For all of you who have a fascination with malls (I personally love people watching) you need to check out Lotte World. Being from the west, it has been a little surreal for me watching the way this little beehive works! On weekends, the whole store is packed with people. There are dozens of staffers on each floor to help you select your merchandise. The food floor buzzes with activity. It's loud, it's pushy, and it's pretty fun to be part of the circus. Lotte World is really easy to find. If you're taking a bus, just look for the 4-story high statue of two racoons standing on top of a planet!
What to buy: While it's fun to visit, everything you can find at Lotte can be found for a better price somewhere else. A few things worth doing at Lotte: check out a movie, for pretty cheap and also head for the 9th floor if you're jonesing for some Western style food. You can find Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and TGIFridays, along with a Pasta shop and the McDonald's style Lotteria.
What to pay: A lot! If you do buy anything at Lotte, even the food, you can expect to pay double or more what you would pay in Nampo-Dong or any other shopping district. The Western food is probably the only thing you'll find that costs the same no matter where you buy it in Busan.
Gukje Market features a variety of goods at a cheaper price than other places. Local people say there is nothing that cannot be found at the market, as it has everything including daily necessities, apparel, foods and home appliances. This makes Busan’s Gukje Market almost equivalent to Namdaemum Market in Seoul. Closed on 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month.
Subway line 1 Jagalchi stn exit 7
CHORYANG FOREIGNERS MARKET
Subway line 1 Busan stn exit 5
NAMPO-DONG STREET In the vicinity of Nampo-dong Street you can find Jagalchi Fish Market and Choryang Arcade for Foreigners. This well sought after area is flourishing with not only theaters, but many kinds of shops and eateries as well.
Subway line 1 Nampo-dong Station
The Gukje Market is everything good about Korean open air markets. The market is huge, probably 8-10 square blocks of shopping. There are tons of little alleys to get lost down, lots to see, and tons of people to jostle around with. The best thing about Gukje is that you can find anything you might want, and it's ultra-cheap.
Bartering isn't a really standard practice, from what I've found. You can try, but generally everything is already really inexpensive, so I don't feel the need (I know, you're thinking this is a major sin for future travellers). If you're not willing to pay something for an item, just walk away. You might be offered a better deal, or you'll likely find it cheaper elsewhere.
What to buy: Anything - clothes, accessories, pottery, housewares, electronics, alcohol, imports, etc etc etc....
It's not all great quality, particularly the clothes, but it's cheap, and you can get lots!
What to pay: Although the market is full of inexpensive vendors, you can spend a ton of money! Clothes (shirts) run between 5000-20000 W, alcohol is cheap, under 20000 W for a litre of Bacardi rum... etc.
Paradise Duty Free Department store is located adjacent to Paradise Hotel. It is a 4 story mall, with dozens of stores. Opening hours are 9:30am to 7:00pm daily.
During checkout, you must give your departure information and passport. The delivery point of your articles will be a pick-up desk located past security of your international departure gate.
Available pick-ups are at Busan/Gimhae airport, Incheon airport, Jeju airport, Gimpo airport, and even Busan's Ferry terminal.
What to buy: Any and all department store name brands. They have everything from sunglasses to tailored suits, perfumes, jewelry and casual clothes.
What to pay: Typical department store prices, minus the taxes
Lotte is like Macy's in the U.S. There are SEVERAL in Busan. But unlike Macy's, Lotte has greeters at the door that will ask politely not to take any photos in or around their store. I didn't visit South Korea to go shopping. So, I didn't venture into one of these stores but seem to walk past them all the time.
What to buy: Expensive, name brand merchandise
A famous Marketplace of Busan
In the small villages or rural areas around Korea, there used to be open-air markets that open every five days, so known as Five-Day Market. Little kids always got excited the day before each market opened. These markets were one of the few things that allowed the people from these villages to see things outside of their own neighborhood. They served as entertainment, shopping, social gathering, and festival for the whole village.
