Local traditions and culture in Seoul

  • Local Customs
    by Ewingjr98
  • Local Customs
    by Ewingjr98
  • Local Customs
    by Ewingjr98

Most Viewed Local Customs in Seoul

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    Kimchi

    by Ewingjr98 Written Sep 2, 2014

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    Kimchi is the national dish of Korea. It is made of vegetables and hot spices, traditionally fermented underground in large brown clay pots with flat lids. Cabbage kimchi is the most popular, but you will also find kimchi made of radish, scallion, cucumber or hundreds of other vegetables. The main spice of kimchi is red peppers.

    Walking around Korea, it is very common to see red peppers drying in the sun for kimchi, and you will see the brown clay pots used for making kimchi.

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    Street Performers in Hongdae

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Aug 31, 2014

    Hongdae draws all types of people, from those purse capitalists wanting make a few hundred Won to complete artistic types who sing and dance to express themselves. Hondae has everything to keep you entertained from clowns and games to singers and dancers. It makes for a really fun night out.

    See my videos of a few street performers in Hongdae:

    Dancing and singing in Hongdae: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/vv/84f1/

    Funky dancing in Hongdae: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/vv/84f2/

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    Sundaeguk Pork Scrap Soup

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 31, 2014

    During my 2013 visit to Korea, I discovered sundae (pronounced soon-day), a tasty Korean blood sausage served at many street vendor stands. We really liked this simple dish and tried it a few different times.

    When I returned to Korea in 2014, I wanted to try some sundae again, but just couldn't get a good opportunity. I finally stumbled upon a sundaeguk restaurant on the southern outskirts of Seoul and quickly decided to try a soup made from this sausage. When I walked in the waitress said "Sundaeguk?" assuming this was the only reason why a customer would enter the restaurant. I said yes and took my seat.

    First came out a tray of kimchi, a fishy sause, and red pepper paste, along with my beer. Maybe 10 minutes later, out came a boiling bowl of soup in a hot stone bowl. I tasted the soup and it was kind of bland, so I added the fish sauce and the red pepper paste. Now the soup broth was delicious, if perhaps a little too spicy for me. As I stirred the soup, I noticed only a few chunks of delicious sundae sausage, but more scraps of leftover pork skins, meat, and cartilage.

    The soup was cheap (6,000 Won) and tasty, other than the cartilage, however, I was felling it the next morning, as I spent a good hour trying to get the pork scraps out of my system.

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    Hongik University (Hongdae)

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 30, 2014

    Hongik University is known in Korea as Hongdae, an abbreviated form of the full name of the institution Hongik Daehakgyo. The school is most famous for its liberal arts programs, probably the most famous liberal arts program in the country. Enrollment at Hongdae is about 4,500 undergrads and 2,600 graduate students.

    While the university itself is well known, most foreigners recognize the Hongdae area for its massive 24-hour bar, nightclub, live music and restaurant scene.

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    Queens Head Pilsner Beer

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 30, 2014

    Queens Head Pilsner pours a golden straw color, and has a very light scent. The taste is grainy and mild. Not a fantastic beer, but light and refreshing.

    Queens Head is a relatively new craft beer bar tucked down a small side alley in Hongdae. This tiny British-style pub opened in 2010, but the original pub of the same name was in Suwon for many years previous to that. They only offer the basic three beers, a pilsner, a dunkel, and a hefeweizen. While reviewers rave about the weizen, a bartender said I should try the pils, and I was a bit disappointed. They offer complimentary breadsticks with a lemon-honey dipping sauce. Very unique and refreshing.

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    Craftworks Brewery's Seorak Oatmeal Stout

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 30, 2014

    Craftworks Brewery's Seorak Oatmeal Stout is a descent beer from this Itaewon brewery. It pours a deep black, and it has a strong burnt flavor, with a chocolatey sweetness. The beer is named after Seoraksan, a great hiking mountain in east-central Korea.

    Craftworks Taphouse is a small pub on the western side of Itaewon that specializes in their own house-recipe beers. While some might consider the place a brew pub, that name might be misleading since their beer is made by a contract brewer dozens of kilometers away in the mountains of Gapyeong in Gyeonggi Province.

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    Craftworks Brewery's Jirisan Moon Bear IPA

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 30, 2014

    Craftworks Brewery's Jirisan Moon Bear IPA is one of this brewery's best beers. It pours a coppery red color, and it has a sweet but bitter, hoppy finish. The beer is named after Jirisan, one of Korea's tallest mountains, and the Moon Bear, or Asian Black Bear, nicknamed for the moon-shaped crescent of white on its chest.

    Craftworks Taphouse is a small pub on the western side of Itaewon that specializes in their own house-recipe beers. While some might consider the place a brew pub, that name might be misleading since their beer is made by a contract brewer dozens of kilometers away in the mountains of Gapyeong in Gyeonggi Province.

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    Craft Hans Brewery's IPA

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 23, 2014

    Craft Hans Brewery's IPA was the best of the two beers I tried from this brewery. I tried a pint, and it was served in a uniquely crafted off-centered glass. The beer was hoppy and smooth, with a good hearty IPA flavor.

