Korea Day 3 (05 May 09) – The Touristy Bits

This is a day where we do all the touristy rituals…. by rituals I mean the stuff that the tour guide usually brings tourists to do, like shopping for local products, making kimchi, dressing up in their traditional hanboks and stuff… boring for me and half the time I have no idea where we are. We started the day with a trip to a strawberry farm. We were driven to this strawberry farm where we are allowed to picked and eat strawberries on the spot. However, we were given limits on how many we can bring back along with us, 5! We walked around the strawberry farm looking for the biggest and not so rotten piece of strawberry. As I don’t eat strawberries, I was picking on behalf of my auntie, who loves strawberry. Not a very eventful thing though, I did not quite enjoy this bit….. it felt like a competition of who got the biggest and sweetest looking strawberry.

Strawberry picking “Competition”

We were then driven to this kimchi factory where we were given  explaination on the process and subsequently given a hands-on in making kimchi. Makes me wonder where do these touristy kimchi go to after each batch of tourist come and get their hands dirty in destroying these vegetables. Our teacher patiently explains and went around to ensure the group did the correct method in kimchi preparations. Well, this is where they sell kimchi to tourists as well. After making the kimchi, came the promotion of their house brand kimchi. We figured since we will be buying anyway, might as well buy from here. After the ordeal of making and buying kimchi, we were led to another building within this kimchi factory, where we were given a chance to don the Hanboks and take some pictures in them…. damn makes me feels like a damn tourist…. reminded me how much I hate to join tour groups.

Our Kimchi making teacher
Explaining to us the ingredients to making Kimchi
My not so appetising Kimchi
In Hanbooks

We were then driven to another ginseng factory where we were given lessons on the different types of ginseng and the values of this Korean ginseng. The most valuable ones will be 5-year ginseng which is insured by Samsung! After the ginseng factory, we were then driven to this place where they sell some herbal medicines…. I did not enjoy this day as it is very touristy…… hoping that they will bring us to someplace nice soon. After the touristy ordeals, we spent the afternoon in a spa called Spa Greenland. This seems to be a popular place with the locals for a spa treatment as it was crowded with locals. There is a rule here that we are not used to, everyone who came here has to don on a cap, if not you will not be allowed into the pool. We rented some caps and started to spa hop, hopping from 1 spa to another with different waters in it. We also did what the tour guide had recommended the cold and hot “sauna” treatment. We were told to go into this hot room and then into this cold room and back into the hot room again. It seemed very popular with the locals and was believed to be good for the skin. We lazed the afternoon in this spa place running around like a kid in a playground.

Lunch Time!!
Very delicious hotpot
Spa Greenland

We were then driven into Seoul and checked into our hotel. Though the location of the hotel is great, the hotel room is miserable! It is very small and the toilet is small as well. It is so small that you are bound to knock onto the basin or the toilet bowl as you shower. We did some minor shopping around the hotel as it is very close to Dongdaemun shopping malls. The shopping malls look more like a consolidation of small shops within a building. There is a small stage or some sort in front of each shopping mall with the youths performing for the general public. Not too sure if there is some competition organised by each shopping malls or what, but I did enjoy the performances.

Driving into downtown Seoul
Downtown Seoul
Downtown Seoul
Korean Ginseng for dinner
Downtown Seoul
Dongdaemun Shopping District
Dongdaemun Shopping District
Live Performances in Dongdaemun Shopping District
Dongdaemun Shopping District

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