Where to Stay in Seoul: SAMCHEONG-DONG / BUKCHON

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This is the second location for my Where to Stay in Seoul series. The first location I wrote about was Myeongdong and you can read it here. As most of you know, Myeongdong is the ideal place for tourists specially those who are into shopping and street food. And even if that’s not your thing, it is still a good location to be at because if you have nothing to do in the evening, you can just cross over to the shopping streets and find yourself entertained by how busy that area is.

Now moving on to this post, you may ask “Where is Samcheong-dong?” or “What’s there to see in Samcheong-dong?”  For those of you who don’t know, Samcheong-dong is one of my favorite places in Seoul. If only 126 Mansion is still there, I would not be recommending any other guesthouses in Seoul nor in this neighborhood.

So, why Samcheong-dong?

It’s a great place to stay in if you are into culture and history. That’s where you should stay if you want to see Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung, Insadong, Bukchon Hanok Village, Gwanghwamun Square, and even Seochon. That’s where you’ll find museums and art galleries. And that’s also where you’ll find an abundance of local cafes and shops. Imagine walking along the alleys of Samcheong-dong and smelling freshly roasted coffee beans from one of the cafes you pass by. The vibe there is hip and trendy.

I love Samcheong-dong because it has a unique charm that harmonizes tradition with the fresh youthful vibe of the present. I already said this before in my post about Samcheong-dong that the artistic appeal of the place comes from the fact that there is a beautiful integration of the serene and antique beauty of traditional houses and the hip vibe of chic galleries, resaturants, and cafes that have sprung up in the area.

I really encourage you to read up on my previous posts about Samcheong-dong and Bukchon so that you’ll have an idea of what to expect there. I have written about this place twice in 2012: you can read it here and here. And I also wrote about it twice in 2014: you can find it here and here.

Now for this post, I will only recommend guesthouses, mostly hanok guesthouses. It’s because I want you to experience something unique while in Seoul if ever you decide to stay in Samcheong-dong. Besides, staying in hanok guesthouses is only possible in this area so I am really recommending that you stay in a guesthouse rather in a another corporate chain hotel.

Here are my personal choices:

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SEOULFUL ENCOUNTERS [BUSAN/SEOUL 2017] EXPLORING SEOCHON AND LUNCH AT TONGIN MARKET’S DOSIRAK CAFE

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In my previous visits to Seoul, I have always stayed in the Jongno area, specifically in the heart of Samcheong-dong, and because it’s the neighborhood that I am most familiar with, I have declared so many times in the past that my favorite neighborhood in all of Seoul is Samcheong-dong. Even to date, Samcheong-dong still one of my favorite neighborhoods but my list of favorites is growing the more I visit Seoul.

Last Spring, however, I did not get to spend time in Samcheong-dong at all because I purposely wanted to explore the west of Gyeongbokgung that time. I visited Seochon, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Jongno-gu which translates to “Western Village” as it is geographically located at the west of Gyeongbok Palace. Historically, Korean literature has plenty of references to Seochon neighborhoods. But I did not learn about Seochon through history. I got curious about it after watching “Legendary Witches” because Seochon was the setting for that drama. Actually, if you’ve been to Tosokchon, the famous Samgyetang place near Gyeongbokgung, then you’ve been to Seochon.

Read more about my route going to and around Seochon below.

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Heart and Seoul 2014 – The Charm of Samcheong-dong

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*This is part of a series of posts under the category Heart and Seoul 2014.

Samcheong-dong is my favorite place in Seoul. I fell in love with it when I first visited Seoul in 2012 and my recent trip confirmed that the place is still as charming as ever.

Geographically speaking, Samcheong-dong is really one of those unique places in Seoul. To its left lies Gyeongbokgung, while Changdeokgung lies to its right. Cheongwadae is at its north, while Insadong is at its south. It’s a very tourist-friendly place in that you can visit all these 4 places plus Bukchon Hanok Village in just one day. Imagine that 126 Mansion is right smack in the middle of Samcheong-dong. It’s definitely a place that you would want to stay in just by speaking of location alone.

But Samcheong-dong is not just about location. True to its name which means clean water, beautiful neighboring mountains, and kind-hearted residents, Samcheong-dong has a unique charm that harmonizes tradition with the fresh youthful vibe of the present. The artistic appeal of the place comes from the fact that there is a beautiful integration of the serene and antique beauty of traditional houses and the hip vibe of chic galleries, resaturants, and cafes that have sprung up in the area.

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[Seoul Series] Day 5: Bukchon Hanok Village and Samcheong-dong Walkway

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As I said in a previous post, one of the things I love about 126 Mansion is that it is just within the vicinity of Bukchon Hanok Village and Samcheong-dong Walkway. The neighborhood is swamped with art galleries, local shops, restaurants and cafes. The vibe there is fresh, hip and artsy, and I love it!

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[Seoul Series] Day 1: Gyeongbokgung Palace

This is a continuation of my earlier post about our first day in Seoul. After exploring the neighborhood of Samcheongdong and Bukchon, we went to Gyeongbokgung or Gyeongbokgung Palace.

The Gyeongbokgung Palace is also called the “Northern Palace” because of its location as compared to the neighboring Changdeokgung (east), Gyeonghuigung (west), and Deoksogung palaces. Each of the palaces has its own beauty but Gyeongbokgung is arguably the most beautiful and grandest of all palaces. It is the main of the five grand palaces built by the Joseon dynasty and when translated, it means the “Palace of Shining Happiness.”

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