Tag Archives: O’Sulloc Tea House

Seoul Favorites

I’ve written about Insadong (인사동) before but I can’t help but continue to go back to the area again and again. It never gets old. I find the most random treasures and eats and treats that instantly become new favorites. I told Kelsey about the area when we first got to meet up with her the other weekend in Seoul. She instantly was intrigued and sent me a text message Friday evening asking if I minded meeting up with her and playing tourist around the area. Of course I couldn’t resist! Plus I jumped at the opportunity for a girls day.

We met at the top of Jonggak Station (Exit 3) staircase. My train arrived about 10 minutes before her’s so I snapped a few photos. Again, I couldn’t help myself! After all, Seoul obliged with the most perfect weather. The sun was out in full force and it felt like it was recharging my own soul and reminding me why I loved this city so much. Pure pre-spring perfection!

Kelsey’s brunette hair finally appeared among the sea of jet black hair climbing the staircase and we set off to Insadong. It had been quite sometime since I last visited the area, I had to re-gather my bearings… it all came back once we walked forward a few blocks. She was such a trooper putting all of her trust in me like that. Thanks Kels!

One of the fun parts about Insadong, or Seoul in general is all of the fun strange street food vendors. The vendors food smells immediately wafted into our noses as we entered the area. It was exactly noon so it was perfect timing to make our way around the area.

I’m sure you are wondering what the above photos are of? They do look quite different don’t they? Well, they are a crispy tube. Think ice cream cone texture, filled with ice-cream. Quite a comical scene to see crowds of all ages carrying these things around. We decided to save ourselves possibly for the end of the trip, or for a tad bit warmer weather.

I took Kelsey to explore my favorite rice cake cafe in the area, Bizeun. This place serves as many as 250 different types of Korean traditional rice cake. The best part was that she loved my favorite rice cake as much as I do! I find that most people sort of turn their noses up at rice cakes because its something so foreign to them at first… especially the squishy one that I love that Kelsey immediately took to. Is this girl my kindred spirit or what?

After leaving Bizeun, we headed up the street towards more of the shops and vendors. On my list I specifically wanted to share the little outdoor vendor that sits on the corner of the center street running through Insadong. It’s all mismatched pottery. Beautiful teapots, tea cups, vases, etc. Each time that I stop at this stand I end up picking something up. Shhhhhh don’t tell Mr. B. Kelsey instantly fell in love with the stand and found an awesome little trinket. She said that she wanted to come back for some future gifts for family members. I was smitten that she loved the place as much as I do.

We jetted down some alleyways and I showed her one of the best steamed dumpling stands that I’ve had since living in Korea. Anytime of the day I have found myself around this alleyway, there’s a line. Always! This place was is so simple but oh so delicious. Good stuff folks!

We shared some poop bread. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s Poop bread ( 똥빵 ). Okay, I’ll digress and let you all in on the joke. Korean youth are obsessed with poop. It’s odd.. you and I know that…but it’s their thing. This bread is filled with delicious Red beans and walnuts inside. It’s actually really delicious and if you’ve had bung’eo (붕어) the fish pastry filled with red bean paste. MMMM… thinking about the warm tasty red bean filling this very second makes me so hungry! I have to stop while I am ahead before I go out and mull a poor street vendor.

When in Insadong you must drink tea! Find a tea shop, visit the tea museum, or  Korea’s famous O’sulloc Tea House. We stopped into O’sulloc, I shared with Kelsey that Jeju Island off the coast of Korea has the tea-plant and tea fields that you can stroll through. Another must do while living or visiting Korea.

After O’sulloc we found ourselves wanting to sit down and enjoy some tea and some sort of sweet. Of course because the sun was shining and I was instantly transitioning into a Springy mood, naturally, I had my mind set on Patbingsu. Once I found out that Kelsey loved red bean paste I knew I had to share Korea’s iconic dessert. Ohhhh sweet summer is near and I cannot wait to slurp this stuff up for dinner. No shame, no shame. We indulged in our patbingsu, sipped our hot citron tea and talked and giggled for hours.



130-4, Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul-si 
서울 종로구 인사동 130-4일대

www.insainfo.or.kr (Korean only)

www.visitseoul.net (English, Korean, Japanese).

By Train:

Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
Go 100m straight, then turn left.
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3.
Go straight 300m, and turn left at the 4-way Intersection.
Go straight 100m, and take the left road towards Insadong-gil Road.


JeJu Island (Day Three)

We are now on Day three of our JeJu vacation. Happy Labor Day! We woke up again to amazing sunny beautiful weather. We cannot express enough how blessed we feel to be able to take in and enjoy the beauty of Asia.

It’s 7:00am and it’s time to hit the hotel restaurant buffet, get completely packed, and check out of our hotel by 9:00am.

Our group all piled back onto a tour bus and hit the road for another jam-packed day of places to see while on JeJu. The first stop was Oedolgae. Oedolgae is two giant stone pillars standing out at sea by themselves. The one standing upright is known as the grandmother and the pillar that is laying down is known as the grandfather. (Mrs. B could insert a snarky comment here but will refrain).

Oedolgae is located at: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Seogwipo-si Seohong-dong 791. What was most impressive about this rock pillar is the size! The pillar standing alone in the sea is 10 meters in circumference and about 20 meters in height. The location is also very popular among the Korean and Chinese because of a well known Korean TV drama using the location to film called Daejangguem.

After Oedolgae we headed to Jeongbang Waterfall. This waterfall is the the only waterfall in Asia that falls directly into the ocean. The waterfall is 23 meters in height and is located at: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Seogwipo-si Donghong-dong 278.

