Monday, September 24, 2012

she's got Seoul

The past month has flown by! I just got back to Nashville after a wonderful week in Phili, DC, Hershey and Lancaster. I was able to see great friends in my favorite cities and visit with family. I am happy to be home though and now need to catch up on my Asia blog entries!
...after we left Taipei, we headed to Seoul, Korea, arriving at Incheon International Airport. A colleague, whose family is from Korea, suggested we have a Korean Barbecue dinner and it was absolutely delicious.

This dinner was fantastic. The grill was in the center of the table, and we had beef and pork belly with assorted vegetables, noodles and sauces. The Korean women can definitely be a bit motherly, coming around encouraging us to clean our plates and making sure our glasses were full. We (of course) had kimchee, a Korean dish of fermented cabbage in a spicy marinade. As the meat cooked, we pulled off pieces and assembled lettuce wraps with chili sauces, kimchee and onions - so tasty!
No matter where we went, we always figured out how to order beer. We also enjoyed some Soju, traditional Korean rice liqour (almost similar to Japanese Sake).Our schedule allowed for a free day in Seoul, and we visited Gyeongbokgung Palace (Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven) and Jongmyo Shrine. The Palace was built in 1395 and was sadly destroyed during Japanese occupations throughout hundreds of years. Jongmyo Shrine is where the spirit tablets of deceased kings and queens are housed. According to Confusian beliefs, this shrine was built to the East of the Royal Palace (also built in 1395 - apparently, a big year for Seoul).
Gyeongbokgung PalaceWe had a great day touring and were able to do a bit of shopping at the market. We also had an (incredibly) authentic lunch that was perhaps a bit too authentic for most of us. As one would imagine, we did find some good beverage options.
beer = maekju
After a few long days, my friends Kelly and Christine and I wanted a nice relaxing evening at our hotel (Millennium Seoul Hilton). A girls night was definitely in order as we closed in on a week on the road. We enjoyed the complimentary lounge at the Hilton and had a good Italian dinner in the hotel. 

We topped off the night we a delicious cocktail, She's got Seoul - equal parts vodka and ginger ale, wedge of lemon and one ice cube. Seoul was great and after a few days we headed off to the highlight of the trip (for me), China!

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