Author Archives: Larry

Under water

Okay, so Dongducheon is completely underwater, the rivers and streams are rising and the worst of the storm is ahead of us. Highway 3, 88 and all major highways around Seoul are closed. All roads not on high ground are under water; water is up to the bottoms of bridges. The side of the mountain by our apartment washed out and is flooded but we are on high ground so we are okay.

Now the city sirens are going off… We have to make it back home for Beanicus.

We are very lucky and pray for those who have been injured or killed by this massive storm.

Of coarse we had to risk it and take pics, so we will upload when we get home.

Soyosan (Mountain)

Today we Bee’s buzzed by the Soyosan Mountain located on the outskirts of Dongducheon City. The term Soyosan means, “walking” and walking is what we did! This mountain is relatively small standing 587m tall but boast lush forest, hiking paths, stone bridges, Korean style restaurants/ Inn’s, waterfalls, Caves, and Jajaeam (small Buddhist temple). Don’t let the size statement fool you because this mountain can be steep and narrow at times on the way up. We started to refer to the Korean hikers as billy goats because no matter what the age they just keep passing you effortlessly.

Non- Dongducheon visitors must pay an admission fee of 1,000 won. This fee helps to preserve and maintain Soyosans upkeep. Unlike the states we quickly took notice that there is no litter on the ground, no graffiti to be found anywhere, all of the flower beds and paths are weeded nicely, restrooms are kept up with, and they provide high pressure air machines to blow the dirt off the bottom of your hiking boots or shoes.

On the mountain we meet a little Korean boy hiking with his family who was very very eager to tell us An-nyung-ha-se-yo, a formal hello in Korean, that he kept saying it repeatedly awaiting for our responses. We also had the chance to meet two great new American friends that are teaching English in the area at one of the International public schools. We wanted to say thank you again for taking our picture for our blog! We look forward to bumping into them again too!

Larry bought me a wooden prayer bead bracelet at a vendor near the buddhist temple to remember our trip. The vendor stand had prayer candles for purchase, various wooden prayer bead bracelets, necklaces, and cast iron stones to write prayers on.

Stay tuned for more pictures, as we are planning another trip back to Soyosan with friends to picnic, check out the spring leaves and flowers, and finish hiking our way to the top.


Dino Meat Grill House

We went to a fun Korean BBQ restaurant tonight called Dino Meat Grill House in “New City” Dongducheon. Honestly, It really should be called Dino-mite meats because it’s absolutely fantastic! We Bee’s give this place two thumbs up! We enjoyed our meal with our two good travel buddies Hector and Doris.

We made sure to snap some pictures for our fellow blog followers so that they could partake in the experience as well.

Before entering the restaurant you remove your shoes and place them in or around the shoe slots.  We were immediately greeted and seated by the host. The seating is quaint and bit different as you sit on a small flat pillow on the floor.

Next the server will bring you an array of sides that consist of salads, various sauces, whole garlic cloves, and of course kimchi. Foreigners prep yourself utensils only consist of metal chopsticks and a long handled soupspoon.

Next you take your silver tray and head up to the meat buffet. At the meat buffet you are hand selecting your own meats with metal tongs. The meat options consisted of beef ribs, pork galbi, samgyeopsal, sausages, thinly sliced marinated beef (reminding us of chopped cheese steak meat), and meat patties. We have to note again that the meat is seasoned and flavored FANTASTICLLY! Oh and that you can select as much or as little of the meats you want. However we also must inform you that you will be charged if you take meat that you do not eat. This cuts down on people acting solely on eyes and not stomachs.

Now it’s time to start up your tables grill. The grill takes about 5 – 10 minutes to get warmed up. This is where we thought it reminded us of the Melting Pot or a Brazilian steakhouse in the states. Each table comes equipped with its own grill. We were able to gather some quick tips from the teens that were grilling and chilling to the left of us. Don’t worry if you get stuck or need some sides replenished, you simply press the “call button” that is located on your table for the wait staff.

Thirsty? Glad you mentioned it! At Dino meats you can opt for various Korean beverages both alcoholic and non

So how much cabbage is this place going to set you back? Get ready for this…. 14,000 won per person! What a steal for all the meat you can eat! Remember, no tipping, the price you see is the price you pay, end of story.

Mindalay Restaurant in Yangju, Bibimbap

So tonight we went to Mindalay Restaurant in Yangju with some friends. The restaurant is located just off of highway 3 in Yangju. Walking up to the restaurant it looks like a small cottage, more like something you would find in Germany. Inside there are large wooden tables (any restaurant that has tables is a huge plus) and dark wooden floors, really giving you the quaint tavern feel. They specialize in Bibimbap which translated means “mixed meal”. Basically you take all these side dishes that come out and mix them in your bowl of rice; then add Gojujang (red pepper paste) and sesame seed oil to taste. Mix it all up and eat it.

The meal started out with a glass of Red Lambrusco wine and some pre-meal side dishes; mushrooms soaked in soy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, candied figs (which were EXCELLENT) sweet and sour pork with onions peppers and carrots, grilled beef with onions, carrots and green peppers, a leafy vegetable that was coated with Gojujang and soy sauce, and pumpkin soup. Once we were done with the pre-meal sides the main side dishes and spicy bean soup were brought out. While we were finishing the Bibimbap they brought us out the cooked rice water which was boiled water that was added to the rice cooker to loosen the remaining rice; this is a Korean tradition that is not used much in homes due to teflon coated rice cookers. At the end of the meal we were brought out a “refreshing” drink (plum drink) that was supposed to sooth the mouth from the strong food tastes and pepper paste. It tasted like a cool tea that was very light and had the color of a green tea. We were also served Korean style coffee (instant cappuccino with hot water added).

All in all this is one of our favorite bibimbap restaurants; it is slightly expensive for the amount of sides and portions that you get but we give it two thumbs up for sure. Mainly due to the fact that we liked ALL of the side dishes and items. Total cost 54,000 Korean WON KRW (for 4 people) about $12.00 per person, and this is the TOTAL price since you don’t leave a tip in Korea. We will absolutely be returning here especially if we are showing new people to the area.

Open Air Market in Dongducheon

Tonight we decided to take a trip to the Open Air Market located in Dongducheon. It was a really unique experience! The feeling of the Open Air Market was almost like going to the flea-market with my Grandparents only everything here was obviously written in Korean. In the states markets are where you purchase local fruits, vegetables, baked goods, clothing, sometimes even meat. This market was actually very similar to that experience except for in the states you don’t typically get to see and purchase live eel, fried squid, different variations of Kimchi, rice, seaweed, and mandu (Korean dumplings). Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Dad- Please note the picture of me getting ready to try my fried squid! I said to Larry that you would be dry heaving the whole time walking through the marketplace. : )