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Seoul: A Walk To Namdaemun

I like staying in Myeongdong because of its bustling atmosphere and convenient location to shop and eat. I usually stay in Metro Hotel and if I cannot get a room at this hotel, Ibis Myeongdong is my second choice. I am so familiar with and comfortable in Myeongdong, I cannot envisage staying anywhere else in Seoul.

With so many quirky cafes to discover and hang out at in Seoul, I still make it a point to visit Starbucks for a cup of cafe mocha everyday.  This Starbucks is a skip-and-a-hop away from Metro hotel and I drop by quite frequently, on my way to the subway station or back to the hotel. This outlet is spacious and brightly lit, with plenty of tables and a slightly hip vibe.

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The Seoul Central Post Office in Myeongdong.  From here, I begin my stroll from Myeongdong to the Namdaemun market.

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A fangirl snapping a photograph of the TV screen showing her favourite idol or actor, perhaps…?

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The entrance to Namdaemun market from the back of the Shinsaegae department mall.

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I enjoy visiting the market, eating street food peddled by hawkers.  I can never resist buying a stick of fish cake, dipping it in soy sauce, eating it standing by the roadside and finishing up with a cup of hot soup made with anchovies and daikon (some hawkers add red chilies to the soup which gives it an extra kick).

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I like rummaging through the pile of clothes hanging on the racks, you never know when you might find something interesting.

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Old grannies peddling their wares.  Despite their age, they wear make-up and have nicely groomed hair.

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A hawker selling…*gulps*…some kind of worm.   Every time I past one of these street hawkers, I have to pinch my nose to avoid the stench that comes from these things, whatever you call them.  I see plenty of people eat these things with great enjoyment.  Ewwwwww…

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See the ‘Alpha’ sighboard in orange on the right?  That’s a stationery-cum-handicraft shop that I like to visit whenever I am in Seoul.  It is a little wonderland for people like me who have a secret penchant for stationery such as pens, stickers, colored paper.  It is a great place if you need to purchase materials for scrapbooking or for making handicrafts such as hair accessories.

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In the vicinity of Alpha are several shops that sells ribbons, coloured tape (similar to the Japanese washi) in different textures and width, Kraft boxes in various shapes and sizes, paper bags in different shapes and sizes, rolls and rolls of wrapping paper.  These are wonderful places for people who are running small businesses that require packaging.  I always forget the time whenever I am in these shops and end up shelling out money for things that I never seem to use.  But I love indulging in a little frivolity.

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I could spend hours and hours in this shop…

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Happy to know that I will be in Seoul again next week! Looking forward to more good times in cafes, ribbon shops and who knows what else.  🙂

xoxoxo

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6 thoughts on “Seoul: A Walk To Namdaemun

  1. Hello! I like your blog and I found this post helpful, thank you for that! I was just wondering where is the shop that is in the last picture (with the ribbons etc)? 🙂

    Thanks in advance!

    http://iwakeuptoyoursunset.blogspot.fi

    1. Hi Elina

      Sorry for the late reply! I can’t tell you exactly where it is now, but I will be in Seoul next week, and will visit the shop again. I will make some directions for you! Thanks for dropping by.

      Maggie

  2. Hi, thanks for the great post! May I know about how long did it take to walk from Myeongdong to Namdaemun Market? Our hotel is between Myeongdong Station and Chungmuro Station, nearer to Chungmuro. We will arrive around evening time and only have two days in Seoul. Wondering if our Seoul itinerary is sensible.
    Day 1 evening : Myeongdong Market – Namdaemun mkt
    Day 2: Noryangin Fisheries -> Gyeongbokgong -> Bukchon Village -> Dongdaemun Mkt
    TIA!

    1. Hi DY, apologies for the late reply. I was overseas and I had difficulty posting a comment using my mobile phone. I hope my reply didn’t come too late!

      Namdaemum is about a 10-15min stroll from Myeongdong. From my experience, it is better to visit the Namdaemun Market during the day, especially in the morning. At night, many of the shops are closed and the place gets too dark to walk around. I suggest that you spend your evening at Myeongdong – there is plenty to eat, shop and see in Myeongdong at night. The itinerary for Day 2 sounds good. If you can, do try to squeeze in a visit at Insadong, which is between Gyeongbokgung/Bukchon and Myeongdong.

      Maggie

      1. Thanks for the reply and advice! Our trip is in June ^^ Further to my earlier comment, we had decided to extend our stay in Seoul so we can visit more places. Will be staying in Myeongdong on night 1, followed by hanok stay in Bukchon for night 2 and 3. Your advice on Namdaemun is useful! We have planned other activities for all daytime so may have to give Namdaemun a miss now. Aww. So many places so little time. haha!

        1. Hi DY, I know what you mean about too little time and so many places to visit. I have been going to Seoul at least once (and sometimes twice) every year since 2007, and there are still places that I have not been to (like Nami Island)! Oh, staying in a Hanok will be a lovely experience. There is a beautiful tea-house in Bukchon called Chamasineuntteul that I highly recommend. Now that we are talking about it, I just realized that I haven’t blogged about it.

          Maggie

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