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Brethren Road Trips The travel logs of our members. Q- joints, restaurants, entertainment, reviews while we travel around the 50 states. Also, Post here for a shout out to members to meet up with while on the road.


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Old 12-09-2019, 02:43 PM   #16
ulc
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Originally Posted by Sid Post View Post
Absolutely awesome! I may have to add Korea to my 'bucket list'!

How does someone without Korean language skills do in Korea outside of touristy places? Will little 'mom and pop' places outside of the large areas work for someone like me who doesn't know the culture and in addition to the local language?
To explore Korea properly, it's best to have someone local to show you around.
Korea has so many small side streets and restaurants that's not on Google Maps. In fact, Google Maps is pretty useless in South Korea. Everyone uses Kakao or Naver Maps over there. I used Kakao maps in addition to Google Maps when I was there. But you can just walk around touristy places and near universities where college students hang out. Just follow the crowd and seek out restaurants that are packed. That's usually good advise anywhere.

Most "mom and pop" places outside touristy areas won't have English menu.
But in Korea, restaurants tend to specialize in one or two dishes so ordering won't be too difficult. They will just have menu on the walls.

Like this menu from the seafood hot pot restaurant we ate at.


But even if you can't read or speak the language, it's easy to use Google Translate app and use the translate the picture option to translate in real time using your phone. We ordered the smaller seafood hot pot which was 45,000 Won. That's on the top left corner of the board menu. The larger seafood hot pot was 55,000 Won but that's more for 3-4 people serving. I could've added live octopus to the seafood pot for additional 20,000 Won if I wanted. $1 was equaled to around 1,175 Won when i was there.

This was the menu at hot stone abalone rice restaurant.


You can see they have pictures and English translation underneath. It makes ordering simple. Not all restaurants are like this but like I said, lot of restaurants tend to specialize in only couple dishes.

Here's the menu from the pork belly restaurant in Jeju that used the cast iron cauldron lid.


Again, very simple. Sometimes, the hard part can be trying to figure out the correct way to eat the food. Because for some soups, they leave the seasoning up to the individual. Like this bean sprout soup with rice.


You're supposed to season the soup with the salted shrimp and sliced hot green pepper that's on the dishes next to left of the kimchi. And you're supposed to break apart the roasted seaweed and add it to the soup as well. The roasted seaweed is not in this picture.

Then you're supposed to use your spoon and scoop around 10-15 spoonful of the hot soup liquid and transfer it to the egg dish on the right. Then also add handful of roasted seaweed pieces to the egg and use the spoon to eat the cooked egg.

It's simple if you know what to do and how to eat it but without someone showing you, it's not always obvious how to eat certain foods. But that's what makes it fun. You can always ask the servers how to eat certain foods.

In Korea, there's no tipping and taxes are included in the price. So what you see is what you pay. And at restaurants, you have to be proactive and flag or call the servers if you want something.
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Old 12-09-2019, 03:14 PM   #17
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What a beautiful country.. The food looks amazing too!!
Thanks for sharing Ulc!
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Old 12-15-2019, 12:09 PM   #18
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Absolutely beautiful! I've visited Korea several times the last three years and it is one of my favorite places to visit. I have never felt more welcomed as an American anywhere. I was on Jeju island last year for a conference. It is a beautiful place, but after a week, it got feeling quite small. The women divers are amazing! One very funny thing happened when we left. We got to the airport about three hours early, with enough time to make the earlier flight. I figured I would ask to see if we could get seats and find out how much it would cost. The RT was only about $100, so figured it wouldn't cost too much extra. The lady said we could get tickets on the earlier flight, but she would need my credit card. Before handing it over, I asked how much extra it would be. She said, "Oh no, the seats on the earlier flight are cheaper. I need your card to refund you the difference." I got about $20 back on a $100 rt ticket, for changing flights. Can you imagine that happening on an American airline.

Anyway, love the food, love the pictures, love everything!

