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By Way of Korea

South Korea   |   New York

A Korean food blog and travelogue inspired by

an epicurious New Yorker's journey around South Korea


Nomad Ger, a House With No Corners (Omnogovi Province, Gobi Desert, Mongolia)

Updated: Jun 29, 2019

Just over five feet, I rarely (if ever) found myself at the threshold of a door that required me to duck in order to walk through. Behind the dandelion yellow door of the ger we were welcomed into on our first night in the Gobi Desert lied a nomad abode offering so little, yet so much.

Nomad families migrate seasonally, making it essential for their homes to be economical, portable, and durable enough to be able to withstand frequent movement and weathering. A circularly constructed wooden lattice covered in felt or hide forms the round and well-insulated structure of the ger. A single stove central to the space serves as both a heating and cooking apparatus, and a column extending from it and through a window in the roof acts as a chimney for the smoke. Two pillars on either side of the stove support the roof (leaning on or walking or passing something in between them is considered bad luck). Our ger was spacious enough to accommodate five beds. I decided this was the closest thing to a Charmed Tent in the Muggle world.

After we finished choosing our beds and admiring the vibrant interior, we moved over to our host family’s ger, where we were served fresh goat milk heated on the stove. There were no corners or sides to prefer, no walls or rooms with different functions, and no windows to look out of or screens to be distracted by. In the absence of such things characteristic of a house divided, a group of strangers was encouraged to sit in a circle facing each other with vulnerability and openness.



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"If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel - as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them - wherever you go."

Anthony Bourdain's unmatched relish for adventure and humble approach to food, cultures, and humanity left an indelible impression on my younger self. Imparting on me the courage to veer into the unknown, he inspired me to embrace my vulnerabilities and seek adventures and growth beyond the comforts of home.


In July of 2017, I boarded a one-way flight to Seoul, South Korea. Within the first week of arrival, I signed a lease for an apartment and by the end of August, I had accepted a job offer that relocated me to Pyeongchang and Gangneung, where the Winter Olympics were soon to be held. From there, I had the rare opportunity to explore much of the greater Gangwon Province's beautiful mountainous and coastal regions and their distinctive foods. Once or twice a month, I'd return to Seoul or travel to an unfamiliar region to poke around alleyways, markets, and mountains in search of more good eats and adventures.


By Way of Korea is a storytelling project inspired by the food, places, and faces I encountered throughout Korea. By sharing my fondest memories, notes, and images of Korea, I simply hope to play a small part in piquing greater curiosity about Korean food and culture in my readers.  My content will heavily spotlight, but not be limited to Korean food and culture. 

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