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Saturday, December 31, 2016

My top 5 favorite posts of 2016!

What are your favorite posts of 2016?

These are mine!

Best Instagram Posts of 2016!

If you haven't followed Eat.Stretch.Explore on Instagram yet, please consider doing so now!

2016 was a crazy year for me!
Living in Seoul, while working in Gangwon-do for half of the year (explains the lack of posts, sorry guys, the commutes were killer).

Took a few international trips. US in January, Taiwan in July (sorry, those posts will come eventually), and Japan for Chuseok in September (sorry again ._.)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

[Seoul] Winter in Seoul 2016 (including ice skating rinks and NYE events)

The first real snow of the season came last night. It had snowed a little before, but it never stayed.

I guess it's time to write a list of places to do some winter activities in Seoul.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

[Seoul] Christmas Market at Yeouido (through New Year's Eve)

On Christmas Day, my friend and I went to the Christmas Market at Yeouido.
It's located out exit 2 of Yeouinaru station (Line 5)

2016 dates: 21 December - 31 December
Weekdays 17:00-22:30
Weekends: 15:00-21:00

Wanna share some pictures or tips? Any questions or requests?
Email us at eatstretchexplore (at) gmail dot com.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Where to buy Christmas decorations in Seoul: Express Bus Terminal

I apologize for the late post. I thought this was posted weeks ago, but I guess it got saved as a draft instead.

A big question around Christmas from my international friends is where to buy Christmas decorations.
It's actually getting to be much easier to buy decorations these days than even a couple of years ago.

The "hot spots" are Express Bus Terminal and Namdaemoon. Both have large Christmas shopping areas. Since I live south of the river, Namdaemun is kind of a trek, so I'll post here about Express Bus Terminal.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

[Korea] Robot Kimbap - Donkatsu Kimchi Nabe and Dduk Galbi kimbap

One of my favorite bunshik (Korean "street food") chains is Robot Kimbap. They use 100% brown rice for their kimbap.

My friend and go quite often, so we have tried multiple items, so look out for future posts about Robot Kimbap.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

REPOST: Autumn Colors in Kyoto

This is just a picture post of the trip(s) I made to Kyoto three years ago while I was living/working in Japan.

Original posts here:
Kyoto Japan Autumn Colors Tour

Kyoto/Arashiyama Monkey Park

I think it's the proper time to post this since, during my trip to Japan for Chuseok two weeks ago, I already saw some of the trees turning colors in Kyoto.

Monday, October 3, 2016

[CU] New Juices (Orange, Yellow, Green)

A couple of years ago, CU got on the juice trend and introduced a few of their own.
The good thing about these is that there's no sugar added!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

[Korea, Jamshil] See the SUPERMOON until tomorrow (October 3)

I have been meaning to go to Seokchon Lake (right behind Lotte World Mall) to see the Supermoon for a few weeks, but just haven't had the time.

TOMORROW IS THE LAST DAY! The Supermoon will be gone on October 3, so I made it just in time.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

[Japan Trip 2016 - Kansai] 4 days/3 nights - Kobe, Kyoto, Japan Ititnerary

Last week, I went on a quick last-minute trip to Kansai from Korea for the Chuseok holiday (Korean thanksgiving, Mid-Autumn Harvest Festival).

I flew on Eastarjet Airlines (a charter airline that flies out of Incheon for flights to Kansai - KIX).  I flew out on Thursday morning at 7:50 AM (arrive 9:30 AM) and flew back to Seoul on Sunday at 11:10 AM (arrive at 1:00 PM)

Itinerary includes:
Day 1: Kobe
Day 2: Kyoto
Day 3: Osaka
Day 4: Back to Seoul

Check out my other itineraries here!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

[Life Update] Chuseok Osaka Trip

Hello all!
I am so sorry! I fail so much at keeping this blog updated! I have so many posts in the "draft" section of the blog, you have no idea. It's just a matter of having the time/energy to sit down and really write that eludes me.

