Exploring Seoul: Insa-dong

Insa-dong is a designated cultural district that is supposed to look like a traditional Korean marketplace. As a result, it’s pretty touristy, but fun to see.   It’s a great place to sample a bunch of different traditional foods, because there are snack vendors like this all along the main street.
Because the area gets so crowded on weekends, a lot of groups were out campaigning for various causes.  I’m not sure what these gold robots have to do with protecting the rights of African women, but they definitely attracted some attention

Now that I can read Hangul (it’s SO much easier to learn than the Thai alphabet!) I think it’s funny to see English words or brand names written in it.  In case you’ve always wanted to know what “Starbucks Coffee” looks like in Korean, here you go:
This man was doing some calligraphy, and attracted a small crowd.  Around this area, there were quite a few stores selling calligraphy brushes in all sizes, as well as paper, ink, and stamps.

These two people were working together to make rice cakes (in jeol mi).  The man pounded rice with a giant mallet, and the woman reached in and clumped it back together.
IMG_7048Then they carried the rice cake over to these ladies, who covered it with toasted bean powder.
IMG_7049There was a “fighting fun festival” (that’s what the sign said), which we watched for a little while.  I’m not really into that kind of thing, but they did have a decent-sized audience.

I’m just happy we finally ventured outside our own neighborhood.  I can’t wait to see more of this city!

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3 comments to Exploring Seoul: Insa-dong

  • brannyboilsover

    I love the activities on the street. Seems odd to me that locals are interested in things that should be very familiar to them: calligraphy and authentic food. I guess everyone appreciates beautiful writing and good eats!

  • Awesome! Honestly I’m so impressed with your adventures. I love that you take pictures of everything. I enjoy reading about everything you’re doing!

  • I am so jealous! I’d love to live in Korea! I was there two summers ago, and I remember the rice cake makers! We have photos of some of our group actually doing the pounding! I miss it!

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