The Seoul part of my recent Korea trip is pretty spontaneous. I do have a list of places prior this trip, where I placed every new locations I wanted to visit, but it's not a sure-deal and my DM was open for suggestions.
One of the new places that sparked my interest was actually a suggestion of one of my IG friends Ate Cris. She introduced me to the neighborhood of IKSEONDONG.
What I like about Ikseondong
1) It is still low-key, it is not something you'll usually read on travel blogs.
2) Established in the 1920, Ikseondong is actually an OLD neighborhood in Seoul! It is an alternative to Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, and I think even Garosugil.
3) When the youngsters takeover, without totally changing the place, it becomes so hip and trendy! Young and local artists and entrepreneurs opened their own cafes, restos, and shops in Ikseondong--and they're super fun to explore. And even with the modernism takeover, you will still find touch of traditional Korea here and there giving this place a unique charm.
4) It's a bit similar to Tokyo's Meiji Jingumae for the creative local concept stores and designs, or Omoide Yokocho's twists and turns, and narrow maze-like streets! In the Philippines, it's comparable I guess to Poblacion?
Just walking around Ikseondong makes me so inspired to create and even to have my own small business.
5) It's a one big "photo zones". Everywhere you turn is a photogenic backdrop waiting for your camera's shutter!
What to expect in Ikseondong
Ikseondong is a mish-mash of everything. They have different concept restaurants so you can have your lunch or dinner here, cute cafes and bakeshops where you can just chill and relax mid-day.
Aside from food, I also saw vintage and vintage themed shops, stores selling handicrafts, and hanbok rental stores. Oh, I also saw stores selling modernized hanboks (Korean traditional costume!).
I also like the cute photo booths scattered in every corner of this neighborhood!
Recommended sites in Ikseondong
1) Shop at Vintage Bonnie and Assibabgagan
2) Rent a hanbok at Kukminhanbok Chabim
3) Have legit Korean pork cutlet and retro-style resto at Gyeongyangsik 1920
4) Dine in a Korean soju tent in Ikseondong's Pojangmacha Street
5) Buy Ssal Sanghoe's hotteok, while enjoying the backstreets of Ikseondong
6) Have coffee in Uncle Videotown--a cafe and cinema in one!
How To Go To Ikseondong
Take the subway and go down Jongno 3-ga Station, exit 4.
Special thanks to Ate @eagertravelcris for this tip!