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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Korea free and easy: Seoul Gyeongbok-gung(경복궁,景福宮),


Gyeongbok-gung.
The grandest and the most beautiful of the palace.
So if you have only time for one.
This should be the one to visit. 
Catch the guard changing ceremony.




Enjoy the beautiful scenery.






Museum

Although this not the traditional costume of Koreans, is quite fun to try this out too. and is free.


Closed
Tuesdays
Operating Hours
March-October: 09:00-18:00
November-February: 09:00-17:00

Admission Fees
Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won / Group (over 10): 2,400 won
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won / Group (over 10): 1,200 won

Interpretation Services Offered
Tours depart in front of the Information Center at Heungnyemun Gate (흥례문).
Duration: 1hr - 1hr, 30min
Tour Schedule:
English: 11:00, 13:30, 15:30
Japanese: 10:00, 12:30, 14:30
Chinese: 10:30, 13:00, 15:00

Directions
Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5.
OR,

Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2.
Performance Times

January 1-December 31 (Closed on Tuesdays)
Sumunjang(Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony
10:00, 13:00, 15:00 / three times a day / 20 minutes per ceremony
Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance
11:00, 14:00, 16:00 / three times a day / 10 minutes per ceremony



For more information on hours, and how to get there.



Thursday, December 27, 2012

Korea free and easy : sEoul food not to miss!



Koreans love coffee. There are coffee houses everywhere.
Buy a nice cup of coffee or tea in the morning and  you can drink it on your train ride.







Kwang Jang Market
Lot of Korean food available.
Is like a market with fresh food, traditional Korean clothes and accesories, clothes, shoes and a lot of korean food.
There are various mochi available at some stalls, bought one to try. They are freshly made so I do not recommend keeping it for more than a day.
I try their Sashimi, is a bit different for japanese kind and they have a few sauces for different sashami. Interesting experience.
I try their dumplings as it looks good (reddish in colour), but I realise is kimichi inside. 
The pumpkin porridge was good.
They are also selling the sondae or sundae, famous korean glutinous rice, pig blood and various ingredients stuffed in pig intestines. 
Korean sushi (Kimbap) tasted good. Like california rolls but the vegetables seems to be
seasoned and the seaweed is the korean seaweed so it taste of seasame oil.
Korean scallion pancake, PAju, are freshly made and sold over there too.
Just grab a seat at any stall that grab your interest and just point out the food that interest you. There are some Chinese working over there so if you are worried about communicating, try looking for a stall who has chinese staff.
Think is worth a visit as it has a lot of interesting korean food.


Jongno 5-ga station (subway Line 1) exit 8
Euljiro 4-ga Station (subway line 2,5) exit 4
HOurs : 0700-2200




Nandaemon
It has a lot of stalls selling food and snacks at day and night time. Take your pick.
Hoddeok (Korean pancake with sweet cinnamon) is good. Fillings may differ at times.



Try out the icecream. 
Love the Hwaseong GRapes

Best place to get snacks, souvenirs and presents: korean supermarket
Stock up on fresh fruits to keep yourself healthy during travelling. Korean fruits taste very good. 
I tried their persimmons, grapes and melons. 
Just take note, they don't provide plastic bags. They provide big boxes and tapes for you to pack your stuff and cart them back. You can bring your own plastic bags too.
Lot of snacks at reasonable price and if you spend a certain amount, there is tax refund.
As i stayed at myeongdong, I usually visit the Lotte Mart at Seoul station which is just a few dollars taxi ride away or a station away. 



Coffee with pearls and red beans.




Myeong-dong has a lot of restaurants and roadside stalls.
The hot dog was recommended by a Tv show, I am not a fan of hot dogs. This is so so to me.
There are stalls selling street food, like those we always see in Korean shows.
I love the sweet biscuits with the rabbit print. It is just brown sugar, liquefied and toasted. I have a sweet tooth.
The muffin with egg, grilled cuttlefish are yummy too.


I love love this.
My favorite dish in Korea.
It is a bit spicy. 
Inside there is chicken, seafood, noodles, potatoes.
It was more than enough for 3 girls although they mention is for 2-3 pax.
There is also a chicken version.
This dish is around s$20+ .
I think there are two branches available at myeong-dong.
they have 2 sizes, small and big. I think small is enough for 3-4 person if everyone is not a big eater and you do want to save your stomach for street food.
Andong Jjim-dalk (안동찜닭)
Andong-jjimdak or zzimak at myeongdong
2-22 Myeong-dong 2(i)-ga






Famous Ginseng chicken and Grilled chicken. I find it good but not fantastic. side dishes are provided free. Long queues outside but waiting time is still reasonable.

Tosokchon restaurant
Address: Seoul-si, Jongno-gu, Chebu-dong 85-1.
About 5 minutes walk from Exit 2, Gyeongbokgung Station, Subway Line 3.










Insadong.
Lot of souvenir shops and shops selling art pieces, accessories and stalls selling snacks.
The only place where starbucks is spelled in a foreign language.
Walked to this nice little cafe for tea and some snacks.
The persimmon ice cream is good.

Directions.
A.nguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
Go 100m straight, then turn left.
OR
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3.
Go straight 300m, and turn left at the 4-way Intersection.
Go straight 100m, and take the left road towards Insadong-gil Road





My parents loved this. Best food of the trip for my parents.
They put a pot of soup with some ingredients and chicken, no ginseng, and then you can ordered things to add on like vegetables, rice cakes, noodles... for those who dislike spring onions, no worries. The taste of that green thing in the soup is subtle.

You just wait and after 10-15 mins, the soup and chicken is ready.

The authentic restaurant has queue that looks too long, so I tried a popular resturant beside it. yummy too. They have a whole street selling almost the same thing, guess is very popular dish.

This meal will cost around s$10 or less per pax.
We ordered rice cake and some side ingredients to go with the chicken soup.

Jinokhwa Halmae Wonjo Dakhanmari (Jin Ok-hwa Original Chicken Restaurant) (진옥화할매원조닭한마리)
Dongdaemun Station (Subway Line 1, 4), Exit 9.
Go straight 160m and turn left at the Industrial Bank of Korea (기업은행).
Go straight 50m and turn onto the first side street to the right. Continue 100m straight until you see the restaurant.
Jongno 5-ga Station (Subway Line 1), Exit 6.
Turn left onto the first side street and walk 300m.

3 person can order one chicken, rice cake and noodles if they are normal eaters.
and why filled up your stomach when there are so much other food to try.








Ewha female university.
It is a good place to shop.
But there are also a lot of food.
Hoddeok (Korean pancake with sweet cinnamon) has a toasted version, instead of the fried version here.
The grilled chicken stewer is heavenly, can be found at myeongdong too.
I like the cup of snack, with fried chicken, fried potato and rice cakes. Not sure what is it called but is good.
Some of this can be found at myeongdong too.


I miss Korean food. Singapore Korean food just don't taste as good.