Thursday, May 24, 2012

Seoul Food

The term “Seoul food” is overused, but then it’s hard to find a substitute as it encapsulate the essence of the food here perfectly.

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Perhaps we were famished due to the long flight and cold weather, but I thought that our first meal at Seoul was tastiest. It was quintessential Korean food: Kimchi ramen, cheese tteokbokki (spicy rice cake) and kimbap, with a side of kimchi and cured radish.  The rice cake… was the best I had tried in my life, way superior than the one sampled in Kuching or Melbourne.

We got so infatuated with the rice cake that we had it for another 3 times. =)



Then there’s also the Korean BBQ, which we also savoured… 3 times.



Of course, Seoul is not just about the BBQ and kimchi, there’s also the colourful bibimbap;


the ginseng chicken soup and pancake

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tasty fried chicken – original and sweet & sour


and the food I found most interesting was.. real egg cake!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Seoul Trip (6)

Day 6, May 21 (Monday)

The second last day of our Korea trip started in a very Ahjumma fashion – a trip to the fish market. But it was not just any fish market but the largest in Seoul.

The smell of fish was so strong that it was the first thing that greeted us when we disembarked on that particular train stop.


It was really humongous and sold a huge variety of live and swimming seafood. Octopuses can be seen slithering from a cramped aquarium to another, and there were the occasional splashes from fishes escaping their fate.


The creatures on the white tray are the unfortunate prey we chose for our brunch. God bless their soul, they were delicious.


The beauty of the place is that once you have chosen your meal, the fishmonger will direct you to an adjacent eatery which will prepare your meal according to your liking, including syabu-syabu style:


The next ahjumma thing we did that day was shopping at LotteMart.


I came to believe that LotteMart had shoppers in a spell to purchase and purchase in bulk. They are so sure you will do just that by providing huge boxes where you are pack your shopping yourself and send them back home in a plane. Or in our case, a taxi. Real thoughtful.


We finally became our youthful and fashionable self late evening with a trip to the Gingko tree lined streets of Sinshadong. Sinshadong was touted to be the place where the young and trendy hang out, and the place didn’t disappoint,  with beautiful coffee houses, boutique shops, people and cars.


The street was just busting with colours and characters that I can’t resist snapping away. The coffee shops were really standouts. There were just so many of them, each with their own style and feel. How I wish I can just sit and let the atmosphere seep in the as my coffee steep in their dainty cup everyday!









Sunday, May 20, 2012

Seoul Trip (5)

Day 5.  May 20 (Sunday)

Winter Sonata not only propel Korea into our consciousness, but also made this place into a tourist hotspot.

Before all the drama hype, the self governed island of Naminara was a quiet idyllic place to unwind and relax. But now, it became a must-visit shrine for the drama’s followers.


And for our fifth day in Korea, we took a 2 hours plus journey in order to trace the decade long steps of Winter Sonata’s star-crossed lovers.


Apparently, 10 years was too long a time past and the location of their purported first kiss offered no flashback to the actual scene in the drama. 


But at least Koreans are thoughtful enough to have their kissing pose cast in bronze, albeit it was surprisingly located at a different place.


The breathtaking tree-lined path in the drama was intact, despite it being in a different hue. Unfortunately, there was just too many fans like us which negate any romantic feel.


However the whole island was indeed a very beautiful place, perfect to de-stress and enjoy an idyllic afternoon siesta;


or high tea.


Even the shops are decorated with colourful flowers.


Night time saw us returning to the bright lights of  Myengdong for window shopping again, as well as a visit to the majestic Myengdong cathedral.



And that concludes day 5, which with the end of the journey creeping up with increasing speed. =(

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Seoul Trip (4)

Day 4. 19 May (Saturday)

After you had seen this post I wouldn’t blame you if you have us pegged as Korean history lovers because we visited yet another destination of Korean past: a cultural park -


filled with traditional Korean hanok houses (again!).


But it was a nice place where you can indulge in traditional Korean games, writings and music,

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and also bear witness to a real Korean wedding!


Next stop was the famous Ewha Women’s University which was also seeped in tradition. But this time it was European influence not Korean. The pictures below are of the Pharmaceutical Department and the statue of Korea’s first female doctor.

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The place also had some modern fittings however, as seen by this interesting, huge structure. And on weekends, the university had the feel of being a tourist attraction rather than an institution of higher learning.


What’s nice was that right next to the university was a very vibrant shopping mecca. How I wish I was a student there. But then it is a girl’s school. Hmm… perhaps being a lecturer then =).

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Night time, we went back to Myengdong to continue our shopping spree.. more on Myengdong later. That concludes another eventful day in Korea!