Thursday, August 1, 2013

Out On Our Own - Namdaemun & Gangnam

We had a somewhat relaxing start to the day today as Jonathan & HJ both had to work.  We made a pot of coffee and deliberated over the maps to determine what adventures awaited us throughout the day.  We decided that we were brave enough to attempt the public transportation without any guidance or support and it proved to be much easier than expected!  

Our destination this morning was Namdaemun Market, which is situated in the middle of downtown Seoul in close proximity to Seoul Station, their main train station.  We were able to take one bus all the way there so transferring on to the wrong bus wasn't an issue...

Namdaemun Market was already thriving, even though it was still morning when we arrived.  There are thousands of vendors selling all things from nuts and dried fish to socks and underwear.  The market sprawls over many city blocks and there appeared to be several different sections to the market.  Some areas consisted of primarily clothing for infants while others were filled with textiles and fabrics.  Many of the areas that we walked through were clogged with people, whereas others seemed eerily quiet and barren.  We spent hours peering into tiny shops and talking with the girls about the offerings at the tables and booths that were set up throughout the market. 

While they may not admit to liking Namdaemun Market, Rachel and Abby seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience and neither of them walked away empty handed.  I'm sure this is an experience that they'll long remember.  One of the things I'll remember most was the brief feeling of being hopelessly lost and not letting on to the girls (or Jennifer, for that matter) that I didn't quite know the direction back to the exit we were looking for... but all's well that ends well ;-)

From Namdaemun Market, we hopped onto a different bus and made our way into Gangnam, the neighbourhood (or village) in Seoul made internationally famous by Psy's 'Gangnam Style'.  We planned to meet Jonathan and HJ for dinner in between the classes that HJ teaches at YBM.  Her school (a skyscraper, really) is located just steps from Gangnam Station, the busiest subway station in all of Seoul.  We wandered around this area for a little while before meeting up with Jonathan and HJ.  

We had a spectacular dinner this evening in a traditional kalbi barbecue restaurant that HJ and Jonathan love in Gangnam.  We arrived a little earlier than most of their dinner crowd, so most of their serving staff waited on us.  From cooking for us and bringing endless side dishes to our table to doting over Rachel & Abby, we had the full attention of the entire staff in the restaurant!  Thanks again to both of you, Jonathan and HJ, for bringing us to this amazing restaurant :-)

Another fantastic day in Seoul.  We're getting braver and bolder as we settle into the city and the culture.  Can't wait to see what adventures await us tomorrow!

Thanks for following along,


  1. Loved the bibs! That's just what Grannie needs.

    1. We thought you might appreciate those! In fact, Jennifer's first words after tying on her bib were "Your mom sure would like this restaurant!"