travel journal part 5 : Yeosu + Namhae | This is Korea !

Hello everyone ~

Before skipping this very last LONG TIME DUE travel post part of South Korea ( . . . )
here is a short insight to the last days in South Korea !
The trip to the southern part of South Korea was definitely refreshing and soooo worth it !
I recommend everyone to not only come to South Korea to visit Seoul ( which is definitely the most interesting part ) but also other parts of the country !
I will definitely return to discover other cities too for example Busan ~
Anyway – the first thing we did after arriving in the south and after arriving by high speed train was this delicious goodiness of a Korean dish :
Korea is famous for its many hearty and spicy stews and this one was filled up with lots of fish and vegetables and ricecakes !
We visited a small village called 

Namhae

Upon arriving there I felt a very familiar atmosphere there . . . haha not really !
But it somehow looked very western ~
This stone is right at the gates of the small village and tells about the friendship between South Korea and Germany ( or some kind of relationship ) . In the past there used to be a deficit of laborers in Germany since everyone was busy building up the postwar cities . That was when a lot of South Korean went to Germany in order to feed their families back home and also help out in Germany .
The museum in Namhae talks about a lot of South Korean men working in Germany as workers in the coal mines ( which is actually in the area I live ) and women working as nurses .
As a thanks for all their hard work despite the distance seperating the workers from their families , South Korea built this German style village to honor them .
To make them feel comfortable once they return to South Korea .
I think it’s a really nice village and the view is astonishing .
If you are interested in staying short time in this village , you can simply book a stay in one of these cute German style house ~
After taking off from the cute village we visited a buddhist temple far away from cities and noises :
The Boriam Temple in Namhae is truely beautiful .
The walk to the top might be a little breathtaking . . . but the view from the top is sure to worth it !
I have seen a lot of beautiful temples so far and I must admit I am in love with religious places because I can sense the effort and detailing put into everything and the calmness . I just wish that in China there would be much less people and much less noise at such places so you could enjoy the atmosphere much more . . .
JUST LOOK AT THIS DETAILING !
I loooove it it’s so beautiful . I could stare at such patterns and corners for a long time and think about the logic and symbols haha ~
No joke . I would if I had the time I really would !
These eight stones we stapled upon each other in the hopes of a wish coming true .
It is said that upon visiting the temple and the mountain of the Boriam Temple one lifetime wish will come true .
Then you have to staple some stones upon each other and wish for it .
And to not got mainstream like the others with ending the stapling with 4-6 stones . . .
we thought we could make use of the holy number of 8 and staple 8 stones .
Don’t tell me it’s not about who got the most .
I just wanted to sho off my skills or whatever haha ~
After visiting some other beautiful spots ( which name I could not get due to non-english guide ) we had another feast ~
Looking at these foodographies from back then . . . I really wish I could have this again . . .
right now .
STARVING OVER HERE . . . . . .
The next big stop before heading back to Seoul and ending our entire South Korea trip was :

YEOSU

Beautiful beautiful Yeosu but I bet everything could have been much much more beautiful ( and enjoyable ) if only the weather would have been a little less cold .
I remember now with writing this :
Yeosu was about ten degrees warmer than Seoul haha ~
That being said . . . you should know Seoul was about -15 degree . . .
So as a matter of facts it was still too cold for me in Yeosu but I tried to enjoy it anyway !
These photos could look a little more lively after some editing coz obviously there was some light missing here and there :P
But having been there in person I can tell you – it was without a doubt a viewtiful scenery ~
This sign I found somewhere nearby a tourist spot I HAD to take a photo of .
Even at that time I already doubted a little that I would remember all the things I would eat in Korea .
This sign would tell me the names of the most famous local dishes there .
Guess I really did forget the names making this photo worth a lot to me haha ~
Sadly I can’t really remember the ingredients of some of these dishes haha ~
This last dinner in the south of South Korea was soooo good !
It was not in Yeosu but somewhere a little more to the north .
It was right opposite to a reservoir :
I remember paying 30000 Won per person ( which is a lot . . . ) but you could have all-u-can-eat of all the side dishes there !
And these side dishes were AWESOME !
Sooooo much seafood – I love seafood !
After this trip to South Korea I had to eat a lot of super healthy stuff to balance out the super salty and spicy dishes I had in Korea . . . with fruits n fruits n lots of fruits !
And good old chinese soups ~
We went back to Seoul after this dinner and visit of the reservoir .
The next day I got to meet up with a friend I know from back in Germany !
It was a coincidence that he would also visit Korea at that time and he just came from Busan etc. so we had the chance to meet in Seoul ~
We had a nice dinner with spicyyyy squid !
LOVE IT HAHA ~
After that we went to KTV ~
It was a spontaneous decision but it was funny all the way !
And this marks the end of my memorable visit of South Korea !
Finally got to wrap this up !
Look forward to my long-time-due JAPAN TRIP POSTS !
Coming shortly ~
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

