South Korea

47 Avenue Tea House at Insadong

Insadong is a cultural district that gives off a very rustic and old-school vibe. Located within the Jogno-gu district, it is popular among tourists as it is a walking distance to other tourist attractions such as Cheonggyecheon Stream and Gyeongbokgung Palace. In fact, you can head over to Insadong first to rent a set of hanbok so that you can role-play as court lady back in Joseon Dynasty as you tour around the compound of the palace. You also earn a free entry to any of the palaces if you wear hanbok. After you’re done visiting the palace and head back to return the hanbok, you can continue to explore Insadong.

The traditional ambience makes it good for an afternoon stroll. On weekend, the main street is closed from traffic (2pm to 10pm on Saturday and 10am to 10pm on Sunday). The main street is Insadong-gil, which is connected to twisting alleys on both side, so don’t forget to explore those alleys too! Within these narrow alleys are hanbok galleries, traditional restaurants, tea houses, and cafes. Insadong is also a great place to do all your traditional souvenir shopping – metal chopsticks, magnets, hanbok, colourful table cloth and brightly coloured korean gift bag!

To take a break and rest from all the walking, I recommend 47 Avenue Tea House.

47 avenue tea house insadong hanok teahouse

It is located at the alley on the right, a few minutes walk away from Exit 6 of Anguk Station. Look out for its stand at one of the junction- you won’t miss it!

47 avenue tea house insadong hanok teahouse

walking into the tea house, you will feel like you have been transported back to the past as the tea house is located in a hanok (korean traditional house). It has traditional, rustic background and lush greenery, which let you up your Instagram game 😉

The serenity of the place definitely makes it a good place to sit back, relax and enjoy an afternoon snack.

47 Avenue Tea House in Insadong (Hanok teahouse)

Sneak peek of tea and snacks available

Customers have the choice to for modern setting of chairs and table or traditional setting of sitting on the floor. As the floor was heated and it was a cold winter, we opted to sit on the floor. It was soooooo warm. And also because it seems apt to enjoy traditional tea in a hanok whilst seating on the floor.

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The interior is really pretty, isn’t it?

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Even the toilet is pretty with dressing table!

I was taken aback not just by the interior design and deco of the tea house, but by this row of huge glass jars too! The tea served here are homemade and prepared in-house at the tea house itself.

47 Avenue Tea House in Insadong (Hanok teahouse)

47 Avenue Tea House in Insadong (Hanok teahouse)
Once we got our table, we were ready to order. Lets take a look at the menu!

We had 1 of set meal 1 as we wanted to try yakgwa, Korean traditional honey cookie. We also ordered 2 additional glasses of tea and the rice cake.

47 Avenue Tea House in Insadong (Hanok teahouse)

The drinks for the set meal were served in a really huge cup! And the 2 additional teas were served in a bowl.

47 Avenue Tea House in Insadong (Hanok teahouse)

The cup is almost as big as my face!

We also heard the traditional tea served have health benefit. The warm tea also feels so good on a cold, winter.

47 Avenue Tea House in Insadong (Hanok teahouse)

My family took our time with the snack, laze around looking out of the window and just taking in the tranquility and enjoying the moment 🙂

The 47 Avenue traditional tea house is definitely a cosy place for a short respite and I recommend to anyone visiting Insadong to try this experience.

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5 Halal restaurants in Seoul, Korea

Here’s a list of the Halal/ Muslim-friendly restaurants in Seoul for our recent trip to South Korea.

1. EID – 이드 Halal Korean Food (IG)

2. Makan (IG)

3. Yang Good Halal BBQ (IG)

4. Busan Jib (IG)

5. Grilled Fish Alley at Dongdaemun

There are plenty of Halal restaurants at Itaewon, but the one went to are Eid and Makan restaurant both are the more popular ones and run by locals that we had to give it a try!

1. Eid Restaurant

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Address: 67, Usadan-ro 10-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Contact: +82 070 8899 8210
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11.30 am – 9.00 pm (Close on Moday)
Directions
How to get to Eid Restaurant in Itaewon, Seoul:

direction to eid restaurant seoul korea

Direction to Eid Restaurant in Itaewon, Seoul (Korea)

Exit 3 of Itaewon station. Continue to walk straight as you step out of the exit and turn right at the first junction. Then, turn left at the third alley/ road.

It is about 15 min walk and uphill for most parts. It might not be convenient to have it every day, especially with luggage or with elderly.

Menu:
When we arrived for dinner, there were limited items on the menu. Only 4 dishes displayed on the ipad, but nonetheless, the meals were delicous!

Tips: Make reservation, especially if you will be arriving at lunch or dinner time as the space is quite small.

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and especially during winter as you would want to wait outside in the cold night, like we did.

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2. Makan Restaurant Korean Halal Food

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Address: 52, Usadan-ro 10 gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea 140-911
Contact: +82 2-6012-2231
Opening Hours: Mon, Wednesday to Sunday: 10.30 am to 10 pm (Close on Tuesday)
Directions
Similar to Eid Restaurant, it is about 10 to 15 min walk from Exit 3 of Itaewon station.

Direction to Makan Restaurant in Itaewon, Seoul (Korea)

Direction to Makan Restaurant in Itaewon, Seoul (Korea)

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Menu

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Menu for Makan Restaurant Korean Halal Food

They also have a new outlet around the area too.
Details below:
Makan 2: 1Floor C-Dong 39,Usadan-ro 10 gil, Youngsan-gu ,Seoul,Korea
Tel: +82 2 6406 2231

Tips: Make reservation, especially if you will be arriving at lunch or dinner time as the space is quite small.

