Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 1 Jeonju Highlights: Dasarang Chicken & Pizza, Samgyeopsal, and Hite!

[May 2, 2011]

Choy and I left the Philippines around 1 in the morning, while Kuya had his scheduled around lunch time. We had a different flight itinerary with kuya but it was still on the same day (May 2). We also arrived in Incheon before 7 am (Korea time), and then left almost immediately for Jeonju.


The Jeonju province is about 4-5 hours by road from the ICN airport. Sometimes it takes longer when there's traffic along the way. Anyway, we rode the limousine bus right after leaving the airport. Now to be honest, I actually didn't expect the trip to take that long. But I was so thankful that my bus chair could be reclined into a comfortable sleeping position. So when you're bound for Jeonju, you'll also have to expect at least 2-4 stop-overs before reaching the province. If I may recall, there was a stop-over at the Gumbo airport. Then the last stop was at our hotel, CORE HOTEL.

Jeonju was actually tourist-friendly. The bus even had a prompter that translated the instructions in several different languages for every stop-over made (there was English and Japanese). And since I was travelling with Choy (who was a first-timer), I was made to be more alert and more attentive to instructions. But on our last stop, a JIFF Ziggy approached us upon exiting the bus. He took our luggages and escorted us into the hotel. Upon entering the hotel, a few more JIFF volunteers greeted us with a smile, and an 'ANNYEONGHASEYO' greeting resonated in the hall. =) I actually asked Justin back at the airport to teach me a few basic korean phrases, and he taught me how to say hello, thank you and goodbye.

Hello = Annyeonghaseyo
Thank You = Gamsahabnida
Goodbye = Jagbyeol Insa

After the Ziggys' handed our press kits, ID's, and room key, Choy and I immediately went up to our 7th floor room. We decided to fix our things and immediately left for the festival. But before leaving, I made a quick email to my niece Rachel, for a possible meet-up that night. She's actually an English teacher in Jeonju. So getting a chance to see her there after 16 or so years was also a nice coincidence. Good thing the WiFi on our floor had a strong signal as I was able to send my message right away.

We were also very hungry by then, so we made sure to ask the volunteers if there were any affordable food places at the festival. There were actually plenty, and they readily gave us maps to the cinema street vicinity. Good thing JIFF also offered free shuttle rides from the hotel to the festival, as I no longer had to ask how to get there by foot. Much to my surprise, a walk from CORE Hotel to the Jiff venue would only take more or less 10 minutes. The weather was super cold but was actually good for walking.

Choy and I also took a few photos before heading to the festival. And after checking some of the restaurants along the cinema street, we finally decided to try this Chicken and Pizza place. Everything was mostly written in korean, and we found a familiar comfort in this particular food place. The place was called Dasarang Chicken and Pizza.



My brother and I ordered a platter of Original and Spicy chicken and Pizza. And while waiting for our orders, the waitress placed several small bowls that contained appetizers in them. There were these bowls filled with raddish, coleslaw and some colored cereal corn pops for our eating pleasure. I later on found out that these ring-like junkfood was actually Korea's version of Popcorn. And if I may say so myself, those treats were good and tasty! I actually thought about bringing some home but then I changed my mind. ;)



What we ordered was a little expensive but the food was actually great, and everything had a little spiciness to it. We even had some take-home since Choy couldn't finish the chicken anymore. And so after lunch, we went to the nearest 7-Eleven to get some ice cream to treat our taste buds to something sweet.

We also walked around the festival, and checked out the boutiques at the Cinema Street. And when we finally got tired, we decided to head back to the hotel. We were there until my Kuya arrived. He came in late (around 11 pm), but his travel was much faster compared to ours since he rode the cab with two other Filipinos (Cinema One representaives).

When kuya finally got his stuff settled, we headed out for some late dinner. My niece, Rachel didn't respond right away, so we arranged to meet the next day instead. All three of us just headed back to the festival venue where we eventually found this authentic Korean restaurant. We couldn't read the signages but we've managed to adapt to our surroundings. We came in and ordered what the other locals were eating. It was a restaurant that offered smokeless grilling units where you can cook beef slices and some veggies by yourself (much like Yakimix in the Philippines). 


We were given one unit, which was placed on top of our table. Several side dishes were also served to us minutes after. The waiters placed several bowls on our table, which individually contained kimchi (in different forms), lettuce, mushrooms, garlic, onions, and other vegetables that tasted great when grilled. This was Korea's famous 'Samgyeopsal'.