travel journal part 4 : Seoul | This is Korea ! | Everland safari + Myeongdong Dog Cafe

Hello again ~

I really wanted to share two awesome experiences and places in Seoul that U NEED TO take a look at !

BEFORE I get to this incredibly cute little pug on the top half of this collage I want to tell u about my first ever safari experience which I was able to get at the

Everland Theme Park

 

which lies a little more outside of Seoul but can be reached with train and bus in an hour .
And ( again . . . ) if it weren’t that cold I would have enjoyed it sooo much more than I’ve already done back there .

But super cold weather ( the sun couldn’t possibly warm me up against the freezing wind ) + fast rides on rollercoasters or other attractions just don’t do anyone any good .

It was pretty surprising to me though that there were quite many people in the theme park !

I guess they all wanted to enjoy the really really cooool safari tours there ?

There was a tour with a bus to take a look at a lot of tigers and lions , snow lions , ligers , etc and I was a little afraid first . . .

but they didn’t move much so I was totally fine throughout the tour :)

It’s cool for someone like me who won’t ever get to countries where these animals are at home .

But I did keep in mind that they are held there against their will .

People may want to talk all they want against such an act and I truly DO NO support these things

BUT

it’s not like they hold the animals there and harm them .

People should raise more awareness against the killing of these animals and THAT doesn’t happen in zoos etc .

Instead they are fed all the time and get a lot of love from the staff .

And a lot of small children get to see such great animals in real life and get super excited and happy .

I think things like these also matter :)

First time I ever saw these animals in real life .
Might as well be the last I will ever get this close to them .
SUPER CLOSE .
This giraffes head was right above mine .
How I would have loved to pet it . . . ~
As I was freezing and trying my best to warm up but it was no use . . .
( sorry Geon for taking me to this wonderful place and sorry for being so sensitive to cold :( . . . )
we went back to Seoul and had something super healthy and yummy to warm up again !

Super good KIMCHI !

Of course it wasn’t the super yummy kimchi that warmed us up but the Ginseng Chicken !
I strongly recommend anyone to try Ginseng Chicken like this .
I love it because it’s super good for health and warms you up in cold winter days ~
I also tried this once in Beijing in Wangjing and it was super good there but this one was EVEN BETTER .
There are plenty of places to get this Korean dish so don’t miss it when you visit South Korea ! ! !
We also visited Myeongdong and had breakfast there :
Haha – I super duper rarely ever have breakfast . Instead my first meal of a day is lunch .
This is why sometimes I call this brunch :D
Anyway – it was a good meal ~
I like how in Korean restaurants they like to add some rice to what is left in the wok / bowl at the end and then fry it .
One thing I have to share with those of you who do not know of it :
the best part of these fried rice at the end is the rice that gets stuck on the wok / bowl and gets a little burned .

