My Lovely Sam Soon a.k.a. My Name Is Kim Sam Soon is one funny series I enjoyed watching from the pilot episode up to the last. Naturally, after doing CP, here I am enumerating the places this series used for filming the love story of Jin Heon and Sam Soon.
I thought I will be having a hard time getting my facts but fortunately the Korea Tourism Organization provided me with the details.
The aquarium where Sam-soon and Jin-heon took Mi-joo was at COEX. On the wall outside, look for photos of celebrities who have visited, and see if you can find your favorite star. A photo of the miniseries scene serves as an indicator of where the scene was shot, so you can’t miss it. Unfortunately, the Deep Blue restaurant, where the three dined together, is no longer there.
Todai is where the Bon Appetit restaurant scenes were shot. In the drama, Jin-heon owned the restaurant and Sam-soon worked there as a pastry chef. During filming, the restaurant was closed, and afterwards it reopened as TODAI, a sushi buffet chain restaurant. The exterior of the building is the same as when it was filmed, but the interior was redone. The downside is that prices are rather high.
SAMSEONG-DONG URIJIP GAMASOT
In the 13th episode, Jin-heon takes Henry Kim to this restaurant, where he shows Henry how to eat kkakdugi kimchi. He advises, “The best way to eat seolleongtang is to add kkakdugi broth and stir like this.” When the scene was shot, the restaurant was in Nonhyeon-dong, but because of a new construction, it has moved to a site next to the POSCO building in Samseong- dong. The seats are of the same design as in the miniseries, so if you were one of those who were impressed by how tasty the seolleongtang looked in the miniseries, you definitely want to check this place out.
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON
At Once in a Blue Moon, Jin-heon and Hee-jin enjoy wine and cocktails while watching a jazz performance. This is one of the favorite filming locations for miniseries and movies. You may already have seen it in Lovers in Paris, Wolf, Green Rose, and Marrying the Mafia. It is also often used to film TV commercials. If you are in the mood for some jazz music, this night spot will offer you some smooth, romantic jazz rhythms in an upscale ambience.
The bakery where Jin-heon takes Sam-soon to show her some real French pastry is actually the high-end bakery Duchamp in Apgujeong-dong. The pastry chef is a Cordon Bleu-trained Japanese chef who makes 60 different types of cakes. Along with the huge variety of cakes, you can also enjoy chocolate, bread, and drinks. The bakery has two floors as well as an outdoor terrace. The scenes were shot at the center table on the first floor.
RESTAURANT NEURIGE GEOTGI
Located opposite Dosan Park in Apgujeong-dong, Neurige Geotgi is the backdrop for the dispute between Hee-jin and Sam-soon over Jin-heon. Known for the unusual location of the kitchen in the center of the space, the restaurant uses only fresh, organic ingredients. You can order a simple meal or a drink, and when the weather is good, you can take a leisurely stroll in the beautiful Dosan Park afterwards. This is a great place to spend a lazy afternoon.
THE PLAZA HOTEL
Scenes at the hotel owned by Jin-heon’s mother were shot at the Plaza Hotel opposite Seoul City Hall. The swimming pool scene showing off Jin-heon’s hot body was shot in the fitness center of the hotel (Access is limited to hotel guests and members.) At the Plaza Pub, Jin-heon becomes jealous when Sam-soon meets her ex-boyfriend Hyeon-woo. Other scenes were shot in the restroom, lobby, and the main entrance. All the cakes Sam-soon created were actually made by the pastry chef at the Plaza Hotel bakery. Currently, the bakery sells a special Sam-soon cake as well as a Sam-sik cake. The hotel also offers a Sam-soon package.
GWANGHWAMUN YOUNGPOONG BOOKSTORE
To escape the heat of summer, Jin-heon and Hee-jin take Mi-joo to this large bookstore in Jongno where they browse the book sections, buy Mi-joo a toy, and spend a good time together. On the first floor are children’s books, Korean books, magazines, puzzles, and records, while the basement level has a restaurant, coffee shop, stationery, and foreign books.
After a night of drinking, Sam-soon and Sam-sik go to this restaurant to rid themselves of the hangover. In this comic scene, Sam-soon accidentally spit rice all over Sam-sik’s face. In business for 67 years, the restaurant is the most popular of the many haejangguk (a broth known to relieve a hangover) restaurants in the Haejangguk Golmok (Haejanguk Lane) in Jongno. It has been featured many times on TV food programs and magazines. If you are interested in visiting, it is opened 24 hours a day.
In the series, Sam-soon really loves café lattes, but she knows she’ll need to give them up in order to lose weight. Coffee Bean Gwanghwamun is where she escapes from the sizzling summer heat to satisfy her latte craving, briskly ordering “A latte, please… With lots of syrup!”