Our guide Ms. Kim said that the reason the waterfall is so popular is because the wall of the water fall has an inscription written “Seobulgwacha”, referring to Seobul. Seobul was a servant of the Chinese Emperor Jin (BC 259~210) who was ordered by the Emperor to find the substance that would make him immortal. Seogwipo is also said to have gotten its name to mean Seobul headed back west. We enjoyed the waterfall and think that the rest of the group did too.

Next we headed to Jusangjeolli Seashore at the Daepo Coast. HA-HA, yes another rock formation! No, really, this place was really neat! Many people believe that this place is manmade, but it’s not. The Jusangjeolli took formation when the lava from Mt.Hallasan flew to the sea of Jungmun. In the pictures you can see that the rock pillars are shaped like cubes or hexagons of various sizes. How cool is that?

After looking at rock formations and craters all day… one tends to get hungry! Whew, luckily it is time for lunch. We ate at Hans Family Fusion Buffet Restaurant. Ms. Kim stated that this place was pretty popular among vacationers. Once again we enjoyed trying out new dishes and enjoyed this restaurant experience! We forgot to take down the address for the blog and thought we might be able to search it once we got home but out attempts were not successful. Sorry about that!

After lunch we headed to Sanbangsan and Yongmeori Coast. We are now on the southwestern margin of the island and are going to see the gigantic lava dome that rises 395 meters above sea level. You will have to check out our pictures to get the full effect of what we got to see!

After getting to see Sanbangsan our group went to O’Sulloc Tea House. Mrs. B was pretty excited! O’Sulloc is located at: Jeju Special Self-governing Province Seogwipo-si Andeok-myeon Seogwangseo-ri 1235-3.

At O’Sulloc we got to learn about Korea’s traditional tea culture. The letter “o” in “o’sulloc”, means to appreciate and enjoy, and it also stands for the origin of sulloc, only sulloc, and of sulloc tea. The entire building is in the shape of a tea cup and is surrounded by lush green tea fields. Quite a sight!

The following information was taken directly from the visit Korea website on O’Sulloc.

* Tea Culture Room – Exhibition Hall
Here, you can learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the culture surrounding green tea. Explore exciting topics such as: Korean tea culture, tea history, how tea came to Korea, tea gardens of the world, how to make tea, and how we use tea. Take a step back in time at the O’sulloc Tea Museum, learning the secret of the ancients, who used tea to increase longevity and ensure soundness of mind.

*Tea Culture Room – Masters of Tea Vessels
A true art gallery, this place exhibits the works of ceramic masters. The display includes over 30 beautiful works of art, including pieces from artists Cheon Han Bong of Mungyeongyo and Kim Jeong Ok of Yeongnamyo. Cup styles range from chic and sophisticated to rough and earthy and reflect the artists’ varying interpretations of the simple tea cup theme.

* Tea Culture Room – Tea Life Center
Long long ago, Koreans retreated into the great outdoors to enjoy a cup of tea with guests at Jeongja or Daecheongmaru, places that are as close to nature as you can get. There are no records specifying tea room sizes or outlining any rigid set of rules regarding tea drinking, but historical records imply that people preferred a more natural and free-spirited atmosphere while drinking tea.

* Tea Culture – Types of Tea
Everyone has their own favorite type of tea. Tea can be categorized depending on when it was picked, how long it’s been allowed to ferment, the shapes of the leaves, the species of plant, where it was grown, and so forth. The most scientific way to categorize tea is by fermentation period. The exhibition hall presents over 60 different types of teas including those from Korea, China and Japan.

* Tea Culture –Tea Cups of the World
Here, visitors can appreciate a beautiful selection of tea cups from all over the world. The collection includes tea cups from over 100 countries and includes everything from traditional Chinese teacups to European demitasse cups. The cups are not only beautiful works of art, but also stand as a reminder of the exchange of ideas and culture (and of course tea) between the East and the West.

After O’Sulloc Tea House we went to the Tropical Hallim Park. Hallim Park is known for its strongly scented exotic sentiments and famous Hyeopjae and Ssangyong caves. While we were visiting the park we had the strange feeling that we were back in our home state of Pennsylvania. We are not sure if it was all the green or at this point we were just delirious from all the crater/ rock pillar looking. All and all whatever it was, it was a nice familiar feeling.

Hallim Park is located at: Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Jeju-si Hallim-eup Hyeopjaeri 2487. The park is known as one of the most popular tourist destinations on JeJu. The park was established on barren land in Hyeopjaeri, Hallimeup, and covered with tons of earth and began planting assorted subtropical plants in early 1971. This place is HUGE! Make sure you are wearing your comfy walking shoes while you visit the park. Hallim Park, almost 100 thousand square meters and has a variety of gardens. We especially loved checking out Palm Tree Road and the Bonsai Garden! The park also features a Water Garden, Subtropical Botanic Garden and much more! We were told the most famous tourist sites in Hallim Park are Hyeopjaegul and Ssangyonggul Caves known to be the only two-dimensional caves in the world. In addition, a folk village, children’s amusement park and outdoor resort facilities are very enjoyable for both children and adults.

Hallim Park was the end of our scheduled itinerary. At this point we loaded up the bus with our group and went to the airport where we checked in and dropped off our luggage. We enjoyed our very first fast food meal at the Loteria. Loteria is Asia’s versions of McDonalds. Except this place was way better! I mean as better as any fast food joint can get. We ordered the European Frisco burger and the half shrimp burger half bulgalbi burger. Plus the french fries come with your pick of cheese or chili flavored seasoning! Exciting, right?! Actually, it was pretty good and did the job.

Now….time to relax and wait for our flight to board at 7:55pm. See you all back in Dongducheon! Hope you got to enjoy what is left of your Labor Day weekend!