On the 23rd of December I travelled to Osaka and had dinner at El Pancho. We stayed at an Airbnb place for a flight earlier in the morning the next day. The place had several rooms for guests and a shared kitchen and bath. In the kitchen there was an electric massage chair. I chose the location because the owner had several cute dogs but we didn’t get to see them.
We took a train to KIX early in the morning. Our plane arrived in Incheon around eleven, we picked up a pocket wifi, and got on an airport bus to Seoul which was about an hour and a half away. We stayed at a hostel in Myeongdong near a lot of shopping and a famous cathedral. After putting our bags down and changing into warmer clothes, we headed out to explore and to eat some lunch. We walked through some shopping streets overflowing with people. Instead of lunch we opted for some street food. I ate a Korean egg bread called Gyeran bbang , 계란빵 which was super delicious. The bread tasted a bit like cornbread and the egg was soft. We also ate some grilled pieces of cheese and others ate meat on a stick too. We wandered through th shopping area and then found a subway entrance and traveled to Sinchon where we read there would be some Christmas events. In Sinchon,my here was a stage set up with an choir and then an orchestra performing Christmas music. There were street vendors selling snacks and gift items. Everywhere in Seoul was decorated for Christmas and covered in lights. It felt very festive despite not being home in America.
We went to a coffee shop to take a break from the cold and to charge our phones so we could decide where to eat an actual meal for dinner. I had looked into places prior and we were close to a restaurant called Gosami, which serves Korean stew and grilled fish.http://cravingkorea.com/entry/gosami
We went there and had a delicious Christmas Eve dinner. The restaurant was busy but not with tourists and the fullness of food I suffered was worth the taste.
After dinner we took a subway back to Myeongdong area and came across a Christmas craft fair and an ice skating rink. The skating line was too long but we walked through the craft fair and bought some pretty watercolor and ink drawings (postcards). We ended the night eating a freshly fried churro from a food truck, having a drink at a bar, and then going back to the hostel to sleep and wait for Santa.
On Christmas Day we slept in a little bit and then headed out to see the Myeongdong Cathedral. I ate more egg bread on the way too. After checking that out and listening to some singers we headed to Itaewon area to sightsee and get lunch.
We were wanting more American style food due to living in Japan so we went to a New York style deli called Suji’s. They have a location in Tokyo too. I ate fish tacos and had a mimosa. Kalen had a pastrami sandwich and a Bloody Mary. The place was busy and full of foreign people as well as some Korean people.
After lunch we made our way north to the starting location of the city bus tour. The bus is basically a regular bus but with stops at tourist destinations and the option to get off and get back on a different bus in 25 minutes. We started the tour late and really just observed from the comfort of the bus. We did get out at Seoul Tower to see the view and take some photos.
After the tour, we headed back to Itaewon area to try a craft beer place called Magpie Brewing Company. I didn’t have beer, but they had a homemade fruit soda drink which was nice. We ate some pizza as a snack knowing we’d eat some street food on the way back before bed.
Some things I found interesting in Korea:
- It was easier to speak English here versus Japan.
- The subways were easy to navigate and convenient.
- It wasn’t as clean as Japan- probably due to street food and no trash cans.
- Subways contained underground shopping and entrances that you could use to cross the street by going underground.
- Subways were also nice to escape the cold.
- Many couples wore matching coats or matching something.