Korea Travel Series Part 6: Day 3 – Noryangin Fisheries (THE NEW NORYANGIN!) & Seoul Restaurant, Namsangol Hanok Village, Ssamsarang Restaurant, Chungmuro Pet Street, Juicy

Continuation of Mummy Audrey’s trip to Seoul, Korea with 3 kids and Ahjussi from 1st to 15th Sep 2016.

Links to the entire series HERE.

Day 3 – 3rd September 2016 
Apartment changing day!

I planned the entire morning dedicated to apartment changing as I expected we would have a lot to pack and it would take some effort to shift the luggage and kids over. But we ended up faster than we expected as the boys helped to pack their own clothes & stuff, thus we had more time to walk around.

Breakfast was Isaac Toast, again. The boys really loved it. I tabao (Koreans call it “Take Out”) so that they could eat their sandwiches while waiting for us to check the new apartment and unpack our stuff.

Our next apartment is still in Myeongdong, just 5 min walk away. With luggage and kids, it took us 15min. Nothing surprising, so, factor in more time if you are intending to pack your day full. My expectations when traveling with the kids is that we will allocate a lot of ‘wasted time’.

From our apartment, we easily got to Myeongdong Station within a minute to catch the train to Chungmuro Station, which is just 1 stop away from Myeongdong. It is within walking distance actually, but we were conserving our energy for the long walk at Namsangol Hanok Village. Since we anticipated a lot of walking today, we brought the stroller along.

We planned our day by AREA to cut down on traveling time from one location to another. So today is Chungmuro day!

First stop: Namsangol Hanok Village

The beauty of Korea is having their historical buildings right smack in the city. There’s no need to travel to some ulu countryside just to enjoy their beautiful traditional architecture.

IMG_5552.JPG

Great weather with clear blue skies! And can you spot the modern building just behind?

20160903_125951

They have cute cut outs which you can hide behind and take photos. They come with stands, but Baby Oppa was still a little too short. Ahjussi had to carry him. Can you spot his carrier?

sdfsd.jpg

Stroller friendly with slopes & ramps.

20160903_131523.jpg

And there’s loads of space for the kids to run around and play. There are traditional game stalls (some free, some payable) which are open to the public.

Baby Oppa and Big Boy enjoyed this simple traditional game a lot. We spent an hour waiting for them to play! And I was so proud of them because once they saw other children approaching to play, they will hand over the sticks and wait for their turn to play.

20160903_134235.jpg

They had a bow making workshop which was payable. Instructions were in Korean though. We didn’t pay for the bow making as Big Boy said he didn’t want to sit there to make the bow but he only wanted to try playing with it. These 2 Korean boys overheard him and offered to let him try using their bows. No communication issues as these boys spoke English. Big Boy had loads of fun and requested for archery lessons when we are back in Singapore.

213.jpg

So after almost 1.5 hours of letting the boys run around while Meimei sat in her stroller watching them and snacking, we walked around for photos! I saw some panorama photos recently in which the person appeared 5 times in the same photo and thought it would be fun to give it a try! And this is the result! Ahjussi ran too slowly, so I only captured him twice. It was really fun running and running to capture a shot like this! Give it a try! Remember, the person must run in the opposite direction from the camera and must pause to pose before running again! Requires a lot of teamwork & coordination!

sdfsdf.jpg

Final photo before we leave this place. There are also performances (dance, taekwando, etc) at the parade square but we missed it.

There are rental shops which rent hanbok by the hour so you can dress up and walk around Namsangol Hanok Village to take photos. However, be warned, they are quite pricey with packages starting at 20,000 won per person. There are other tourist attractions offering free hanbok rental for photo taking (like at Namsam Tower & many other tourist centers in Hongdae & Myeongdong). Do your research on this if you intend to have photos taken in hanbok. I would like to have a family photo taken but not this trip and I foresee Meimei tearing the hanbok apart. This will be planned for at a professional studio in Korea during our next trip.

Namsangol Hanok Village (남산골 한옥마을)
Chungmuro Line 4 Exit #4
U-turn, then take a right turn onto Toegye-ro-34-gil (퇴게로34길)
Keep walking straight (be careful, there are many large tour buses)
Generally stroller friendly

sdf.jpg

After all that walking, we got hungry! So off for lunch!

Lunch nearby: Ssamsarang Restaurant

20160921_131004.jpg

Address in English: 207 Toegye-ro, Junggu, Seoul. Chungmuro Station (Lines 3 & 4), Exit 7 or 8.

20160903_145400

Google came up with this restaurant as highly recommended when I asked it for ‘good food near Chungmuro’.

20160903_145556

The moment they saw us with kids, they recommended sitting on the floor (that was what most restaurants we went to do). It was really a lot easier to have Meimei on the floor with us, either she sleeps or she will just play on her own (with some utensils and tissue paper).

