Guide to Korea · Hongdae & Tosokchon Samgyetang

Last post on Seoul and I'm done sharing on my trip to Seoul.

Hongdae - one of the must visit places when you're in Seoul. 
That's also where I stayed for this trip. 
This district is pretty popular among travelers because there are malls around and it's really easy to travel around from Hongdae Subway Station. 

Shopping at Hongdae was alright for me, definitely not as awesome as Express Bus Terminal and Ewha Womans University because these places had better offerings and prices. However, you can find international brands like H&M and F21 there and the prices are slightly cheaper than Singapore's. 
Oh, and there's Daiso! Instead of retailing everything at $2 (~ ₩2,000), the prices range from $1 to $3 (₩1,000 - ₩3,000). Food items were actually cheaper at Daiso instead of Seoul's well known supermarket, Lotte Mart. If you come across any Daiso in Seoul, just walk in and have a look, you'll be surprised at the offerings and prices. I went to 3 Daiso outlets and never fail to walk out of the shop with a huge shopping bag :3

Not forgetting, the popular Korea homegrown fashion brand - Stylenanda! 

We had a hard time locating the boutique and the maps weren't accurate. 

So we went rounds and rounds.

When we were about to give up . . .

Totally exhausted from searching for the store.

Took a few photos from the free photo booth in the store #cheapthrills

And walked out empty handed, everything is overpriced. 

You won't go hungry at Seoul because not only there are street food stalls everywhere, there are also coffeehouse chains at every street.

Popped by one local coffeehouse for breakfast that was near our guesthouse - Ediya. 

Pretty satisfying cheese toast.

Issac Toast

Seoul, Mapo-gu, Seoguo-dong, 358-28

Hongik University Station Exit 9
The row of shops opposite Hongik University 
Level 2

Another popular breakfast place that is well received by the locals will be - Issac Toast. 

Situated opposite Hongik University.

Beef Bulgogi Toast.

There's a wide selection of toasts but decided to go for the local flavour instead of bacon, ham etc. 
I would prefer McDonald's Sausage McMuffin to this cause the beef patty is too sweet for my liking.
Price point - prolly cost as much as McDonald's McMuffin if I don't remember wrongly.

Bingsu (Shaved Ice) Time!
Went to one of the more popular store, Sulbing, which was only a 5 minutes walk from our guesthouse.

We had Blueberry Cheese Bingsu.
Fresh blueberries, cubes of cheesecake (I was expecting it to be real cheese) and milk shaved ice.
This didn't really wow me but I guess everyone should at least try once in Korea.
Price point - belongs to the pricey kind of dessert, this bowl costed around $8 to $10 SGD. 
I label this as expensive ice-kacang. 

유가네 닭갈비

163-11 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
(Apart from Hongdae, Yoogane is also available at other locations)

Take Exit 9 of Hongik University Station
Go straight and turn left
Locate H&M and turn left

This famous restaurant chain that specialise in stir-fried marinated chicken is well-loved by locals and tourists. 

Ordered the normal Yoogane Dak Galbi.
The concept is similar to Korean BBQ whereby the grill is in the middle of your dining table. Instead of grill, this is a frying pan. 

Apart from the marinated chicken, veggies were also thrown in.

You don't have to fry yourself, the servers are constantly walking around to ensure that the ingredients are properly done.

Prolly waited for 10 to 15 minutes for everything to be done.

And yes, this is pretty good. I enjoy the spiciness of the chicken.
If you're there with more people, you can try ordering the set meal with rice cake or octopus. 

If you ain't flying to Korea, fret not! Yoogane is available in Singapore as well! 
Bugis Junction if I'm not wrong. And the price is definitely more pricey. 

Spent about $8 SGD per person for this meal.

Random Family Restaurant

During our last day, we decided to be adventurous for dinner and patronised a family restaurant that looked good and are famous for Jjampong and Jjajangmyeon.

Don't tell anyone you've been to Korea if you didn't get to try Jjampong and Jjajangmyeon In Korea.

Jjajangmyeon - Black bean sauce with noodles

Jjampong - Spicy Seafood Noodles Soup

So glad that we went to the right place for these local flavours.

Hongdae Street Food
Located just outside the train station, there is a whole stretch of vendors selling local snacks.
And these vendors only start preparing in the evening. 

Spoilt for choices.

Odeng (Fish Cake) and soup, perfect for the chilly night. 
If you've no idea what to have for dinner, pop by one of these stalls and order a little bit of everything.
You will definitely feel stuffed. 

Actually I've been to some other places that I've yet to cover in any of these posts. 
I'll try to share those information and more pictures probably some time later.

Before I end my last Guide to Korea post,  I would like to share another place that is a must-go for all tourists. And that is - Tosokchon Samgyetang. 

Tosokchon Samgyetang

5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 
서울 종로구 자하문로5길 5

Take Exit 2 from Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3)
Go straight about 170m and turn left onto Jahamun-ro 5-gil Road
Tosokchon is located 10m ahead on the left

Tosokchon is the most well-known place in Seoul to have Ginseng Chicken Soup.
And because its well-received by tourists from all over the world, this place is kinda commercialised now.

Apart from Ginseng Chicken Soup, they have things like roasted chicken. 

The restaurant is huge, its like a mini palace with different pavilions.

There are black chicken and white chicken to choose from.
We go for the latter since my sister mentioned that there isn't any difference. 

That's the ginseng soup that you've to pour into the soup.

Glutinous rice and some herbs that are stuffed in the chicken. 

Comparing this to the usual chinese herbal soup that we get in Singapore, the taste is slightly different.
For some herbal soup, you'll get the 'heaty' feeling after consumption. However this is different.
The ginseng taste is exceptionally strong but you won't get the 'heaty' feeling
The chicken is really tender, I'm not a fan of glutinous rice, so I can't comment much on that. 

This potent soup is about $15 - $16 SGD.

Do note that if you would like to go to Tosokchon, make sure you're early otherwise you would see a queue. And the waitresses there speak fluent mandarin, don't worry about miscommunication!

Alright, that's the end of it.
Hope my little Guide to Korea can be a help to you! x



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