Monday, August 25, 2014

[Grandma and Jacki in Asia] Day 2: Namdaemun Market (Seoul, Korea)

My sister and grandma came to visit me in Korea during my summer break. We were together from August 8 - 20. In case you missed it, here is the retelling of Day 1.

I got up on Saturday morning and made my way to the hostel where Grandma and Jacki had stayed. I let myself in through the keypad and took a shower while they were downstairs eating breakfast.

After some packing and re-packing, forgetting and finding, we set out for Backpacker's Inside hostel in another area of the city. We'd been given a free upgrade to a 4-person private room, and Grandma was surprised at how spacious it was. She also couldn't get over how little we were paying, since this trip was her first time staying in hostels instead of hotels.

After getting settled in and ready to go out again, it was nearly one in the afternoon.

To tie us over for a later lunch, we stopped and got some bubble tea on our way to the metro. Jacki and Grandma hadn't heard of the drink before, though I know the Taiwanese tea-based drink is not only found in Asia. If you're new to the concept as well, bubble tea contains large tapioca balls which are called bubbles or pearls. Most bubble teas have a tea base, as the name suggests, mixed with either fruit or milk.

And then we were off to Namdaemun Market.

Grandma got a vest with many pockets at one of the first stands we walked by. Then she got a nice, purple visor - the kind that Korean women wear regularly to keep the sun off of the skin on their faces.

I think this picture is so great because I accidentally captured a Korean woman with her huge visor in the background!

Around three o'clock we decided it was time to eat. Although there was delicious, cheap street food everywhere, we wanted to get out of the sun/heat and sit down for a while. It took some walking and looking before we happened upon a restaurant near our current location.

Jacki and I both had the beef/rice soup, while Grandma tried the samgyetang, which is a chicken soup often eaten in the summertime, because it supposedly helps you cool down. I still haven't figured out why this is believed, since it is indeed a hot soup, not a cold one.

After the nice rest, we walked through the market a bit more before returning to our hostel.

On the way back we stopped and explored Artbox, one of my favorite stores in Korea:

After leaving, grandma picked up a mini walnut cake for us to snack on later back at the hostel.

Jacki and I left the hostel once more later that night to walk around, and got just a bit of street food - some mandu and that egg bread deliciousness. And then we were all off to bed!

> > > Next: Day 3 - Myeongdong, Seoul
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