A Korean Winter Vacation, Day 5 – Galbi, Fortresses and Castles.

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A trip to Korea cannot be complete without having some delicious galbi (marinated short ribs). And, apparently, Suwon, a city about an hour outside of Seoul, is famous for it! Off on the KTX train we went…

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Off the train station, my friend Matt (who used to live in this city many moons ago) directed us towards the fortress that surrounds the city: Hawseong Fortress, a UNESCO venue.

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We circled around South Gate, Paldamun, in the middle of the city to situate ourselves into some touring.

After we arrived in that main area, we got some lunch! Nearby that area were some great little shops for browsing… near the main pathway to the fortress was a cute street full of restaurants and small shops. Most of them weren’t open or busy even at lunch (I think we were there around 12pm or so) but we finally were able to find something for lunch.

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We all got the standard set meal with bibimbap and out came this insanely awesome food spread.

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I want to say it was less than $14 per person? Maybe even less than that… an incredible meal! After we were full and a bit warmed up, we headed upwards to the Hwaseong Fortress.

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The fortress is quite the walk, especially in the freezing temperatures of winter, so we walked around as much as could before we decided to move onto the Palace. image

Here are some highlights…

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The Southwest Secret Gate: Seonam Ammun.

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The Filial Piety Bell: a group of three can strike it for about $2 USD.

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The West Gate: Hwaseomun.

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The Northwest Gateguard Platform: Bukseo Jukdae.

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We started to make our way out of the fortress around here…

The Northeastern Pavilion: Banghwasuryujeoung.

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Then walked along the back/outside of the fortress to stumble upon this pond…

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As we arrived at the Hwaseong Haenggung Palace, a martial arts performance was underway…

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We bought tickets and went inside after it was over…

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It was neat…

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There was lots to walk around and soak up…

But honestly… it was so damned cold… we weren’t there for as long as we could’ve been roaming the place. So, we warmed up a bit in the gift shop nearby and then walked to the Golden Buddha.

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It was near where we started our walk of the fortress…

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As we eventually ended up near the path going upwards…

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Many more stores were open by the time we had walked around the city and back… We were ready for food! As we passed through the city and Matt GPS-ed a dinner spot, we passed by the night market.

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Yummy sweets!

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This was probably one of the best hotteoks I had in Korea… It was also cheaper than Seoul or Busan, I believe…

There were also plenty of eats here.. but eventually we walked to Kabojung Kalbi.

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You can recognize Kabojung because it takes up three corners of the intersection! Three restaurants in practically the exact location… that is how popular this place is!

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We waited for our turn at the first location, of course. Matt ordered for us… even had to sort of beg them for the good stuff as they had “run out” at dinner time… uh what?! Yeah, it was only about 7pm at the time too.

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We got the Korean galbi… It was really expensive (I want to say upwards around $50 for an order?).

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The servers help you cook it if you aren’t sure what you are doing…

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They also help you cut it into perfect sized pieces to shove into your mouth because anything less is just too unbearable… You see it. And you want it.

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Of course, the banchan is also super fancy…

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Raw crab!

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Glass noodles.

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And much more…

After dinner at Kabojung, we headed home. Good day.

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