Monday, January 24, 2011

Eating it up in Chuncheon, South Korea

On Monday, January 17th 2011 the Harrington's found themselves en route to an area of Korea yet unexplored by our favorite couple. A few reasons lead to the Harrington's embarking on this journey to see and explore a new corner of the Peninsula they now call home, however one reason far outwheighed all others when the Harrington's considered the towns for a stop over. Food. A deciding factor almost...always. It was for the love of food and a specific food at that, that the Harrington's found themselves arriving in Chuncheon, South Korea.

One dish which gathers great fame amongst expats living it up in Korea is 닭갈비 (dalk-galbi) a dish featuring Chicken marinated and/or drenched in spicy Korean red pepper sauce, cabbage, sweet potatoes, rice cake noodles (pressed rice...that's chewy and delicious), and occassionaly lettuce or sesame leaves. The dish is prepared at the table in a large skillet as are many Korean dishes. Once the chicken is fully cooked diners may begin the process of eating it simply as is or selectively places odds and ins into a lettuce wrap to be shoved into the mouth, enjoyed and swallowed. It may not sound like much, but take our word, it's a favorite amongst the Harrington's, friends and plenty of others.

It was in desiring this dish that the Harrington's made their way to Chuncheon where the dish first got it's start and has gained such fame as to take up two entire streets dedicated to Dalk-Galbi restaurants (not to mention the plethera located off the 'tourist' streets). With just over 24 hours in Chuncheon and some crazy cravings, the Harrington's got in two good doses of this renowned dish and concluded that in Chuncheon, the dalk galbi is simply 'Better', more well-rounded, if you will.

Dalk-galbi in all it's glory!

Dalk Galbi Street

Another dish famous to Chuncheon and until recently, un-tasted by the Harringtons is 막국수 (mak-guk-soo) a spicy, cold noodle soup served with veggies and pork. By no means dalk galbi, the Harrington's nonetheless enjoyed their stop over at their CouchSurfers top restaurant choice for this other infamous Chuncheon dish.


Getting There: From Daejeon go by Inter-city Bus and you'll be in Chuncheon in no time! (The Harrington Times cannot provide more specific information as the Harrington's first went to Seoul, then from DongSeoul Station in Seoul to Chuncheon.) HOWEVER, many times, particularly on weekdays or low-travel seasons such as winter, it is feasable simply to make your way to a bus terminal, state your destination and the clerks will quickly have you a ticket for the next departur time! Once in Chuncheon, there are many maps available and to get to the most famous of Dalk Galbi streets simply plop down in a taxi, say Myeong-dong and in no time you'll be dropped off in the heart of Dalk Galbi laden streets...well, not quite, but almost.

When to Go: Whenever you have time! It's likely to be a beautiful and delicious journey no matter what! Chuncheon is also host to many festivals so travelers would be wise to schedule accordingly, those who are die-hard fans of Dalk Galbi may want to consider trekking that way in .... for the Dalk Galbi and Mak-Guk-Su Festival.

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