Capturing the Hidden Gems in Seoul

Follow Cari Cake’s journey as she uncovers one of the hidden gems in Seoul, Bukchon, a neighborhood in Samcheongdong which is known as one of the most favorite tourist places in Seoul. This area became a hot spot for a good reason, the tiny alleys, sweeping views and traditional architecture holds a unique charm. But if you come all the way to Seoul, do you really want to have the same experience as everyone else?

Cari is an American expat and YouTuber living in Korea who runs a YouTube channel called Cari Cakes. Her channel:

Scroll down below to experience this hidden gem,

Ps: There’s an interview session with Cari at the bottom of the page (don’t miss it out)

Cari Cakes

An extraordinary experience in the ordinary

And so we’ve all probably seen pictures of Bukchon on the internet, if you search Seoul online, photos of this neighborhood with its steep hills and beautiful rooftops would be the first results. It seems like everyone who comes to Seoul takes the exact same photos in the exact same spots, but what about you? How can this experience be different?


The lifetime experience of working with a real artist.

Rather than taking selfies or getting the same shots as thousands of other people who visit this place, having a local photographer to explore with has helped Cari capture beautiful and completely unique memories in an entirely new way. Strolling around the tiny valleys of Bukchon with Minsik (Usnaper photographer) has shown Cari how special and different working with a real artist can be, which is “Even in the most popular places, you still can have a unique and intimate experiece” Cari.

Usnaper Photographer, Minsik Jung.

Instead of the usual digital camera that everyone uses, Minsik Jung specializes in Film photography. For him, the grainy style pictures that are produced after the production of the film is one unique style which can never be looked lightly.

The beauty of Film Photography

Film camera photography, Usnaper photographer Minsik Jung.

As rolls went by from the shutter click of his analog camera, beautiful moments are created from Minsik’s hands as he shot scenes of these beautiful moments. These beautiful vintage and unique pictures below speak for themselves.

Credits: Minsik Jung, Usnaper Photographer.
Credits: Minsik Jung, Usnaper Photographer.

Our next destination, 커피방앗간.

After taking photos and appreciating the beauty of Bukchon, we reached our next destination, 커피방앗간. Located on the border of Samcheongdong and Bukchon, this coffee shop is owned by a local artist who decorates the space with his work along with antiques and souvenirs from around the world.

This area itself is filled with many trendy cafes, but something about this one with its Hanok architecture and cozy feel sets it apart from the rest. The traditional Hanok style of this cafe is a perfect beautiful mixture of new Seoul meeting old Seoul.

“Minsik helped capture the cozy feeling of this local hangout and amazingly, I didn’t feel awkward at all in front of the camera!” Cari.

As we wrapped up our photo shoot, here is a our interview with Cari

1. Can you please kindly introduce yourself?

My name is Cari and I’m originally from San Diego, California in the US! I moved to Seoul about three years ago and am working at a start up here while doing a bit of YouTube on the side for fun.

​2. Can you tell me more about your Youtube Story.

I started YouTube a little over a year ago because I loved traveling but really wanted to share it with more people. My videos are mostly about traveling around Korea along with my favorite things to do in Seoul!

3. What does a typical day in your week look like?

Pretty boring honestly! I go to work Monday through Friday and then spend any free moment I have on the weekends filming for YouTube. That’s my fun time! I try to read a little bit every night though, that’s my goal for 2018!

​4. How was the photo shoot and what do you think about Usnaper?

It was a lot less awkward than I expected! It was really comfortable and fun, which was great. I also loved that Minsik uses film and the photos came out so pretty. We also got really lucky with a light snow fall in the morning so our photoshoot was extra beautiful.

Photo shoot with Usnaper photographer, Minsik Jung.

5. Any personal words that you would like to say to our audiences here?

I really enjoy taking photos myself with my own camera (or rather, phone^^) but it was really different and fun to have a photographer to explore a neighborhood with me. I never thought of using a service like this before, but now I’m so glad I did. I’m actually already planning to book another shoot when my mom comes to visit!

Thank you for the beautiful memories Usnaper, Cari Cakes.

If you are interested in teaming up with a photographer to explore Bukchon, get the perfect photos of you in Hanbok or just create professionaly shot memories with your friends and families, do check out Usnaper.

More about Usnaper:

We are an online platform that helps you connect with local photographers. Forget your selfie sticks and meet your private photographer now.

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