It was just this Fall that we finally came to conclusion on how Insadong is now worth visiting - to visitors and locals. I knew it could do it! :)
|walk to the main street of Insadong|
The walk to Insadong hasn't changed. It's always as busy and packed with locals and foreigners trying to cram and walk through the rather narrow pedestrian street.
As you to the main entrance of Insadong - you will see these "outside food stalls".
|ah little eateries on the corner of the street|
I've never seen them before! That area used to be a "resting" place with a few benches where "ajoshis" would hang out.
|this looks fun! will have to give it a try sometime soon!|
I'm glad they made good use of that no longer useless space. Now a few interesting food stalls are there providing some liveliness.
|no need to go to the fish market - these look fresh :)|
Insadong used to be confusing then - especially with the cosmetic shops that didn't quite fit in. Now nearly all the store signs are in Hangul.
|the eyesores of Insadong are now toned down and in Korean (to fit the traditional scene)|
We have two cosmetic stores here, Tony Moly and Skinfood in Hangul - it looks more appropriate now fitting the "traditional" look and feel of Insadong.
|if you like shopping for unique goods - this is a good place|
We've visited Insadong a handful of times, but I never noticed how "wide" it now feels. Maybe it was "cleaning up" of space - but it felt rather wide and open :)
|the front part of the street of Insadong|
It also felt more upbeat - people seemed to be in good spirits - it doesn't feel as "dreary" anymore :D
Oh and seeing school kids in groups always reminds me of my childhood in Korea... I think it is actually the first time I've seen a group of children in Insadong.
|information booth if you need any help|
Maybe because we were too in good spirits (it was right before we headed off to our vacation to Greece and Turkey), but we managed to feel "excited" in Insadong and tried to practice taking everything in... it did feel rather different and new!
|we are in jongno|
There were plenty of interesting food to see and eat.
|snacks - I'm still not sure what that is|
Insadong is known for "souvenir goods" - and this one is one of the bigger ones that has many vendors inside. Try bargaining - really hard - because most of the shops carry very similar things.
|an arcade of stores inside - for traditional Korean goods|
Don't the street look pretty?! Ahh - what a change of lenses can do ;)
|the street looks cleaner and wider :)|
|another cosmetic store - nature republic|
|a popular photo spot for foreigners in Insadong :)|
|oh I didn't tell her to pose|
Many interesting sights and people to see and watch!
|it's getting busy - the street gets narrower as you go up|
Visiting Insadong was rather delightful. It is definitely no longer just a "souvenir place". I do frequent the area more nowadays for a few good eateries and am excited about how this area is "perking up" - we will see what new shops/eateries will come~ it's exciting!
If you are in Jongno - do stop by and see how it's changed for the better and grab a snack or two - or a scarf or three.