IT’S THE BEST PART coz it’s super crispy I LOVE IT ~

 

Roaming the streets of Myeongdong we set our eyes on a

Myeongdong Dog Café

which happens to be close to a cat café .
One can’t help but instantly fall deeply in love with those super cute and fluffy and cuddly dogs inside the café !
They were all so cute and it’s really cool and interesting how it’s not us visitors who get to choose the dog we want to cuddle and pet . . . no . . .
IT’S THE DOG WHO GETS TO CHOOSE !
Needs some amount of patience to get a decent photo with the dogs you like when they actually don’t want to stick with you ;A;
OH BUT I REALLY REALLY ADORED THIS LITTLE BUN HERE !

 

OH MY WHY IS HE SO CUTE ? ? ?
I don’t know why but I find pugs so cuuuuute ~

 

They had sooo many dogs but the three different sized pugs were my favourites ~

 

I guess they have a super relaxed life here at this dog café .
But most of them were picked of from the streets actually . . .
I really like how this café didn’t simply pick cute n good looking dogs but dogs that were in need !

 

I always wanted to raise a dog . . . after this experience my urge to want one has grown bigger . . .
I WANT ONE SO MUCH
So that’s it about Seoul I wanted to share with you :)
I had sooo much good food here hehe ~
Look forward to the last part of my Korea trip journal :
Yeosu + Namhae | This is Korea ! part 5

 

A visit to the south part of South Korea !
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

travel journal part 2 : Seoul | This is Korea ! | spa experience + Kwangjang Market

Hello everyone !

In this post I will tell you about my funny experience at the spa ( yea – like in Korean TV drama haha ) and at local markets like the Kwangjang Market ~
Oh yes I didn’t expect to be taken to the spa but we actually stayed over here since it really is cheaper than a hotel and this particular spa we stayed at is really good and well known .
Because it’s not tourist season ( too fcking cold I guess ) there weren’t many people at the spa which made the whole experience even more relaxing !

I couldn’t possibly get a picture to show you the bathing area but let me tell you it was really interesting .

I never went to a public bath before and so I was feeling a little uncomfortable getting completely undressed in front of all everyone ( women area of course ) and then going to the bathing area x.x
But the many bath tubs / water basins with different healthy and revitalizing substances really helped me forget about feeling awkward and made me want to stay all day haha ~

I guess the baths are the most valuable part of the spa but the institution actually had several floors !

Sooo many floors and rooms and areas – since everything was new to me everything was so interesting to me !
I am glad that there were only a few other guests so I could sneakily take some photos hehe ~
The above photo shows one of the main areas the meeting place where women and men can meet up again after their shower and bath in the lower level .
The following photo shows the cute entrances to some of the many fomentation rooms .
I actually never heard of the word ” fomentation ” before so I’m not sure if it is used correctly by them . I just hope it is . . . XD
The following photo is the the Red Clay Cave sleeping area in the top level .
I didn’t sleep here and – I didn’t sleep in the sleeping area at all .
I simply slept in one of the fomentation rooms which are quite small so that there are less people to disturb me sleeping ( by snoring or other noises ) .
Plus it was super cozy warm haha ~
After bathing you relax with some ice cold rice drink ( super refreshing ! ) and boiled egg which originally are boiled in the hot water tubs of a spa :D
Not the best dinner I had in Seoul being at the spa made it somewhat special anyway :
cold noodles + seaweed soup + lots of side dishes
Damn I just LOVE Korean side dishes .
One of the reasons I love Korean cuisine so much ~
Next morning we went to a market which is well known for its rice cakes ~
I looove korean rice cake and here they come in special styles :
Crispy hot and spicy or plain salted with oil honey coating .
I preferred the spicy one which may as well be more unhealthy haha ~
So I had a whole pot of this !
No way I could finish all this .
I had a much smaller plate XD
foodography, journal, korea, korean food, korean spa, kwangjang market, rice cake, seoul, south korea, travel, trip,
This is the glazy plain rice cake which is crispier than the spicy one .
Seeing this now while writing about it I want to have rice cake omg . . .
Another market I visited another day was really full of people and everyone was having traditional Korean pancake / pizza ( that’s how Geon called it ) and raw beef tartar and kimbap and a whole lot of fried veggies .
The fried pancakes were super oily but soooo crispy and good ~
They pre-fry this so you could chose to have them as take-away as they are cooled down or refry them so you can instantly enjoy them .
My friend introduced me to Yukhoe – spiced raw beef with eggyolk .
The taste was really good and it was much better than I thought it would be but I refrained from having too much of this x.x
I really like the market though there were so many people .
It can’t be compared to chinese markets and I like how the people would sit next to the stalls to enjoy freshly fried food served in front of them despite the cold weather .
How I would loooove to visit this place again . . . ~
I hope I can somehow learn to make that Korean pancake or the rice cake fried like that by myself !
Anywayyy – I really reaaaaally recommend you guys to visit the local markets to get cheap and yummy Korean food . You would miss something if you don’t !
Coming next is my 3rd part of the travel journal :
Seoul | This is Korea ! | Bukchon + Ihwa | villages of Seoul
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen

