Breakfast at the kitchen of Star Hostel was the first part of the morning, and it was delicious as usual. While we were eating, Kevin showed up and asked to take a photo of us. We had to check out, so we went back to our room to pack. We presented Kevin with a magnet from Singapore and a small note of appreciation, and asked if we could leave our luggage with the hostel while we were exploring Insadong. He readily agreed.
The night before, we saw a poop-themed cafe and a stall that sold poop-shaped bread, but it was too late and they had closed. So, we made it a point to head to Ssamziegil again to give it a try. In fact, we realised there were two stalls selling the bread – one on the ground floor near the entrance, and another on the rooftop, just beside the cafe. We got a chocolate-flavoured one (the other flavour was red bean) from the rooftop stall and sat on a bench to savour it.
While the rooftop at night had a romantic air to it, it was more relaxing to take our time to finish the bread in the day. Even Spotty (in his beautiful hanbok) and Boo (with his invisible crown) got to have a bite, and they said it was really yummy!
After wandering the streets of Insadong the night before, we were now wandering the same streets in the daylight. The magician had gone home, and all the shops were open. Traditional crafts were readily found here, and that made Insadong stand out from other typical streets. Other goods sold were other classic Korean souvenirs (that had already been there since our previous trips), souvenirs plastered with K-pop idols’ faces, packaged snacks, street food, famous cartoon character keychains, and when it rained – into the shelters the souvenirs would go, and out came umbrellas in baskets (thankfully we were wise enough to bring along an umbrella). The weather in the summer could change with the flick of a finger, but shopkeepers were even faster. It was quite entertaining how they really knew how to adapt and capitalise on corresponding changes in demand!
For souvenirs, we managed to get a number of colourful pouches in various patterns and sizes for our family and ourselves, and I got a tri-coloured paper fan (foreground, below) from a traditional paper shop that was selling it at least 1,000 won cheaper than the souvenir-centric shops.
Somewhere along the way, we spotted the Nami Island Seoul Embassy (Nami Island wasn’t exactly a separate country, but the fact that they had managed to make it feel like one was praiseworthy) and an Alive museum. We also stepped into a 7-Eleven that had a section for people to stand and eat!
Satisfied with our experience in Insadong, we headed under the arch of the music centre back to the hostel to collect our luggage, and made off to Jongno-gu, where we would spend the rest of the day.