Insadong and Hanok village

Welcome back to another Unschoolers Have Seoul Thursday!

Writing about our vacation took a lot out of me, so I took a little blogging break and got caught up in other areas of my life – college assignments, crafts and reading with the kids, and some cleaning and organizing.

Before the weather got too cold, we wanted to take a few more little day trips around Seoul to visit some of the places on our bucket list. So a couple weekends ago we all headed for the Anguk subway station to visit a traditional neighborhood (Hanok village) and the crafty area of Insadong.

rows of traditional houses - Hanok

Rows of traditional houses – Hanok

Bukchon Hanok Village

Raven and I are big fans of K-drama (Korean drama shows) and some of the series we have watched have featured gorgeous traditional hanok 한옥. One of my favorite shows, Personal Taste, actually filmed the outside of a hanok in Bukchon Village in Seoul.

We looked and looked for the address to the house where the show was filmed, but the kids got tired of walking and so I decided that a picture of a few hanok was good enough. We can say we’ve been to the neighborhood. 😉

Peering inside the courtyard of a stately hanok

Peering inside the courtyard of a stately hanok

Walking the neighborhood was very interesting. Not only were the houses gorgeous, but the fact that many people still live in them was awesome as well. We saw a few doors open and snuck a peek inside the stately courtyards.

Some of the hanok have also been transformed into guesthouses, tea houses, and art galleries that help people discover traditional Korean art and culture.

Hanok village

We stopped at one of these cultural centers and Denna bought a snack – dried ginger candy grown and prepared by monks.

The persimmon trees were full of ripe fruit and many houses had luscious gardens growing over and above the stone walls. It was a beautiful walk and we got some great shots of Seoul from the top of the hill.

View of Seoul from the top of the hill

View of Seoul from the top of the hill

Shopping in Insadong

After we had trekked up and down the large hill it was just a short walk over to Insadong 인사동 – a place I had been close to several times but never able to stop and browse.

Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon, the main street of Insadong is closed down to traffic and people walk the strip to view art galleries, shop for crafts and antiques, and watch artists and craftsmen of all kinds demonstrate and hawk their wares.

Insadong crafts

Unlike the Namdaemun market, we were surprised by how low-key this area was. People strolled quietly and admired the handicrafts.

There was tons of cool things to see and taste. The kids were very interested in a costumed couple making traditional Korean candies and treats in their cart. We bought some rice treats and they let us taste something like a Korean nut brittle.

We also saw shops that sold hanji (Korean paper), traditional calligraphy and stamping, clay crafts, pottery, jewelry, antiques, Buddhist trinkets, and more.

walking in insadong

I wanted to buy so many things – but I refrained and got one special piece to remember our trip to Insadong.

My jade moth pendant

My jade moth pendant

I don’t normally wear jewelry, but I love the color green and this jade pendant caught my eye.

Insadong is definitely a place I want to visit again – to buy some gifts for friends and family. It has a great atmosphere too – and it’s close to the palace and several other tourist sites within the ancient gates of Seoul.

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4 Responses to UHS Thursday: Insadong and Hanok Village

  1. Dawn says:

    What a lovely day trip. Your Jade moth is a wonderful reminder of you day out.
    Blessings, Dawn

    • Aadel says:

      I think I offended the lady when I purchased it. I thought she said samcheon won (about $3) and she looked at me funny when I handed her 3,000 won. She actually said sam MAN won – 30,000 won. It was still a great deal for $30 as I have seen similar pendants in Itaewon going for $75 or more.

  2. Love all of your pictures Aadel!! That dried ginger candy probably doesn’t taste like anything like the ones here in the states. I bet its great!!

    • Aadel says:

      It was strong! Very gingery – lol. It reminded me of chewy dried apricot except exploding with ginger. Pure ginger is actually kind of spicy on your tongue.

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