HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

by - 7:45 PM

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

The arts and crafts of a particular city is mostly evident on the best buys for gifts and souvenirs.  With a vibrant city such as Seoul, there are definitely a lot of places to wander and do the window shop, drink and loiter, as the case may be.

Cebu Pacific Air has made Seoul, South Korea accessible to Filipinos with the regular flights it offers daily from Manila, Cebu and Kalibo.  And with these, there are landmarks and places of interest that appeals most to Filipinos, being close to our culture and not to mention the costs attached to it, being cheap and reasonable.


MYEONG-DONG

Myeongdong is one of the primary shopping districts in Seoul.  But a standout and noticeable feature of the district are the aligned cosmetics and beauty products with freebies sprouting out of nowhere.  Several major department stores have branches in Myeongdong in the likes of Lotte Department Store, Shinsegae Department Store, Myeong-dong Migliore, Noon Square and M Plaza.  The area is actually a combination of luxury brands and cheap reasonable finds.

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITYHANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

Restaurants and shops are likewise everywhere ranging from traditional Korean, Western and Japanese dining options.  A dog and cat café is also an option within the vicinity of Myeongdong.  Every visitor would truly be amazed of how creative and artistic their ideas are – for every interior design detail and shop concepts.

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY 
There are two significant sites in Myeongdong, these are: Myeongdong Cathedral and the Myeongdong Nanta Theater.  We attempted to look for the former and ended up still shopping and hopping from one food stall to another and visiting varied hawker stalls.  I hope to visit the cathedral though on next visit.

How to Get There:

1.  Take Subway Seoul Line No. 4 to Myeongdong Station
2.  Get out at Exit 6

Alternative:
1.  Take Subway Line No. 2 to Euljiro 1-ga Station

INSA-DONG

I like Insa-dong more than Myeong-dong.  And that is just me.  Insa-dong is said to represent the focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts.  The stores specialize in great finds that originate in Korea.  These are the likes of hanbok (traditional clothing), hanji (traditional paper), traditional teas, pottery, masks and folk crafts.  We actually did a lot of souvenir and gift shopping in this district, putting into test the bargaining and haggling skills.

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

The multitude of alleys where modern galleries, traditional and family restaurants and tea shops are situated, is connected to the main street of Insadong-gil.  It is indeed a bustling yet maintaining the quaint charm that it has. 

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITYHANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITYHANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY
  
The Insa-dong Street during the Joseon Dynasty was populated by Dohwawon, a place of study for painters.  Today, it continues to be the center for the arts and painters, craftsmen and art lovers continue to set up shops along the narrow alleys.  In fact, we tried the caricature self-portrait paintings for a souvenir.  And how it went?  No comment in my case but it was worth the experience.

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

We also tried dining at one of the authentic Korean family restaurants offering the best dishes that Korea has to offer.

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

How to Get There:
1.  Take the Seoul Subway Line 3 to Anguk Station.
2.   Exit at 6.

Alternative:
1.  Take the Seoul Subway Line 1 to Jonggak Station.
2.   Exit at 3.
3.  Go straight 300m and turn left at the 4-way intersection.
4.  Go straight 100m and take the left road toward Insadong-gil Road.

ITAEWON

It is indeed expensive to get drunk in Seoul, much more bar hop and meet fellow travelers in an intoxicated state.  On our first visit, we drink on what they call “pojang-macha”.  These are tents set up along the road that opens at night.  I have always heard about Itaewon as the perfect place for night life and to enjoy what Seoul has to offer for a drinking spree but we never had the chance to visit due to time constraints, not until this recent visit.

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

The area is actually popular for residents (the richest in Korea and most businessmen), transient houses, dormitories and hostels for tourists and the U.S. military personnel.  It is no wonder why bars and restaurants are more or less westernized and modern.

Many restaurants in the area serves international dishes including cuisine from India, Pakistan, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Germany, Spain, Italy, England, France and Mexico, mostly those not available in South Korea.  The area is tagged as the “Western town”.

We only had a night to spend at Itaewon and that was, for a drinking spree.  But apart from these, it is also a good place to shop and to visit some small villages nearby.

How to Get There:
1.  Take the Seoul Subway Line 6 (Brown) to Itaewon.

BUKCHON VILLAGE

This is our second attempt to visit the Bukchon Hanok Village.  The village is home to hundreds of traditional houses, called “hanok”.  Today, many of these traditional houses operate as cultural centers, guest houses, restaurants, tea houses providing the tourists an opportunity to immerse in Korean culture.

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITYHANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

There are a lot of souvenir shops as well but not as diverse in selection as Insa-dong.  Stalls for street food finds are likewise available. 

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITYHANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITYHANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY

How to Get There:
1.  Take the Seoul Subway Line 3 to Anguk Station.
2.   Exit at 1 or 2.
3.  Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok village.

HANGING OUT IN SEOUL CITY


Seoul City has indeed a lot more to offer.  Hanging out in Seoul is truly a memorable experience.  The pace comes at your own choice and even without tour guides, landmarks are accessible.  

You May Also Like

0 comments