Thursday, 15 December 2011

Korea Dusk til Dawn

Mr. Happy made the decision to attend a conference in Seoul recently and I was lucky enough to chaperone him!

I polled friends on what we should do, see and eat while we were there so I had a to do list I wanted to attack.

The tricky thing about South Korea is that almost everything is in Korean which can make it difficult to get around. We were in for an adventure.

We flew through the night and landed in Seoul at around 7am. By the time we got to the hotel it was 9. They told us we couldn't check in until 4!! So we left our suitcase and dragged our weary legs out to go sightseeing.

Luckily I heard about a Hop-on, Hop-off tour. It ended up being a great way for us to get our barings.

This guy called us over and demonstrated how he made an interesting confection called a 'court cake'.

It's called Kkul Tarea (honey skein) and it begins with a hard cake of ripened honey and malt.

 The more he works it, the softer the disk becomes.

He continues to fold it over on itself until it forms 16,000 threads suggesting the prayer for longevity, health, good fortune and wish-fulfillment.

He then fills it with either crushed peanuts or almonds. 

We bought the almond one. He suggested we eat it with tea.

We also hit up the N Seoul Tower and bought tickets to go to the top.

It was nice to see the lights at night, but be prepared to stand in line.
after line.
after line.

Our tour bus dropped us off at the base of the tower and after we finished we took the cable car down into Meyong Dyong.

By the time we finished sightseeing and eating dinner, it was 10:30!

The next day we decided to hit the Changdeokgung Palace.

And the Secret Garden.

There was no eating inside the palace gates and were there all day which meant we missed lunch. So we were hungry! They did sell drinks. We bought a hot coffee and it came in a can!

We took a walk through nearby Insadong which is full of art galleries and antique shops. On Saturdays there were loads of street vendors out selling food - a separate post.

That is where we met these nice information men who suggested a restaurant.

We tucked into some delicious beebimbop.

Then we headed back to our hotel. And collapsed.

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