Jeju: The Third and Final days

So the last two days at Jeju were kind of a blur.   So much stuff happened.

 

So on the Third day we started out exploring.  We accidentally found a temple across the street from the nearby minimart and we decided to take a look .  It was very beautiful in there.  They had a great main set of statues.

Then we hung out on the beach and Glen ate his MRE that he had brought just in case.  .  I went swimming briefly on the  main beach for the first time.  I wasn’t preparing for it, so I swam in my shorts.  Went back  to my hotel and got ready to go out.

From there the first place we went was an all organic vegetarian restaurant.   They served up a delicious salary bibimbap.   It was one  of the best bibimbaps I’ve had  in Korea.  Everything was delicious, though I put a bit too much red pepper sauce in it.  The decor in the restaurants.

From there we went on to a lava tube cave.  Which was a delightfully cool tube cave.  It’s a fairly straight run down the side of a mountain made by a tube of lava.  Only the middle section of the tube was open to the public but it was really terrific to see the huge arching ceilings along the whole thing.

From there we went just a short hop to a hedge maze.  In the middle of the  maze is a bell to ring.   Our team had a lot of fun but finished last.  We just kept going in circles.

Next we went for  a nice hike at the Jeomul recreational forest.  In the forest included a really cool nature path, a fresh water spring, a buhddist temple, and  a set of super cool wooden statues.

After that we went to dinner.   I was starving at this point so the very average pork and mackerel tasted incredible.  I’m quite sure though that if I had not been quite so hungry I would have been unimpressed again.

Finally for the Third day, we went to the ghost road and Loveland.  The Ghost Road is a neat optical illusion where it appears as if the road tilts up when in fact its going down hill-and gives the illusion that ghosts are pushing your vehicle forward.

Loveland is hard to describe in words but it’ll have to do because most of the pictures are too NSFW to post here.  It’s an erotic theme park with a great many statues and other works of art throughout the park.  Jeju is the Korean destination for honeymoons so you will see many newlywed couples walking around here.  They’re all outrageous, and absurd to the point of being over the top.

From there we went home and more or less went straight to bed.  Next morning we woke up for some last minute beach shenanigans before we had to check out from the hotel.  People piled seaweed on top of one another in a disgusting game of can-you-top-this?

Lastly we went to a botanical gardens where there were many foreign species of plants growing.  A lot of these were very beautiful and something different from what we had seen on the rest of the island.

And that was all of my Jeju holiday.

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Soup and sandwiches reconsidered

I’ve always liked soup quite a bit.

But right now I’m eating soup probably more meals than I’m not eating soup.

One of the first things I learned about food from the grocery store in South Korea is that Ramen here is way better than the ramen cups we got back in America.  They were okay but even the regular like package of six ramens for like 3,000 won are really pretty good.  I’ve been getting one from E-Mart that is bright red and spicy enough to light your mouth on fire.

But it doesn’t end  there, soups have become one of my favorite things to order out on a budget.  I got sick of gim bap pretty quickly.  There’s just something about it that doesn’t really make me feel like a good meal.  But then I was introduced to some of the soups that the gim bap place near my building has.

Kimchi chigae I’ve talked a little bit about but it’s a fantastic soup provided you have a nice supply of water ready to go with your soup.  It’s also the best cure for sinus congestion I’ve ever seen as it just clears me up better than most nasal mists.  It’s seemingly always served in a small black bowl, like seen above ,and it’s usually still boiling when it’s served .

Another thing I’ve found that I’m really enjoying is Mondu ramen (phonetically anyways)   It’s a dumpling soup with ramen and it’s served in a semi-spicy watery broth.

Shabu-shabu was probably the healthiest thing I’ve had since I’ve arrived.  They put a pot of broth on to heat up at your table on a fire and then they provide you with a tray of vegetables ranging from lettuce, to sprouts to pumpkin to mix into your soup with some very small cuts of lean beef.   It’s really an all you can manage vegetable bonanza and the broth is quite delicious.

The other thing I’ve had quite a bit is stuff from Paris Baguette.  It’s a Korean chain of bakeries that has just got a few branches back stateside.  They make the best sandwiches I’ve had in a long time.  Their use of a croissant like bread reinforces my long standing position that it is the bread not the meat which makes a good sandwich great.  I especially like the cranberry walnut chicken sandwich and their ham sandwich isn’t half bad itself.

All in all Korea has yet to let me down with a really bad meal.

What to make of kimchi?

kimchi

kimchi

 

 

I’ve tried about a million different things since I arrived in Korea and I haven’t had a bad meal yet.

I really  thought I was going to hate kimchi because I don’t really like cabbage and Sauerkraut is one of the most disgusting foods people eat in America.  But it’s actually really good.  I suppose it’s good that I like it considering that at every non-takeout place I’ve been to since I’ve been in Korea, even the places serving Japanese or Chinese food kimchi is served.

People keep asking me to describe it to them but kimchi tastes like kim chi and doesn’t really compare to anything out there.  It’s fairly spicy–the peppers kind of overwhelm the rest of the food.

It’s also the easiest food to eat with chopsticks I’ve ever come across.

Speaking of Kim chi the other day I had kim chichigae, a soup that puts kim chi in a red broth with pork and tofu.  It was delicious.  It will also blow your head off with how spicy it is.  I ate about half of a bowl of it and it was about all i could take for spices.

Koreans are incredibly proud of their food, even to the point of absurdity.  Many Koreans believe that kim chi cures diseases.  While it does appear to be quite healthy notions that it cures aids are even known to float around South Korea.  I know, it seems ridiculous to me too.