Unique Foods – What We’ve Eaten in 2016

Unique Foods – What We’ve Eaten in 2016

There are loads of blog posts out there talking about unique food challenges. In fact, I wrote one before we left the US almost 4 years ago. I should mention, we’ve eaten virtually none of those unique foods. Where once we wanted to seek out these dishes, now, we are more interested in continuing to eat the foods that we love around the world. Many people limit the foods they eat because they are picky and don’t like a lot of foods. For us, that’s not the case. We like loads of different foods, so we have a lot of variety to choose from. The thing is, when we are in Hong Kong for 4 nights, I want BBQ pork and wanton mee. When I’m in Hanoi for 3 nights, I want pho bo and bun cha. I want the dishes that I’ve come to consider as comfort foods in those countries. What Are These Unique Foods? That said, in the last few months, we’ve eaten some unique foods, even without seeking them out ourselves. Now, this isn’t scorpion on a stick unique food. Instead, they are just foods that are a little strange, and ones we would not order ourselves. So, how did we end up eating these unique foods? Many times when we travel, we are at the mercy of tasting menus or chefs who put all sorts of foods in front of us. We oblige. Most we end up loving. Some, we end up tolerating. Some, we eat to be polite. What are some of the unique foods we’ve eaten so far this year? Liver in...
Best Foods to Eat in Asia in 2016

Best Foods to Eat in Asia in 2016

We ate a lot of amazing food in 2015. I wish I could share photos of all of them, and encourage people to search for those dishes during their upcoming travels. Instead, I’ve come up with a list of the absolute BEST foods to eat in Asia in 2016. Okay, so maybe we didn’t eat all the food in Asia during 2015, but we ate a good many fabulous meals. Enough that I can put together a pretty good roadmap of what to eat in Asia. These dishes tend to focus on Hong Kong, India, Osaka, Seoul, Thailand, and Vietnam, because that is where we spent most of our time in 2015. Some of the best foods to eat in Asia can be found at luxury dining establishments, but even those tend to be higher end versions of dishes that can be found at street side stalls as well. These dishes can be found at every price point. And, instead of just sharing my photos of the dishes to eat in Asia, I am actually sharing links to the With Husband In Tow Instagram account. I am doing this not only to encourage you to check out all our food photos on Instagram (there’s a lot, and they are yummy), but also because the Instagram photos include links to the restaurants and locations where we actually ate these meals, making them easier to track down during your travels in Asia in 2016. Check out the With Husband In Tow Podcast, where we talk about some of our best meals in Asia in 2015! Best Foods to Eat in Asia – Hong Kong...
Meeting a North Korean Defector on a DMZ Tour

Meeting a North Korean Defector on a DMZ Tour

It is not often that an opportunity comes around that we immediately realize is special.  There are those rare occasions, when we are invited into a home, or meet someone with an interesting story, where we realize how lucky we are to be in that place at that time.  One of those situations came about when we met a North Korean defector during our Korean DMZ Tour. Our DMZ tour left Seoul and made a few stops on the way to the ultimate destination, the Joint Security Area.  One of our stops was at the Mt. Odu Unification Observatory, which sits on top of a hill overlooking the confluence of the Hangang and Imjingang Rivers.  On the other side of the rivers sits North Korea. There is a small museum, with information about the history of the war, the DMZ, and a lot of hope for the future.  It was also the spot where we could see into North Korea. Unfortunately, it was a dreary day, and we could barely see across the river.  Our guide provided some detailed explanations though of the, essentially, Communist propaganda villages across the way on the North Korean side.  They are there to give off a vibe of prosperity, but instead, they are empty, derelict, and obviously not the haven that the North Korean government had hoped they would be. What was most interesting about our stop at the observatory, though, was the special guest who our Korean DMZ tour company arranged to join us.  Hearing the Story of a North Korean Defector There are only a half dozen companies who are authorized...
8 Tips for Booking a Korean DMZ Tour

