As my time comes to an end in Korea, I wanted to share some of my favorite spots in Korea. The places that I have returned to again and again, the places I recommend everyone visit, the places that will always remind me of my favorite days in Korea.
It’s no secret that I love souvenirs. I don’t buy home decorating items at stores because I decorate with my hodgepodge of souvenirs. Therefore, it’s no surprise that I love Insadong. It’s an entire neighborhood dedicated to Korean souvenirs. There’s your typical mass produced keychains and magnets, but nestled between those stores are traditional paper crafts, colorful textiles, and Korean grown tea. It’s the best place for gifts from Korea, and I can always find something fun there. One of my favorite finds is the man who writes your name, the date, and the location (Insadong), in calligraphy on a paper fan.
There are also fun cultural experiences to be found in Insadong. It took me two years to find a Dr. Fish cafe, but I finally made it to the one in Insadong with my cousin. It’s illegal to have these cafes in the USA, so it was fun (and weird) to have this quirky experience. Tiny fish nibble the dead skin off your feet, leaving them tingly and soft.
There’s also a tourist center in Insadong that allows you to try on hanbok for free! They have a stage set up so you can take your own pictures and even provide selfie sticks in case you left yours at home.
Some of my favorite afternoons in Korea have been spent wandering in and out of the same stores I’ve visited before. There’s always something new and treasure waiting to be found.