If you are planning to spend your day in Dongdaemun, Seoul, you should consider a traditional healing tour. Dongdaemun is such a great place to get to know about Korean traditional medical things.
1st Stop: Seoul K-Medi Center (서울한방진흥센터)
Seoul K-Medi Center is a cultural facility that features traditional Korea medicine.
There are facilities like Herbal Medicine Museum, Herbal Food Experience Room, Foot Bath Experience Room, K-medi Cafe as well as K-medi Beauty Shop which allow visitors to experience the K-medi cultures. Besides, there is a Clothing Experience Room where visitors can try on the clothing of Joseon Dynasty doctor. Also, visitors are allowed walk around the exhibition space in the clothing, which is an interesting experience for me.
At Seoul K-Medi Center, there is a corner specially designed for foreigners to experience the Korean culture. We managed to try out the burdock root tea (우엉차) and schisandra tea (오미자). The burdock root tea had an earthy but refreshing taste while the schisandra tea has a sweet and sour taste.
Besides, we also got the chance to make our own tea bags there! I would say it is indeed an interesting cultural experience session for me.
135 herbal, 72 mineral and animal, and 28 specialized medicines can be found here.
Overall, it is highly recommended for those who are interested in the history and practice of traditional Korean medicine.
- March – October: 10.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m.
- November – February: 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
- The last entrance is allowed at an hour before the closing time
- Do note that Seoul K-Medi Center is closed on every Monday.
- Adult: 1000 won
- Child: 500 won
How to get there?
Walk out from Jegi-dong Station (Line 1, Exit 2). Seoul K-Medi Center is 8 minutes walking distance from the station.
Address: 26, Yangnyeongjungang-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
2nd stop: K-Medi Cafe (한방카페)
K-Medi Cafe is an hanok-style oriental medicine cafe located next to the K-Medi Center building. You can find various healthy Korean food like K-medi beverages and desserts here. I ordered a herbal tea called 원건차. It has a bittersweet taste and refreshing scent of herbs. The cafe has really nice seating and cozy environment, thus giving you the peace of mind that one needs after going through a hectic day. It was really great to relax over a cup of herbal tea and recharge your mind here.
3rd stop: Seoul Yangnyeong Market (서울약령시장)
Seoul Yangnyeong Market is the oldest and biggest oriental medicine market in Korea that sells various medicinal herbs. For your information, 70% of the oriental medicine traded in Korea goes through Seoul Yangnyeong Market. Also, as market is able to minimize distribution costs, the medicinal herbs sold here cost around 30% cheaper than elsewhere.
The street is full of the scent of herbs which smells kind of refreshing for me.
Also, it is worth mentioning that Seoul Yangnyeong Market is one of the shooting sites for the popular Korean drama Hotel Del Luna. In the episode 5 of Hotel Del Luna, Koo Chan-sung (played by Yeo Jin Goo) goes to this market to look for a pharmacy.
Seoul Yangnyeong Market is open from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
How to get there?
Walk out from Jegi-dong Station (Line 1, Exit 2). Seoul Yangnyeong Market is 4 minutes walking distance from the station.
Address: 10, Yangnyeongjungang-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul.
4th stop: Seonnongdan Altar (서울 선농단)
Seonnongdan, Historical Relic No. 436, is a shrine devoted to holding offerings to 신농(神農) Shennong, the god of agriculture, and 후직(后稷) Hujik, the god of grains, in wishing for the year’s good harvest. In Joseon dynasty, agriculture was the primary industry. The king performed a sacrificial ritual every year at Seonnongdan in an effort to enlighten people of the importance of agriculture. The Seonnongdan Altar was abolished during the Japanese colonialism and today only a four-square meter stone wall remains of the altar.
How to get there?
Walk out from Jegi-dong Station (Line 1, Exit 1). Seonnongdan Altar is 8 minutes walking distance from the station.
Address: 274-1, Jegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
5th stop: Seonnongdan History & Culture Museum (선농단 역사문화관)
Seonnongdan History & Culture Museum is a place where you can explore the history of Seonnongdan and Seonnongdaeje. It is a two-storey small museum; the B1 floor consists of exhibition hall that features the history of the Seonnongdan and Seonnongdaeje, while the B2 floor consists of Experience Space where visitors can experience the life and culture of the ancestors.
Trying out the Korean traditional clothing, hanbok is no doubt a must for a complete Korean culture experience. The Hanbok Experience Space in Seonnongdan History & Culture Museum provides vibrant colours hanboks where you can try on for free and take some pictures. A good thing about this musuem is there isn’t any staff around so you can feel free to pose and take photos without feeling uncomfortable, being “judged” by the others.
I tried on the male costumes as well. Did I look good on it?
Seonnongdan History & Culture Museum is open from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Do note that the museum is closed on every Monday.
How to get there?
Walk out from Jegi-dong Station (Line 1, Exit 1). Seonnongdan History & Culture Museum is 10 minutes walking distance from the station.
Address: 38 Muhak-ro 44-gil, Jegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
Read More: A guide to a healthy day in Dongdaemun-gu