8 Tips for Booking a Korean DMZ Tour

One of the things that happens when you travel as much as we do, is we tend to do very little research before we arrive places.  This results in us often being stuck in a situation entirely unprepared, like when we had a layover in Doha airport and did not know that we needed to get a visa on arrival, or when we were shocked at how expensive a ticket to Petra was.  The same thing happened when we were booking a Korean DMZ Tour. I swear I saw a television program once (and it might have been Anthony Bourdain), where you could take a train up towards the Korean DMZ, and just have a look around.  I thought, in the back of my mind, that this would always be an option.  We tried to work with Viator on booking a Korean DMZ tour with them, but they were sold out by the time we got around to it.  Once I started doing some research, I realized we had to take a tour, but we had yet to book one. When we first arrived at the Courtyard Seoul Times Square, I suddenly became a little panicked about booking a Korean DMZ tour.  I learned that they don’t do tours every day and you need to send a copy of your passport 48 hours in advanced.  I was afraid we would run out of time during our week in Seoul because we had not planned ahead.  So, I thought I would share my tips for booking a Korean DMZ tour, so that you could learn from my mistakes. Top Tips...
Learning How to Make Kimchi in Seoul – Korea’s National Dish

Learning How to Make Kimchi in Seoul – Korea’s National Dish

We walked up a few flights of stairs into a small apartment building in some residential area of Seoul, a sprawling metropolis of 10 million people.  Within that population of millions, we were invited into the home of a Korean man named Kim, where he and his wife taught us how to make kimchi in Seoul, the Korean staple of life. Kimchi is a side dish for almost every meal in Korea.  It is fermented, and red, and pungent, and spicy.  It is an acquired taste, but I have certainly caught the flavor for it.  We were told “we eat kimchi with every meal.”  In fact, the people we met in Seoul were surprised that we had even tried kimchi before, let alone that I actually like kimchi.  Although, I don’t think I could eat it at every meal.  How to Make Kimchi, Quick Making kimchi is a process, and takes time, often 9 to 12 hours.  We had about 30 minutes.  So, we did an express version to squeeze our how to make kimchi lesson into our short amount of time. I put on my cotton apron and tied a cotton cooking hat around my forehead.  Firmly feeling like I was dressing the part of a Korean grandmother, we went to work.  We cut up the radish and green onions, and mixed up the sauce, which included gochugaru, or the bright red hot pepper flakes that gives kimchi is notable color. Some other interesting ingredients included fish sauce, a glutinous rice flour, and the secret ingredient I was not expecting, pear, which lends a sweetness to the kimchi....
Experiencing a Korean DMZ Tour

Experiencing a Korean DMZ Tour

How can I describe the singularly most unique experience we have ever had traveling?  The single most unique destination we have been to.  A place that, at one point, my stomach did somersaults when I saw a sign that read Entering the Korean DMZ.  That is why this blog, about our experience on a Korean DMZ tour, is one of the longest I have written. I won’t go into the history of the Korean conflict, but it is something that many of us watch from a distance.  In South Korea, though, it is something that affects their everyday. There’s mandatory military service for men.  There are families that remain torn apart after six decades.  They live in a constant state of threat that the crazy guy on the other side of the line may decide to attack. While staying at the luxurious JW Marriott, we arranged a full day tour to head up to Panmunjom, to see what, before this day, we had only seen on TV, and to try to understand more about one of the biggest conflict zones in today’s world.  Visiting Panmunjom on a Korean DMZ Tour Panmunjom is located inside the Korean DMZ, the demilitarized zone, which separates North and South Korea.  It is the most forward portion of the DMZ that civilians can visit from South Korea.  It is 62 kilometers northwest of Seoul and 215 kilometers south of Pyongyang.  It is the more common name associated with the JSA, or Joint Security Area, which lies inside the region.  Panmunjom was once a village until the end of the Korean War, now it is...
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