Korean Narrative: Hip&Young Ikseon Village

Jongro-3 GA – Ikseon dong

Su Un Taeh Kim

It’s easy to spot catchphrases claiming Seoul as a metropolitan integration between history and future. However, it’s not as easy to find any actual physical evidence of the dynamic melting pot in the bustling city. Yet, an actual place where the traditional meets the modern is just 30 minutes from Hanyang University.


Ikseon-dong is a hundred year old Hanok(Traditional Korean Housing) village that sprung on the grounds of a illustrious palace of royalty. After serving as a densely populated housing area in the past, Ikseon dong has been long regarded as a ghostly town where the residents have moved out to a more modern and furnished residential area. Rapid transformation came just a few years ago when a handful of talented artists and entrepreneurs teamed up to create a creative spawning center full of exquisite restaurants and shops. What truly makes Ikseon-dong an unique place to visit is that its cafes and joints are a mixture of the already existing traditional Hanok architecture with modern interior design. This coexistence of traditional Korean hardware and hip software gives Ikseon-dong its charm of allowing the visitor to to truly experience a dynamic melting pot.


Moreover, the cafes and restaurants host a variety of content ranging from Thai cuisine, French dining to Iberico chops and of course, Korean dishes. Adding on to the top notch mouth watering dishes created by acclaimed chefs, every restaurant is with an unique retro-atmosphere making it idealistic as the next hang out place for friends and family and even a dating spot with a loved one.


So next time, instead of just visiting the usual palaces and traditional Hanok villages, drop by at Ikseon-dong and get a taste of an exquisite tradition meets the modern.

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