Shilla Stay Hotel ==> Shinsegae Department store ==> Hadongkwan Restaurant ==> Deoksugung ==> Myeongdong Gyoza ==> Dinner at Jokbal Restaurant
Accommodation: Shilla Stay Gwanghwamun, 71 Sambong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
– Shinsegae Department store
– lunch at Hadongkwan – (www.hadongkwan.com)
– Deoksugung Palace
– walk along Seoul City Hall Area
– meal at Myeongdong Kyoja (www.mdkj.co.kr)
– Dinner at a Jokbal restaurant
I can say that on this day I had a gastronomic adventure. I always eat Korean food in the Philippines but on this tour day I satisfied my cravings for traditional Korean food from 40 to 70 years old restaurants.
I started this day transferring from my hostel to my hotel in Gwanghwamun area. I had to do it because my friends told me they are going to pick me up around 11 o’clock in the morning. Actually, my check in time was 2 o’clock in the afternoon but upon calling Shilla Stay they allowed me to just leave my luggage on their care.
Shilla Stay Hotel (Gwanghwamun)
I had a very comfortable stay in this hotel. This is in a very good location. I can walk to Myeongdong, Cheonggyecheon stream, Jonggak station, Insadong, etc from here. Also, it is very near the palaces and Gwanghwamun Square. The staff were very helpful as well. The area is very safe that I can just walk comfortably alone in the evening.
Shinsegae Departent Store
I’ve always been curious about Shinsegae because I always hear this from my students and some Korean dramas too. So, I was speechless when my friends brought me there. Actually, it was one of the nearest place to park my friend’s car to Myeongdong. We got a chance to go around its farmer’s market, and I loved it. I get to have dried persimmon and Jeju oranges from there. Bucket list checked!
If you are interested at traditional food which are not spicy, please take note of the following:
a. Hadongkwan. This 70-year old restaurant is a must-try for tourist who do not like spicy food. It’s a popular Gomtang Restautant that you have to line up during lunch time. They sell only 2 items – Gomtang and Suyuk in their menu and when the food they prepared were all served they close the store. We were lucky to have chance to eat there. It was said that the ingredients is top secret to the family. In the past, their Chef asked for their recipe but they did not give it. One of their chefs tried to copy the recipe and open a resto in Gangnam but people still go to the original for it has a distinct taste.
b. Suyuk. My friends were surprised that I could eat this food. So, I told them in the Philippines we also have this. From dinuguan to callos.
This palace is very near the Seoul City Hall. In front of it is a beautiful fountain. It’s pretty near a very busy intersection. Literally, Deoksugung means “palace of virtuous longevity”.
This is a 40 year old restaurant near Myeondong Cathedral. They are famous for Kalguksu which is a knife-cut noodles. Their serving is too big (maybe normal for Koreans) that I could not imagine how I could finish my food. They serve garlic kimchi, which is new to me so how could I say no to a new taste of Korean food? hehe (It’s like an oversize lomi which is a noodle dish in the Philippines. It’s bigger than the biggest serving of batchoy in Iloilo)
I’d like to introduce my friend Joe. Ok, so we both gained weight. It has been years since I last saw his face. We’ve grown matured. Now, we are really adult. He is still as cool as he was. We met in the evening because he had work. I wish his wife was with us but he said she’s shy. He brought me in this jeokbal restaurant. He thought I dont eat pig’s feet. LOL. This was very delicious. It tasted like pork asado. I had dinner with him and we had some suju. I told him I can drink but not that much because of my allergy. I believe we had dinner somewhere in Insadong.
It was definitely a day worth reminiscing. I had a lot of fun. More than that, I was so happy to meet my friends.
1. Get your hotel’s phone number. You can ask if you could do early check in. My friends said they will pick me up from my hotel at 11am. So, I had to call my hotel. The earliest they could give me was 1pm but they told me I can leave my things to them for safekeeping if I arrive early. So I went there around 10am.
2. A pair of comfortable walking shoes is a advised. Seoul takes a lot of walking.