Sunday, March 31, 2013

Seoul Eats

Just a few really good places to eat while in Seoul.

VATOS URBAN TACOS. This is one of Seoul’s newer restaurants (apparently been open for about a year) and serves Korean-Americanized mexican food. Located in Itaewon, this place is always popular so it’s best to go in early and put your name down on the waiting list for a table. We arrived at peak hour and waited an hour and 45 minutes but it was well worth it.
***Kimchi Carnitas Fries (Fries, braised carnitas, sauteed kimchi„ melted cheese, sour cream, vatos sauce, chopped cilantro and onions)
*Beer battered fish tacos
*Galbi short rib tacos
*Chili Lime Shrimp Burrito

ANDONGJANG. (안동장) This is one of the oldest restaurants in Seoul. The first thing I noticed about Korea is how fast a shop can open and how fast it can close down and be replaced, so when a shop lasts longer than a few months I normally see it as a big feat. This shop has been open since 1948 and serves a Korean-Asian fusion menu. They are most popular for their sweet and sour pork as well as their oyster jjampong. This is located near the cultural area of Insadong.
*Sweet and Sour Pork
*Fried Noodles with Shrimp

TO SOK CHON (토속촌). Located near Gyeongbukgong Palace, it is famous for a Korean dish called Samgyetang. When we first arrived a line out the front door went down the road and around a corner so we knew the food must be good. Luckily, the wait was only about 25 minutes. This dish is a young, spring chicken (stuffed with chestnuts, garlic, dried jujubes, rice and ginseng) which is slow cooked for hours. It is a highly nutritious and delicious meal.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Can't go wrong on Koh Rong

Just imagine a strip of pristine, powder-soft white sand and clear, blue, warm water. Put that next to modest shacks, hammocks swinging in the breeze, barbeque's grilling the latest catch of the day and soft island music in the background. This is idyllic Koh Rong Island, 25km off the coast of Sihanoukville in Cambodia located in the Gulf of Thailand.

This island has been some-what untouched. There are no motorized vehicles....well, just no roads on this whole island. Although, the Cambodian government are looking to start building this area more. I do prefer how natural and un-westernised it is so I would recommend getting there now before it does become just another big tourist spot.

There are different areas on the island to stay at with varying levels of accommodation and owned by different operators. We stayed in the area more known as Monkey Island as this is where the Monkey Island resort operates. On this strip there are a variety of accommodation options but my two favorites were Coco's Bungalow Resort and Treehouse Bungalows (see my accommodation tab). It's hard to describe just how beautiful this place is, such paradise. I'll just let my pictures do the talking.

It is best to try prebook your ferry a couple days beforehand to get the boat time that suits you best. There are two boats out a day, one at around 8am and one at about 1pm. The ferry takes about 2 hours to get across as you are just riding on a slow, basic wooden motor-boat. May take a little longer if the wind is there and there's a bit of a to have some sea-sickness pills ready just in case. A ferry ticket costs $20 return. Return times from the island is either 10am or 2pm from memory.

We managed to book all our accommodation and ferry tickets through Koh Rong Dive Centre as they operated and owned this part of the island. They were well organised, professional and very accommodating. As the name states you can also book your water activities with them too. This is definitely a great place to unwind and relax for a week or three, if that is what you're looking for.