Korea & Taiwan 2015
- Out We Go Again
- Hwaseong to Gangnam
- Korean Fried Surf & Turf
- The King, the Art, and the Food Stalls
- Myeong Dong Kyoja
- On To Taichung
- Eating All Day Long
- Happy 90
- This is How We Breakfast
- Signage & More
The only logical place to go after Dongdaemun (literally “east big gate”) was Namdaemun (“south big gate”). This was the other 19-hour shopping district, and it seemed more like a traditional market (that sold everything) with a tourist focus.
Got some steamed buns.
The actual Namdaemun, which was only restored two years ago after the fire damage seven year ago.
This guy would make a killing at America’s state fairs… French fry-covered hot dogs? What the heck???
Of course, we had to buy one of those, and subsequently feed our toddler with it :p
“My name is between the gorilla and the donkey!”
Okay, so Namdaemun was just for killing time before the Namsan cable car started operating. We took a hike up the hill and jumped on the cable car, that took us up the mountain.
At the other end of the cable car, we saw the smoke signal towers from the original city wall. The tourism industry in Seoul was wonderful for placing all these costumed guards at key attractions. My parents fell in love with these smoke towers, and so did their FB friends after my mom posted a video.
The commander (with a bow) looked like he hated his job.
My parents were new to the cosplay hobby! What???
Wow who was this Korean lady?
For me, the purpose to get up Namsan was to further ascend up the N Seoul Tower. And that’s where Hong and I took the kids. My parents were having so much fun with the smoke towers and the guards that they sat this one out. Well they missed out on some pretty incredible views!
Part of me wanted to go up N Seoul Tower just to piss over the entire city.
My parents returned to their non-Korean outfits.
Xuan found it hilarious that Panda was taking a bath in something yellow.
After Namsan, we headed to Myeongdong, the acclaimed “hyper shopping” district. The store fronts and the vibe on the pedestrian-only paths were pretty awesome, even during mid-day on a Thursday, but we had no time to waste on shopping. We were here to eat… our destination was once again in some hidden alleyway, and our taxi driver refused to take us there, so I had to navigate my family through these shopping crowds.
A few minutes later, we arrived at Myeongdong Kyoja. This was another recommendation from Jay/Bebe’s family, and it surpassed the KFS&T as our best meal on this trip.
The sign was quite modest compared to the restaurant’s fame! Then I realized that we were at the back entrance.
So we got a few bowls of kalguksu, the soupy noodles topped with skinny dumplings. And we had kimchi. EVERYTHING WAS SO GARLICKY!!!!!! The meal burned with spiciness from the garlic along. Holy moly it was wonderful. The kimchi was especially covered in minced garlic, and we were forever going to compare every Korean restaurant’s kimchi to Myeongdong Kyoja’s and then get disappointed.
Before the return trip for the nap, we stopped by the Myeongdong Cathedral to snap some pictures.
Some 120 years ago, Korea’s “only emperor in history” laid the first stone for the first church in the country.
This was an awesome display. Considering the Korean culinary culture, I suppose this was a “thanksgiving” kind of activity where the girls celebrated their upcoming meal.
We were so exhausted from all the travels by this point, that the afternoon nap could have easily extended 12 more hours into the morning. But the fighters in us got up, strapped Ting on my back and tossed Xuan onto the stroller, and attempted to do more. To wake up, though, we gave in to our boba craving…
Gong Cha in Korea had a very short and plain menu compared to the Gong Cha in the US.
We walked around COEX for a bit without accomplishing anything. Then we sat down for a casual soondubu dinner.
And then we passed out again.