30 seconds of Insadong

While most places in Korea juxtapose old and new, this contrast is taken to a wholly new level in Insadong. Futuristic Jongno Tower looms above the numerous narrow alleyways of the neighborhood below. Insadong dates back to the Joseon Dynasty, about 500 years ago, and was the place of choice for wealthy government officials. Unfortunately, during the Japanese occupation, many of Insadong's residents were forced to move and sell their belongings. This spurred Insadong into becoming the top destination for Korean antique goods. Currently 40% of all antiques sold in Korea come from Insadong's crooked, winding alleys and wide, eclectic pedestrian malls. History abounds not only in the form of antique goods, but also in the temples and other cultural sites of this neighborhood. For example: Jogyesa. First established in 1396, Jogyesa is one of the most significant Buddhist temples in Korea. A little further down the road is Unhyeon Palace which also dates back to the late 14th century. Every fall and spring, you can see a reenactment of the 1866 wedding of King Gojong and Empress Myeongseong in the expansive central courtyard of the complex. For some history of a more risqué nature, check out the Asia Eros Museum. Here, you'll learn about eroticism in Asia with exhibits ranging from the Stone Age to modern times. After getting your shop on and your history fix, Insadong is also home to many traditional restaurants and street vendors. To reach Insadong take Line 3 to Anguk Station (this being closer to Unhyeon Palace) or take Line 1 to Jonggkak Station (taking exit 2 will lead you to Jogyesa).
Time: 00:58


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