Preparation

Before going to Korea, we’ve gotta be prepared with apps.

Google Maps does not work in South Korea (surprise surprise).

  1. Download KakaoMap. It’s the Google Maps alternative. Wherever you homestay, remember to set it as “Home”.
  2. Download MangoPlate. It’s the Foursquare equivalent for food. Since half the app is in Korean, I decide on food based on stars and pictures taken.
  3. Download Subway Korea. A comprehensive way to get around Seoul by switching trains and bus rides. There’s a need to read carefully.
  4. Download KakaoTalk. It’s the Whatsapp of Korea. Register your local phone at home base first!
  5. Download Google Translate. Useful when chicken and duck tries to converse.
  6. INTERNET. Get a WiFi Egg, preferably unlimited data. Klook has flexible plans (as opposed to SIM cards). They last 8 hours of heavy usage. Get 2 if necessary as sometimes my wife and I shop separately. Best decision of the trip.

Arriving to a homestay in Seoul, we head out exploring immediately. First stop, Noodle House for a quick lunch. First taste of Korean food, and first taste of how expensive food there is after conversion.

I learned how to do quick conversions.

  1. How much is ₩10000?
  2. Remove the last 3 zeroes and it’ll be USD10.
  3. USD to RM is x4.
  4. So ₩10000 is about RM40.

Hope our currency improves soon.

안맵게 해주세요 아기가 먹을거예요

An mapge haejuseyo agiga meokeulgeoyoeyo

If you have a kid like mine who thinks black pepper is already spicy, save the phrase above to ask if they have food that is non-spicy.

Internet WiFi Egg

Noodle House in Seoul

Cold Noodles ₩7000 (USD7, RM24)

Generally the food in Korea got standard one. Taste will vary but quite acceptable… remember to use MangoPlate for food suggestions if available.

Next stop is CU. CU is like the 7-Eleven of Malaysia. But better. Because they run 2+1 promotions (Buy 2 get 1 free). Life saver I tell you. And the variety is fabulous. Coupled with the inability to read Korean, everything in the store is like a new product.

A safe bet is, if you chance upon a local trying something you would fancy, it’s probably worth trying it yourself. I found frozen milkshake that you can slurp as it slowly defrost.

CU Convenient Store

First Haul at CU

AirBNB

Lonely Dark Alley @ Hong Ik University Station

This is where we live. One of the blocks. But it’s surprisingly safe to roam around even at 1am in the morning. Their doors are equipped with keypad password. Mine was **** 😉

Loving Korea by the minute!

BBQ Dinner

Ending the day with BBQ Dinner.

What I love :

  • Kids eat free.
  • Authentic taste.
  • Eat till full full.
  • Free unlimited side dishes.
  • Free filtered water.
  • Choosing dishes based on pictures.
  • Soju is only ₩1250 (USD1.25, RM5)

What I dislike :

  • Minimum order. Each adult has to have their own portion of meat, which doubles the cost of eating out.

Korean BBQ Dinner per adult ₩11000 (USD11, RM44)

BBQ Korean Dinner with family

Heat up your BBQ with your breath. JK.

End

That’s Day 1. I love that every store has their unique take on food. We never encountered another store that does the same technique as another. 13 more days to go, so good night!

Onward to the next day!