Life in Seoul can be super hectic and complicated, as complicated as how Seungri’s case has been going on for weeks and another new negative nickname keep being added to his name, from pimp, liar, gambler, and many more. Since life in Seoul can be so complicated and I prefer somewhere nice and quiet, lolz, I traveled to a smaller region like Andong, Gumi and Cheonsong on my last visit to South Korea. Since Cheonsong is a really small town and there’s nothing to be introduced there, I won’t do any posting about it. I’ll just post about Andong and Gumi since both of them left quite an impression during my travel this time.
Traveling to Gumi, you can either choose to take a KTX to the nearest KTX station (where you’ll still have to travel by car for another 30 minutes to get into Gumi area), or you can take Munggunghwa train which stops directly at Gumi station. I choose the second option, since I’m trying to travel on a budget this time, so no taxi only buses. Note that there’s no subway here in Gumi, so you’ll only can travel by bus. And since it’s a small city, the bus didn’t come that frequently like how they do in the big city (another minus point when you travel to a small city).
Since there’s nothing much to buy or shop in Gumi, I would recommend you to just do some culinary travel here. There’s a lot of good food around Gumi, and if you’re a spicy food lover, then you MUST come to Gumi for once to try their local food which you only can find in this area. You won’t be able to find anything like this in Seoul. If you’re purpose traveling is to enjoy eating good food, then I definitely recommend you to find a place to stay in Indong-dong or Inui-dong, since all nice restaurant selling local food can be find in this area. So you can travel by foot and you won’t have to wait for bus to travel to another district just to have lunch or dinner (remember that the bus don’t come so frequent like how they did in big city, so travel on foot will be the best option you have). And, I don’t recommend you do the hotel booking through booking.com or agoda, since they don’t provide a complete range of hotel, and the hotel being mentioned there is offering a crazy price. You can find something like 70 percent cheaper through the local booking site like Yanolja. The place I stay last time cost 40,000 KRW per night and have a super comfy massage chair inside the room is Hotel Comma, which is just few minutes walk to every nice restaurant around the area, and there’s a Manhwabang (Comic House) where you can read comic books to spend your time while waiting for lunch and dinner time, since there’s not much place to see or play in Gumi (it’s a factory district).
WHAT SHOULD I TRY IN GUMI?
1. Wachon Sikyuk Sikdang (와촌 식육식당)
They have a few branches spread around Gumi area, but based on what my local friend (a friend born and live in Gumi for her entire life) told me, the best one located in Inui-dong 842-6, which is just 2 minutes walk away from the hotel I stay. I don’t even know that the place is so close to my hotel when I book the hotel through the application, so lucky me~! There’s a little variety in the menu here, but the only thing you have to try is their Dwaeji Jjigae (literally means pork soup), and remember to tell the auntie that you want to add 3 garlic and 3 chili because that’s the best way to have it. Just say “마늘3개, 고추3개” (maneul se gae, gochu se gae), then the auntie will prepare it as per your request.
The thing looks like this when it just comes out, making you wonder “Didn’t I order a soup?”, but no worries you’ll just have to keep boil it slowly. And after a few minutes, the juice and the soup came out and it’ll finally look like this… WOW~!
Looks spicy and yummy right? Even if you don’t have the appetite when you get in to this restaurant, I guarantee you’ll suddenly have the appetite to finish everything up on the first spoon of the soup. Because it’s really spicy, but yet have it’s own unique style where you cannot find in any kind of jjigae (soup) that sells outside in Seoul area. It’s basically own the title to be said as Gumi’s very own soup style and taste. This place is really a must try. Another good thing about this restaurant? It opens 24 hour! So you can just step inside anytime you want.
2. Seonsan Gopchang (Spicy Intestines)
Another delicacy of Gumi’s area, this spicy intestines menu has recently become fairly popular in Seoul, but still having the local delicacy in their origin taste far better than what you have in Seoul. Another plus point is, while this menu cost KRW 14,000 per person in Seoul (with a minimum of 2 portion order), it only cost KRW 7,000 per person in Gumi (with a minimum of 2 portion order) with the same portion size, which I must say the price differences is crazy.
There’s a lot of Seonsan Gopchang in Gumi, since this menu is everyone’s favorite in Gumi, again based on the information my friend gave me, the best one located in Hwangsang-dong 313-5, which is called Lee Yin Young Seonsan Gopchang Indong Branch (이인영 선산곱창 인동점), which located 8 minutes walk from the hotel I stayed.
This one is the most popular Seonsan Gopchang brand and branch, but there’s a lot of other Seonsan Gopchang with different brand who copies their billboard style, so before you get in to the store, make sure you see the words I circled in purple is written in the billboard. If they don’t have it then either you’re in the wrong Seonsan Gopchang branch, or you get the wrong brand at all.
I’m an intestine lover, so when the food was being served, I forgot to take a picture of it and only remember I finished everything. But basically, although it tastes different from the Dwaeji Jjigae, Seonsan Gopchang looks similar to Dwaeji Jjigae with the red soup and lots of onion inside the soup. But it tastes real different. If you prefer something extra spicy, then you’ll love Dwaeji Jjigae more compare to this menu, but if you prefer something mild spicy, then you’ll definitely fell in love with this Seonsan Gopchang. And don’t forget to order for a portion of fried rice in the end of your meal. =)
– To be continued to Andong travel in Part 2 –