Suseong-dong ValleyAt the foot of Mt. Inwang (인왕산수성동계곡) an interesting thing happened a few years ago. During demolition of the Ogin Sibeom Apartments in 2008, a scene very similar to that of the artist Gyeomjae Jeong Seon’s (1676 – 1759) in his “Eight Scenes of Jang-dong” appeared. During the rapid growth and industrialization of the area, the scene on the side of the mountain had been covered over with an apartment building in 1971 and wasn’t viewed again for more than 30 years. Upon razing the building a stone bridge was uncovered and the city, which had bought the land back for reclamation, decided to turn the area back into the beautiful natural scene that Gyeomjae Jeong Seon had first painted in the early 18th century.Suseong-dong Valley

The landscape in the valley has been restored with more than 18,000 twisted pine trees and rocks and paths have been made taking the time to lay the stones in the traditional fashion. Paths criss-cross through the area allowing visitors to go this way and that to enjoy the scene thoroughly while maintaining the openness and attractive nature of the area. Visitors can start here and continue on up to Mt. Inwang for a hike if the mood strikes. The valley has not only been intricately restored but, it is also important as the source of the Cheonggyecheon Stream, the 5.8 kilometer popular resident and tourist attraction that runs from Gwanghwamun to the Han River. The stream in Suseong-dong once joined up with Baekundongcheon Stream and then met up with Junghakcheon Stream which becomes the Cheonggyecheon Stream.  Suseong-dong ValleyFor a lovely day out in a quiet area surrounded by aesthetically pleasing views, this is a great place to head just minutes from the busy Gwanghwamun Square and Gyeongbukgung Palace.Suseong-dong Valley

Address:

서울특별시 종로구 옥인동 185-3

185-3 Ogin-dong Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea

Directions:

Subway/ Bus: Gyeongbukgung Station, exit 3. Out of the exit, walk straight to the maeul (local bus stop) stop and catch bus 09. Take the bus to the last stop on the route which ends at the foot of the valley. The maeul bus takes less than 10 minutes from the subway station.

Amenities: restrooms, convenience store, cafe

A Landscape Revealed on the side of Mt. Inwang. At the foot of Mt. Inwang (인왕산수성동계곡) an interesting thing happened a few years ago. During demolition of the Ogin Sibeom Apartments in 2008, a scene very similar to that of the artist Gyeomjae Jeong Seon’s (1676 - 1759) in his “Eight Scenes of Jang-dong” appeared.

Daegutang, Cod fish stew 대구탕Not all stews in Korea are spicy, though depending on where they are served, some may be spicier than others. Daegutang (대구탕), or cod fish stew, is one dish that is very different if you pop into a shop to eat some in the north versus the south. In the north, the soup comes out with a deep red broth. It’s spicy and is more akin to maeuntang (매운탕), or spicy fish stew. In the south however, the cod is boiled and served in a broth that hasn’t had spices other than salt, pepper and garlic added. The result is a deliciously simple yet flavorful and filling dish that allows the delicate taste of the cod to come out. Daegutang is one dish that we almost always have when we head down to Busan because the northern restaurants just don’t cut it for us.Daegutang, Cod fish stew 대구탕

Daegu literally means “large mouth” in Korean so the cod in Korean is “large mouth fish”. The stew is perfect for those hungover friends that need some broth to re-hydrate and for the foodie in the group that wants to eat something that’s just fresh and cleansing. If you walk into a restaurant that serves daegutang and you want to know which version you’re getting be sure to check the signs, or ask the waiter. The spicier version will be called daegu maeuntang (대구매운탕) and the milder version will be called daegujiri (대구지리). At Goma Daegutang (고마대구탕), the stew is served simply with just radish and scallions added to the milky white broth. No fuss, no muss. This stew doesn’t need anything else as it is perfectly appealing. Of course, the soup is served with rice and other side dishes to compliment the meal and anywhere you go to find some, you’re sure to be content. A small dish is provided so that you can take the large pieces of fish out of the stew and tear off the tender hunks of fish with your chopsticks. If you’re a foreigner and you walk into this establishment, don’t be surprised if you’re served the stew without the bones attached. You can ask for the boneless and easier to eat version or show off your chopstick skills by picking apart the fish, but the owners may just assume you’ll want the boneless if you’re a group of foreigners. Don’t take it as an offense if you’re served the boneless without asking, they would just rather everyone thoroughly enjoys the dish they have meticulously prepared.

