Quick trip to Sinchon sizzles with fun

by Paris Norris
Stripes Korea

Editor’s Note: Paris Norris is a former soldier turned student who is studying in Korea. She is chronicling her time on the peninsula in Stripes Korea and Korea.Stripes.com.

One of the greatest aspects of attending Yonsei University is the location of the campus. Adjacent to the main gate is the ever-lively area of Sinchon. The name literally means “new village,” but it is actually one of Seoul’s older areas.

Just off of line 2 (the green line) on the subway, one stop from Hongik and Ewah University stations, is Sinchon station. Exit the subway train and walk through the popular underground Uplex mall connecting to Sinchon Hyundai Department Store and find innumerable clothing stores, gourmet grocery items, like exotic cheese, and specialty boutique shops.

Take the escalator up and enter the teeming streets of Sinchon. Day or night, there consistently seems to be events happening, people dancing or musicians singing. Surrounded by other famous schools such as Ewah Women’s University, Sogang University and Hongik University, the area is especially popular among university students.

You’re guaranteed to find a little bit of everything in Sinchon, from exotic foreign restaurants, like AmmA Indian and Nepalian restaurant, bars like the famous Mike’s Cabin, bakeries, discount marts and trendy stores.

The streets are littered with barbeque and especially, chicken and beer restaurants. Chi-maek, literally meaning chicken and beer, is a dinner favorite among young people. In the mood to sing your heart out? Not to worry, there’s a noreabang (karaoke club) on every corner.

Sinchon also boasts its own theater district with Nosaek Theater, Yeonghwa-madang Theater, Sinchon Grand Cinema, and numerous other movie theaters all within short walking distance from the many exits of Sinchon station.

One of my all-time favorite features of Seoul in general, but particularly in Sinchon, is the street vendors. Street food in Seoul is some of the best food I have ever eaten. The vendors pop up around 4 p.m. and you can find anything from fried kimbap to waffles at a price that will make even the savvy shopper splurge.

My go-to is the chicken cart. Starting at $2.50, you can get a small cup filled with caramelized fried chicken, rice cake, and potatoes. Yum! A few of my other favorites in Sinchon are Po Chicken, they have some of the best baked chicken I’ve had in Seoul, Big Bread, a Belgian restaurant that will make you come back again and again, and Palsaek Samgyeopsal. Palsaek Samgyeopsal is a barbeque restaurant specializing in Samgyeopsal (pork belly), offering 8 different flavors.

I satisfy my sweet tooth with a trip to Ice Berry, a small café with a multitude of sweet treats, like the popular bingsu, frozen yogurt, gelato, toast, and various others. If I’m in the mood to relax, I head over to Nox bar, a quiet bar with premium drinks. The bar is most popular among locals, but I go for the atmosphere as well as the unique drink combinations. Whether living in Seoul, or just passing through, Sinchon is an area you don’t want to leave off your list.

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