Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is a huge metropolis and the capital of South Korea, where high-tech and pop culture meet palaces and street markets. Samantha starts her journey off by taking a tour in Yeonnam-Dong, with Charlie, an ex-pat living in Seoul for the past 10 years. This neighborhood has been re-purposed into a green space filled with a resurgence of diverse restaurants, and most importantly, coffee shops, where Samantha and Charlie try some of the area's best coffee. Going for the local cuisine, Samantha joins Charlie and his wife to sample some of the popular banchan (side dishes) at an authentic restaurant, where Samantha also learns about the proper etiquette of eating and drinking. History and tradition are very important to Seoul, as Samantha experiences this celebration firsthand with the changing of the guard at the Gyeongbokgung Palace, which dates back to 1395.
Venturing further, Samantha tours Bukchon Hanok Village on her way to learn about the artistry of Jogakbo, a style of patchwork, from a master artist. At the Korean Stone Art Stone Museum, Samantha explores the tranquil indoor/outdoor facility filled with over 1,250 life-like beautifully sculpted stone statues and learns about the purpose of their design. Samantha has a big night ahead of her, but first she takes a stroll through the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival and takes in the gorgeous sights of the flowering cherry trees. Meeting up with some locals at a Chicken & Beer restaurant, Samantha learns about the five stages of drinking, which includes eating throughout the entire process. From there, Samantha and her newfound friends go to Hongdae, a busy nightlife area thronging with students and K-Pop performers, and continue on to sign karaoke, closing the night out with a live performance by an indie rock band. Finishing off her trip, Samantha visits a local food market with Janet Harn, a local Chef, and picks out fresh ingredients to cook some local favorites in Janet's cooking studio.