Wednesday, December 15, 2010


The last time we were in Seoul we got to check out Insadong, a cute little street crammed full of shops hawking tea, pottery, antiques, and more Korean souvenirs than I've seen in the rest of Korea combined.

Along the side of the street were a few stalls of people making kkultarae - a honey and nut traditional sweet that looks like Mini Wheat cereal and tastes like baklava. Kkulturae is also known as 'Dragon's Whiskers' because the solid honey is dipped in cornstarch then stretched and pulled into thin, fine, whiskery strands. The vendors put on a show as they prepare the candy - in English, Japanese or Korean depending on the audience. I accidentally deleted a few of my pictures, so here's Dan's kkulturae video from when she visited Korea in September.

We also checked out Ssamziegil Street - a shopping mecca full of handmade crafts, restaurants and cute stalls. The most remarkable thing about the street is that it's actually a four storied building with a sloping spiral ramp so you can walk from the first floor to the garden on the roof without taking any stairs. I did say 'from the first floor' - to get to the first floor you have to go up one flight of stairs, which made the feat slightly less impressive.

Again, my photos have been deleted so I've thieved this one from here.

I think I could have easily blown a few hundred thousand won on cute stuff in Ssamziegil but fortunately I'd spent a lot of money already in the delicious tea shop on the bottom floor. Lauren, Tom and I had ginger, cinnamon and quince teas and they were amazing - so good we went back for more the next day. The women who run the stall were really lovely as well. 

Insadong was well worth (both) visits and if anyone visits us, we'll be taking you there as one of our first stops!

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