What are we doing today? What do you want to do now? What are we going to do tomorrow? These are concerns you might have had several times with your friends. You might be using the same old date course, going to the same café again, or a theater you have often gone to before. Or you may have realized that you don’t know what to do when you go somewhere with your family or a foreigner. Now, the Gachon Herald resolves these concerns! Introducing, Jongno! Jongno is a city where everyone can go and enjoy themselves with friends, family, foreigners, or whoever! Jongno can be thought of as an old city for the elderly for some, or as a private educational institutes town, or as a business town to others. Many people ask, “What can we do at Jongno?” Well, how about tracing the path that the Gachon Herald experienced?
▶Dongdaemun Accessory center
Are you interested in earrings, necklaces, bracelets, or other things. Every woman wants to have accessories for each style, but it’s not easy to buy new accessories whenever a trend changes. Try the flea-markets, where you can buy merchandises cheaper than in other places. It’s easy to see the products that when the merchants attract purchasers by saying, “I made this~”. It means that it is a handicraft and often it’s very attractive. The Gachon Herald reporters tried to make cellular phone cases and discovered that the more special materials there are, the more expensive they are. Accessory material shops are concentrated in Dongdaemun Composite Market A and B on the 5th floor. Plenty of shops there are selling cellular phone materials, necklaces, bracelet materials, and other various materials not classified according to their use; just a mix. Thus, it is a little complicated, but I recommend that you look around for more than one lap. The same materials are sold at different costs and you can find more luxurious and a wider variety of colored materials than you might think. If you can’t decide on a design, you can refer to the samples each shop has. After looking around shops and deciding on the materials you want to buy, I recommend that you buy as many materials at one shop as possible. Not only do they give you a discount, but also you can get free bond and other services. If you patronize a store, you can save money!
-Tip; They don’t sell pliers. Prepare for it beforehand. Also, most stores usually close at 5~6 o’clock, so you shouldn’t go there in the evening!
It takes 10 minutes to go from Dongdaemun to Gwangjang Market by walking through the Cheonggyecheon. The exact name is Jongno-Gwangjang-Traditional-Market and it is the first permanent market in our country. Gwangjang Market is a wholesale and general retail market, but it is more famous for food. Yukhoe (Korean style raw beef tartare), Mayak-gimbap, Bindaetteok (Mung Bean pancake), thick Sun-dae and other flour based food, and Maeuntang (Korean style spicy fish stew) are a few of the famous dishes. Especially at Yokhoe restaurant, if there is a line of people, you should be ready to wait more than one hour. When you eat Mayak-gimbap first with wasabi sauce, you may ask, “Why is this Mayak-gimbap?” But the more you eat it, the more you will be addicted to the unknown attraction, so it is really like a drug. In the middle of the market, merchants sell Sun-dae thicker than your fist, noodles and other flour based foods and various Bindaettoek, Jeon (Korean pancake) and Sashimi one after the other. If you go to the store at the market building you can be served at separate tables, but if you eat at the shops in the middle of market, you have to eat with strangers. This naturally leads you to have conversations with strangers. Gwangjang Market is very famous to foreigners, so there are many Chinese people. Recently you could have seen foreign broadcasting companies shooting documentary programs. Gwangjang Market is crowded with people all the time, but you won’t forget its attraction in spite of the crowd.
-Tip; On the upper floors of Gwangjang market, there are many used-goods shops, but the touting is too much. If you are a smart shopper, you can buy clothes with expensive brand names at cheaper prices. So, it’s necessary not to listen to the merchants and to search first by phone.
It's hard to see Hangeul signboards these days, but most of the signboards are Hangeul in Insadong. If you come here with foreigner friends, they can feel the real Korea, looking at Hangeul signboards. Walking Insadong streets, you can see honey skein stores everywhere. It is Yeot, a Korean style hard taffy. The merchants hit thick dough and re-twist that dough until it’s thin, and then repeat again. So it is made from several thin skeins of dough. When we went there, many foreigners were interested in every store and shot videos. There are many stores that sell accessories and clothes in Insadong like usual streets, but all of them are the traditional items matching the unique mood of Insadong. Among other things, modernized hanbok, Korean traditional clothes, and a traditional tea store caught my eye. In recent years, more stores selling modernized hanbok are increasing. We wear hanbok only several times a year, but nobody denies the charm of hanbok. Hanbok has the disadvantage in that it is more expensive than normal clothes, but the value of possession is excellent. So, I have a plan to try a modernized hanbok.
-Tip; I hope you visit Ssamzigil, where there is a wide variety of stores. You can enjoy many kinds of workshops and stores selling accessories, clothes and household items. In particular, I strongly recommend the ‘Hanbok sticker photograph’ where you can take sticker photographs wearing a hanbok
Walking towards Insadong streets and crossing at the crosswalk to Pungmoon girl’s high school, you can walk along Gamgodanggil of Samcheongdong. Because of the middle school and high school on both sides, few people are there during weekday mornings, but merchants hold flea markets in the afternoon or on weekends. You might hear a foreign violinist playing or a string trio. Its mood is certainly different from the flea-markets held at our university. Walking to Bukchon Hanok village passing Gamgodanggil, other shops and famous restaurants are lined. Although many restaurants have already been introduced in many kinds of tasty restaurant programs, I highly recommend Hotteok. An old woman and an old man are managing that old shop in which you can taste the best flavor of Hotteok.
-Tip; In Samcheongdong, there are galleries here and there. The biggest gallery is the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul. Having aesthetic experiences adds to the many precious memories you will have of this area.
All of these places introduced are famous, so everyone may know them. But many people don’t know what their specialties are, which stores are there and what is displayed. The exhibitions at galleries are changed regularly and stores also sell different things as trends change, so it is unconventional all the time. The more you go, the more you are accustomed to famous tasty stores and the landscape; the attraction of Jongno is endless. As you might feel different every season, it is very difficult to feel all the attractions of Jongno at one time. Therefore, I hope you try to experience Jongno several times. Let’s go and enjoy Jongno!
< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >