Insadong on a weekend
Seoul Travel Blog› entry 11 of 12 › view all entries
It was Karen's last day and we've done and gone to almost everything and everywhere we wanted to do and go so we decided to have a late start on our day and just take our time. The weather has also gotten colder.
It was close to lunch when we left the hostel and we were hungry! I asked Karen if she wanted to try jajjangmun. 'What is it?' she asked. It's noodles with black bean sauce derived from the Chinese-Korean delicacy brought on by the years of Chinese influence in Korea. Apparently, Karen has already tried it back in NYC, but I haven't yet so off we were for some jajjangmun. Except we didn't know where to have one that's reasonably close to the hostel! We asked a hostel staff who laughed and asked me how I knew about jajjangmun - not really asking but rather commenting.
We both ordered jajjangmun and it comes with a couple of side dishes. I love Korean side dishes! One was a pickled radish and I forgot the other one. Karen liked her jajjangmun and so did I.
We decided to go to Insadong afterwards for some souvenir-hunting. Insadong during weekends is closed to traffic and welcoming street vendors selling Korean crafts and food can be found on the sidewalk. Korean traditional ceremony very much for the tourists were being held on the stage at the end of Insadong. We caught a Traditional wedding ceremony which was nice. We continued on walk along the Gwanggo River and caught a Japanese Day parade, filled with costumes and musical numbers. We went back to the hostel afterward so we can rest, warm up, and Karen can finish packing as she was leaving early the next day.
By 8pm, we were ready for dinner. But where to go? We both had Lonely Planet books so we checked it out, looking for a good restaurant close by.
Dolkemaeul Tofu House is on the main Insadong street. Being on the Lonely Planet guidebooks and other tourists sites, I expected the restaurant to be more touristy but instead, Karen and I found ourselves in a restaurant dominated by Koreans, barely any tourists, with the exceptionof Karen and me. I ordered beef tofu casserole, while Karen ordered tofu casserole with dumplings. Cooked and served in a stone pot, our meal comes with hotpot rice, seaweed soup and six side dishes. Since it was her last night, I was able to convince Karen to have some soju... and with soju, we added grilled mackerel to our meal. There were a lot of food between the two of us... and it was awesome! Karen even took 2 shots of soju instead of just one... I finished the rest since I don't have the "Asian flush/curse" like Karen said she has.
After the meal, we walked back to the hostel, chatted with some of the people at the lounge and went to sleep.