We've been a bit busy...
Updated: Apr 8, 2018
We have been a bit busy, so we are behind on writing our actual stay in Seoul as opposed to the Olympics. Friday we were to meet our tour guide, Chuck, who would provide us with an overview of Seoul during a walking of tour of this city. Mark and I went first to Seoul train station (which became our daily walk) to confirm our seat reservations for the train to events at the various destinations. Didn’t quite trust that I did this correctly.
Because we had booked our rail pass early, the gave us a commemorative pass which also had 5,000 won (USD 5) on each of them for use of their transportation system such as the subway lines. In Korea, subways are about 1.25 USD. Nice little surprise.
Feeling relieved we headed back to the hotel where we met Chuck to begin our private tour of highlights of Seoul. A lot of this tour included food, and Chuck was kind enough to write this out for us, so I have listed all the different things we ate I case one would like to visit Seoul. The beauty of having a local person showing you around. We began the tour with a walk through the Namdaemun Market. This is a pedestrian street where there is a variety of shopping and food to probably appease most people. When one thinks of Seoul at night, this is where everyone ( I mean every tourist bus will take you there) goes to see. We headed towards one of the palaces and then to Bukchon Hanok Village. This is a historical village of early Korea.
Koreans still live in these homes (updated of course), and as such there are reminders on their doors for tourists to remain quiet. Apparently some didn’t bother to read the signs. After a bit of stroll, naturally we had to try some local food. Chuck thought we needed to try a couple of different eats from the various stalls, and so we did. We had these incredible cinnamon pastries. Off to Seoul Tower to experience the great views of Seoul. We took the local bus up to the park, then walked up what seemed like a 45 degree angle to get to the top. Mark disagrees with me.
Okay, so it wasn’t a 45 degree angle, but it certainly felt that way. (Note to self, next time I work out on a treadmill with an incline make sure I have a 10 pound camera bag with me). Once at the top, the views were lovely, and the day was quite clear so we had decent view.
Clearly we didn’t have enough exercise so we walked down the hill to a market which is known for the variety of food stalls offered. We started at a restaurant which offered steak tartare with pears and an egg on top, which may not sound appealing to some but was fantastic, then we tried some bibimbap. Once done at this restaurant we walked out to the street food market. We sat at 2 different places to try more local food.
One was favorite of Chuck and Tak. Multiple dishes with multiple rice wines made for a later night than expected.
After our food coma, we headed back home where we watched a bit more of the Olympics, and fell asleep fitfully. It was so much fun and food was fantastic we decided to meet here again Wednesday when we once again over indulged on some amazing food. Below are the foods we tried and definitely recommend On the street…
The first fritters with the cinnamon inside were called Hotteok/Hodduk (호떡).
The second little fish thingies have different names. One is this: Bungeo-ppang (붕어빵; "carp bread") is a fish-shaped pastry stuffed with sweetened red bean paste.
The name of the market is Gwang-jang Shi-jang. It is at Jong-no 5-ga subway station. At the market….
First we had the raw beef, which in Korean is called Yukhoe 육회 (I think the pronunciation is more like [you+k whey]
We also had yukhoe bibimbap
Then we had the man-du soup (dumpling soup)
Then at the last stall we had eem-yun-su—the fish with the delicious bones. I don’t really know the translation, but I found this on the Internet: “The Okhotsk atka mackerel commonly known as hokke in Japan, also known as the Arabesque greenling, is a mackerel-like species in the family Hexagrammidae.”
Thank you to Chuck and Tak for a great day/evening.