Other Place to Go, Seoul
I'm not sure which pronounciation is correct...perhaps free market and flea market both apply to this little bazaar. Each Saturday (1pm -6pm) college-age artisans gather outside the main gates of Hong-Ik University (near Hong-Ik University Entreance Station, Line 2) to sell their wares.
Everything is handmade by the sellers and includes, clothing, jewelery, leather-bound notebooks and other things artsy. The participants pay 10,000 won (USD 8) to be there and apparently the pricing is not going to make them rich anytime soon. Many simply see it as a way to put their talents out there.
The market is a little hard to find. Go to the entrance and stand with your back to the university. You'll see street going to the left, right, straight ahead and veering off to the left on an angle. Take the angled street. (If in doubt ask around for the free/flea market.)
There are tons of eclectic stores in the area as well, with things you won't find in the touristy areas of Seoul.
Not all street vendors are nasty like the one I encountered the last time. Many are nice, English-speaking and genuinely proud of their crafts. This street vendor is creating a gigantic mound of candy from a slab of molasses. It was too yummy to ignore.
bpacker's Seoul Searching page
Samcheongdonggil Street is home to many art gallaries. I think there were at least three. There was also the Korean Traditional Folk Dress Museum which featured many colorful and beautiful Hanbok's.
In addition to the museums and art gallaries, there are many cafe's, craft shops, and the Jeongdok Library nearby.
My favorite place on the street though is Dongsipjagak. Dongsipjagak was a watch tower at the southeastern corner of the Gyeongbokgung Palace wall. The stone base structure was built during the early Chosun period, while the structure on the basement is believed to have been built by the Prince Regent Daewongun when he rebuilt the Gyeongbokgung in 1867. Originally there was a flight of stone stairs on the inner side. Unfortunately, as can be seen in the picture, this reflects both the ancient and modern history of Korea. The structure itsef may reflect the Chosun period, but the bullet marks i the tower reflect the Korean War, which technically still has not come to an end.
For a sight/taste of Old Korea, head to the old-style market located at Moran.
Everything for sale, from dogs and cats (both to eat, and for pets), to clothes, to tools, to vegetables and seeds.
Only on the 4, 9, 14, 19, 24, 29 of every month: dates ending with 4 or 9, if you didn't notice ;)
Moran station, exit 5. Walk 100 meters, you'll see the market on your right.
When in Rome, do what the Romans do. So when you're in Korea, do what the Koreans do and shop at night. These night markets are an eye-opener and I'm not talking about touristy Itaewon over here. There's more Americans there than a small mid-western town! Go to a less touristy place and head for Namdaemun, Insa-dong or Dongdaemun instead. Over there, you won't be overly harrassed and you can shop like the locals.
bpacker's Seoul Searching page
Don't rub your eyes, you've read this correctly. You've not been to Korea if you haven't eaten one of these silkworm larvae. They're available at every street corner. You can't miss them or the odour. Just follow the salty, pungent smell and you'll see a pot of crunchy larvae simmering in their own juices.
Get crunching and train for the next Fear Factor season. They taste like dried prawns, by the way...
bpacker's Seoul Searching page
here's lots of little provision shops in the little alleyways of Namdaemuns so check them out. You'll see lots of interesting things for sale. Take these braided rows of salted fish for example.
bpacker's Seoul Searching page
A really good way to learn to read the Korean script hangeul, is to ride the subway. And match the signs with the translations and there pronunciation over the loud speaker.
And while you are travelling the subway, you can get off at random stops. This station Nowon, is one of the nicer areas of Seoul, it has a small town feel about it, Even though its the most populous suburb in Seoul. And its nestled beneath some nice mountains.
Check it out. A good ex-pat community lives there.
When you walk out of Insadong heading North you will come to a main road, one which, if you head east you will get to Daehungno, if you head west, you'll reach Kyoungbuk Palace, however if you somehow manage to cross and meander a little you will end up in Anguk Dong.
Anguk Dong wasn't much awhile ago, but recently it is cleaning up. Why? Well, Anguk Dong is one of the few areas of Seoul that wasn't flattened during the Korean War, in layman's terms, it is full of old style architecture.
It has been a residential area for years, nestled quietly beneath the western shadows of Bukhan mountain, but now it has been discovered. Ritzy restaurants, and dinky jazz bars are moving in, bringing with them much needed restoration money.