Our go to restaurant for some delicious daegutang in Busan:

Goma Daegutang (고마대구탕)

Address:

부산광역시 수영구 남천동 5-3

5-3 Namcheon-dong Suyeong-gu, Busan, Korea

Phone: 051-626-3330

Hours: 24 hours

Menu:

Daegutang (대구탕) (cod fish stew): W8,000

Daegu-jjim jeong-sik (대구찜정식) (not soup, cod fish stir-fried with veggies): W11,000

Directions: 

Subway: Geumnyeonsan Station (금련산역), walk straight out of exit 5 and follow directions to Gwanganli Beach. The restaurant is at the far eastern end of the beach just before the apartments begin.

Bus: 41,  42

One of our go to restaurants in Busan serves up this simple yet satisfying stew: The Simple Taste of Cod Not all stews in Korea are spicy, though depending on where they are served, some may be spicier than others.

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Jeju, Korea: O'Sulloc Green Tea FieldsThe O’Sulloc Green Tea Fields and Museum (오설록티뮤지엄) is one of those places that is almost always busy with tourists to Jeju. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of space to roam about though. The cafe where guests indulge in green tea ice cream treats or other sweet delicacies will be swarming with people watching eagerly for a table to open up, but the fields surrounding the main building provide ample space to roam, take in the smells of growing green tea and take photos without those other pesky tourists jumping in the background.

O’Sulloc is the largest producer of tea in Korea and three of their four tea gardens are located on Jeju Island. Jeju is one of the most famous locations for the production of green tea today so, it stands to reason that tourists flock to the green tea fields when they get a chance to visit. Green tea fields are all over the island though and if one just sets out on foot, he is bound to end up in the middle of one, be it O’Sulloc or otherwise.
Jeju, Korea: O'Sulloc Green Tea FieldsJeju, Korea: O'Sulloc Green Tea FieldsJeju, Korea: O'Sulloc Green Tea Fields

The museum was opened in 2001 and is shaped like a tea cup with a pond in the center. The cafe on the first floor invites diners to fill their bellies with sweet treats before heading up to the top floor of the building to get a view of the surrounding green tea fields from up high. Inside of the cafe and museum, there is also a gallery showcasing different tea cups and containers used in times past. A building out back offers a more traditional tea drinking surrounded by nature location at specific times of the day and yet another building offers organic foods and drinks as well as a shop and place to form ones own soap bars. There is quite a bit to do and see while visiting the O’Sulloc fields so don’t get lost in the sea of tourists in the main tea cup shaped building and be sure to head outside for a wander.

Jeju, Korea: O'Sulloc Green Tea FieldsJeju, Korea: O'Sulloc Green Tea Fields

Address:

제주특별자치도 서귀포시 안덕면 서광리 1235-3

1235-3 Seogwang-ri Andeok-myeon Seogwipo-si, Jeju, Korea

Directions:

Local Transportation: Bus 755

Phone: 064-794-5312

Hours:

Summer season (April~September): 9:00am – 6:00pm

Winter season (October~March): 9:00am – 5:00pm

Admission: Free

Amenities: parking (free), restrooms, cafe

Website: http://www.osulloc.co.kr/

Green Tea Fields & Ice Cream Treats The O’Sulloc Green Tea Fields and Museum (오설록티뮤지엄) is one of those places that is almost always busy with tourists to Jeju.

July on the go, pregnant 23 weeksThis month flew by and I really don’t know where the time went. I flew myself down to Jeju to do a little work and do a little play for two weeks and actually, I’m still here! Jeju is sometimes called the Hawaii of Korea. It’s an island down south that is pretty great. I think some of the tourist stops added in recent years can be a bit too commercial and ridiculous, but overall it’s a place not to be missed. Why is there an African Museum or a Greek Museum on this island after all? The natural beauty of this place is enough for me and if you’ve been following along the past week, you’d have seen that I’ve been posting a bit about my stay from Sanbang Grotto to Gapa Island.

A pretty nice, though maybe not for my husband who can’t be with me, moment happened a couple days into getting to Jeju; my belly finally popped out. I was definitely looking more like I’d just eaten a big burger for lunch and less like a pregnant woman up until this point. Gosh was it about time! I’ve been waiting for it to look more pregnant so instead of me awkwardly rubbing my belly on buses and subways to tell people I’m in need of a seat, maybe they’ll get up on their own now… if they appreciate how difficult and exhausting it is to grow a human. At 23 weeks, there was just a burger in my belly, which you can see above. But just two short weeks later at 25 weeks (6 months) into the fun of pregnancy, the little girl inside of me decided to poke around and make some more room.July on the go, belly black and white at 25 weeksJuly on the go, belly black and white at 25 weeksMy belly may not be as big as other people at 25 weeks, but the doctor has assured my husband, who was the one that was worried, she’s healthy inside. We got a beautiful blanket in the mail that we’re eager to use with the babe and other than that I’ve just been enjoying the very green green green Jeju… and the random pony that we met on a walk. Anyone have any must sees in Jeju? And more specifically the western side of the island?

