Friday, August 30, 2013

Seoul Day 3: Gyeongbokgung & Hongdae

Woke up and headed to a gamjatang (pork bone soup) restaurant nearby for breakfast. A bit heavy, but still very fulfilling. The broth tastes a bit different from what we're used to, but it seems to be from using fresher ingredients and less MSG. Yum!

Headed to Gwanghamun Square to see the statue of King Sejong and visit Gyeongbokgung palace while the sun beat down on us. From what little information I gathered, King Sejong invented the Hangul alphabet and helped Korea transition out of using Chinese characters. It was HOT. Whitney and I wanted to take pictures in traditional hanbok, but couldn't find out where we could do that, so settled for taking photos with pretty Korean girls who had come to the palace wearing their own hanboks for a photoshoot. Funny to see how happy they were when Whitney asked if we could take a picture with them, and how they turned into temporary celebrities as other tourists followed our lead.

Took a little break from the hot sun in a cafe, but noticed a huge amount of police officers in and around the square. Still wondering what the occasion wasThey even had riot shields! Some kind of protest?

Based on a friend's recommendation, walked over to Tosokchon to try the samgyetang, but the lineup was way too long to wait outside on such a hot day. Instead, went to a tonkatsu pork cutlet restaurant.

Journeyed over to Hongdae, a trendy area near Hongik University, where we met up with my old Shad friend C. Wandered around for a bit until we were all sick of the heat and were craving patbingsu or shaved ice. C tried to take us to a hospital with a great cafeteria, but it was unfortunately fullWould've been interesting to eat at such a strange and random place. Instead, we ended up at Coffee Smith and shared a milk tea bingsu, which was amazingly refreshing. Haven't seen C since after Shad, so I was extremely happy to get to catch up with her. It seemed like no time had passed! Apparently, she thinks I look like Inuyashao.O

Headed to a BBQ restaurant with a rasta theme for samgyupsal (pork belly) dinner. Have you counted? It was our third meal of pork for the day. C thought it was hilarious that we were excited to wrap the meat with lettuce. We also had maehwasu (Korean plum liquor) with our meal, which tastes exactly like Robitussin cough syrup.

Walked off our food babies around Hongdae and came across Haha's restaurant, Se7en's chicken restaurant, and the Eat Your Kimchi studio (Ay guuuurl, can I buy you a drank? ) amongst other exciting sights. Finally, ended up at a makgeolli bar and played drinking games with honey flavoured makgeolli rice wine and kimchi pancake.

Ending off the night playing cards. A and Whitney taught me a game called Pyramids or Egyptian Snowmonkey - I mean, Egyptian Ratscrew.
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