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Insadong Street, a Must for Tourists in Seoul

This street is known as the place you have to visit to buy typical souvenirs. But that isn't all you can find here. There are plenty of restaurants and traditional teashops where you feel like you're in the past.

Photo by deprofundis

Placed at the city center, it’s one of the liveliest streets in Seoul. Apart from shops, traditional teashops, restaurants and pubs, you can also find street performers. The first time we went there, we saw a group of Samul nori musicians, that is a genre of traditional Korean percussion.

Samulnori musicians from deprofundis on Vimeo.

If you want to get there by subway, there are two stations located near the two ends of the street: Anguk at North and Jongak at South. At the South of the street, you can visit the Tapgol Park where the Pagoda Wongksa is placed. It was designated as the second national treasure of Korea. Nowadays it is inside a structure made of metal and glass. Outside the park there are many fortune tellers huts.

There are a lot of narrow alleys on each side of the street. Wandering down one of this alleys, we found a traditional teashop that we really liked. We enjoyed a delicious cup of tea served with rice cakes.

There are a lot of candy stalls in the street, we found one with turd-shaped cakes. They don’t look very tempting but I am sure they are delicious. But the kings of the street are kkultarae boys. These cakes are made of honey (kkultarae means honey spiral) and nuts. It is also known as “Dragon’s Beard”. Boys that make this sweet, recite the process while they are working for tourists.

Here is a movie I found in YouTube, you can see them in action.

At nighttime, we were looking for a restaurant for dinner and we decided to follow suggestions from the guide we bought and found Sanchon Restaurant. It is specializing in “Temple cuisine” that originated in Buddhist temples and is vegetarian. It is decorated like temples and palaces. It is not cheap but you can enjoy some performances with traditional dancers while you are served a lot of dishes. We were hungry after a long day of walking and going sightseeing but we couldn’t finish the whole of the food we had on the table.

written by deprofundis

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