I was at the university neighborhood of Hongdae when I suddenly felt the need to eat something after a full day of walking around in the freezing city of Seoul. I had rice for lunch but the cold weather was eating up too much of my fat that I got hungry early on. I saw a Korean Barbecue restaurant and got really excited then queued to get a table. When it was my turn, I was politely told that I couldn’t get a seat for reasons unknown to me. Defeated, I walked away from the restaurant and thought of the possible reasons why I was dismissed; may be a table for four would be such a waste for just one person, or maybe I looked like I didn’t have the money to spend. Nonetheless, I searched for a place that would cater to a person who needs a table for one. Gladly, I found one and splurged my blues away.
It was my first ever solo trip abroad and coincidentally, it was wintertime. I never dreamt of experiencing snow for I have the lowest tolerance to cold weather so it was alarming, at first. After the acclimating process, I got used to the nth layers of clothing and battled the everyday chilly weather.
I got hold of my Korean Travel Visa in the Philippines and sought the help from an online travel guide to Seoul prior to this trip. I did a walking tour around Seoul and had a wonderful time on Nami Island and Garden of Morning Calm and during those times, constant carbo-loading helped me combat the chills. I never understood before why Koreans would fill in their stainless steel water bottles with hot water until I tried it once which soothed my freezing body. And when I say hot water, it’s really that hot water you use to make coffee. So I'd fill my water bottle with hot water from my home in Seoul, Guesthouse Korea, and battled the sub-zero temperature every day; that was a lifesaver for me.
A meal in Seoul could sustain three meals in Bangkok, so if you're on a really tight budget, plan your food trip very well so as to not spend too much. A decent meal can cost you around KRW5,000 (US$4.33) to KRW6,000 (US$5.20) on a normal eatery/restaurant. Plus, English translations of the dishes are not common so you just have to rely on the photo menu, if they have. Well, if you're a fan of Korean food then you'd probably know what to order and where to go.
|You order a dish and you get a number of side dishes (banchan) with it.|
Me love those yellow pickled daikon raddish but not diggin' kimchi at all :(
I really felt bad about my dismissal from a restaurant in Hongdae that I intentionally looked for places to eat that would cater to solo diners afterwards. So here’s a rough guide on where to eat in Seoul, especially if you’re on a solo trip.
|Kimchi + Seasoned Bean Sprouts |
Typical Korean side dishes (banchan)
Incheon International Airport
|Food prices inside Incheon International Airport are quite reasonable compared to Seoul City|
|Bibimbap with red chili paste|
Super tasty and tender meat. Again, I had to remove all mushrooms. Haha.
Check here for discounted hotels in Seoul