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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Korea Travelogue // Exploring Gwangjang Market & Insadong

The Gwangjang Market is one of Korea's oldest market and is a traditional market that is famous for their food (Running Man filmed there before!!), especially their mini kimbaps and their mung bean pancakes. If you want to experience how the locals do it, definitely head over to this market~

We went pretty early in the morning because we wanted to have our breakfast there so there wasn't many people around yet.

Mung bean being ground into a paste right in front of us so you know the pancakes are definitely fresh~

We ordered one mung bean pancake to share and it tasted soooo good. Besides the fact that it's fried, you know it's super healthy because mung beans are really nutritious and has loads of health benefits associated with it. It came with a sauce topped with loads of onions~

Since we were there, I couldn't resist buying some kimbap because it was literally available in almost every single stall. Also, I love love love kimbap.

Gwangjang Market
| 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea |

How to get here:
1. Either take exit 8 of Jongno 5-ga station (Subway line 1)
2. Or take exit 4 of Eujiro 5-ga station (Subway line 2, 4)

After feasting at Gwangjang Market, we decided to head to Insadong.

Insa-dong (인사동), located in the heart of the city, is an important place where old but precious and traditional goods are on display. There is one main road in Insa-dong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries, traditional restaurants, traditional teahouses, and cafes.

The galleries are the heartbeat of Insa-dong. There are about 100 galleries in the area and you can see every example of traditional Korean fine art from paintings to sculptures. The most famous galleries are Hakgojae Gallery, which functions as the center of folk art, Gana Art Gallery, which promotes many promising artists, and Gana Art Center. 

 The teahouses and restaurants are the perfect complement to the galleries. At first they might be hard to find, but if you take the time to stroll around the twisting alleyways, the window shopping in itself can be very entertaining. The shops in Insa-dong are very popular among all age groups, because each one is unique.

We decided to stop for refreshments after exploring for a bit and we spotted this cafe called Tea and Coffee which is along the main street of Insadong I believe. I really like how quaint this little gem of a cafe is.

Another thing special about Insadong is this, how often do you see international brands spelt out in Korean words? Even Korean brands usually spot English versions of their brand names out side their shop but in Insadong, I managed to get a glimpse of brands like Starbucks, Missha and Etude House all spotting their Korean names. How cool is that.

| 130-4, Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul-si |

How to get here:
1. Take the subway to Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) and take exit 6
2. Go straight for 100m then turn left and you will see the main street of Insadong

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