Experience Korea: A day in Insadong and Bukchon Hanok Village

As mentioned in my previous post about attractions near Gryeongbokgong Palace, here is Day 2 of my suggested itinerary – A day in Insadong and Bukchon Hanok Village.


Insadong


Here are some things you can do at Insadong

1. Buy souvenirs
Insadong (picture taken from Visit Seoul website)
Insadong (picture taken from Visit Seoul website)

Insadong is a popular tourist street with lots of shops selling Korean souvenirs: cards, bookmarks, pouches, display items etc.

2. Try on a Hanbok

I went to the Insadong PR Centre (인사동홍보관) to try on hanbok. You are given 20 minutes to try on as many hanboks you want to and can take pictures with your camera. It costs 3,000 won.

How to get to Insadong PR Centre: Walk into the small lane opposite Ssamzigil. You will see it at the end of the lane.

Insadong PR Center
Insadong PR Center
3. Have Korean traditional tea and snacks

I went to a teahouse called 묵향 전통차. It is located next to Ssamzigil.

묵향 전통차 (Mok-Hyang Traditional Tea)
묵향 전통차 (Mok-Hyang Traditional Tea)

This is what I ordered there. The snacks are made of rice and taste slightly sweet.

Jujube Tea (top left), Ginseng tea (bottom right) and snacks
Jujube Tea (top left), Ginseng tea (bottom right) and snacks
4. Create a seal with your name in Korean

There are many stores at Insadong where you can get your name carved in a traditional Korean stamp/seal, called 도장 (doh jang) or 인장 (in jang). I saw that it costs 30,000won at most of the shops at Insadong.

How to get to Insadong:

Anguk Station, exit 6

Walk straight for about 2 minutes then turn left. (see map at bottom of page)


Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을)


Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Hanok Village

bukchon

Although it is is a popular tourist spot for photo-taking, Bukchon Hanok Village was not created for tourists unlike other hanok villages, but it is a living village inhabited by Seoulites, comprising about 900 hanoks spread across 11 dongs (administrative sections). (Source: Visit Seoul website)

At Bukchon Hanok Village, you may also stay at a guesthouse or visit some of the museums, or go for a soju distillation demonstration. When I was there on student exchange in 2013, we went to Bukchon Hanok Village for a soju distillation demonstration.

Soju Distillation

Soju is a popular Korean alcoholic beverage made from fermenting rice, wheat or barley.

Korea’s traditional liquors are takju (탁주), cheongju 청주 (or yakju 약주), and soju (소주). The oldest is takju, (also known as makgeolli) which is made by fermenting grains like rice or wheat. When takju is strained to a refined clear liquor, it becomes cheongju (yakju), and when cheongju is distilled, it becomes soju.

From left to right: Makgeolli, Yakju, Soju
From left to right: Makgeolli, Yakju, Soju

How to get to Bukchon Hanok Village:

Anguk Station, exit 2

Map Gyeongbok Anguk

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