Date of Visited: 12th September 2011
Insadong Street is our second pitstop once we done with the historical tour around Gyeongbokgung Palace, which is just 1 station ahead. Frankly speaking, South Korea has countless of streets that you shouldn't miss out and 3 of them which I had shared in my previous post before like Myeongdong, Dongdaemun and Namdaemun. Now, let's take a look what's the uniqueness of Insadong Street compare to the others.
Insadong Street, situated in the middle of Seoul city is well-known among both locals and also foreigners as a traditional street and it represents the culture of the past and the present. It contains a mixture of historical and modern atmosphere and it is a unique area of Seoul that truly represents the cultural and history of this country.
Insadong Street claimed to be an important place where old but precious and traditional goods are on display. Roughly about 400 meters, both sides and branch off in all directions of the street are clustered with traditional tea shops, art galleries, antique shops, restaurants, cafes and ceramic dealers.
My friends and I decided to split up and went our ownway and will meet up upon the agreeable time. While strolling Insadong Street by myself, I enjoyed it as much as I love the Namdaemun Street. It is not because of the traditional goods displayed here which to be frank, I am seriously don't know how to enjoy these thousand years of antique goods but I am more attracted to these (photos below):
Souvenirs Store! I really can't help myself from wandered around these kind of shops.
There are like more than 10 souvenir stores in Insadong Street and selling plenty of those authentic Korean souvenirs and handicraft which is so colourful and pretty. It is perfectly and ideal gift for family and friends.
Frankly speaking, both Namdeamun and Insadong selling almost the same range of souvenirs and handicraft but I can't define which one selling the most cheapest. Well, it depends the way you bargain right? But I heard that you are allow to bargain in some of the stores if only buy in bulk, or else, they definitely won't entertain you at all.
If you are wondering what are they, well, they are hair accessories.
Vintage and antique pocket watch anyone?
Besides souvenir stores, I spotted there are about 100 galleries in Insadong Street and can see every example of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures. These galleries are the heartbeat of Insadong and therefore, Insadong is sometimes well-known as "Insadong Art Street".
Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving Day which I did mentioned in one of my previous South Korea's post.
And again, it's another free trying of Hanbok but I gave this a pass cause I can't find my friends to help me take photos. #facepalm
It's Starbucks - in Korean language. This is one unique thing I found in Insadong.
If you are interested looking for something with a traditional Korean touch such as antique goods and artsy stuff, Insadong is definitely a place that you should explore. As for me, I almost going crazy when seeing all those handicraft and souvenirs display along the streets and my wallet almost crying for non-stop bleeding (if you know what I means).
How to get to Insadong Street:
1. Anguk Station, Subway Line 3 - Exit 6; or
2. Jonggak Station, Subway Line 1 - Exit 3; or
3. Jongno 3 (sam)-ga Station, Subway Line 1,3 or 5 - Exit 1
[Credit To: Wikipedia, Official Site of Korea Tourism]