The next day was free from any planned sightseeing which meant we could sleep in a little and see where the day took us. We were told that there was a massive underground mall in the Gangnam area, so we thought that sounded fun and was worth checking out.
We started off by seeking out some delicious breakfast. On the way we discovered that right in front of our building was an excellent little escape from the crazy, busy traffic. Just below street level was a well planned nature area, complete with a stream and walking path, which according to the map spans a total of 7 km. We didn't need to walk down it at that time but made sure to check it out in the future.
Along the way to the subway station we found this cute place called London Tea that served brunch. We hadn't had real breakfast in so long so this sounded excellent.
Well I don't mind if I do!
This place was super cute!
My sister ordered this amazing banana pancake.
I went with the apple and cheddar omelet, and it was really good, except that when it was brought out it had bacon on it, so I had them remake it. I wish the menu had mentioned bacon so I could have ordered it correctly the first time.
I also didn't realize that it came with a croissant so I ordered toast. My sister ordered an egg to get a little protein with her pancake.
This building was near our hotel and I used this a lot as a landmark to help us find our way around. It was definitely interesting to look at.
This was another interesting thing to look at around our hotel. I believe this is a TV tower.
As we were walking to the subway I spotted some fun sculptures around, mostly on street corners and mostly near large business buildings.
Then we took the subway over to Gangnam to find the Coex Mall. It is listed online as the largest underground mall in Asia and was very easy to find via subway. The cool thing about the half hour subway ride was that we came above ground at one point and crossed a river with some very pretty views.
Before we knew it we were at the mall. This is where things got really confusing. The whole place was under renovation. This was extremely weird because a girl on our trip the day before told us she was staying right there and didn't go outside for days because she had a conference and then her hotel was at this mall. She made it seem like there was a lot to do, which is the reason we went there. Oops! Barely any stores at all.
So we headed above ground to check out Gangnam before heading back to our area. Not surprisingly, plenty of fun buildings above ground.
Then we found a temple across the street and decided to at least check that out before getting back on the subway for another 30 minute ride.
Here is my sister that the entrance.
And here I am at the entrance.
Here are some pictures from around the temple grounds.
Nice and peaceful
Here is my sister at one of the side entrances to the main temple. I really liked how this entrance way looked.
I am not sure what all of the buildings were for, but this seemed like a temple that was more used by locals than a tourist attraction. I liked that!
I didn't climb all the way up, but I really liked how the buildings were spread out and had a lot more nature around to balance out the fact that they were right in the middle of a bustling city.
No idea where these stairs go!
This really reminds you that there is a big city around you.
I love the artwork.
After the temple we headed back to the Myeondong area, which was not too far from our hotel. We were in desperate need of lunch so we found a major food court underneath the Lotte Shopping Mall. There were many options but we were overwhelmed by everything so we stuck to things we knew. Actually, it was mostly the crazy amounts of people eating that was overwhelming because it was quite noisy. We also didn't realize the whole process of ordering. You order and then pay at a centralized cashier. After we figured things out, our lunch was ready quickly. We ordered vegetables and rice for two. Not bad at all, but a little on the spicy side. A family from New Zealand (they were Korean, but not living in Korea) asked how we liked the food and if we thought it was too spicy. They thought it was funny that my mouth was on fire but my sister was perfectly fine.
We were served some kimchi too.
It also came with this soup but I had no idea what this was so I didn't eat it. I learned the next day it was probably anchovy broth. Similar to miso but made from anchovy.
After some shopping we went back to the food court for dessert. We tried out Natuur Pop.
My sister had an ice topped with berries and sorbet. It was really good.
I tried out some of their ice cream. Very tasty.
Then we went to the hotel to rest a little before heading out to dinner. We definitely were not hungry yet! But when we were, we headed to Potala, which was a few blocks from our hotel. It featured Indian, Napali and Tibetan food. The part that most interested us was the Tibetan food. Indian is one of my favorites, so I figured at the very least there would be something I could eat on the menu.
No need to even consider looking at the Indian food on the menu. Everything, and I do mean just about everything, on the Tibetan menu looked amazing. I had a hard time narrowing it down so we ordered way more than we could eat. But, OMG, this was some of the most amazing food I have ever had in my entire life. Hands down, some of the best vegetarian food I have ever tasted. Plus, the service was amazing. I later read online that the family are refugees from Tibet. Our server was so nice and so helpful. It made our experience exceptional.
Dinner started with pickles...we are in Korea!
This soup is known as Thukpa. Wow, the flavors were so amazing. It was just delicious. This is a noodle soup in a very flavorful broth. It can be ordered with meat, but I think even a meat eater would eat this and not need to have it with anything additional.
I also ordered this thickened potato soup with veggies and thin, wide noodles. Very yummy, too!
Next came the momos. These are traditional dumplings. They are a little like gyoza crossed with samosa. Wow, very tasty!
Of course we had some bread too. This is like naan but a little different. So, so, so good! Everything was delicious and wonderful.
I had never had Tibetan food before and I hope to be able to enjoy this again in the future. If you are ever in Seoul, you must eat here. Or if you are anywhere and come across Tibetan food, try it!
QUESTIONS: Have you ever been told to go visit a place and found that there was either nothing there or it was under renovation? Have you ever tried Tibetan food?