South Korea part 1: Seoul

Having rarely travelled around the world, these next few posts are obligatory travel posts, so bear with me if you aren’t interested!

During my first week in Korea, I stayed with my Korean biomedicine mate at Pumpkin Guesthouse in Hongdae, the centre of Seoul. Upon arrival, we had the choice of having a double bed or a bunk bed and we chose the former – bad choice. Little did we realise that the room was literally 2 by 2 metres, so we ended up high-jumping over our luggage every time we wanted access to and from the bed. Other than that, it was a cozy place with really nice staff looking after us and everything was close by.

We visited Hongik university – the nearest university that is known for it’s arts. I tried soondae with ddukbokki – the former being a collective term for pig intestine sausage, pig lung, pig liver and sometimes pig ear; the latter being like rice cakes in sauce (can be chilli). Of course I had Korean fried chicken on the first night, but it wasn’t that great. Although Korea still has McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks (known as Burger King outside Australia), there is a more popular franchise called Lotteria and I’d have to say their burgers are a lot nicer! Looking back at the McDonald’s in Bangkok, their burgers were better than their Australian counterparts purely because of the ingredients they use. We had skewers with the others that we went on our Gap Medics (Chiang Mai) trip with as a kind of mini-reunion in Itaewon, Seoul.

 

I met one side of my Korean biomedicine mate’s grandparents in Hannam, Seoul and we stayed there a few nights. Although there was a language barrier (I barely know any Korean), they were very nice and generous people. One of my Korean biomedicine mate’s aunt (he has 3) on the same side took us out to see a traditional Korean folk village in Yongin. There we saw a drumming performance, traditional Korean buildings, a tightrope performance and an equestrian performance which I enjoyed the most because one of the performers threw me teddy bear as a token! I have a few pictures but they aren’t that great and my phone died halfway during the day so I couldn’t take any better ones.

Third wheeling my Korean biomedicine mate and his girlfriend, we went to around the perimeter of Gyeongbok palace and we visited another traditional village called Bukchon Hanok. There we had some tea at a traditional house and I opted for some tea that was caffeine free. Afterwards we went around to a shopping mall that spiralled upwards in a square-like manner – there I had some faeces-shaped snack. It’s interesting to see that there are lots of Korean snacks, including this one,  that have red bean inside of them – apparently it’s a winter thing.

 

Anyways, it’s getting late – I shall keep you guys posted when I have the time.

 

Cheers,
J

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