Ikseon-dong, Seoul

The Ikseon-dong hanok area in Seoul is a settlement of houses built by JeongSe-Gwon from 1888 to 1965. The settlement consists of small, single storied, traditional Korean houses that have managed to retain the look that Korean houses had in the 1930’s. The streets are narrow and the roofs are tiled. The alleys are lined sometimes by small artist studios that enjoy is the anonymity of the inconspicuous neighbourhood. As we sauntered down the streets it was usual to see a tailor stitch away in a small corner that claimed to be his shop or little hole-in-the-wall noodle places and Soju bars. The area is in the midst of a redevelopment controversy. Prof. Fouser, our tour guide has been leading a movement that aims protect the Hanok give it the status of a heritage site. As I walked the meandering alleys of the Hanok, memories of the Ananthashram eatery in Khotachiwadi came to mind.

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