While working in South Korea, I lived in Yeongtong, a neighborhood in Suwon about 35 minutes from Gangnam on the 5100 red bus and between 35-75 minutes to Seoul Station on the M5107 depending on traffic.
I really liked living in Yeongtong. It had all the amenities and conveniences of a big city, access to many public transportation options, and about a thousand cafes to choose from. It was also super easy to get to Seoul from there (I went at least once every week). Here’s a sampling of my favorite spots in Yeongtong and then some that are just good to know about:
1. Homeplus – the Target of Korea; groceries, clothes, housewares, school supplies, electronics, and pretty much anything else you could possible need; there’s a food court on the first floor as well as a photo shop where you can have passport pictures taken; closed every other Sunday
2. Megabox – across from Homeplus in the Lotte Plaza (rival Homeplus; Quiznos, McDonalds, and Smoothie King inside); really nice movie theatre with IMAX screens; get to pick your seats ahead of time in true Korean cinema fashion; plays a lot of English titles; caramel popcorn is on point; free movie posters make for nice souvenirs; search showtimes in English here
3. Cafe Mienne – my favorite cafe in all of Yeongtong; I think it might be a chain but I’ve never been to the other locations; owners are very sweet; good spot to eat if your stomach needs a break from kimchi (I think the owners lived in San Fran for a while, so the American menu options taste “authentic”); comfy tables; great menu; must try the sweet potato latte; reliable wifi; I pretty much lived here(Walking east, make a right on the first street passed the Seoul bus stops. Mienne is will be on the east side of the street.)
4. Cafe Odi – bingsu heaven; carpet; wifi; not crowded in evenings(Walk east on street behind Lotta Plaza for about five minutes. Just past the baseball field/farm land.)
5. “Instant” Kimbap – best kimbap shop I ever went to in all of Korea; great menu, all items under 6,000 Won; kind staff; quick service; deliiiiiciiiious(A couple shops north of Mienne.)
6. Suwon Immigration – just good to know, where you have to go to get your ARC Card(On east side of Homeplus, walk south 2.5 blocks. Immigration is on the east side of the street.)
7. Babeans Coffee – if you’re really craving an American style breakfast, this is probably about as close as you’ll get south of Seoul, definitely not bad for the price(On north side of street, next to Hotel Landmark and behind the Incheon Bus stop, which is also good to know — best way to the airport.)
Those are just a few places. Some of my favorites not mentioned above are the famous dakgalbi restaurant, the ArtBox, a hidden pizza shop, Gamaro Gangjung, a shabu-shabu place, and a billion other cafes. If you’re in Yeongtong, don’t be afraid to pop into the various shops and restaurants to try new things!
As always, feel free to leave questions in the comments section, and I’ll get back to you!