Just for good measure, because there should always be a cat picture included in any On The Go! post, there’s Mae on a Monday morning very unhappy to be waking up… like most people on a Monday.July on the go, Mae sleeping

July On The Go! This month flew by and I really don’t know where the time went. I flew myself down to Jeju to do a little work and do a little play for two weeks and actually, I’m still here!

Jeju, Korea: Gapa IslandJeju, Korea: Gapa IslandGapa Island (가파도), the second southernmost point of Korea, sits just 5.5 kilometers off the coast of Jeju from Moseulpo Port (모슬포항) in Seogwipo. The island isn’t as famous as Mara Island the southernmost landmass of Korea, the other island accessible via the port, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to enjoy there and there. With far less people taking the ferry over, it’s the perfect island to get away from the touristy crowds and enjoy some alone time, or couple time, with nature. The island is rather flat with the highest point only reaching 20.5 meters which makes walking along the Jeju Olle 10-1 path rather easy. Even better though, is renting a bike at the shop near Gapa Port and biking along the paths that circle and criss-cross the land.Jeju, Korea: Gapa Island ferry

Low lying houses sit along a narrow road that runs down the center of the island and fields walled in by lava rocks stacked together spread out from there. Gapa is special in that it is a carbon-free island, the first in the country, and solar panels and wind turbines collect energy for the residents.

Jeju, Korea: Gapa IslandPeople have inhabited the island and started cultivating barley there since 1842 and the fields are especially nice from late winter to early summer. The coasts of the island are lined with rocks that make walking out to sea rather easy, though be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Pools of water collect between the rocks and make for a great place to take a swim and cool off in the heat of the summer. If you plan the ferries correctly, you can hop over to the island to grab some lunch and bike around before getting back to Jeju. Be sure to have your Korean prepared to order some delicious fishy delights, but also perk up your ears to listen to some pretty strong Jeju dialect.Jeju, Korea: Gapa IslandJeju, Korea: Gapa Island

The women of the island are strong, diving into the ocean to collect seafood for their meals, but they are very friendly and even when the restaurants are not technically open, they will gladly fill your belly with a hearty meal if you can ask. On our trip out, we asked an older grandmother to point us in the direction of a good restaurant as we hadn’t eaten breakfast and were pretty hungry. She showed us to one, but finding that the door was closed and no one was inside she went and found the owner of the establishment, brought her back and told her to make us some food. Little did we know, the owner really had nothing prepared in the back and after ordering we peered around into the kitchen to see that she was on a mat on the floor making noodles for our soup from scratch. Suffice it to say, we ate them all up as they were delicious and worth the wait.Jeju, Korea: Gapa Island, kalgugsu, noodle soupJeju, Korea: Gapa Island kalgugsu, noodle soup

She made us two kinds of soups to enjoy: spiral shellfish noodle soup (보말갈국수) and sea urchin noodle soup (서게갈국수). The kimchi was especially spicy, but a nice break from the soup on the palate and we were grateful she’d taken the time to feed us.

Gapa Island

Address:

제주 서귀포시 대정읍 가파리

Gapa-ri, Daejeong-eup, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do

Directions:

From Moseulpo Port, ferries depart to Gapado at 9:00am, 11:00am, 2:00pm & 4:00pm.

Returning from Gapado to Moseulpo Port, ferries depart at 9:20am, 11:20am, 2:20pm & 4:20pm

Cost:

Adult round trip ticket: W10,700

Amenities on the island: restaurants, bike rental (W5,000), restrooms

Noodle Restaurant (춘자네집)

Address:

제주특별자치도 서귀포시 대정읍 가파리 383

383 Gapa-ri Daejeong-eub Seogwipo-si, Jeju, Korea

Phone: 010-3691-7170

Hours: 9:30am – 7:00pm

Biking Around Gapa Island Gapa Island (가파도), the second southernmost point of Korea, sits just 5.5 kilometers off the coast of Jeju from Moseulpo Port (모슬포항) in Seogwipo.