Insadong and the arts.....

Seoul Travel Blog

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Outside the inn

 So once more I've gotten the urge to take a trip, what can I say Pyoungtaek can get pretty boring, that and I haven't been back to Seoul since my first weekend.

 Having not traveled very much from Seoul to Pyoungtaek I decide to take the subway, not to self: the subway takes about 3 hours where as the moogoongwha train takes 45 min, well you live and learn. Anyways after arriving in Insadong I am plesantly suprised. Having only really seeing the big touristy spots I was expecting a hussle and bussle, tons of street vendors and 50 thousand tourist shops. What awaited me was much, much more interesting.

  Apon arrival I realized I had not made any reservations, well, the best trips are the ones you play by ear, so I set out to find a hotel.

My room
I wander up and down the thousands of alleys when I come apon a small guest house right by a coffee shop, seems like a place for me. The place, Shingungjang, is just right, smal clean rooms, great managment and really close to the action. The owner tells me there is only traditional, ondol style rooms available so I decide to stay. I've never slept in an ondol room so I was stoked.

 After checking in it's about 9 pm so I decide to get some coffe and start doing some looking. The coffe shop next to the hotle is more than I bagined for. The feel is cozy yet classy and I'm instantly in love. After writing and sipping coffe for a little over an hour I resume my quest.

  Insadong... wow, it's amazing. tons of little side streets and alleys, tea shops, art galleries.

Dongdaemoon Market
Having always been a lover of the arts I instantly fall in love. I walk up and down the main drag stopping here and there, going down this alley and the next. The next time I look at my watch it's 3 am. I want to get some hiking in the next day so I decide to retire for the night.

 The next morning starts at 9. I head on my way to Inwangsan, a small Buddhist monestary right outside dongnimmun station. The hike takes me up this hill past the monestary itself and to the peak of the mountain, making me regret not having my morning coffee. The trail winds past a set of rocks known as zen rocks, across a mineral spring and up to the top of the mountain, giving you breath taking views of seoul. The walk down is along the original seoul fortress wall, circa 1200 ad, so it's deffinatley and experience.

A friendly man in Insadong

 After my brisk little jaunt I get a call from one of my friends from language school, she tells me she'll be in seoul and we decide to meet up. After a late lunch and some catching up we decide to go to Dong Dae Moon market. Now let me tell you, there ws textile merchandise as far as the eye could see, I would die a happy man if I never have to see that many adidas track suits in one place for the rest of my life. The atmosphere is alot to take in, the sidewalks are crowded with vendors and little out door eateries, the sounds of hundreds of people speaking hundreds of languages, simply put, it's amazing. We walk up and down the streets for hours before deciding to take a dinner break.

 And after a hard day of hiking and shopping in Seoul what better place to stop then Outback.

Seoul and the fortress wall from Inwangsan
Yes, I must admit I was a little shocked to, to see one in Dongdaemoon so I had to check it out. After entering the doors I begin to actually feel like I'm in the states again, so much so that when our waiter asks to take our order I start with english. After reading her perplexed look, I re-order in korean, oops. We enjoy our dinner and decide to leave the nightlife for the more awake crowd, and head back to the hotel to crash.

 All and all, a good little trip, I was planning on going alone but it's always nice to meet up with old friends. I deffinately am going back to Insadong...

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Outside the inn
Outside the inn
My room
My room
Dongdaemoon Market
Dongdaemoon Market
A friendly man in Insadong
A friendly man in Insadong
Seoul and the fortress wall from I…
Seoul and the fortress wall from …
Outside Insadong
Outside Insadong
those is some big knives
those is some big knives
the inside of a library
the inside of a library
dont fall
don't fall
the presidents house
the president's house
the trail head
the trail head
Seoul
photo by: chiyeh