two hours, it’ll be good. They’re predicting a spike in opening tomorrow. Possibly another dump and pump.

This time I’ll be ready.

3:55 a.m.

I’m out.

Next morning.

It’s like Christmas. You wake up in the morning, check your stocking. Will it be coal? No, it’s a 46% profit. It may do the same action tonight. I’m going to watch the Twitter buzz and prepare action. I have almost hit my 20%/week goal.

I’m  on out of it yet. If I get to keep even some of this I am going to say I’m very lucky. It wasn’t smarts. I was an idiot. If I waited for the dip, I’d be up over 100%.

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Amateur Trader: Low Volume $2,558.24 -148.04 (5.47%) http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-low-volume-2558-24/ http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-low-volume-2558-24/#respond Thu, 12 Jan 2017 01:24:09 +0000 http://zenkimchi.com/?p=49843 $2,558.24




Actn  Shr  SYMB  Price  Type  Net 
Sold 760 ITEK 1.70 stop limit (134.01)
Sold 300 CALA  4.25 stop limit (102.51)

Sold 760 ITEK @ 1.70 stop limit

What happened

  • Held over from earlier this week
  • ITEK still showed no movement, so I put a stop limit. It sold within 30 minutes.
  • Even though CALA’s charts were bullish, there was strong downside pressure today.
  • CALA had practically no volume for long periods. I could sit there and watch every. Single. Trade. There were gaps of 10 minutes between trades.

What I should have done

  • Put downside stop limit on CALA when it went positive. I would have broken even or gotten a meager profit rather than losing more.
  • Check a longer view of the charts before entering
  • Be more disciplined when entering. For both of these, I was worried about missing them, so I place my limit orders too high.

What I learned

  • Check volume before entering. Should be over 500,000/day.
  • Check longer chart
  • Evaluate if movement has lost its steam
  • Be more disciplined when entering.
  • Don’t be afraid to miss entering a trade. If you miss a trade, you lose $0. If you chase a trade, you pay a commission and all the potential downside.
  • When buying, keep around enough cash to pay for commissions.

Licking my wounds

I am more disciplined. I took losses on both. It looks like CALA may still go up, but it was quite possible it wouldn’t. Couldn’t tell with the volume. In fact, when I left, the only volume it was showing was down. It had broken the support I had for it. Rather than try to ride it through, I was disciplined and put in a stop limit. I lost money this week, but I didn’t lose all the gains from last week. I’m pretty much back where I started for the year. Haha! One consistency I’ve had with my record so far is that I’ve gotten out of trades by the skin of my teeth. None of my past trades have done well after I left them. I’m the Exit King. I got a little emotional and irrational, but less so than I have been in the past.

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Amateur Trader: Nowhere Land $2,706.28 -16.20 (0.60%) http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-nowhere-land-2706-28/ http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-nowhere-land-2706-28/#respond Wed, 11 Jan 2017 06:44:23 +0000 http://zenkimchi.com/?p=49867 $2,706.28


Shr  SYMB  Price  Pct $ change 
760 ITEK 1.75 -85.99
300 CALA  4.55 -2.49


Actn  Shr  SYMB  Price  Type  Price 
Buy 760 ITEK 1.85 limit 1,415.99

What happened

  • Bilo and Twitter buzzed a bit about ITEK.
  • I tried an OCA trigger (One Cancels Another) between two stocks
  • ITEK won the trigger

What I should have done

  • Use a lower limit when buying. They do come down, ya know. Put the limit at the support.

What I learned

  • Trade triggers are kinda fun
  • Williams %R and ADX are pretty darn good indicators
  • Stick to your limit price. It will come to you. Or you can get something else. Have them play by your rules. Don’t play by theirs.
  • OCA is a good tool to use
  • Penny stocks are sensitive to news

Licking my wounds

Note that the numbers may not fit perfectly. Sometimes I count the commission. Sometimes I don’t. This diary isn’t for accounting purposes. It’s to get in idea of my general progress (regress).

I had an OCA order set up between ITEK and PSTI. I set their target prices. ITEK hit its target price first, which cancelled the order for PSTI. I’ll use this more in the future when I have a hard time deciding between trades. I’ll just set up parameters. If one fills those parameters, it’ll fill that order. It takes a lot of the tension out of the trade. I go from being a coach to being a spectator. I’m less impulsive. I still need to stop buying things so high. In the end, it wouldn’t have mattered. PSTI didn’t do too well. I would have lost more through that trade.

