Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Our first taste of Altang at Jeju – Day 11 in South Korea

It was certainly refreshing to wake up the next day knowing we were already in Jeju! Yes, just after that trip to Haedong Yonggungsa at Busan, we took a flight the same night via Jeju Air to Jeju! During the flight, me and my friend were busy stalking making friends with Korean kids. They were just too adorable and cute! I wish I had a cute Korean baby for a cousin!

Anyway, enough of the blabbering. We stayed at Woljeongni which was VERY far from the city, but quite close to some tourist spots. We woke up and left early the next day, however we had no idea that our place was 20-minute from the bus stop (since we took a taxi when we arrived from the airport) and that buses RARELY come!!! I thought it was same with Gyeongju wherein there was at least 15-minute duration when buses arrive but na-ah! We were at the bus stop by 9AM and was only able to see a bus to Jeju City after an hour! Imagine how bored we were then! I was tempted to talk to the old Korean couple sitting beside us, but decided to keep my mouth shut as the two of them were taking a nap (or maybe they were just closing their eyes?)

bus jeju
a picture of the bus schedule that I took out of boredom. I did not even bother to “decipher” this as I had no idea yet of the names of the places in Jeju

We arrived at the Intercity Bus Terminal after an hour – yup, that long. We were friggin' hungry and wanted to eat lots of meat. We looked for any restaurant that offer any samgyupsal, however we looked around the vicinity but there were nowhere to be found, instead they only had seafood in their menu! It’s not that I do not eat seafood, I wanted to eat meat for me to have energy for the afternoon. I was not really feeling psyched that day maybe because of the long wait we had before we were able to arrive at the bus terminal.

After 30 minutes or more of searching for meat joints, we finally settled in at a homey restaurant wherein lots of Jeju locals where dining in. We looked at the menu and of course, seafood. I ordered a safe dish, which I haven’t tried yet, but was recommended by the owner of the restaurant. He also introduced some seafood dishes to me but unfortunately I forgot the names. Our order came after 10 minutes.

altang jeju
my Altang
Al-tang, which is translated as the ‘fish egg soup’ is made out of fermented shrimp, noodles, vegetables, myulchi stock, and of course, the feature of the dish which is pollock roe.

I’d have to say, at first I thought the altang that I had was just so-so even though I have finished all of it. But now that I am writing this post, I admit that I love it!!! Oh yes, in bold letters and three exclamation marks! It was my first and last (as of writing) altang meal but I can still remember how it tasted, and can almost feel it in my mouth. The soup of altang was a flawless mix of spiciness – it’s spicy but not to the point wherein you would not be able to distinguish the taste of the soup. It’s like you can taste ‘sea’ in your mouth, but not in an icky and disgusting way. The ingredients were generous in amount – the noodles, the pollock roe, and the vegetables were perfectly cooked and I just loved munching on the roe.

My friend, however, did not like it at all. She did not even get to the half of her bowl which was a waste. I’d love to go back in time and finish those two bowls of altang. Yummy! However, one serving would be enough as you’d be really really full just by having the soup and Korean restaurants usually give one serving of rice with it so more reasons to make your belly bulge afterwards.

korean seafood stew

While eating, I decided to make an itinerary as we do not have yet any upon arriving Jeju. All the while, I thought I’d be able to make a detailed itinerary while in Korea, but failed. I will be doing a detailed post on planning itinerary not just for Jeju, but for our whole South Korea trip on my next posts.

Have you tried al-tang? How was it? And planning for your Jeju itinerary could sure be a lot of work, let me know in the comments section if you need any help with yours.

Day 1: Gangwon-do
Chuncheon and Nami Island

Day 2: Gangwon-do
Mt.Seorak (Seoraksan)

Day 3: Gyeonggi-do
Yongin and Food Tour

Day 4: Gyeonggi-do
Suwon: Hwaseong Fortress, Korean Folk Village

Day 5: Gyeonggi-do

Day 6: Gyeongju
Food Tour

Day 7: Gyeongju
Seokguram Grotto

Bulguksa Temple

Cheomseongdae and Anapji Pond

Day 8: Busan
Railway Train in Korea

Day 9: Busan
Igidae Coast

Busan Fireworks Festival

Day 10: Busan
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Flying with Jeju Air

Day 11: Jeju (E)
Food Tour- Altang

Dragon Rock

Jusangjeolli Cliff

Teddy Bear Museum

The Seaes Resort

Day 12: Jeju (W)
Sunrise Peak


Trick Art

Folk Village

Sangamburi Crater, Mt.Halla

Manjanggul Cave, Maze Park


Day 13: Seoul
Flying with T'way Airlines

Couchsurfing in Korea

Day 14: Seoul
Palaces and Bukchon Village

Day 15&16: Seoul
Myeongdong and Ewha University

N Seoul Tower

Booking Flights
via T'way Airlines

Travel Report for South Korea
16 days travel itinerary and tips

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