Seochon Village and Tongin Market

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This weekend Seoul Secrets took advantage of the slightly warmer weather by taking a trip to Seochon village and Tongin Market. To get there you need to take Subway Line 3 to Gyeongbokgung Station, taking Exit 2 and follow the road straight till you reach Woori Bank, where you’ll need to follow the road to the left. Follow the instructions in the picture below to find the ‘Secrets’ featured:

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Seochon Village is a neighbourhood of Seoul, that is filled with charming and quaint alleyways of hanok houses, intimate cafes and unique independent shops. Seochon means western village in Korean and is named such as it is the neighbourhood to the west of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Originally home to middle class citizens who specialized in professions like interpreters and doctors, Seochon has a less clustered ambience compared to the more famous Bukchon, whilst boasting  more sizeable hanok houses.

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The first place you will stumble across when following the directions above is this quaint handicraft store. With a welcoming vibe and a wide range of hand crafted goods, you can browse at ease.

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As you continue to meander up the street you will shortly be met by ‘Astarte&Relax’ on your left hand side. This small dessert cafe has an entrance at the front and back, once you step inside you will be greeted by a glass cabinet of sweet and delicious treats! Either order a take out or sit upstairs ( but don’t be surprised if there’s no seats vacant, as its a very popular place). To find out more on their wonderful desserts check out their instagram: astarte_relax.

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Another great shop that shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the neighbourhood is ‘Coming Jane’. This well presented space sells a wide range of silver jewellery from rings, bracelets and necklaces in every style possible.

Just a few other places to check out along the way:

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Tongin Market

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Once you get hungry from all the walking around look no further than Tongin Market, this marketplace dates back to 1941 and nowadays offers a unique dining experience! Seoul has many markets of all shapes and sizes, but what is unique here is its “Dosirak Cafe”. “Dosirak” meaning lunch box in Korean. Follow the guide below to enjoy this experience to the full:

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Step 1 :

Locate a person selling black trays (usually at one of a few entrances to the market)

Step 2 :

Exchange your cash for coins (for 5000 won you can get 10 coins)

Step 3 :

Enter the market and look for the stalls with a sign which says they accept only coins not cash and fill your tray with delicious Korean food  (these stalls are easy to locate as they’re often surrounded by people and a queue)

 

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In the middle of the market there is a colour coded map that shows all the stalls from food, groceries, fruit and veg to souvenirs and toys. Once your trays is full make way to the 2nd floor and 3rd floor where there is a restaurant area that offers soup,rice and kimchi to go with your lunch box. They also sell the usual drinks upstairs as well as a drink worth trying Sikhye, a Korean traditional drink made of rice.

Got no plans for today?….Check out this ‘Secret’ spot! You won’t regret it!

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