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! 🙂

Snake Soup in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong

Though Hong Kong is known for its hot and muggy summers, it DOES still have 4 seasons and the winter temperature can sometimes dip into the low teens. On a rare occasion it’s even been below 5 degrees Celsius in the middle of the night. If you factor in wind chill and the lack of insulation in buildings here, it all adds up to bone chilling (sometimes) weather from late November to the end of February.

Through the years, some locals have developed the tradition of eating certain foods in the winter that they swear helps to warm them up! One of those foods is yummy snake soup. The broth is delicious and the meat itself kind of has a chicken-like texture with a gamey flavor.

Shea Wong Sin is on 50 Kweilin Street, between Fuk Wing Street and Un Chau Street in Sham Shui Po. It’s very close to Golden Computer Centre so you can go and do some electronics shopping before or after grabbing some delicious snake soup!

Day 7 of South Korea Trip 2016

Early in the morning, I left my Taekwondo mates in Gangnam and took a taxi to Conrad Seoul on Yeouido Island to meet my wife, who had just flown in from Hong Kong earlier that morning. After meeting, we dropped off our luggage as it wasn’t time to check-in yet and then went for coffee and a bite to eat at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. The egg, ham and cheese served in an English muffin was delicious! Also of note is that it seems to share space with a car showroom.

Next, we took a taxi to Myeongdong for some congee at Bonjuk. If you’re taking a taxi, get off at Myeongdong Cathedral and Bonjuk will be nearby. Congee is a great breakfast meal made of soupy rice and sometimes extra ingredients added. It’s kind of like oatmeal.

Myeongdong is probably the busiest and most vibrant shopping district in Seoul. It’s an amazing place that you really should visit at least once as a tourist even if you don’t care that much for shopping. At least go to experience the atmosphere. There are plenty of cafes and places to eat when you’re tired of walking around.

We eventually made our way over to Lotte Duty Free. It’s a big department store with lots of clothes and other items to buy. You might find a good deal there!

After a busy day of shopping, it was off to Doma in Mapo District. Doma is a great little bbq meat restaurant. I quite enjoyed the raspberry wine and the food was pretty good as well.

What I really loved about Mapo District is that there’s a lot of art in the area. After eating, you can casually stroll around and check out the street buskers or whatever art happens to be on display.

To cap off the night, we took a taxi to Noryangin Fisheries Wholesale Market. We picked our seafood in the market area and then went up to the dining area where they prepared and served it. It was an enjoyable end to a wonderful day!