If you’ve ever traveled anywhere in Asia, you know the snack culture here is huge (how are they not all obese? Actually though..). You’ll find the delicious, bizarre, and down-right gross on popular streets of any given Asian city. South Korea is no exception to the influx of snacking options every which way you turn. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) for me, the street-side snacks and other restaurant delicacies available in Seoul and Busan were cheap and oh-so good. This only meant one thing – I ate my way through this trip and in doing so, put on 10 lbs in only 10 days thanks to the food in South Korea.
Most people might be fairly embarrassed to talk about how much weight they put on over their holidays, but I think it’s a good laugh and a funny story, so naturally I want to share it with the world..
Normally, before I go on any holiday that involves me baring all in a bikini, I’m really careful with what I eat and I amp up my gym routine to ensure that I’ll feel comfortable and look like a total babe when I’m on the beach. My trip to South Korea was different than most other holidays I’ve taken since moving to Asia – I didn’t plan on stepping foot near any beaches, so I decided right then and there that this would be a foodie holiday and I didn’t care about watching what I ate.
For those of you who haven’t been to Seoul or Busan yet, let me forewarn you; you will lose all self-control and succumb to the delicious delicacies that cover the streets. Literally. You can’t escape the food stalls.
Not only is the food unique (albeit a bit odd at times) and drool-worthy, but it’s cheap! Like, crazy cheap. Most items from a food stall will only put you back about ₩1,000 – 2,000 /$1 – 2 CDN/ $7 – 15 HKD.
The near-fatal combination of tasty treats at an unbeatable price meant that my belly was doomed to grow. And that it did.
Throughout my 10 days in South Korea I scarfed down far too many Krispy Kreme donuts (pleeeease come to HK!), ice cream in all variations (soft serve, in a peculiar-looking corn tube, and stuffed into a waffle), mystery meat on a stick, BBQ chicken skewers, tteokbokki (rice cakes in a red sauce), crepes, Dragon Beard candy, (nuts wrapped in hardened honey), walnut cakes, bibimbap (Korean sushi), hotteok (deep fried pancake filled with nuts, honey, and cinnamon), egg bread, french fries on a stick (sometimes with a hot dog on the inside), chicken galbi, cheesy pajeon, pumpkin porridge, shabu shabu, and so much more!
I just could not resist eating everything in sight. My favourites were the hotteok, egg bread, chicken galbi, cheesy pajon, all forms of ice cream, and shabu shabu. Someone please tell me where I can find these in Hong Kong!
I’m fairly certain my caloric intake per day in South Korea was equivalent to what I would eat in a week normally. This was probably why after day 6 or 7 I felt my jeans getting tighter and I was thankful I brought along some baggy shirts to wear. I suppose you gotta go food-crazy sometimes!
Though I did put on a lot of weight in a short period of time, I have no regrets – the food was that good. In fact, I’d probably eat the exact same if I could go back in time. Actually, scratch that, I might just eat more!