Seoul food {Susan/Mummy}


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August 20th 2007
Published: August 30th 2007
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Travelling TrioTravelling TrioTravelling Trio

Make that three for the next few days
After counting down the sleeps from about 89 (and still getting to 0 on the wrong day) Cathy was finally able to hop on the bus to Incheon airport to go meet her mom, Susan, who was commming to visit. We had already thought of about 4 weeks of things to do, see and eat for the 2 weeks she would be here. So from day 1 we started her on the grand tour. Here's her version of part ofthe trip... {Darrell}

On Sunday evening (19th) Darrell, Cath and I set off on the first part of our holiday together. We went into Seoul and looked around an arts and crafts market called Insadong. It extends down a street in Seoul and has masses of shops and street stalls selling typical Korean crafts. Although there is some touristy stuff, most of it is really good local art. Unfortunately many of the stalls and shops were shut and we think that it must have been a local holiday.

With rumbly tummies, we went to a small restaurant and had samgyetang (pronounced sum-ga-tung) for supper. It is a small chicken stuffed with rice and cooked in a type of thin, broth-like
Just magnificentJust magnificentJust magnificent

Such contrast in this huge modern city
soup. Try breaking off bits of chicken with chopsticks! Cath and Darrell have got it down to a fine art but I discovered that it is possible to get very little nourishment when the food keeps slipping between your chopsticks! Darrell ordered some soju (rice wine) and poured us each a couple of shots. Definitely and acquired taste but down the hatch it went.

After supper, another cultural introduction - jjimjilbang. There are plenty of them around and it is simply a communal bathing and sleeping area (men and women bath separately but all sleep in the same area). The building usually has many stories eg 2nd floor for the mens' bath and 5th floor for communal sleeping. It was an amazing experience and so relaxing. After a lot of walking to shower and then soak in a pool or jacuzzi is just wonderful - every town should have a jjimjilbang!

The soju came back to bite I felt really bad on Monday morning! Darrell had to go and visit his psychopathic tooth miner so Cath and I got up later and very gently. We started off by going back to Insadong which was much more lively. After
InsadongInsadongInsadong

Night time shopping
that we went to Namdaemun (literally meaning South Gate). It is a huge market and the oldest in Seoul. In it you can buy anything from lacy underwear to a bottle of Don Perignon! The prices are low and, although there is a healthy amount of junk, you can find some quality stuff at bargain prices. By this time, Darrell had joined us again and we ambled around looking at the vast variety of things to buy. We had kimbap for lunch which is a sheet of seaweed rolled around sticky rice, fish and veg. Like giant sushi - very delicious!

In the afternoon we went to look at a music shop near Insadong. What an experience. It has three floors, each the size of a fair sized Pick n Pay, crammed full of instruments of every description. If my eyeballs were not quite so securely fastened into their sockets, they would most certainly have popped right out of my head! We found a shop that had woodwind instruments and although they did not hold stock of new oboes, had four second hand ones for sale, three of which were stunning instruments - I got to try them out.
SamgyetangSamgyetangSamgyetang

Supper time - great if you can keep the food between the chopsticks!
They also have any kind of tool or accessory for making reeds - oooooh! Darrell got as excited about the variety of drums as I did about the oboes and in the end it was harder to get him out of the shop than me!

With great reluctance, we eventually left the music shop and headed for the bus terminus to catch a bus to Jeonju for the second leg of our trip. We had a three hour bus trip through breathtakingly beautiful countryside - mountains, zillions of rice paddies and little villages all the way along. In Jeonju, we had supper which was sprouts and rice with bits of seafood in a thin broth and the inevitable assortment of side dishes. Before we tucked into that, however, we were each given an egg in a hot metal bowl. The bowl had partially cooked the egg but there was a disturbing amount of uncooked egg still left. Cath and I held our breath and downed it - neither being particularly fond of egg, we were really proud of ourselves! I think Darrell was a bit disappointed that we had finished ours as he felt morally obliged to do the
Jjimjilbang in SeoulJjimjilbang in SeoulJjimjilbang in Seoul

Every town should have at least one of these
same and was not that enthusiastic about doing so!

Feeling well fed and happy, we hailed a taxi and asked him to take us to the nearest jjimjilbang. Shower and delicious soak and we all slept like content babies! Cath and Darrell are two incredible people who have spared nothing to make my stay in Korea truly amazing - thanks guys, what did I do to get so lucky?


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So prettySo pretty
So pretty

In the heart of Seoul, this is what you can see near Insadong
NamdaemunNamdaemun
Namdaemun

Seoul's oldest market is thriving
Music ShopMusic Shop
Music Shop

Pick a piano!
So much!So much!
So much!

Probably more instruments in one shop than in all the shops in SA combined
Need jeans?Need jeans?
Need jeans?

You should find something in this pile
Don PerignonDon Perignon
Don Perignon

A $300 bottle of the best champagne, casually on display - want it?
Supper in JeonjuSupper in Jeonju
Supper in Jeonju

Not even partially cooked egg can spoil our fun
Jjimjilbang in JeonjuJjimjilbang in Jeonju
Jjimjilbang in Jeonju

These can become addictive!


31st August 2007

Raw egg...mmmmm
Hey, I'll try anything, but that doesn't mean Im always going to want to finish it! {Darrell}

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