If you want to get a taste of beach/coastal life in South Korea, you will definitely want to visit the city of GangNeung, which is about 3 hours drive from Seoul. This coastal city GangNeung offers plenty of things to do with ski resorts nearby in the winter and also beach pampering for the hot summer. Personally, I avoid the busy summer times here as it can get very crowded but anytime else is a great time to visit and get some fresh, ocean air plus great Korean sashimi/seafood. All along the coast of GangNeung, you will find fancy Korean seafood restaurants, jogging paths, hotels, and even WiFi on the beach. It’s a great place to get away from the city life in Seoul, which can become quite deafening after awhile. On my trip here as seen in the video, I did go walk for miles along the coast, it’s a quite fascinating walk as you will find many nice coffee shops you can take breaks and admire the waves. There’s quite a few good waves to surf here although there’s not many surfers as it’s still new to South Korea. (In time, I am sure there will be more … Continue reading
Probably the two favorite places to go clubbing in Seoul, Korea is KangNam and HongDae. On my last trip, I visited the Club NB in KangNam, Seoul, Korea, where I used to live. Club NB is usually full of young native Korean crowds (who can’t dance) but sometimes you will find several foreigners who can. This is one of my favorite places to go clubbing (as it’s close to KangNam station) and highly recommended for anyone to bring their girlfriends. Of course, I will be plain honest that most Korean girls at Club NB are very conservative and your player skills will not work (on most girls) so I suggest you to bring your own girls. I’ve lived in KangNam for about a year and been to this club like every weeked so I know what I am talking about. Other than that, Club NB has great drinks and music. Not the biggest club in Korea but certainly one worthwhile visiting. Hey, you never know, you might meet a chic here. But if you want to meet some Korean girls who are down to get under, you might just want to check out some local HipHop concerts, where girls are … Continue reading
One of the perks of traveling in South Korea are the highway rest areas. Unlike highway rest areas in California where I reside, highway rest areas in South Korea come fully-equipped with fresh food, restaurants, restrooms, and even a mini grocery store. Instead of hampering your poor body with the usual McDonald’s or Jack In The Box, you can pamper yourself to fresh Korean food, udon, and even steaks. You can literally find about 20 different types of fresh food to eat here. Besides good food, there’s also shops where you can buy souvenirs, golf clubs (sometimes), and even local meat shops where they sell Han-woo (Korean beef). Want a tour of highway rest areas in South Korea? Well, good thing I took some footage on my last trip, here’s a video tour: Here’s some more photos of the highway rest areas in South Korea: Udon is my favorite, it’s really good. Korean Meat Market!?! [고속도로 휴게소]
One of the most famous modern songs is “Ho Rang Na Bi” by Kim Hung Kuk, “Ho Rang” means “tiger” and “Na Bi” means “butterfly” in English. This is my dad’s favorite song, also mine too, I can sing it perfectly in drunken karaoke, we sing it whenever our family goes to Korean No-Re-Bang, (No-Re-Bang is karaoke in Korean) it’s almost a Korean national folk song (well it is). If you want to impress a Korean girl’s father, this is the song you need to learn.
