I Left My Soul in Seoul – Part 2 Family trip with a toddler edition

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After we explore the top ten amazing places in Seoul in Part 1 of this article, let’s take a look
at some of the Muslim-friendly eateries that we get to visit.
Before this trip, we had heard so much fuss about how hard it is to find Halal food in Korea. After
some research and seeing the trip through, we realised that there were so many Muslim-friendly
restaurants that could satisfy your craving for Halal meat and Korean dishes. Below are some
notable spots:

  • Big Brothers’ Burger, Gwangjin-gu

Nearest train station: Gunja (Line 5,7)

You must try their juicy, divine Special Burger and Shawarma as well as Palov, an
Uzbekistan’s popular dish here for a taste you won’t forget.

(Source: Abbosjon Kudratov)

  • Adnan Kebab, Jung-gu

Nearest train station: Hoehyeon (Line 4)

This is a heavenly nook located just 2 minutes across the road from Hoehyeon Station Exit 6. Adnan Kebab is prepared by Iraqi chefs and has been operating at Namdaemun Market for at least 13 years. It is a staple among Muslims and their Kebabs are to die for! Besides, they provide a prayer room above the shop for Muslims’ convenience.

  • Jipbab Kimseonseang, Yongsan-gu

Nearest train station: Noksapyeong (Line 6)

Serving Halal-certified ingredients and authentic Korean dishes, this restaurant offers a range of Korean cuisines such as Bulgogi, Japchae, Fried Chicken, Kimchi Jjigae, Ramen and savoury Banchan (side dishes) options. We truly enjoyed the ambience of eating at a cosy and homey restaurant overlooking the peaceful, narrow streets of Itaewon.

  • Busanjib

Nearest train station: Myeongdong (Line 4)

Busanjib’s Korean BBQ was the highlight of our dining experience in Korea because how would your trip to Korea be whole without its finest charcoal BBQ, right? Busanjib is located at a small alley just 8 minutes of walking from Myeongdong Station. It has three lots that serve different dishes which are BBQ, Fried Chicken and Authentic Korean Dishes so you can choose to enter any lot you prefer. You can also cross-order from each menu and have your food delivered to you despite the different lots.

(Source: The Good Weekender)

The price range at Busanjib can be a little higher than some Muslim-friendly restaurants in Seoul but the deliciousness of their food is worth every penny.

Noteworthy mentions about Seoul travel:

  • We have heard other people experiencing some sort of racism or different treatment by Koreans to tourists so we just had to experience it ourselves. Ironically, every local we met was extremely polite especially the Ahjussi and Ahjummas. Most of them would say hello to us, smile or nod when we made eye contact and give their seats when they saw us with a little kid. We were overwhelmed with their kindness seeing as we didn’t receive the same in our own country.
  • 90% of the locals are very quiet when they walk, sit or stand in the subways and they tend to mind their own business. It was a rare sight to see them having any loud social interaction in public places.
  • Almost all of the public places in Seoul are child-friendly so you can easily find Baby Room at train stations. There are also elevators and ramps everywhere.
  • It is better to exchange your currency at the airport in Seoul or simply withdraw from ATMs like Woori Bank or at CU Marts if you need cash. The majority of the shops prefer cashless payments except in street markets.
  • Google Maps won’t work in Korea so you need to download Naver Map or Kakao Map, as well as other useful apps like Papago for easy translations and Kakao T to book taxis.
  • For tourists who spend more than 30,000 won at selected shops, you are eligible to receive a tax refund so be sure to bring your passport for verification.
  • Wifi is available almost anywhere even on the streets, but it will be helpful to have your own portable and rechargeable Wifi that you can rent at the airport. You only need to get a Korean SIM Card if you need to use a local number during your stay.
  • Itaewon has the most Muslim-friendly food options so if you worry about getting Halal food while in Korea, staying in Itaewon is ideal. We didn’t stay here but may consider it for the next trip. Just make sure to book a hotel near the Itaewon Station.
  • Language barrier can make you more anxious when you want to interact with the local but it is also part of the experience that make this trip more meaningful. As for us, we avoid taking too many taxis and stick to trains and subways most of the time because they are much more efficient and cost-saving! Pin the places you want to visit with their nearest train stations to make your journey smoother.
  • It is of the utmost importance to get travel insurance because the cold weather can affect your body in many ways and you may need to seek medical treatment if you fall sick. In our case, our child needed to get a nebulizer at the emergency room despite been given all the medications we brought from home. Having insurance gave us peace of mind and we also learned that the ambulance ride in Korea is free!

All in all, Korea is a must-visit location that you should add to your travel bucket list. It is a respectable, picturesque and magnificent Asian country that will leave you in awe. 

We certainly left our soul in Seoul. 

Can’t wait for the second round!

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