travel journal part 1 : Seoul | This is Korea ! | first impressions of South Korea

Hello everyone !

This will be the first part of the travel posts of South Korea ~
Since I got to see sooooo many things and took alot of photos I figured I should slowly tell you about my trip and I hope I will be finished with this by the time I get to Tokyo XDD !
Because after Tokyo there will be even more to tell you about and no I don’t want to procrastinate anymore . . . but I swear it was not on purpose ! I simply don’t have WIFI at home here in Hong Kong . . .
I finished editing all the headers for the upcoming posts though haha ~
6a6f8-seoul1

So let’s start with my first impressions of South Korea :D

I thought about telling you everything in chronological order but I don’t want to make this into a 8 part journal and rlly I could tell you so much but I spare you haha !

So I will make this into a chaotic 6 part travel journal ~So my very first thought once I stepped out of the airplane to hop onto a bus to transfer us to the terminal of Incheon International Airport was : COLD .

Cold as hell .
Cold as WTFH AM I DOING HERE ?
And I had this thought several times while walking around in the bitter cold urban area of Seoul .
Well all together I really really liked my trip in South Koreas capital BUT I could have enjoyed my stay soooo much more if it only weren’t that cold .

-15 C

I can’t remember a day when I had to endure this kind of weather before omg .
But I tried my very very veeery best to enjoy the time in Seoul despite freezing to death .
HOW I HATE COLD WEATHER .
I was super glad all the buildings were equipped with good heaters !
And while strolling around the streets there were many streetfood vendors to sell yummy food to warm you up ~

One of my favourite foods from this journey – Bungeoppang .

Sweet red bean filled fried fish shaped cakes which are similar to the japanese snack Taiyaki .

I was surprised at how cheap all the streetfood was because friends warned me of not expecting cheap prices from the food in Seoul .
Of course it’s not as cheap as in Beijing but I really expected european prices XD . . .
old style steamed korean buns
They are areas where food is more expensive though – areas where there are lots of tourists who don’t care of the prize :D
I don’t actually belong to this group but I couldn’t get around without buying this poop shaped Bungeoppang !
This single one costs exactly the same like three fish shaped Bungeoppang which are much more delicious btw .
Coming to Seoul one of the first stops was the Palace Gyeongbokgung .
Knowing the palace in Beijing and being an architecture student I have to apologize for comparing these two palaces .
I know they are so different and I rlly don’t want to say that the Chinese palace is much bigger but well that’s a fact haha but both are beautiful in their own way .
Korea is much smaller than China after all but this palace is reallz charming and I personally like the size of this palace much more ~
Directly opposite to the palace thrones King Sejong the Great who invented the Korean Alphabet Hangul for the mostly analphabetic population of Korea .
I totally agree that Chinese characters are simply too difficult 8D . . .
During my trip I got to know a lot about South Korean history in museums and from friends . Actually I knew about nothing before because at school I was only taught about european history and world war history and other big events for western people .
South Korea has comparatively little to do with Germany after all .
I just remember something I witnessed in front of the monument !
You know how Chinese people just LOVE to take photos of everything ?
There was a family taking photos with the statue and the three objects in front of it .
They even sat their little son onto one of the objects which may look comfortable to sit on but is actually one of the inventions King Sejong introduced and this particular one is for measuring the rainfall .
[ source : https://wendyroamingtheworld.wordpress.com ]
Facepalm .
All the way .
My friend told them that it is an important object and that one shouldn’t sit on it so they immediately got their little boy from it . Still feel sorry for their ignorance . . . 

