Beautiful Gyeonju – Part 1 (Autumn October)

 

Gyeongju is a city on South Korea’s southeast coast. It was the capital of the 1,000-year-long Silla dynasty, and is known for its extensive historical remains. The 8th-century Bulguksa Temple features twin stone pagodas, a series of wooden staircases and a large bronze Buddha. Nearby, Seokguram Grotto houses a towering seated Buddha and offers panoramic views of the sun rising over the Sea of Japan. – Wikipedia

 

Gyeongju is just an hour car ride from Busan. Mil drove up to Gyeongju and halfway we popby Ulsan to have lunch before continuning our journey. We stayed 1 night in a traditional hanok at the outskirts of Gyeongju which is slightly more countryside because i want to experience abit of countryside morning. You can book traditional hanoks stay in Gyeongju. There are almost everywhere. There are a couple of good ones which we initially wanted but they were fully booked.

The one we stayed was about KRW 35,000 per night ( sgd$40 per night) where the room can fit 4 pax. It is traditional hanok so we slept on the floor with the traditional floor bedding and blankets. The table in the room is also the traditional short ones like the one in the picture below.

Our hanok. There is also a sitting area outside your hanok like the one below where you can wrap yourself in warm thick blankets and chat over coffee in the morning and beer at night. It was VERY COLD at night. Suggest that you bring thick clothings if you are planning to go to the countryside. It was so cold in the morning.

One night for SGD40 in these traditional hanoks. Can squeeze in more than 4 pax actually cos it is spacious inside. Nothing except foldable floor beddings and a short table for you to have your meals.

You can bbq at night over this fire pit or hold a small little campfire with this pit or use their bbq grill. Really nice to bbq at night in the cold weather. Very shiok to eat sizzling hot and nicely bbq meat in the cold.

 

Very fresh air from the countryside. Air was so clean !

 

Once place to visit is the Gyeongju Gyochon Traditional Village.

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1863026

 

 

 

You can try many traditional foods , see many traditional hanok houses and even rent a hanbok to take pictures in this cultural village.

 

 

One thing you must have when you visit this hanok village is this Gimbap !

Gyori Gimbap 

It is very famous and SOOOO yummy ! It was featured on many variety shows and voted one of the nicest Gimbap.

Queue is very long but it moves damn fast. Took us less than 5 min to reach the front.

All the Ahjummas are all busy wrapping the Gimbap. So when it is your turn , just tell them how many you want , they pack and you can either eat inside small restaurant or take away. There are ALOT of houseflies in the restaurant. So if you cannot stand it , suggest you just take away and eat outside or anywhere standing.

 

Super long queue

 

 

You should order their guksu (noodle soup) too ! It is damn nice !

 

You can try traditional handmade ice cream and rice cakes too !

Gyeongju is famous for its glutinous barley Bread . It is a red bean filled bread roll that was first made in Hwangnam-dong in Gyeongju. We bought a box to eat in our hanok for breakfast the next morning !

 

They are also famous for the soya bean paste here. You can buy and bring home or have your lunch there ! I haven tried it though.

 

 

If you walk further in , you can see the large ancient tombs of the Kings and Nobles of the Silla Kingdom. Sometimes while driving and in the middle of nowhere you can spot a “little hill” which is an ancient tomb. Hubs say that it is commonly seen in Gyeongju.

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264117

 

If you walk abit further , you can see the pink muhly grass. You need to queue to take pictures at a particular photo spot

http://tour.gb.go.kr/en/page.do?mnu_uid=314&con_uid=27489&cmd=2

 

 

Weather is very cool during autumn so it is ok to walk. Air is very fresh too.

 

Further up you can see the Cheomseongdae Observatory. We skipped there because nothing much to see.

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264256

 

Our dinner at this famous restaurant serving duck stew.

Byeolchae Gyodong Ssambap 별채반 교동쌈밥

Address in Korean : 경상북도 경주 황남동 328-1

328-1, Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea

Contact No : +82 54-773-3322

 

VERY NICE ! I like it and the Banchan is ALOT and free flow !