Absolutely the most amazing fried chicken I've had anywhere is in Korea. It is a part of the culture. They go out to dinner, then they go out after for drinking and fried chicken. They usually order a serving (which his quite large) for sharing. When I've gone out, they seem to leave about half the food behind, then go to another place and order more food and chicken. This was hard for me to do and if I didn't do so much walking when I travel, I would definitely gain about 20 pounds per trip.
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Old 12-16-2019, 11:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Gore View Post
Absolutely beautiful! I've visited Korea several times the last three years and it is one of my favorite places to visit. I have never felt more welcomed as an American anywhere. I was on Jeju island last year for a conference. It is a beautiful place, but after a week, it got feeling quite small. The women divers are amazing! One very funny thing happened when we left. We got to the airport about three hours early, with enough time to make the earlier flight. I figured I would ask to see if we could get seats and find out how much it would cost. The RT was only about $100, so figured it wouldn't cost too much extra. The lady said we could get tickets on the earlier flight, but she would need my credit card. Before handing it over, I asked how much extra it would be. She said, "Oh no, the seats on the earlier flight are cheaper. I need your card to refund you the difference." I got about $20 back on a $100 rt ticket, for changing flights. Can you imagine that happening on an American airline.

Anyway, love the food, love the pictures, love everything!

Absolutely the most amazing fried chicken I've had anywhere is in Korea. It is a part of the culture. They go out to dinner, then they go out after for drinking and fried chicken. They usually order a serving (which his quite large) for sharing. When I've gone out, they seem to leave about half the food behind, then go to another place and order more food and chicken. This was hard for me to do and if I didn't do so much walking when I travel, I would definitely gain about 20 pounds per trip.
Airfare from Seoul to Jeju is really cheap because of all the discount airlines. I paid $43 for my roundtrip ticket on Asiana which is crazy since they're full service airline!

And in Korea, drinking and eating for the evening doesn't stop after the 1st round. There are often 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes even 4th round of eating and drinking when out with friends and colleagues. So you better bring your appetite and be able to hold down your Soju. And I agree with you. Korea has the best fried chicken.
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Old 12-16-2019, 01:59 PM   #20
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I was going to post the Taipei, Taiwan, on another thread but I think I'll just post it here since it was part of this Korea trip. We chose to go to Taipei from Seoul because we had free open jaw flight with Korean Air. So we traveled and stayed in Taipei for 5 days, 4 nights.

I want to comment about Incheon International Airport in Korea. We flew in and out of Terminal 2 since we flew Korean Air and Incheon airport was the best airport I've had the pleasure of visiting and traveling through. It's on whole another level from any airport in the US and it's worth getting to the airport early so you can spend time exploring it. It's that good. And the Priority Pass lounges at Terminal 2 in Incheon were the best Priority Pass lounges I visited anywhere. The food selection was incredible for lounge, easily like 10 times the selection of lounges in the US and elsewhere. It was hotel or restaurant quality buffet.

Priority lounge at Incheon International Airport







OK. Onward to Taipei, Taiwan.

We flew into Taipei and took the MRT train to our hotel. Taipei had the best metro train system of any city I've visited. The Metro was awesome and so easy to use. We took the subway trains and buses everywhere while in Taipei and never once used taxi or Uber. We took the subway and buses everywhere in Seoul as well but I felt Taipei had the edge in easier to use MRT. But public transit is excellent in both Taipei and Seoul.

After settling in at our hotel, we walked to Ningxia Night Market to eat. Taipei is famous for night markets and there are more than dozen all over the city.




We ate some pork dumplings for around $1.75 and it was pretty good.


I experienced the smell of stinky tofu for the first time at this night market. I'm pretty adventurous person when it comes to food and can pretty much eat anything but the smell of stinky tofu is something else. It's so strong and repulsive that it made me want to gag and really turned my stomach. And that's just from the smell walking pass vendors that were selling it. I couldn't bear to get close enough to take pictures of it. It honestly smelled like strong rotten sewer garbage and piss from uncleaned bathroom toilet. I wanted to try stinky tofu before I got to the night market but after smelling it, I chickened out. I just couldn't get over the awful smell. But I did end up eating it later on the trip. But it was soy sauce marinated stinky tofu at a restaurant rather than fried stinky tofu sold at the night market stalls.

Couple observations about people of Taiwan. Both males and females are tall. I'm 6 ft tall and I saw so many people taller than me. Females were generally very pretty and fit. And I thought Koreans love to eat but Taiwanese might beat them. There were food and places to eat everywhere in Taipei. And food was generally much cheaper in Taipei than in Seoul.

Some attraction pics

Taipei 101. It was the tallest building in the world until completion of Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2010.


