Ssamzigil

Have you heard about Ssamzigil? Ssamzigil refers to the building in Insa-dong (인사동). “Ssamzi” means pocket in Korean. It is a Craft exclusive shopping mall and has become a major tourist attraction. It is a spiral structure consisting of over 70 Korea’s traditional hand crafted accessories, souvenir shops, galleries, and restaurants. The reason for a building to be named a gil (meaning road in Korean) is because the four floors of the building are all connected in to one spiraling pathway. The whole structure resembles a square enclosing the open space in the middle. As you go up the low sloping pathway looking around the different shops, you eventually reach the sky terrace on the roof. Its opening hours are from 11:00-21:00 and makes a good touring course when at Insa-dong.

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The Place is literally filled with hand crafted goodies that are made in front of your eyes. They are very unique and is hard to find elsewhere. Just looking at the accessories makes time fly. The best part is that each vendor sells its unique goods. The down side is the price of the goods. Given the location and the fact that the accessories are hand crafted ensures that the prices are high. Too high, in my opinion. However, if viewed as a souvenir then the price does seem reasonable.

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Other than the vendors selling accessories there are also things to enjoy. Down in the basement are workshops where you can make your own accessories and there is also a photo booth that rents you Korean traditional clothes for a memorable picture. You can also carve yourself a stamp bearing the Korean letters of your choice. The food vendors also supply you with more energy to help you forage though the shops for the item of your choice.

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Finally, the place itself is very beautiful and combined with the adorable shops and the sky terrace at the roof make it ‘the destination’ for couples. Many of the accessory shops offer to make couple items with initials of your partner in the accessory. On the roof is a hedge where couple come and leave their messages on special tags, promising their so called everlasting love. The hedge is a sight to behold as the sheer number of the tags are staggering.

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Ssamzigil will make an excellent addition to your trip to Insa-dong. Especially if you have a partner to go with. I hope everyone can come and enjoy this wonderful place.

 

Article by Yoon from Korea

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