So I searched “neighborhoods to visit in Seoul” and this was another one that caught my eye (the previous one being Ikseondong). But Vera, why do both of those places have ‘dong’ in their names, you ask. Well, let me explain after I do a quick google search to reconfirm what I already know but can’t properly write down.
If you listened to pop radio several years ago when PSY took over for a bit, you’ll already be aware of Gangnam from his song Gangnam Style. Seoul has 25 districts (gu) and Gangnam is one of them. Within each district (gu) there are several neighborhoods (dong). For example, I live in Sinsadong in Gangnamgu. When I lived in Daejeon, I was in Dunsandong in Seogu.
From my limited browsing of other blogs, Mullaedong is known for steel factories some of which have closed and are now occupied by young, hip, restaurants and cafes. The area itself is littered with metal artwork which were all interesting and cute at times.
There was also a lot of graffiti making the walls pop! It ranged from seemingly simple colorful art to dynamic paintings that could be scenes or sets in a movie.
The alleys ranged from bare to filled with color and these were great backgrounds for photographs.
The shop fronts also upgraded their looks to stand out from the steel factories and stores.
During my search for neighborhoods (and restaurants to eat at in those neighborhoods) Waves stood out to me because the owner mentioned that it’s a great place to dine alone. I usually explore alone so I thought it would be interesting to eat here.
There was plenty of seating but I’m not so sure about it being a great place to eat alone since it filled up quickly after I arrived. The interior was very “cool” and did have lots of curving lines. The food was delicious and the garlic didn’t have any sugar on it. Koreans like to put sugar on their garlic bread….I was sufficiently stuffed and decided to call it a day.
I went on Children’s Day, which surprisingly enough isn’t a holiday in the US?? It celebrates children and their right to have a happy life. The founder of Children’s Day is Bang JeongHwan who lived during the Japanese occupation of Korea. He studied children’s psychology and translated many foreign children’s stories into Korean. He argued that children shouldn’t have to work and that they should all have the right to actually be kids, learn, play, and be happy, not just survive. My students love Children’s Day because one, it’s a national holiday and there’s no school and they get presents from their parents and grandparents.