Dongdaemun (Great East Gate), Seoul
There are slight differences between Migliore and Doota Mall.
Items in Migliore are cheaper and you can bargain.
There’s no tax applied in credit card payments in Migliore unlike in Doota Mall which is more convenient since you won't be thinking about your tax refund.
But usually, if you wish to use credit card as payment, you won’t have the discount. You’ll notice the store owners’ serious faces shaking their heads with a firm “NO discount” once you say you’ll be using your credit card. I asked the lady in the jeans shop why they prefer cash; she said that it takes a while to obtain their money in the bank. From what I heard, taxes are applied for credit card users in Doota Mall to maintain its facilities and they say that it's privately owned.
I believe Migliore is more comparable to the Platinum Mall of Bangkok and 168 Mall in Divisoria market in Metro Manila since you can have your bargains here and save more money!
I remembered a funny experience in Migliore, on a boots store… the seller can’t speak English so we really had a hard time understanding each other! But I can say he really did his best to provide any details we need to know before buying through sign language. That’s what I really like about the Koreans; they do their best to provide information. The retailer can just send me away from his shop instead of spending a hard time conversing with me. I'm so grateful to this guy, in the end, I was able to buy 3 different kinds of boots.
What to buy: One of the highly recommended budget shopping mall is the Migliore.
Migliore is located just around Dongdaenum, beside Doota Mall. Like the Doota Mall, Migliore offers a variety of dresses/apparels, boots, accessories, bags, etc.
You can bargain for the items you want to purchase just ask the store owners politely and charmingly… you should do it, if you want to save, haha!
another point for Migliore, no taxes applied on credit cards.
What to pay: Same in Doota Mall, the merchants prefer cash but the use of credit cards are still acceptable
you can get all sorts of stuff here. it's not really a shop but an area. there's a few big dept type stores...they're more like indoor swap meet type stalls. you used to be able to bargain with these people but now they set the prices so you can't. i found that if you venture outside and around the streets outside, you can get a lot of the same stuff cheaper. it's always good to be able to speak some korean but if not, just bring a calculator with you so you can punch in the price you want to pay... =)
Korea's largest wholesale and retail shopping district has 26 shopping malls, 30,000 specialty shops, and 50,000 manufacturers. Within the ten blocks of the market area, you can find silks, clothes, shoes, sporting goods, plumbing and electrical supplies, electronics, office supplies, toys and just about everything else imaginable.
The market was traditionally a night market and wholesalers once operated from 1:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Now, the area is open for 18 ½ hours a day from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., with some stores open 24 hours a day, although most stores close on Sundays and holidays.
What to buy: clothing materials, bedding, dishes and silverware' clothing, shoes, bags, colored wigs, CDs, inexpensive jewelry, and other fashion accessories and a whole lot more!
(like in Namdaemun Market, you can find "Super Copy" Luxury Leather Goods like LV, Prada, Bulgari, etc here too!).
for latest fashion trends, you can go to Doosan Tower (Doota) and Migliore, which are today's hottest shopping areas for college students and teens in Korea (and way cheaper stuff than in Myeongdong!)
What to pay: again it depends on your haggling skills and the need of a korean interpreter.
There are many tiny shops in these malls, so you may have to come back again to shop if you are thinking only a few hours would suffice. Best for feminine young women clothes.
At Doota, many of the stores have tax refund, so get the tax refund receipt from them and claim from the tax counter at level 5. However, it's not a full cash refund, only half of the VAT. You'll need your passport, and credit card (as a guarantee they say) for on-the-spot cash refund at the tax counter. And you still need to chop and drop the form in at the customs counter at the airport. If you don't do the latter, they'll charge the VAT right back to your card. (ah, so that's the guarantee they were saying)
At migliore, there's more sizes up to L and XL (doota's almost only s-m sizes)
Cash payment will also give you a better price compared to paying by credit card, like 10,000won cheaper sometimes. Stores in migliore give discounts, so you can bargain. Doota mall is fixed price.
What to buy: Doota mall - everything? It has different floors for mums& babies, career, men, accesories, children, casual.
Migliore - mainly young women's fashion. Think Bangkok's Platinum.
Cute umbrellas at Doota's 5fl! my fave =)
What to pay: Varies. A dress usually ranges from 50,000 - 80,000won. Jackets are slightly more expensive, and can go up to 120,000won. A top is like 15,000 - 40,000won. Bags and shoes around the same - I bought a bag for 53,000 won.
Right inside the Dongdaemun stadium there's a flea market where you can find: steel chopsticks, sex toys, old records, handicrafts, seconhand clothes and the list goes on.
Also, there are some eateries that may give you a more authentic kind of food.
Across from the stadium you find more Western style shopping malls full of the new Hip Hopish Korean fashion and other more mundane things to buy.
Here is one of the centers of life in Seoul, the bustling market district around the East Gate, or Tongdaemun. Different sections have different merchandise--everything from clothes to electronics to housewares to you-name-it. These stores stay open almost all the time, so something is always going on here.
Also spelled Dongdaemun.
What to buy: Everything under the sun is here.
What to pay: It's been so long, I couldn't say how costly it is.
DongDaeMun (East Gate) is the place to go for relatively cheap shopping. There are huge fashion mall/department stores like Migliore, Freya Town
This is a major local market selling all kind of goods no matter wet or dry. It is also very interesting site of local people watching about their daily life too