Situated to the West of Gyeongbokgung, Seochon, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seoul, is an obvious treasure. It’s name is simply, “west village,” but that doesn’t embody the liveliness and warmth that you can experience here.
Seochon hanoks were under threat of massive redevelopment and destruction up until 2008. The concerned took measures to ensure the preservation of the hanoks in this area, like that of Bukchon, the hanok village on the other side of Gyeongbokgung. And we should thank our lucky stars that this beautiful area has been saved and updated so that generations to come can walk through the streets and buy up all the things. Or just look around, that’s okay too. 🙂
In Robert J. Fouser’s book, Hanok, The Korean House, he explains how this area is an example of the neo-traditional style, or the “mixed hanok.”
This new genre allows for experimentation and, perhaps more importantly, the expression of the owner’s personality. Like the city of Seoul itself, they appear similar from afar but sparkle with the color of individuality up close.
Not to mention that they are habitable and useful when updated, like living and breathing museums, so that people can continue to keep their families there and do business within.
This area is perfect for strolls and exploring. If you only had a few days in Seoul, I would highly recommend it for your list. If you live in Seoul, I highly recommend it for your list. Basically, just go.
How are you I am fine
I’m in love with these postcards. How cute would it be to send them one at a time each week to someone? Hilarious, annoying and adorable.
This is the home of the famous Korean artist Park No-Su (No Soo), which is now refurbished into a cozy little museum. The house itself is interesting in that it is a western/eastern style mix and match up but there is no information on who originally built this style house in this area and for what reason. It’s an odd place to park a fusion style house, so I’d love to know more about it’s construction.
Park No-Su purchased it later and it was his home until passing, where he donated it and the artwork to Jongno. It is Seoul City Cultural Heritage Material No.1. You can take a short tour for about 3,000 won during business hours.
To learn more about Park, click here. He has a gorgeous display in this museum. Very calming, muted and understated. No cameras allowed inside.
Seochon is full of whimsical design, shops, artwork and cafes. There is a air of fun all about. There is art and crafts, and a love of quirky mixed with traditional architecture with rehabbed insides. It’s an amazing area.
PRESS START | Old School Video Arcade
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my friend, Phil, as happy as I had when I said, “Hey, video games! Let’s go in there.” He plopped down in front of a game he hadn’t played since high school and did not stop smiling. Meanwhile, I stamped out some teacher frustration on a wack-a-mole game. Memories.
SEOCHON GARAGE | Magazine Market
The place to get all the cool kids mags. They have AROUND, the Korean version of KINFOLK. They also have KINFOLK…hehe.
LHASA CAFE | Cafe & Museum
The most amazing cafe tucked into a very plain building on the outside. Check out my full review here.
Hopscotch | Gastropub
One of those rarities in Korea, a pub with food that is creative and delicious. They have another branch in Nonhyeon. But, we dined in Seochon under the heavy wood beams of a refurbished hanok.
To get there:
Take Line 3 (orange) to Gyeongbokgung Station and use Exit 2 or 3.
After exiting, walk along the main road. Pass the Popeyes and continue walking for another few minutes. Turn left, just before the Woori-bank, to reach Seochon.