Seoul Stuff…Insadong

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.

Restaurant we ate at in Insadong...beautifully decorated

Restaurant we ate at in Insadong…beautifully decorated

You know the food in going to be good when the restaurant makes its own kimchi!

You know the food is going to be good when the restaurant makes its own kimchi!

All the banchan....

All the banchan….

Just some of the food...soup, pork, salad, fish...

Just some of the food…soup, pork, salad, fish…

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.

So many souvenirs!

So many souvenirs!

Hand made masks, tey were pretty amazing

Hand made masks, they were pretty amazing

So the shop owner insisted we put on some gahds...aka Korean traditional hats

So the shop owner insisted we put on some gahds…aka Korean traditional hats

Yeah...I think it makes Josh look like a quaker

Yeah…I think it makes Josh look like a quaker

Hey! We found Starbucks! All the shops on Insadong street have to have the names in Korean...this is the only Starbucks in the world where the main Starbucks sign isn't in English.

Hey! We found Starbucks! All the shops on Insadong street have to have the names in Korean…this is the only Starbucks in the world where the main Starbucks sign isn’t in English.

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.

We started off with the boxes and the hangi and used glue and a paint brush to stick the paper to the boxes

We started off with the boxes and the hangi and used glue and a paint brush to stick the paper to the boxes

Getting the rundown on how to attach the hangi paper to the box

Getting the rundown on how to attach the hangi paper to the box

Ta Da!! I did it! I thought the end result was pretty great :)

Ta Da!! I did it! I thought the end result was pretty great 🙂

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.

Korean Tea House, the lemon tea I ordered was overbearingly lemony

Korean Tea House, the lemon tea I ordered was overbearingly lemony

Specialty dukk...it was such an odd texture but really yummy

Specialty dukk…it was such an odd texture but really yummy

Chilling at the tea house

Chilling at the tea house

ok...so no one else agreed but doesn't this drawing look just like me?!?!?! It was in one of the journals at the tea house that guests doodle in.

ok…so no one else agreed but doesn’t this drawing look just like me?!?!?! It was in one of the journals at the tea house that guests doodle in.

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)…

SC3.jpg SC6.jpg SC4.jpg

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