I have a bunch of great restaurants I just checked out, too. Such a pity!

As you might know, it's currently chuseok (추석), which is kind of like Korean thanksgiving, I guess. It's also known as harvest festival in the Chinese calendar.

This year, it luckily falls on a Wednesday, so we have a super extended weekend. Wednesday through Sunday off.

I decided last minute to go to Osaka for the weekend. This is about time for me to update my Japan knowledge...I haven't been back since I moved away in January 2014~!

My current plan is to go to Kobe right away tomorrow morning and then go to Osaka in the evening to meet up with my Japanese friend. Then we will go around in Osaka one day and then Kyoto one day and then I'll be back in Korea by Sunday afternoon.

I'll be flying Eastar Jet again, so I'll give some info about that flight later :)

I recently went to Jeju on Eastar Jet for work. The flight was fine, no complaints. The flight was about 39,000 one-way. My coworkers complained because we didn't get meal service, but the flight is less than 1.5 hours, so I can't see how it would be physically possible for them to give us anything other than water/beverage service.

I have flown it before and no other complaints yet, keep you updated later!

Monday, August 1, 2016

[Seoul, Gangnam] Eulmildae 을밀대 - Pyeongyang North Korean Food

을밀대 - Pyeongyang Naengmyun in Gangnam!

It is now definite naengmyun (cold noodles - naeng = cold, myun = noodles) season in Korea and it has been for quite some time. If you want to check out something a little different from your typical naengmyun, I recommend checking out some of the Pyeongyang-style noodle houses around Seoul!

These places sell noodles and flavors that are in the North Korean style!

Check out more naengmyun posts here!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Taiwan Trip Itinerary: 3 nights, 4 days (From Seoul to Taiwan)

Hi, thought I'd update you on what my friend and I did on our trip to Taiwan.
We had a 3 nights, 4 days "free tour" package from a Korean travel agency.

Airline: Jeju Air
Hotel: Go Sleep Hotel Hankou (near Ximen station)

I'll post more with pictures later! So, check back!

MAKE SURE YOU BRING CASH! It's very rare to find places that take card.

I failed and ALSO forgot my American debit card and I never set up my Korean bank card to be used abroad. So, I had to be very frugal. I also only had an American Express card, thanks Delta for the most useless credit card on the planet.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Living in Korea Part 4: How to operate air conditioner (Remote + Translations)

This is part 4 of my Living in Korea series!

I saw a post on Facebook the other day asking for translations of the air conditioning remote and I realized that I've never made a post about it! So, here it is!

Please send me a picture of your air conditioning remotes! I can continue to update this post with all of the remote options!

Moving to and Living in Korea Series!
Part 1: Packing for study/living in Korea
Part 2: Getting a Phone in Korea
Part 3: Doing Laundry in Korea

Saturday, July 9, 2016

[KOREA] Twosome Place Summer 2016 Bingsu Menu - Icebox Cake Bingsu

It's now bingsu season 2016! AKA, this is my favorite season because it's socially acceptable to eat bingsu multiple times per week.

Twosome Place released a new bingsu for 2016 - their icebox cake bingsu.

Twosome Place Tiramisu Bingsu
Other bingsu posts

Friday, July 8, 2016

[Seoul, Insadong] Miss Lee's Cafe (별다방 미스리) - Traditional Korean tea and snacks

If you find yourself in Insadong, I highly recommend stopping by Miss Lee's Cafe. It was made famous by the Korean variety show called "We Got Married" back in 2009 or 2010.

It serves up traditional Korean teas, traditional Korean snacks, dosirak (lunch boxes), and bingsu.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

[GS25 Korea] Doutor Coffee is now at GS25

Japan's Doutor Coffee (株式会社ドトールコーヒー) is now expanding its operations into Korea and Taiwan.

I found this Cafe Au Lait at my local GS25 convenience store.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I'm going to Taiwan (Taipei) on July 24! (AGAIN!)

