I had some fantastic hot chocolates in Seoul. I also had some very strange ones. The strangest was by far Ddo-dong Cafe, so strange in fact that I felt I needed to share this with you. When I say they have a bit of everything in Seoul I really mean it. And the beauty of Seoul is that it is all mixed together, the old the new, the traditional, the strange. I spent a lot of time in Insa-dong. There are little shops, traditional tea shops, Korean bbq restaurants, local handmade sweets. In the middle of it all is a four storey open shopping plaza called Ssamzie-gil Market. If you walk through the entrance and to the back left corner, hidden out of view is a tiny elevator. Take it to the top and you can walk around the whole mall back down to the entrance. There are no stairs, it is a spiral lined with all sorts of interesting stores.
But right at the top of the elevator is a café that sells all of its food and drinks in little mini toilet seats. Yes you read correctly. Ddo-dong is Korean for Poop so this is the Poop Café. And this isn’t even the only one in the world, there is another one in the very civilized city of Toronto in Canada. Who would have thought? They have little stuffed poo shaped toys sitting on every other table and little poo shaped decorations hanging throughout. I know this is a “thing” (they sell poo shaped cookies too down on the first floor) but it isn’t a “thing” I have ever followed. The kicker is that the place was very very popular with both the young and old. One couple was feeding their young baby some food out of a toilet shaped bowl. What more can I say other than the hot chocolate was very sweet, not very chocolaty and most importantly, the only thing that was not served in a toilet seat much to my disappointment (strangely).
This is definitely not the highlight of Insadong, far from it. The highlights of Insadong are hidden in the little alleyways off Insadong-gil, the main through road that is just for pedestrians. Watch the men in the little sweet dragon beard stands pulling honey into amazingly thin strands dusted in icing sugar. There are several stores selling calligraphy materials including large brushes. All the little independent stores offer little treats that make much better souvenirs than in the tourist centers. There are traditional tea houses serving a menu of teas that will cure any ailes. Insadong has it all.
Verdict: Just another day in amazing Seoul. Poop Cafe, Ssamzie-gil Market, 44 Insadong-gil, Seoul, South Korea