It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two weeks since the kids and I left South Korea. I started this post before we left (lest I forget any of our favorites near Camp Humphreys) whilst in transit, but I only just got around to finishing it. South Korea was such an absolutely wonderful place to spend two years as a family and, like it or not, it was home to us. We found our favorite shops, our favorite treats, and just about everything else, and we wanted to share them for everyone else!
Finding Our Favorites Near Camp Humphreys
I feel like I should clarify; we found these gems because we were willing to step off post. Moving to a new country isn’t easy, and the language is definitely a barrier to start (at least internally), but there is just so much that the area has to offer! We honestly preferred doing everything off post because it offered a better value, better experience, and better product across the board. If you want to maximize both your budget and your experience in South Korea, I urge you to step off base!
The Best Cleaners Near Camp Humphreys
Cleaning 119 – This gentleman cleaned our couches twice whilst we lived in Korea; the first in Sosabeol, the second right by Humphreys. Each time, our couches cost about $150 total, and they were left looking brand new.
Y2 Detailing – If you need your car cleaned inside and out, don’t sleep on Y2. My car was W55,000 to thoroughly clean before we sold it, and so was Ryan’s. For reference, that’s like $50 total. You can’t get that rate in the US. I 10/10 recommend. He doesn’t speak much English, but we managed find through Papago.
Our Favorite Grocery & Homestores
JoyMart – This is your ultimate corner mart, and you can even buy those trash stickers you need in order to dump bulk items before you PCS.
3/8 Market – Happening every day that ends in “3” or “8,” this may have been our favorite part of life near Humphreys. From hotteok in the winter to perfect product all year ’round, W8,000 for 36 eggs, nuts, fried chicken, seaweed, and everything in between, it was perfect.
The Big Carrot – This little shop opened shortly after we moved closer to Humphreys, and it’s a godsend! All those things you can’t find at the commissary? You know – the comfort foods from home? You’ll find them here.
Panda Mart – Oh Panda. They have everything you need for just about nothing. I love this little shop for everything from homegoods to snack foods, tools, and more.
Our Favorite Restaurants Near Camp Humphreys
Sous Vide Chicken Pub – I think my post really says it all, but honestly, it’s some of the best food you’ll eat!
Croiange – Want sweet treats? You will love this croiffle spot that has some of the absolute tastiest croiffles we’ve ever had near Humphreys.
The Biltong Box – This is a newer business to the Camp Humphreys community, but their meat pies are bar none. They also have a vegetarian option and top-notch biltong.
My Favorite Beauty Supply and Aestheticians
Brow-by-Chu – I bit the bullet and had my eyebrows microbladed last year for the first time. Best. Decision. Ever. I managed to squeeze in one last touch-up before we moved, and I’m so glad. She’s fantastic!
Olive Young – This is a chain store, but it never let me down! From my favorite “Clean it Zero” cleanser to Laneige Homme for Ryan, they have something for everyone.
Soyeon – She’s a fantastic hard gel artist working right in the Ville from Humphreys Beauty (I *think* that’s what it’s called). Either way, she did my nails right on the outskirts of the 3/8 market, and I loved how they held up.
Our Favorite Kids’ Cafes
Naughty Kids Cafe – Okay, this had to be our favorite kids’ cafe because it’s just so funny and out there. We loved the graphics on the walls, the indoor go-carts, the slides, the VR and climbing walls, and everything else. It also had a full-service little restaurant inside, which was great.
Champion360 – Located at Starfield, this gem was a godsend. For two hours, the kids could go play solo there while I shopped at Starfield or just got a coffee to take a breather while Ryan was deployed.
Block Mom – Have kids who love Legos? You’ll love this one! Block Mom is a Lego-building cafe perfect for those rainy days! Kids pick their perfect Lego set, mom drinks a latte, and the kiddos get to work! It’s a perfect way to spend a poor-AQI day in Pyeongtaek.
The Ones Who Made it Happen
Ann Yang Realty – Think: Korean sherpa. That’s Ann. She handles virtually everything for all her clients, and she’s phenomenal. Bonus? She became our friend, and we adore her. She also helped us find our first home in Sosabeol, then she helped us move a second time closer to Camp Humphreys.
Haneul Sky Kindergarten – I posted a lot about Mieke’s school while we were there, but I didn’t share the name of her school for obvious reasons. This school, however, was the single-most amazing find we had in South Korea. Mieke attended from age two through age four, and leaving broke all our hearts. We’re so grateful she had this wonderful immersion for Korean culture and life. For those on-Pen – they don’t have a digital footprint, but I do have the Principal’s number to contact, so reach out any time!
Parcel-Beside-U – One of the strangest struggles with moving to a foreign country was figuring out delivery and/or waiting for Amazon to be delivered (usually within about 8-10 days). Parcel-Beside-U is a locally-owned business where they source the things you need locally and have them delivered to your off-base address. We successfully got a bunch of things delivered like our daughter’s giant Paw Patroller, iPad cases, gymnastics mats, and more. They purchased, and we paid via PayPal or Venmo. So easy!
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times; Korea was a beautiful, difficult, wonderful, challenging, amazing experience for our whole family, and we’re so grateful we had it! If you’re new to the country, I urge you to explore. And, if your time is up, I hope you loved it as much as we did.