My friend and I are going to Taiwan from July 24 to July 27! This will be my second trip, but my friend's first trip to Taiwan.
It's going to be SO HOT. We are already preparing ourselves mentally and physically.

It has been nearly 3 years since I was last in Taiwan and, I'm sure, it has changed so much. So, I'm looking for your favorite places and "must sees" and, most importantly, MUST EATS!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

[Daily Life/Hobby] Bullet Journal

Does anyone bullet journal?

I'm thinking of starting one because it seems like such a good organizational tool, but it seems so overwhelming to get started!!

How do you recommend starting one?

I've watched so many different YouTube videos and read so many blogs. I'm so lost.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Korean Shopping: Summer Sales 2016

Sorry for the accidental hiatus!

I've got some great news for you shoppers out there!
It's now summer sale season in Korea! The sales started last week, but end date has not been posted quite yet. It's usually around three weeks, I believe.

So, head out to your favorite mall and/or department store and take advantage.

Checkout my shopping guide for information about your nearest shopping mall!

Monday, June 6, 2016

[Convenience Store] Mojito Bar (Mojito Ice Pop/Popsicle) 모히또바

Convenience store ice cream/summer treats in Korea!

I was really craving a popsicle the other day. It is actually quite hard to find one here, which is really disappointing.

But, fear not, there are now Mojito Bars! These contain no dairy, so they're lactose-free for all of you fellow lactose-intolerant people out there.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

[Seoul, Sadang] Penny Coffee Roasters

I recently moved to a new neighborhood/area in Seoul.

My friend and I met up for dinner and then checked out Penny Coffee Roasters afterwards.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

[Seoul] Buddha's Birthday 2016 - Bongeunsa Temple

Yesterday was Buddha's birthday, so my friends and  I went to Bongeunsa Temple, near Samseong Station, across the street from Coex for the celebrations.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

[GS25] Mayonnaise Pretzels

Hi, so sorry I have been MIA recently. I just started a new job a couple of months ago and it's been a rough time adjusting. I haven't had time to check my emails and I guess some readers have been emailing me for itineraries. I will definitely try and get to those ASAP.

[Korea] Swing Chip - Soy sauce chicken flavored potato chips


Sunday, March 27, 2016

[GS25] Coconut Milk

This is my new obsession, coconut-flavored milk. 

It's not true coconut milk, but it does surprisingly have real coconut flavoring in it, albeit a small amount. This specific brand (the GS store brand) has 2.1% coconut cream in it.

This 435 mL carton is 1,300 won (about 1.05USD) right now because it's on promotion. But the original price is 1500 KRW.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

[Korea] Skim Milk in Korea

I remember in the not so distant past when it was very difficult to find lowfat milk in Korea.
These days, you can even get skim milk.

I thought I'd post this because there's not really any way to know this is skim milk if you don't read Korean.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Living in Korea: Part 3 - Doing Laundry in Korea - Laundry Machines

I thought back to what were some of my most pressing questions when I first moved to Korea, I remembered that laundry was one of those things that I was the most concerned about.

Laundry is important!

Here's a little primer about what all those buttons mean!
Moving to and Living in Korea Series!
Part 1: Packing for study/living in Korea
Part 2: Getting a Phone in Korea
Part 3: Doing Laundry in Korea

Monday, February 8, 2016

[Seoul] February 2016 - MMCA (Samcheongdong) Julian Popp Bit.Flow, Bit.Code, Bit.Fall

If you haven't had a chance to check out the MMCA yet, definitely head over there soon. My friend and I went last week to check out this great installation (more posts to come).

Happy (Lunar) New Year 2016!

Welcome to the Year of the Monkey!
Happy new year everyone! 새해복 많이 받으세요!

Any exciting plans?

I will try to blog more regularly this year. I really admire bloggers who are able to put up great content every day!

If you have any specific type of post you'd like to see more of, just leave a comment below. I've noticed my posts about moving to Korea have been pretty popular.

Feel free to send me any emails with questions you have about traveling to Korea or moving to Korea!