Ok next topic – FOOOOOD !

I got to know a LOOOOT of good Korean food and to sum up my dining experience there : hot and spicy and sometimes also sweet .
Koreans love their red chilli pepper paste and most of the dishes I tried included the paste .
This makes Korean food very salty and thus a little unhealthy ( high blood pressure risk ) and adding sugar makes their dishes not only more likeable to eat but also quite high in calories .
You wouldn’t consider these things when enjoying Korean dishes haha ~
Since I rarely have Korean food I couldn’t care less about such facts and just enjoyed the food !
I visited several places and of them was a stylish style restaurant in Hongdae named

Hwatteok No1 Tasty Road in Korea

 and I loved both the interior design as well as the food there ~
We ordered the menu for two which was more than enough for us to feel super duper full .
One of my favourite dishes of the Korean cuisine is sweet n spicy squid !
This lobster baked with cheese topping looked fancier than it actually tasted .
Guess it was OK but since Seoul geographical situation towards the ocean / sea is similar to Beijing the seafood here can’t be too fresh AND cheap .
Me coming straight from Hong Kong knows how fresh seafood makes a HUGE difference !
Stay tuned for the 2nd part of this travel journal :
Seoul | This is Korea ! | spa experience + Kwangjang Market
lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen
 

special food post : URBAN KITCHEN Galaxy Macau | high class dinner buffet experience

Hello everyone !

This post will probably be one of my favorites and I am sooo excited to write n show you all the foodographies I took . . .
THIS WILL BE SUPER LONG AND SUPER RICH IN FOODOGRAPHIES !
 
 
I was in Macau again and this time we stayed at the JW Mariott Hotel at Galaxy Macau and heard about this expensive but ultimatively awesome buffet there where you have to book beforehand to get a table there .
I am talking about the buffet restaurant

URBAN KITCHEN

at the Galaxy Macau .
I wondered how could a buffet actually be so good that everyone seems to be craving it and waiting up to a month to dine there . . . so I had to try it myself to experience what all the hype is about !
One person in the evening costs about 600 HKD but everything including lots of drinks is included .
As I arrived there were already a lot of people dining and the atmosphere created due to so many people was pretty much like at a Chinese wedding haha ~
For those who don’t know : chinese wedding is too many people + so loud + soooo much food + very happy atmosphere :D
The staff and the restaurant itself were quite contrary to this messy crowd of hungry chinese were clean and neat and fine just like I would expect a high class restaurant to be like .
Quite unique for such a restaurant but rather average for a buffet restaurant I guess is the fact that the entire kitchen can be seen .
Open kitchen all the way . I REALLY like this ~
But the space in front of the buffet was comparatively small and at times it was hard to pass people queuing up for something .

Now let’s take a closer look the drinks they served :

They had this cool fruit juice bar where they offered a few freshly made juices in cute little bottles which I absolutely loved ~
Too sad I didn’t get to take a nice shot earlier so by the time I took the following photo most of the small bottles ( can be seen in the left side background ) were were gone . . .
Super refreshing and healthy drinks FTW !
Besides the cafébar where one could order any drink you could order at a café they also displayed these :
For those who don’t know : HK people love their black milk tea and I tell you it is very different from simple milk tea I get in Germany . The difference is made by the tea which is no English breakfast tea but has a different aroma – I would even say it’s no black tea . . . or maybe I never knew and it simply is no black tea 8D . . .
This nice looking assortment of teas I guess no one touched haha ~
No let’s move on to the main part : the food !

