This past weekend I had a chance to meet with up an old college friend who happened to be on vacation in Seoul. The nice thing about meeting up with friends or family while you’re in another country is that you can get a fresh perspective. Since she was vacationing she had a guidebook with her. Even though I have a couple nice books from when I first came here, I wouldn’t carry them with me now. It’s not like I’ve seen a whole ton of things in Seoul either, but I just don’t want to look touristy anymore.
That aside though I had fun hanging out that day. I didn’t get there until after lunch. It only takes 50 minutes by KTX from Daejeon to Seoul, but I like sleeping in on the weekend as much as I can. 😛
First place we hit up with Gyeongbok palace. That was my 4th time or so, but it’s still nice to look at. There were a lot of people, but it was a Saturday and the weather was very nice.
Afterwards we hit up Myeongdong. As much as I love shopping, that place has way too many people for my liking. However I’m willing to put up with it for a bit because there’s no H&M or Forever 21 (among other places) in Daejeon. Not that I went to those places this time. Once again I got sucked into several make-up stores. They’re like giant magnets for me.
Finally we went somewhere I hadn’t been before – Noryangjin (노량진) fish market. I like some seafood, but it really isn’t a big part of my diet. But it was in my friend’s guidebook and she really wanted to go, so I didn’t mind going.
Getting there is really easy. Just take the subway line wand go out exit 1 (there may only be one exit if I recall). Then you just follow the signs. You know you’re there by the smell. Certainly not that fresh, but hey it’s a fish market. We went over the bridge though I think you can go under as well.
Go to the ground floor and browse among the many sellers. You’ll see all kinds of seafood there. I don’t know if people down there speak much English, but my friend, who speaks Chinese natively, ended up speaking to a seller in Chinese in the end. Actually the seller we started talking to, who only spoke Korean, brought the second lady over to talk to my friend. We ended up buying several things: salmon (which they cut up sashimi-style for us), prawns, sea urchins, and a nice sized crab. My friend wanted oysters, but I guess you can only get them in the winter. All that cost us 65,000 between 3 people. You may be able to haggle if you have the skills (?), but I don’t.
Once you buy your food you can ask the seller to hook you up with one of the restaurants upstairs to prepare the food for you. We were led upstairs to a fairly busy place. For prepping everything we we charged 21,000 won total. Oh man it was all so good. The salmon sashimi was amazing especially with a bit of soy sauce and wasabi. I never had sea urchins before. There really isn’t mucho a taste. They’re just sorta slimy/squishy and a little hard to grab with chopsticks. The prawns were great and so was the crab. I’ve only had crab once before, and this time was really delicious albeit a bit messy.
So once you add in a few beers, between the 3 of us we paid around 33,000 won each for our dinner. Honestly for everything we got I’d say that’s a pretty good deal. If you like seafood I highly recommend giving this place try if you’re ever in Seoul. I don’t think you’ll find a better deal on fresh seafood. Enjoy!