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.
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.
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
After all that walking, we got hungry! So off for lunch!
Lunch nearby: Ssamsarang Restaurant
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
The variety available was really crazy. Every stall has something different!
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.
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).
(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…
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.
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.
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
Satisfying day as we slept well with crab and scallops in our tummy.
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.