20160903_145442

Their menu. Pricing was a little high if we compare with what we had the day before at On The Grill, so we only ordered 2 sets to share and intended to snack on street food later on. We ordered Set A and Set C. Then added on Bamboo Rice for the boys.

20160903_150351

Bamboo Rice was their specialty and what makes them unique. 5-grain rice and a few other ingredients like red dates, gingko nuts, and bracket fungus were steamed together in a bamboo container. The rice was really fragrant and Meimei loved it a lot!

20160903_150423

The side dishes were good too. Nice variety!

20160903_150414

The grilled meat was good. Portions were smaller than we expected for the price.

The boys were not very hungry because they had their sandwiches rather late, so thankfully we didn’t order more. The store was not very crowded as we arrived after the lunch crowd and we took our time to rest here, enjoying the aircon and free flow of cold barley tea.

Nearby sightseeing: Chungmuro Pet Street
(1 min short walk from Ssamsarang Restaurant)

We totally forgot to take photos of the Pet Street because there were many signages stating ‘NO PHOTOGRAPHY’. Being typical obedient Singaporeans, if the sign says no, then no lor.

The boys enjoyed looking at all the puppies and kittens on sale. We were tempted to purchase some doggy items for our pet dog, Joy, but we decided not to in the end as we can’t really remember her collar size? She has grown pretty fat and we’ve not put on a collar on her for years!

Meimei enjoyed yelling “DOG DOG” with every step I took. Even the kittens were ‘dog dog’. We didn’t see any small pets for sale, we only walked along the main street and didn’t step into the building.

Nearby there’s Chungbyu Market which specialized in dried fish and dried seafood. It was my initial intention to head over to get some dried oysters but we realised it was getting late and we didn’t want to end up in the after-work squash on the train, so we left Chungmuro area to head for Noryangin Fisheries.

Dinner (another location): Noryangin Fisheries

515

View from level 2 at the old Noryangin Fisheries. It was a typical wet market environment. Wet, smelly and dirty. But the seafood was fresh and cheap!

PA092537.JPG

The variety available was really crazy. Every stall has something different!

212

Our favourite restaurant, Seoul Restaurant, at the old Noryangin Fisheries. We were very upset when we found the placed closed during our family trip in June 2015. We settled for another random restaurant and it was frankly not as nice as Seoul Restaurant.

Ever since my 1st trip to Seoul with my sister, Noryangin has been a must go place for every trip to Seoul. Noryangin is a wholesale market with retail sections. Seafood is all alive and swimming. You take your pick, bargain, and pay. Then bring your fresh seafood to the restaurant of your choice. Tell them how you want it to be cooked and wait for your food.

Depending on what you choose, this meal can be a good deal or a really expensive meal.

20160903_170045.jpg

The new place is a lot more spacious, fully air-conditioned, clean and bright. There are escalators & elevators/lifts too! Stroller friendly, just that you may need to park your stroller outside the restaurant while dining. Ours was a compact travel stroller, so we easily folded it up and brought it in with us.

Tips on dining at Noryangin:
(1) At level 1: Take your time to walk, browse and choose your seafood.
(2) Bargain, bargain, bargain. Don’t let language be an issue. They will use the calculator to show you the price. Just price your offered price and they will know what you mean. Most of them speak CHINESE. But I will highly recommend moving on and not buying from them. I have a personal preference for nice Korean halmoenie (grandmother).

20160921_131024

Ahjussi got our seafood from this stall. There are many other stalls you can try and they have many other seafood items. Good to go in a large group so that you can order a little of everything.

(3) There are people from the restaurants (on level 2) on the selling floor at level 1 to pull customers to their restaurants. Follow them at your own risk. Some are out to fleece you, especially if they know that you are a tourist. Most of them can speak Chinese very well, so if you don’t mind being fleeced and would rather have someone you can speak to in Chinese, you can follow them.

Some simple words for you to tell the Ahjumma how you want your seafood to be cooked:
to cook – 요리하다 (you-ri-ha-da)
to cut – 썰다 (ssol-da)
to dice – 다지다 (da-ji-da)
to fry – 볶다 (bbok-da)
to deep-fry – 튀기다 (tui-gi-da)
to mix/whisk – 섞다 (sok-da)
to bake – 굽다 (gob-da)
to steam – 찌다 (ji-da)
to boil – 삶다 (sam-da)

*** WARNING: Do not take anything RAW like sashimi there. Though seafood is fresh, my sis and I got a nasty bout of food poisoning when they served us raw abalone. I’ve heard from friends who tried raw dishes at Noryangin and all had food poisoning too. ***

Now, it helps if there’s a recommended trusted restaurant right? We hunted down our favourite restaurant from the old Noryangin Fisheries as we thought that they might have moved over. Head up to level 2 where the restaurants are…

img-20160903-wa0007

Tadah!!! We found it! I was screaming like a mad woman to Ahjussi once I spotted it!

img-20160903-wa0011

It is directly opposite this MG Bank, so you won’t miss it.

