Teachers Share their Experiences While Living Abroad!

My weekend in Insadong

Posted on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 @ 04:11 PM

Since I started teaching English in Korea, my best friend/boyfriend and I haven't had a chance to spend much time together alone, so we decided to pick a quiet spot in Seoul where we could just walk around and feel like we were on an actual date. Insadong may be a popular tourist spot, but it's not as crazy as Myeongdong and has just as much to see as Garosugil. It feels very traditional, as you'll see many tea shops as well as shops that sell brushes and ink for Korean calligraphy.

Ssamziegil is a shopping area halfway into Insadong. What's special about this little shopping center is that it is an outdoor strip mall that spirals up four or five stories. Each floor is filled with tiny art boutiques that sell anything from clothing to household items.

If you go to the very top of the mall, you will see an area for couples to write love messages that they can attach to a fence leading to a coffee shop where they can enjoy spending more time with each other. It's similar to the love locks in Namsan Tower, but I don't think as romantic. 

There are plenty of restaurants in Insadong that offer traditional Korean dishes, like bibimbap ("mixed rice") or gooksoo (noodles). I went to a tiny restaurant tucked away on the first floor of Ssamziegil that offered the same traditional Korean food, but with a twist.

This restaurant has been featured in different Korean shows, for it's "Fire Chobap." It's basically raw Korean beef placed on a ball of rice, like sushi, but then seared with a blowtorch right at your table! It was so delicious...

The rest of Insadong is worth checking out, too. There are plenty of snack vendors putting on a show in the streets as well as an arcade filled with games that you and your significant other can play together. 

You can even make a customized Korean style ink stamp. They can carve any design you want on it and it even comes in a cute pouch for you to carry it around in.

Another cool thing about Insadong is that it is home of the only Starbucks in the Korea that has "Starbucks" NOT written in English. Although, I hear Samcheongdong has one too now.  

 Even though the weather was unusually cold, it was a nice break away from the crazy city life.


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Aeri Park has had a multicultural history taking her from Seoul to Buenos Aires to Atlanta and back again. She graduated Emory University in 2008 and wanted to experience the culture of the place she was born. Aeri arrived in Suwon in 2010 and is now enjoying her second year teaching for Chungdahm in Pyeongchon. So far she has most enjoyed the food, fashion, and never ending list of places to explore. Follow Aeri to see where she goes!

Tags: Korean culture, a year in Korea, ex-pat life in Korea, living in Korea, free time, eating out in Korea, Activities to do in Korea, gaming in Korea, couples in Korea

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