Liberty Square




National Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall




Lungshan Temple






Traditional market next to Lungshan Temple


National Palace Museum




Thermal Valley


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Old 12-16-2019, 02:14 PM   #21
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Taipei Zoo






Maokong Gondola. It's around 4km total length and takes around 20-30 minutes for one way trip on the gondola.




Some kind of fried pancake with egg




Mountain tea farm. I loved drinking tea in Taiwan and brought back lot of tea with us.




Banana tree. I didn't know they grew bananas in Taiwan.


Sunset at Tamsui Fisherman's Wharf




Standing in line to get some egg custard bread




Snacking on some fried crab


Shilin Night Market. The amount of people at this popular night market was insane. It was very difficult to move through the crowd. We gave up on night market after Shilin. Just too many people in too tight of space.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:29 PM   #22
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Nice pictures! Someday, I'll have to give Taipei a visit and sample the local culture.
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:31 PM   #23
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Crowd waiting to dine at Din Tai Fung restaurant. Din Tai Fung is highly rated dumpling restaurant. I think the Hong Kong location is one Michelin Star. We waited around 2.5 hours to eat lunch here. It was pretty good but definitely not worth the wait. It was the only restaurant that charged mandatory 10% service charge. And only cash is accepted at Din Tai Fung.


Dumplings at Din Tai Fung




I ate countless bowls of beef noodles while in Taipei.


And drank equal amount of bubble tea.


My favorite meal in Taipei was at cheap stir-fry.restaurant called Baxian Grill.


The restaurant owner gave us free service plate of marinated stinky tofu. We were the only table I observed that received the free service tofu.


I was scared to try it but it didn't really smell so I gathered the courage and ate some. It was actually pretty good.


Some other foods at stir-fry.








Taipei was really fun, and I'm glad we visited. Thanks for looking!
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Old 12-16-2019, 03:47 PM   #24
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Food looks amazing. My BIL lived there for years and now has a Korean wife. Never made it over to visit while they lived there but sent the wife a few times. She sadly only ate at the American joints while there. ugh.

My BIL old roommate opened up a BBQ joint in Seoul called Linus BBQ and their slogan is "Goes in greasy, comes out easy" ha Wife said it was pretty good.
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Old 12-16-2019, 05:10 PM   #25
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Amazing!! The food looks fantastic too. Thanks so much for posting!
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:51 AM   #26
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Food looks amazing. My BIL lived there for years and now has a Korean wife. Never made it over to visit while they lived there but sent the wife a few times. She sadly only ate at the American joints while there. ugh.

My BIL old roommate opened up a BBQ joint in Seoul called Linus BBQ and their slogan is "Goes in greasy, comes out easy" ha Wife said it was pretty good.
It looks like Linus BBQ is located in Itaewon. That's revitalized area of Seoul where lot of Western style restaurants are located and very popular area with foreign tourists and expats. If you're going to open American BBQ place in Seoul, that's the ideal area.

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Amazing!! The food looks fantastic too. Thanks so much for posting!
Thanks jeanie! Glad you enjoyed it!
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Old 12-21-2019, 06:41 PM   #27
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Thanks for posting! In the future, please make a separate thread so I don't miss anything! I was in Taiwan about 20 years ago and it looks oh so much more Chinese in your pictures. I really had to get off the beaten path to find Chinese restaurants. The streets were lined with KFC, McDonalds, Tony Roma's and any other American chain you can think of. It was just like a modern mid-western city. I will definitely have to get back. And thanks for the additional Korean posts. Incheon is a beautiful airport. The upkeep is amazing. They have people going through cleaning every part of that airport. Watched little old ladies climb ladders to dust the top of signs on more than one occasion, but I also see them wiping down the ledges and rails at the subway stations. Wonder if ours have EVER been wiped down.

I find it's usually best if you just eat and then ask questions later.

...and thanks for the heads-up on the priority lounge. I've been a guest in a couple and found them crowded, uncomfortable and with crappy food I wouldn't want to eat (although the beer poured ok). If there were more like that one, I might consider signing up.
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Old 12-21-2019, 06:59 PM   #28
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Wow. What an adventure!

Really appreciate the post with great photos and experiences to share.
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Old 12-24-2019, 11:07 PM   #29
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I'm anxiously awaiting the next installment!
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Old 12-26-2019, 12:54 AM   #30
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Wow, late arrival to this thread- thanks for the pics and insider info- I hope to visit someday.

Thanks ulc!!!
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