Living Under 10 Dollars a Day in Gwangju

February 10, 2016

Occasionally I’ll be posting about how to spend a day for less than 10,000 Won (or about $8.67).  Today I will be focusing on the Chonnam Back Gate area; with a close proximity to the university there are so many bars and restaurants with affordable prices.  The main goal of this post is to have a few meals and do something fun or active all under budget.

Student life is universally associated with eating cheap food, which mainly consists of ramen in Korea and the USA.  Don’t get me wrong, I love ramen (ramyeon), but I can’t eat it consistently or every day.  Studying and living near the back gate is great due to the fact I can walk to class and an endless supply of restaurants.  There is a wide selection of places to eat, stuff to do and it is always full charismatic young students. Today I will explore some of my favorite places so you too can spend a great day and save your money for another day.

Since I am a student my sleeping cycle has turned me into a bit of a night owl, so my day ends around 4am and starts around 12pm.  Although this isn’t regular for most others, we are going to skip breakfast today or just assume you ate something at home.

The day begins by heading to my favorite Kimbap place right near the back gate.  The food is freshly made and always served with a smile!₩10,000 A Day GwangjuAnother great thing about this restaurant is that it is the food comes with free soup. After enjoying an egg roll (₩3,000) and miso soup it is time to relax for a bit, today the weather is pristine out for the winter. Sitting outside is enjoyable while listening to some new music and reading the world news.₩10,000 A Day GwangjuAbout an hour or so later it is time to head off for a workout.  There is a great fitness center located next to the back gate. It is the first building on the left once you enter the gate.  This place houses the best place to work out at the University and it is really affordable,₩10,000 A Day GwangjuI’ll price this at ₩ 1,000 per day. (Students ₩22,000 month or ₩60,000 3 months Non-Students are ₩33,000 month or ₩90,000 3 months).  The facilities are pretty nice for the price; only down side is that the venue is closed during the weekend.

₩10,000 A Day GwangjuIt is just more motivation to be productive during the week. Today was a great workout and I feel exhausted, after meeting some friends for a group assignment we headed to grab dinner.

Dinner was at another great place near the back gate.  The chain is called Isaac and they serve some wonderful toasted sandwiches. My recommendation is the MVP Chicken, which is consists of chicken, egg, sauce, bread and lettuce with some pickles and special sauce.  The total costs for my order comes to ₩2,600 while the other items range from ₩2,000-₩3,000. After dinner was finished it was time to go grab a few beers. After all it is Friday, so we headed to another great spot to enjoy a few beers for the night.

Our last spot for the day would be at Corona, which has some great Mexican food and one of the best drink specials near the back gate.  After 10 pm the happy hour starts and Red Rock draft is only ₩2,500, luckily today Corona has a special going on where you get a free beer or soda for liking their Facebook page. After having two beers and a great day let’s recap the budget (₩3,000 Kimbap + ₩1,000 Fitness + ₩2,600 Toast + ₩2,500 2 beers = ₩9,100).

Well this was a successful fun day and easy on the wallet. I even had enough money left to buy some “fish cakes” from the street vendor and finish off the total of ₩10,000.  Thanks for reading and come back next week for more local happenings and lifestyle in Gwangju.

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