Itaewon Street 1/1 by Tripoto
Liv Blessing
Itaewon Street is a designated area in the city where all the artisans and vendors come out to sell their wares. There are actually more than 2,400 shops (most really tiny) on the 1.4 km (4/5 mile) stretch. Originally, this area was where the military families stayed, so it largely caters to foreigners. Some businesses are high-end art galleries, others sell hand-made carvings. This is where you are going to want to grab all those knickknacks souvenirs for your loved ones back home. The Itaewon area is actually much larger, but Itaewon Street itself isn’t too long. Cars cannot drive on the street; it is foot traffic alone. Taxi drivers will dump you out at one end, and you just walk and wander your way down to the other, grab a taxi and head to the next destination. Tips • BARGAIN! Itaewon is bargaining central. Someday I’ll write about the tactics I learned while there (I was a total newbie), but the key is to stand firm. Examine the good and determine how much you think it’s worth. Try to undercut them, and they’ll refuse. Give in too soon, and you’ll pay through the nose. Just try to guess what you think it would be worth in the U.S. Odds are, it’ll be a similar price there. They mostly do it for the fun of the conversation and because some tourists aren’t willing to take the effort and lost a ton in the process. But they don’t enjoy that half as much as when they get a good argument out of it. You can almost always talk them down a couple thousand won, sometimes even more. Extra Information • Note that it usually closes down on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays each month.