    The manager couldn't really tell me where their beers were made, but it sounds like many other Seoul brewpubs contract their beer production with Kapa Brewery or Ka-Brew brewery Gyeonggi Province, just west of Seoul.

    Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Craft-Hans/1533011880255110

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    Craft Hans Brewery's Dark Ale

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 23, 2014

    Craft Hans Brewery's Dark Ale is the best beer from this brewery, according to the manager, Daniel. I tried a pint, and it was smooth, but lighter in flavor than I expected. Not a bad beer at all.

    The manager couldn't really tell me where their beers were made, but it sounds like many other Seoul brewpubs contract their beer production with Kapa Brewery or Ka-Brew brewery Gyeonggi Province, just west of Seoul.

    Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Craft-Hans/1533011880255110

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    Craftworks Brewery's Geumgang Dark Ale

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 23, 2014

    I first found Craftworks beer at a pub in Itaewon called the Bull and Barrel. The second one I tried was called Geumgang, and it was a good heavy dark ale. Like the Craftworks hefeweizen, this beer was cold, fresh, and served in a Craftworks brewery glass. A good beer, if light on flavor.

    These beers are made by Craftworks brewery located in Itaewon (Noksapyeong Station) and the beer is brewed in the mountains of Gapyeong in Gyeonggi Province.

    For some reason the Geumgang beer gas a fist with a star logo that reminds me of the Rogue Ales logos in the U.S.

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    Craftworks Baekdusan Hefeweizen Beer

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 23, 2014

    I first found Craftworks beer at a pub in Itaewon called the Bull and Barrel. The first one I tried was called Baekdusan, and it was a great German-style hefeweizen the beer was tall and cold and served in a Craftworks brewery hefeweizen glass. A very nice, tasty beer.

    These beers are made by Craftworks brewery located in Itaewon (Noksapyeong Station) and the beer is brewed in the mountains of Gapyeong in Gyeonggi Province.

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    Korean Beer: Skim45° Hefeweizen

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Aug 16, 2014

    Skim45° Microbrewery is one of the newest nightlife spots in Itaewon, an area suddenly full of new nightlife spots. Skim45° sells Korean craft beers from a brewery in a suspiciously unknown place off premises, and likely outside of Seoul. They have an IPA, a hefeweizen, and a stout on tap, but the IPA is below average. They also have very good thin crust pizza.

    Skim45° hefeweizen is a pretty good take on this German standard. Light, but full of flavor, it's shocking when a hefeweizen has a more robust taste than an IPA. Really a light, sweet, tasty beer. For some reason, they pour and serve their IPA in a hefeweizen glass, and their hefeweizen is served in an ale glass.

    Beers are 7,000 Won to 9,000 Won, and pizzas range in price from about 12,000 Won to 15,000 Won. The staff, especially Danielle, are very friendly and talkative.

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    Korean Beer: Skim45° Porter

    by Ewingjr98 Written Aug 16, 2014

    Skim45° Microbrewery is one of the newest nightlife spots in Itaewon, an area suddenly full of new nightlife spots. Skim45° sells Korean craft beers from a brewery in a suspiciously unknown place off premises, and likely outside of Seoul. They have an IPA, a hefeweizen, and a stout on tap, but the IPA is below average. They also have very good thin crust pizza.

    Skim45° porter was the best of their three beers. It helps that they actually poured it in a stout glass. The beer is dark and tasty, but not overpowering.

    Beers are 7,000 Won to 9,000 Won, and pizzas range in price from about 12,000 Won to 15,000 Won. The staff, especially Danielle, are very friendly and talkative.

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    Traveling in Korea

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Nov 16, 2013

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    Traveling here is very easy for Westerners, as we have been here quite a while... Everywhere in the country street signs are in English and Korean (called Hangul), but small stores and restaurant signs and menus may only be in Hangul. One of the most confusing things is they recently changed the English equivalent of most Korean words -- therefore Pusan became Busan, Taegu became Daegu, and In'chon became Incheon!

    Fortress called Namhansanseong
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    Korean style hotel room

    by IreneMcKay Written Jul 1, 2013

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    On our first night in Seoul we arrived late and stayed near the airport. I insisted we got a traditional style Korean room. This meant we slept on mats on the floor. We also had a tiny bath. Koreans sit on a raised platform in the bath and shower themselves rather than sitting in the dirty water.

    We were hugely amused by the fire escape. This was an abseiling rope to exit the room if it went on fire. Many Korean buildings have these. We would not have been so amused if there had been a fire.

    As we are not used to sleeping on the floor, our night was incredibly uncomfortable. However, the worst part was everything in the room: lights, TV, air conditioner was worked from one remote control that we could not understand. I think I accidently put the lights on a timer as they kept suddenly coming on in the middle of the night. Needless to say we did not sleep well, but it took a good photo.

    So glad to see a real bed in our next hotel.

    Traditional room. Traditional room.
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    • Photography

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