Monday, 12 March 2018

South Korea SEOUL || Day 9 (Bonjuk, Insadong, Myeongdong)

For breakfast we had congee at Bonjuk, a congee franchise.

The serving was so generous I couldn't finish mine.

While walking we passed this shopfront which had a queue so we paused to buy a snack- what snack I actually don't recall, except that it tasted average.

Stroll by the river
Illustration of a royal procession


Osulloc green tea soft serve and black sesame ice cream

I had high hopes for Osulloc, which has sold tea from Jeju Island since 1979, but the matcha soft serve didn't impress- maybe because we have solid matcha soft serve from Oh Matcha (previously named Chanoma) in Sydney.

The matcha shot just froze upon contact with the soft serve =.=''

Me and my previous obsession Ji Chang Wook

Sakura, sakura~

Japanese cream puff
I love Japanese cream puffs and try to eat Beard Papa whenever I'm in KL.

I tried this Chateraise Double Chou Cream Matcha, and it was so good.

Matcha cream mmm..

Fluffy whipped cream nom nom nom

A photo with oppa

Best Korean snack forever
My friend Sam went to South Korea recently and this dried persimmon snack was the only thing I asked him to help bring back.

It's ridiculously addictive.

Kang Ho Dong pork belly
For dinner ('Finally! A sit-down dinner!' exclaimed poor Mei) we had bbq pork belly from Kang Ho Dong's franchise in Myeongdong.

(KHD is a TV host.)

The restaurant was quite basic, and we had to dodge the oil splatters as we cooked our pork belly ourselves (or Mei cooked ours, heh).

But it was a yummy dinner- can't go wrong with pork belly.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

South Korea SEOUL || Day 8 (Ewha Womens' University, Myeongdong, Namsan Park)

Ewha Women's University is famous for cherry blossoms in spring.

And, being a place for young women, the district was also known for trendy boutiques.

Replenishing h2o from an envelope

Ewha Women's University
EWU was stunning, even with bare branches.

Obsessed with this blue door

Tall trees in full bloom!

A tree getting fed

A smattering of cherry blossoms snapped on the bus to lunch
We spent forever looking for the restaurant - Chuncheonjip Dakgalbi Makguksu which we found on - but then Mei couldn't really eat much because it was too spicy!

Lunch being cooked at our table

I took spice better than Mei and ended up eating most of our lunch

I bought this blue coat then wore it to take photos with my LOVE Bogummy!

We went back to the hotel after lunch and.. shopped at Myeongdong again before setting out to Namsan Park at night.

The famous steps where Sam Soon and Hyun Bin kissed at the end of My Lovely Sam Soon

(Not pictured: getting bloody lost, asking locals for directions, and wandering around.)

Night view from Namsan
(Also not pictured: the rough Korean ahjussis and ahjummas from some senior tour group, roughly and loudly playing with each other with no sense of personal space. As in India, I had to keep snarling, 'Please don't touch me!')

Namsan Tower

On the way home we passed this magnificent tree

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

South Korea SEOUL || Day 7 LOTTE Mart



去 LOTTE Mart 购物。其实和会买和爱买东西的人逛街是很爽的,但我这次的重点在保养品,所以没什么买零食。


Monday, 4 December 2017

South Korea SEOUL || Day 6 (Tosokchon, Gwanghwamun, Gyeongbokgong Palace, Samcheongdong

Kimchi at tosokchon
Before I went to Seoul a girl at my Korean cooking class recommended Tosokchon for Korean ginseng chicken soup. Online research shows that the queues can get long during lunch hours, so Mei and I decided to go when it opens.

On the bus there were other tourists who had the same idea as us, but when we arrived at Tosokchon it was still quite empty, and we were seated immediately.

Ginseng tea and liquor
The ginseng tea and liquor were complimentary and aromatic.

How to eat
We ordered a ginseng chicken soup and a seafood pancake - which is enough to feed 4.

Tosokchon ginseng chicken soup
The soup was good and the chicken tender. There was a piece of ginseng in the chicken stuffing as well.

Seafood and green onion pancake
The pancake was yummy as well, but it was too much for 2 girls.

After breakfast we had some time to kill before viewing the changing of the guards at Gwanghwamun, so we explored the area outside the palace.

Some solid feng shui going on here

General Yi Sun Sin
I'm a bit in awe of Admiral Yi, especially after watching The Admiral. So I enjoyed this little underground museum.

Admiral Yi's diary
Admiral Yi's portrait
Admiral Yi standing guard over the city of Seoul
After checking out the museums we went to chill in a cafe (Holly's Coffee), where I took photos of my trendy sleeves -

Unfortunately for me, Bonsoy is not a thing in South Korea, so I relied on instant coffee for my caffeine fix throughout the trip.

Am obsessed with these sleeves! But admittedly it's not easy to eat in this top.

There were lots of people dressed in hanboks around Gyeongbokgong Palace, but I didn't bother as I find hanboks less flattering than kimonos.


After viewing the changing of the guards at Gwanghwamun, we made our way to Gyeongbokgong Palace for the English language guided tour.

Photo op with the struggling cherry blossoms

Intricate roofs

Stone markers depicting rank
Higher ranked officials can stand closer to the King.

Everything at Gyeongbokgong Palace is like a mini version of Forbidden City.

Being able to read Chinese (and knowing to read from right to left) helped in the understanding of the purposes of certain palace buildings. Eg. 勤政殿 literally means palace to diligently execute political affairs.

As I age I'm more and more grateful for my mum's insistence to school me in Chinese.

The throne
..which is mini.

The real treasure is the golden dragon carving on the ceiling-

If the guide hadn't pointed out the ceiling to us, I would've totally missed it!

Palace to think over political affairs

Entertainment pavilion
This is where state guests were wined and dined.

We bumped into a couple of Malaysian girls who took the above photo for us.

Dating pavilion
Where the King and Queen pakto.

Ended our exploration of the Palace with the most charming library-

Our next stop was Samcheongdong, a beautiful shopping street lined with retail stores and restaurants.

Kaya toast in Seoul!
I didn't do much research re Korean skincare, but Mei did, so I just followed her lead and bought most of what she bought.

All the stores here are well-designed. 

Even if you don't buy anything, just walking around in Samcheongdong brings great pleasure.

Martica recommended this rice cake restaurant, so Mei and I had dinner there.

Note the super rolled-up sleeves

After finishing the rice cakes, we saw all the other tables order burnt rice, so we did the same.

Mei loved it.

After dinner we went to another shopping district (I forgot the name though - this is what happens when you leave journaling until 8 months after a trip! Thank goodness for photos).