Now, my kuya was actually funny yet smart as he was carefully and attentively watching some of the customers with their grilling. He eventually figured how everything was supposed to work, and we were able to eat our food almost immediately. The different kinds of beef strips were really tasty, and the veggies actually complemented the beef. But what's even better was that they also had Coke to complement the whole meal altogether. Kuya laid off on the Coke though and ordered Korea's famous HITE beer instead. He loved it actually and ordered a couple more.



We didn't do anything else after dinner so we just went back to the hotel by foot (we actually explored which routes lead the shortest back to CORE). We just called it a night as we had a long day coming for the next day.

Now, you wouldn't believe the world-class service that JIFF was providing to its guests. But of course, you'll have to read the next few entries to find out why. =P

Until then..


Explore & Be Free!
Mai

48 comments:

  1. enjoy traveling while you're still young, and I'll be waiting for the next part... Who knows, I might explore Korea too... :D

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  2. I was actually imagining reading this with a dubbed koreanovela version of the narrator telling the story.  Looks like you had a lot of nice korean foods to eat on your visit.

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  3. wow korea! i want to visit korea just to ...eat. i'm pretty sure you had a very generous serving of korean food during your stay there. :)

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  4. the food looks good :)  i find hard to pronounce the korean counterpart of Hello, thank you and Goodbye, lol.  You know what I am a fan of Korea-novelas, Baker King had made my eye bulge as i cried a bucket of tears watching it ahaha, hoping sometime, someday i can visit Korea too :)

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  5. Wow, food trip in Korea! Definitely bucket list stuff. I'd love to try the Korean popcorn. And of course, my fave: samgyeopsal. I wonder how their beer compare to our San Miguel. Some Koreans I know say it's not as strong. Is it true? Btw, I'm surprised your niece works there as an English teacher. I thought they have native-speaker-only policy (or maybe your niece is American?).

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  6. Oh, I have more Korea posts! :) You can check them out if you're interested in reading some more. And yes, I really do travel while I can, and while still able. :)

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  7. hahaha.. really? And yes, I had a blast! I've always loved Korean food, so it was no trouble eating there as I loved everything that was served to me. :P

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  8. Hehehe.. if I were to go back, I would probably go on a food trip too! :)

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  9. Oh, wow! I've never heard of Baker King (looking it up now..). And as for the Korean words, they're actually very easy to pronounce. The 'H' on their hello and thank you are usually delivered with a silent H. :)

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  10. Indeed! You'll surely lovely the Korean Popcorn, as it was surprisingly good! :) Oh and the Samgyeopsal was the BEST!! But I wouldn't know what HITE tasted like, as I didn't fancy tasting foreign beer at the time.. hehe! And as for my niece, you've guessed right. :) She's Fil-Am. She went to Jeonju right after graduating from Florida. :)

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  11. Whoaaaaaa Korea!!!! Wish I could visit this place soon!

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  12.  Yeah, but this is really a fun experience for you. Hope to see Korea to someday.

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  13. Nice story about Korea.   Actually, t's one of the places I wanted to visit but because they say it's hard to visit Korea because they need a visa, iI will just visit places that doesn't need one.

    I have a friend there and I hope I could really go there and see my friend. She always wanted me to visit her there. Maybe soon.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Annyeonghaseyo! Wow! What an amazing trip and food adventure in Korea. Everything sounds FUN and well-documented. I want to visit Korea and explore its beauty and see cherry blossoms.

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  15. WOw!!!! thats too much for food trip. I really wanna go to Korea and I really love their dishes coz I love spicy! :)

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  16. Nakakatakam! I've just recently grew a fondness for Korean food, and with a post like this, you make me so envious! :) Hopefully I'll be able to visit Korea too in the future.

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  17. I love Korean dishes and would also love to taste them where they are originally especially the popcorn ha, quite intriguing. looks like you enjoyed it there!

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  18. The only Koreanovela I watched was Kim Sam Soon, back in 2005, I didn't
    get as enamored as I am with Jdoramas :) that's why I only know
    "annyeong haseyo" - compared to my Japanese, kawawa lang. Still when
    visiting a friendly Korean store, I haven't made efforts to learn the
    language. Nywei, korean food is healthy and do really awesome goodness
    for the skin... :)

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  19. I already tasted the Korean popcorn, and it is good .Korean food are actually one of my favorite, oh ,well I love most all the different food in this world. 