I based the ITEK purchase on news, insider shares being bought, and that it was a beaten down biotech. It had a failed drug trial, and it went way down earlier. But its fundamentals are still there. It will go back up. But one news piece was of a class action lawsuit from that fall in price related to the failed drug trial. Supposedly, this is not unusual, but the market may have taken it more seriously than it should have. Penny stocks are sensitive to news. I’m wondering if technical analysis isn’t as effective with penny stocks compared to news. It just hovered between 1.70 and 1.75.

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Coming to Seoul? Your plans aren’t complete without a full immersion food tour http://zenkimchi.com/featured/coming-to-seoul-your-plans-arent-complete-without-a-full-immersion-food-tour/ http://zenkimchi.com/featured/coming-to-seoul-your-plans-arent-complete-without-a-full-immersion-food-tour/#respond Wed, 11 Jan 2017 04:53:10 +0000 http://zenkimchi.com/?p=49835

Let’s be honest.

Compared to its neighbors, Seoul’s sights are fine but are dwarfed. What makes world travelers come to Seoul and return is its culture.

Its nightlife.

Yet it’s hard to navigate if you’re new to the area. Some restaurants and drinking spots don’t even accept single diners. A lot of the restaurants promoted by tourism entities are just that–tourist restaurants. You won’t find many locals eating there. Trip Advisor ranks taco and pizza joints because of the Great Wall of Intimidation in Korean restaurants. God forbid if you find yourself being suckered into standing in line at Myeong-dong Gyoza. And the Michelin Guide?


That’s why I started Korea Food Tours. I got the idea for these tours my first year in Korea because the great food is lying under the surface. You gotta have an “in.” You gotta have someone who knows the ropes. I don’t want you to go through what I went through. I got frustrated with all the fluff and pabulum Korean tourism agencies and corporations were promoting on TV and to tourists. I’m like,

Fuck that!

There are reasons why some of us decide to stay here and love it. We want to show you why we love this place. You’re not going to be led through some market, grazing like a sheep. You’re going to be with a group of new friends out for a good time. Full immersion.

You’re gonna be a Seoulite for a night.

(Actually, even Koreans take our tours and have been impressed.)

Just take a look at what we have to offer. We do recommend booking early in your stay so that our guides can give you the scoop on other places to eat and see during your stay.

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Amateur Trader: Staggering the Trades $2,722.48 -72.48 (2.59%) http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-staggering-trades-2722-48/ http://zenkimchi.com/amateur-trader/amateur-trader-staggering-trades-2722-48/#respond Tue, 10 Jan 2017 03:21:47 +0000 http://zenkimchi.com/?p=49857 $2,722.48


Shr  SYMB  Price  Pct $ change 
300 CALA 4.35 (62.49)


Actn  Shr  SYMB  Price  Type  Amt 
BUY 300 CALA 4.525 limit 1,367.49

What happened

  • CALA was on Bilo’s alerts. He bought it Friday. I bought it Monday. He then sold it soon after I bought it. Uh, oh!
  • I used around half my cash to buy this one, not the whole kitty.

What I should have done

  • Not sure. Maybe I should have waited for another alert.

What I learned

  • It does feel safer to spread out the trades, though the $9.99 commissions sting. I lose around $20 each trade no matter what. Splitting it between two loses me $40. So I gotta go up at least $40 combined to break even.
  • Bilo’s little utterances towards the end of the day tend to do well. The thing is, I’m usually in bed by that time. Maybe I can try some aftermarket trading.

Licking my wounds

I’m starting to learn this about Bilo Selhi. Those big trades he keeps bragging about. Yes, they are mentioned in the chat room. But he mentions a good handful of trades in the chat room, sometimes with no context. Just says the stock symbol. That’s it. Then if it does well, he says, “Look what we predicted in our chat room!”

But I keep track of every little stock he mentions. Some of them he mentions went up during pre-market, after they’ve already gone up. So they just sit there a long time doing nothing and then fall. So by the time the market opens, it’s too late to get in on it.

If I had the available funds to spread around and a day trading account, this would be no problem. Since this is the early stage of a very minimal account, I gotta be more careful.

I did put a 5% trailing stop on CALA before I went to bed. It didn’t hit that, so it lives to run another day. Spreading the trade does make me feel less stressed.

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10 unique souvenirs you should get in Seoul http://zenkimchi.com/featured/10-unique-souvenirs-you-should-get-in-seoul/ http://zenkimchi.com/featured/10-unique-souvenirs-you-should-get-in-seoul/#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2017 02:44:13 +0000 http://zenkimchi.com/?p=49811 One of the most stressful parts of traveling is getting souvenirs for friends, family, and office mates. I’ve lived in the Seoul area since 2004, and I’ve been a tour guide for a few years. In my own experience and through talking with tourists over the years, I’ve decided to put together a handy guide to getting souvenirs that are unique and won’t weigh down your luggage.