Most people in Korea live in apartment buildings and this is mostly because there’s simply little land for everyone to go around, especially in metropolitan cities like Seoul, which is the second largest city in the world after Mexico City. Koreans love doing things fast. What do I mean by that? If you goto a restaurant, waitress will seat you, they will come back within 5 seconds to take your order, you order your food, and food will be on your table in the next 30 seconds or less. This is a typical lunch process in Korea, everything is done fast. Now, if you go into a Korean elevator, the elevator door opens and closes, like 10 times faster than any elevator you’ve been in the States. Also, Korean elevators allow you to “cancel”, meaning you can press floor 20 then press it again to cancel. This way you can undo your mistakes or perhaps you forgot to bring something and must go back to your floor. Also, you can notice in the above photo there’s a TV on the elevator. Most Korean elevators have this which is nice I guess. And you will notice a bunch of ads for … Continue reading
If you are into nightlife, there’s really two good places to go in Seoul, HongDae or KangNam. KangNam is where I used to live in Korea couple years back when I was working in Korea, I literally went clubbing every weekend so I know where the hotspots are. Last time I was in KangNam, I went to KangNam NB, to take some photos and show you what it’s like. Drinks are a lot cheaper in Korea than here in the States. Sadly, a lot of these young Koreans don’t know how to really get it on. That is probably the only downside to clubbing in Korea. Of course, there “are” some nights you can get some action on but most nights, people are a bit too conservative at the clubs. I did spot this guy who had a really funny hairdo, I had to take a photo with him. If you goto HongDae, there’s also bunch more clubs and probably a bit more foreigners. Another thing, in Korea, they won’t let you in if you wear too formal. Just dress casual so you can get it. If you are white or black, you will get in no matter what, these … Continue reading
Dduk Tak (뚝탁) is a Korean rice wine bar in HongDae [홍대](and other parts of north Seoul) that serves Chamsary Makkoli (참살이탁주). This Chamsary makkoli is the best makkoli I’ve tasted in my WHOLE LIFE! No kidding, I don’t want to capitalize like that, but Chamsary makkoli is really good. Why Chamsary makkoli? Chamsary makkoli is made 100% purely from Korean rice wine, no other ingredients/additives added. The taste? The taste is very mellow, a hint of sweetness and carbonation. It’s the cleanest Korean rice wine I’ve tasted in my whole life. I asked the owner of the Dduk Tak Bar why this is so good. And he tells me it’s all in the art of transporting the Chamsary makkoli from factory to the restaurant at the designated temperature, somewhere near freezing so the taste does not change. This is why you can actually buy the same makkoli from groceries in Korea but it wouldn’t taste the same because the temperature is everything. Chamsary makkoli and the food at Dduk Tak was sooo good, I came back here one more time the day before I flew back to San Francisco. FYI, you can only taste this Chamsary makkoli in South … Continue reading
For some reason, magic insoles (that make you taller) are wildly popular in Korea as I’ve noticed numerous street shops selling these Korean magic insoles. I believe it’s a cultural thing, there’s still a lot of prejudice going on in Korea based on people’s height, which I think is wrong. Oh well, you can always look taller by buying magic insoles.
Paldo BiBimMyeon is spicy, cold noodles you can make at home. It’s not exactly nutritious or anything but it is definitely a wildly popular among Koreans. I usually cook two of these as one serving isn’t much. How to cook Paldo BiBimMyeon? First you boil water, then when it boils put the noodles in it. Let it cook the noodles for about 5 minutes then wash it over cold water and drain all the water. Finally, mix the cold noodles with the hot sauce it came with and enjoy. It’s very hot and spicy so if you don’t like spicy food, might want to try something else. Meaning of BiBimMyeon: “BiBim” means to mix in Korean and “Myeon” means noodles. This is one of my favorite cold noodles that I can also cook at home. [팔도 비빔면]
In the 80s, when South Korea was just trying to get back on its feet and no one knew of Samsung and LG, many people were literally living on ramen or instant noodles. I remember when I used to live in Korea, each apartment building had a security guard. The security guard would cook ramen for lunch and sometimes he’d let some of kids join in. Especially in the winter when it snows in Korea, ramen is so good. Of course, consuming ramen on a daily basis isn’t too great for anyone but it’s definitely good once a week. My favorite Korean ramen? It’s called Shin Ramen, the one with red all over as shown in above pics. Shin Ramen also leads South Korea in popularity, ranked #1 ramen for decades and has about 25% of all ramen market in South Korea. I’ve also seen Shin Ramen being available here in San Francisco bay area at Safeway, Lucky’s, and even 7-Eleven. Why am I writing about Shin Ramen? I just had some. Also, you can mix some rice after you finish the noodles, that’s really good too. There’s 3 different types of Shin Ramen, one in a package, one in … Continue reading