First off the appetizers ~

They offered a handful of fancy looking aperitifs that only few people seemed to be interested in .
The shrimp I did not try but only gazed at because I got another plate full of much bigger shrimp later haha :D
There was a sign next to these tiny plates stating this is ” Gravlax “
I tell you I love gravlax and have eaten it several times back in Germany .
It is raw salmon cured in a mixture of salt + sugar + dill .
Somehow I doubted that this is gravlax because I saw no tiny hint of dill on any of these gravlax plates and the dill makes the difference SRSLY .
I guess they looked pretty cute and fancy but the taste was nothing special :D
The squid I tried was simply boiled then cooled down and cut into thin slices to top those with a sweet and spicy sauce which many people are familiar with as ” asian chicken sauce ” .
I kind of liked the tuna though which seems to be just barely roasted on the outside then cut into sashimi-like slices and served with black pepper mushrooms and some sort of paste which had a nutty taste .
I guess the main reasons for that is the small portion ( oh yea that’s how appetizers are but chinese do not appreciate that ) and the fact that these were displayed right opposite to an assortment of seafood like lobster & giant sea crab & oyster & abalone . . . and so much more ~

Speaking of which – here comes the main food !

They offered mainly seafood and I guess that’s the main attraction of this buffet and also what makes chinese hype this buffet .
I mean . . . ALL U CAN EAT SEAFOOD .
Fresh oyster cracked open right before your eyes omg .
But I had better and bigger ones back in Germany hehe ~
I guess I arrived at seafood heaven .
But I don’t like cold dishes too much when it comes to seafood .
Unless it is raw / uncooked like sashimi or sushi , of course !
The sushi bar specialized on serving sashimi – who needs the extra portion rice that stuffs you way too quickly when there is still so much left to try and eat ?
I really really liked the freshly cooked abalone sea cucumber rice porridge soup and recommend this to anyone .
Though only cooked for barely 10 minutes ( I bet any minute more would improve the taste and especially the consistency of the rice porridge soup ) the taste is nice and rich .
It is different from the rice porridge soups I usually have which are cooked for at low temperature to combine the sea cucumber soup with the rice and create a thick consistency .
This one is still a soup with rice added .
Still good ~
I wish I could have this every day . . .
They also served an enormous amount of lobster claws !
But . . . I tried some and only the big ones were OK .
They were actually frozen and after thawing lobster meat tends to have a texture which is similar to rubber .
YUM .
This in a layer of salt and spices oven roasted salmon was already a mess by the time I had the chance to take a photo . . . the taste though was still good .
I just prefer it fresh out of the oven more .
Fresh out of the oven just like this piece of Argentinian ribeye roast ! ! !
Cut and served in thin slices with a black pepper sauce it’s the only dish to truly satisfy a meat lover haha ~
Some more photos to show you what else they had to offer :

Next and also last part of this buffet : the dessert ~

Haha I know it is a lot . . . and I can tell you . . . most of them are soooo good !
How I know ?
Hehe . . .
I love sweets too much ~
I always have extra space in my tummy for sweets !
I tried to place all the dessert picks I had very carefully onto the plates to make these photos ~
How do you like them :3 ? ?
I highlighted the ones I really liked ~
 Brownie cake + cheese cake + portuguese egg tart + fruit/herbal jelly + small choux de la creme with chocolate cover + coconut cake pop + bread n butter pudding with custard sauce 
 An assortment of fruits with coconut softice and fresh crepe 
And now to my last plate of this feast :
 death by chocolate cake + mango cheese cake + citron cream cake + jelly with goji berries + apricot cake with pistachios + apple pie + serradura 
Oh yea Serradura is soooo good .
For those who don’t know this dessert – it’s a macanese / Macau dessert dish which you should definitely try when you have the chance or simply make it yourself – it’s super easy !As you can see I had so much food and I swear to you . . . I did feel super duper bad for eating so much when I worked so hard to lose weight haha . . .

YOLO so f**k that and just enjoy what can be enjoyed now haha ~

I will keep on with my workout and try to eat less the next days before I visit Seoul :3

OMG SEOUL YES .

I can’t wait to visit that city !

One week there – I’ll make sure to take lots n lots of photos and foodographies ~ !

lots ‘n’ lots of love ~
~jen