Today’s post is written by Downtown Traveler contributor Juno Kim, an adventurous blogger from Seoul and founder of the Asian Women’s Empowerment conference.
Hongdae is one of the few places in Seoul, South Korea where it’s OK for people express what they think of the world. Living in a conservative society, Koreans generally frown on outspoken or unique individuals. But not in Hongdae; it’s like the area is protected by a rainbow-colored shield and everyone can show his or her true colors.
The name Hongdae is short for Hongik University (Hongik Daehakgyo), which is home to one of the country’s few exceptional art programs. The whole area was built around individual expression. Don’t be surprised to see widely creative outfits, accessories, and street performers– that’s why people come here. A weekly Free Market is also popular, drawing visitors and locals alike. I don’t shop too often, but I go to Hongdae when I do. This is where I get my funky, “fun night out” jewelery. No surprises here.
On a recent afternoon, I set out to capture Hongdae’s lively street art scene. From political messages to artistic ideas, Hongdae is the best destination in South Korea for street art enthusiasts. I highly recommend walking down the little alleyways lined with independent cafés and small boutique shops. That’s where you will find the true laid-back Hongdae culture, and lots of interesting public art.