The traveling medicine salesmen were more suave and chatty than comedians of today, and circus clowns and acrobats showed up with their monkeys to perform tricks. Then there was the gambler, who dealt cards and marbles. Swift with hands, he always won and the old men who were deceived always lost their money. The kids are watching all these, and they move onto the cracker popper, their ears in their hands, anxiously waiting for that enormous sound of 'Pop!'. signaling the delicious crackers are ready.
Everyone is into making deals, their voices flying high, sometimes resulting in brawls. Some old woman dress up in their best dresses to appear at the market. The Five-Day Market is a cross-section of life in a small Korean village. But modernization came to these towns too. Sales outlets, large supermarkets came. Buses take people to larger nearby cities for shopping. And there are fewer Five-Day Markets these days.
What to buy: Gupo Five-Day Market opens on the 3rd and the 8th of each month. Along the big road where the buses pass, old woman spread the autumn harvests they have brought from their fields. The various dates and grains in little vinyl bags are fruits of their old hands. Lettuce, wild herbs, and codonopsis, along with beans, sesames, garlics, peas, chestnuts, and walnuts are there. Dog sellers, pastries bakers, candymen, knife sharpeners, etc..
What to pay: 10,000 Won ~ 50,000 Won
The Gukje markets lacks some character, unlike typical Asian markets. Here you will find almost anything you need though the quality isn't so good and it's a bit repetitious, but certainly worth an hour or two. It is however a good place to look for and buy good quality Korean handicrafts, kitchen items etc. Korea is a cheap country generally for shopping since the won has weakened in the past year.
What to buy: Almost everything locally produced and imported.
these 2 area in the Southern end of Pusan
used to B THE major shopping district
untiL subway hubs in the North started forming at the end of the Century .
KwangBok Dong still is known for its "underground" market
of unofficiaLLy imported goods mostly from Japan and the U.S.Base,
whiLe NanPo Dong still retains its symboL as Pusan's "Camera Alley"
THE major shopping district has moved to SeoMyon
as it became the subway hub of Pusan
(but with only 2 lines intersecting)
with the coming of the MiLLeNNiuM .
with the prestigious Lotte HoteL & Department Store Complex to the West
and WhoLeSaLe MiLeore Building to the East
the most popuLar shopping street is its UnderGround Alley
leading South from the SeoMyon Subway Station
(where major movie theatres & bookstores line, up, on the ground)
Busan has many different Department Stores of course Lotte being the better known. If one is in search of quality imported foods and beer or wine go to either of the two French owned Carrefour Deparment Stores - located in Beomnaegol (Seomyeon) or out at Jangnim-dong (Saha). There is also Mega Mart in Dongnea which has a reasonable range - but don't expect the Albert Hien, Woolworths or Safeway range of products!
Here there are many small family owned businesses located along the road, possibly one day to be in the shaddow of the proposed Lotte Tower, "kind" of under construction. Interesting natural and traditional medicines are displayed outside and inside shop windows.
What to buy: Looking for dehydrated frogs by the dozen or does dried millepede neatly tied up in string fancy some of your favorite things, head towards the Yeongdo Bridge. There are of course less striking medicinal herbs etc on sale, such as might I say Korean ginseng or humble cinnamon.
There are some great bargains to be had in the markets. I picked up enough T-shirts and socks to supply me for the next year or so!
My wife also got herself a new pair of glasses custom made for a good price.
If you want a fake 'big-name' item...FENDI, GUCCI...whatever...Korea has it...shoes, bags, clothes, jewelry...for cheap cheap cheap.
Clothes are made in small sizes...for little people. If you're not a little person then expect great difficulties finding your size.
Upscale stores, duty free shopping. From 09: 30am to 7:00pm. Lots of nice stores but extremely expensive.
What to pay: A lot. Men's shoes were US$300 - US$500.
Gukje market is a colourful street market in downtown Busan. The stalls sell all sorts of cheap goods, including clothes and electronics and food.