Vegan-Friendly Hong Kong!

Well, I realize I totally missed out on putting up a Christmas post, and now it feels like it’s way too late to even shout “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!” without looking like a big ol’ weirdo, but life’s been busy!  Our hagwon director surprised us with the ever-so-thoughtful Christmas gift of telling us he’d secretly sold his school and was terminating our contracts early (on Christmas-frickin’-Eve!!), so Christmas was spent frantically sending out CVs and feeling totally stressed out and screwed over.  Anyway, we’d booked a holiday to Hong Kong earlier in the year, and we did contemplate cancelling it after we’d received this bad news, but I insisted that I NEEDED a vacation, so we went ahead with it anyway (and I’m super happy we did cuz it rocked!)

First things first: DA FOOOOOD!  We were shocked by the quantity and quality of vegan food in Hong Kong.  I mean, Korea loves its meat, but in Hong Kong we saw all sorts of stomach-churning sights (whole ducks, chickens, and pigs hanging in windows, old ladies selling chicken feet on the street, boxes of shark fins, lizards impaled on sticks, deer fetuses…I mean, I can keep going on if you’d like me to, but I would kinda rather stop!)  So, we basically weren’t really expecting to have much luck in finding cruelty-free cuisine, BUT WE WERE SO WRONG!

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Vegan Eats and Treats + Sunny Seoul Forest

October’s a special month for me this year, and not just because Halloween falls on a Friday (though that is pretty darn awesome.)  This month marks my one year vegan-niversary (is that a thing?!), which seems totally crazy to me right now; time has just flown past!  After we returned to Korea from a long weekend in Osaka last October, I had one last KFC (don’t judge meee~), and have been eating animal-free ever since then!  Becoming vegan has definitely made me feel a lot healthier.  I know I’m totally jinxing myself, but I actually can’t remember the last time I was sick…which is pretty darn impressive for someone who works with snotty kids all day!  Anyway, my body just feels good, and I feel way happier, too; no more guilt of saying how much I love animals while chomping into a bacon sandwich…

Anyway!  Last week, we had a three-day weekend, so we gorged on all our favorite goodies and took a stroll through sunny Seoul Forest (with Duggie, of course!)

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Vegan Eats and Treats in Seoul: March Rabbit, Slunch Factory, and PLANT

Today is Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving, so all of Seoul’s tasty restaurants, cafes, and bars are closed as staff and owners return to their ancestral homes to pay respects to their ancestors and indulge in traditional Korean feasts.  Meanwhile, we’re holed up in our tiny apartment.  Luckily, we spent the past few weekends indulging in all kinds of yummy vegan treats, including a couple of new surprises!

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Veggieholic Bakery

UPDATE: November 2014: Veggieholic has shut down, but the owner has opened a similar bakery in Sinchon called The Bread Blue.  Click here for photos and directions!

I’m not sure how, but I had never heard of Veggieholic (a vegan bakery in Hongdae) until pretty recently, even though it’s been around for years!  I did a quick search for it on the interwebz and found that it moved from its original location a couple years ago, and there were also some remarks about it not being completely vegan.  It was pretty tricky to find (don’t worry: I’ve included detailed directions at the bottom of this post!), but once I got there the owner reassured me that EVERYTHING in the shop was egg, milk, and butter-free.

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So I went right ahead and got stuck into all that carby goodness!

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Vegan Eats and Treats in Seoul: Itaewon PLANT

One of the first vegan-related blogs I started following was Alien’s Day Out, which is a super cute, yummy recipe-filled day-to-day account of vegan life in Seoul.  The blog’s creator, Mipa, is also an illustrator and professional baker who just recently opened her own cafe in Itaewon!

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