 

So yummmy ! After dinner , we drove back to our hanok to sleep before we head out next morning to explore more temples.

Quite a number of people emailed / whatsapp me to ask for recommendations , so i decided to make my own list. Lol i know i took almost 1 month to do it. Been abit busy these days studying. I haven studied for a loooong time so my head was so tight and packed. I realized that this blog post was drafted back in May and i only posted it today.

The places from this list are the places me and my Oppa often go to.  Sometimes i walked past certain Korean restaurants and asked if he wants to try and at times , he will pull me away and said “맛없어” which means not delicious in Korean even though there was a loooong queue. Being a Korean , he knows what is good and what is not. Same goes to me , i will bring him to the best hawker stalls or chinese restaurants because i know which is good or not.

So well , here is the list and places we frequented for the past 1.5 years. I realized that i don’t see alot of Singaporeans in these restaurants everytime i went there and mosts of the customers are Koreans. Perhaps these places are not very common or well known. So here they are and all listed in random order. There are no pictures available for some restaurants because i don’t take out my camera when i am having BBQ ( later my camera lens oily lah ) . Well , here you go for authentic Korean food.

1) Woo Jung –  

45 Peking Street  , #01-01 – Tel : 65363110

It is near Telok Ayer Mrt and opposite the Citibank.

You can have BBQ , Ala carte dishes like kimchi pancake , kimchi soups etc ) and stews.

The food tastes very good but the service is very slow. I waited 20 minutes for a bowl of soup before and 30 minutes for a plate of the beef for BBQ even though there were only 5 customers including me and my bf in the restaurant. So i will suggest that you order everything one shot. My bf asked why it took so long and the boss said they don’t use MSG so it took quite long.

I like their Korean BBQ especially the marble wagyu beef. So yummy and delicious.

2) Bu Kang – 

Reddot Traffic Building #01-06, 28 Maxwell Road – Tel: 63274123

This restaurant is hidden at the side of the Reddot building. It serves fresh Korean sashimi and other ala carte dishes. But this restaurant is famous for its sashimi. Raw live octopus sashimi is also available here. You know the one you saw often that were still squiggling and wriggling though they were chopped into pieces ? I LOVE IT. Not that i am sadistic or what but it is very delicious and fresh. The whole octopus is too big and too dangerous for me to swallow down so i asked for it to be chopped into tiny pieces. Dipped it with sesame oil and it is soo yum yum. Side dishes are free flow and each main dish set comes with its own kind of side dishes.

I blogged about it here before.

My bf and his friends only order sashimi from this restaurant and we have been there quite often.

3) Hwang Sil Korean-Chinese Restaurant 

 Airview Building, 38 Maxwell Road #01-03/05 – Tel : 62244371

It is located beside the Reddot Traffic Building.

Only ala carte cooked food and no BBQ . You can find popular Korean-Chinese dishes like that black bean sauce noodles ( Jjajangmyeon ) , Spicy seafood noodles  (Jjampong) , Sweet and Sour Pork ( Tangsuyuk ).  These 3 dishes usually go together. What i do there is i order the Jjajangmyeon ( Black bean sauce noodle ) for myself , a bowl Jjampong soup and a plate of sweet and sour pork to share. I don’t know why but i will go on a food coma after my meals at Hwang Sil. Too full and too delicious. I haven tried other dishes yet because these 3 are my favourite so far at the restaurant and that’s what my bf and his friends always order. The signature dish is actually the Jjampong noodle ( Spicy seafood noodle ) .

Better to go in a group of 2-4 because the portion is quite huge. You can even share a bowl of noodles.

Tangsuyuk ( Sweet and Sour Pork )

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Jjampong ( Spicy Seafood noodle ).

