AndromedHa

Korea trip – day 5

Posted on: May 26, 2011

Day 5 was gloomy and wet! It was raining ALL DAY! MAJOR Bummer 😦

We were schedule to visit Kimchi School, Strawberry Farm, and spent the rest of the day at Everland – the largest theme park in South Korea. At the end, the tour guide – with our approvals – cut short the visit at Everland and instead drove us to shopping malls, Doota! I wished we could spend at Everland since the park was HUGE! We ended up only shop for souvenirs at Doota! since the mall was kinda pricey – at least for me who always try to keep in budget.

KIMCHI SCHOOL
After an hour or so bus ride, we arrived at Kimchi School (sorry, I have no idea where it was since our itinerary was arranged by the travel agent and they didn’t write down the name). The weather seemed to hate us that day and it was pouring rain when we arrived 😦 The kimchi school looked like a favorite tourist destination. There were 4 tour buses when we were there.

We then went to small ‘classroom’ with a plate of cabbage & red pepper paste on the table. First thing first, we must wear apron to protect our clothes from red pepper paste splatter. The ‘teacher’ will then give an overview of the ingredients to make red pepper paste. There are about 12 ingredients: water, sea salt, garlic, anchovies paste, red chili, scallion, soy sauce, ginger, a bit of ginseng, etc. He said the best cabbages for kimchi come from Gangwon-do area. Since South Korea’s soil is mainly very poor in minerals and was formed from granite rocks, it is hard to grow vegetables. Thus, they build green houses to grow them. He then explained how to rub the paste to the cabbage. Since cabbage has many layers, you rub the paste generously from the outer leaf (the biggest one) and work toward the inner leaf (the smaller one). In order to keep the paste within the layer, take the biggest leaf at the outer layer to wrap the whole bunch. Then fold the ‘limpy’ leaves toward the inner leaves and it’s ready to be fermented.

At the end of the class, we were able to taste the finished kimchi along with kimchi pancake, some Korean sweets, and delicious honey milk. Thinking about it now makes my stomach growling 😛

 

Mountains of cabbages for kimchi making inside the kimchi factory 😛

 

Making kimchi 🙂 – fun and educational

Kimchi, kimchi pancake, korean sweets, and delicious honey-milk

Our tour guide said that kimchi has many health benefits. She mentioned that a famous university did some research about kimchi because they wondered why Koreans was little affected by SARS – while lots of people from Hong Kong and Japan got infected. The scientists found that there was a bacteria as the fermentation by-product that helps to boost immune system of Koreans. Also, Koreans believed that eating kimchi can prolong your age. Well, this one I might believe since I saw there were a lot of Koreans seniors who still walk straight without any aid! And some of them even jogged in the park! Believe it or not, you can try yourself 😛

STRAWBERRY FARM
The strawberry farm was just across the street from the Kimchi School. We were allowed to hand pick 7 strawberries by ourselves! (but I think, we picked more since they WERE SUPER sweet & fresh… shh… don’t tell anyone hahha…). The strawberries were grown inside the green house. They water the plant by underground irrigation system. Yes, it was muddy, dirty, narrow, and yucky, but it was worth it! 🙂

  

Strawberry farm – the green house

who can resist this plum red strawberry staring at me, screaming ‘pick me… eat me…’ hahaaha…
~ ok, I’m totally exaggerating this since I’m drooling while typing!

EVERLAND
It took about 3 hours to get to Everland. As I said before, we were supposed to spend the rest of the day here. Due to rain, we just had about 4 hours to play in this huge park. Although it was raining hard, there were lots of people coming to the park. We got free ponchos – that looked very weird in the picture 😦

First stop, we watched Carnival Elysion since it was inside a tent. This show is pretty similar to circus. They have different performers doing different acts. Since we were a bit late, we only saw the acrobats hanging off from fabric. At the end of the show, the Everland mascots, Lastar and Laila, danced together with the performers and they also gave little children some time to get their picture taken with the mascot.

  

Everland theme park; The mascots, Lastar & Laila

 

Carnival Elysion ; the hanging fabric acrobat – pretty aweseome!

