Seoul is undoubtedly the most popular destination for tourists. And one of the main reasons, is due to how futuristic this big city seems to be. With their tall glass skyscrapers and even buildings that use advanced technology ㅡ such as LED screens ㅡ, meets the expectations of what we consider a big city from a first world country. But there is a part of Seoul that should not be missed. And it is those areas that keep the past alive, coexisting with the new era. While giving us a glimpse of how everything used to be back in the old days. Because despite of the huge development that this city goes through every day, the roots and history are kept as a memory in museums, photo studios, villages, etc. Take for example ‘Chungchoon 1st’ (청춘1번가). A recreation of the shopping streets in the 1960s and 1970s. And one of the few places where you can even wear a retro uniform for free in Seoul! A place meant to bring nostalgia to all of us.
Without further ado, let us travel to the past together!
Feel like in the old days
As we mentioned before, this place is a recreation of shopping streets in the 1960s and 1970s. And I can assure you that once you arrive, you will naturally teleport to the past. As how accurate is the design of these shops in comparison to the old images of retro Seoul, that we can find in museums. Because of that, it is not difficult to get into the role and feel as if you were back in that era. For sure, each of these stands will motivate you to pose and take some good pictures!
A great memory of your trip to Seoul
And why not? You can keep all these pictures as a great memory of your trip to Seoul! Plus it could be a quite unique experience. Since usually, tourists tend to visit the popular and common destinations that are already well known by everyone. But hardly explore to this extend of finding hidden gems such as this one. So why not coming here and making a memory that some of these travelers might not have done?
While this place might not be as popular among foreigners, it is at least known by locals. No wonder why some celebrities have also come to explore. Also, it is located inside the Seoul Folk Flea Market. Where even a Running Man episode was recorded before!
How to use the retro uniform for FREE?
Of course, to enjoy this experience to the full, it is recommended to wear one of the retro uniforms that they lend for free.
Not only do they have school and training uniforms, but also some accessories that you might need to complete the outfit. Such as wigs, hats and bags.
Rules and how to wear them
As expected, there are some simple rules that you must follow to use them:
- You can only wear it inside this area
- Put it back in place when you finish using it
- Ask the coffee shop manager where is the changing room (in case you don’t know)
Most importantly, you cannot go outside wearing it. If you do so, you might have some bad consequences. As this place has CCTV everywhere. But hey, the exhibition stands are enough. Since these show how Seoul used to look back then, perfect for retro uniform shots!
As for the changing rooms (탈의실), they look like the picture below:
Fortunately, there are some lockers where you can place your belongings. But in case that you do not trust enough to put your important stuff there, you can just use the school bags that you can take along the uniform.
You can take the uniform at the Photo Studio. Which is once of the first stands that you will come across.
Here, there is a nice mural painting where you can take a professional picture. Since there is a photography lamp available to use there.
Something that could not be missing is of course an arcade! As they used to be popular entertainment facilities back in the old days. Who did not rush after class to go and play a bit with friends before going home? Undoubtedly, brings a lot of memories!
And the best part is that you can actually use these machines! As they are there not only due to aesthetic purposes, but also to make you feel like a child once again. You just need a coin to immerse yourself in these iconic retro video games.
But if this type of entertainment is not for you, how about trying to play a Korean traditional game? Since they have plenty of them drawn on the floor.
Music will always be in our hearts despite of the era we are in! So if you are curious to hear songs of some popular artists of that generation, do not miss the chance to reproduce some of these LP records!
For all the manhwa and comic fans, this place will be a paradise! Since they have some of the old comics that used to be popular back then. And you can actually read them! However, these are in Korean.
Even if you just want to take a picture, I am pretty sure that you will take more time than usual. Because once you open one of these books, there is no going back. You will be mesmerized with the beautiful art of each page! How to not flick through?
It is important to mention that you cannot take out these comics. So if you want to read them, then you must sit there and immerse yourself in the world of reading.
Indeed, this alley would not be complete without a restaurant! Since as you may know, drinking and eating together is a way to socialize in Korea and become closer.
This stand was the most detailed among all! Just look at those empty bottles and traditional Korean dinnerware. So as those old posters that enhance the retro look of this place. It is simply beautiful overall!
Not for nothing, people take a lot of pictures right here. Plus it could be the perfect spot if you are coming with a friend. Since there are two chairs.
A funny thing that surprised us a lot, is that the coffee shop manager volunteered to take us picture. We could tell that he has experience taking photos of the visitors, due to how skilled he was! Are you sure these pictures were not taken by a photographer? Anyone would ask that themselves after seeing the photos.
If you are not convince of going yet, then I recommend you to read the next part! As I am sure, that it contains what you need to know to prepare yourself and visit right away. Do not miss the chance of wearing a retro uniform in Seoul for FREE.
Address: 2nd Floor Seoul Folk Flea Market 114-1 Sinseol-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 10:00am - 7:00pm everyday (Closed the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month) Website: Instagram
It is located inside the Seoul Folk Flea Market. Specifically, on the second floor. And you can reach from Exit 6 of Sinseol-dong Station, Line 1. So as from Exit 9 and 10 of Sinseol-dong Station, Line 2.
This is for sure a place where you can make some great memories from your trip to Seoul. Because this city not only stands out for its development, but also for how they preserve their history and past. So do not miss the chance to wear a retro uniform for free and learn about the old days in Seoul.
Have you been to Chungchoon 1st? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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