I often stay in Jongno-gu when I’m in Korea. I love the winding streets, the architecture—and the doors! Just check out this beautiful door knocker on this well-used and weathered doorway:

Korean-Insadon-doorknocker

I’ve wandered these alleyways many times! They can feel like a maze, but you never know what you will find when you turn a corner. Here, the traditional often suddenly collides with the modern. You can find many amazing restaurants sequestered here, especially ones featuring traditional cuisine.

Insadong-Korea-sidestreet2

Insadong-Korea-sidestreet

Insadong-Korea-traditionalhouse

and love visiting Tapgol Park, a peaceful place beyond the bustle of the neighborhood. Here, no one is staring at their palms! Instead, this is the place where old people (like me?) retreat to listen to their radios and share stories beneath the watchful eyes of treasured monuments.

Insadong-Korea-tapgolpark

Then, if you get hungry, you can wander down the street to try traditional bungeoppang, which is traditionally shaped like a fish and filled with red bean past. However, in the Insa-dong tourist district, it’s shaped like . . . poo (they call it poo-dough) and comes in different flavors (one of them being, of course, chocolate).

Insadong-Korea-poodoughflavors

Insadong-Korea-poodough

Insadong-Korea-lee&poodough

In truth, this is one of my favorite places in the world, my home away from home.

I’m posting my door inspirations from around the world to celebrate releases of The Secret of Zoone (paperback – January 28) and The Guardians of Zoone (February 25).

Yes, there is peculiar food to be found in the worlds of Zoone, too! Ozzie and his friends sample many of it—but I recommend going to Insa-dong and trying the poo-dough before tasting “witch pie,” which has all kinds of disgusting flavors, such as worm intestines.

Purchase and preorder links for both Zoone books can be found HERE.

Zoonebooks-Bookshelf-basement

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