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Jjajangmyeon

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4) Todamgol

31 Tanjong Pagar Rd – Tel : 6224 7077

Located near the end of the Tanjong Pagar road turning towards Chinatown , this restaurant is always full house and it is better for you to call for reservation if not you have to wait for 1hr to be seated. What i like about this place is that it opens till 3am so it is a good supper place ( if you are really hungry and want a full meal ) . The seatings are very cozy.

I have been here very often and have blogged about it HERE . I always order the Odeng Soup , Bo Ssam ( braised pork belly ) , Potato pancake ( Gamjajeon ) , Japchae and Makkoli ( goes well with the potato pancake and these 2 usually should come as a pair ).

Or i will order the army stew if i go with more people. It is better to go in a group of 3-4 so you can try more dishes.

5) Tae Woo Bam Jum Korean Restuarant

6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #03-84 Clarke Quay Central, Clarke Quay Central  Tel – 6224 8284

Located conveniently inside Clark Quay Central mall , this restaurant serves one of the best Jjajangmyeon ! It has a “wok-hei” taste which i really like alot and they do have nice and cheap lunch set which can give you food coma after that.

Again , the usual dishes i order are Jjajangmyeon ( Black bean sauce noodle ) , Jjampong ( Spicy Seafood soup/noodle ) and Tangsuyuk ( Sweet and Sour Pork ) .

This restaurant serves Korean-Chinese cuisine and no Korean BBQ . There are 2 kinds of Jjajangmyeon ( i always order the traditional one ).

6) Bornga at Vivocity

I blogged about my first visit over HERE. And i went there twice after that.

The pricing at this restaurant is abit expensive but it is worth it. The food was delicious and you should really try their soon-dubu jiggae and spicy beef stew. I brought a friend along and she really loves it. It tasted abit different from the usual soon-dubu jiggae you had anywhere. The taste is really fragrant and nice. Generous portion of tofu and clams. The first time i went there , i wasn’t really impressed because the staff only serve the side dishes in the middle of our meal even though we asked for it many times. My bf wasn’t happy about it because he is not used to having side dishes being served only in the middle of the meal. Side dishes should be served the moment the customers sat down at the table.  I have not tried their BBQ yet because it is a little pricey. But if you want to go for the usual dishes like kimchi jiggae , budaejjigae ( army stew ) etc , this is a good place to go.

7)  Dong Bang Hong

94 Telok Ayer St, Singapore 048473

It is a Korean-chinese restaurant just like Hwang Sil. But i prefer the Jjampong here. It is better than Hwang Sil’s. But can be abit fishy to some people. So if you think it taste abit “fishy” , you can try adding abit of soya sauce. I had a unique dish. I can’t remember if it’s  sliced pig ears or head. But it tasted so delicious. So if you work around Raffles area and craving for Korean food , Telok Ayer is a good place to go for Korean food. Quite a number of Korean restaurants there.

8) 2 days 1 Night located along Tanjong Pagar Road

Always long queue and need to call for reservation.

I used to go there once a month with Oppa after his baseball practices on Sunday. Well , the team always order the same thing. Dak Doritang and Bossam (braised pork)

Dak Doritang which is a kind of spicy chicken stew. I love this and it is easy to cook.

I cooked and blogged about it HERE before . I bought many bottles of sauces from Korean supermarkets just to cook this. But if you are just want to try to cook one time and you seldom cook Korean dishes , you can buy ready made sauces from the Korean Mart that comes in sachets for 1 time use and it cost less than $4.

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Bossam ( Pork Belly )

Love it when i wrap the pork + kimchi with lettuce and stuff it into my mouth. The website and menu mentioned there’s oyster in the dish but when it was served on our table , i don’t see any oysters so far.

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These are the only 2 dishes we have every time with the team.

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Well , these are some places Oppa frequents and hope you enjoy the dishes i mentioned here.

Actually there are more places just that i didnt get to try more food because i always order the usual ones and the ones i like to eat . Let this be list 1 and i shall do a list 2 next time for Korean BBQ.

