Winter in Korea Day 4 (10 December 2010): Too much food!


From the collage alone, I think it's pretty obvious how much food I had for the day. It was CRAZY. I think I ate more food on Day 4 alone than for the whole trip. We were supposed to check-out of Konjiam resort, but not till about 12, so some of us could choose to go for more skiing or to go for a spa. I had initially opted to go for the spa, but then backed out when I realised it was going for a soak in the pool. (Lazy to take out my swimwear and didn't wanna wear the one the place was loaning us.) So I waited around to try skiing again, but because we had quite a limited time, and borrowing equipment and ski wear would take quite a while, so we didn't get to ski in the end. So I went to sleep some more! Excellent! But not before I snapped some photos of the place.


The landscape was really pretty, especially since it was covered with snow from the previous day.


Look at the slopes at the back!




The pools which I didn't get to go to.

 
Christmas trees around the resort!


I don't know what these are for? They're a bit small. Keys? Wallet?


Back to my room to sleep!


The room comes with a fully-equipped kitchen! Great for families!


Fully geared up for the cold that day.

After we checked-out, the bus went towards Seoul, but not quite. We stopped for Ginseng Chicken Soup (삼계탕/Samgyetang) at a popular restaurant within Gyeonggido.

My Korean teacher told us before that there is a period in Korea called Sambok (삼복), also known as the hottest three days of the Summer. Koreans love to eat Ginseng Chicken Soup during Sambok to counter the heat. I know you're probably wondering how a hot meal will help to cool one down in the heat? But it is believed that the perspiration from drinking the soup will help to cool one down. There is a Chinese saying '以毒攻毒' (Yi Du Gong Du) meaning to fight poison with poison. In this case, it's fighting heat with hot food. Similar theory! In any case, Visit Korea has an excellent section on Sambok and the foods people eat during Sambok HERE.


The shop title reads Sansam Samgyetang. Sansam means Mountain Ginseng. According to the lady at the shop, the restaurant's supply of ginseng is grown by their own farm.


One of my favourite side-dishes ever. Radish!


So crunchy!


This is some Wild Mountain Ginseng liquor. Super hard to drink it on it's own! I eventually poured it into my Ginseng Chicken soup! Tasted yummy!




We all had a gigantic bowl each with one normal-sized chicken inside.


The Ahjumma at the shop broke up the chicken for us to allow us to eat the glutinous rice inside easily.


(I'm editing this now at 4.33am, and I really feel like having some soup!)


The Ginseng itself! I didn't quite like it. It's an acquired taste, I guess!


One thing I love about Korean restaurants is this alert button! I feel really weird whenever I have to call "여기요!" in restaurants because I'm not used to doing that in Singapore. This bell thing saves me from doing just that!

Then it was back to Seoul! We stopped by at Cheongdamdong (청담동), arguably Seoul's trendiest district where it is said that all of the latest trends are started here. It also happens to be the place where there are loads of plastic surgery clinics. When we received our itinerary, it said that we would have a 'Skin Care Programme'. But when we reached the entrance, we were greeted with a sign that said 'NU Plastic Surgery'. (http://www.nuplasticsurgery.com/) I tweeted that and all my friends were like, "No! Don't get surgery!".

The entrance. And the surgery skin care programme I eventually underwent.

Because there wasn't a lot of time, some underwent a skin peel facial while I underwent this procedure called INDIBA. INDIBA is a high frequency equipment that brings various treatment effects through thermal. It mobilises ion inside cells and provides energy inside the body, increasing body temperature and expanding blood vessels and lympathic vessels. This treatment is supposed to revitalise elastin and collagen fibres, providing a body-lifting effect. It involves using some sort of probe which was warm and running it over my face, neck and shoulders. I wish it was the whole body! For all you know, the heat could have dissolved my fats away.


The machine!


The many expensive creams and solutions.


Carolyn's facial peel made her a lot fairer. I did a different procedure, luckily, I hate being too fair. Is there a noticeable difference for my skin? I had BB cream on though, the therapist put it for me.


