Day 6 Korea. Sept 19, 2016.
It was the last day in Korea today in 2016. I’m typing this out on the way flying back to Hong Kong. I’m so sad to leave! These past 7 days were quite eventful and I enjoyed a lot of different dishes! 😀 😀
I woke up at 8:30 a.m. again and we packed up all our luggage to check out of the hotel. I really liked how Loisir Hotel had these big lockers for you to keep your luggage in place. Instead of the usual bellboy who will take your luggage to a room for safe keeping in exchange for a tag, it was all self automated here. It was super easy and high tech too!
At the machine, you would select “insert package”, choose a locker from the map that showed available and unavailable lockers, input a 4-digit passcode, and the corresponding locker’s door would automatically pop open (it reminded me of the automatic doors opening when playing escape games). Then once the locker’s door was open, you would put your luggage/personal belongings inside, close the door, and its light will change from blue to red. It was so cool and easy peasy! 😀
Once our luggage were locked up, we proceeded to Myeong-dong street to find Baeyke Samgyetang for some authentic and traditional ginseng chicken soup!!
We walked into the restaurant just before 11. The staff here spoke Mandarin (just like how most of the other shopkeepers and workers in Myeong-dong). It was a nice and spacious restaurant.
We ordered two ginseng chicken broths to share (that was essentially the only items on the menu). One was the Samgyet’ang (ginseng chicken broth) and the other was Ogolgyet’ang (black chicken broth with wild ginseng).
Some banchan arrived first: kimchi, fermented garlic cloves, and fermented cubed radish.
The two stone pots of chicken broth arrived shortly. Mmm, it smelled good and the sight of the boiling soup mandated a video.
It was fun to dig into the hot soup and use the chopsticks and spoon to pry open the black chicken and eat the pearl rice embedded into the body of the chicken. The soup of the Ogolgyet’ang was stronger in taste than the Samgyet’ang. However, the Samgyet’ang was still good since its chicken soup was more clear and refreshing.
I was eating my Ogolgyet’ang and had just unearthed the large ginseng stem within the rice when I suddenly pried open the chicken more to reveal a dead fly floating in the soup (!!!). Aiya.
You know, the good thing is that I am not squeamish about these things. I’ve picked out human hairs out of the food that I’ve eaten before and sometimes informed the restaurant staff, sometimes not. In this case, I scooped out the carcass and we waved down the server. She apologized and asked if I would like a new bowl. I said yes.
It took a few minutes for the new bowl of Ogolgyet’ang to arrive. This bowl contained a bigger chicken and it actually tasted way more tender than my first bowl. Yum! However, since I had already poured the ginseng wine into the first bowl, this one lacked the ginseng taste a bit. I did really enjoy the wild ginseng, however. It was finely chopped and tasted so soft and delicious on its own.
Also, the big ginseng stem in the chicken’s hollows was very rich in flavour and definitely delicious!
The restaurant had free wifi too. There were a lot of customers dining in as well! (Probably a lot were tourists though.)
After finishing our food, we shopped around on the streets of Myeong-dong for the final time since we’d be leaving to go to the airport shortly.
We went back to Loisir Hotel at 2:30 p.m., took our luggage out of the lockers (easy process to take them out too using the previously set passcode), and then went to Myeong-dong station exit 8 to board the Airport Bus to Incheon International Airport.
This 6015 route bus to the airport was very well organized. There was a big sign on the road showing “Airport Bus” and even two gentleman in uniform to direct us. It would take 80 minutes from that point to get to the airport. It cost 15,000 won for the trip. Really cheap and efficient!
We were told that the bus comes every 10 minutes and indeed it was very prompt! After less than 5 minutes waiting there, the airport bus had arrived.
It was such a treat that the gentlemen in uniform helped us to load our luggage onto the undercarriage of the bus too. So awesome! 🙂
The bus was so very prompt because we arrived there in exactly the 80 minutes as indicated. So impressive! The bus was so spacious and comfy too. My mom and I fell asleep into a deep restful sleep almost immediately. We arrived at Incheon International Airport at 4:10 p.m.
We met up with our friends and checked into our flight and dropped off our luggage. Once done, it was time for food again! 😀
We went to Somoon, a Korean and Japanese restaurant. (I was so impressed with the number of restaurants and the variety of cuisines at the airport!)
We ordered a Bulgogi Bibimbap set that included a Grilled Low Salted Mackerel and a Fresh Abalone Rice Porridge.
Service was fast here as we were in an airport and there’s no way it would make sense for the food to arrive in a slow pace. Mmmmm, I loved how both dinner sets included four banchan and soup. The banchan here was to die for — on-point kimchi, bean sprouts, macaroni with corn, and pickled radish. It was delish! Even the soup was hot and tasty.
As usual, my mom and I shared everything. The Fresh Abalone Rice Porridge was thick and dense. It was topped with some dry seaweed. The rice porridge definitely was made with abalone and there were a few chunks of it in the rice porridge too.
The Bulgogi Bibimbap was different than what I expected. Instead of a hot stone pot with an egg in the middle, this one was served cold and lacked an egg.
After scrapping the red spicy paste onto the bowl and mixing it up, it resembled a very healthy salad with bulgogi beef since there were so many veggies and had a tart vinaigrette.
Eating it by itself was refreshing but it was even more delicious with rice! Oh man, heaven in my mouth! I wasn’t expecting to eat such great food at the airport. 🙂
The Grilled Low Salted Mackerel was just as perfect. It was the epitome of a grilled fish done well. Its meat was firm yet tender with just enough season. It can simply be one of the best mackerel I’ve ever had! ^_^
Once we were done eating, we headed over to the “Gourmet Dessert” food court where there were many dessert vendors. I immediately recognized Alaska Lab to serve nitrogen ice cream.
The Natural Handmade Dessert vendor captured my attention. I wanted a small portion of some type of local ice cream and this definitely fit the bill.
We ordered one Sobok Ice Cream. After paying, we were given a tracker and found a place to sit. A girl came out several seconds later to give us our dessert.
I’m not exactly sure what Sobok Ice Cream contains, but it resembled tofu ice cream with a smooth but non-descript flavour. There were also a chrysanthemum flower, honey, mochi, and an ice cream ball befitting the dessert.
I was glad that it wasn’t sweet like a traditional ice cream. It was very tasty! 🙂
At 7 p.m., we went through customs and straight to gate 48 (originally 50). Along the way to the gate, Kung Fu Panda had some photo ops for us. We had some fun with this :p.
Boarding time was 7:40 and departure at 8:10 p.m. We didn’t actually start flying until close to 9:30 p.m.
As I mentioned before, what an absolutely delightful 6 days of sightseeing, eating, and exploring in Gangneung and Myeong-dong this time around. I’m very grateful for the opportunity. 🙂
Let’s see when I return back to South Korea again for a fourth trip!