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Nestled between the Bukchon Hanok Village and Changdeokgung Palace, it may be easy to write off the long stretch that is Gye-dong as a disposable tourist attraction— beautiful and worth seeing, but not worth revisiting. Indeed, the street is jam-packed with tourists with maps in hand, peering curiously at the restaurants with no menus outside and having their photo taken outside Choong Ang High School (a historical institution founded in 1908 during Japanese colonial rule and made famous by the drama Winter Sonata). Filled with residential hanoks and guesthouses at the end of each alley and small shops from the ‘70s, the neighborhood’s experienced a resurgence in interest by the local community recently. Examples of this are Joongang Bath, Korea’s oldest public bathhouse founded in 1969, which was taken over as a Gentle Monster showroom last year, and the fact that the twenty-somethings dressed in hanboks are mostly local Koreans and not tourists. Soundtracks from the cinemas waft onto the streets from bustling cafes themed around arthouse movies, and there’s an ironic sense of nostalgia as giggling schoolgirls dressed in hanboks take selfies with their smartphones in Gye-dong’s alleys. Be it through books, dress, cinema or history, there are plenty of small ways to escape from the everyday here in Gye-dong. It just might be the one tourist hub worth returning to.