Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Few Random Posts on Seoul III - Insadong


A final posting on Seoul as I want to note for any who haven’t been there the Insadong district of the city. Insadong is about as charming and historic as Seoul gets - the main street, Insadong-gil, is connected to a multitude of alleys that lead deeper into the district and are filled with small restaurants, bars, coffeeshops, craft shops and art galleries.


Insadong has a more organic feel than somewhere like Shanghai’s grasping and overcrowded Taikang Lu but is a pleasant enough stroll comparable to Beijing’s Nanluoguxiang hutong street. Though Insadong is also increasingly home to a wealth of Korean tat shops all selling the same cheap and tacky gifts to the few tourists around.

Insadong has been a central part of Seoul’s culture since the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and is still a cluster of arts and antiques shops though the inevitable (not sure why I say inevitable but it feels that way) Starbucks has infiltrated to add a philistine contrast.



The alleys that run off Insadong-gil are the most interesting part of the area and worth an explore while if you can find spots to get slightly higher you’ll get some views of the area’s rooftops.


A Few Random Posts on Seoul I - The Dongdaemun Gate
A Few Random Posts on Seoul II - Seoul Railway Station

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