Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

It feels so good to be able to travel again during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite all the changing border and testing requirements. I feel it especially since i helped to launch some of the Vaccinated Travel Lanes and then i benefited from it during my recent trip to Germany (more of that soon). The Singapore-Republic of Korea (ROK) VTL is probably the most exciting travel arrangements for Singaporeans since it's probably the most exciting Asian destination (was glad that my team pulled it off). While i'm not in a hurry to fly to ROK now given that the demand is really high, here's sharing what we did when we travelled before all COVID hell broke loose.
On my first trip to ROK, i did a lot of the cultural stuff like visit palaces and museums. I even did a walking tour of Changdeokgung before and this is not something you'd wanna endure in winter or summer for that matter. 
You could easily do the Gyeongbokgung + Changdeokgung+ Bukchon Hanok Village together. The Seoul Tower could be skipped imo. The best part of this area to me was the Tosokchon Samgyetang. Seriously please make a stop here for my sake. Best Samgyetang of my life. I ate some famous but lousy one on my first trip and it ruined the dish for me. My life was forever changed at Tosokchon. You could also give palace cuisine a try at Korea House, though i wasn't very impressed with the food when i tried it years back.
Another thing i loved doing was strolling along the Cheongyecheon. You could easily have food delivered to where you are for a picnic.  
Insadong-gil is a nice area to visit, for tea houses and art, and more food!). I tried a Hotteok for the first time in my life and woah this is sooooo gooood. Just look for the longest queue. You will only regret not buying more. For more sweets, head to one of to O'sulloc tea cafes. Their matcha drinks and desserts were still as good as i remembered. P.s. order the tiramisu.
Visited the Common Ground because #pretentioushipsters but really there's nothing much to do here. 
Instead, head to to Yeonnam area, which is a slightly more sophisticated Hongdae with cafes and boutique stores. Great coffee at Coffee Libre, and San Francisco bagels at SF Bagels! Also you can get really good breakfast rosti and pancakes at Cafe Travel Maker nearby!
Other non-eating activities include VR games which were all the rage then. The trend hasn't really caught on in SG yet. Here's one of me in a snowball fight.
We also visited the Noryangjin Seafood Market for fresh seafood and live octopus. Pick your seafood first and then have it cooked at one of the numerous restaurants! We went a little overboard. :) I didn't dare to try the live octopus in Hokkaido before but Jr convinced me to try it this time round. If you're squirmy, dip the tentacles into the sesame oil-salt dip and wait it out. It's really fresh!
Get your shopping fix at Dongdaemun, Myeongdong, Gangnam or Hongdae, depending on what kind of shopper you are. For me, i went crazy over the Tom's Farm nuts. 
Also my Dongdaemun experience this time round was searching for Sunji Haejunguk, an oxtail hangover soup with cow blood and Napa cabbage. The place i went to was 진짜해장국 Jinjja Haejang Guk Daehwajeong (Main Branch). I read about this in an article and it's a hole in the wall visited by locals. 
Ok who am i kidding, this is a food post disguising as a travel post LOL. Obviously the main itinerary is eating. Like A LOT. Koreans have this amazing stomach capacity. Have you seen their Mukbangs? I don't even know how! Here are the other eats that we enjoyed!
Michelin Bib Gourmand Myeongdong Kyoja. They are known for their cut noodles and dumplings and we enjoyed the thin skins and plump filling. The handmade kalguksu was simple but comforting and we also had the cold bibim chewy noodles. Delicious and super fast service.
We also went to Michelin 2 star Mingles, also #10 on the Asia's 50 Best. Their lunches are super decently priced!
My biggest regret was not having Jokbal (pig trotters) at the Jangchung-dong Jokbal Alley is one of the many must-visit alleyways in Seoul. Instead we had Chimaek (several times). There are plenty of brands to choose from and i can't decide what's my favorite. This was at 678 Chicken CDO and i enjoyed the crunchy spiced cheese flavor.
Do not miss the street food. I tried my first egg bread in Hongdae and to this day i'm still craving for it. Also grilled skewers are always a good idea, especially when it's cold, along with tteokboki and fishcake.
Honestly prior to this trip, i wasn't a fan of ROK and their food. But with all the K-dramas, i think our tummies have been conditioned to enjoy Korean food more these days. If you're not convinced, please go watch Let's Eat and i guarantee you'll start craving for Korean food. 

Ok since this is a pretend travel post, here are some links to refer to for your SIN-ROK VTL travel. 

Requirements for entry into ROK and requirements for entry into Singapore via the VTL. Hopefully in the near future, these testing requirements would all be scrapped and life can return to normal. Till then.