3. Yang Good Halal BBQ

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The only halal Korean bbq in Seoul

Address: Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Nonhyeon-ro, 95 gil, 15
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday: 4.00 pm to 12.00 am (Closed on Sunday)
Directions:

Detailed instruction on how to get there can be found here: Cafe Naver: Yang Good.

Menu
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4. Busan Jib

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Address: 11-4, 8 Myeongdong-gil, Jung-guSeoul, South Korea
Contact: +82 2-777-8660
Opening Hours: 10.00 am to 10.30 pm daily
Directions

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Exit 6 or 7 of Myeongdong Station. With Uniqlo on your right and Nature Republic on your left, walk straight ahead. It is about 3 to 5 min walk. Walk closer to the buildings on the right. You will walk past F21 and Zara. Keep walking straight until you see Apple Frisbee Shop. Turn right into the alley just before the Apple Frisbee shop. The alley is also opposite ABC mart.

direction to busan jib in myeongdong

Direction to Busan Jib from Myeongdong Station

Menu

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5. Grilled Fish Alley

This grilled fish alley is at Dongdaemun Market area.

Directions: Walk straight from exit 8 of Dongdaemun Station. Walk straight ahead with JW Marriot Hotel on your right and the stream on your left. Keep walking straight and then turn right into the market area. Turn left at the first alley.

 

 

how to get to Grilled Fish Alley in Dongdaemun

How to get to Grilled Fish Alley in Dongdaemun

how to get to Grilled Fish Alley in Dongdaemun

turn into the alley opposite this building

how to get to Grilled Fish Alley in Dongdaemun

Start of grilled fish alley

We went to the first shop on the left.

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And here’s the menu and the dishes we had.

Restaurant and Grilled Fish Alley in Dongdaemun

Restaurant and Grilled Fish Alley in Dongdaemun

 

Jagalchi Market

Busan is known as a coastal city, which means you definitely have to try the seafood here. And of course, the best and freshest ones are from the market.

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Make a trip to Jagalchi Market and you get to have a scrumptious piping hot meal prepared with fresh catch of the day!

jagalchi market busan dinner 4

Here’s our dinner that we had there. It feels soooooo good on that cold night!

It was a large serving for 3 of us and with plenty of the side dishes too. We loved it so much that we made another trip again the next day for our lunch.

If you want a yummylicious seafood meal in Busan, head over to Jagalchi Market. Simple take the subway and alight at Jagalchi Station, and exit by exit 10. There are plenty of shops to explore but definitely don’t miss out on having a meal here!

Travelling to Seoul

This will be my fourth trip to South Korea, but this will be the first with my family. So, while preparing to plan for our trip (ahem, I’ll be their tour guide for this trip), I’ve decided to draw up the places all onto a list for a reference as I plan our day-to-day itinerary.

I’m sure many others will find it useful, so I’m putting it up here 🙂 You can download the list of places of attraction in Seoul here.

list of places of attraction in seoul

list of places of attraction in seoulI’m also putting up maps for some of the places listed in the table.

First up, we have walking trail/ course suitable for half-day trip or a day trip.

Walking trail

1. Bukchon village
Don’t forget to snap photos of Bukchon 8 view while on its walking course.

bukchon 8 view

bukchon

bukchon village walking tour

2. Cheonggyecheon stream
It stretches from Cheonggye Plaza, near City Hall Station, to even beyond Dongdaemun area. Good for a stroll in the day, but there’s also beautiful laser show at night that you should catch!

cheonggyecheon stream

3. Iwha Mural Village
Relatively unknown and not quite convenient to get to here, but worth going for instragram-worthy shorts with the murals as an arty-farty backdrop. Just take note that mural 6 and 9 are no longer in existence as both have been vandalised. These murals were painted over by local residents as they have been upset over disturbances by tourists. So, if you do visit this, remember to keep your voice down as this is a residential area.

Ihwa Mural village

Hangang Park

Next will be Hangang Park, which has quite a few stretch.

overall hangang river

The best place to check out the different places of attraction and facilities at Hangang Park is here.

The best way to explore is by cycling.

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Shopping

Finally, of course we have shopping districts!

1. Dongdaemun

dongdaemun

dongdaumun shopping district

2. Myeongdong

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3. Insadong

insadong-seoul-english-mapinsadong

4. Hongdae

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5. Ewha

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6. Namdaemun

Namdaemun map

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Bonus

And…. we have some cute ones from Korea Tourism Organisation.

Gwanghwamun square and Bukchon Hanok Village

gwanghwamun square insadong bukchon hanok village

Noryangjin Fish Market

hangang park

Myeongdong shopping district and Namdaemun Market area

namdaemun myeondong cheonggyecheon stream

Namsan Seoul Tower/ N Seoul Tower

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Can’t wait for my next trip to Korea!

Nami Island, Korea

Planning for my upcoming trip to Korea in Dec got me recalling my past trips to Korea. My last trip there was in 2014. Part of the itinerary for the trip in 2014 was a day trip to Nami Island, also called Namiseom Island, 남이섬 종합휴양지

It is popular for as filming location of popular Korean drama, “Winter Sonata” and has beautiful scenery of nature.

Namiseom Island is 63 km away from Seoul, 30 minutes away from Chuncheon and an hour away from the suburbs of Seoul.

Here’s  a video of the day trip I had to Nami Island

If you’re interested for a day trip there, check out their website (it’s in English!) which is REALLY comprehensive. It has all the latest info about fees, how to get there (we took ferry!), what to do there (lots of photos and we cycled too!), restaurants on the island and lots of other info.

You’ll definitely have a memorable time there!