Going into this weekend without any plans, I didn’t expect to have such a busy and productive one at all! However my Saturday was filled with doing things the whole time! I had stated by taking a quick trip to Seoul’s Chinatown then spending the evening shopping and eating live octopus and raw beef in the famous Gwangjang market (second post coming later). I was amazed how big Seoul is and that there is still so many places I haven’t had the chance to visit.
Located at just off line two at the Daerim subway station outside of exit 11 is Seoul’s own authentic Chinatown. The streets were bustling with activity and excitement. It felt just like being back in China. Everything from the buildings and the scents on the street were identical to a traditional Chinese market.
Staying warm in the market was definitely easier said then done! Not bringing gloves was a massive mistake, you can see me seriously regretting it here. haha
Right when you walk out of the subway exit, Chinatown is loud and in your face! It can’t be mistaken that you are anywhere else.
The market within Chinatown is massive and continues on for what seems like miles! They were selling almost every type of food that one could possibly imagine… besides tacos.
It was expected that there was going to be plethora of seafood, since every market in Korea has an astonishingly large seafood selection.
On the other side of the street there was a fresh chicken shop. The two shopkeepers are waiting for someone to make a selection of which chicken they wanted and they would cut it up right there for you. That is exactly what the guy in the green is doing.
There were various other small oddities and treats, too many to sample in one day!
Deeper into the market there was something a bit disturbing, I had stumbled across numerous refrigerators like this one. Below written in white Korean letters is “dog meat” which was a shock simply to see. It was also another shock to see how many of these there were, along with how many people were lining up to purchase the taboo meat.
There were also numerous restaurants like this one, advertising dog meat dishes in Chinese. The white sign above says: “dog meat hot-pot” and the two other yellow signs both read: “dog meat.” It indeed was quite interesting to see. It was so strange to see that all of these places did not have the dog meat advertisements or menus in English, only in Korean or Chinese.
And of course no Chinatown wouldn’t be complete without people selling fake electronic products. So I had snapped this picture quickly, before this Korean guy got mad at me and chased me off.
Seoyoon in the market.
After walking around the market and smelling the delicious Chinese smells, Seoyoon and I got quite hungry. We had decided to try our favorite food in Shanghai, which was a savory steamed soup dumpling known as “Xiaolongbao” (小笼包). When the dish arrived, we were saddened to see these eight small steamed dumplings which didn’t resemble anything of our Shanghai favorite soup dumpling, Xiaolongbao.
After the dumplings we had decided to give the other food a shot. We had tried out other Chinese dishes that we had really liked and ate frequently while living in China. We both had really high expectations for the food. When it finally arrived and we had stated eating it, we were both dissatisfied with the the taste and quality. It just wasn’t the same as what we were used to when living in Shanghai. Seoyoon had ordered a egg and spinach omelet with a side of rice. While I had spicy pan fried beef dish. It was a decent meal but nothing to get again.
Having a good time on such a cold and windy day!
If you are in Seoul and looking for a dog meat dish, decent Chinese food, or even just a Chinese atmosphere. I have found the place for you! Seoul’s Daerim Chinatown! Give it a shot when you visit Seoul, I am sure you will be the ONLY western foreigner there!