Thursday, August 24, 2017

Seoul: Ikseon-dong

Before all the high-rises popped up, Koreans were living in traditional small houses called hanoks. Some hanok villages have still remained in Seoul, Ikseon-dong is one of the few of them that hasn't been taken over commerce and tourists yet. Even though, quite a few coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques have been established there in the recent years, it still has an unpolished, authentic vibe.
 I am rather bummed about discovering this area very late, only 2 weeks before leaving Seoul. I hope when I go back in future, they haven't opened a Starbucks there yet. 

Waiting for mandus (Korean dumplings) is better when tables are gorgeously inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Changhwa Dang boasts traditional dishes and decorations which are hard to come across these days.

Changhwa Dang (창화당) 
23, Supyo-ro, Jongro-gu, Seoul (서울 종로구 수표로28길 23) 
12:00~21:30 (break time 14:00~15:00) (Close on every 1st, 3rd Monday)

Sikmul (식물, literally translating to “plant,”)
Very cool coffee shop / bar integrating traditional Korean architecture and furniture with eclectic vintage style and retro tableware. Sikmul was founded by renowned Korean fashion photographer Louis Park and draws a lot of fashionable hip young crowd.

Sikmul 식물
 46-1, Donhwamun-ro 11da-gil, Jongno-guSeoul, South Korea(Gwanghwamun / Jongno) 
+82 2-747-4854

It was one of the few places in Seoul where I felt okay drinking cocktails alone. Although, it didn't take long until I befriended the people in the next table.

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