20160921_131041

Located on Level 2 of Noryangin Fisheries Wholesale Market (THE NEW BUILDING).

As we were too excited and anxious to find our fave restaurant, we totally skipped buying the seafood first. I settled down in the restaurant with Meimei while Ahjussi brought the boys to choose what they wanted to have.

img_20160903_173233

The hum was HUGE. Really HUGE. Each was the size of golf balls! These were FREE from the nice Ahjumma whom Ahjussi bought the crab and scallops from. In Korea, if they say ‘service’, it means it is free gift lah! She packed in extra free gifts for Ahjussi. He must have brought out his ‘Auntie-killer’ skills lah.

img_20160903_174045

Our absolute fave! Scallops! These are really HUGE scallops. If they sit on your palm, they will occupy your entire palm! They are usually stringed up and sold as a bundle. We love they way they stir fry it with veg. I am especially in love with their green pumpkin!  It was 18,000 won for 5 large scallops.

img_20160903_174949

That’s Baby Oppa’s hand versus the huge crab we bought. This crab was a little over 1kg and Ahjussi paid 50,000 won for it. In Singapore, this crab would have cost us S$280-320! Depending on the season, certain types of crabs will be cheaper. The cheapest we’ve gotten was 30,000 won per kg for snow crabs. And 3,000 won per kg for blue flower crabs.

20160903_182259

As Ahjussi was playing with Meimei, I took charge of the crab and got the meat out for everyone. The boys were so in love with this I wasn’t fast enough for them and there were 2 pairs of scary eyes watching my every move! The best way to eat them is to snap off the legs first, try to snap at the join and pull out as much meat as possible from the body. Cut up the sections of the legs and slit open, pulling out the entire crab meat fully intact. (Oh gosh, these photos and thinking back about it makes me crave for them right now!

img_20160903_181136

When you tear open the crab shell, make sure the crab is belly and do it gently. Why? Because the juice can be used for fried rice! To order this, tell them “bo-kem-bap” and hand over the crab shell with all the juice!

20160903_183241

And of course, don’t forget to save some crab meat to enjoy with your fried rice! The boys went absolutely crazy over this. I’ve never seen them slurp food up like that before. And we had an early dinner, so I wasn’t expecting them to eat a lot!

Forgot to add: There are cooking charges at the restaurants and the charges are written clearly on the wall for Seoul Restaurant. We paid 75,000 won for cooking fee, soft drinks and rice for this meals. So total damage was 50,000 + 18,000 + 75,000 = Apx S $175. Cheap considering how much you have to pay for the same crab here in Singapore! An occasional indulgence for us. 🙂

After dinner, we let the kids run around a little. On the 2nd level, there’s an air-conditioned empty space and they ran around a little (we wanted to burn off their energy so that they will sleep early when we reach the apartment).

We were quite tired at the end of the day and decided to take a taxi back to our Myeongdong apartment. Cost us around 10,000 won from Noryangin to Myeongdong.

How to get there?
Noryangin Fisheries Wholesale Market
674 Nodeul-ro, Dongjak-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea

IMG_7506.PNG

Take the train from Chungmuro to Noryangin. Want this app I’m using? Check out my earlier post regarding the app here.

12

At Noryangin Station, keep a lookout for Exit 7. It seems like this part of the train station is really new as I’ve been to this station so many times but this is our first time realising that there is an underground extension of the station!

12333

Once you exit, keep walking straight and you will need the logo for Noryangin Fisheries. Then turn right into the underground tunnel. The tunnel is amazing, there are vegetable stalls here!

22

Once you exit the tunnel, you will see this. Turn right, then turn left to enter the building. Follow the crowd and you won’t go wrong!

IMG_20160903_212332.jpg

Decided to get snacks and a drink before we headed into our apartment. Got these from JUICY. They are a chain of juice stores. They are really ALL OVER, no need for an address. You are bound to pass by one while in Seoul. Mango Juice 5,000 won and Choco Churros 3,000 won each.

Satisfying day as we slept well with crab and scallops in our tummy.

Next up: Day 4 – Abalone Porridge, Dragon Hill Spa Jjimjilbang [Nudity Alert!], Hanilgwon (Traditional Korean Food)
Keep a lookout!

profile-photo14344253_960011404126103_2738446747519830849_n

Mummy Audrey
Mummy to Big Boy, Baby Oppa & Meimei

Note: Mummy Audrey runs her own online store, www.TLO.com.sg, while looking after her 3 kids ages 9yo, 5yo, and 1yo. Her business focuses on Korean baby products, thus she travels to Korea frequently to source for new and unique products to bring into Singapore. 

Mummy Audrey and her children are available for product/service reviews as long as the products/services are not conflicting with her own products. Do contact her directly at audrey@TLO.com.sg if you are interested for her to review your product. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s