Hey everyone, I’m back again with quick descriptions of some more locations in Seoul worth visiting!
Wangsimri/Seongdang: If you’re a Hanyang student, this place is where you’ll be spending most of your time, mostly because this is where the university is located. As a Drexel exchange living and spending most of the time exploring this area, there’s way too much to cover but here’s a quick rundown. Wangsimni is the area next to the station of the name and is basically a tiny college town for Hanyang, as many colleges have their own (like Ehwa, and Konkuk which I’ll be mentioning later). Plenty of cheap and quality restaurants, lots of bars and pochas, cafes and convenience stores on every corner, a movie theater in the station. This place has everything you’ll ever need. My friends and I spend our dinners out, exploring as many restaurants and dessert places as we can. A personal favorite of ours is a Korean BBQ restaurant called 깡’s (Kkang’s) and quick, ice cream waffle shop called 띵똥와플 (Ding Dong Waffle). Also, if you travel left and further down from this town area, you’ll found yourself at a branched river area where people will be running, riding bikes on the track, and so on. If you follow it down far enough, you’ll reach the main part of the famous Han river. While I don’t really exercise myself, my friends and I love to walk by here late at night and talk, getting into college shenanigans. This is the place I have gotten used to calling home.
Insadong: If you want to experience traditional Korea, here is the one of the best places to go! It might be tourist-y but it does show off as much authenticity of Korea as possible in the city of Seoul. Here is where you would go to buy hanboks, drink traditional tea, buy souvenirs. My mother asked for Korean wind-chimes and un-surprisingly, this is the perfect place for where I would find that sort of thing. One particularly famous area in Insadong is Ssamzie-gil Market, which is sort of like an outdoor mall. While the products being sold were a bit too tourist-y and personally unnecessary for me, it was fun time to explore. Also, make sure to check out the poop cafe!
Dongdaemun: Kind of in the center of everything, this place is unique in it’s own right and a bit hard to describe in a few words. This is where Seoul Fashion Week took place, where a farmer’s market is currently going on, where brand clothes are sold, and where Gwangjang Market is (a bustling food market full of elderly owners selling fresh foods). You might see Korean celebrities occasionally come down here to promote themselves and political rallies. There are also some interesting historic statues to look for, fun attractions like the led roses at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, and the man-made Cheonggyecheon river that had won the then Seoul mayor some popularity for revitalizing the environment.
Yongsan: I’m sure if you’re interested in visiting Korean attractions, you’ve heard of Namsan tower. This is a piece of architecture built on one of highest mountains of Seoul and is the place to go if you want to see the skyline of Korea, represented by this post’s featured picture. This is also a popular dating spot. Many Koreans have gone to left their mark here by declaring their love or friendship on a lock and leaving it on the available areas here. A fun thing to do, I hope to be able to come back another time and look to see if the lock I made with my friends is still there. (Mine is the white one with a pink heart, we all wrote our names in Korean and drew little pictures, with the date on the side of the lock.)
Konkuk University: And lastly, for this post, is Konkuk University. Not far from Hanyang, this is a place that first gave me the impression of a mini Hongdae. Bright, large signs flood the town and there’s a surprising amount Asian non-Korean food. My Korean buddy and friends and I visited the campus during the cherry blossom season. This is a fun place to go if you’re wanting a change from the normal scenery of Wangsimri but don’t really want to go out to the super loud clubbing areas of Hongdae. As a surprise, my friends and I once missed the stop to Konkuk University and got off one stop late. On our trek back, we managed to discover an interesting food market called Jayang Market, similar to Gwangjang Market, a place with elderly owners selling fresh foods.
This is all I have for now but I hope to be able to have more journal-like, detailed posts about my one day adventures! Coming up next post, the beauties of the Han River and Seoul Forest!