Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Some more of Seoul

Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) has a meaning of Dream, Design, and Play. It holds various exhibitions, fashion shows, forums, conferences, and other domestic and international events.

Designed by world renowned architect, Zaha Hadid, DDP is the world’s largest atypical architecture. The DDP is comprised of five halls: Art Hall, Museum, Design Lab, Design Market, and Dongdaemun History and Culture Park.

What an amazing architecture! This place is well worth a visit, both inside and out. Dongdaemun is one of the largest shopping districts in Korea so the location is perfect for tourists and locals. It is free to enter, with some exhibitions charging a minimal entrance fee, but do put aside few hours to explore it entirely. I am not sure if that was the design intent, but walking into and through the building, was like wandering in a giant spaceship. There are several “wings”, a splendid roof area of electric led roses art installation, and a few shops. The roof also offers an amazing view of the shopping district, and the lights at night are nice. Absolutely breathtaking example of modern architecture of organic design. There is interesting design shop full of various items to bring home as a souvenir. LED-roses field (enjoy it after sunset) is mesmerizing. Dongdaemon Design Plaza is an amazing landmark. The design is fluid and futuristic. This is a must see landmark when you go to Seoul. A marvel work of Architect Zaha Hadid.

Not just DDP but entire Dongdaemun district is massive. It is made up of about 26 malls, 30,000 stores and 50,000 manufacturers, all spread over 10 city blocks. You can find almost anything you need here, including fabrics and jewellery, sporting goods and toys. Discount fashion items are a specialty, and both locals and tourists come here to buy clothes.

A trip to Dongdaemun can be overwhelming, We enjoyed it and is a must see place if you are in Seoul.







Namsangol Hanok Village, Seoul, South Korea

A nice traditional village in the middle of the city. This is a great place to visit and historically important and educational as well. You can dress up in traditional Korean outfits and take lots of pictures. A must place for tourist to see and live the old Korean way of life, all in the middle of the modern city. The five hanok houses were remodelled after the traditional houses of Joseon Dynasty and over a range of social classes, from peasants to aristocrats. The furniture in the houses is arranged to help guests understand the daily lives of the past, and the clean, traditional houses, as well as their antique items provide a great photo opportunity as well. To protect these fragile heritage items, only one of the hanok houses is open to the public.

Namsangol Hanok Village, also known as “A Village of Traditional Houses in the Namsan Valley”, is a Korean village located in the area of Pil-dong neighborhood in Jung-gu, a central district of Seoul. The Namsangol Hanok Village offers one the opportunity to experience a wide cross-section of Joseon-era citizenry and activities, from royalty to commoners. A great effort has been made to accurately furnish each dwelling with appropriate era and social status appointments.

Namsangol Hanok Village opened in 1998 on the north side of Namsan Mountain in the centre of the capital. This village has five restored traditional Korean houses, a pavilion, traditional garden, performance arts stage and a time capsule plaza, making it a perfect spot for both locals and tourists to take a leisure walk. Upon entering from the front gate, visitors will get a taste of the traditional life while escaping from the bustling city life of modern times. The traditional garden with its pavilion and the traditional houses create a peaceful ambiance before the forested Namsan Mountain. A time capsule commemorating Seoul’s 600 Year Anniversary was buried in 1994 at the highest point of the village and is scheduled to be reopened four hundred years later in 2394.

Outside the village, you could find a boutique offering rental services for South Korea’s traditional costumes where you could wear it for at least an hour while roaming around Namsangol. Inside the village, you could also find the same but you could only wear the costume in a particular spot.

Other than some of the old and traditional houses and buildings, what this place offered was a massive garden that is so serene and tranquil. Upon entering and after a short walk, you will see a lovely pond with lots of fishes (i.e. Koi) swimming and birds flying around in a greenery and natural environment. Walking further, you will come by a section where fruit trees and vegetables are grown.
Walking further in, there is an open area where they placed traditional Korean games here and visitors could grab one up and play. They also had a few activities for kids to try out which we did as well! If you are looking for a place to try on a traditional hanbok, you can also do it here.

We loved walking through the village and the garden paths. We thoroughly enjoyed it and TOTALLY recommend if you visiting Seoul.