Wangsimni Area

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This weekend Seoul Secrets took a trip to the Wangsimni area north east of the Han river, home to Hanyang University but also more well known for its huge subway station/mall. Amongst Koreans it’s famous as the home of Gopchang-gui, a Korean dish that consists of marinated pigs intestine, this area has the largest number restaurants serving this delicacy.

Seen by most as just a place to transfer to a multitude of subway lines, Wangsimni is often unheard of or rarely mentioned by seoulites who have no business in this area of Seoul. Wangsimni has alot more to offer than just another subway station, thanks to alot of government regeneration this area has seen a refreshing clean up and been brought in to the 21st century.

To get here follow the instructions below:

With the new Marvel movie on the horizon there is no better time to check out the newest Marvel store in Seoul which has opened at the Park Avenue Enter 6 shopping mall! This shopping mall is fairly new and often quite empty but does boast some good restaurants one of which being Mercado Brazilian steak house, which relocated here from Apgujeong.

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To get to this mall take exit 6 of the subway line and turn right, in the distance you will see a large tower like apartment building…that’s where you’re heading!

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As you get closer to the building go through the tunnel, up the ramp and take a left at the flower garden area, keep walking and you will see the entrance to the mall.

The jewel in the crown of this shopping complex is by far the Marvel store, a must see for any die hard comic book fan!

After you finished marvelling at Marvel exit the mall the same way you entered it, within a 5 minute walk of here is access to the cheonggyecheon stream 청계천, this section being part of the oldest section of the stream, it’s a great area to hang out, exercise or take your dog for a walk. To get here follow pictures below from left to right:

Once you head back towards the hustle and bustle of Wangsimni, your stomach will be grumbling so worth grabbing some food next, there’s no better place than Uncles teokbokki. To get here head back towards Wangsimni station the following the green wall of the train station on your left, keep walking till you see a coffee shop on your right called ‘Coffee Bay’ take a right and follow the road to the end, you’ll find Uncles on the left hand corner.

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Uncles serves a range of delicious topped teokbokki, a chain restaurant with location located all around Seoul, this fairly small place offers private wooden stalls for you to enjoy your food peaceful with friends, family or a loved one.

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After you have finished your food, you’re going to need somewhere to take a load off your feet and some great coffee, the place for that in this area has to be Cafe Civet. This cafe offers a peaceful and pleasant environment to sip on a range of coffee or tea based drinks indoors or out. They ground their own coffee beans here, and produce authentic great tasting coffee. To get here head back to Exit 6, but keep walking up the hill one more block and take a right, walk one more block and its on the right hand corner

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Finally you can’t come to Wangsimni and not mention the Enter 6 shopping mall that engulfs the subway terminal. Offering a huge range of shopping outlets in a quite surreal mock European style décor it truly is a unique experience. Even if you’re not much of a shopper its worth checking out for the experience alone!

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Dongguk University area

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Thanks to a suggestion on our Facebook page, Seoul Secrets visited the Dongguk University area this weekend. Located at the foot of Namsan and accessible on subway Line 3 Exit 6, Dongguk University is Korea’s most famous Buddhist-affiliated university. This picturesque campus with an abundance of cherry blossom trees is great for a weekend stroll to enjoy the spring weather and take in this unique area, as well as the university we’ll be checking out Jangchungdan Park and one of Seoul’s oldest bakeries Taegukdang.

Once you arrive at Dongguk University station take Exit 6, and as you leave the escalator you will be greeted by the Hyewha Gate which is currently lined with cherry blossoms trees in full bloom. Follow this path to the top and through a gateway (there is also a site map here of the campus grounds) continue the gradually climb through the university buildings and you will be come across the Jeonggakwon Temple.

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This is the most significant Buddhist building on the campus, it currently serves now as the sermon hall for the University. But it’s original name was Sungjeongjeon Hall of Gyeonhui Palace, built between 1617 and 1620 as a royal audience chamber for Geongdeok Palace.

As you continue up to the top of the hill you will see the main plaza and three stone grey buildings, in front of this large stately building you will find a grey-green statue of Buddha who is facing a family of three elephants mid-stride with a beautiful array of colourful lanterns overhead.

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After you have finished taking in what the University has to offer you could join to the Namsan mountain trial from here or head back down to the park below.

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A fairly modern park, yet it’s another remarkably serene and peaceful area in a bustling city. Wander through the trees beside a man-made stream that runs along the eastern side of the park, at it’s source you will find a beautiful cascading waterfall and not far from it Dadaneteul Tea House resides.

