Travel Blog – Things To Do In Seoul Day 2 (Namsangol Hanok Village)

Namsangol hanok village old houses in korea mansion

Continue from the previous post Things To Do In Seoul – Day 1 (Gyeongbokgung Palace, National Folk Museum, Insadong, Kimchi Museum).

If you missed that post, you can read it here.

Things To Do In Seoul, Day 2

1. Namsangol Hanok Village

Namsangol Hanok Village old doors

Namsangol Hanok Village is also called “A Village of Traditional Houses in the Namsan Valley“. A peaceful historic traditional garden in the middle of busy Seoul city.

It consists of 5 villages, Gugakdang (Traditional Theater), traditional garden and Seoul Millennium Time Capsule Square. We find it quite peaceful to walk around this place on a not-so-busy weekday.

1.1 Hanok (Korean Traditional Houses)

 

“Hanok” means “traditional Korean houses”.

This Hanok Village was a famous summer vacation spot during Joseon Dynasty. It was called “the place where the gods live” because of its beautiful scenery. These 5 historic hanok houses have been restored and it is now a traditional culture and art space for the local and visitors to learn about the lives of the Korean ancestors.

Namsangol Hanok Village overview

For example, this building – Min Family’s House in Gawnhun-dong, is presumed to be built in the 1870s as part of Min Yeong-hui mansion. Namsangol hanok village old houses in korea mansion

1.2 Traditional Garden

This traditional garden has been restored by growing native trees of Namsan and created a valley. Now it has beautiful pond and pavilions everywhere. Walking through the garden we definitely found a sense of deep calm and peaceful moment here. What a moment! 🎋

I was sitting in front of this hexagonal pavilion and listening to the water flow. And the name of the pavilion literally meant just that. Namsangol Hanok Village - Peaceful streams and nature

1.3 Seoul Millennium Time Capsule

If you didn’t already know, Seoul was celebrating its 600th anniversary as the capital of Korea in 1994. To mark that milestone, 600 items were buried here and to be opened after 400 years, which will mark Seoul’s 1000th anniversary. Hence the name “Time Capsule”.

Wonder what would human race think of our Samsung phone after 400 years? 🤔Namsangol HAnok Village Time Capsules

Walking back to the future…foodwinetravelmore namsangol time capsule

Namsangol Hanok Village was really interesting for us and we enjoyed the place very much. It was quite hot during the summer day so bring your own water and umbrella would be helpful.

2. Namdaemun Market (Street Eats and Shopping)

This is the largest and oldest traditional market in Seoul. Namdaemun means “Great South Gate” as it was the main southern gate to the old city.

We spent 3 hours there in the afternoon and had a good feast of local food there. This market is huge and has so much to see. From traditional kitchenware, clothes, fresh kimchi and seafood, and many street foods. Such an eye-opener.

You can watch the video below about our experience in Namdaemun and Myeongdong.

 

Inside one of those dark, dirty looking small street in Namdaemun, we found the best cold noodles we had in Seoul on this trip. So don’t be scared away by the alley like this. They are crowded for a reason! 🤔namdaemun street food

So we just sat in one of the stalls. This kind Korean aunty made us Naengmyeon, a Korean cold noodles dish in front of us. It felt like sitting in front of mum’s table waiting to be served! Namdaemun cold noodles

Her cold noodles were really good. Spicy, of course authentic! A big bowl of delicious cold noodles, with free flow cold green tea, with complementary kimchi side dish and tofu seaweed soup. Total S$6.6 (5500 won)!

Seoul Namdaemun cold noodles

Of course, there were so many other fresh street foods to fill us up as seen in my video above and you will know why.

4. Myeongdong (Shopping Streets)

Myeongdong being the main shopping and tourism district is the “must-visit” place in Seoul! The shopping here is a little bit more expensive than Namdaemun, which is predominantly street eats and cheap bargain.

If you ask what to buy in Seoul? Answers are often: Korean skincare and cosmetic products like Faceshop, Misha, Nature Republic, Skin Food etc. You can do all your skincare product shopping here in Myeongdong, as well as pick up some Korean fashion items like clothes, accessories, shoes etc.

Myeongdong shopping Street

Since our hotel was literally just 5 minutes walk away (we were staying at Aloft Hotel Myeongdong (A Starwood hotel), we came here almost daily for food, coffee and sometimes foot massage. Too convenient! 😬

The street gets alive at night when food stalls are lined up in the middle of the street. So it’s best to come here from 4pm onwards where you can do your shopping first and then have your dinner here. Either street foods or there are so many restaurants around (ie: Korean BBQ, Ginseng Chicken etc.)

I wrote a full post about What To Eat in Seoul (Near Namdaemun and Myeongdong) if you are interested you can read it here.

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Travel Blog – Things To Do In Seoul Day 2 (Namsangol Hanok Village)
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