It’s no surprise that I stick out a little here. South Korea is an extremely homogenized society. About 97% of the population is ethnically Korean.
But that percentage doesn’t apply to Itaewon.
Itaewon is in the Yongsan district of Seoul. A lot of immigrants live there and it is close to an U.S. military base. I went there one weekend because I was told there was authentic Mexican food, an elusive cuisine in this country. I was no longer the only non-korean person in the crowd.
You can find Mexican, Turkish, American, Uzbek, Indian, Pakistani, Russian, Mongolian, Kazakh, and who knows how many other types of food.
I was going to get tacos until I came across an Uzbek restaurant. I know nothing about Uzbek food, but if this is what it looks like, I need to get on the next plane to Samarkand.
The restaurant is called Lazzat and I can’t even remember how I found it. I was just wandering around Itaewon station and I saw a sign for Uzbek food on the second floor of a random building.
I also tried Turkish tea. I like my coffee or tea with lots of sugar and milk because I’m a wimp. This tea was so tasty I didn’t need more than one tiny sugar cube.
Itaewon is also well-known for Namsan tower and Namsan mountain. You can see all of Seoul from the tower and the mountain is popular with hikers. I didn’t get to the tower this time, but I did go to a beautiful park near the mountain.
What can I say, I like parks.