Next, we walked to the Flower Garden. We boarded the train that circled the garden since we didn’t want to get too wet. But since the flowers were very pretty and colorful, we decided to walk to the garden. My fiance took lots of picture of me! 🙂 We then, we walked to the back of the garden toward the Holland Village. This area was supposed to be outdoor restaurants but it was closed due to rain. Yeah yeah… rain sucked SO BAD! Many of outdoor attractions, like the scary wooden roller coaster and ferris wheel, were closed 😦 Since we were a bit hungry, we decided to stop at a restaurant nearby. It served different kinds of omelette – it was pretty much Japanese style omelette . My fiance ordered a plate of curry chicken omelette and it was soooo DELICIOUS! 🙂

 

Flower Garden

   

 

The Holland Village

The nyumiiii curry chicken omelette!

We then checked out the Mystery Mansion. Sounds creepy, eh?! Not at all! It was FUN! It was a ride inside a room where you sit in a long chair and the room would tumbling upside down. Try it for yourself, if you dare hohohoho….. After the ride, we didn’t have much time left. So, we decided to check the safari. The safari was pretty small. You’ll ride a bus and it went around Lion, Tiger, and Bear area. The driver gave some comments and jokes about the animals, but it was in KOREAN! So, we didn’t understand at all… But he managed to trick some animals for our entertainment 🙂 The whole safari trip lasted about 15 minutes. Since it was a pretty popular, expect long line up!

 

The Mystery Mansion; The Safari

 

Lion and Tiger in the Safari

    

Uhm… Get a room! 😛  ; Can you see that the bear on the left was mocking us! ; The driver gave the bear a treat to make him stand tall

At the end of the safari trip, we had to rush to the front gate to meet with the rest of the group. See… we didn’t even cover quarter of the park! I was pretty disappointed 😥 Anyway, here are more pictures from the park.

  

Around Everland

DOOTA! MALL
Our next stop was Doota! Mall. By the time we got here, the rain stopped! Not funny at all -_-”
Doota! mall is a fashion mall. Many of the stalls are new designers stuffs. The quality of the clothes were pretty good, but the price wasn’t that cheap. We were directed to one gift shop that sells souvenirs cheaper than other places on the 6th floor ~ according to our guide. Well, the souvenirs were cheaper here! It was worth a visit. After a bit shopping, we went to the food court at the top floor. I tried to find a stand that sells Jajangmyun, black bean noodle, since I was craving it from day one! And… it was a success! I got my Jajangmyun and it was tasty for food court standard!

Afterward, we gathered with the group and walked to a restaurant nearby to have a dinner. The dinner for that day was BEEF BULGOGI! YAY! Lucky that we ordered only a plate of Jajangmyun earlier, so we could fill our stomach with nyummi bulgogi 🙂

 

Satisfied my craving for JAJANGMYUN! ; Beef Bulgogi

KONDAE (KONKUK UNIVERSITY AREA)
After dinner, we went directly to the hotel: Capital Hotel near Itaewon area. Since it was pretty late when we arrived – around 8 pm, the stores near Itaewon were already closed. I was pretty bummed because I wanted to explore Seoul more since it was our last night in Seoul – the next day we stayed at Songdo area near airport. My fiance remembered one area that opens pretty late from watching Andrew Zimmern’s Bizzare Food. Luckily, the video was on my fiance’s laptop. We watched it again and tried to find the area in the map. After replaying the video for several times, we finally figured it out. It was Kondae, near Konkuk University. Finding it was quite a challenge since it wasn’t mentioned in my 2 guide books! Anyway, we braved ourselves and took the subway to Konkuk University station. You’ll notice the street once you’ll get off the subway train. There were lots of youngsters, high school and college students. There are 2 areas, on the South and North side of the subway. Both are lined with tons of restaurants, bars, karaoke bar, small stores, and lots of street foods. I took a peak at one of the stores and found that the price was cheaper here ~ maybe because it was intended for student’s budget. We managed to go back to the hotel before midnight since the subway service stops at midnight. It was our short trip to Seoul night life 🙂

Kondae at night

      

  

Cheers,
M.a.J

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