Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ahn Chihwan / A decent guide to Seochon / Thursday 1-3 p.m.

A decent guide to Seochon

  Now that Gyeongbokgung and Samcheong-dong is so famous and popular, I guess you've been to those places. Yet how about Seochon? It's located on the west side of Gyeongbokgung(opposite to Samcheong-dong), emerging as an area famous not only for cool restaurants, cafes, galleries and so on but also for pretty Korean traditional houses. Unlike Samcheong-dong, Seochon used to be known not as a nice area or date course but as a good, peaceful place to live in. However, people who were hanging out in Sangsu-dong, Samcheong-dong, Noksapyeong are now headed to this new cool area, Seochon. Now I'm going to introduce Seochon, focusing on restaurants, cafes, galleries, etc, based on my personal experience, like a guide book.

  First, it's obvious you should get to Seochon to look around there. It's easy to access, if you take subways or buses and get off at Gwanghwamun station or Gyeongbokgung station. If you arrive at exit 2 of Gyeongbokgung station, you're right there at the entrance of Seochon. Walking straight a little bit, you'll find most signs of the stores are in Korean, as if they're telling you here is the center of Seoul. If you're hungry, turn left at the second alley of that road, and you'll find a famous Samgyetang(Korean traditional soup with a whole chicken in it) place called Tosokchon. The Samgyetang I had there was definitely the best one I've ever had in my life. If you're not hungry but interested in galleries, drop by Daelim museum to see an exhibition at a reasonable price(3000 won). 

  Next, Whatever you did, get back to the first road, and take the third alley beside Wooribank. You'll find lots of cool cafes and restaurants made from renovating old houses, which mostly are not chains(this is one of the reasons I love Seochon). I especially recommend that you visit Aux Petits Verres(Tart café owned by the chef who won the second place in Master Chef Korea), Dae-o bookstore(since 1951, now a cafe) and Younghwaru Chinese restaurant. Passing those, you'll find the entrance of Tong-in market. But don't go in yet. Cross the road, walk straight through the alley, finding or visiting Zenana(café that sells homemade jams. Recommended for gifts), Namdo bunsik(famous for Squid Tteokbokki) and Bahknosu museum. 

  Now, take another road next to the one you used when walking up, and you'll see peaceful alleys with small object shops, galleries and Hanoks(Korean traditional houses). Be headed to the entrance of Baehwa women's university, to try the wonderful french toast in a café called Kiosque. On the way back to Tong-in market, you could have the chance to eat at Nuha's forest(Japanese homemade style diner) or Song's Kitchen(famous for cheese seafood tteokbokki). If you arrive at the entrance of the market, you should drop by Hyoja bakery. It is a historical bakery that has sold bread and stuff to the Blue House(the office of Korean president), and its bread is so yummy that you'll find most people in Seochon holding its bread. Lastly, look around Tong-in market, maybe try the Doshirak using Yupjeon(Korean traditional currency) shaped coins. And that's it.

  If you follow my guide, you could see many aspects of Seochon, not missing famous places at the same time. There are lots of other places I didn't introduce in this essay, too. If you're a person who enjoys small cafes/restaurants which are not chains, I strongly recommend you visit Seochon in any day. The earlier, the better because many people are already headed there all the more. Not just following my guide, you could make your own route to look around Seochon too. 

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