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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Weekend in Seoul - Saturday

The first day!

After battling some jetlag on Friday night (which wasn't fun), we were up and out in good order on Saturday morning to begin our trek around Seoul.  I must admit that I'm always excited at the prospect of seeing and experiencing a new city and culture, and this was my first time in the region so I was stoked to soak in as much as I could. 

The areas we visited are highlighted below in each section - I thought this might be an interesting way of weaving in our route as well as pictures from each location.

Noryangjin Fish Market

I couldn't believe the sheer volume of fresh fish available at the market.  Of any make and type, mind you.  If I lived in Seoul I'd be visiting here all the time.  Couldn't really tell what prices were like, but just the opportunity to get fresh fish would be amazing.  Jimmy explained that the restaurants typically get first choice in the morning before the rest of us are allowed in.  Not surprising - what a selection!

63 Building

It ended up being a bit of a trick to get from the market back to the 63 Building, but after flagging down a taxi we were back and taking in the views.  I marveled at how spread out Seoul seems - the buildings never seem to stop.  The price to go up was very reasonable and the Beatles exhibit was also fun to see.


The first thing we did was try out the street food - specifically, Ho Ddeok. The lady who does this is famous for the way she makes it, so we stood in line (amazing for a street vendor!) and finally got our food.  I'm still not sure whether I was eating noodles or something else, but it tasted great. We also checked out a few other vendors and visited the Sungnyemun Gate (which not surprsingly is surrounded by office buildings).

International Food Court/Itaewon/Myungdong Street

Along the route we stopped quickly at the International Food Court at the Shinsagae Mall.  I think we were both impressed by the amount of food choices and desserts that were available.  I tried out some South Korean coke as well as a seaweed chip - not bad.  After that we made our way over to the world famous Vatos Tacos in Itaewon, where I was properly introduced to Kimchi Fries.  And I must admit...they were excellent!  We also stopped by a few vendors along the way - there always seems to be another deal around every corner.

Dinner in Itaewon - the Foody Goody

We were very fortunate to be able to meet up with another USD connection, Mike Arnold, and his family for a traditional Korean meal.  I think I was only in one other class with Mike while we were working on our PhDs at USD, but I was grateful for the opportunity to reconnect and sample the cuisine!


Millennium Seoul Hilton - no luck for us!

We capped off the evening by visiting the Hilton with the hopes of finding some luck with blackjack or roulette.  The tables were pretty terrible so we didn't spend much - we did get a great view of some high rollers playing though...crazy amounts of money being spent!  After that we taxied back to the Dragon and called it a night - more fun to be had on Sunday.


  1. Was it really a lot of money from the high rollers or is it just that the won has three more zeroes on it than the dollar equivalent?

  2. Well...one guy we saw pulled out about 10k to play with...most I've seen