Traveling with someone is a pretty big trial of friendship. Joe and I are both introverts who need time to recharge after spending awhile around other people. Usually we hang out on weekends at bars, but was our first big trip together. The first few days were great, but soon it became clear we needed our alone time. We planned to grab breakfast together at a cute little bakery down the road. After eating our unique pastries and black bread (that tasted totally normal and cheesy!) we split paths and planned to meet up for dinner.
I decided to take the metro to the local fish market since it was a highly rated attraction and was located across the river in an area I hadn’t yet explored. The only obstacle was how I would get around without cellular connection. Public wifi exists, but at random cafes and other unreliable locations. I usually would route myself and then take screenshots to save on my phone to reference later. Luckily I made it to the fish market without problem (other than initially going to the wrong platform!) and spent awhile wandering the stalls and looking at the yummy seafood!
Afterward, I walked to the giant waterfront park and was pleased to find street food! I’m typically such a food snob and dislike eating from food carts in Portland, but I think street food in foreign countries is an amazing way to taste the culture for cheap! I must have walked up and down the road 3 times, trying to decide what to get. Did I want the famous giant cotton candy I’ve seen all over the internet? Did I want the cup of crunchy bugs? I settled for Korea’s most famous street food – tteokbokki. They are cylindrical rice cakes in a spicy red fish sauce with slices of fish mixed in! It tasted delightfully savory and spicy with only a little bit of fish taste. The only downside was how piping hot it was! I was already a bit sweaty from the hot sun!
Joe and I met up at the Gwangjang market which is famous for textiles and more street food! After we filled our bellies with vegetable pancakes, dumplings, sushi, and more tteokbokki, we went to the Myeongdong shopping district to go to The Foot Shop to have Dr. Fish pedicures. These iconic asian pedicures are performed by the Garra Rufa fish that nibble away dead skin on your feet. It definitely felt ticklish at first, but then it started to feel amazing! I can’t explain the bizarre sensation of tiny fish swimming between your toes and up your legs!
Afterward…. we got more street food! I loved the fried milk the most. It tasted slightly like fried mozzarella cheese, but much smoother and softer. Simply divine! We also tried broiled eel with spicy sauce. I wanted to try meatballs and mochi strawberries, but there was simply no more room. I did spot another of Korea’s famous dishes – a potato tornado! It is a spiral potato on a stick and deep fried.
We headed back to the Airbnb and immediately went to sleep in preparation for our morning flight to Japan!
If you want to see more pictures from my time in Seoul, here’s a public link to see the photos I’ve added to Facebook!