Day 3 Korea. Sept 16, 2016
Woke up early at 6:20 a.m. to get ready with ample time to spare. Packed our stuff since we were going to be checking out of this hanok and headed to the breakfast hall at 8:30 a.m. to eat.
We chose a western style table to eat. Breakfast consisted of soft tofu, rice, banchan of fish, kimchi, eggplant, beansprouts, pickles. It was a great breakfast!
(Traditional Food Experience Hall: this restaurant serves traditional Korean dishes cooked according to family recipes handed down in Seongyojang for over 300 years. It was built in 2006 as part of the tour resource development project, along with the Korea Traditional Culture Experience Hall.)
We checked out of the Seongyojang, took a photo of the nice lady who helped us out the past two days and then took a taxi to Goodstay Soo Motel which apparently was just a short drive away.
We checked in, saw the huge hotel rooms with a great view of the ocean, and then the friends arranged to have a taxi come be our personal driver for half a day.
We rode in two taxi’s. It dropped us off at the Jumunjin Dried Fish Market where we talked to several fishermen and settled/tried to bargain for a seafood lunch. I don’t know the names of the fish we got but we got one regular fish, a
flatfish olive flounder, two abalones, and a scallop.
We settled in on a floor table and then enjoyed our lunch. It was substantial with the fish soup (no spice this time), sashimi fish, sashimi abalone, and scallops too. The fish soup was indeed fresh! We started off with a seaweed soup.
Looking back, the guy kind of ripped us off since it didn’t make sense to bill us for five people’s worth of seafood. It should have been priced per item per pound and then an additional small fee added for the soup + banchan + rice. Ah well.
Before we hopped back onto the waiting taxis, we strolled to one of the shops at the Jumunjin Dried Fish Market. The entire street was lined with dried seafood products hanging out in full display. I saw some dried hammerhead sharks, lots of varieties of small fish, and more. We tried a tea called Maesil Tea from one of the shops which tasted very good.
We hopped onto the taxi, reached the Gangneung Unification Park, took a few REALLY quick photos outside, and left (since it wasn’t worth it to get off to see it).
Next up, we reached a temple and took some photos and a look around.
The third stop was the Haslla Art World. There was a large couple sculpture standing at the entrance of the museum which looked nice. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we didn’t actually get to admit inside to see everything.
The last pit stop was at the windmills. There was a bridge, train, and gigantic windmills. It was cute but I didn’t get the significance behind it.
By this point, it was already 3:30 p.m. and we had to head back to the hotel as our agreement with the taxis was only for service until 4 p.m.
Back at Goodstay Soo Motel, our friends opted to take a nap and rest before dinner while my mom and I decided to stroll Gyeongpo Beach.
Wow, it was a really nice beach — a sandbank between Gangneung Lake and the ocean. Since it was Chuseok holiday in Korea, there were lots of people and families milling about, especially near the water park. We strolled the entire boardwalk, took photos with a tree sculpture, and got lucky with a swing set to enjoy. It was the perfect weather out and just a tad gloomy.
By 7 p.m., we returned back to the motel to rendezvous our friends and walked outside in search of dinner. Our hotel was located right off the boardwalk and the street was full of seafood restaurants!
There were a ton of patio restaurants with customers seen enjoying seafood in the open air. We settled on the restaurant with the most water tanks out front (and four crabs on its signage).
For dinner, we had barbecue scallops, clams, and shrimp. It was an open fire grill so you had to be careful because when the clams started to open up and sizzle — the hot steam could splash you.
The scallops, clams, and shrimp indeed were so fresh and tasted “sweet”. There was a ketchup cheese sauce too that went well with the seafood.
The banchan included imitation crab meat, corn and macaroni salad, seaweed, and squid.
After the barbecuing, we filled the rest of our stomachs with another fish soup. This fish broth was also refreshing and fresh, but wasn’t too dissimilar to the one we had in the afternoon for lunch.
After dinner, we walked out onto the boardwalk and there were lots of families enjoying their Chuseok festival by lighting fireworks and sending sky lanterns into the air. I watched from afar and lived vicariously through them — I’ve flown a sky lantern before for a friend’s birthday celebration but since then wouldn’t voluntarily send another one up into the sky because of its hazards to the environment.
It was a beautiful night and it was fun watching some families succeed with sending their sky lanterns off while others were not so successful.
It was a good Day 3 in Korea but definitely not as action-packed as the first two days. Tomorrow, we leave Gangneung for good and head to Seoul! 🙂