Insa-dong /

LUXE City Guides - Seoul - - Shopping Itineraries -

Some call it Mary’s Al­ley, some call it Dis­ney on kim­chi, what­ever you call it, it’s touristy but fun to tot­ter down, and is a nifty on­estop shop­ping strip if you’re af­ter tra­di­tional rice pa­per crafts, cal­lig­ra­phy brushes and ce­ram­ics. De­spite the gov­ern­ment’s best ef­forts to re­vive this once-prime an­tique mar­ket, se­ri­ous col­lec­tors will have to re­ally root and rum­mage among the faff and fad­dle. Or for the best of Seoul’s se­lec­tion, make a day of it at Dap­simni An­tique Mar­ket (see Stand­out Stores).

Com­mence at the An­guk-dong Ro­tary end of Insa-dong /안국역인사동입구 / by the GS25 mini-mart and pick up a map at the Tourist Cen­ter. All you need to do is head down this gran­ite-lined street and pop into what­ever takes your fancy. At / 722 3812 / on your left, watch crafts­men carve out fancy Ori­en­tal seals. Stay on the main strip; am­ble half­way down to spy on your left the mall a heap of sty­ley lil’ stores sell­ing jew­ellery, hats, bags, and knick knacks. The mall’s open, as­cend­ing spi­ral lay­out means you can only go one way and can’t get lost. At the very top is a cafe and out­door snack bar; once done, head back down to the main road, and di­rectly opp. is a small street that leads to with sweet china and de­sign bob­ble, Korean liquor (hic!) tast­ing room

and where you can view a spec­tac­u­lar pri­vate col­lec­tion of trad wooden fig­urines. Note op­po­site the mu­seum is the Insa-dong / 737 7890. Re­trace to the main drag, on the right is / 736 1020 / in­saart­cen­ / ex­hibit­ing fis­sion-hot lo­cal con­tempo artists. Carry on and spin left at Sudo Drug­store수도약국 to find the

Tourist In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter Gana Insa Art Cen­ter

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