Myeong-dong Cosmetics

Image result for korean face mask

The K-beauty thing is now becoming a… thing. The world is starting to take the Korean cosmetics industry seriously. I’ll admit that I’ve been sucked into it. Yes, I moisturize. Myeong-dong is the optimal place to shop for cosmetics. I’ll warn you, the crowds and the stores are CRA-ZAY! If you’re in a hurry or don’t know what to buy, go ahead and get a bunch of face packs. You can usually get a good deal for a bunch of them. They come in different–flavors isn’t the word I’m looking for. What I suggest is trying one of these face packs after chilling them in the refrigerator, especially if you’re recovering from sunburn. It’s intense.


If anything, Insa-dong is the best place to get all your souvenir shopping done in one go. After over a decade living here, I still do my Christmas shopping for overseas family in Insa-dong. Stay away from the official souvenir shops, unless you like “Made in China” on your Korean souvenirs. The antiques are kinda iffy, and you may have trouble getting them on the plane. How about these suggestions?


Image result for hanbok

Korean traditional clothes as well as other traditional styles can easily be found here. I suggest buying these for kids. They’re cheaper and easier to fit in a suitcase.

Name Stamps

Name Stamps

Credit: Constant Crafter

This is one gift I like to give. I’ve even given one to Anthony Bourdain when he came to Seoul. There are lots of shops that make personalized name stamps. You can give them a design, your name in English, or have them make your name in Korean. They usually take fifteen minutes to make, and the prices start at around W30,000 (~$27 USD).

Traditional Paper

Korean Paper

Credit: YoungDoo M. Carey (cc)

The art is perfectly fine to buy in Insa-dong. Yet the true craft is traditional Korean paper. You can find this in calligraphy shops. It really is a traditional art. It encapsulates Korea’s rustic beauty. I particularly like really rough paper with real flowers pressed in it. I sent some in a care package to my family in the U.S. one Christmas, and my grandmother liked it so much she framed it and hung it on her dining room wall. Best of all, it’s lightweight, and it folds, and it’s an interesting conversation piece.

Wedding Ducks

Wedding Ducks

Credit: Wikipedia

These wooden ducks that look like duck decoys are used in traditional marriage ceremonies. If you know anyone getting married soon, this is a good souvenir for them.



Credit: Chelsea Marie Hicks (cc)

I used to laugh at the idea of buying the weird socks in Insa-dong, but I have actually given these to nieces and nephews, and they love them. We have a joke that you’re not famous in Korea until your face is on socks. You can get them with Korean celebrities. My favorite are the ones with Shin Ramyeon logos.


Korean stickers

Credit: Jessie Lynn (cc)

For the kids, stickers are so fun and unique. There are some that work the same as paper dolls, where you dress up a princess in sticker clothes. These have been my standby for kids gifts since 2004, and it’s always worked. Kyobo Bookstore is a great source, as is any stationery shop.

Wooden Models

Image result for korean wooden model

Another fun gift for kids or the modeler in your life is these little wooden models of traditional Korean buildings. You can find them in bookstores or in the book section of supermarkets.


Image result for korean snacks

Credit: Koreabridge

Speaking of supermarkets, they have been my go-to source for souvenirs in any country I visit. I love finding fun foods while wandering the aisles. I’ve made the mistake of buying too many jarred products, which did weigh down my luggage in London. In Korea, the snack aisles are loads of fun. The convenience stores are great as well. A word of warning, don’t try to bring makgeolli, as the pressure on the plane will make it explode (oops).

Tailor Made Clothing


Credit: World Walk About

Korea used to be one of the world’s top textile manufacturers. We have a lot of places that will make a suit to your specifications for a decent price. Many of these tailors are in Itaewon. I personally like to get tailor made shirts from Hamilton Shirts. They have my specs on file. I just choose the fabric and the style, and they ship it to me within ten days. They will even ship overseas–something to keep in mind. When my brother was visiting on his birthday, I bought him a tailor made shirt that was delivered to his house in America after he returned. If you are interested in this, read this blog post by World Walk About.

What have we missed?

What other great unique souvenirs would you suggest one get in Seoul? I know I’ve just scratched the surface. In fact, if you are able to make the hour and a half jaunt to Icheon, a village known throughout history as making the best pottery, you can buy some of the world’s greatest pottery and have it shipped to your door. That’s a topic for another post.

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