South Korea 2016 Day 2: Palaces, Coffee, Lanterns, & Food Trucks

Seafood feast in Gangneung

Seafood feast with fresh fish soup and seafood by the ocean in Gangneung!

Day 2 Korea.  Sept. 15, 2016

Today was a really great second day in the land of kimchi and palaces (got to eat/see both of those today)!

In the morning, we locked up our hanok VERY securely with one of the primitive forms of lock and key — a chain with a stick 😂 — and then headed to the little cafe called Café Lee Mong right in the Gangneung Seongyojang village that was open to the public for free today thanks to it being a public holiday.  We each got a drink and had a breakfast of mooncakes and Korean pastries (to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival) before we headed on our way to another hanok village, but which was much bigger and had more historical significance.

Gangneung Seongyojang Hanok Stay

Folding up our belongings before we headed out for the day

Gangneung Seongyojang Hanok Stay

Our “hotel”

Café Lee Mong

The inside of Café Lee Mong

Hong Kong mooncakes

We brought our Hong Kong mooncakes! It worked out well since it was our breakfast 😛

Café Lee Mong

It was really nice to have breakfast there that morning; really serene and peaceful

Pine City Gangneung stone

Entrance to Pine City Gangneung

This was called “Wu Chok Kai” and featured not only a well known artist’s work and life but black bamboo shoots too.  It was a very sunny day but it came with a refreshing breeze that made the day nice to explore in.

Wu Chok Kai entrance

Entrance into the hanok village, Wu Chok Kai

hanok map

Map of the hanok


 Turtle inside Hanok



It was so nice inside!


Hanok sculpture

Not sure what this meant; didn’t read it lol

 Pots at hanok

Find me within the pots!


After some photos of the palaces, museum, artifacts, and more posing (it really was scenic and gorgeous there), we took a cab to ‘Coffee Street’, a place famous for its coffee and coffee shops in Gangneung.

When we got there, the beach was view-able from the road.  We spotted a small vendor selling snacks and impulsively ordered some “Welldome assorted skewers” and a shaved ice dessert to share.

Assorted skewers from Welldome

Assorted skewers from Welldome

The Welldome assorted skewer had squid balls, chicken, shrimp, squid, and some type of spicy fish balls on it.  It was okay but the shrimp’s firm texture definitely stood out.

Welldome assorted skewer

Welldome assorted skewer

The shaved ice was covered with red bean, sugar, cherries, and jellos.  The shaved ice were in big chunks which made it refreshing and the red bean topping was quite sweet.

Shaved ice

Shaved ice

Then, we wandered around to a large seafood market which happened to act as a restaurant on the second level.  There were a lot of live fish, crabs, and different types of sea life kept in tanks that I hadn’t seen before, including a bright red one that looked like a stunted eggplant (lol).

 Entrance of seafood market

Entrance of seafood market

seafood market and restaurant

It was a large complex


seafood market

You can pick your seafood and then ask them to make it for you upstairs at the restaurant

seafood market

So many fresh sealife!


 Sea squirts

Sea squirts

We wandered upstairs to the second floor to inquire about their prices and how the seafood would be prepared – cooked or raw.  Once we got an answer, we took a seat and had a really fresh seafood meal! (!!!!)

  Seafood restaurant

Their second floor restaurant was really big!


business card of the seafood restaurant

The business card of the restaurant

 seafood restaurant menu and prices

Menu and prices


Our table was another sitting-on-the-floor-type ones where you had to take off your shoes first.  The server lined our table with banchan, a large pot with the fish and soup in it, and also a plate of the red sea life all cut up ready to be boiled in the hot soup to be eaten.



This was a fantastic seafood feast!!

spicy seafood soup

Our seafood soup with spice

 Enjoying a seafood feast

Selfie before eating!


After we had tasted some of the boiled fish and delicious soup, we were served with the crab, crab legs, and mollusks.  The crab was incredibly fresh and freshly sweet.  The mollusks were also meaty and fresh too.

 spicy seafood hot pot

Waiting for it to boil

 spicy seafood hot pot

Once it starts boiling, you can start eating!


Raw crab and conches

Raw crab and conches!

 Fresh seafood feast

Everything was so fresh!


I ended up really enjoying the red sealife… I need to find out its name.  (Found out it’s called a sea squirt!)

 Raw sea squirt

Raw sea squirt on a platter. You can also dip it into the hot pot if you want to eat it cooked

 finishing up the seafood feast

The aftermath of our feast :9


After finishing off the food on our table, we waved goodbye to this nice seafood spot we discovered on a whim and strolled down ‘Coffee Street’.

There were rows among rows of coffee shops, ranging from the omnipresent Starbucks to a popular chain Hollys Coffee to Coffee Cuppers to more unique coffee houses featuring freshly roasted coffee and homemade cakes.

Coffee Street buildings

Some of the buildings as we walked by Coffee Street

 beach beside Coffee Street

Coffee Street faced the beach


 beach beside Coffee Street

It was a rather gloomy day actually

By now, the sunniness had transpired and it was cloudy.  There was still a nice gentle cool breeze which made it so nice to walk around to.

There was a big ‘coffee cup and coffee beans’ structure right on the beach and some exercise equipment on the beach on a patio for anyone to get a good workout in.  It was fun!

