3 years ago, I blogged about Suwon in Korea. Using Apple’s iPhone 5, I captured all the moments and blogged them down in lemon-film.com. This July, I headed back to Suwon again to continue my adventure in this beautiful city, not alone, but together with my family. Again, I hope to capture the moments with my Sony RX1 and iPhone 6 Plus. We took a six hour flight to reach Korea’s Incheon International Airport from Singapore. Surrounding Seoul, Suwon is the capital and largest metropolis of Gyeonggi-do. It is also the heart of Samsung. Driving from Incheon International Airport to Suwon will take almost two hours by car. From Seoul to Suwon will take slightly more than an hour.
I am impressed with Singapore Airlines’ modern and sleek looking controller for their entertainment system. After 6 hours of flight, I finally saw the iconic Incheon Bridge known as Incheondaegyo.
For our first day in Suwon, we are going to check-in our hotel called Staz Hotel Dongtan. We are also going to enjoy the World’s 50 Most Delicious Food rated by CNN called Galbi, or Kalbi. This traditional Korean cuisine is the food icon of Suwon and it is a must to have it on our first day of summer visit.
Why Staz Hotel Dongtan Is The Best Family Hotel?
Formerly known as Majestic Hotel, Staz Hotel Dongtan is conveniently located in the heart of Suwon, Seoku-dong. This location is accessible to many of the city’s must visit attractions. With up to 93 rooms, this 11 storey high hotel offers lots of free services for their hotel guests. Fully furnished and renovated, Staz Hotel Dongtan reopens itself on February 2016, giving their guests a fresh feel. With good English speaking staffs in the hotel, all your needs and enquires are easily addressed.
Focusing on affordability and space, Staz Hotel Dongtan makes a great family hotel for everybody. Accommodating up to 3 adults, the Family Twin Room is priced at $250SGD per night. This spacious room comes with a Queen size bed and a single size bed. By combining both beds together, we got an enormous bed to jump on!
In Staz Hotel Dongtan, toiletries such as toothbrushes and shower gels are available in the guest rooms. In the shower room, there is a rain shower and a shower head. Separated from the shower room, the toilet bowl is fully electronics and I really loved that warm toilet seat.
Need hot water to cook a cup of instant noodles or prepare milk for your child? In Staz Hotel Dongtan, you don’t need to boil any water as clean water dispensers are available.
The hotel is generous enough to give their guests a huge bathtub to enjoy. You are going to expect the following facilities free in Staz Hotel Dongtan: WiFi, laundry facilities, breakfast and 24-hour fitness facilities. What I love most about this hotel is clean water dispensers are easily available at the hotel counter, restaurant and laundry room. Therefore, you don’t need to boil hot water for enjoy a cup of tea or making a bottle of milk for your children. Wonderful isn’t it?
Restaurants and cafes are 5 minutes walk away and Korea’s largest supermarket and departmental mall, Emart, is just 15 minutes walk away.
With it’s near distance to Samsung, the hotel is surrounded by many restaurants and cafes such as Paris Baguette, Majo Chicken Restaurant and Caffebene so that the Samsung staffs can have their meals nearby. With 15 minutes walk, you can visit Korea’s Walmart called the Emart. This is a huge supermarket and departmental store where you can find fresh Korea groceries, local produce and affordable lifestyle products.
Staz Hotel Dongtan
34-8 Dongtan 1(il)-dong, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do
Seoku-dong, Hwaseong-si, South Korea 445-170
The Secret Behind Korea’s Traditional Cuisine, Galbi
For dinner, we visited Bul Go Gi Grilled Sirloin restaurant which is located opposite Staz Hotel Dongtan. In this restaurant, they serve the traditional Korean beef barbecued over flame called Galbi, or Kalbi. Fillet from various parts of Korea’s traditional cow known as Han-u (Hangul:한우; Hanja:韓牛), these slices of highly marbled beef are normally unmarinated when served in traditional Korean Galbi restaurant. Koreans are very proud of their Han-u beef. Comparing to imported beef, Han-u beef are usually priced higher because of it’s high quality in freshness and taste.
Besides using high quality premium beef in Galbi, traditional Korean wood called soot are used during the barbecuing of beef. As soot are not easily lighted up by matchsticks, these charcoal woods are using placed over a burning stove. The main purpose of soot is to give that traditional barbecued taste of the Galbi beef. This charcoal wood produces very little carbon and ash when burnt, making it reusable up to two times.
Besides using premium quality beef called Han-u, soot plays another important role in this traditional Korean cuisine.
As some of the Han-u beef are in large pieces, usually they are scissored into bite-sized during the process of barbecuing. It will take about 5 minutes for the Galbi beef to be 50% cooked before consumption. To truly enjoy every slice of bite-sized Galbi beef, dip it with a little salt and enjoy it together with fresh onions.
Without any sauce eaten together, you will get to enjoy the awesome taste of Korea’s Han-u beef. That tender and chewy mouthfeel without any bad odor of cows is just perfect.
When comes to dining, Koreans love to balance up their tastebuds. To cool ourselves down after enjoying the ‘hot flaming’ Galbi, we had Naengmyeon, also known as cold noodles. This is a large steel bowl of handmade thin noodles soaked in iced cold tangy broth. Made from flour, sweet potatoes, buckwheat and arrowroot, these thin noodles are usually cut using a pair of scissors. For additional taste, spicy mustard sauce, which is very much like Wasabi, and vinegar are added into the bowl before enjoying this traditional Joseon Dynasty’s cold noodles.
We ended our first day early during this summer season in Korea. As July is the beginning of the summer, you will expect the afternoon to be like Singapore, but with low humidity of 60%. Summer season in Korea also means more cloudy days, heavy rain and 15 hours of day time.