Life In Korea: Insa-Dong (Part 1) (인사동)

Insa-Dong is a popular tourist destination in the heart of Seoul. It’s famous for being the heart of traditional Korean culture – there are dozens upon dozens of shops that sell nearly everything imaginable. It’s fast-paced, and you could wander around the streets for hours.

Warning: this post is picture-heavy.

Welcome to Insadong!
This is hodduk (호떡) - basically a glob of dough wrapped around brown sugar filling, and deep-fried. It's delicious, and very bad for you.
I can feel my arteries clogging.
Sidewalk vendors! About five seconds after I took this photo, an old lady started to yell at me to turn off the camera.
Another sidewalk vendor, this time selling pottery.
I have no idea what they were selling (some kind of noodles made of sugar or such), but they were LOUD. And extremely funny. Imagine a carnival game vendor yelling at you to come play their game. Now imagine three of them. Now imagine them yelling in synchronization.
Another sidewalk vendor, this time selling traditional paper fans.
Heading down the street again...
This was interesting. Apparently this is the only Starbucks in the world to write out their name in a language other an English. The reason being, Insadong is a traditional Korean culture street - and the zoning laws prohibited any business from having an English sign. Hence, the Starbucks written out in Korean as "스타벅스".
This was an interesting store. It sold traditional paintbrushes, inkwells, and calligraphy equipment.
Ink wells. They were heavy, and they were expensive.
Brushes and brushes and more brushes...
This was another interesting store - a restaurant that specialized in dduk (떡), sticky rice cakes. They had transformed dduk into an art form.
This was an outdoor store that was selling authentic stone statues and carvings.
Although it was closed (for Sunday), this is the famous Nakwon Instrument Store, where you can buy basically everything that's related to music. A lot of shows were filmed here - such as "Running Man" and "We Got Married".

I think that about wraps it up for now. More Insadong pictures to come later.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. gogumavillage says:

    i super like your post, a good way to introduce seoul:-) please continue soon with another place

  2. Adeline says:

    I have a soft spot for these kind of places… I mean, I would stop by every shop buying useless souvenirs, and then at the airport, they wouldn’t let me leave the country because by luggages are far too heavy (because yes, I would probably have bought one of these stone statues!^^)
    It’s funny how they don’t allow English signs, but I think it’s a good thing. If it’s a traditional street, then leave it that way 🙂
    Oh, and shops are closed on sundays too? I thought that since Korea is not a traditional Christian country, then maybe it wouldn’t… That’s interesting to know!
    Thanks for the article! Argh, your posts make me more and more jealous everytime!

    1. No, no…none of the shops were closed, it’s just that the instrument store opened a little later. ^^

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