{Seoul} Bukchon, Bukmakgol, Insadong, Jinmi Sikdang

Bukchon Hanok Village

The sunny weather on day 2 of our trip was perfect for sightseeing so we trekked to Bukchon where many traditional Korea houses called "hanok" are still preserved. People still live in these houses so quiet sightseeing was encouraged. It was a nice stroll though and the contrast between the roofs of these old houses against the skyscrapers was an interesting sight to see.

Nearest Station: Anguk - Exit 2

Along the way up from the subway exit to the traditional houses, there were many boutique shops and cafes so we stopped by a cafe called Trier Roasters for our morning coffee run. The flat white was decent while the decor was very casual and relaxing. 


After our stroll through Bukchon, we hopped over to the artsy Samcheongdong-gil Road for lunch. A friend had recommended this restaurant to us for really good galbi (beef ribs). Even though the restaurant is located in a little back alley, it was easier to find than I thought as there was a big recognizable sign on the main street pointing the way. They do not take reservations for lunch but luckily we didn't have to wait to be seated. The restaurant itself is a hanok and we sat on the floor in a traditional style while eating. They are really famous for 3 dishes here - galbi, pork belly and dumpling soup - and we ended up trying the galbi (₩38,000 for 2) and pan-fried oyster egg dumplings (which we had picked at random). The sizzling galbi arrived in a metal pot and the ribs were huge! We were instructed to use scissors to dissect the ribs and after seeing us in clumsy action, one of the staff took over and cut everything up for us swiftly. Covered in sweet, garlicky and peppery sauce, the ribs were amazingly fragrant while so very juicy and tender to eat. One of the best galbi I've ever had in my life! [Rating: 4.5/5] 

30-2 Samcheong-dong, Jungno-gu.
Tel: 02-730-0980
Nearest Station: Anguk - Exit 1


We then made our way down to Insadong - another artsy neighborhood nearby filled with galleries, souvenir shops and street stalls. It was a bit touristy and busy for me and I'd much prefer the quieter Samcheongdong area, but there were a lot of street food to be had and I couldn't resist this dorayaki in the shape of a piece of POO! It only cost ₩1,000 and with a choice of red bean or chocolate filling, the pancake was actually quite yummy as it was chewy like a mochi while the filling was not too sweet. 

I also couldn't resist getting this Korean egg bread or Gyeran Bbang which was the perfect snack in the cold winter weather! There is a whole egg on top of sweet fluffy bread so it felt healthy as a snack or even a quick breakfast. I saw many street vendors selling this all over and while it usually costs ₩1,000, I saw a few that charges double for extra ingredients on top.

Namsan Park

We wanted to go check out Namsan Park which boasts landscape views of Seoul from atop the Seoul Tower. The Namsan mountain was not that tall itself compared to the rest of the city but I had heard that it can be a good stroll through the park for its scenery. There is an elevator that conveniently takes you up halfway up the mountain and from there you can choose to take the cable car for a fee or walk up the stairway path to the top. Unfortunately for us there was a long line for the cable car in the late afternoon and we couldn't walk the rest of the way up due to injury so we had to abandon our visit. It was immensely popular with couples and we couldn't help but notice that most of them were wearing matching outfits. 

Nearest Station: Hoehyeon - Exit 4

Jinmi Sikdang

One of the Korean delicacies that I really wanted to try was ganjang gejang or soy marinated raw crabs. We were a bit apprehensive eating raw crabs outside of Japanese cuisine but decided to go for it anyways! The restaurant was not easy to find as we had arrived here by taxi and even though the driver punched in the address in his GPS, he still ended up calling the restaurant for directions. It turns out that it was located in a small alley behind a gas station. The restaurant was very homestyle and we ate sitting on the floor again. They only serve one thing - ganjang gejang- on the menu which cost ₩31,000 per person which includes a crab, banchan, steamed eggs, kimchi jjigae and rice. We didn't have to wait long before all of the food filled up our table including the crab which was full of bright orange tomalley! We just started sucking on the crab to get to the flesh and it was so fresh and sweet. Combined with the delicious soy sauce, it was perfect! A must-try in Korea! [Rating: 4.5/5]

105-127 Gongdeok-gong, Mapo-gu
Tel: 02-3211-4468

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