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This quaint traditionally built tea house offers a wide range of teas made using flowers, leaves and herbs to offer a unique menu. As well as drinks they offer a food menu that again specialises in using plant life from the ‘Lotus Leaf special menu’ to a Flower special menu’ all of which are well presented and look delicious. For the menu check out the pictures below:

 

 

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If you’re full of eating healthy or have a sweet tooth then look no further than one of the oldest bakeries still in existence in Seoul, Taegukdang Bakery is located just outside of Exit 2 and is impossible to miss! With it’s large grey exterior it doesn’t strike you as a bakery, nor peaking through the large glass windows and seeing the glamorous hanging chandeliers and wood cladding. But as soon as you step in side you can smell and see the sights of what you would expect from a bakery of this grandeur.

Offering all the trappings you’d expect from a bakery in Korea, one of the most popular things on the menu is Monaka ice cream, with two types available, an original style or one with a layer of rice cake for 2000won and 2500won treat yourself!

Go check it out now while the cherry blossoms are still here! Enjoy!

Seoul Secrets would also like to say a huge thank you to Yvonne! For this great Suggestion on our Facebook page!

If anyone has more great locations to suggest, don’t be shy and submit via Seoulsecrets.net or our FB page!

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Noryangjin Neighbourhood

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This weekend Seoul Secrets took a trip to the Noryangjin neighbourhood, which we’ll also refer to as NRG for short. Noryangjin’s biggest claim to fame is it’s traditional fish market, and of course no trip here would be complete without checking it out! But there is more to this area than just the fish market, so Seoul Secrets felt it was time to put NRG in the spotlight!

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As it’s Spring in Seoul, everyone is searching and talking about the cherry blossoms blooming..and NRG is a surprisingly unglamorous yet great spot to see this seasonal wonder! So now is the time to check it out! As well as its streets lined with cherry blossom trees there is also some great restaurants, cafes and an awesome ‘Seoul Secret skyline night view spot’.

To get to NRG take Subway Line 1 and Exit 1 (there is only 1 Exit for this station). All of featured spots are shown on the map above. First lets check out the famous fish market:

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After taking Exit 1 look to your left, you will see a staircase that leads to a crossing over the train tracks. Follow this path and head towards the 3 big buildings in the distance, once you have crossed the tracks you will reach a rooftop car park, walk diagonally across the car park and descend the stairs into the market below.

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Opening in 1927 Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market is one of Korea’s largest seafood markets offering hundreds of types of fish and seafood. A truly memorizing experience visiting this bustling place, from the sounds, the lights the smell a true sensory overload! This cornerstone of Seoul’s fish marketing industry as well as tourism has come under an identity crisis of late, as the wave of modernization continues to wash throughout Seoul the powers that be see it time for this crumbling building to give way to a more modern development, a whooping 520 billion won construction located adjacent to this market. The vendors are not leaving without a fight so check this place out before it maybe lost to the archives.

To eat here simply purchase the seafood of your choice and make your way to the second floor, hand them your bag of seafood and they will cook it up for you along with delicious side dishes.

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Once you’re finished at the fish market head back towards the station, cross the main road and walk to the left, keep walking till you reach Olive Young store on the right hand corner, this is the beginning of NRG cherry blossom street.

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As you walk up the hill you will come across this great restaurant on your right hand side, enjoy anything from samgyetang, pajeon and makgeolli and most famously the oysters! A charming and authentic restaurant in the heart of the neighbourhood. We’ll let the pictures do the talking:

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Continue up the hill and follow the road to the right, cross at the intersection keeping the white picket fence to your left, keep walking till there is a break in the fence, follow the path and walk across the car park, at this point you will see Moko Coffee in the distance.

Moko Coffee is quaint coffee shop, nestled in a mostly residential area. This small yet bright coffee shop shines through the darkness, inviting you in. Serving great coffee at reasonable prices, with a welcoming outside space. Not the largest of coffee shops so would suggest getting a take away for the journey to the night spot.

 

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After you’ve grabbed your take away coffee head back to the main intersection at the top of the hill, cross the road and follow this road as it meanders through the neighbourhood, keep walking with small park area to your left, keep ascending with a large brick wall on your right.

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As the hill seems to begin peaking take the path to the right, follow the path round to the right, as you keep walking you will see signs for the ‘Scenic attractions of Seoul’. Follow the signs past an outdoor gym area and and you will be greeted by the wooden swing chair above.

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Here you can take in this beautiful view of Seoul, highly recommend coming here at night with a beer or even a bottle of wine! Enjoy!

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