A guest post from Chris Backe
UPDATED (13 Nov 2012) to include some blogs mentioned in the comments.
It’s been quite awhile since I saw a post about who’s blogging in Korea. To be clear, this is far from a comprehensive list, but is meant to highlight some of the standouts focusing on Korea that actively blog (which for the sake of argument is someone whose most recent post is less than a couple weeks old). The blogosphere is littered with blogs that are no longer updated as often, or were left behind as a souvenir to their time in Korea – but these are the ones worth reading.
http://aliensdayout.com – because vegans love to eat, too – and this blogger makes everything look tasty. Being a blogger that makes some tasty treats means there’s an online bake shop – and of course it’s all vegan.
http://kissmykimchi.com – it’s not entirely about food, but Brian reviews a number of restaurants around Seoul.
http://www.seouleats.com – one of the oldest blogs dedicated to food in Korea, there are tons of reviews and directions to restaurants here.
http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal/ – one part food blog, one part business, Joe McPherson and company offers up plenty of tasty Korean food.
http://farsicknessblog.com – Amanda Slavinsky’s personal travel narratives and photos make for an intriguing combination of posts worth reading, while the stories about her life in Korea tickle the funny bone.
http://www.waegook-tom.com/ – Tom’s travels have taken him across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East – but he’s here in Korea, and he brings a more international perspective to the table while visiting the quirkier corners of Korea.
http://daleskoreantempleadventures.blogspot.kr/ – With a glimpse at the URL, you can correctly identify most everything you’d like to know about the blog – his name is Dale, he travels to temples, and he’s here in Korea. It’s clear he knows his temples, having been to almost 100 temples this year alone.
http://seoulsuburban.com – you’ve always wondered what was around those subway stations you never actually go to explore. These guys do, and they find some interesting corners of Seoul that otherwise go unexplored. Expect lengthy, good reads about the area and some colorful photography to accompany.
Life in Korea
http://evanandrachel.com/ – they’re married, they’re in Yangsan, and they do plenty of videos about their lives in Korea. They’re also really good on camera – what more do you need?
http://www.qiranger.com/ – with one of the most popular vlogs about Korea, Steve the Qi Ranger uses video, podcast, and words to share his times in Korea. Primary topics include traveling, running, and Korean food and drink.
http://foreignerjoy.blogspot.com – she may be leaving in February, but she’s blogged about painting, her life in Korea, teaching in Korea, and a very cute cat.
http://elwood5566.net – between bathhouses (jimjilbang) and traveling Korea, this British gentlemen keeps his finger on the pulse of what happens across the southern half of Korea.
http://seoulistic.com – making life in Seoul and Korea simpler is their main mission, and it’s working. From shopping to getting things for free to some very Korean adventures, check Seoulistic out if you’re new to Korea.
http://www.eatyourkimchi.com – the Eat Your Kimchi duo is better known than most other entries here, but get a mention because of their unmatched focus on K-pop and their various segments. Whether you enjoy their videos or just tune in for the blog posts, they are a prolific team dedicated at being their quirky selves.
http://www.koreagigguide.com – unparalleled in its coverage of what’s happening around Korea. The blog posts highlight plenty of musicians, but the reason to visit is the “Coming Events” page – always updated and showing who’s performing where, when, and how much it costs to get in.
http://www.koreanindie.com – lest you think Korean music is over-produced fluff, Korean Indie would disagree. There’s plenty of interesting musicians, and Anna Lee and Chris Park are here to explain what’s worth listening to – in English, of course.
http://magicallydelicioussuperslut.com – and on a completely different note… meet the Magically Delicious Superslut, a dominatrix who understandably remains anonymous on her blog, and focuses on her, um, interesting, experiences in Korea. Why read? Because you’ve secretly wanted to know, but never had the cajones to find out.
http://homelyplanet.wordpress.com – Korea’s Dave Barry. ‘Nuff said. Chris Tharp brings his venerable experience on Korea and southeast Asia to bear on any number of subjects. Warning: NSFW language.
http://thekimchiqueen.blogspot.kr – The Kimchi Queen, while understandably anonymous, is great at bringing a glimpse of Korean GLBT culture to the light. My personal favorites (despite not being gay) are the gay slang, along with the events I’d probably never hear about otherwise.
http://thegrandnarrative.com/ – the granddaddy of blogs about Korean culture, he’s been writing about feminism, sexuality, and popular culture in Korea as it relates to sexuality, gender, stereotypes, and a bunch of other things. Check him out for analysis on what’s being shown on TV or being made into a commercial, among plenty of excellent writing.
http://populargusts.blogspot.kr/ – if your history teacher taught you the famous phrase about those that fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it, they’d be happy to know you’re reading Popular Gusts. Expect to learn about what’s happening in Korea, the context linking present and past, and how the Korean media views English teachers.
http://imnopicasso.blogspot.kr/ – occasionally frustrated by your job? Join the club – this blogger tries to comprehend some of the reasons behind it – and gets props for some serious Korean skills.
