Monday, November 30, 2015

Hello from Korea!

Anyeong from Korea and Happy late Thanksgiving! It's super freezing here - I've never been this cold! These past few days have been 20-25°F, and after being spoiled by the warm California weather, I was definitely not ready for this. 

To try and stay warm I packed a lot sweaters, my H&M jacket (here), and my blue J.Crew jacket. Unfortunately the XS petite size doesn't allow for much layering since it's form fitting, so I couldn't really move my arms and shoulders much after layering on a few sweaters. However, it really does help block out the wind. So a note for you ladies who are planning to endure weather below 30°F, get a size up to account for layering. I went on a hunt for a warmer jacket that also fit nicely and ended up finding a long down coat from Uniqlo that was super comfortable and fit perfectly!

On our first day we headed to Gyeong Bok Gung, the main royal palace of the Joseon Dynasty. It was similar to the Forbidden City in Beijing but on a smaller scale. I wish it wasn't so cold as I would of loved to enjoy the picturesque gardens and walkways a bit longer.
Outfit: Corso Como Laura Over the Knee Boots (here), Ann Taylor scarf (here), J.CREW peacoat (here), Uniqlo (mentioned here) and Tory Burch Kira Quilted Crossbody Bag (here)

Our first meal to warm us up from the cold was this boiling pork ramen which consisted of pork sausage and intestines. The broth was very rich and definitely didn't taste artificial like something from a soup packet. A good hearty meal for only 6,000 won (around $6)!
These boots were very snug with socks. I went a half size below (5.5) and it was a bit too snug (especially if you're going to be walking a lot) so it would be nice for your feet to have some room to move around in. I bought grey ones in my original size 6 and it felt more comfortable with all the heavy walking. The back is expandable to accommodate an array of calve sizes. I felt it hugged my calves quite nicely without any of the extra bulk.  
Such a beautiful picturesque garden walkway
Jaseongdang Hall - The living headquarters of the crown prince and princess 
The only way to stay warm :)
Sweet delicacies for the royal court
 Royal dining room
Geunjeongjeon Hall - The throne hall  
 The Emperor's throne

Gwanghwamun main entrance
For lunch, I met up with an old college friend who took us to a local bibimbap restaurant off the beaten path called Yu-harmoni Bibimbap near Namdaemun. All the ingredients are organic, fresh, and high quality. For some extra table presentation, the waitress adds a dash of sesame oil to enhance the flavor right before you eat it. It tasted healthier than the ones I've had before and the sauce you mix in was flavorful while not overpowering the freshness of the vegetables. I usually don't like bibimbap but this one is the best I've had so far!
Lunch rush hour in Namdaemun
The best Hotteoki (Korean pancake) according to my friend and it truly was! Definitely one of the best street foods I've had. It was filled with Japchae (glass noodles) and vegetables.
Bustling MyeongDong at night
Found a yummy street food that consisted of a steamed egg in a sweet buttery cake
The best Mandu in Seoul located right near the entrance of Namdaemun Market. A friend recommended it to be me and it was very delicious - I haven't had anything quite like it. It looks like a steamed bun but the skin is thin like a dumpling. The lines were quite long but service was fast and efficient. 

We originally only wanted to get 1 each to try, but they told me they only sell them in sets of 5 so we were "forced" to indulge. I also asked them if it was beef inside, and the lady told me there was no beef served in Korea lol.
Here is the name of the place for those visiting Korea!
Definitely couldn't miss out on bbq in Korea! The vent was small, powerful, and attached to a telescoping arm so you could raise and lower it based on how much smoke is coming out. It was very effective in capturing most of smell so you smell less like meat then you usually do when eating kbbq. They should definitely have this in the states!
This is Uniqlo jacket (here) that I mentioned earlier. It's light and incredibly warm, and the fit isn't oversized or too long. I'm usually not a fan of puffy long down jackets but this one was a good buy and I'll be wearing it for many winters to come. These Corso Como over the knee boots (here) were comfortable in my regular size 6 compared to the black ones I wore earlier.
Night lights in Gangnam! Everyone here walks around like Psy (not really).
We couldn't leave without trying some Korean fried chicken and beer (Chi-maek). The batter had some herbs in it which gives it it's green color - very tasty!
The LINE chat store!
Locks of love at Namsan Tower
We left our lock!
Another hearty warm meal - Tteobokki (korean long rice cakes) with ramen. We headed to Tteobokki street in Dongdaemun and this meal really hit the spot.
MyeongDeong Kyoja - This is by far the best meal we had in Korea. We actually had this twice! It was that good. They're famous for their noodles, it's smooth and the meaty soup compliments it well. The trick here is to only order one bowl of noodles since they offer free refills on the noodles.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! I'm excited to check Cyber Monday, hopefully I'll snag some amazing deals. 


  1. Looks like you had a lot of fun in Korea! :D Haha the LINE store is so cute! <3 Seoul during the holiday season must be so festive! Loving all of your photos! And of course, Happy Belated Thanksgiving to you too!

    XO, Elizabeth

  2. A fav country for me, was a bit too cold but we enjoyed it a lot too. Missing Korea too.