Then I realized that I was a stone's throw away from Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌 한옥 마을; buk chon han ok ma eul), a neighborhood near Gyeong Bok Palace (경복궁) that is full of old Korean style houses. I started walking...Yido (이도), a pottery-gallery, was a feast for my eyes.
I also found some fun oddities, such as the Seoul Museum of Chicken Art (서울 닭 문화관; Seoul dak mun hwa gwan).
I stumbled upon a coffee place called Doo Roo (두루) and caught up on my daily caffeine dose. A great cup of latte at a cute, cozy place I can't even begin to describe...
Soon after the coffee, I found Mium Gallery (미음 갤러리), a gallery and a tea house in one. Next time I want to take a break here with a cup of tea...
Bukchon Hanok Village leads to the big street in 삼청동 (sam cheong dong), where I stopped for a bowl of 회냉면 (hoi naeng myeon; chilled, spicy buckwheat noodles with skate) @ 갑산 면옥 (gap san myeon ok). On this hot, sticky morning, the inside of this simple, basic restaurant was cooling. I loved the kettle of hot broth that was placed on my table, instead of ice water you get if you ask for one. There is an underlying acceptance that requires no explanation in Korea when hot broth is served at a place specializing in cold noodles in the middle of a hot summer day.
After lunch, I found this tteok (떡; rice cake) cafe, but I was running out of time.
Looking for a cup of coffee turned out to be a full morning of slow adventure in Bukchon. Maybe because it was still so hot and/or it was too early, Bukchon was pretty quiet with a few random tourists and early-risers living in the neighborhood. All in all, it took me close to 3 hours, getting lost, taking pictures, asking around for directions, and taking a break for coffee and lunch.
What a great way to end my trip to Korea.