Seoul-Family Trip (Part 3)

Back 2 Seoul - 22nd March 2011

It is going to be an exciting day today! The itinerary is packed with places that are usually off the tour group radar thus it would be an eye opener for most of us! To start of our day, we had breakfast at the Seoul Residence Café which has been included in our accommodation and I am glad that none of the gang complaint about the food. To be fair, I have yet to experience a bad meal in Seoul so it is that good! Back to the breakfast, the spread is modest throughout our stay with the usual omelette & scramble eggs counter, the cereal counters, mini salad bar , soup and roughly 7-8 dishes which usually is a combo of western and local fair. I personally don't complaint eating the same thing for our entire duration and in fact I suppose I wouldn't mind having to eat the similar stuffs for perhaps another week. ;)

This is the spread I chose. Simple choice of Korean rice, deep
fried anchovies, sautéed mushrooms, kimchi and cherry tomatoes.

P enjoying her breakfast the American style, sunny side up,
toasts and orange.

Once we had our belly filled, it is time to head to our first destination of the day, Garak Market! Although this is my second trip to Seoul, it is my first time visiting this place and I am both hesitant and excited with the new adventure that we are going to have. If you are taking the subway, it is accessible by both Line 3 and Line 8. Since we are staying near to Seolleung station, we took Line 3 to Jamsil and make a transfer to Line 8 towards Garak Market. When we reached there, we had to take a little walk towards the market. If you are living in Singapore, Garak Market is like the Pasir Panjang Wholesale warehouse. If you are not living in Singapore, Garak Market is a wholesale warehouse for vegetables, fruits, dried produce and the likes. At first look from the outside, you would hesitate whether to enter the place... I did, but decided, heck, I am here already so might as well just head in otherwise I will be crucified by the gang if despite having to walk around 5mins, I were to tell them something like "Guys, think this place looked different from what I expected, lets leave". I am glad that I took the chance anyway and this place is truly a treasure! OK, you have been told so explore this place and you will be rewarded!

This is the view inside the warehouse (I randomly chose one)
and it is filled with lots of vinyl tape cubicle and the best thing
is that, as you can see, there are not many people here!

The fruits are fresh and cheap and if they are not cheap,
chances are because they are imported stuffs. I only go for
the local produce as these stuffs are not exported else where.


The strawberries are huge, ripe and smell heavenly! We bought
2 cartons of stawberries altogether but only 1 carton made it
back to where we came from. Why? No, we didn't devour them all
but instead, In our rush to leave, we left 1 carton at
Seoul Residence's lobby (+_+)

The locally grown sweet and refreshing cherry tomatoes
Not sure whether these persimmons are locally grown or
from mainland China. We bought 2 packs anyway because it is reasonably cheap.

Strawberries packed in these lovely polyester boxes just makes
it even more appealing but we didn't buy any as we already had 2 cartons.. sigh, 2 cartons...

We bought 5 of these. It tasted average, nothing extraordinary.
Maybe we just need to have Parma ham to go with it?

Ripe, brightly red, big and luscious!

Plenty of tomatoes sold here but we didn't buy any as our hands
are full with other produce. Next time perhaps?

Have no idea what are these... help, anyone?

Bought one 'pail' of these strawberries as we can't resist not to
as the s
ize of these are truly to die for. It tasted awesome!!

The gang with our catch of the day. All happy and satisfied!

Once we're done with our goodies, we make our way back to Seoul Residence to drop off our goodies, freshen up and to bring my FIL out for fresh air (He's been sick and holed up in the apartment too long by now). Our next itinerary for the day, Noryangjin Fish Market! I have been to this place and have blogged about it in my earlier post here.

This is the view from a top the flyover that leads to the fish market

If you don't see this view while walking on the flyover, you are heading the wrong way.

At the end of the flyover, you will reach a rooftop car park.
Take on of the exits and it will bring you down a flight of ladders
towards the fish market. You know you are at the right place
when the smell of sea produce hits your nose. ;)

I still have no idea what are these. Looked like corals though. My BIL, J ordered one to try and
kept giving me the thumbs up for this morsel. My sis, P however tried and gave me 2 thumbs
down... Well, somehow, I am not too game to try and decided to give it a pass.

Remember to haggle! This place is fast gaining popularity as one day, it will be like those of Namdaemun whereby you are expected to haggle and IF YOU DON'T, you only have yourself to blame

Lots of fishes here. You can either buy if to be brought home, gutted, live or request them to prepare a Sashimi platter for you. Note that you have to buy the fish as a whole so no mixture of Sashimi
platter unless you buy a few fishes... whole.

My FIL is extremely excited (He used to be a fisherman) and kept
telling us that he has never seen such a big Halibut before, so
proceeded to make a purchase without even bargaining because
he has decided that the price he paid is already a bargain.
The stall owner preparing the Halibut for us. We have decided to have it as Sashimi. If you are wondering what is Sashimi, it is sliced raw fish eaten with a dip of soy sauce and Japanese horse radish paste.
In Seoul, they eat it like BBQ meat i.e. with the greens and chili paste but just that
the meat is raw fish.