But away from the main streets, there are still the old upper class residential houses of yester year to appreciate (or should I say depreciate :oP) in their natural splendour. give it a burl. And when you've finished your stroll, go and have a cup of tea in a restored korean style Villa now tea house. BTW The Cheonhwa dae (the Blue House or the republic of Korea Presential house) is in Anguk Dong).
I was going north on the subway coming from lotte world i had just spent part of the day there. I decide that i would just get off at one of the stops along the way and see if there is anything intresting.
So i got off the subway at cheongnyangni ( on subway line 1 ). I looked on the map of what was in the area, not much but there was a market. So why not lets look at the market. I started walking in the market and it was like most of the other markets i had been to there were shoes, clothes and stuff. Then i looked to my right and there was the meat ilse guess you could say. As i started walking down there i saw live chickens and ducks. Then a bit farther down there were live cats and dead cats. this turned my stomach, then there were live octopus and live pig heads. Then what was the worst for me to see was the live dogs. I felt so bad for them it was my frist time ever seeing anything like that and it gave me a pretty big shock. I had to leave. If you are ever in this area and want to see what a market is really like go here.
After that i crossed the street and to my suprise there was a red light district. It only caters to domectic clinets. It was a small red area were the girls stand in glass booths along the road. It was small but worth a look at if you head into this area.
The pic is of the pig heads, for some reason two pic's came out on one. I would of put one the pic of the dogs in the cage. But this is the pic of the dogs it overlaping? why ? i donno but i'm pissed off that i can't show you.
The Nanta Theater is best described as a Las Vegas show without all of the fun. I think I saw another post refer to it as a poor man's "Blue Man Group." That is kind of close to it, it is also kind of like the show "Stomp."
The Nanta Theater showcases modern theater-type performances. The one I saw was called "Cookin!" I was hoping it would turn into Iron Chef, or something like it, instead it was a bunch of people using Kitchen equipment as procussion instruments. It wasn't bad, I had just seen it before, and seen it done better.
There were some things to enjoy, at one point they were chopping vegetables in a unique way, and in time with the music. The Americans in the group all started whispering the words to the Choppin Broccoli song, which made for good times. But my favorite part of the show is the part I called "got milk?" It is hard to explain, but milk was basically poured into these drums so that when the drums were played, it exploded everywhere.
I think the key to enjoying it is not to take it as seriously as "Blue Man Group" or "Stomp". It is meant to be different, and has some very funny moments.
Korean Professional League teams play at two stadiums in Seoul (at least) -- Jamsil and Dongdaemun. The quality of play is good and you may see some future US Major Leaguers. Chan Ho Park, Hee Sop Choi and Byung Young Kim all played in the Korean League, and former Pittsburgh Pirates star Al Martin now plays for the LG Twins.
Baseball games are a bargain by US or Japanese standards. Good seats can be had for W10,000 and a beer only costs W2000.
Games usually start at 6 p.m. and I recommend you eat before you go or bring some food. I don't like fast food, so the monopoly on concessions enjoyed by Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken did not appeal to me. I ended up eating a huge bowl of steamy hot soup (mostly broth) on a hot humid night. This barely kept my stomach at bay until I could have a better meal after the game.
Korea boasts it's own greenish-hue pottery work Celadon, which I found to be quite attractive and made my way towards Icheon a quick drive from Seoul. Opportunities to make your own pottery are abundant, so seek out the little shops.
Icheon also houses many unique pieces of pottery art in it's own museum space built specifically for a huge Ceramics Exhibition upcoming. http://www.wocef.com, while there you'll learn about traditional kiln building and take a walking tour of Korean ceramics history.
Maybe, you don't know about "Dockbokki "
It's a kind of "korea's bunsik".
It's so hot and spicy but don't worry , Some of these are made of soy source...
If you go around here and there, you can
see selling many kinds of "bunsiks" at roads.
And there are centered places for selling "Dockbokki" at Sindandong
you can go by subway number 2 line(green line) and stop at "Sindang" station.....
The Price is about 8,000won~1500won($7~15) for two or three persons
TRy to this!
While this tip might not be for everyone, some people may enjoy a brief stop at the Korea Stamp World. This is a free museum / exhibit hall in the basement of Seoul Central Post Office.
The displays show Korean postal history, complete the stamps, courier uniforms and other anecdotal information.
For stamp collectors, they do offer a wide selection of individual stamps, sheets, and books. Particularly for the hard to find stamps that are not available in the general Post Offices, this may be the only location to find them.
Located in the basement of the Seoul Central Post Office. Opposite the Bank of Korea Museum, on the north-east side of Namdaemun Market. Open weekdays 9am ~ 6pm. Cost is free.