Dongdaemun [동대문] & Namdaemun [남대문]: two of the four great gates of Seoul, also known as the rising benevolence gate and the exalted ceremonies gate, respectively.

There is something special about these two locations. I don’t know how to explain it, but I felt an instant serenity whenever I visited either one of them.

Not that I want to show favoritism, but I fell in love with Dongdaemun for no particular reason.

Today, I’m going to share with you a snippet of Dongdaemun & Namdaemun’s charm.

Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Called DDP for short, the site bears the meaning of Dream, Design, and Play. It hosts various events from exhibitions to fashion shows and conferences.

One of its most busy sections is Dongdaemun history & culture park, where many artistic forms come to life. Furthermore, there are food carts everywhere, which makes the stay all the more enjoyable.

Another memorable spot that you shouldn’t miss is the LED rose garden, as its beauty almost makes the artificial roses feel alive.

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Luck seems to have abandoned me when I attempted to visit this fancy stream. Despite going three times, I still didn’t get to witness its prominent charm.

A word of advice: don’t go when it’s raining, and always check beforehand if the festivities are ongoing. Trust me, the difference between its active and passive days is mind blowing.

Gwangjang Market

Sometimes, a mishap creates a fortune. Since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to walk from Cheonggyecheon Stream and discover the area. We ended up coming across a traditional market, and we decided to pay it a visit.

Previously known as Dongdaemun Market, Gwangjang Market initially sold agricultural and sea food products only. Since then, it started expanding its production range. Still, the market is mostly famous for the many food stalls that sell traditional Korean cuisine.

Seoul City Wall

A long time ago, Seoul was surrounded by a protective wall. To this day, the wall still stands as a historical token. The view from above is superb, and the feeling is just … soothing.

If I’m not mistaken, if you keep climbing you will end up at Namsan tower at some point, which is only logical if you think about it. Personally, I took the opposite road from Namsan tower to what I’d like to believe was Heunginjimun, one of the wall’s remaining minor Gates.

Namsan Seoul Tower

Granted, this monument is one of Seoul’s most famous touristic spots. While visiting this place happened to be unintentional and coincidental, the experience was somewhat unexpected.

The tower is mostly known for love locks that are hanging all over the place; representing mementos of friendships, relationships, and family bonds. As heartfelt as the meaning behind this trend was, it saddened me to think about the locks that weren’t able to protect the love that placed them there in the first place.

Namdaemun Market

This market’s content is a blessing! You can do all kinds of shopping in Namdaemun Market, but I higly recommend you purchase souvenir goods and unofficial Hallyu merchandise.

There are carts as well as shops throughout the market, and the vendors are very kind and welcoming. Plus, if you shop enough, you might land yourself a freebie or two!

That’s all for today! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and stay tuned for more Hallyu gems. Until I see you next time, thank you for reading me.