Voilá! A whole plate of Halibut Sashimi platter and mind you, that one fish (3Kgs) gave us 2 plates of Sashimi! We couldn't finish it and ended up asking the chef to prepare a pot of soup for us
to cook the fish in.

Once we got all our stuffs, we proceeded to search for a restaurant to prepare our catch and please NOTE that the fish market has many runners/touters on a watch out for potential people to bring to their restaurants. We had a bad experience this time round as my FIL has been earmarked by one Chinese boy and has helped my FIL to haggle and close the deal on the Halibut. He insisted that we go to the restaurant and caused a little bit of a ruckus. I am inclined to head to the BBQ places but after a little bit of discussion and research, we just go with the Chinese boy as my FIL was kind of pissed that we didn't... oh well~ At the restaurant, this is where my mum threw off her second tantrum. As all the table are seated on the floor, the guest will have to sit on the floor to eat. My mum has had a hip operation before and couldn't sit as much on the floor as it will be very difficult to stand up (I understood that) but she got angry when she saw that there was no chair there. I took a beer keg to let her sit on so that she could stand up again later. Oh, one other interesting happened, while we are having our meal there, the restaurant creditor came and caused a huge scene! He shouted at the top of his voice and demanded to look for the owner who is not around. Some customers was intimated and left the restaurant in a hurry. We just stayed and enjoy the food and the scene hahaha!

Oh, we tried the raw octopus this time round and it tastes
crunchy and sucky... literally! The raw octopus is served
with sesame dressing. My MIL was upset and near
to blowing her top as my SIL kept playing with her raw octopus.
We are back to devour more lobster this time round and we've got
an even bigger one this time! That piece I'm holding to is the claw.

How about this for scale? As the crustacean is too big for us, there are plenty of left-overs and my mum is more than happy to eat our share. She even wanted to go for the stuffs on the lobster's head!!! I know its the good stuff, but think of this, my mum has blood pressure issues, so you get my drift? She was kind of unhappy that we stopped her from eating the whole head. Wonder whether she will tell her friends that her
son ordered lobster and wouldn't allow her to eat it (O.O) Anyways, she suffered swollen eyes and lips after the trip and I would be very much inclined that the lobster is the culprit.

When we belly full of seafood, our next destination required a little bit of exercise, wait, did I say a little? I mean a lot of exercises! The next destination is Seoul N'Tower at Namsan. The story is this, I read somewhere that we could walk from Myeong Dong to the cable car and the signboard somehow confirmed my understanding. But little did I expect that the walk is uphill and took about 15 minutes! The old folks was about to kill me and throw my decapitated body to the dogs. Anyway, tips on this location.. take a taxi OR go along the main road instead of the alley! We realised at the end of the tour that we could walk the main street for 10 minutes odd and will reach an elevator that could bring us up to the cable station (+_+)

The gang is about to knife me!

OK, we've made it anyway and I am still in one piece...

After we reached the cable station, we are required to purchase the ticket to head up to Seoul Tower. The ticket costs KRW7,500 for round trip or KRW6,000 one way. For more information, you may go to the Korea Tourism Website. Take note that when you reached the top, you still need to take a steep flight of stairs up unless you took a taxi earlier. Here, my mum threw her 3rd tantrum which is largely attributable to my fault. Anyways, she refused to take the flight of stairs anymore as she has walked a lot earlier (My FIL made this statement "The distance that I have walked these few days is equal to the distance I have walked in my last 3 years!"). My mum asked us to go ahead to visit the top while she wait for us at the cable station. Refused to let her have a reason to sulk and complaint later (If we do what she says) and refusing to cause disappointment to the whole gang, I asked my sister to help me help my mum up the stairs. Thank God, that move saved the day. My mum was seen smiling and happy while posing for a shot with my sister. There is a Bear Museum on the top of the mountain too and you can find more information from the Korea Tourism Board.

Seoul N'Tower

Seoul's night view from the top of N'Tower.

There is a cafetaria and plenty of souvenir shops at the top of N'Tower. 
Tickets cost per adult is KRW9,000.

We send the old folk on a taxi with the business card of Seoul Residence to ensure that they reach the right location and the youngsters proceeded to roam Seoul on our own! We headed back to Myeong Dong again for some late night shopping and frankly, the shops here close early and so, we didn't linger here for too long. Instead, we head back towards the direction of our apartment and scouted for a supper place. We found this place at an alley and it is perhaps the cheapest eatery that I have been to in Seoul!
If you can read Korean, this is the menu and price

We ordered quite a number of dishes. This one is Kimchi soup or Kimchi Chigae

Bummer, can't recall what's this. Think it is Bulgogi rice.

Small serving of bibimbap

Korean dumpling.


My BIL demonstrating how to eat noodle
with your nose!

Happy reading and happy planning!

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  1. Hi Johnathan,

    Do you have any idea what is the resturant name you went to at the noryangjin fish market?


  2. Hi Bijun, unfortunately I don't. I only recall its a double storey wooden house outside of the fish market


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