Sunday, February 23, 2014

Munching Around Seoul

Aside from a cheap snow experience, I had no solid plans of what to visit in Korea. I skipped visiting the other planned palaces, although the Changdeokgung Palace is a hop away from Banana Backpackers. Lots of other tourist spots but the cold weather made me want to do less.
I started walking around Bukchon Hanok Village. It started snowing when I was on my way there. The village boasts some of the traditional Korean houses. The residents are generous enough to allow tourists to roam freely, but they signs posted around to limit the noise as it is still a residential area and people live there. I walked around and enjoyed the falling snow.


I really liked this door so I patiently waited for someone to pass so that he can take my photo here. 

After walking in melted snow and shots of strangers later, I ended up in a coffee place area/ shopping street near Gyeongbokgung Palace. All the shops looked too touristy for me and I was looking for an authentic Korean place. Finding a good food spot is always a challenge for me. Applying what I’ve learned from previous trips, I chose a place where 1) I cannot read the name of the restaurant and 2) there’s a line going in the restaurant and everyone looks like a local. It was already past 2pm. The server recognized me as a tourist and handed me an English menu.

Got a bowl of something and Korean pancake for KRW 14,000
I headed out to familiar spot: Myeongdong. I spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening in Uniqlo, Forever 21, H&M and various Korean shops roaming the streets of Myeongdong. I sampled some of the streetfood there. I carefully chose the ones I think I would like. Streetfood doesn’t mean cheap, it means just relatively cheap.

Magic potato costs 2,000.  I love fries! This is a total hit for me. There's something like this stall in Glorietta Food Choices and I think a stick costs around Php 75. Not sure if that stall is still operating.

For something more filling, I got some sausages for 3,000.


It was snowing hard (it was hard for me) when I got back to Banana Backpackers. Everything was covered in snow. It was beautiiiifullll!
Snow snow snow!!!!

The old man so kind to take my photo here. He took off his gloves (it was freezing cold!!!) to take my photo. He took three photos and handed me back my camera with a smile. :)

I explored the touristy Insadong again to scout for possible souvenir items. Not successful. I was there around 10am and some of the shops are still closed.

Try the Bulgogi Burger in McDonald’s. Yummeh for 4,000. You might frown at the idea of McDonald’s but the burger is yummeh! Don't forget to clean up after your own mess and segregate your trash.

Insadong Starbucks.
Here’s another food chain that was once in the Philippines: Popeye’s! I remember that I would buy a biscuit when this was still in Robinson’s Galeria. I found the chicken to spicy for my taste and the biscuit a bit dry. There goes 4,900.

There's a lot of places offering this barbeque-cook-your-own restaurant around Myeongdong. I chose a popular looking resto and got a chicken plate for 8,000 (with extra cheese). The dish comes with unlimited salad and some  I tried to ask for something not spicy but they have "a little bit" of spice in everything. I loved their salad so I have four small bowls of those. 

Walk around Cheonggyecheon stream during my last day. No more snow. Just cold weather.
The second-hand coat was really really useful. 

I wasted my last few hours and won in Tom N' Toms.

And some KFC at the airport for dinner. KFC chicken so SO SAD WITHOUT GRAVY. How can you eat this with ketchup only?!?!?!

Three pieces of original chicken. ALL MINE.

My favorite breakfast/snacks you can grab in any convenience store:

I was able to tolerate the spiciness of the noodles.

A pretty laid back trip. Mababaw lang, but I was really happy to see snow. :) That's what I wanted to happen, and I got it. Everything else is icing on cake. ;)

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