Insadong was one of my favorite places during our Seoul, South Korea trip. Also known as Seoul’s culture street, Insadong has so many shops selling traditional Korean goods, teas, candies, street food, wooden cooking utensils, crafts, staple food like bottled kimchi and roasted nori sheets (yum!) and souvenirs such as hanbok and hanji.
Although there’s a main street in Insadong (no vehicles allowed here), don’t hesitate to explore the inner streets. There are small but nice tea houses and restaurants that have “English OK” signs (meaning their servers can speak English 🙂 ) along alleyways. Insadong is a safe place to “get lost in.” Just go back to the main street and you’ll be fine 😉
How to get to Insadong:
My brother and I took the subway. We rode Seoul Subway Line 3 then took Exit 6. Walk for about 100 meters straight then turn left.
Or for the ladies – as soon as you see a store that sells TONS of bags for a flat rate 10,000 KRW each (roughly US $10) that’s a sign that you’re just a few meters away from Insadong’s main street 😀 TIP: there are a few other shops along Insadong’s main street that sell bags for that kind of flat rate so just breathe and stay calm 😛
We tried the omisa (five tastes tea) and the sik-hye (rice drink). We liked the rice drink better (like many others, as you can judge by the remaining contents of the containers)
This is Ssamziegil. It’s a building full of shops and has a pretty interesting feature. I’ll write about that in a bit.
If you may notice, all store signs are in Korean. Accordingly, the government requires that all shops here have signs written in Korean (some have smaller English translations at the bottom part of the signages) in order to maintain Insadong’s reputation as the traditional culture street.
They fill these tubes with ice cream. Yum! Apparently, some local Filipino entrepreneurs have similar businesses now (often found in malls).
I saw this lady busy creating what looked to be like rock candies. I was curious so I bought a pack. They were so good and not hard to chew at all!
Insadong is also home to several street performers. We spotted an acoustic singer, a puppeteer and this guy who creates awesome bubble thingies!
Insadong is truly a must-visit in Seoul! Have you been there? Share your experience in the comments section below 🙂
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