My Korean Apartment in Busan (1.11.2013 — 12.31.2014)  
Entrance to the apartment complex.

My new apartment in Jangjeon-dong — the living room in the morning.

I recently moved to the Daewoo Prugio apartment complex [l] near the Pusan National University subway station. The apartment was built in 2007, is on the 19th floor, has a size of 140 square meter, and has a chonsei of 250 million won. What is a “chonsei”? The rent system here differs a bit from the one in other countries: in Korea, it's possible to rent an apartment by paying a fixed sum every month as in other countries, but it's also possible to pay a large fully-refundable deposit (the chonsei) and not pay any monthly fee. The chonsei can be thought of as an interest free mortgage given by the renter to the owner.

Entrances are generally well designed in Korean apartments — there's a special place to take off the shoes with some closets nearby to store them, and some more space for a coat hanger. I found the coat hanger at the Hanyang plaza [l].

A view of the living room with the dining room in the distance. I got a great deal on the leather sofas (about 2 million wons). They were bought in the Sunplaza store in Haeundae [l].

Dining room.

All the floors in the apartment are heated through the ondol system. The ondol is the traditional way of heating houses in Korea — in ancient times, the ondol consisted of wood being burned under some stones located beneath the floors; this has been modified in modern times by water being heated through a gas heater and circulating in pipes embedded in the floor concrete. Those who have experienced it can attest that the ondol provides superior comfort compared to other heating techniques — the floor is warm, there is no need to wear thick wool socks, and the air is not overheated.

Kitchen including two refrigerators (one is built-in but not shown here, being to the right of the picture), a dishwasher, a stove, and a gas oven. The fridge shown is a Samsung Zipel I bought 4 years ago at the Megamart in Dongnae [l]. Not too expensive (950,000 won), very quiet, and great design.

Reading room; some books that can be found here (and that are worth reading) include “Aging Well” by Vaillant, “The Third Chimpanzee” by Diamond, and “Merchant, Soldier, Sage” by Priestland.

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Here is one of the three bedrooms, with a futon Korean style. No need for a bed when the floor is heated with the ondol ;)

One of the two bathrooms — this one has a jacuzzi bath, while the other has a stand-up shower.

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My two bunjae plants (better known under the name “bonzai” in western countries, and more specifically ficus microcarpa ginseng), given to me by the department when I joined in 2008. They are still doing great.

See my previous flats:

SK Sky Hub, Busan, 48th Floor (2010.02.25 — 2012.01.01) [l].
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