Korea 2012 Tour: A Taste of Seoul

I’m currently back in the States, which is where I finally find some time to catch up on the many posts on my trip back to Korea. Originally, it was supposed to be 26 days of me reminiscing and catching up with my old life and old friends, but when one of my friends (then two and, finally, three) caught wind of my impending trip, I found myself with travel buddies and I planned a cross-country tour:

I was rather excited, though slightly apprehensive; I was showing them where I had lived and grown to love. The pressure was on, especially since 1/2 of them are strict vegetarians who don’t eat onion or garlic and Korea… well, Korea’s not very good with the vegetarian portion of their restrictions, never mind that last part. Good thing I like challenges. Either way, the Korean tour itself centered on the 12.5 days one of my friends would be there for as he was there for the shortest period, from the night of October 8 to the morning of October 20. We would start from Seoul with a day trip to the DMZ and then make our way through some of the highlights of Korea…

My friend was a guy whereas my other travel mates are female, so once I found out how shopping bored him out of his mind, I focused on a couple of must-go places like–

Dongdaemun: a major shopping area and home to the East Gate.

Myeongdong – an amazingly busy touristy and shopping area.

Kangnam/Gangnam: this was the only place my friend requested because of “Gangnam Style”. Good thing I have a favorite place to visit here and they have great underground shopping…

Kangnam’s Resident Dr. Fish (exit 10, walk straight; 2nd floor in the building next to Krispy Kreme) – my favorite place to unwind after a long day of constant walking whenever I’m in Seoul.

Changdeok Palace: quiet and majestic, it’s no wonder why it’s one of Korea’s royal favorites.

Insadong: near Anguk station and one of the artsy yet traditional neighorhoods in Seoul. This is a tile on a wall of variously decorated tiles in the Anguk subway station by the Insadong exit.

Then, there’s the food. Although it was a little difficult at times to find sustenance that would feed all of my friends, we did come across a good amount of goodies; it was a lot less harder than I had thought!

Gua il bing su (fruit shaved ice), something I thought I would have missed as it’s a seasonal treat, but it was there! We got this at the Dr. Fish cafe in Gangnam.

Beware: when you ask for toast in Korea, you get a block of bread. This isn’t the biggest block I’ve gotten, but it was excellent, topped with a scoop of green tea gelato along with a caramel sauce and matcha powder, it matched my tastes perfectly!

We also made reservations at a temple-run restaurant that specialised in works of art that doubled as vegetarian food. We chose the 15-course set meal. I was stuffed… here’s a sample of what we had!

An assortment of Korean pancakes – cute, moist, and delicious!

The sampler plate with dumpling, a variety of tofu, and lightly seasoned and moist rice wrapped with sesame leaves.

This was the interesting one – raw baby ginseng roots, sliced gobo root, and a citron sauce. Interestingly enough, I found that I liked it.

Flavorfully grilled king mushrooms with a yuzu-soy dipping sauce and tea to go along…

And – of course – the side dishes, known as banchan.

Yes, Seoul treated us well the first couple of days we were there. My friend liked it, but I just think he’s just easy to please, or perhaps he was just happy that I stopped taking him to shopping areas, haha.

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2 thoughts on “Korea 2012 Tour: A Taste of Seoul

  1. Pingback: Korea 2012 Tour: A Taste of Seoul | Up in the Clouds | Tour Korea, ทัวร์เกาหลี, เที่ยวเกาหลี

  2. Pingback: Korea 2012 Trip: Directory | Up in the Clouds

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