|A delicious late night excursion in Seoul|
Embark on a delicious excursion late at night in Seoul. Take a late night bus, which has been in service since April 2013, to visit various places for entertainment, food, shopping, or activities near the bus stops. There is more fun at night than during the daytime in Seoul. Read on to learn more about unique attractions of Seoul by night.
N26 late night bus (Gangseo-Jungnang)
♣ Bus stops (bus leaves from the Gangseo Bus Depot)
Jongno - Coffee Smith on the Cheonggyecheon
Coffee Smith is a friendly hangout to have a cup of coffee while enjoying a view of the Cheonggyecheon Stream. Located at Gwanggyo intersection, Coffee Smith occupies floors 2 to 4 in a building by the stream, offering a great view of Cheonggye Square. The interior is posh and the ceilings are high. Tables are spaciously placed, creating an agreeable environment for coffee.
A walk along the Cheonggyecheon Stream
The Cheonggyecheon Stream is bustling with people all year round. Though there are many people walking along the stream throughout the year, it is especially packed with people during summer nights. Watch for fish swimming in the water when stepping across the stone bridges. You can also dip your feet in the water to cool down. Access to the Cheonggyecheon Stream can be near any of the bus stops from Jongno 1-ga to Dongdaemun.
Dongdaemun Station - Chinese cuisine at Dongbukhwagwawang
Dongbukhwagwawang specializes in Northeastern Chinese cuisine of the Dongbei regions. It offers 80 or so menu items, including lamb, tender pan-fried eggplant, dried tofu salad (a rare item in Korea), and even deep-fried frog. Their specialty is lamb huoguo (Chinese-style shabu shabu), but the restaurant is also well-known for its guobaorou (Beijing-style deep-fried pork with sweet and sour sauce).
Jechegi guksu, mayak gimbap, and tteokbokki in Yasijang (late night market)
As the night deepens, street stalls called pojangmacha are in full swing. The bite-sized mayak gimbap (literally “drug gimbap” because people always come back for more) is a great snack dish to enjoy with hot and spicy tteokbokki. There is also a variety of skewered dishes with tteok (rice cakes), chicken, and fish cakes. The last dish that you must try is jechegi guksu, literally “sneeze noodles” because of how spicy the dish is. Jechegi guksu is pan-fried noodle with squid, cabbage, and bean sprouts in a special sauce. It can be eaten plain, with hot sauce, or mayonnaise.
About Dongdaemun late night market
Dongdaemun is the largest fashion wholesale market in Asia with over 30,000 stores. The market is busier in the early morning than during the day. Sellers who come to Dongdaemun from around the nation are joined by merchants from overseas as well as local and international tourists. Wholesale markets like Cheongpyeonghwa, Dongpyeonghwa, Fashion Mall U:US, The Ot, and Team 204 offer items at a cheaper price than retail stores in Migliore or Doota. But to really get the advantage of wholesale prices, you have to buy a minimum of two items and pay with cash. Also, buying at wholesale prices means you cannot exchange, return, or get a refund on purchased items. Operating hours are from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. The markets are closed from Saturday evening till early morning on Sunday.
Moonlight walk in Naksan Seonggwak Walls
The trail along the Naksan Seonggwak Fortress walls, which stretches from Heunginjimun Gate to Naksan Park is a blend of history and modernity. When the day-time bustle is taken over by the tranquility of night, the fortress wall is lit by the light of the moon and the area is surrounded by a splendid night-time view of the city. The path to the top is only 125 meters and the road is a slow, winding slope. Walking up the hill with the city lights below is a truly unforgettable sight. Pass through the small gate situated mid-way along the wall to get to Byeokhwa Village in Ihwa-dong. It is fun to walk around in the neighborhood looking for wall murals in the small alleys. The murals and other works of art were contributed by local artists who set out to add some character and beauty to the once run-down area. To get to the trail, get off at the Dongdaemun stop and follow the signs for Naksan Park. It takes around an hour to reach the summit and the trail is open 24 hours a day.
Sinchon Station - Ijjimen
This famous Japanese ramen restaurant in Sinchon offers Ijjimen ramen in a thick chicken broth as their main menu item. Orders are placed through a machine and not by the staff. There are partitioned, one-person seats for quiet dining.
Hapjeong Station - Mangwon-dong Jeukseok Udong
After having a great time in Hongdae (Hongik University) and Sinchon, how about heading over to Mangwon-dong for a hearty bowl of noodles? Mangwon-dong’s Jeukseok Udong is a bowl of thick noodles machine-cut and served in a hot fish cake broth. You can add a hot and spicy sauce that is made with pepper flakes and chopped cheongyang pepper, so make sure to try a small amount at first and increase as you go.
Hongik University Station - Okrumong for Patbingsu
Situated at the end of Hongik University’s parking lot, Okrumong maintains its popularity by concentrating on the true flavors of pat, or azuki beans. Locally-grown pat is cooked in a gamasot cauldron for over four hours. A mound of shaved milk ice is topped with sweetened beans and chewy and sticky rice cakes in a brassware bowl. Okrumong is open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and until midnight from Sundays to Thursdays. The last order is taken thirty minutes before closing time.
N37 Late Night Bus (Jingwan-Songpa)
♣ Bus stops
Hannam Ogeori - Korean-style late night restaurant Jang Jin-woo
This establishment has no signboard or menu. Instead, the day’s menu and operating hours are announced through SNS (https://www.facebook.com/321kitchen) in the morning the day before. The restaurant serves superb food and offers an unforgettable dining experience. After dining, you can also visit the coffee shop nearby.
Sinsa Station - Gaemijip
Photo courtesy of Gaemijip
Enjoy delicious Jeollanam-do Province cuisine in the heart of Gangnam. Gaemijip creates flavorful traditional Jeollanam-do dishes using only natural ingredients and no artificial flavoring. The customer favorites and the pride of their chefs include the homemade kimchi, fermented skate, and makgeolli. Also popular are their variations for the younger clientele such as the lemon citrus makgeolli, the mozzarella cheese kimchi pancake, and the LA beef ribs with a yuja (citron) glaze.
Yeonsinnae Station - Kalguksu street stalls
The alley lined with kalguksu (handmade, knife-cut wheat flour noodles) street stalls has been a long time neighborhood favorite. The noodles are served in a fish cake broth and topped with a hot and spicy sauce, making for an invigorating late night treat.
N10 late night bus
N13 late night bus
Sanggye-dong → Cheongnyangni → Dongdaemun Gate → Jongno → Gangnam Station → Jamsil Station → Songpa
N16 late night bus
Dobongsan Mountain → Miari → Daehangno → Dongdaemun Gate → Toegyero → Namdaemun Gate → Yeouido → Yeongdeungpo → Guro Station → Onsu Station
N30 late night bus
Gangdong → Myeongil-dong → Cheonho-dong → Dongdaemun Gate → Uljiro → Seoul Station
N40 late night bus
Bangbae-dong → Sadang Station → Express Bus Terminal → Noksapyeong → Namdaemun Market → Seoul Station
N61 late night bus
Yangcheon → Nambusunhwanno → Sillim Station → Sadang Station → Gangnam Station → Samseong Station → Yeongdongdaegyo Bridge → Dongil-ro Road → Nowon Station
N62 late night bus
Yangcheon → Mokdong Station → Deungchon Station → Yeonsei University → Sinchon Station → Wangsimni Station → Kunkuk University → Gunja Station → myeonmok-dong
* Photo and article: ‘Cheongsa Chorong’ magazine, Korea Tourism Organization