I am also thinking of writing a new itinerary post since my previous ones are a little outdated now!

In the meantime, to commemorate the year of the monkey, I will link my posts that are either about monkeys or else about their "favorite" food, bananas.

Oh, I've also been seeing some restaurants and cafes that give discounts to people born in the year of the monkey (including Lotte World...I just got a Kakao message from them). I'll try and share those as I come across them, cuz I love saving money.

Happy New Year!
Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama - Kyoto
Buddy's - Food served on banana leaves - Manila

Friday, February 5, 2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

[Korea] BHC Chicken - Sprinkle Chicken 뿌링클치킨 (Cheese sprinkle)

A new trend in Korean fried chicken is this sweet cheese sprinkle chicken with a white dipping sauce.

This picture is from the summer in the Apgujeong Rodeo location, but it's still available in every BHC outlet.

Monday, February 1, 2016

[Seoul City Hall] Bloom Cafe 피어나래 - Bingsoo Smoothie

Finding non-chain cafes near main roads at City Hall Station in Seoul is actually pretty tricky.
I stumbled upon this cafe, which is quite easy to find, by accident one day.

I stopped into Bloom for a bingsu smoothie, but it is also pretty popular for espresso-based beverages, pancakes, and bubble teas.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Studying abroad in Korea? Packing list (mainly health supplies)

It's about that time of year when exchange students start coming to Korea.
So, I decided to write a list of some packing tips I have (combined with suggestions from my friends who also studied abroad in Korea).

The school year is a little different in Korean universities than America. (This post will be written from (mainly) an American perspective)
Students have a very long winter break.

Typical schedule:
Summer school: Late June through August
Fall semester: September through mid-December
Spring: March through late June

Just leave a comment if you have a question about if you should pack something or not. Or, if you don't want to post publicly, send me an email and I'll try my best to give you a well-informed opinion.

Moving to and Living in Korea Series!
Part 1: Packing for study/living in Korea
Part 2: Getting a Phone in Korea
Part 3: Doing Laundry in Korea

Friday, January 29, 2016

[Korea Shopping] 3M Nexcare Blemish Stickers

So, this may be a weird post, but this is one of those products I always recommend to my friends when they visit.

They're stickers you put over pimples and it makes the pimples disappear very quickly!

Have you discovered any skin miracles in Korea?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

[Minnesota, Minneapolis, St. Paul] Brasa Rotisserie on Grand Avenue

I went back to Minnesota for the holidays and met up with my friend at one of my favorite places to eat, Brasa Rotisserie on Grand Avenue.

As a student at the University of Minnesota, I used to go to the location in Northeast Minneapolis rather frequently.

Both are great.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

[Seoul] D Museum January 2016 "9 Lights in 9 Rooms"

Exterior (from official website)
The Daelim group just opened a new contemporary art museum, D Museum, in Hannam-dong. The original Daelim Museum is in the Anguk/Gwanghwamun area.

My friends and I just went to the inaugural exhibition, "Spatial Illumination: 9 Lights in 9 Rooms."
The exhibition runs through May 8, 2016.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

[Seoul, Itaewon] Khao San - Thai Food Spicy Prawns and Fried Rice

My friend and I decided to check out Khao San in Itaewon for some Thai food.

My friend had just returned from a trip to Thailand and noted how this restaurant is pretty authentic (compared with other Thai restaurants that cater to Korean tastes).

Monday, January 25, 2016

[Seoul, Korea] Where to Shop: Seoul Shopping Guide 2016

I had a request via email to introduce some of my favorite shopping areas in Seoul (if you have a request for travel information or a food tip, please send me an email).
I don't really have any pictures, so please bear with me.

If I missed any or you'd like to give your opinion, please leave a comment here!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

[Seoul, Hongdae] Hongdae Jopok Ddukbokki - Dukkukbokki, Mixed Tempura, Soondae

Another one of those great foods for winter is ddukbokki and other traditional bunshik foods like soondae (blood sausage) and fried veggies and seafood.

