If you are currently living in Seoul, you might feel that Seoul is quite an unpredictable city. Behind its metropolitan facade, traditional shops and market places co-exist with marble floored department stores. The atmosphere is homey, casual, and fun. Therefore, it is well worth the drive to an old part of Seoul to view its hearty and unforgettable scenes. Lim Youjeong, reporter of the Sookmyung Times, went to four different oldest places in Seoul.
Established In 1964
How To Get There Ride subway Line 4 and get out at exit 5 at Hoehyeon Station
Operation Hours 11:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m
Namdaemun Market is the largest traditional market in Korea filled with various products of every kind. Products are sold at affordable prices. On the occasion of my visit, Namdaemun Market seller created a unique scene that attracted tourists worldwide. He sold ridiculous fishing equipment and one foreigner bought them. At one store in Namdaemun, I saw various products stamped with Korean celebrities. Because Korean dramas and movies have become quite popular in Asian countries, creating the so-called ‘Korean wave,’ it is a booming tourist industry.
Established In 1946
How To Get There Take subway Line 3 to Dongguk University Station and get out at exit 2
Operation Hours 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Taegeukdang bakery is the oldest traditional bakery in Seoul. ‘We make bread that my grandson eats’ is the motto of this bakery. It is renowned for two famous breads: one is a simple shaped bread called Sarada and the second is sliced bread filled with ice-cream called Monaca. First, I sampled Sarada bread. It was filled with vegetables and mayonnaise, which made it a bit greasy. Then, I sampled Monaca. Monaca is a type of ice-cream sandwich. The frozen ice-cream is sandwiched between two slices of bread. It was so good that I became oblivious to everything else.
Established In 1937
How To Get There Take subway Line 2, and then get off at Chungjeongno Station Exit 9
Operation Hours Always
Chungjeong apartment is the oldest apartment building in Seoul. It is covered with green paint, so although the apartment is very old and worn, its atmosphere is lively. The apartment building is still used and its plaza contains shops and old restaurants. Personally, I think the apartment building should be renovated because its structure looks in dire need of critical repairs.
Restaurant Emun Seollengtang
Established In 1904
How To Get There Take subway Line 2, Jonggak Station Exit 3
Operation Hours 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday, Closed on Sundays
Emun Seolleongtang is the first officially registered restaurant in Seoul, so the restaurant is naturally the oldest. Seolleongtang is a Korean broth soup made from ox bones and other cuts. At the restaurant, seasoning is done at the customer’s table according to individual taste by adding salt and ground black pepper. Emun Seolleongtang is very simple but has a light taste despite its soup being a little greasy. Most seniors eating Seollengtang and sliced beef looked happy.
Fading In Old Places!
There is a traditional saying in Korea, “Review the old and learn the new.” In other words, try to find a guide into tomorrow by taking lessons from the past. Today, many people ignore the past. They live so busily that they can’t keep their composure. However, the past like an old place reminds one of life and relaxes one from a busy life. How about checking out some of the older places in Seoul?