The Hanok Village in Samcheong-dong is filled with inviting cozy stores housed in restored hanok (traditional Korean houses). Each store has its own individual style and energy, making the area anything but just your typical shopping place. Keep reading for a closer look at two of the town’s many unusual and lovable stores.
Located in a sunny alley, [g:ru] is a clothing shop whose name refers to the unit for counting trees in Korean. The traditional building has taken up residence in one of the area’s representative hanok and even has its own mini flower garden. [G:ru] specializes in handmade clothing using natural fabrics woven from cotton, wool, silk or hemp. Its owner boasts that it is the first Fair Trade shop in Korea.
Fair Trade is a global social movement that seeks to minimize the role of the middleman and improve the working conditions of producers in developing countries by paying producers higher wagers and advocating social programs. In doing so, Fair Trade directly connects producers and customers and provides quality products at affordable prices. The system also helps protect the global environment, as worker learn ways in which to use the land in a more eco-friendly, sustainable way. Every clothing item in [g:ru] is a certified Fair-Trade product. Handmade, naturally-dyed clothing with environment-friendly fabrics fits the bill of the sweeping focus on well-being in recent years.
Yeon is a charming café in Samcheong-dong. As a remodeled hanok, the grounds still include the original courtyard and a platform on which traditional jars used to be placed. The traditional ondol (Korean floor heating system) structure and traditional attic are still intact, so customers can take off their shoes and enjoy relax with a cup of tea while sprawled out on the heated floor.
The owner of Yeon has traveled to more than 30 countries in ten years and opened the café with fellow travelers in mind. The inside of the café is adorned with baubles hailing from all across the globe. There are also contributions/gifts from fellow travelers, like the photos given to the owner by Italian photographer friends. Other walls serve as galleries showcasing the owner’s collection of international artwork.