It’s just been over a little over a week since I’ve come back from Korea. I had tons of fun at Seoul and flying to Jeju. I will break down the trip into different parts starting with my first 2 days in Seoul.
Arriving at night the first thing I did at the airport is collect my portable wifi, thanks to my follower @forever_ela on twitter for the heads up. I reserved the cheapest one from SK roaming for an upfront deposit of KRW 100,000. At the end of your contract, you pay for your daily rental fees, which turn out to be KRW 79,000 around £44. Splitting it with my friend turns out way cheaper than using my mobile provider of £6 a day.
The next thing I brought at the airport is a T-Money card from the G25 store; this rechargeable card can be used on the Subway and accepted at shops for payments and even taxis. It cost KRW 2,500 and is easy to reload at the machines in the subways.
As we arrived at night and didn’t want to lug around suitcases we went over to International Taxi desk to get a taxi to our hotel. I already researched this company prior to the trip, as I needed one for my early morning flight for the Tuesday to Jeju Island. From Incheon airport to my hotel in Jongno it was a fixed rate of KRW 65,000. The reason I used International Taxi is because I needed an English-speaking driver. The journey took over an hour, and I used the same driver for the end of my trip.
We stayed at Hotel Aropa throughout our stay in Seoul, in the heart of the city and everything is local. It is easy to locate from exit 7 of City Hall, look out for the snooker and red 24/7 sauna sign.
After check-in and dropping our stuff seconds away we got to the streets, plenty of late night eateries open even for 24 hours, but we ended up at Octopus restaurant used to film a scene from the K-drama My lovely Samsoon.
Food was cooked super duper quick and tasted piping hot. Every place you eat out in Korea they give you plenty of side dishes and soup plus a bottle of tap water.
We choose a few dishes to refuel as eating one whole day of plane food made us crave a major detox.
Do you ever wonder why Korean’s use metal bowls and cutlery? It’s because they like to test for poison, if your chopsticks turn black do not eat the food in front of you.
The big bowl of clams and seafood had a sea salt refreshing light taste to the broth. Each slurp turned addictive and fresh like seawater, leaving that feeling of drinking my mum’s homemade soup.
Scallion pancake seems to be disappointing in Korea; it’s not as crispy and delicious in the UK. This one was particular soggy, and tasted bland.
The big plate of baby octopus taken live from its own tanks smothered in hot, sour, pepper sauce was the highlight of the meal. Even though at the time I didn’t find the spice hitting, it did leave me with a deadly sore throat the next day. The best thing about dining in Korea the price you see is all inclusive of service charge, plus tipping counts as being rude.
The next day we decided to take the tour bus to familiarise ourselves in the new city we call home for the next 2 weeks. Zoo Coffee was our stopover for the morning. The shop is covered with animal plushies to make the place cute, and the servers wear safari outfits.
Jumping on the city tour bus, we visited every market and ended up in the Dongdaemun area. Outside Lotte fitin area, we tried street food stores for the very first time.
The chicken teriyaki on the stick loaded with all sorts of sauces was delicious.
The most addictive street food snack had to be the fish cake if you eat at the stall. You eat in the corner then pay for the sticks you have eaten. Sharing the small corner with other on the go diners. Most street foods cost less than 3,000 KRW so you can eat cheaply.
Check out my first 2 days adventures over on my youtube channel.
Tags: asia, eating out, korea, markets, night time, seoul, street food, travel