The best shopping ever!! Okay, so this isn’t really where you’ll find purses (as I discovered the hard way–head for Itaewon), but it is the place to get clothes. And jewelry. And great snacks. And shoes, yes most definitely shoes. Okay, so if you are a clothes shopper, here is the place to go. You’re going to have your nice stores on one hand (more like Myeongdong) and then you’ll have the bargain stores. The bargain stores are the absolute best. They are filled with stall after stall of dresses, scarves, jeans, t-shirts, sweaters, coats, jewelry, hats, headbands, etc. This is technically one of the largest Korean shopping ares. It has 26 shopping malls, 30,000+ specialty stores, and boasts more than 50,000 manufacturers. This means that in the 10 blocks that make up Dongdaemun, you can find just about anything you want. You will even find silk fabrics, office supplies, toys, books stores, food, etc. So you will definitely want to save some money for your visit to this area!! Popular stores include: Doosan Tower/Doota, Migliore, APM • You can tell whether or not it’s a bargain store by looking at the product arrangement and the number of clothes. It looks like a flea market threw up clothing in the cheap stores, the others are more nicely laid out. Tips Bargain!! o I cannot emphasize this enough. Just like Itaewon, this is a bargaining locale. The really nice places no, but any of the mass/wholesale stores are really bargaining locations. If they don’t have prices on the clothes, you’re meant to bargain. o Once again, try to get them to make the first move. When they state a price, you just state what you think it’s really worth. Don’t try to cheat them, but don’t go above what you think is reasonable. If it looks like a $10 shirt and they are asking $60, don’t budge. You may pay $12, but that’s a far cry from $60. My friend and I were looking at a cute overshirt that I would expect to pay maybe $12-$15 max in the US for. The Saleswoman
Namdaemun is the south gate of Seoul. It is also called Sungyemun gate. It is located at Exit A of Namdaemun market. Took us quite some time to navigate and ask around before managing to find our way out of the humongous market and reach Namdaemun! It’s a piece of history buried in the city and modern landscape. A constant reminder to Korean and tourists alike that Korea has a lot of history and been through a lot over the years to be at where it is now.
Day 10: Seafood and Underground ShoppingThe tour buses don't run on Mondays, so we had to get around on our own today. It was also raining, but that didn't stop us from wanting to visit Jagalchi Market. We read a lot about this market and couldn't wait to order and eat some fresh seafood. What you do is you order food on the first floor of the market and the store owners will bring it up to a restaurant on the second floor for it to be cooked. That was the plan, but we got a bit lost finding Jagalchi Market after we got out of the train station, and found another seafood market just by the sea. It was an open air market so we knew it wasn't Jagalchi Market (which is indoors). We saw huge slabs of all kinds of seafood laid out in front of a whole line of stores, manned by bad-ass ahjummas. These middle aged ladies made chopping an octopus that was half my body length look so easy. It was amazing walking along this stretch, avoiding the pools of squid ink on the floor, and gawking at the scaled, tentacled, and slippery produce.We eventually found Jagalchi Market around the corner. Somehow the indoor market on the first floor didn't look as exciting as compared to what we had just seen. We walked up directly to the 2nd floor to eat. But, based on what other people have told me and what I've read, visiting the market on the first floor is fun too! So do pay it a visit.It was still raining after lunch, so we didn't go to Gamcheon Culture Village as planned. We ended up heading to Lotte Mall, which was 14 storeys high! Not all of the floors were for shopping though.