Blogs from Insadong, Seoul, South Korea, Asia

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Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong August 20th 2018

Dear All Greetings from Seoul! My final stop on my adventures this summer. I am glad to have arrived here, and feel quite proud of myself for having made it overland and independently from Tokyo to Seoul, having seen some amazing places and had some amazing experiences on the way. It is from Seoul, on Wednesday, that I fly back to my beloved England, and settle into my everyday life again once more, rejuvenated no doubt from having explored yet another corner of the world, and learnt just that bit more about this beautiful planet upon which we live. I am also feeling tired now, and am looking forward to some lovely days of rest in my lovely home, enjoying the post-trip contemplation stage of what has really been a memorable trip. I believe I last ... read more
Bukchon Hanok Village
Seoul
Lotte World Tower

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong October 5th 2016

We spent May and June packing and preparing to vacate our apartment in Kaohsiung and leave Taiwan. What a fabulous 3 years we spent living in and learning about a different culture. It rained heavily the last 5 days we were in Kaohsiung and that made moving boxes, closing accounts and ending services a bit of a challenge. The rain had gotten to us. We were drying our clothes in the apartment, in the closet, with the fan blowing and AC on. We've had enough dinners and alcohol to last awhile. All packing and shipping was done, the apartment is as we found it 3 years earlier, and we headed out the door with Caroline and Mr. Chen hugging us and saying farewell....for now. We were sad to see our scooters go to their new owners, ... read more
Myeong-dong Street
Currencies of the world
DMZ - Demilitarized Zone

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong June 19th 2016

I’ve come to South Korea having done little in the way of research. Seoul has been wonderful surprise. Once again, I'm reminded of how Eurocentric my education was and how much I've missed as a result. After years of visiting cities in China, Seoul seems cleaner, better organized and the locals seem calmer. Most of what you see in Seoul is relatively new. It was almost completely destroyed during the Korean War, when the North Koreans quickly took over Seoul after invading the South. Driving the North out destroyed the City which had already suffered considerably from the 35 year Japanese occupation before the beginning of WWII. Even many of the historic sights are actually new. The Japanese destroyed many long before the beginning of WWII. Most have been rebuilt from scratch over the years since ... read more
Cheoonggyecheon
In the DMZ
Night Market. Jongno.

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong October 28th 2015

A lovely week walking, enjoying the autumn weather, exploring and eating :)... read more
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Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong July 17th 2015

And so after a month in the awe-inspiring Middle Kingdom, it was time to say goodbye, but there was yet one more mini-adventure to come. The day before my departure, Shanghai airport was hit by a wave of flight postponements due to a typhoon, and that meant an inordinate number of flights scheduled for the day of my departure, and an even more inordinate number of irritated passengers at the airport. It was a scene I'd never seen before, two-hour long lines to check-in, which I finally managed to do AFTER the original scheduled departure time of my flight! The airlines had sensibly taken into account the circumstances, and delayed the flights accordingly. I have to say despite the clear unpreparedness of the airport and airline staff for such situations, they remained relatively calm and polite, ... read more
Gyeongbokgung
Dorasan Observatory
Shanghai-Seoul

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong April 13th 2013

Back to cooking school I go! After really enjoying my first cooking course at the Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine, I signed up for the spring and summer course that they offer. The dishes would be different to those that I had previously learned. This course lasted nine weeks like the other one. Each week we learned how to make three different dishes. The weekly menus were devised so that the dishes could be eaten together as a whole meal, or you could just have one dish by itself if you wished. Each class follows the same pattern; the first hour we watched the chef demonstrate how to make the dishes. The chef usually speaks in Korean and there is a translator to translate and ask any question we have. We are also given recipe cards ... read more
Week One: Oi Songsongi (오이송송이)
Week One: Kongnamulguk (콩나물국)
Week One: Bulgogi (불고기)

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong September 11th 2012

Today is the first day where I actually go out and see something from Seoul Korea. When I woke up I had a quick shower and dress and packed my day pack. What I took with me was a bottle of water, camera, phone, Ipod & earphones, money and a cardigan (in case I get cold). Sandra came to my room at 10:30am and we went to get breakfast together. She took me to a subway station near my hotel and bought tickets to go to Insadong, a district of art galleries and museums and traditional Korean street food, snacks and drinks. They also sold unique souvenirs, hand-made cutlery, hand-made jewelries and different art and craft supplies.When we arrived, we exited gate 5 and started to was down the street and into a large alley way. ... read more
Hand-made cooking utensils
Fried snacks
Traditional Souvenirs

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong September 9th 2012

My final day in Seoul was, I'm afraid to say, super quiet, so not brilliant blog material. I headed for Insadong, the main tourist district and drank in the sights and sounds of the bustling shopping street, including a little annex called Ssamziegil ("ssam-zhee-gill" with soft zh sound, think "je" in French). Ssamziegil is full of little arts and crafts and trinket shops, arranged around a courtyard and over four floors. My real reason for going (other than my inherent passion for shopping, which you all know well) was to try the "poo bread", or toasted sweet bread with red bean paste in the middle in the shape of.. you guessed it, a turd. Quite delicious, if a little disturbing to eat... After wandering round Insadong for a bit, stopping for a coffee at the Korean ... read more
Ssamziegil
Poo bread
... yes I actually ate it

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong September 8th 2012

Well this blog isn't really about travelling, but it is about experiencing culture through food. Something I really enjoy. I love Korean food, but didn't really know where to start when it came to trying to cook it myself, so I signed up for a nine week cookery class. The course I took was run by the Institute of Korean Royal Cuisine. the course took place in their istitute in near Anguk station in Seoul, right next to Changdeokgung Palace. The building is a traditional Hanok, set around a courtyard, it's so pretty. The Institute of Korena Royal Cuisine researches and passes on the Royal Cuisine of the Joseon Dynasty, which is a nationally designated important intangible property. Each week we had a different teacher, who would teach us the dishes, the teachers seemed to teach ... read more
Nokdujeon
Shigeumchi Dwenjangguk
Dalkgamjajjim

Asia » South Korea » Seoul » Insadong September 7th 2012

Insadong (phonetic, emphasise the "ng" in "dong" with a hard "d" sound) - the palace district. Seoul has a silly number of palaces, built by successive kings mostly in the Joseon dynasty which started in the late 1300s and ended 67 kings later when Korea was annexed by Japan in 1910, so a visit to Insadong was rather a foregone conclusion. Today I saw the principal residence, Gyeongbokgung ("ghee-ong-bock-gung" - say it in one breath with hard "g" throughout and emphasised "ng" at the end). Or rather, I saw its third avatar, the palace having been destroyed by the Japanese not once but twice - the first time following the Japanese invasion in the 1500s and the second time following annexation in 1910. (In the best Fawlty Towers tradition, today's watchword was "don't mention the Japanese"). ... read more
Gyeongbokgung South Gate
Guardian gargoyle
Gyeongbokgung Throne Room




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