Just Because

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KalGukSu 칼국수

This is BaJiRak KalGukSu (바지락) = Clam Knife Noodles which was the perfect dish to curb those hunger pangs and off to a good start right the moment we touched down in Seoul. Served in a a clear broth with chewy noodles and with the crunchy cucumber pieces, it adds another dimension to dish.

I must also give a mention to that black bowl as it was one of the best kimchi I’ve ever had; dope is probably a better way to describe it, wished I could bring that entire jar back with me.

Kalgaksu (Handmade Noodles)

This is just the plain KalGukSu (칼국수) which is packed with every flavour you can think of, despite the simplicity of this dish, we were too hungry after than long walk to/fro from the Namsan Seoul Tower that having the intention to share this bowl became 1 each + ddeokbokki + oden (not pictured).

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I would highly recommend everyone to try at least once while you’re in Korea which I feel that it’s especially comforting in the colder times of the year!

호떡 Hotteok from Insadong (Sambodang)

호떡 Hotteok is made from wheat flour, water, milk, sugar, and yeast after which the dough is to be set aside to rise for a few hours. Typically this pancake is filled with brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts and cinnamon. It is then fried on a greased skillet/griddle, and then pressed flat with a special tool made of stainless steel circle and wooden handle as it cooks. As yummy as it sounds, of course it was on my MUST TRY LIST but it was a matter of deciding on which place that sells the best was another issue.

But I’m glad we tried this one located at Insadong instead of many others that had passed us by as it’s known as one of the very best hotteok food stand found in Insadong. It’s very easy to spot as it’s located about half way down the main walking street in Insadong. Look for the maroon signage and the long line of people queueing for their hotteok.

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Day 04

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Be very careful to not get burnt by the filling of it which is extremely hot.

Day 04

DIRECTIONS

Take line 3 to Anguk Station – Exit 6

Stone Wall of Deoksugung Palace

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So I have been told by a friend that Deoksugung Palace is quite a popular place for Korean couples to date at – I can see why so. It’s really a beautiful place that emits this tranquil vibe that just gets everyone into the ‘chillax moment’. The weather on that day did also play a very important role which is why I can safely say I LOVE KOREA!! What more can I ask for – Good weather, good companions (Mom and Yu-In) and good location!

You MUST check out the stone wall lane that is right next to the palace which leads you to Seoul Museum of Art and Chongdong Theater.

Video credit: Remkid76

Deoksugung Palace (덕수궁)

Wikipedia:

Deoksugung, also known as Gyeongun-gung, Deoksugung Palace, or Deoksu Palace, is a walled compound of palaces in Seoul that was inhabited by various Korean royalties until the colonial period around the turn of the 20th century. It is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty. The buildings are of varying construction, including some of natural cryptomeria wood, painted wood, and stucco. Some buildings were built in Western style.

In addition to the traditional palace buildings, there are also forested gardens, a statue of King Sejong the Great and the National Museum of Art, which holds special exhibitions. The palace is located near the City Hall Station. Deoksugung, like the other “Five Grand Palaces” in Seoul, was intentionally heavily destroyed during the colonial period of Korea. Currently, only one third of the structures that were standing before the occupation, remains. Deoksugung was originally the residence of Prince Wolsan, the older brother of King Seongjong. This residence became a royal ‘palace’ during the Imjin war after all of the other palaces were burned in 1592 during the Imjin wars. King Seonjo was the first Joseon king to reside at the palace. King Gwanghaegun was crowned in this palace in 1608, and renamed it Gyeongun-gung (경운궁, 慶運宮) in 1611. After the official palace was moved to the rebuilt Changdeokgung in 1618, it was used as an auxiliary palace for 270 years and was renamed Seogung (West Palace).

In 1897, after the incident when Emperor Gojong took refuge in the Russian legation, he returned to this place and named it Gyeongungung again. Expansion of the facility followed after his return. After Emperor Gojong abdicated the throne to Emperor Sunjong, he continued to live in this palace. The palace was then renamed Deoksugung, as a reference to a wish for longevity of Emperor Gojong. Emperor Gojong died in Hamnyeongjeon.

How to get there: City Hall Subway Station. At either Exit #2 (Subway Line 1) or Exit #12 (Subway Line 2) walk for about 2 – 5 minutes.

Click HERE to find out more before you head over.

LIFT OFF

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In a few hours time, I’d be off to yet another adventure that I’ve been looking forward all year long!! Yes, you heard it right, sometimes I plan my holidays a year in advance. SOUTH KOREA, here we come! And this time, I’m super excited to visit both Seoul and Busan, which happens to coincides with Busan International Film Festival, more on that later. Here we go!!

Korea 2011 – Day 05

Started off the day with a cup of coffee mix… I’d be completely honest, Korean coffee isn’t quite what I expected; it’s rather blend and weak in coffee taste. I’d say it’s quite like sugar water but that might just me my opinion.

These Hodugwaja are the bomb (Filled with red bean and walnuts) – Think I had them almost every time I came across them

As we knew that it’ll be a long night ahead for us, took the opportunity to chill a bit before we headed out for Namsan Tower aka NSeoul Tower. As we knew that there could be a slight walk up a hill (thankful for the nice weather, if not I might have faited!)

Touristy shots…

Night scenery

We tried a million and one possibilities of trying to take a photo with that night view and this served as the best photo out of the lot.

SINGAPORE(AN) REPRESENT

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The ever famous Lover’s Lock on the outdoor deck.

And we finally found a tent place to eat, think Korean drama style! Funny thing was, such tents weren’t that easily spotted in the city area, so of course we couldn’t give up this chance when we had it.

Tteokbokki is probably one of my favourite street snack from Korea, not quite Mom’s though. But I got a shock when I first taste the ones in Korea as they were way spicier than the ones I’ve had in Singapore and when a Korean says it’s not spicy, you can’t quite trust them on that.

Eomuk Odeng is the best for the cold season.