It is no exaggeration to say if somebody wants to feel something strongly Korean, he or she is unfailingly recommended to visit Insa-dong,'' said Shin Chul Kyun, a 38-year-old South Korean working in an office near Insa-dong.
Shin said he often visits traditional Korean restaurants in Insa-dong and when he meets with friends he ''feels like Korean tradition is still staying alive.
In (South) Korea, Insa-dong, as a kind of cultural asset, is exactly one of those streets.
And even though some in South Korean society demand only traditional Korean sensibility be retained, many accept burgeoning modernity and have heartily welcomed the Starbucks coffee shop that opened in Insa-dong earlier this year.
And many people argue it exactly this mix of Korean traditional culture standing side by side with the newest foreign influences that will keep Insa-dong alive as an attraction for both foreign tourists and local people.
For others though, the recent opening of an Italian restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, Vietnamese tea house and an Indian-styled restaurant are all pluses making Insa-dong a must-visit part of the South Korean capital.
Some foreign residents and visitors, like David Stokes, complain Insa-dong has lost its original taste and uniqueness because of the influx of modern culture.
My friend strongly recommended that I visit Insa-dong, but I was somewhat disappointed to see the area has become too modernized,'' Stokes, a 29-year-old Australian, said.