My friends and I stopped off at one of the more famous bunshik joints in Hongdae for a quick bite.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

[Seoul, SNU, Goshichon, Sillim] Pho 36 St - Vietnamese Noodles

Chilly winter days in Seoul means it's time for soup every day!

Went to Pho 36 Street in Goshichon area for some delicious pho!

Goshichon 고시촌 is an area in Seoul where hopeful future diplomats live and prepare for the diplomat exam.
It is also pretty close to Seoul National University (and the SNU Language Institute dorms), so there are plenty of students around, too.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

[Seoul, Gyungbokgung] Seochongil Donkatsu (Seochon Pork Cutlet)

Went to 서촌길 돈까스 Seochongil Donkatsu (Seochon Pork Cutlet) and had some homemade breaded pork cutlets.

This is a perfect location for lunch or dinner after touring Gyungbokgung Palace.

I apologize in advance. I had a fight with my phone this day and...the food pics are terrible quality.

Life Abroad: Hulu, Pandora, Netflix while abroad

This post is from an American perspective, but the tips offered work for any country's blocked sites.

If you're like me, I'm sure you like watching TV on the internet and listening to music online.
One bummer about working/living abroad is that often times these subscription services and media content are blocked for users abroad.

You're going to need a VPN (virtual private network) to access the content.

Over the years, I have tried many different VPN services.
I'll rank them in terms of reliability below.

Friday, January 15, 2016

[Samcheongdong, Seoul] Cook'n Heim - North American Plate featured on Running Man

If you're a fan of Running Man, check out Cook N Heim in Samcheongdong.

Even if you're not, check it out. This is a great location for brunch because it has great views of the Samcheongdong Street.
The novelty burger trend is still holding strong in Seoul. It seems like there is a new burger place opening every day.

Cook n Heim has been around for a few years. I always saw it and meant to check it out, but finally got the chance.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

[Korea] Beesket Juice Bar - 100% Fruit

Beesket is a chain juice bar in South Korea. It serves 100% fresh fruit juice with no sweeteners, sugar, or other additives.

I went to the store in Lotte World Mall (Jamshil station), but there are plenty of other locations.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

[Edae, Seoul] Gil Cuisine Brunch - Ricotta Cheese Salad + Salmon Benedict

Gil Cuisine is a cute little brunch spot in Edae. It's kind of tucked away, so you kind of need to be "in the know." I first visited about five years ago, so it's great this non-chain place has been supported by its customers even after the constant increase in rent prices in Seoul.

Monday, January 11, 2016

[Seoul, Hongdae] Thanks Nature Sheep Cafe

Last year was the year of the sheep, which meant Thanks Nature in Hongdae got a lot of press! It has been around a few years. It's an organic cafe right off a main street in Hongdae, which happens to have two sheep.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

[Seoul, Samcheongdong] Onmaul - Fresh Soft Tofu Stew

 One of my favorite Korean foods is soondubu (soft tofu).

Onmaul (온마을) in Samcheongdong makes its own tofu in house!

I highly recommend checking out this restaurant next time you're in the area. It's pretty traditional in an area known for very Westernized cafes and brunch restaurants, which all have their time and place.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

[Korea] Mom's Touch - Cajun Mango Chicken Sandwich

When my friend visit me in Korea, oftentimes they have Mom's Touch on their list of "must try" places. I, honestly, had never tried it until this year.

It's a fast food chicken sandwich chain found throughout Korea.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

[Boston, Boston Common] Boston Public Garden

The Boston Public Garden is right next to Boston Common. It is a lovely park with a pond in the middle. During the summer, for $3, you can take a ride around the pond on the Swan Boats, which have been operated by the same family for their entire existence. There are also statues, including one of George Washington and of the ducks from "Make Way for Ducklings." It's a nice place for a walk or to sit and relax on a hot day.

The "Make Way for Ducklings" statues.

The George Washington statue.

The Swan Boats.

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