Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Insadong Sights

The man who invented the Korean language and he made the wise decision to make it accessible to learn with only 17 characters! Don't get me started on Japanese .. 
I call this 'Insadong' very loosely as the town is quite literally south from the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and the Bukchon Hanok Village, all within short walking distance of each other. Actually, in Seoul, many tourist attractions are clustered in various areas so abandon those heels in favour of sneakers! Anything to justify three consecutive ice creams in an hour right? Ahaha. It's also all the more satisfying when you can cross off multiple items on the bucket list in one day, fulfilment occurs even on vacation!

For breakfast, a spicy tofu stew with beef (a bit odd, I'm not used to eating any protein other than eggs for breakfast), with typical banchan, seaweed and scrambled eggs. The perfect breakfast to combat the day and come out victorious. 

The Gyeongbokgung Palace, admittedly its grandeur was diminished severely by the tourists that it amassed. And sympathy for the dedicated guards was much earned. If you want a more peaceful trek through a palace, visit the Chengdeokgung Palace! It's to the east of the Bukchon Hanok Village and several times a day there's tours to the mysterious Secret Garden. I had the opportunity to go on it several times but I opted out as I reasoned that since it was winter, I doubt it would be much a sight to marvel for several hours. Excuses. But despite that, its architecture is enough for you to wonder how on earth humans were able to create such grand buildings. 

Bukchon Hanok Village preserves hundreds of traditional houses called 'hanok' that dates back to the Joseon Dynasty. Today, many of these have been converted to cultural centres, guesthouses, restaurants and tea houses, that provides the opportunity to experience, learn and immerse oneself in Korean traditional culture, keeping them alive beyond their time. If I was ruler of all ancient heritage sites of the world, I would decree that they and their radius remain untouched although it's interesting to see the juxtaposition of the modern and ancient world colliding, it only serves to prove that our old values are slowly disappearing. 

Roof top view!

Hanok-ish converted into a stall haha. 

A felt pizza decoration.. honestly where do they come up with these things?? And it'd be a rather cruel prank wouldn't it?

The Changdeokgung Palace! Honestly, I thought it was far too similar that I didn't take many photos and as I avoided the main attraction, the Secret Garden, it wasn't that worthwhile.

Insadong! Although one main road, the jewels lurk in the alleys that snake on either side. Galleries, traditional restaurants as well as temple cuisine and ones geared towards health, tea houses and cafes. With over 100 galleries, you can experience Korean art of varying styles in a heartbeat. The alleyways themselves are charming and full of character, deserted one moment then it springs alive as people amble across, carrying about in their regular duties or seeking things elsewhere. In need of souvenirs? Look no further!

In need of more modern, artistic gifts? Ssamziegil is a unique place that was designed in a way that is one with the alleys to spiral upwards to the sky. Boutique stores, squished together, tempt you from each level. Over 70 shops crammed into this area including handcrafted stores, art galleries as well as numerous eateries. This area has a more youthful vibe.

Year of the Ram!

Transforming cold stone into a living organism.

Feel enlightened from mere window shopping!

A giant rose snakes through the level, had this been the beanstalk, Jack would've had no hope getting his golden harp. 

Yep, try to refrain from buying everything haha.

Top level view of Insadong!

And at the top, you are rewarded with a permanent marker if you so desire. 

An angel among filth HAHAHA

Phases of the moon as you descend. 

*heavy breathing. ART INTENSIFIES. 

A secret garden at the bottom level?

An ingenious idea isn't it? 


If there's a surface, the pen will find a way. 

Beauty lurks in all corners of Seoul shamelessly. 

Spicy fried chicken with rice cakes! I must have come full circle as I wanted these to be spicier! 

Spicy, tofu stew in an alleyway restaurant

The popular dragon beard candy stores! They're so vivacious and lively, cheerfully calling out in many languages to snare you in haha. 

An instrument that reminded me of the Pokemon movie that involved Lugia. So of course I had to buy one for my sister. 

Dinner of radish kimchi, spicy stew and kimbap! This along with bibimbap is my favourite, my tastes are very simple aren't they? Ahaha. 

The people I stayed with hosts cooking classes, and these were the delicious products. Browniess. I missed baked desserts like crazy, ones at chain bakeries and cafes don't cut it! You can't beat anything homemade!




  1. nice pics :)
    food looks good <3

  2. Everything looks so beautiful, but I can see that it was a lot of walking. I agree that sneakers are definitely a must.

  3. So many amazing pictures! You having a great time huh?! :D

    xxx Linsey from

    You can also check my BLOGLOVIN & FACEBOOK if you like! :)

  4. Great photos, brings back some travel memories :)

  5. Great post! Beautiful!

  6. ughhh all of these photos are so beautiful, full of live and culture! This makes me so happy!! You seemed to have a great time!! One day I hope I can visit a place as colorful as this! :)

    keely // life, love, and exploration

  7. Great pics!!

  8. super cute pics !!! :) PRETTY !

  9. I love the pics, it makes me sooo nostalgic because I travelled 2 times in Seoul. And Insadong is my favorite place !!


  10. Looks lovely ! I would love to visit Korea, as well as Japan and China this year. So jealous :)

  11. OMG! Thank you for this post! (feels like I'm in Korea!!) Way to go~~ I wish I could go there too!

  12. Lovely photo diary,

    Lots of love.

  13. Gorgeous
    Lots of love.

  14. I am in awe of this incredibly colorful culture! The food and wall art is capturing my attention the most! Thank you for this history and photos of your trip!

    adorn la femme

  15. Great pictures!!

    xx Nicki

  16. I love little Korean side dishes! thanks for sharing! :)

    Metallic Paws

  17. Lovely pictures! It's great to see such it through your eyes!

  18. Your trip looks fantastic!!! WOWOWO!! Such beautiful architecture! SOOOO FABBBULOUS! Great photos!
    xoThe Beckerman Girls

  19. All those pictures are beautiful !!
    In France we say Bravo :)

  20. Thanks for sharing such an amazing pictures! xx
    Margo Raffaelli

  21. Wow, this is such a detailed and beautiful travel diary. I love everything and it makes me want to experience this trip. My favorite would be the villages and the street arts <3

    Looking forward to see more of your posts. Do you have an instagram account? Maybe we could follow each other. Let me know by leaving a comment on my blog or sending me a request. I'll follow back :) Thanks!

    IG: @shairangelique

    Have a nice day!


  22. You have a nice blog! I like it! Follow each other?
    Have a great day dear,

  23. Love this photos !

  24. This is my first time i visit here and I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially it's discussion, thank you.