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Namdaemun Market, the most bustling place in Seoul. Food vendors fly through unnavigable aisles with food stacked on their heads, touts selling their wares and a constant stream of shoppers looking to spot the best bargain. Three things you should...
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78 Namdaemun-ro, Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In the Korean capital's Myeongdong district, you're not limited to 'Seoul-food;' you can also taste distinctive dishes from Jeonju city, in the country's fertile Southwest. Go to "Go-gung" (pronounce: goh-goong) restaurant. The restaurant's...
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88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
For over a century, Seoul's Gwangjang Market has been a destination for snack-seekers. The labyrinthine passageways are covered, and you can find anything from knock-off shoes ("fira" instead of "Fila," for example) to chili powder and embroidered...
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Cheonggyecheon, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong, Seoul
An artery of calm running through central Seoul is the Cheonggyecheon stream. This soothing green space proffers a respite from the bustle, with tranquil waterfalls, bridges, and landscaped rock formations adorning the 5.2 miles of wooden walkways...
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Dosan-daero 13-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
No, it’s not your imagination. Everyone—men, women, children, even dogs—dresses up in Seoul. Sure, you’re bound to see the odd denim-clad dud, but on the whole you’re more likely to spot bow ties and blazers or blouses and heels walking the...
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88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
You won’t break the bank at Gwangjang, lively 100-year-old market in Seoul’s Jong-Ro. To get a taste of the countryside just like the locals do with all the hustle and bustle of a traditional market, try Jeon scallion pancakes, Yukhoe (Korean Beef...
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688 Nodeul-ro, Noryangjin 1(il)-dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Korea puts its own spin on sashimi at the Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market. Bargain for a piece of raw fish (hoe, pronounced “hway”) amid the lanes of fishmongers, then head upstairs to have one of the in-house restaurants garnish your prize...
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85-1 Chebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
A steaming bowl of ginseng chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered—no matter what ails you—and To Sok Chon is Seoul’s top spot. Each portion contains an entire boiled chicken, accompanied by roots and herbs. Despite the quantity, you’ll hear...
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South Korea, Seoul, Jongno-gu, Gahoe-dong, 계동길 37
On my first evening back in Seoul, on my first visit in almost twenty years, I could hardly believe I was in the middle of a metropolitan area of over twenty million people. I was staying in the Buk-chon neighborhood, in a 'hanok'--one of the...
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Cheonggyecheon, Jongno 5(o).6(yuk)ga-dong, Seoul
Located below street level, the public space Cheonggyecheon offers an easy escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seoul. The area is part of a massive urban renewal project in which an old elevated highway was cleared to reveal the stream...
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Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
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...
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Wolmimunhwa-ro, Gaho-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon, South Korea

Wolmido Island is about a kilometer (a half-mile or so) from Incheon and, once upon a time, was actually an island; now it’s joined to the mainland by both road and monorail. During the war, it was used to block access to Incheon and was...