attraction

A Taste of Local Korean Cuisine with Gastro Tour Seoul

These days, there are so many ways for visitors to Seoul to explore the culinary treats of the city. With a practically endless list of taste tours and cooking classes available, it seems easy to delve into Korean cuisine. But the fact of the matter is that there are so many hidden treasures tucked away into the back alleys of Korea's capital that even most long-term residents like myself will never find most of them.

Enter Veronica Kang, founder of Gastro Tour Seoul. Having worked in the food and beverage industry for more than 20 years, Veronica not only has an extensive knowledge of the roots of Korean food, but also has many connections with those most influential in the industry. Many of these include the owners and chefs of Seoul's oldest restaurants, along with master brewers who have been preserving the methods of making Korea's traditional beverages for decades.

Wishing Trees and Rice Chests: Suwon's Hwaseong Haenggung

Once a resting shelter and vacation destination for kings, the grounds of Hwaseong Haenggung in Suwon, South Korea are now a site where locals and tourists can learn about Korean royal history and culture. Despite recent renovations, every inch of the palace has a story to tell.  So much so, in fact, that when I visited there recently, I could almost sense the spirits of Korea’s dynastic leaders luring me back in time for a glimpse into the country’s captivating past.

One of the first things I noticed about Hwaseong Haenggung was that it was quite small compared to other royal structures I have visited throughout Asia.  I soon learned, however, that what the palace lacks in size, it makes up for in grandeur.

Railbikin' It in Samcheok

Not many would know what to do with a set of abandoned railroad tracks, useless mountain tunnels, and a stretch of coastal scenery.  Yet, the folks in Samcheok, a city located on the eastern coast of Korea, found themselves with these seemingly purposeless components and turned them into a clever tourist destination.  Leave it to the Koreans to create something from nothing.  

The Samcheok Ocean Railbike offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the beautiful vistas of Korea's eastern shoreline and the East Sea (or, to the rest of the world, The Sea of Japan).  My friend Marie and I were scheduled to take a ride on the railbikes while filming "Railroads" for Arirang TV's "Top 10 Korea" last month.

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