I am painfully aware that I am not as well connected with my city as I would like to be. Seoul has these amazing pockets of space located here and there and it’s always fun to explore even though I haven’t done much of it despite the influx of out of town guests I’ve had over the past few weeks. Samcheong-dong was one of those places I visited a long long time ago and completely forgot about because I was being a Gangnam snob but when an old acquaintance came to town, I figured it would be a great opportunity to check it out again.
The easiest way to get to Samcheong-dong is to probably to take a taxi but there is a very conveniently located 마을버스 (village bus) near exit 3 of Gwanghwamun Station that will take you straight up to the top of the hill. Similar to Garosugil, Samcheong-dong is one main street with a bunch of restaurants, cafes and and boutiques dotted about here and there. Unlike Garosugil though, there is space! LOTS and LOTS of space and is great for a stroll on a sunny afternoon. I’ve been told that Samcheong-dong has become quite commercialised compared to a few years back (which is the same for Garosugil) and now caters to the barrage of foreign tourists but there are definitely enough quaint little shops and restaurants to make up for the gigantic Kiehls or SKII stores that stick out like a sore thumb.
The back alleyways will lead you to traditional homes of local residents blending in with the business establishments. One thing I noticed was that there were quite a few graffiti and street art pieces displayed on the side of buildings and errant walls which was pretty cool. There is something quite hip about Samcheong-dong in a way that’s different from other parts of town probably because it blends the old with the new in such a unique way. Also, there weren’t as many couples in the area, mostly groups of women so this is probably a great place to have brunch with your girlfriends at the weekend! (Hashtag: SingleGirl4Life)