How popular are Android smartphones in South Korea these days? Very popular. In fact, it’s so popular, they have these Android robots that dance in front of cellphone shops. Most of Korean smartphones including Samsung, LG, Anycall, and others are now universally using Android OS. In my personal opinion, from traveling South Korea recently, Android’s popularity soars above anything else. iPhone 4 is still very popular too but there’s about 10 Android smartphone users to 1 iPhone user on average. But they should have these Android robots in the States for sheezy. Here’s two kids “harassing” the Android robot.
Another one of my favorite Korean foods (I know, there’s so many!) is Kimbab, which is basically Korean sushi. “Kim” means seaweed and “Bab” means rice so if you put it together it makes “Kimbab” [김밥]. In Korea, there’s literally a Kimbab store on every other block that sell like 30 different types of Kimbab. This one I ordered was the beef Kimbab but there’s other delicious Kimbabs like Tuna Kimbab, Kimchi Kimbab, Macaroni Kimbab, and whatever you can imagine in your head. The Kimbab usually comes in rolls, sliced and wrapped in aluminum foil and they probably go for about $2 per roll. Get two of these rolls and you’ve got yourself a really healthy lunch and still money left in your wallet. Next time I go (I am actually going to be on the plane by the time this post goes live), I will make sure to take a video of a local Kimbab shop. It’s soooo good. For those of you who don’t like live fish, Kimbab will be good for you as it has no live fish unlike Japanese sushi.
You will find many of these street food stands selling “Nude” chestnuts. These aren’t really nude but they are roasted chestnuts and are pretty darn good. Koreans love chestnuts so don’t forget to eat some of these on the streets while you are traveling in Korea.
In Korea, it’s not uncommon to find people wearing masks, especially near the fall and winter seasons. Why? It’s supposed to help from getting diseases such as flu and whatnot. Since many Koreans travel on subways and buses, it’s a good idea for them to wear masks. As for me, I think I will stick to taking my chances, masks just don’t look good on me unless I am trying to rob a bank.
YongSan (용산) District in Seoul, Korea is the oldest and the biggest electronic district in Korea. Now there’s a bunch of districts in Seoul with focus on gadgets but YongSan District is still the biggest gadget land in Korea. Here, you can find anything from a PS3, smartphone, electronic parts and anything that’s electronic. If there was something like a Silicon Valley in Korea (where consumers can buy gadgets on the cheap), it would be called YongSan (or is it is). I used to come to YongSan often when I used to live in Korea as a youngster to pick up PC components. Here, there’s no real set price on anything, you need to “haggle” your way. Sometimes, you can pick up electronics for fractions of the price. One time, I picked up an audio PC card at 75% off its retail price. Of course, tourists must be even more careful as the retailers here will over-charge you if they know you are a tourist. But don’t worry, you just need to shop around, there’s like a hundred stores selling the same thing, just find the store with the lowest prices. At YongSan, you will find a ton of … Continue reading
Another one of my very favorite Korean food is the Korean cold noodles. It is just insanely delicious in Korea. There’s not that many Korean restaurants that make it right here in the States so if you want to taste the authentic, Korean cold noodles, you have to get it in Korea. Even these cold noodles I ordered at the COEX fastfood mall was better than anything I tried here in the States including San Francisco and Koreatown in L.A. The reason is that there’s so many restaurants in Korea and so much competition, if they don’t make it right, they go out of business. Whereas here in the States, the Korean restaurants have a monopoly on Korean food and they don’t have to make it right. Dang it, I miss eating Korean cold noodles, it’s SO GOOD!
If you ask me what my favorite Korean beer is? It would be “Hite”, as featured here at the COEX mall. Hite is a pretty light beer with distinctive “Korean” beer taste. This is also favorite among many Koreans. Of course, you can easily get Hite at Korean supermarkets here in the States so the next time you go, don’t forget to pick up Hite. P.S. I always wonder why they named it “Hite”. There’s probably no reason.
In Korea, you will find more Galaxy Zone stores than Apple Stores, mostly because Samsung is a Korean company and they literally run the country with their latest gadgets such as the Samsung Galaxy S Android smartphones and Samsung Galaxy Tabs. This Galaxy Zone is located in COEX mall in Seoul, Korea in the Samsung District. (Yes, can you believe it? There’s a district called “Samsung” district! That’s not, there’s condos named after “Samsung” and etc…etc…) The Galaxy Tab Android tablets sold in Korea support over-the-air DMB TV, this is actually better than anything we get here in the states because it’s actually over the air. DMB is not supported in the U.S. (yet) due to frequency issues with the FCC. There’s even Galaxy Zones in the middle of the mall, these are actually mini-booths showing Samsung’s new products.
Seeing drunk people on the streets of Korea is a very common scene. But unlike here in the States, it’s not such a bad thing to be too drunk and take some time off on the streets. Why? At least after this guy sobers up, he can take a taxi home. Taxi is pretty much everywhere in Korea, literally “everywhere” so you never have to drive home drunk. And since Korea has strict policy on other drugs such as marijuana and whatnot, there are more drunkards than anywhere else in the world. Next time I go, I will try to take more photos of drunkards on the streets. I swear, you can see these drunkards at least once a night.
Makkoli (막걸리) is the name for Korean rice wine, very similar to Japanese unfiltered sake. In Korea, there’s a bunch of Korean Makkoli bars that specialize in providing customers with various different flavors of Makkoli. On this day, we went to a Korean Rice Wine Bar called “Makkoli Do-Duk” (막걸리도둑), which means Korean Rice Wine Burglar. (It’s in Hong Dae somewhere) Korean rice wine is usually served on a small bowl, not a shot glass or wine glass. And also you can pour more from the bigger teapot. Here’s a quick look at the menu at Makkoli Do-Duk. The first page of the menu lists different types of beer, soju, and 5 different flavors of the most popular Makkoli. Don’t mistaken Korean bars as a place that only sell liquor because it’s Korean tradition to always eat some food along with Makkoli. This particular Makkoli bar had some really great food to offer, meats, soups, and a ton more great food to eat along with your Makkoli. Next time you are in Korea, I highly recommend you to check out a Makkoli bar as they have great food, rice wine, and good times for you and your friends. Makkoli is … Continue reading