 Coffee Street giant cup

Look at this giant cup with coffee beans in it!

Exercise equipment on the beach

Exercise equipment on the beach


 trees on the beach

These trees were nice for taking photos with


We couldn’t leave this part of Gangneung without having a cup of coffee, thus we sat on the second floor patio of Coffee Cuppers and enjoyed a pretty cafe latte.  (I regret not getting a piece of cake with my coffee after walking out to enjoy the more true experience of coffee and cake in Korea.  Ah well).  It was really nice still; the latte wasn’t strong in caffeine and I liked its smooth taste — drank it down like water.

Coffee Cuppers business card

Coffee Cuppers’s business card

Coffee Cuppers first level

Their first-floor had some seats and the ordering counter


Coffee Cuppers coffee

Coffee art!

Coffee Cuppers coffee patio

The patio where we sat and enjoyed the view

By this point, it was getting late and we still had one more destination to go to.  We hopped onto another taxi (only the third one brave enough to take four of us in one car) to head to the second annual Ohsaekdalbit Culture Night.  It looked like a mid-autumn festival celebration even though I know Koreans celebrate Thanksgiving here instead.

pink sunset

Beautiful pink sunset!

Ohsaekdalbit Culture Night logo

Logo for the Ohsaekdalbit Culture Night

There were a lot of people in the park area and we were able to even borrow a free lantern to play with/take photos with.  It was so nice!

Ohsaekdalbit Culture Night lanterns

Lanterns for Ohsaekdalbit Culture Night 2016

Ohsaekdalbit Culture Night lanterns

This was so cool!


There was a traditional tea ceremony too which we peeked into.

traditional tea ceremony

A traditional tea ceremony

Then, we returned the lanterns and headed to the night market and food trucks (!).  Dinner time!

The small night market spanned one street where they sold everything from drinks (in a lightbulb) to jewellery to tea to decoratives and more.  It was rowdy but in a very controlled way since everyone was walking down one way (not like usual night markets).  I could see the lake in the distance.  It was beautiful and so calm.

 Night market

Night market

 Night market vendors

Odds and ends for sale


Then we approached the open field where there was some sort of performance happening, people sending floating lanterns into the sky, and of course, the food trucks (!)

 Korean traditional wear fashion show

There was a fashion show of some sort going on where they displayed various Korean-style dress


 Korean traditional wear fashion show

The little kids were so cute in the traditional wear!

We tried out a dish from every food truck that was there — there were only four.  Every menu was written in Korean so I couldn’t understand what we were ordering.. until we got it in hand.  We tried a squid and cabbage dish, Spicy rice cakes, fried soft tofu, and jook.

 Food truck vendor food

We actually ate from nearly every food truck vendor!

The raw squid and cabbage salad had ample squid in it, that when mixed with the hot sauce, made it quite a terrific meal.  However, I tried not to eat too much of the squid since I was mindful of my cholesterol intake.

The spicy korean rice cakes had fewer quantity in the cup than I expected.  Regardless of that, the rice cakes were very chewy and firm.  I liked the well-made sauce too.

The fried soft tofu was a surprise favourite.  It was just lightly fried and so its insides were still really soft and tasted fresh.  It was covered with a slightly sweet sauce that I couldn’t place my finger on.

The jook, Korean congee, as I had later learned about from my friend after not knowing what it was at first tasted really good!  It was like comfort food.

There was seaweed on top of porridge-like soup with mushy rice cake consistency plumps and king oyster mushrooms.  It was so good and I loved the taste of the seaweed in it.

I saw some floating lanterns being sent up in the air which was pretty neat too.  I thought they only did those in Thailand (lol).

Luckily, we were only 15-20 minutes walking distance from our hanok home and had a great time doing so to get home.

 enjoying Ohsaekdalbit Culture Night

There were a lot of people enjoying the autumn night 🙂

I took so many photos today: food, landscape, selfies, and the like.  Tonight is our last night in the hanok stay.  We leave Gangneung tomorrow and head to another city in Korea!  Until the next post! 🙂

[View the blog posts of the rest of the trip:  Day 1, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6.]

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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11 Responses to South Korea 2016 Day 2: Palaces, Coffee, Lanterns, & Food Trucks

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  7. Felicia says:

    may I ask how much does it cost for seafood lunch?
    I read some blogs, but I can’t find nor guessing how much they cost 🙂
    How does it compared to having seafood in restaurant?

    Thank you


    • stenoodie says:

      Hi Felicia!

      I had been meaning to update the post with the photo of the menu and business card of the seafood restaurant that we went to and now that you’ve asked this question, I have done so. Please see my post again and you will see the photo of the prices of the menu at the seafood restaurant. I hope it helps! 🙂

      • Felicia says:

        Hi, thank you so much for the update. It helps a lot.
        It takes time to read and translate the menu, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out anyway 🙂

        Have a great day:)

      • stenoodie says:

        You’re very welcome, Felicia! I uploaded some more photos too. 🙂 I had been meaning to do it for a whilte but it slipped my mind and I’m glad your question came at a good time for me to do it. Have a wonderful day too! 🙂

  8. Pingback: Tasting Korean Bingsu at Dear & Fro | stenoodie

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