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No news, Good news! in South Korea & Hong Kong

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First thing first....

Seoul, South Korea


After a loooong travel, the first thing was to get some strength by going to a local restaurant. It was a succession of small dishes one better than the other. This is just a small example.


permalink written by  thetourist on August 25, 2010 from Seoul, South Korea
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First visit in Seoul

Seoul, South Korea


The next day we started to visit Seoul a bit and visited in the afternoon the Gyeongbok palace.

The guards luckily let us in,

so we could see how beautifull the place is...


On the way back to the hotel, this petrol station caught my eyes.



permalink written by  thetourist on August 26, 2010 from Seoul, South Korea
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Electronics

Seoul, South Korea


Visiting South Korea without checking the last products available in electronics seems to me to be a nonsense. Here is one of those "markets" full of it. 2 floors only for cellphones, 2 for computers, 2 for cameras, ..., total = 12 floors of paradise for electronic fashion victims and/or for geeks.

To recover from so much emotions, I tried some Bi Bim Bap. Simple traditional Korean food and ... excellent!

Then back to some animated streets in Seoul, after the rain, where , again, excellent food was served at every corner of the streets.



permalink written by  thetourist on August 27, 2010 from Seoul, South Korea
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Error! Try again....

Seoul, South Korea



As you can see, I encountered a "small" problem in the hotel. I could not resist taking a picture of it. The young generation of koreans is not small as one could think they are. In fact they told me the japanese are smaller than them. In the Seoul underground I could see one or two young korean almost as tall as me. The rest still look at me like if I was E.T.


permalink written by  thetourist on August 28, 2010 from Seoul, South Korea
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Market...

Seoul, South Korea


Before leaving Seoul for Daegu in the south east, a small visit to one market. You'll find anything you might think about and what you will not think about also. According to the locals, everything is always good for your health.... from Ginseng ...

to any kind of fish

After that, I tried some shabu shabu. It is basically some thin slices of beef that you will cook in some steaming broth (soup). Everything you see on the right plate are herbs (there are some noodles, mushrooms, soja, ... below)
It looks like the name of the dish comes from the noise it makes when the meat cooks in the broth. This way of eating is very fun (and I'm not talking about the difficulties you might experience catching the food with the sticks)


permalink written by  thetourist on August 28, 2010 from Seoul, South Korea
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Out of the city

Andong, South Korea



After having taken the fast train at 300 km/h from Seoul to Daegu, I'm ready to enjoy another 2,5 days more in the south. That will allow me to see more traditional side of Korea.
The visit of the Byeongsan seowon (seowon means private school) was a first stept to understand Korean traditions. This confucian school is the leading one for the memorial of masters and education (respect of the older, respect of the parents, ...). Students were coming here since 1572.

Alcohol was not allowed in (not good for concentration). Women were not allowed for the same reason.


permalink written by  thetourist on August 29, 2010 from Andong, South Korea
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Korean barbecue

Andong, South Korea



Time to eat... again. This time trying the local version of barbecue. Like the shabu shabu, it is a fun way to do it. The fire is in the middle of the LOW table (the copper tube you are seeing is a heat extractor) and you cook everything yourself. You may wonder how you cut the meat? No, not with the sticks. A very friendly and helpful woman is taking care of that for you with ... scissors.
Then you put a leave (can be sesame or lettuce) in your left hand, catch the meat using the sticks with your right hand, dip it in a salt crystals, put it on the leave, add a slice of garlic, spicy korean red sauce, roll the leave and eat it. Doing this without spilling anything on your clothes get you 10 extra points...


permalink written by  thetourist on August 29, 2010 from Andong, South Korea
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Ahoe village

Andong, South Korea


The visit to Hahoe Village (translating to “Village Enveloped by Water”) was promising. The fact that it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List under the category of “Historic Villages in Korea” recently (July 31, 2010) is maybe a sign. In fact you have there the opportunity to see a traditional village and also the Hahoe Byeolsingut Tallori (Korean traditional masked-dance Drama)

Unfortunately, someone opened the water and it started raining non-stop like in the Forrest Gump movie, so the masked dance was cancelled. That's a good reason to come back!


permalink written by  thetourist on August 29, 2010 from Andong, South Korea
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Fish

Andong, South Korea


On the way south east of Daegu, before visiting Gyeongju, the former capital of Korea, a stop in Gampo on the seaside for some raw fish restaurant.
It' s very easy, ..., just choose from the menu here

The procedure is the same I explained before for other dishes. You will put the fish in a leave, adding some spicy korean red sauce. No need to explain that everything is fresh (you can chose the fish you want from a tank outside) and excellent



permalink written by  thetourist on August 30, 2010 from Andong, South Korea
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Bulguksa temple & Royal Tomb (Chunmacheong)

Andong, South Korea


The Bulguksa temple is said to be the nicest temple of Korea. It really is. Specially when you think that it has been built in 751 and destroyed 2 times during japanese invasions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulguksa_Temple

Some prayers are attached to those red globes on the ceiling of the temples.

Here, some "details" I liked during my visit.

Then a small visit to the royal tombs (Chunmacheong). The small hill you see here is where the tomb is. One has been opened to show to the public. This is the one of an unknown king from the Silla Kingdom. You can see replicas of golden jewels, weapons found there with the king.
I was told that servants and the whole family were buried alive with the king to assist him during his journey. That has changed afterwards.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheonmachong

Before going back to Daegu and before the next storm, I enjoyed the view of this beautiful Field of lotus flowers.



permalink written by  thetourist on August 30, 2010 from Andong, South Korea
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