Budget Travel Korea | Seoul | Bukchon Hanok Village via Samcheong-dong Part 1

On our way to Bukchon Hanok village from the Gwanghwamun gate, we passed through a cute lil' street in Samcheong-dong neigbourhood. 

A cute patch of lettuce garden tucked in a corner 
of the roadside in the middle of a bustling city ^^

From the Gwanghwamun gate we headed east (to the right if you are facing the gate) walking along the tall wall of the Gyeongbokgung palace. We just went straight past the wall, a small lettuce garden (yep, in the middle of the city!), Hyundai gallery building and a few more interesting buildings/galleries until we reached a big crossroad. Here, we turned left into a small street in front of Pungmun Girls Highschool and already that famous Samcheong-dong charms were visible^^

This street is beautifully lined with trees as well as eccentric cafes, galleries, boutique cafes, ateliers, eateries, accessories and clothing shops. It’s a different shopping ambience than other popular markets such as Namdaemun, Myeong-dong or Insa-dong that are packed with visitors - it’s more relax here and felt like the place you’d go to should you want to find really unique artsy stuff. Some of the shops are owned by local designers.

The first shop that caught our eyes was this 'mini glass booth' outside a cafe..

Just enough space for the vendor to run his business sitting down! I guess it's because he sells super mini cacti planted in plastic pots so small that you could mistake them for keychains hahaa.. and they grow up to only 4-5cm in height in 6 months lol; not a lot of space needed indeed :P.

As you can see, there are many types of cactus available; a lot of them I haven't seen before.

Long story short, we bought 3 pots for 12,000 won and walked on =D .. That blue 'jelly-like' sticker is included too.

Stuck that tiny pot on my bookshelf frame in my room =D

This flower shop is cute, they sell Mimosa pudica! In Malaysia we call these ‘pokok semalu’ which literally means 'shy plant' in english.  

This plant is a wonder coz they are seismonastically sensitive. If you touch or shake it the leaves would close up just like folding a hand-held fan hence the name 'shy' ^^ .. and called by many other names in other places. Can you imagine it? Well, checkout this youtube video.

Every Malaysian would be as surprised too if they see these on the racks for sale coz this thorny earth-covering plant grows everywhere in our country in grass fields or roadsides. It's really not something that you'd put in pots and grow here hehe =D. This 'shy' plant do grow in other tropical countries too. Nevertheless, it IS a cute plant afterall.. despite the thorns, the flowers look like delicate puffy pink cotton balls.

Some of the hanoks in Samcheong-dong are turned into shops..

One of the hip cafes here...

This ice cream shop looks really inviting with that hanging spiral ‘cones’. 

Okay so they are not cone-shaped but they hold the ice cream. Apparently this ice cream is quite common in Korea, not just here :)

Happy customer =D

Got ourselves some sweet but simple looking accessories too .. the ring is just a simple knot and the bangle looks like the infinity symbol ∞ .. Most importantly they were cheap ^^ .. there are a number of accessories shop including ateliers, just allocate enough time to wander around. 

As many other places in Korea, Samcheong-dong is a big neighbourhood to cover, you'll need to be prepared for a lot of walking. Take a look at the neighbourhood map below that I got from Official Korea Tourism Organization site.. we only went through the street from Anguk-dong Sageori (Pungmun Girls High School is at this junction), passed by Duksung Girls High School until the building marked as 'T'.

We chose to take a right turn there to make our way to Bukchon Hanok Village  and walked straight until we reach another big crossroad. The village area is about another 100m-walk uphill to the left from this cross road and then I’d say just follow the crowd =D. 

As you can see, the village area is shaded in brighter green next to the Bukchon Museum of Old Fragrance; so you have the option to access the village via other streets too. Check out our hanok experience Part 2


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