Last weekend I went to a part of Seoul that I haven’t thoroughly explored before: Bukchon and Samcheon-dong. With the boy back in Canada visiting family and packing for us, I’ve been left to wander around town solo.
So what’s a girl to do in Seoul?
I figured I’d head out to one of the cutest areas in the city. Yes, I just called a neighbourhood ‘cute’, but wait until you see the intricate architectural details, hand-drawn coffee cup art littering storefronts, and fuzzy pink sweaters calling you into vintage boutiques.
What I like about Seoul is that it can’t quite make up its mind when it comes to architectural styles.
On one street you may find a modern building with clean lines and slate coloured walls, but then you turn around the corner and stumble upon a traditional hanok building with a beautiful tiled roof that is centuries old.
Keep going further down the same street until you hit what appears to be a dead end, but squeeze down the narrow alley on the left to discover a whole new neighbourhood hidden from sight.
There are few street signs here, just crooked steps leading up to homes, potted plants welcoming you at almost every doorway, and little doors made for someone much shorter than me.
It’s a mish-mash of everything, yet it works.
It’s not tacky nor cluttered, it’s simply, Seoul.
You’d think the city would be dreary this time of year, yet surprisingly it’s anything but that.
Sure, there are patches of ice, and mounds of week-old snow, but it’s in the dead of winter that you’re able to see that there’s a certain fairy-tale quality to this place.
The colours still shine bright, the endless twisting alleys beckon to be explored, and every hanok building seems to beg of me to step in, remove my shoes, and sit down for a cup of tea.
This city is cute plus a spoonful of honey!
With exactly five weeks left in Korea, there’s a part of me that is already starting to miss Seoul.