http://dokdotimes.blogspot.kr – the only current entry in the category, but still one of the funniest reads on the web. If you’re not yet living in Korea, some of the inside jokes or cultural references might be lost on you, but only a fraction of the funny requires it.
http://asiancorrespondent.com/author/nschwartzman/ – formerly known as Korea Beat, Nathan Schwartzman keeps readers up-to-date on Korean news by translating it into English – this becomes especially helpful when the Korean media either botches a translation, or more commonly passes it up for their English page.
http://www.rjkoehler.com – one of the most prolific Korean blogs (it helps when there are several authors), it’s a mix of news, avid commentors, and the occasional WTF type story. Robert’s personal photoblog deserves a mention as one of the finer places to view travel photography.
http://kojects.com/ – focusing on news about transportation and other major building projects, Kojects’ singular focus makes it a source for any number of other blogs (including this one). Look here for news about new subway lines or extensions before you hear about it in the mainstream media.
A look inside the Korean mindset
http://smudgem.blogspot.kr/ – self-described as “a man married into a Korean family” while still “the same stubborn Englishman”. If you’re dating a Korean, you might appreciate a look at how to relate to your in-laws
http://askakorean.blogspot.com – one of the few long-timers on the list (blogging is hard work, after all – and some wonderful folks find themselves busy with things like families and graduate school). The Korean does two things really well: referring to himself in the third person, and answering genuine questions about Korea.
http://msleetobe.wordpress.com – since 2010, she’s been married to a Korean gentleman. Being the mother to a still-young baby, there are the occasional stories about cultural differences. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to raise a child in what can still feel like a very foreign country, this is the blog to read.
Business / Tech
http://seoulspace.co.kr – because people start-up business across the world, and Seoul Space offers one of the best places to start a business in Korea. A few posts are only in Korean, but the majority are in English.
http://wangjangnim.com – most people that blog about their teaching job are teachers. This guy (anonymous on his blog) is a foreigner that owns a hagwon, and blogs about the view from his position at the top. If you’ve ever wanted to know about the business behind private language schools, look no further.
http://blog.torgodevil.com/ – A Geek in Korea has followed the tech scene for quite awhile. Beyond tech, though, our fearless blogger gets personal – especially when mentioning some of the university students.
A little bit of everything
http://seoulistmag.com – Bespoke Lifestyle and Culture, with weekly posts on upcoming events and a focus on the city of ten million. Check them out for a weekly post on what’s happening around Korea.
http://chincha.co.uk – Don’t let the .co.uk suffix fool you – this is all about South Korean events, art, fashion, and creative community.
http://gwangjublog.com – the multi-authored blog focuses on Korea’s sixth largest city. You’ll find a look at what to see in the city, some posts about K-pop or what’s on TV, where to eat, and occasionally, posts about other places.
http://theothersideofthemoon2009.blogspot.kr – Married to a guy named Aaron, Jill blogs about a little bit of everything from a Korean perspective.
http://www.scroozle.com/ – you probably read his posts on Mannam, but there’s plenty more to Scroozle’s blog. Between sincerely trying to become a better teacher and passing on information about future teaching contracts, Scroozle looks to be having a great time on the east coast.
http://stafford.squarespace.com – one part tech blog, one part what’s happening in Korea, Stafford keeps his finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the tech world.
http://smileyjkl.blogspot.kr/ – Jo-Anna from The View From Over Here keeps readers up on movies, food, life in Korea, and some travel to boot.
http://baileybrosbuildingandloanabroad.blogspot.kr/ – George Bailey Sees The World! Or at least the portion known as Korea. With posts ranging from travel to clever teaching tools, it’s interesting enough to type in the entire domain name.
http://cuteinkorea.com – if you couldn’t tell by the pink color or the blog name, the subject matter will give away the cutesy theme. Expect foods, parties, and places, all from a girly girl’s heroine.
http://theseoulsister.blogspot.kr – blogging about running, teaching, traveling, and the occasional bit of philosophy, she does enough of the first two to tire even the most dedicated runner.
http://dustincolephotos.com – yep, his name is Dustin, and he takes photos. His specialty is adoption and family photos, though to be clear he’s taken plenty of excellent photos taken throughout Korea.
http://kimchibytes.com – Brent shoots a little bit of everything (and yes, we photographers actively say ‘shoot’ instead of ‘picture’ or ‘photograph’), including some fun events (including some kick-ass pictures from Halloween).
http://www.jasonryanteacher.com – when not teaching, Jason, his wife, and their hedgehog have fun with their cameras (well, the first two anyway). Seriously, though, Jason has some excellent equipment and knows what he’s doing with it. He also blogs about teaching in South Korea, which we both agree has plenty of room for improvement.
http://jasonteale.com/blog – based in Ulsan, with plenty of shots coming from Busan, Jason focuses on spreading the photography bug to anyone with the interest of improving their photography skills. Plenty of HDR here, along with some nicely saturated shots.
Did I not mention your favorite blog about Korea? Pass it on in the comments! I’m always on the lookout for new blogs worth reading and older blogs worth rediscovering.