Lady in blue was my therapist (?) and lady in white was the translator. Both very nice people!


The clinic had a mini-reception for us! Chocopie!


Loads of people there that day! All the important clinic personnel!

We were supposed to go to Lotte World after that, but because I had been to Lotte World before and didn't see a point revisiting since we had such a limited time there (meaning we couldn't take rides). Plus, my boots were giving way, and I really needed a new pair before rain hit that evening, according to the weather forecast. So since Apgujeong was in the vicinity and I remembered there was a nice shoe shop there, I decided to head there and meet the rest at Lotte World after I was done. 


I went there back in June! (Entry hasn't been completed yet!)

Since I was in Apgujeong, I had to grab my favourite Bubble Tea from Cofioca!


The lady boss was too shy to be photographed, so she took a photo of us instead. Carolyn and Jennifer came along with me!


We went to Everysing after that! (I'm not a big SM fan, but I had to get SMTB's CD for a friend.)


Shelves of SM merchandise.


Christmas mood!


I got the brown Uggs at the top left! Super warm and comfortable!

We took a cab from Apgujeong to Jamsil and the cab dropped us at the entrance of Lotte Departmental Store, so we had to walk quite a distance within the mall to get to the entrance where we had to meet the rest. Along the way, we came across the Star Gallery within the mall and guess what I saw?


JYJ!


Big Bang! I didn't really have time to see what was inside though.


Carolyn posing with some Lotte World souvenirs we received!

It was pouring heavily, but it wasn't that cold out, I didn't bring my coat off the bus. We headed to this popular Korean Hanjeongsik restaurant called 진진바라/Jinjinbara (http://www.jinjinbara.com/).


According to Korea Foods, 한정식 or Hanjeongsik is:
Hanjeongsik is a full-course Korean meal with an array of savory side dishes. The most lavish of hanjeongsik traditional originated with the banquets served in the royal palaces or the homes of aristocrats. Usually the course starts with a cold appetizer and gruel, and the main dishes include dishes mixed with seasoning either grilled, boiled, steamed, fried, or salted. Hot pots are included as well, and after the meal traditional punches such as Sikhye(sweet rice punch) or Sujeonggwa(cinnamon-persimmon punch) and other desserts may be served. Actually the types or dishes served in the hanjeongsik vary significantly according to the season or region.
Be prepared for the amount of food...






Raw fish, one of my favourites!




Ginseng.



Cold buckwheat noodles.


Clear clam soup.


Assorted fried stuff. Kimchi pancake, squash and dory fish.



Steamed pork.



Stir-fried Octopus.


Really sweet soup! I think this is beef?



REALLY awesome cod fish.




Finally!


Our dessert!


Pear and some mochi-like thing.

When we were told we were going for Hanjeongsik, my first impression was, okay, there's going to be a lot of food. But by a lot, I seriously didn't think it would be anything more than 20. (There was more than that, I counted.) Nonetheless, despite how stuffed we were at the end of the meal, it was a very enjoyable experience. It was a pity there was a lot of food wasted though. If I ever do get to go there again, I'll starve 2 days in advance.

After the very full dinner, we made our way to Yeongdeungpo (영등포) to Courtyard Seoul Times Square (http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/selcy-courtyard-seoul-times-square/) where we would be staying for the night. I don't have any photos of my room there at all, but even though it was the smallest out of all the rooms I'd stayed so far, I thought it was the cosiest and also the most convienient because there was a shopping centre right next to it, Times Square! (Which I have never been to, by the way.)



I was running late in meeting my friend, Ryan, who I got to know when I was studying at SNU. He's slated to go into the military, so this trip was quite a good opportunity for us to catch up before he gets enlisted. I went back to the hotel after 12 that night and stayed up quite a bit to pack some more. I remember leaving quite a number of things behind because I couldn't stuff them in. Two pairs of leggings, a top and my transparent umbrella.

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