Last week I spent a couple of quick days in Seoul, South Korea exploring the Hongdae District. That’s where Hongik University is, so this area of Seoul is very modern and artsy. Walking along the main drag of the district, I sort of felt like I was in New York City. Seoul is just a quick 2 hour plane ride from Beijing. Once I cleared customs, I took an escalator straight down to the subway and hopped on. I was welcomed by snowfall when I emerged from the subway station near my hostel, which was quite magical, then it quickly turned to rain and my shoes were soaked (which was less magical).
In general, Seoul was very clean and friendly. Most of the places I went, the locals knew at least a little English, and they were very smiley and giggly. Even though I braved the intensely cold weather, it was difficult to get around and explore as much as I had hoped to. However, I enjoyed trying new foods and searching for options that were healthy and tasty. Here’s what I came up with!
My first evening in Seoul, I found an “American salad bar & grill” called Ashley’s, which actually turned out to be an upscale buffet restaurant. There was indeed a salad bar, as well as different fruits, yogurt and granola bar, pizza, tofu sushi, apple coleslaw, make-your-own noodle soup, and a section of meat dishes. Obviously, these aren’t all vegan friendly but I was able to make do and went back to the buffet like 4 times! They also had a wine bar, your basic soda options, as well as brown rice green tea and a non-alcoholic wine tea which was interesting. There was also a self-serve espresso machine, which I loved!
The next day was unbearably cold, so I decided just to hit up a 7-11 and purchase several small food items for lunch. 7-11 is everywhere in Seoul and Beijing, and I’m assuming in many other Asian cities as well.
They had a selection of familiar drinks that I could easily get back in America, so I decided to try something new. I saw this Oriental Raisin Water and gave it a try. It didn’t taste like raisins necessarily (the picture on the bottle makes it look like it comes from a berry?), I’m not quite sure how to describe it. It wasn’t too strong of a taste, barely sweet, but overall I liked it. Maybe it tasted tea-ish?