I love how many Asian cities with deep histories are mapped out: turn left and you’ll see skyscrapers; turn right, and an ancient palace comes into view. In a city like Seoul, which is super modern and densely populated, it’s nice to see cultural areas preserved and celebrated. One neighborhood rich in cultural activities is Insadong, located in the northern part of Seoul.
I visited the area with my mom after we stepped into a temporary time machine trying on traditional Korean hanbok at the Insadong PR Center. We explored the area, which has many galleries, markets, museums, parks, food, and souvenirs.
The main places I shop for souvenirs in Seoul are the Express Bus Terminal and Itaewon. However, Insadong had so many unique, artisan tings that were way more special than your average Korea keychain souvenir.
You can’t go too far without running into something interesting, whether it’s this fella below or people taking a promenade in hanbok.
Unfortunately, we didn’t go to the hanok village (traditional-style residential areas). I’ve been to one in Jeonju and while it’s neat to see these quaint village homes in the middle of a bustling metropolis, I feel like if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. One thing I wish I’d done was sit down and eat at a real restaurant (we snacked on kimbap). Oh well, there’s always next time!