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TravelThings To Do
Discovering new hideouts in the Korean capitalEscape the city rush at Seoul's Suyeon Sanbang
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승인 2011.05.14  19:47:13
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▲ Photo by Gregory B. Curley

Throughout much of my stay here in Korea, I’ve always made a habit of venturing around and trying out new areas and places every weekend. Sunday would be the day to roam around the city and discover new hideouts. One such place is an amazing teahouse I seem to find myself returning to time and time again.

Set inside a beautifully preserved hanok, or traditional Korean home, and surrounded by a garden, Suyeon Sanbang remains my favourite teahouse in the city. It is simply a great place to visit should one wish to get away from the hurried urban way of life.

The construction is unique. Inside, the living quarters, referred to as anchae, are very elaborate in detail. The main wooden-floored hall entrance, or daecheong, is bordered by two living rooms, or seating areas, on either side. This makes for an intimate setting and equally relaxing atmosphere. There is even a decorative veranda where seating is made available during the warmer months.

What makes Suyeon Sanbang so distinctive in nature, other than its favorable location, is its practical use of space. It is here where Sangheo (pen name) Lee Tae-jun, one of Korea’s better known authors, penned many of his more notable literary works between 1933 and 1946.

Getting there: Take subway Line 4 to Hansung University and get out Exit 6.

Canada-born Gregory B. Curley is a professional photographer based in Seoul. His work has appeared in The Korea Herald, SEOUL Magazine, Elle, MTV, 10 Magazine, Morning Calm, CNNGo and CNN. You can find his work at hermithideways.com and on twitter.com/gregorycurley.

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