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Eighth Edition: Seoul

Some ideas for how to use this Friendsgiving break

1. Found this neighbourhood over the last week and just loved it. Situated on a hilltop beneath Namsan, Haebangchon is a mix of old residential homes and a scattering of new cafes and galleries. I wandered around for the day, taking photos of street art, and taking as many little side streets as I could find. If you can find it, Orang Orang is a beautiful, minimalist cafe in the middle of an old, quiet marketplace. Great coffee, beautiful rooftop, and really cool place to find yourself in for the afternoon. To get there take the train to Noksapyeong Station and head out Exit 6. Follow the signs to Haebangchon Art Village.

2. For those who need to do a little work over the break in Seoul, here’s a collection of beautiful cafes in Seongsu “the Brooklyn of Seoul”. Onion. Zagmachi. Co:Lumn. There are a few other gems in this area, explore the streets and see what you find. Take the train to Seongsu Station (about 25 minutes) and head out of Exit 2. All of the above cafes are within a five minutes walk from the station.

3. Another very different, but very cool neighbourhood: Buam-dong. In the North of Seoul, this “mountain town” is quiet, quaint, and beautiful. It’s a little tricky to get to, which makes it mostly free of the foot traffic you’d find in central Seoul. I’d recommend climbing the hill to get to Sanmotoonge Cafe & Gallery, a cafe with one of the best views of Seoul I’ve found. Again, just wander. So much to find here. Bring warm clothes though - very chilly! To find this little town, take the train to Gyeongbokgung Station. Take Exit 3, and walk 50 metres straight to the second bus stop. Take either bus 1020 or 7212 to Buam-dong Community Service Centre (about ten minutes). Enjoy!

4. This one is courtesy of Frank: organic, non-profit bibimbap place in Hapjeong. It's called 문턱없는밥집, and is run by a lovely older woman. It's pay as you like from 1000 won upwards, so you can decide what you think is the fairest price to pay for your meal. A challenge to find, but will be really worth it, you won't find it on any blogs or tourist websites, that's for sure. Let me (or Frank) know if you go here! Here's the Google Maps address.

5. Sometimes you don’t feel like exploring. In the spirit of taking a break and chilling out at home, here’s a little collection of live music I’ve been enjoying lately. Rug up, and have a listen (and watch, there’s a reason I used YouTube links instead of Spotify). Let me know if you like them. FKJ & Masego. Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals. City of the Sun. Sticky Fingers. Chet Faker.

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