Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
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While living in Seoul, exploring was something I would often do. I would ride the subways and pick a random stop, get off then walk as far as I could. In my opinion there is no better way to gather a sense of place in a foreign land. One area I was particularly fond of was Samcheong-dong, a posh little enclave with museums, boutiques, bakeries and cafes. The numerous twisting alleyways of Samcheongdong can be very misleading and I'll be the first to admit that almost every time I paid a visit I would end up in a new section of this neighborhood. During one trip I was walking along trying to figure out how to get back to the subway when my nose uncovered the pleasant aroma of coffee beans roasting. After a couple of corkscrew turns I stood face to face with the roaster pictured above. After ordering a latte and having some truly fresh coffee I felt rejuvenated. The walk back to the subway was noted with great detail and this coffee shop became one of my favorites. The easiest way to get to Samcheong-dong is to take the orange line to Anguk station. Take exit one and walk straight for about two blocks until you can see Gwanghamun gate, when you can see the gate take a right and walk on Samcheong ro (samcheong street), which will change direction and start to head east. You will know you're in the correct location when you start seeing signs with macaroons and small boutiques flaunting their latest designs.
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