Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Naksan Rampart & Gwangjang Market

I used to think there are too many cafes in Seoul City and wondered how they survive in the competitive environment.
During the cold bitter months of winter, these coffee joints become our life savers. We ducked into one whenever the cold got intolerable. We were more than happy to pay for a cup of coffee in exchange for an hour of warmth and comfort in the cafe. That quickly became our modus operandi. We were high on coffee that week!
Seoul City is so modern and progressive now, it's easy to forget that it was one of Asia's poorest countries not too long ago. From the 60s, it has developed into one of the world's wealthiest nations. Needless to say, much effort have been put in to spruce up the city. The best way to appreciate the beauty and expanse of it all is to take a walk down 'Seoul-gil' (Fortress Wall) - pathways full of living, breathing history. 
The total length of the Seoul Fortress wall walk is 18.2km but we only managed small parts due to the weather and lack of time. We managed to climb up Naksan Mountain which is located within the fortress walls. While it is only slightly more than 100m high, the view of the city below is quite spectacular particularly during sunset.
I'm going to back track now to show you  the sights along the way from the main street to Naksan entrance.

The Koreans are fashionable and creative when it comes to staying warm.
Whimsical themes like this are common here.
With a name like La Pu Pu, we couldn't help but take a second look.
Street vendor selling hot food.
Approaching Naksan.
Then we got sidetracked and bought some snacks.
Entrance of Naksan.
View of Seoul City.
Pavilion at the top of Naksan.
Old Fortress wall.
 We descended via another route which took us through some alleys. Many old walls have been given a facelift. I like that and think it is a fabulous idea to breathe life into an old building.

 We took a cab to Gwangjang Market, the nation's first market, to try some traditional Korean food like Nokdujeon (also called bindaeduk) (Korean style pancake made from ground mung beans) and sundae (blood sausage).

It is so easy to get a cab in the city. We got around in taxis all the time because it was so convenient and inexpensive.
 I love the piping hot nokdujeon cooked before our very eyes. They are made using freshly ground mung beans and vegetables.
Mung beans being ground on a stone mill.

The tradiitonal food like meat and sausages are popular here. Not my kind of food actually.


Another local delicacy - raw crabs marinated in vinegar and spice.


Petunia Lee said...

Oh wow! I feel like going to Seoul now!!

Blur Ting said...

You will like it! Go during spring when there are cherry blossoms!

Malar said...

No wonder no post from you all this while!
Beautiful sky and flowers for the start of new year! Happy New Year!

Wen-ai said...

Happy New Year Ting! Oh, Seoul is so cold during winter!

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