Today I went for a walk along the Cheonggyecheon and through the streets of Insadong.
Cheonggyecheon, or 청계천, is a public recreational area and river that runs through downtown Seoul. It’s located right next to Insadong which explains my walk through both areas today. After the Korean War, displaced people started living next to the river in shanty houses. These were the poorest of the poor living in Seoul, and there were several signs along the pathway that recalled stories of children growing up as orphans in poverty and filth, and of how this river used to be an eyesore to the rest of Seoul. However, in 2003, the Korean government started a $900 million project to restore the river. Now, it’s a popular site for tourists and couples, the latter being even more prominent today on Valentines Day. And I was there with my mum. Lol.
Insadong, or 인사동, is a neighbourhood district near Cheonggyecheon. It has a huge antiques and artwork sector, as well as more traditional stores selling Korean handicrafts. It also caters to the more modern Korean shoppers’ needs; it has a large shopping complex called Ssamjigil (쌈지길). They have everything from jewellery, couple handicraft experiences (you can make rings or paint mugs together), and even a sky garden and café.