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  20. Jeonju is quite a famous place in South Korea, but I didn't expect it to be so far from the airport. Riding the limousine bus must have been a luxury, I guess. =)

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  21. Nagugutom ulit ako :/ hehehe.. Ikaw na po talaga :) Ganda nman ng mga trippings nyo

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  22. Maria Estrella LedesmaAugust 7, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Just had dinner in Wara Wara, a local Korean resto here in our city (Bacolod), the owners are young Koreans looking like K-pop stars...hahaha.   They are everywhere, in fact Silla University built a 4 story dorm just for their students studying English here, so it's no wonder there are many Korean stores, restaurants, ice cream, boutiques, language schools at kung ano-ano pa.

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  23. i have a lot of  korean friends back in college and their food's great hope i can visit Korea in the future :)

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  24. Maria Gemma Defeo-HilotinAugust 8, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Annyeonghaseyo  you're one lucky sister... bait ni kuya! would love to experience Korea like you did!

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  25. love korean food as well hope could visit it soon too! i have friends there! xx

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  26. with the korean movies, my wife really wants to see s. korea. hope we will someday. Yahweh bless.

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  27. to the max! food tripping in korea. i'am a fan of kimchi chronicles here in our local channel. the reason why im starting to get interested with their cuisines.

    and, oh! love that coke bottle...sexy ever forever talaga ang coke :)

    http://www.diyandmore.com

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  28. Looking forward to your other entires on Korea though learning Korean from my end would be a challenge for me. ^_^

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  29. grabe and food trip. :-)

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  30. Oh, I'm sure you'll get to see Korea soon, ikaw pa Franc! :)

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  31. Oh why not? Would you like to try and apply for a Korean Visa? It's actually just simple. They're really not that strict -- just as long as you provide them all of the necessary documents. :) Also, their application process is very different from when you're applying for a US Visa. Here's a previous post that I wrote on how to apply for a Korean Visa: http://bit.ly/NvfCmI


    Hope this encourages you! :)

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  32. I actually wanted to see a few Cherry Blossom Trees myself. But my niece told me that they just finished their season when we came to visit. So it was pretty disappointing..hehe!

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  33. Me too! I've always had a thing for spicy food. So it wasn't a problem to us when it came to adjusting to their spicy and tasty cuisines.

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  34. You should visit Korea, Sumi! Kahit sa Seoul or Incheon area.. you'll love it there, especially their food! Now, I'm starting to miss everything about the country! :)

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  35. Oh my! The popcorn was actually awesome. It was surprisingly tasty. :)

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  36. Oh my, I haven't heard of that Koreanovela yet..hehe! And I agree with Korean food being healthy and all, especially the grilled ones! :)


    Oh, and whenever we would buy something from the store, we would never leave the place without saying the words Gamsahabnida. kakatuwa lang. :)

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  37. Nice! Where were you able to get your fill of Korean popcorn? :)

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  38. Hey Swexie! Actually, the Limousine bus wasn't that fancy. :P It was spacious, which meant that we were given a lot of legroom. :) The seats could also be reclined, so my brother and I were able to sleep throughout the trip. But what was more interesting about the bus was the voice prompter. Whenever we would make a stop-over, the voice prompter would inform everyone where we were - in different kinds of languages, including English. :) It was really tourist-friendly. :)

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  39. Hehehe.. nabiyayaan lang na magbigyan ng invitation sa Jeonju International Film Festival. :) But thanks! :)

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  40. I think they're everywhere now (in the Philippines). :) But that's ok. They've managed to share their culture to us, in many ways that we find advantageous. I just really love their food! :)

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  41. Why not? Plan a trip there soon. Maybe some of your Korean friends can tour you around their city. :)

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  42. Hehehe.. true po! I was indeed lucky and blessed to have been asked to go on that very opportune time. :)

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  43. You should Mary Jane! You'll love it there. :)

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  44. Why not Ralph? Korea is just a 4-hour trip now, if you're coming from Manila. :)

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  45. Oh wow, kimchi chronicles? I haven't heard of that! :)

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  46. Oh, it was challenging for me to learn how to speak a few Korean words. You should try practicing on the 3 words that I posted above. Those are actually the basic ones.

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  47. And yummy tignan ng pagkain especially nung Dasarang CHicken... maanghang for sure :)

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