Since my major is Tourism, my college organizes international tours as part of the curriculum for every third year student. For our batch, South Korea won by a landslide against a cruise ship to three countries, Australia and Japan. The trip was then called “enSEOULed in Korea”, with the word ensouled meaning to endow with a soul. And what a SEOULful adventure it was!
Our trip was hosted by Asiana Airlines (OZ), and here we are, with my blockmates and friends, waiting to board the 3-hour flight. Incheon International Airport was by far, the best airport I have ever seen.
Exchanged my dollars for Korean Won! Felt stinking rich for saying that I have more than 100,000 KRW, (around $250) lol. Excuse my disgusting nail polish.
After meeting our tour guide (Bruce Lee, you’ll see him in later posts), we headed straight from the airport to breakfast. My first Korean dish didn’t disappoint! This is called U-dong Noodle served at Poonglim Restaurant. Though the soup was a bit lukewarm when we arrived, but we’re so disappointed in the airplane food that we could eat anything they served us!
Outfit for the day!
For our first tourist destination, we headed to Nami Island. You might find this familiar, because this was the place where the famous Koreanovela, Winter Sonata, was shot. It was definitely a place for couples because romance is thick in the air! The place was lovely, calm, and serene. Not to mention cold and slippery.
To fight the cold, this sign caught our eyes (and noses) so we shelled out 1,000 KRW (roughly $1) to buy this intriguing Snowman Pancake.
…And it was by far the best pancake I have ever had! IHOP couldn’t create something like this. Ever! It was warm, crispy, and has a sort of coconut-ish jam at the middle. All for the price of less than $1!
After freezing our butts off (and an almost lost bag of yours truly), we headed to lunch, and it was AMAZEBALLS! We had to cook everything ourselves. This dish is called Takalbi, or chicken barbeque at Dongnamu Restaurant. We had to wrap the chicken in lettuce or choose to eat it with rice. My mouth is watering at the sight of it!
Our next stop: Mt. Sorak! It’s one of Korea’s highest mountains and most beautiful, in my opinion. Just look at that snow! It’s a miracle my toes are still intact after trekking through that slope.
To get to the top, we had to ride a cable car then trek halfway. Some of my friends did it, but others (like me), were too chicken shit to climb because of the VERY SLIPPERY SNOW. We actually slid downwards, being unable to walk properly. Yes, we SLID.
Happy happy girls! We’re actually the ones who were left behind while the others climbed to the top.
For dinner, we headed to restaurant called Sanmaru, where we had the Seafood Steamboat. Look at all those side dishes! The dish includes all kinds of seafood you can imagine, from oysters, to squid, shrimp and fish cakes!
This is the restaurant where I actually had my first “culture shock” because of the traditional bathroom that they have. It’s the kind of bathroom where you have to SQUAT at a HOLE in the GROUND. So yeah, surprise was actually an understatement.
This day was a tribute to all things traditional, so we checked in at Sorak Daemyeong Resort where the bedrooms we had to sleep in are on the floor. It was nice and cozy and not the mention WARM. I was actually sweating when I woke up!
And speaking of waking up.. there was actually an incident which includes breakfast. Lol. But that’s a story for next time! Annyeong (“goodbye”)!