Insadong: all the knick knacks you could ever want

Seoul is a busy city, and everything boils to a crescendo on the weekend.  Insadong is packed every Saturday and Sunday but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the area.

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Central Seoul, especially north of the Han River, has more history than the newer districts.  There aren’t as many high rise apartment blocks or department stores.  Insadong is a neighborhood right by Anguk station.  Many of the traditional houses have been turned into restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and guest houses.  Tourists stay here because they know it’s a short walk to places like Gyeongbukgung Palace.

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I want a house like that!

A lot of the knick knacks that are sold here can be found in every stationery store and street-side stand in Korea.  However, there are even more trinkets of the hand-made variety.  There were a few hand-made card shops, aprons sewn to look like hanboks (Korean traditional clothing), a giant store filled with green tea products, jewelry stores, homemade honey, and a store selling globes and maps.

so many stores

so many stores

Unlike most shopping malls of the world, the Ssamjigil mall isn’t a giant box with brand name stores inside.  The stores are independently owned and the walls, stairs, and railings are decorated with art.

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I actually enjoyed being in this mall, most shopping malls stress me out and I can’t wait to leave

I also took a quick peak at Gyeongbukgung Palace, but I didn’t explore.  The palace grounds are enormous.  I am waiting for Spring to arrive so I can take a whole day to see everything.

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Insadong is also a great place for cheap and adorable purses and backpacks.  I don’t like spending a lot of money on a purse, but there aren’t many good deals on cute ones.  This one was only 10,000 won ($10)!

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Next time I want to try one of the Korean traditional restaurants.  I went to Insadong on a full stomach, big mistake!

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