Insadong-street is well known for being Seoul’s traditional hot spot. The street streches over 700 meter and is filled to the brim with many little souvenir stores, art galleries, old school restaurants and pottery shops. A big spiral mall selling more ‘exclusive products’ and a real Korean tea house can also be found in Insadong. Will you join me in looking through the ‘picture diary’ I created of my visit to this historical marble?
“NEW (august 2013). From this month on a new series is debuting on this blog: Travel Thursday. Since a lot of my articles are beauty related, I felt the ‘Suitcase’ part of this blog deserved a bit more attention. Therefore every Thursday you’ll be able to find a travel post up on this blog.”
First stop: the spiral mall. Hand made products where sold on the ground level of the mall. Here you see me negotiating about the price of a hand painted tie for my grandpa. Bargaining is really coming in Seoul at markets and small shops. The tie was ridiculously priced and I didn’t manage to bargain it down to a reasonable price
A lovely little store selling snacks. You can literally find food everywhere in Seoul. In the small sideways of Insadong you’ll find lot’s of traditional restaurants; they might look shabby at first, but I can assure you that the quality of the food is excellent at most.
The spiral market, it’s lovely to walk up there without having to use the stairs.
We were in Insadong around Budha’s birthday, which is celebrated by decorating the city with colorful lanterns.
Korea has a huge ‘couple culture’. It’s literally the worse place to be when brokenhearted; everywhere you’ll cafe’s with deals for couples, dating spots, couples wearing his and hers outfits, but worse of all is the fact that everyone seems to be in a relationship and holding hands on the streets. A korean told me that some people are dating just to be part of the dating scene.
Chris and I already put up a love-lock on a bridge in Paris. so we didn’t feel the need to put one of these cards up.
Insadong-street is car free, but is always super crowded. I tower over 95% of the population there so for me it wasn’t a problem, but if you’re petit you might feel a little overwhelmed.
My favorite place in Insadong and maybe of the entire city: a little patio filled with cats, silence and greenery and includes a traditional tea house and an art gallery. (See how to get there at the bottom of this post)
We found this tiny kitty cat playing with its mom. It kept trying and trying to attack over and over again, obviously losing out to its much bigger mom. So cute! It seems that the cats are cared for by the owners of the tea house and the art gallery.
I think their sleeping place was underneath these stairs, because as soon as the little one got tired it retreated back there.
Inside the tea house. Ooo how I love Korean herbal tea. Especially plum tea. The tea menu has English on it which is great, on it the different benefits per tea are described. I was plagued by insomnia caused by jetlag for the first two weeks of being in Seoul and I must say that I did sleep a lot better after having a cup of jujube tea (which promised to cure insomnia). The only downside is that the tea is quite expensive (around W 9500 /$ 8,50/€ 6,40).
I recommend taking these honey cookies with the tea, they are delicious! Lovely to dunk in your tea too (even though this isn’t Korean custom, I believe).
The Korean Starbucks sign! (quite famous to take a picture of). I can read Korean and this sign actually says Starbucks coffee, but then in Konglish (Korean style English).
When we walked out of Insadong back to the hotel Chris was staying we saw a traditional performance on a permanent stage in Insadong (I believe they hold performances here more often).
This little girl danced so cute. There were a lot of elderly that were watching the show that started dancing enthusiastically, but unfortunately we didn’t manage to snap a picture of this.
How to get there?
Take the subway to Anguk station and get out at exit 6. Go straight for about 100 meter then turn left into Insadong-street.
The heart on the map shows Anguk station, the kitty the tea house/Kyung-in art gallery and the star the spiral market.