Insa-dong is famous for foreigners who want to learn about traditional Korean culture. Young people who are sensitive about trends love Insa-dong as well, because traditional culture transforms itself into a classy style. Apart from traditional culture, there are many things to eat, enjoy and see in Insa-dong, thereby stimulating our senses. Let's find out what stimulates our senses in Insa-dong!
How to get there.
1. Walk about 10 minutes to Heukseok station from Chung-Ang University->Take Line 9 from Heukseok Station ->Get off at the Noryangjin Station->Transfer to Line1 and get off at Jonggak Station -> Go to exit 3.
After getting off, go straight and head towards 'Pizza Hut'. When you find 'Kumkang Shoe Company', turn left. You will then see Nowon Shopping Center to your right.
(-This is the route the Chung-Ang Herald (CAH) took)
2. Line3, Anguk station, exit 6: this is an easier way to start the tour. You will be able to easily find various stores if you start here.
Gallery( Insa Art Plaza) -> Beautiful Tea Museum->*Ssamziegil (Ssamzie street)* (experience the workshop) -> Cafe "Gal pi" -> Toto's Nostalgia Museum -> Restaurant "Insa-dong GeujJip".
There are various things to eat and buy like doughnuts, clothes and shoes on the street. It attracted CAH reporters at first glance.
There were various famous galleries through the streets of Insa-dong. Few galleries require admission fees, and some offer free exhibitions. CAH went to a free exhibition on the 5th floor of Insa Art Plaza. There were many artworks by a club named 'Su Ram Hoe'. Unfortunately, the exhibition does not last until September. However, since there will be many new exhibitions, you should make a call prior to your visit to find out more options.
Go straight from In Sa intersection and you can see In Sa Art Plaza on your right side.
If you want to visit more galleries, you can take the "Gallery Rotation Bus". Call 02-720-1020. The fee is only 1,000won.
After stimulating your sight by enjoying art, you should move on to the "Beautiful Tea Museum". Literally, it is a museum, so it exhibits ingredients of tea and various types of pottery. There is also a cafe within the museum. It sells ‘Green Tea Bingsu(Green Tea Ice Flakes),' a popular dish among tourists. People usually enjoy ‘bingsu (Ice Flakes)’ in the summer, but this dessert is so famous that tourists find it during all seasons.
What makes this dessert special is that it includes various nuts and unlike other Green Tea Bingsu, its flavor is delicate and not bitter. People who dislike Green tea may change their mind after trying this. Apart from bingsu, there are various teas you can enjoy, such as green and black tea.
Walk back to Insa intersection and you will see 'ARITAUM' to your right and 'Yechon' to your left. Walk down the alley and you will see the sign 'Beautiful Tea Museum'.
Next place is Ssamziegil (CAH thinks that the most important place in Insa-dong is here) This place has a unique structure and has many stores ranging from small shops that sell general merchandise to middle-sized shops which show Korean traditional culture. Did you know you could also participate in some of the workshops here? There are a total of 5 workshops where you can make cakes, natural soaps, crafts, etc. They are located on the first basement.
CAH went to 'Hyangyeon' to learn how to make soaps and cosmetics using natural ingredients. 'Hyangyeon' also sells and displays its products.
You can add certain 'magical remedy powders' of your choice to the soap. CAH added a powder that would give moisture to our skin.
Hyangyeon : 02-733-6984
Soap Workshop: 02-736-6711.
Price: 12,000won , two soaps( one person)
After that, CAH went to the cafe 'Galpi'. At Galpi, you can write on sticky notes and stick it on the table or anywhere in the cafe. The place is comfortable enough to go alone and relax. Americano and bingsu are the best sellers in this cafe. The beverages were a bit expensive though compared other shops. If you are worried about the price, walk to the end of Ssamziegil. There is another cafe cheaper than 'Galpi'. The interior and atmosphere is just as nice.
If you have played enough, walk out of the cafe. To your front you will see 'Toto's Nostalgia Museum'. The admission fee is 2,000won. You can see various character models and uniforms from the 1970s. You can also experience 'Bbobgi' (a game to select one paper that a giveaway is written on) here.
Toto's Nostalgia Museum: 02-725-1756
Lastly, CAH went to restaurant 'Insa-dong Geujip'. It is located next to Ssamjigil. It sells Korean food. You will have to wait in line to enjoy its delicious meals. Although it was quite busy inside, the taste of food and service were overall satisfying. However, the only flaw CAH noticed is the price of beverages, which is much more expensive than general supermarket.
Insa-dong Geujip: 02-737-0575
In Insa-dong, CAH saw, ate, touched, smelled, and listened- using all five of our senses. Since there are quite many performances you can enjoy, you should search online to find what performances are being shown before you go. Get more information on 'http://insadong.idomz.net' or 'http://www.goinsadong.co.kr'
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