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    Posted April 29, 2014 by
    416hdf
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Assignment
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    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

    Bibimbap

     
    After trekking through a seemingly vacant part of downtown Seoul, (a part of town that I felt lacked character and any essence of unique distinguished culture), we found our way to the bustling and vibrant Gwang Jang market. An attack on the senses, almost an accosting, but the kind of accosting you like.
    Having lived in Korea for 2 years by the time we finally went for a visit here, we were very accustomed to what we saw. Pigs feet, yeah, fermented acorn paste, everywhere, kimchi, of course, chicken feet and blood sausage, roasting bundaegi (silk warm larvae) flooding the air with its very memorable smell. This place was awesome. An absolute must for anyone that likes "off the beaten path" travel...while still being a ear shot from a latte producing coffee shop, or whatever home base you seek out when travelling.
    Korea doesn't do a good a job at promoting this part of their city. They are of course quick to point out the "hi-Tech" parts of town, or the vibrant night life that absorbs most tourists. Korea fails to draw attention to the day to day lives of Koreans, instead they send tourists to their "hanock" villages and palaces, that are, in my honest opinion, worth the visit, but don't tell the store of Korea. Well, they do...but they don't. Kind of like Disney world "telling the store of the USA".
    Korea spends millions(well..actually billions) of Won on tourism development. A part of this development is the clear cutting of dilapidated parts of Seoul in the name of "appearing modern". these "Slums" tell a story of their own, one that I believe westerns would appreciate and should be heard. I have noticed that of recent, that Seoul tourism has started to "get it" and embrace the "underbelly" of Seoul, likely to attract younger tourists.
    I digress, the point here is, if you go to Seoul, or Korea in general. The hotel will tell you what you need to see, and you'll enjoy it, but check out a blog of any "English teacher in Korea" and see what they say about food culture and sites to see, often they are the ones that will better articulate the essence of Korea.

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