Sunday, 28 November 2010

Roaming the streets of Samcheongdong-gil and Bukchon

Anguk Subway Station, Line 3, Exit 3

Today, Rose's family arrived in Seoul and I am their "official" tour guide - Frankly, Rose knows more about where to visit than I do! She mentioned this beautiful street with quaint shops and folk houses named sam... something. I have not heard of this sam.. something place... though I was supposedly the guide here. (Korean words in transliteration seem HARDER to pronounce, seriously). Well anyways, she has the directions and so I tagged along!

This is called SAMCHEONGDONG-GIL - looks super complicated to pronounce - literally read "sum-chong-dong-kill"

I found out from the tour book:
"Samcheongdong Street - Traditional Korean houses and modern buildings are juxtaposed to create unusual scenery. Contemporary restaurants and wine bars have been established in traditional houses along with galleries, designer shops, specialty shops and themed museums".

Basically, this street gives a sense of nostalgia and melancholy edge, filled with a mix of old and new times. 

New times = Modern looking quaint buildings selling contemporary fashion and accessories (you won't find Faceshop, Etude house etc. here)

Old times = Folk Houses which really are traditional Korean style houses (most of which ARE real residences 

This is one of the many shots of the modern buildings which looked like a cottage in a village. 
I thought it's architectural style was homely and nice, and it was different from that of Apujeong and Hongdae. (they each have their own sense of taste and are all fabulous in their ways!)

OK, a little more on the directions - the moment you exit from exit 3, you should spot some signs to tell you where is where but in fact, none states where Samcheongdong-Gil is cause the whole area is Samcheongdong. 

So, just follow the path alongside the stone walls in the 2nd picture below (that seems to lead to nowhere) cause you will soon reach an intersection and that's where you will start to spot the cottage-looking buildings. 

The weather is really getting colder by now as Winter is just a few days away.. I don't even want to think about how cold that will be!
More pictures of the contemporary cottage-like shops! yay!

And there you see, right next to the cottage-like buildings, there will also be old-world style folk houses!

There are plenty of food and cafes in this area, so no hungry-stomachs!

And you find quaint little shops, artistically displaying their merchandise in front of the store! The prices ain't too expensive, really, but seems like the items sold could also be found in Myeong-dong.

See why I say it looks artistically displayed?

I just had to position them in this manner to add that melancholic idea in the photo!

And at random intersections, you will find residences like these, that's why the experience was so... cool?

Of course, while walking in between intersections, we have lost our way and decided it's ok to just "go with the flow" and ended up at this sorta main road, which will led us to Gyeongbokgung.

In fact, so many shops and cafes line this road. 

Since this location is close to Gyeongbokgung & The Blue House (where the president stays, I suppose) 
my guess is that this district would be an expensive one (where the wealthier people stay). 

Notably, this could also be a dating point cause I do see lotsa couples hanging out here 
(Seoul really has so MANY dating places ya know!)

Signing out with an idiotic pose of myself!
 (BTW, if you observe the background, that is the side entrance to Gyeongbokgung.)
Mental note: Next time, I'd try walking to Samcheongdong via Gyeongbukgung!

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