Day 8 of South Korea Trip 2016

In the morning, we had a delicious buffet breakfast at the hotel and went to Kukkiwon in the afternoon to buy some more taekwondo gear and merchandise at one of the nearby shops. One of the popular brands for taekwondo stuff is Mooto so we went to the Mooto shop to buy some equipment and t-shirts. The quality is comparable to Adidas and sometimes the design is nice.

After that, we went to Majang Meat Market for some more amazing beef barbecue.

Our day wasn’t yet over. It was time to go to shopping in Dongdaemun. It’s another great shopping area, featuring a street market as well as several department stores – all within walking distance of each other. My wife was happy to find some nice clothes and other things for herself and also her friends and family back home. It was quite a productive shopping excursion but at the end of it all, we had our appetites back so we went to Chicken Kyochon. There is a branch in Dongdaemun on 50-3 Cheongnyangri-dong. South Korea has developed a reputation for having some of the best fried chicken in the world. That’s no joke. Anyway, the chicken there was very crispy and full of flavour and the craft beer was pretty good too! We ended the night with full stomachs! 🙂

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Poutine, Beer, Drizzle and Hopsin in Downtown Winnipeg

I’m in Winnipeg right now visiting family and last night my brother and I went to a rap concert at the Garrick Centre in downtown Winnipeg. We arrived in downtown pretty early so we had time to wonder around and look at shops and stuff. Winnipeg changes slowly and has a lot of buildings that have been standing for many decades. If you’re into urban architecture, you might like this area. On the other hand, Winnipeg has been struggling to rejuvenate the downtown area in terms of increasing foot traffic. Most people tend to drive THROUGH downtown but don’t often stop there to window shop or dine. It’s too bad because there are some great restaurants, galleries, and other interesting things in the area.

First we came across this really cool parkade. It almost looks out of place in an urban centre as it looks more like an industrial warehouse. Winnipeg used to have a lot of industrial buildings in the downtown area and many of them were simply converted into other uses rather than be torn down for something newer and shinier. Many see it as a charming quality of this city.

We found this cool art gallery called Fleet Galleries. What was neat about this place was that it was all really open and nobody seemed to care if you walked to the back room where the work studio was. There were a lot of cool pieces in this gallery so I posted a collage of a few of the areas that interested me.

We still had time to kill after walking around a bit so had had some beer and snack food at King’s Head Pub. This is a great place where a wide variety of people gather for a casual atmosphere of beer, snacks and billiards. I had a Fort Garry Dark Ale and some poutine.

After eating, we walked in the drizzling rain over to the Garrick Centre and had to wait in line for about half an hour to get in. They had some kind of arcane system where if you had bought a ticket online, there was no handy code on the phone they could simply scan to let you in. This place had a multipage printout of all the people who had bought tickets online. You had to show them the credit card you used to buy the ticket and then they’d find your name on the list. Once inside, the opening act was already underway but that’s okay because they weren’t really our cup of tea. I won’t even mention the name.

Next was a rapper named Token. His flow is a bit similar to Eminem at times but he needs to work on enunciating better. I enjoyed some of his stuff and I think he’s got potential to be much better in the future. I think lyrically, he could work on nuance and subtlety. Hopsin was the main event and he was lyrically the strongest. He was also very comfortable with the crowd and is clearly a seasoned professional. If he comes to your city and you like rap, be sure to check out his concert.

Have a wonderful Easter weekend everyone! 🙂

German Bierfest

During the time of Oktoberfest, German beer festivals are held in Hong Kong. I attended the Marco Polo German Bierfest held at the Marco Polo Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui a few weeks ago and it was a blast.

I heard from a German who was in attendance that the bierfests that happen in Berlin during Oktoberfest aren’t usually as lively as what was on display here in Hong Kong (That’s only what I heard. I would welcome corrections from others). The crowd really gets into the spirit of the affair and enjoys the time. That’s great.

I ate some delicious sausages, pretzels, potatoes and sauerkraut, drank my beer and enjoyed the lively atmosphere. Before leaving, I was sure to take some scenic shots looking out towards HK Island. The view from the roof of the parkade where the event was held is spectacular.

Beertopia 2016

Yesterday I went to Beertopia, an annual craft beer festival that is held in Hong Kong. This is the 5th time it’s been held and it seems to grow and attract more people with each successive year. It’s really great to see as Hong Kong hadn’t had a great craft beer scene until just recently.

The event is held at a very accessible, convenient location, just a short walk from the Central Ferry Piers and IFC Mall. There is a wide range of travel options to get to the waterfront area by public transit. I took the MTR to Central Station and then walked underground to Hong Kong Station. From there, I went up to IFC Mall and the waterfront was a short 5 minute walk outside. Just go to the Hong Kong Observation Wheel and keep walking a bit more from there.

The grounds were pretty spacious and there was a wide selection of craft beer vendors. To purchase a beer, you had to use a ticket. For example, a half pint might cost 2 or 3 tickets. It depended on the vendor. Depending on the price you paid to enter the grounds, you could be given tickets along with your wrist band (I started with 10 tickets), or you’d have to purchase tickets at the ticket booth. The beer vendors didn’t accept cash but the food vendors did.

I walked around, enjoying the atmosphere, sampled a few different beers and tried some french fries and chicken. It was overall a pretty enjoyable time. Later on I went back to IFC Mall to catch a movie before heading home. Hong Kong has something for everyone!