In the series, Sam-soon visited Uisinsanghoe in Bangsan Market to buy baking supplies. The owner of the store even appeared in a scene in which he sells a few items to Sam-soon. The store has a wide selection of bakers’ needs at wholesale prices, so if you are interested in baking bread or cookies, you may want to visit. While you are here, have a souvenir picture taken with the friendly owner.
The guesthouse where Henry stayed is the hanok-style Rakgojae, located in Jongno, Seoul. For 150,000 won, you don’t just book a room; you get the entire house for up to five people, making Rakgojae an inexpensive lodging choice if you need to accommodate friends or family. Rakgojae also offers meals, so if spending a night is too expensive, you can still dine in the traditional ambience of a hanok.
MT. NAMSAN CABLE CAR
The location for the final scene is Mt. Namsan cable car and the stairway, where Sam-soon and Jin-heon shared blissful moments. In the finale, Sam-soon has found blossoming love and now owns her own business, and Jin-heon is deeply in love with her. The cable car will bring back fond memories of the scene, so don’t miss it. Combine your cable car excursion with a trip to the popular N Seoul Tower. The best way up to Mt. Namsan is by cable car. Then, like Sam-soon and Jin-heon, come down the stairs by a game of rock-paper-scissors.
At this Paris restaurant, Sam-soon and her boyfriend Hyeon-woo spent happy times and even a first kiss. The restaurant is actually not in Paris, however. Le Saint-Ex is a French restaurant nestled in Itaewon, Seoul. It is always bustling with people looking for a cozy, comfortable ambience, and delicious food. The day’s menu is written on a blackboard, and a server will come to your table to offer more details, so even if you are not familiar with French cuisine, you won’t have much trouble choosing.
ITAEWON CREPE RESTAURANT
In the series, the head chef of Bon Appetit restaurant recommends that Sam-soon visit a favorite crepe restaurant, which is actually Arvorig in Itaewon. The restaurant serves a variety of crepes and dark, robust coffee. A popular restaurant in Itaewon, it has a cozy feeling with an impressive chandelier and red wallpaper. The place is definitely worth a visit for its magnificent crepes and pancakes made by a handsome looking French chef.
Do you remember the scene in which Sam-soon’s elder sister, mother, and Sam-sik had a great time singing in a noraebang (karaoke)? If so, you may want to visit SU Noraebang, a franchise establishment. The scene in which Jin-heon sang his best to please Sam-soon’s mother was shot at the Edward SU Noraebang near Hongik University.
The rooms have been recently remodeled, and the facilities and interior are so up-to-date that most noraebang scenes in Korean miniseries and movies are shot here. Each of the twenty rooms is decorated in a unique theme. Some rooms have a piano, drum, and other musical instruments, while others have a stage and side bar. SU Noraebang is definitely worth a visit.
GRAND HILTON COFFEE SHOP
On Christmas Eve, Sam-soon is dumped by her boyfriend Hyeon-woo in the coffee shop on the first floor of the Grand Hilton Hotel. It was also where Sam-soon and Jin-heon went to meet prospective marriage partners. However, whenever one of them had such a meeting, the other would interrupt it.
The hotel often rents its wedding hall for filming wedding scenes, so if you hope to have a wedding ceremony like one in the movies, visit the wedding hall and get some information.
Jin-heon’s mother and her family visit this temple to pray for the souls of Jin-heon’s brother and sister-in-law. Located in Jingwanoe-dong (Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul), it is small, yet quiet and beautiful. It is adjacent to a hiking trail, so you may want to combine a temple visit with a walk.
SANGAM-DONG CGV MULTIPLEX THEATRE
Thanks to its upscale and elegant ambience, the Sangam-dong CGV has become a popular filming location for movies and miniseries, and was the main filming location for Lovers in Paris. In My Lovely Sam-Soon, the theatre was used to film the scene in which Hee-jin and Henry watch a matinee movie together, and Hee-jin runs out because she doesn ‘t feel well. Hee-jin and Henry enjoy a favorite Korean summer treat patbingsu (shaved ice) at the Tous Les Jours bakery across the street from the theatre.
Sangam-dong CGV is located in the World Cup Park along with a Carrefour store and a jjimjilbang, (sauna/spa) so visitors can enjoy shopping and sightseeing at the same time.
MT. HALLASAN IN JEJU-DO
If you still remember the touching scene in which Sam-soon walked up Mt. Hallasan in the rain to find Sam-sik waiting for her, you’ll probably want to visit Mt. Hallasan, one of the most spectacular spots on Jeju Island. If you want to walk up to the summit like Sam-soon, you’ll need to start your hike no later than 9 or 10 o’clock in the morning. The major hiking trails are the Seongpanak and Gwaneumsa trails. Sam-soon took the Seongpanak trail, which takes nine hours round trip.