Last week , D and i went to Bornga at Vivocity for dinner. D introduced me to this restaurant , history of the restaurant and stories of the owner ( who is very famous in Korea and wife is an actress ) etc.

He loved the food hear and mentioned many times ” just like back in Korea ” . Now i know why he doesn’t like the Cold noodles in Tanjong Pagar and he never have them. Usually after BBQ , Koreans will have a bowl of cold noodles. He said the ones at Tanjong pagar are not nice , too soggy and doesn’t taste like what was back home. But he gulped down the entire bowl of cold noodles at Bornga.

Well , the food is nice but service was not what we will expect from an “Original Taste of Korea” restaurant. The side dishes were served so late. The table next to us were only served their side dishes in the middle of their BBQ. Side dishes should be served immediately the moment customers sat down at the table. The staff doesn’t really know how to do BBQ and the metal grill should be changed often. There is a “rule” for grilling the pork belly  , the meat cannot be flipped over more than 3 times. I used to have BBQ with D and his baseball mates once a week and that was when i learned Korean BBQ skills from the Oppas and Onni.

Koreans were often mistaken as impatient when they travel to other countries. That is because in Korea, services are really fast. People complain and scold if they waited too long for food or even bill. Even at the supermarket , the cashier cash in the groceries and pack them really fast. I was really surprised by their speed and accuracy. Sometimes i have to calm D down when the bill take too long to come , food served too late or the cashier at NTUC Fairprice took too long. I told him just bo bian..its like that in SG lol.

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The cold noodles was sooo nice. Noodle texture is really bouncy and chewy. Not soggy at all.

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Someone is happily enjoying his beef bean stew soup with rice.

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Here was my OOTD for the past few days in my favourite white midi skirt that is an upcoming design.

I love the wrap !

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It is K beauty time 🙂
Blogging my reviews from my personal experiences with Korean beauty products.

I don’t really like to apply thick make up. I prefer natural and light make up. To make my skin looks hydrated and dewy, i will always apply my toner , emulsion , serum , essence and moisturizer after cleansing my face. To achieve natural make up look besides making sure my skin is hydrated with moisturizer , i also need to hydrate my eyes area.

I am currently using Hera’s Roll On Eye Serum. Im a huge Hera fan. Because their products are not oily and have this nice fragrance. I always apply this roller after shower. Not just roll on and smack on my make up . But i will lie down on the bed and massage around my eyes gently to make sure that the serum is properly absorbed into my skin. I realised after doing so , the skin around my eyes doesnt look cakey when i applied my concealer. The concealer glided on well and blended in well with my foundation/BB cushion.

Before applying the Hera UV Mist Cushion , i will apply the Magic Starter. This is a moisturizing base which helps to set my skin condition before make up. When using the Hera UV Mist Cushion , i will pat around my face instead of spreading it using the cushion sponge. Patting gives a more natural finish.

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Im a skin-care “addict” and i will leave home without washing my face and never sleep without washing my face and putting on a mask/pack. So i am always looking for new ways to improve my skin texture , colour or conditions. Im into the Vitamin C serum lately. It helps to hydrate your skin , improve radiance and brightening. I bought one online from a Korean shop but the Vitamin C concentrate was too strong and it caused my skin to flush and turn reddish. For ampoules or serums with high concentration of Vit C or hyaluronic acid , i will always test it out under my chin first before applying to my entire face. If there is any redness , i will stop and just throw it away. Because sometimes , these products are too strong and can cause a reaction on your skin causing redness or break outs.

Fortunately , i was given one from Aeon Aesthetics and Medical clinic. Guess it is better to get one from the doctor instead of buying it online. Can’t wait to test it out and see the improvements in skin radiancy and brightening.

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Besides depending on skin care products, you really need to have a good sleep and drink plenty of water. When i had a bad migraine or headache , my skin will turns dry and my eyes look really tired. Eat more fruits and it will help too.

Next K beauty post , i will blog about the masks i used and how applying it daily helps.