Insadong is on the list of places to visit when you go to Seoul. It is a street lined with all kinds of shops selling every type of souvenir possible. There are the little gifts that you feel obligated to buy for people back home all the way to craftsmen carving hand made stamps and masks. After our epic letdown of souvenir shopping in Japan, Josh and I were more than happy to go souvenir crazy in Insadong.
Our first day in Seoul we had a delicious early dinner at a traditional Korean restaurant right off of Insadong. We ordered off of a set menu and had a whole spread of food which included veggies, salads, fish, meat, noodles….and much more. Everyone left the table more than full.
Shopping in Insadong was really fun, there are just so many shops that everyone will find something that piques their interest. I was finally able to pick up some small Korean souvenirs to send back home. We even ventured in to a small shop where a man was hand carving Korean traditional masks that looked amazing. Josh ended up later picking up the aristocrat/nobleman mask plus a whole handful of the tiny pin masks. There were even various shops selling handmade stone stamps. I ended up getting one of these made for my brother and later myself, but I will dedicate the next blog to that since it was such a cool experience.
In one small shop my friend and I made our own hangi covered boxes. Hangi is traditional Korean paper and it comes in a variety of colors from plain white used in doors to any color you can imagine used to decorate just about anything. Making the hangi boxes was a really fun experience…even if it did take longer than expected.
Finally we had a traditional tea in Insadong. The tea house we went to is famous for their specialty dukk (dense rice cake). Somehow they manage to create dukk balloons which were amazing to eat. They came sprinkled with what I think was sesame powder and two sauces to dip the dukk in….it was delicious.
All in all Insadong was a great experience, and I can’t wait to go back next time I’m n Seoul!
Josh’s Collages…(including dinner in Itaewon)…