Monday, December 9, 2013

9 Dec 2013 4C Kalguksu Namdaemum , Noryangjin fish market

Studio41st mascot

One peculiar thing about our lodging in Seoul is the ondol heating system. It heats up the entire room without the situation of cold or hot spots. It is a superior system and makes walking on the floor in winter a very pleasant experience.

If there is one thing I dislike about Studio41st, it is the toilet/shower area. Shower is at the wash area which makes a soggy mess. We kept the toilet door opened through the night which helped to dry the toilet floor and maintain humidity in the living area.

Jewel mart

Test shot
Rain was forecasted and we made off with a brolly. We headed out for Namdaemun’s camera street where hubs made his first major purchase of the day, a fish eye lens for his Canon 6D, at a whopping price of 760000 won in Digital Space. It was a straight forward affair but I could see it was love at first sight.


Mobile info kiosk

Kalguksu alley

Kalguksu lady
Steaming kalguksu in seaweed infused soup

Folks getting their kalguksu fix

Lunch was at Kalguksu Alley ( near Hoehyeon Station exit 5 ) ; 2 bowls of noodles ( 10 000 won ) which included banchan or side dishes.  The noodles were made before our eyes and super fresh. If super springy noodles is your thing, this is it. I have a weak stomach and reckon another serving will send me into hyper indigestion. It was not so much about the experience than sitting with hoards alongside a heated bench and huddle over a bowl of steaming handmade noodles.

Still at Namdaemun jewelry alley, I paid 8000 won for 2 sets of handmade ear studs. It was astounding to see many craftsmen huddle over their wares, pasting little crystals or fixing clasps with deft fingers. Even without the intention to purchase, this place is worth checking out.

After lunch, it was more shopping at Shinsegae department store east of Namdaemun market. It is a high end store selling mainly foreign branded products .

At 2 pm, tea break was alfresco coffee at Ediya coffee ( 2800 won x 2 ). It was pretty decent coffee at a great price though the cakes were far from interesting.

First of the many bridges at Han River

Welcome aboard!
It had been rainy for most parts of the day but we pressed on to complete the rest of the day’s program. At Yeonairu, we managed to catch the 4.40pm ferry for the Han River Cruise , operated by Eland Cruise.

Seoul at 5 pm

Out in the cold onboard

The 60 min river cruise ( 10 000 won pax ) took us from Terminal 2, just off Banpo bridge,  to the west of the river past Banseom Island ( ‘Cast Away on the Moon ‘) where at  Mapogyo  it did an about turn. I stayed in the heated portion of the cabin while hubs tried out his new fancy fish eye lens. The cruise offered some respite for both of us from the rain and the cold and though the weather and scenery were grey throughout, the cruise experience was rather pleasant. The bridges were lit up only after 8pm , which was regrettable.

Fish market as seen from level 2, where it is linked to the overhead bridge and carpark

Dinner was seafood at Noryangjin Fish Market, a train ride away. Scores of stalls sell similar stuff so we opted to buy from one that could communicate to us in Mandarin. We netted 70 000 won worth of seafood : snow crab, clam, abalone, prawns and sea pineapple. The fishmonger got us to his affiliated restaurant where we instructed the cook how we would like our food cooked ( 24 000 won ) for a service charge.

Don't try this unless you are prepared to chew and chew it.

Scallop in its entirety

Our best catch by far

Tender and sweet, the other good find

Seafood place in Noryangin - a tourist trap with so-so cooking

Except for the abalone which was tender and snow crab which was fat and succulent, the rest of the seafood was forgettable. It was an interesting experience  ( including overhearing 2 Hong Kong girls next to us  ) but I would rather not repeat it again because I could not take to eating seated on the floor.

Thus ends our second day. The weather was soggy but better weather was predicted so we highly anticipate more exciting outings to come.

Next up, megashopping district at Dongdaemun and sunset at Namsan.

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