Annyeong Haseyo! That means “Hello!” in Korean. My most recent impromptu trip which I booked just days before using my flyer miles and Thankfully Singapore Airlines was having some online redemption promotion in February and off I went! ^ ^ There were no concrete plans for this trip so basically, I stayed at my friends’ apartment and everyday was a surprise or an adventure if I was out wandering on my own. This time round I managed to have my hair cut and treatment done at a hair salon near Edae and experienced what it was like at a traditional bathhouse also known as “jjimjilbang”. Other than that, I was practically just eating, shopping and enjoying the weather. Enjoy the pictures and here is to share some of the info I have put together!
Gwangjang Market This is one of the oldest traditional markets in Seoul where you can get your daily groceries and household wares, have a meal at one of the many food stalls or even have your picture taken dressed in their traditional clothing at one of their hanbok shops selling traditional Korean clothing, fabrics and accessories etc. There are many varieties of shops and prices here are likely not overpriced. Here is where I tried the live baby octopus and bought freshly made kimchi to bring back home for Mom too!
Edae (Ewha Womans University) & Sinchon This area was nearest to where I stayed which was in between Ewha Womans Univ. Station and Sinchon Station. The streets near Ewha Womans(actual spelling) University are lined with fashion shops, food stalls, cafes, hair salons and beauty product shops etc. Shopaholics and beauty junkies will probably find therapy here. In fact, maybe because of it’s location which is near the school, I have noticed similar items found here which were priced lower than say Dongdaemun and Myeongdong area?
Lotte World It was between Everland Resort and Lotte World Theme Park and the group of us ended up at the latter. Lotte World consists of the world’s largest indoor theme park, an outdoor theme park called “Magic Island”, Korean folk museum, hotel, food establishments, shopping mall, aquarium, an ice skating rink and much much more. The indoor theme park consists of more family/children friendly rides whereas the outdoor rides were more thrilling and not for the faint-hearted. Our tickets gave us access to all the rides but a lot of time was spent on queuing so it was impossible to have a go at everything plus the weather was so cold outdoors that we decided to call it a day at some point and I ended up doing some quick “underground shopping” and shopping at Uniqlo!
This place is well known for their ginseng chicken soup and do not be shocked if you arrive and see a long queue because both locals and tourists just love the taste of their signature dish! I had a whole chicken to myself and there was a side order of seafood green onion pancake to share. All I can say is that this has to be the most delicious “Samgyetang” and “Haemul Pajeon” I have tasted by far!
Palsaek Samgyeopsal The restaurant that serves grilled pork belly seasoned in 8 different flavours: Ginseng, Wine, Pine Leaves, Garlic, Herb, Curry, Miso Paste and Hot Pepper Paste. I had the set which included the seafood hot pot, mushrooms and kimchi for grill and unlimited servings of greens and condiments as well. Not forgetting, water and flavoured soju for drinks.
Kychon Okay I got to try this Kychon Fried Chicken in 3 different flavours: Soy Garlic, Honey and Spicy, all at one go and it was served hot, which was great to begin with. When I bit into the drumstick, I could hear the crunch of the crispy skin and with the juicy, tender meat and just the right amount of sauce on the outside, this has to be the tastiest and juiciest Korean fried chicken I had by far. Wow. So anyway, I visited this particular outlet which is located near Sinchon station but they have many other outlets located in Gangnam, Dongdaemun, Hongdae etc. Hope you spot one too the next time you wish to give it a try!
Having hot soup in winter is just so comforting. This particular chicken soup was simply delicious and the condiments and salad that came with it complimented it perfectly. With the leftover soup, you can have a choice of adding either rice or ramen to finish off the meal. Eggs and seaweed flakes were added and a new dish was created!
What I like about Korean BBQ or grill is that there is always a free flow of vegetables to make wraps, which is known as “Ssam”. There can be so many variations of ssam wraps which make it a unique part of Korean food culture. One simple example would be by taking a lettuce, place some kimchi on it, add a slice of grilled meat with the sauce that is usually provided, wrap it up with the lettuce and put the whole wrap into your mouth. Viola! Easy, delicious and healthy!
Finally, a bowl of delicious Korean black bean noodles to end the trip!
7 Days 6 Nights ~2 °C
A few places that I might want to consider visiting if I ever visit Korea again would be Busan, Nami Island and Jeju Island.
Till the next trip! With Love.