Fill your belly with Hampyeong delicacies, then soak your cares away
The gopchang gukbap, or boiled rice served in soup with chitterlings, at Jangan Restaurant is so good that it will leave you asking for more. By Park Sun-young
Hampyeong is known for the high quality of its beef. That means you’ll have one less thing to worry about if you’re brave enough to try the Hampyeong specialty called yukhoe, or raw beef. Although there are many places where you can sample the dish, Mokpo Restaurant is the place to go. The meat there is so glutinous that the small pieces of raw beef don’t fall from the dish even when the dish is tilted to the side. A 400-gram serving of yukhoe costs 30,000 won; yukhoe bibimbap is also available for 6,000 won. (061) 322-2764.
Another local speciality is octopus, which is served at local restaurants as pan-broiled octopus seasoned with red pepper, live octopus and nakji bibimbap. One restaurant to try is Nakji Madang, where prices range from 12,000 won to 39,000 won. (061) 322-2419.
Meanwhile, the main dish at Jangan Restaurant is gopchang gukbap, or boiled rice in soup with chitterlings, which is priced at 6,000 won. For those who are new to the dish, gopchang often has a peculiar smell. But you will hardly notice it at Jangan because the dish is so good and you’ll probably want another bowl of rice to sop up all that rich flavor. (061) 322-5723. If you go, take a minute to visit the cattle market just around the corner. It’s a truly authentic experience.
When your belly is full, relax at the haesujjim, which is a Korean-style hot spring with seawater and heated stones containing sulfur and herbs. It is said that haesujjim is good for healing arthritis as well as skin problems.
Stones containing sulfur are heated for more than two hours in a furnace filled with pine trees before they are put in a haesujjim, a Korean-style hot spring with seawater, which is one of the highlights of a visit to Hampyeong.
In the Sinheung neighborhood near the Dolmeori Beach, there are three facilities offering haesujjim: Sinheung Haesujjim, (061) 322-9900; Hampyeong Sinheung Haesujjim, (061) 322-9487; and Jupo Haesujjim, (061) 322-9489. All three provide overnight accommodations. A visit to the haesujjim costs 25,000 won. A night in a haesujjim facility, which includes two trips to the hot spring, costs 50,000 won. At night, head to nearby Dolmeori Beach to watch the beautiful glow of the setting sun.
By Park Sun-young [firstname.lastname@example.org]