Korea's Best Kept Secret: Bingsu

Today we discovered the most amazing thing about South Korea, and I think probably the best kept secret. I know, I’m big on superlatives, and this country has so many redeeming qualities that to pinpoint just one is a bit of a disservice. In this instance it’s 100% deserving. You might see it called Patbingsu, or Bingsu for short, Snowflake Dessert or Snow Desert, but you will know it as Shaved Ice.

Day 41 South Korea Family Travel Journal
Korean Shaved Ice: Bingsu
한국 면도 아이스 팻 부스

Ranking: #cleandiaper (so clean it’s potty trained)

Korean Dessert Cafe
Yeonsu-gu, Incheon
Hours: Sunday thru Saturday 10:30am-10pm

Korea's Best Kept Secret: Bingsu
No clue what we are in for

The moniker snow dessert is quite accurate as the dessert is made from flakes of frozen milk, not ice. This lends to a much creamier, much sweeter, and much more delicate taste. Then combined with fruit, it’s like a frozen bowl of fruit and cream.

Korea's Best Kept Secret: Bingsu

Basically, fancy ice cream. They are a bit spendy ranging from ₩12,000 each, but they are large. The bowls are generous and will easily feed two or more people without anyone feeling like they didn’t get enough. Our ravenous family of six had a hard time polishing off two of them, but in the end we succeeded.

Korea's Best Kept Secret: Bingsu
Where the magic happens

The creations are stunning and absolutely beautiful! We ordered a brownie bingsu, and a muskmelon bingsu.

The brownie bingsu came with chunks of cheesecake and brownies, then it was topped with cocoa powder and whipped cream. The idea is that you destroy this work of art by mashing everything up and stirring the ingredients into a base mix. Basically, fancy ice cream. In Korea, the more complicated your food is, the better it is. Then you pour sweetened condensed milk over it and enjoy every luscious bite!

Korea's Best Kept Secret: Bingsu
There is even a kids reading nook

Our fruit bingsu was loaded with raspberries and strawberries and topped with half a muskmelon. This was our favorite, and when we head back every day for the remaining 33 days of our trip to give Sulbing Korean Dessert Cafe all of our money we will be trying the remaining fruit variety bingsu. The flavor is so ethereal. The snow flakes combined with the milk and fruit melts in your mouth and satisfies every craving you’ve ever had.

Korea's Best Kept Secret: Bingsu
After the carnage

Our family day was actually planned with the intent to find the LNG Center, the Bingsu Shaved Ice was just a happy and fortunate side trip.

Korea's Best Kept Secret: Bingsu
I think she likes it

When we went swimming at the University, scratch that, when we went swimming laps at the University a woman told us to check out the LNG Center for more kid friendly swimming options. We searched, but we couldn’t find it anywhere online. Then again, when we went to the primary swimming activity, which much more resembled the type of swimming we are used to in the states, another person told us about the LNG Center again. He told us this place was only about five minutes from our apartment, so we got the address and tentatively got our hopes up.

Ranking: #wetdiaper

LNG Center
인천 송도 LNG Sk2군 경기장
Price: ₩1,000 Kids 5-12 | ₩2,000 12+ | Under 5 not allowed

The LNG Center is supposed to be a kids water park swimming pool. It’s supposed to be a deep pool where you can play chicken fights, play tag and have fun. The LNG Center is supposed to be five minutes away. The LNG Center is not any of these things.

Swimming in Korea
You can’t get these two down if water is involved

The infamous bus 91 will take you from the Incheon Global Campus to the LNG Center on the outskirts of town near the container storage facility.

By now you might be wondering why we can’t just look up directions or use GPS to find where we are going. You might be thinking we are just winging it all the time, and how it should be no wonder why things go wrong so often. If only it were that simple. Google maps supposedly hasn’t been updated in nine years due to government restrictions. Naver Maps is the alternative, however, it’s completely in Korean, and it’s also rarely accurate.

When we got off the bus, Naver Maps told us to take a 17 minute walk to get to the swimming recreation center, so we headed in the direction it told us too. We were brought to an abrupt halt when we found an 18 hole golf course. Outside the entrance to the course were two people who seemed to speak relatively good English and they pointed us in the completely opposite direction.

Swimming in Korea
Making friends

So we headed in the direction they told us too.

We found a pretty awesome skate park.

We found some picnic tables and a grassy knoll.

Swimming in Korea
Sweet babies

We found a fun playground.

Swimming in Korea
Not the pool

We found a map, entirely in Korean.

We found a big building that was the swimming pool offices, and then we found ourselves back where the bus dropped us off; directly in front of the swimming pool.

Swimming in Korea
If only we could read Korean, this place was right in front of our faces all along.

Babies aren’t allowed to go swimming anywhere in Korea. Period. Gabriel opted to stay out with Molasses so I could have some time with the kids in the pool. A pool that was no more than five feet deep. A pool with six lanes filled with eight people a piece either swimming laps or walking in the water.

Swimming in Korea
I think I can buy a swimming pool like this at Walmart

We also found a baby wading pool. It was about two feet deep and that’s where we played for an hour. We made the best of it, but we don’t foresee us coming back here.

Swimming in Korea
Oh my gosh, it’s Daddy!

Update: We found a baby swimming pool, sort of. On Day 42 we took Molasses to a Baby Jjimjilbang! A Korean Bath House JUST FOR BABIES!

Don’t forget your towels, soap and proper swimming attire! Swimming etiquette in Korea indicates you take a full shower both pre and post swimming.

Ranking: #stinkydiaper

LAO Beijing
Triple Street
Hours: Sunday thru Saturday 10:30am – 10pm

Starving, after running all over town, we decided to get dinner at Triple Street.

LAO Beijing Korea
I don’t know why I ever thought this shirt was a good idea, or why I have to cut my own food with scissors

We are officially obsessed with Korean Chinese Food so we decided to have dinner at LAO Beijing. It’s not that it was bad, it’s that it was so expensive and the portions were so small! Our platter of sweet and sour pork came with seven pieces of pork, which means we all got one and then Gabriel and I each got another one. The kids ate the entire bowl of noodles alone and then Gabriel and I had to scrounge for something to eat back at the apartment.

LAO Beijing Korea
Playing at Triple Street

With so much amazing Korean Chinese Food here in Incheon, don’t bother with LAO Beijing.


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