Insadong Street is described by visit Korea as:
..one of the most memorable attractions in Seoul and represents the focal point of Korean traditional culture and crafts. Stores in Insa-dong specialize in a wide variety of goods that can only be purchased or appreciated in Korea: hanbok (traditional clothing), hanji (traditional paper), traditional teas, pottery, and folk crafts.
So I thought it was most defiantly worth a visit on this rainy Saturday as there would be plenty of shelter in the shops as well as sounding pretty interesting.
It was very easy to get to on the metro, just head to Anguk Station (Subway Line No.3) and head toward the exit for Insadong-gil. Then it is about 100 meter walk from the exit and you turn left.
The area is exactly as described above and is a really great place to wander around for a couple of hours.
There is also a unique shopping centre to explore called Ssamji-gil that has quirky shops that you can visit as you ascend a ramp to the top. It is a bit like a shopping street that has been wrapped up in to smaller space. I felt it had a little bit of an Ikea feel to it because you can only really browse the shops in a certain order. Well worth a visit though.
From here I decided to explore the area around the street and found the Templestay information centre. This caught my eye because I have booked to stay in Temple next weekend and I did this through this company online. I went in side and was greeted by a buddhist monk who carries out cultural activities. I sat with her for a while making Paper Lotus Flowers. I really enjoyed this activity and found it quite relaxing having to focus on making the petals. I did have to concentrate and had the face on, like when I am trying to cut a circle with scissors, having my tongue sticking out the corner of my mouth 🙂 . They have other cultural events that are also free to do so this place is always worth a visit if you are ever in seoul.
The monk also mentioned a Zen Meditation and Dharma talk for foreigners at the Vairocana International Buddhist Meditation Centre on Sunday afternoons at 3pm. So I will attend this, which I am looking forward to.
After making my lotus flower I visited the buddhist temple across the road from the centre to see and smell the real things. The temple looked quite magnificent and had a service on which is something I have not seen before:
From this temple I headed to a temple for sport fans in Seoul. It is called Jamsil Baseball Stadium. I thought I would watch which ever team was playing today, this stadium is home to both the LG Twins and Doosan Bears. Today the LG twins were playing the Lotte Busan Giants, the team I watch for my first ever live baseball game whilst in Busan. As I bought my ticket I was asked if I wanted to sit with the home or away fans. I chose the home, seeing as I am going to spent more time in Seoul than Busan. However as the game went on I realised my heart was secretly rooting for Busan. This was confirmed when Busan hit a home run and I cheered whilst sat in the middle of the LG twins fans. I played dumb when they looked at me and got away with it. I think the LG Twins will always be my second team so if I go again whilst in Seoul I can support them.
From here it was back the 45 minute metro journey back to the hostel for a nice relaxing sleep, or so I hoped. I currently have heat rash all over my body, I think I got it from my hike up Inwangsan Mountain. The best way to describe this is like a chicken pox style itch that visually appears toward the end of the day and over night. Online it states that it only lasts a couple of days and I am doing all I can to not sweat and keep clean. My sleep was disturbed again but not as bad as the last couple of nights so I think I am nearly over it now.
The areas of life I am most interested in are great design, the golden ratio, minimalism, Pareidolia (faces in everyday objects), micro living and finally I will be searching for remarkable human beings who use the power of their mind to achieve amazing effects.
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