As soon as we arrived at Gwang-ju, we started our foodie tour with Kong-guksu(콩국수), noodles in cold soybean soup. Kong-guksu is a representative summer food in Korea. I personally do not enjoy Kong-guksu, but it was tasty and the soybean soup was so rich.
This is Unjusa Temple(운주사) located in Hwasun(화순). I’ve been to many temples in Korea, but I’ve never seen such a exotic and mysterious temple as Unjusa before. A temple guide whom we met by chance explained us that when this temple was built is unknown and all the pagodas were built by common people, not by professional stonemason. Wabul(와불), a lying Buddha(on the bottom left) is a famous one in this temple.
If you go to the west part of Korea and eat Han-jeongsik(한정식), Korean Table d’hote, you have to start your meal with your belt open because varieties of dishes are served and stacked on the table to the extent that the legs of the table might be broken. ^^ The dishes in the pictures are only about 15% of what we ate. The fermented skate(삭힌 홍어) on the upper right is one of the extreme dishes in Korea and even I cannot swallow it because it stinks and paralyzes your nose and tongue. However, it used to be served only on a special day such as wedding or 60th birthday and people from the west part enjoy it very much. The dish on the left bottom is Seodea Hoe-muchim(서대 회무침), spicy raw red tongue sole salad and it was the best dish of the day for me.
Regionally special products in Jangheung(장흥) are good-quality beef(한우), shiitake mushroom(표고버섯) and scallop(관자), each of which represents healthy food from land, mountain and sea. If you go there, you purchase beef from butcher’s shop first and select a restaurant where shiitake mushrooms, scallops and other side dishes are served. Their combination is known as ‘Samhap‘(삼합). The best way to enjoy it is to eat all three wrapped in soy sauce marinated sesame leaf. Yummy!!!