En route to Seoul we enjoyed a flavorful lunch at a traditional restaurant. Our main course was bibimbap, a wonderful hot dish which continued to cook as we ate! Potato fried pancakes, a variety of herbs and a tofu soup were also served to share. Fueled up, we are now ready to explore the capital city!
Bukchon Hanok Village
This charming district showcases traditional Korean wooden houses, called hanok. Now rare, these structures display beautiful architecture and craftsmanship. We amble up and down hills through winding lanes admiring these homes. The tourist traffic has apparently become quite a nuisance to the residents, prompting signage as well as a noise monitor to provide a gentle, yet firm reminder to speak softly.
This is one of Seoul’s most popular tourist neighborhoods, packed with restaurants, galleries, craft stores and boutiques. The multi-tiered complexes and zigzagging lanes are very cool. These winding alleys are called golmok. Sunday is a particularly great day to visit Insadong as it becomes a pedestrian zone. Thursday night was bustling and we explored a variety of shops. Innisfree is one of the popular beauty lines with a range of excellent products (for both men and women), such as their variety of face masks, skin products as well as hand and foot masks.
Gogung = Feast
Our busy day concluded with an elaborate Korean barbecue dinner at Gogung. The dishes came (and were devoured) sooner than we could photograph them all! And who knew Korean barbecue could also be a vegetarian’s delight?! Some of the wonderful offerings photographed here are kimchi, sesame salad, bibimbap, kimchi pancakes, rice liquor and a fried rice dessert with honey syrup. These type of restaurants abound and are packed with locals.
More to explore
This large metropolis offers myriad opportunities for all interests, ages and tastebuds. This weekend we will discover more, including the National Palace, marina, art scene and more cuisine. For now it is time to take in the endless lights of the night skyline and to rest up for a big day tomorrow…
Friday morning will begin with a visit to the DMZ — both a history lesson and a literal glimpse over to North Korea!
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