The second day of my travel to Korea. After visiting the Geongkbokgung Palace, naturally tourists will then walk to the nearby Insadong shopping street or the Bukchon folk village. We kept Bukchon to a later day and went straight to Insadong. If you are an art or culture lover craving the Korean authentic foods and arts, Insadong is your ‘Must-visit’ spot in Seoul.
Right across the street in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace and next to Angkuk subway station, you will spot immediately the entrance to Insadong. Insadong means 仁寺洞 in Chinese. Dong is neighborhood in Seoul, being part of a district. Similarly to Myeongdong, where we were staying and the highly popular shopping area, Insadong is located within the Jungno-Gu (鐘路區) or Bell Street district in Seoul.
Being a highly frequented places for both tourists and local people, Insadong has been ‘decorated’ nicely with banners and road signs around. Sitting benched can be found along the main street, with plenty of mobile stalls selling local snacks and drinks.
Expectedly and nice to have, at the end or beginning (whatever you call it) of the Insadong street, there is a Tourist Information center. When we were there, there were even tourist officers walking about the area to assist tourists if they are in doubt of anything about Insadong or Seoul or Korea.
Shops and restaurants are lining up at both sides of the road which is mainly for pedestrian, albeit with some small vehicles passing by sometimes.
A lot of souvenir shops, hand craft shops, local designer boutiques, and food kiosk and restaurants are mushrooming the neighborhood. No cosmetic or skincare product outlets is found here though, which are mainly concentrated in Myeongdong instead.
If you wish to buy some souvenirs back home, including dolls, key chains, fridge magnets or others, I found Insadong is the cheapest of all places that we went in Korea, or at least Seoul. Some of the vendors do give discounts, so no harm to ask for discount, albeit not in a harsh way.
Eventhough most shops fronts are labeled with Korean language, there are at least English and Chinese translation printed in their signboards directing tourists around. Vendors can mostly speak little English and Chinese so shopping and communicating wasn’t a problem to us.
It was lunch hours, we decided to look for foods around. One of the popular cuisine you can find in Insadong is Korean royal court cooking. I personally prefer the similar but vegetarian Temple Cooking. We tried one and it was fantastic! I would say it was my highlight of my second day in Seoul. I will share with you more stories on this wonderful lunch experience in my next Korean tour coverage.
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The Insadong neighborhood covers the area around 800 M long Insadong main street together with its side lanes at both sides. Basically you can come to Insadong from all directions. Off course, the easiest and fastest way is by Subway dropping off at Angkuk Station along Line 3. If you enjoy walking like I do, I walked a long way from Myeongdong and backed to Myeongdong.
That’s it for Insadong, Seoul. Keep watching this space or subscribe to Travel Feeder to get the latest updates of this stories. You can also tell me what you think about Insadong or your experience in there by commenting below… – Travel Feeder, the budget travel guide and photo blog to Korea.