Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Seoul Day 4: Noryangjin Fish Market, Yeouido, Shinchon & Dongdaemun

The only request the hubby made for this trip was to visit Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market, the seafood haven of Seoul!

To get there, take the subway from Chungmuro Station (Line 4) to Seoul Station and transfer to Line 1. Alight at Noryangjin Station (Exit 1) and walk across the overhead bridge to the market. You would know if you had arrived at the right place because the minute you alight from the train, you would immediately get a whiff of fish in the air! Can't miss it!

Noryangjin Station
Signs that will guide you to the Fish Market
Bridge to the wholesale fish market
(63 Building is the orange building in the background)

Rows and rows of seafood stalls greeted us as we walked down the stairs into the Fish Market. The hubby was literally in 7th heaven!

Top view of the Noryangjin Fish Market
So many stalls!! =)

After browsing through the many stalls with different hawkers promoting their wares, we eventually decided on the stall with the biggest sea urchins and a very friendly Chinese lady who was able to communicate with us in Mandarin.

Clockwise from top left: Live abalone whose "lips" were still moving when we bought them!;
Lots and lots of snails; Live octopuses still swimming frantically in the pail;
Giant sea urchins whose spikes were still moving when water was poured on them

We decided to get the above mentioned seafood as they were unique and so much cheaper than Singapore. After paying for our seafood of choice, we were brought to a Korean restaurant where they could be cooked in the way we liked them (e.g. steamed, fried, etc). The restaurant charges for the cooking of each dish but does not charge for seafood that is served raw.

Korean restaurant to taste our chosen live seafood
Abalone is best eaten steamed
(we tried it raw but it was too hard)
Sea urchins are best eaten raw
Look at the juicy roe fresh from the shell! *yum*

The sea urchins were super cheap at only 5,000 won (S$5) per urchin! This is my first time trying one and I must say that I absolutely loved it! The yellow roe tasted of salt from the sea and were so good that we went back to the stall to get more! =)

We also tried the escargot, which the sister absolutely disliked while the hubby thought it was pretty chewy and tough. My mum and I refused to try them because they looked really gross!

Fresh escargot straight from the shell

But the most disgusting dish had to be the live octopus that were eaten sashimi style (i.e. raw)!

The octopuses were still wriggling even after they have been chopped up into many pieces! *Ewww*

The sister tried some and since then has developed a phobia for all things octopus/squid, true story! The hubby forced me to try some and I spat them out the minute I took one bite of it. Super slimy and gross!! Yucks! :S

When we finally have had our fill, we proceeded on to walk to 63 Building located just 10 minutes away from the market. However, as we were walking, we realised that there was a large highway in between the market and the 3rd tallest building in Korea and it would take more than just walking to get there! To make matters worse, it started to drizzle and the chilly winds started to blow and we were freezing!

The hubby said that if God wanted us to get there, He would provide a way. True enough, despite the fact that we were walking at the side of a large highway where hailing a cab was literally impossible, a cab suddenly stopped by the side of it to alight a passenger just 10 metres from us! God has certainly answered our prayers! =)

We arrived safely by the grace of God at 63 Building, which was a commercial building that also houses an IMAX Theatre, Aquarium and Wax Museum. There was also an observatory located on the 60th floor known as SkyArt as it is the highest art gallery in the world (an adult ticket costs 12,000 won). We didn't have time to visit them as the family was excited to proceed to our next destination.

Located at the banks of Yeouido Island overlooking the Hangang River, Yoido Full Gospel Church is only the largest church in the world! The funny thing, most of the cabbies might not know the church but they know Dr Yonggi Cho, the Emeritus Pastor of Yoido Full Gospel Church. Dr Cho is also the senior pastor of our senior pastor so visiting the church that we've heard so much about was legendary =)

Yoido Full Gospel Church

The hubby was so excited to soak in the atmosphere and asked God for a baby boy. He really had faith that after our visit, we will definitely have our wish! *laughs*

After exploring the church on our own (and trying hard not to disturb anyone along the way), we took a cab to the famous Hello Kitty Café (358-112 Seogyo) that I had heard so much about.

Hello Kitty Cafe @ Seogyo
Decorated with everything Hello Kitty!
Hello Kitty themed food and beverages

Everything from the decorations and food were really cute and pretty but that was all there is. The coffee and cake certainly looked better than they tasted and were ordinary at best. This cafe is definitely not for the non-fans of Hello Kitty like my family, who complained like crazy about making a wasted trip

Note to self: never bring family to anywhere Hello Kitty.. *argg*

After that we did some shopping along the streets of Seogyo before travelling back to Dongdaemun for more shopping! To get there, walk for about 10 minutes to Hongik University Station (Line 2) and ride the subway to Dongdaemun Stadium Station and transfer to Line 4 to Dongdaemun Station.

We didn't shop at Shinchon Ladies Street as it was raining but if you would like to visit the shopping district, you may alight at Shinchon Station, which is just 1 stop away from Hongik University Station.

After walking and shopping non-stop for the rest of the afternoon, we were so tired out we decided to stop by a Chicken Galbi restaurant for dinner to rest our feet.

Yoogane Chicken Galbi
The menu

Although it wasn't easy to order initially as the staff could not understand what we were saying but thankfully one of the staff understood a little bit of English so we eventually managed to convey our order to them. All of the seafood, chicken and vegetables were mixed into one pot where all of us were supposed to share.

Mixing everything in a pot
Seafood in a pot

On hindsight, we should have ordered chicken instead of seafood as we really had too much seafood for a day! Other than that, the spicy meal was awesome on a chilly night! =)

Continue to >>  Seoul Day 5: Lotte Duty Free, COEX Mall & Bampo Bridge
<< Back to Seoul Day 3: Everland


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