|Umbrella selfie while walking along the Cheoggyecheon river|
That said, we didn't do much, if any, sightseeing aside from walking along the Cheonggyecheon river (very cute and recommended!) Here's a recap of some of our adventures in Seoul (pronounced suh-ool), Korea. Enjoy!
Streetside Drinking and Eating in Itaewon (and how Koreans hang out in "rounds")
|We practiced taking a lot of group selfies during our trip|
We visited Itaewon on our first night in Seoul, after having dinner at a restaurant near our AirBnb. Each roadside eatery seemed to specialize in certain dishes. At the first one pictured above, we ordered a mixed plate of veggies and other things fried in a batter similar to the typical seafood pancake we order at Korean restaurants in the US. Order a few liters of Hite, bottles of soju and add in a game, and you have a great first stop during a night out!
At our third stop of the night, we went to a place that specialized in braised pork feet. I've been having a Chinese version of this dish since I was a kid because it's one of my mom's favorite dishes, but for those unaccustomed it may seem a bit odd. The pig's feet is cut into slices, full of delicious pork fat and you use lettuce along with scallion, sesame oil, and picked veggies (similar to kimchi) to wrap the meat up and eat it.
|Braised pigs feet in Itaewon|
Hanging Out in "Rounds"
As you may have noticed from our visit to Itaewon, we visited THREE different establishments for food/drink in one night! This is typical of how Koreans tend to hang out in "rounds." Usually there is dinner, then a bar, then a karaoke place (noraebang) -- each of these rounds involve ordering lots of soju and beer. Or on a more chill night, perhaps dinner and then dessert at a cafe (the cafes in Korea are BEAUTIFUL!). Traditionally, Koreans also switched off paying for the different rounds, although more modern/international Koreans split the bill and pay for their meals individually. This hanging out in "rounds" generally leads to lots of (over)eating and perhaps (over)drinking as well!
Streetside Eateries: Pojangmachas (and Korean drinking etiquette)
|Typical scene from a Korean TV drama or movie -- men gathered at a pojangmacha, sitting on cheap stools and eating anju (drinking foods) and drinking soju on a folding table|
In almost every Korean drama or movie, there's always a scene when the male protagonist drowns his sorrows with bottles of soju while sitting alone in a pojangmacha. Our friend Jonathan had only one request during our visit to Korea: that we eat and drink in a pojangmacha just like in those Korean movies and TV dramas.