Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Road Less Traveled: Suncheon Bay National Garden, Suncheon Bay Ecological Park, Yudong Oritang (Duck Stew) Alley

Suncheon Bay National Garden

We hopped on the City Tour Bus and arrived at the Suncheon Bay National Garden next. The admission fee was ₩8,000 or $8 per person. Having opened last April 2014, the garden was built to become a conservation area for various species of plants and flowers. There were also gorgeous flamingoes featured in the middle of the garden. It took us 2 hours to cover most of the 1.12 square kilometer stretch of the garden. As we were starving at that time, we ate in a haste at the Organic Dosirak Cafe in the garden to catch the 2:20 pm bus to the next attraction. 

The Dream Bridge
The Dream Bridge

Tonkatsu and Ssam Bulgogi

Suncheon Bay Ecological Park

The last stop of our Suncheon trip was the Suncheon Bay Ecological Park, a coastal wetland that serves as habitat to wildlife such as crabs, fishes and migratory birds that you can explore for an entrance fee of ₩8,000 or $8 per person. The simplicity of the park will make you appreciate nature's beauty more. While waiting for the city tour bus, we relaxed at the cafe inside the park while people and view watching.

Yudong Oritang (Duck Stew) Alley

We alighted at the Suncheon Bus Terminal, took the bus to Gwangju and reached the hostel a little over 7 in the evening. At the hostel, we asked the owner directions to Yudong Oritang (Duck Stew) alley. He said that it was a 15 minute walk from the Yangdong Market which was 2 subway stops from Nongseong station, the one nearest our hostel. At the local Gwangju map provided to us our hostel owner, the landmark nearest the alley was NC department store.

At the Yangdong Market, we tried to ask the locals for direction to the alley and one ahjumma said that it was far and we were advised to take bus number 30 and alight at the bus stop across NC department store. The Yudong Oritang alley is located on the left of the department store. There were lots of restaurants to choose from but we chose the one with more people. 

Oritang or Duck Stew is one of Gwangju's specialty, hence, we were so curious about it. The stew, served with a variety of side dishes or banchan, has a thick soup which with a rich and creamy taste. It was served with a basket of greens (taro stems and water dropwort) you supposedly boil on top of the stew and a dipping sauce that you mix with perilla powder. The duck meat was chewier than chicken. A big pot that serves 2 to 3 people costs ₩28,000 or $28 and $1 for a bowl of plain rice. The owner was also kind and gave us a bottle of coke for free or "service". The meal left us full to the brim as we chow down the last chunk of meat. 

With a smile of satisfaction, we took the bus number 30 back to the U square bus terminal and dragged our well nourished bellies back to the hostel. And that ends the second day of our Jeolla adventure!

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