Monday, March 14, 2011

My Sonata, My Winter Sonnet - Seoul (i)

I realised that I had blogged continuously for the past few days. Soon, the posts about my journey in Seoul will be over.. I really hope you do enjoy all my posts about my first-hand view around Seoul. Though, I had been to Seoul many times, they were the most detailed blog posts about Seoul I had ever written.

Seoul is a fantastic place, I like the crowd and I like the city. Occasionally I do enjoy the tranquility of places almost devoid of human presence, just me and nature. This means I will travel to Jeonju just for peace of mind..

Nami Island 남이섬

From last December onwards, Nami Island is now accessible by subway. This is because recently, a new track had been built. For first timers, to get there by subway would be difficult. Since it was a new track, not all subway maps were updated with it.

To get Nami Island by rail:

One need to go to 회기 (Hoegi) located in Line 1. The station is shown on the old map so no worries. From there, transfer to another line that goes to 중랑 (Jungnang). However, do not get off from here but only at 상봉 (Sangbong Station). From here again, take another track that goes to 춘천 (Chuncheon) in Track no. 5 as the last station. GET OFF at 가평 (Gapyeong)

회기 (Line 1 and 중양) -- 사봉 (중양 line) -- 가평 (At new line)

From the exit of the station, take a taxi to Nami Island. Just tell the driver "남이섬 (Nah-Mee-Som or Nami Island)" and the journey will cost less than 4000 Won. Nami Island was and still is the best spot for nature photography especially during winter. Lots of my nice photos were taken there in Nami Island. A must visit in Korea for avid photographers and tourists alike.

The ticket is 8000 Won including the ferry ride and entrance fee. A great place to visit but other than nice natural scenery, nothing much to see. This place is a shooting scene for Winter Sonata drama and over there I saw lots of Thais, Singaporeans, Malaysians and Japanese. All because of... Drama... I am here for photography :)

Getting back from Nami Island is the same, just follow the opposite direction of the route plan. After Nami island, we went to 동대문 (Dongdaemun). From 회기, we took line 1 all the way there. Dongdaemun can also be reached in Line 4.

Dongdaemun 동대문

Dongdaemun 동대문 means Big East Gate if translated word by word. 동 is East, 대 means big and 문 is door or gate in Korean. Over here, you can see a big historical gate (but fenced up anyway) and the place is more well known for authentic Korean market experience.

*Click on it to view the narration*

Dongdaemun is also the best place to buy souvenirs. From key chains to ceramics, inside Dongdaemun market you can get all these at the most reasonable prices available. The best gifts to buy over here are key chains, Korean metal chopsticks, Hanboks and ceramics.

If there is a must on what to do over here, just buy souvenirs here instead of other places. Korean souvenirs are suprisingly common, they too are the same no matter which shop you went to in other places. Only the pricings are different.

The Best Grilled Fish

While we were in Dongdaemun, we were more interested to try the famous grilled fish (Recommended by people, agreed by us, no joke, it was really delicious) than buying souvenirs. That area around the restaurant is not renowned and since the restaurant is not prominently located, finding for the restaurant is difficult.

A Photo "tour" guide there

Walk along the steets until you can see a huge clothing market, walk until the end (see the picture)

You will see an entrance to the clothing market, do not cross over the street

Walk to the right until you can see this area, go to the alley on the left (of the picture)

Walk further until you can see the signboard 호남집, in this alley, there's many restaurants selling the same dish, grilled fish

Go to the restaurant located at the middle, signboard is 호남집

You found it



Malaysian government scholars frequently have their dinner here so through word of mouth, the restaurant had become a meeting place for them to have delicious food. Out of the 3 restaurants selling the same dishes (grilled fish) side by side (It's really difficult to start a food business in Korea..), the one you need to go is the one located in the middle.

Do order the grilled fish (I like the mackerel over tuna here) and the spicy octopus. They were all superb! The restaurant does not provide water but only tea. The meal was less than 10000 Won a person. Yummy! My Day 5 was not over yet, still one more place to go before we called it a day.

To be continued...

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