For those looking for an extensive selection of music CD's, especially Jazz, there are four stores I recommend:
1) SKC Plaza - Myeongdong area; from the Cathedral walk down to the first corner, then turn right. The shop is not that large and is located on the right side of the street.
2) Music store at Anguk Station going to Exit 5 - smaller store; very quaint but the lady minding shop can converse in English and will help out.
3) Evans COEX - Large selection but the personnel are not helpful and can barely speak English. Just make sure you bring a list so that you can browse on your own.
4) Synarra Records - Sinchon Subway Station Exit 2 go straight down the road; it's at the end of an intersection. Large selection also and the personnel are very helpful, although barely conversant in English.
Avoid bookstores for CD's, even the large ones. The selection is limited and not updated.
perhaps more than any other product, lacquerware is a symbol of Korean craft. From small and large vases to wall units and chests, every piece is striking. The chests and larger furniture have intricate front designs often with inlaid mother-of -pearl. The last image is from our living quarters.
Apkujeong- where the rich go to play. As for shopping you can kind a few funky items with a little searching.. and if you've got the budget- you can find lots. You can get quality Brands like Ben Sherman at reasonable prices in little boutiques or brouse luxury department store Galleria to see how the other half live. It's mostly a nice area to wander around and enjoy the atmosphere. Also some good coffe houses, restaurants and bars for afterhours.
What to buy: Whatever you want.
What to pay: More than anywhere else.
Korea and silk are not usually associated, but stores selling bulk silk are found in every major city, usually purchased for ordering custom-made clothing or house decor. For you photo buffs, this image was obtained by the light of a 25 watt bulb using my Pentax SLR at fStop 1.2 at 1/8 second with wide open lens aperture.
Each Sunday in the Hongdae Park (we all know so well) the students bring out their art, jewlery, clothing and stuff to sell. It's a nice environment with a cool vibe and I've bought some nice gifts there.
What to buy: Clothing(new and used), Jewlery, Bags, Shoes, Art,
What to pay: reasonable prices
At the south of the Han River is a famous shopping area known as Lafesta which has several shopping complexes and various shops selling all kinds of stuff. This place is popular among teenagers and is usually crowded during the weekends.
At the Sinchon area of Seoul where there are many universities is the famous Sinchon Ladies Street area. This place consists of many streets lined with shops which selling women stuff ranging from clothes to shoes, accessories, handbags, hats etc etc. Very interesting place to do some serious shopping for ladies. I have 5 photos here and more photos are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
One of the best place to shop at Seoul is perhaps at Dongdaemun, especially the famous Doota shopping centre which has plenty of shops selling women stuff at very reasonable price and the shops opened until 11pm or more. If you are into serious shopping in Seoul, this is the place you should go.
Migliore is a department store on 8 resp. 9 stories that can be found in either Myeongdong or Dongdaemun. From jewelry, women's and men's clothing to shoes and handbags... in Migliore you're gonna find it.
There are dozens of private vendors on each floor, just like on a market.
However, be careful when shopping as not everything you see is real.
The remaining stories include restaurants, a bank, bar and offices... as well as (in Dongdaemun) a bicycle race track.!
What to buy: If you do not care much about great quality but still wanna have some almost-real designer fashion, Migliore is the place to go.
Some great deals are definitely possible and customer service is good. They even offer customizing services for pants, suits, etc.
What to pay: As most of the items are imitations you can expect relatively low prices. Bargaining is usually possible. The more you buy, the more you can discount the vendor..
Seoul Selection is part coffee shop, part bookstore, part music store, and part hang-out. The ingredients add up to a neat, fun, quirky little shop that is fun to visit and offers a lot to both foreigners and Koreans alike. For bookies, there are both new and used books, though the new books focus mainly on Korean content. They have the best selection of Korean books in English that I have seen anywhere, including the bigger chain stores.
What to buy: Books! I bought a great book on N.Korea from a foreigners perspective that I'm hoping to get to eventually. You can also buy DVDs, music, jewellery and a few other odds and ends.
The shop also has lots of pamphlets for free, and also Seoul's great English magazine (we received a free copy with our purchase).
What to pay: Similar to other bookshops. Book prices are pretty much the same everywhere.
On both sides of the street (on Sundays at least!), itinerant vendors lay out stalls and mats on the pavements.
Most of the merchandise says "Avoid me! I am crap!" rather loudly.
However, one guy, on the south side of the street had some very nice, very cheap and totally undecorated wooden kitchenware and tableware...chopsticks, bowls, rests, spoons.
I bought up a load and really made his day.
I'm sure everyone knows a place to buy this kind of stuff, but this was a particularly nice 'find' for me after a long walk through Changgyeonggung and Jongmyo.
What to buy: Woodent table and kitchenware
What to pay: 800-1000 won per item
This huge subterranean bookstore in the basement of the Kyobo Insurance building, has an impressive foreign language section at the back of the store. They do not have as many books on Korea as Seoul Selection, but they have a much bigger range of general books, and they have a lot of Japanese, French and German books as well.
Gyeong-dong Herbal Medicine Market, there was one of largest Herbal Medicine Market in Korea.Beginning in the early 1960s, items by oriental medicine clinics, herbal shops, and pharmacies. if you visit there by subway or bus and on foot, first of all come out herbals smell in this area.
Business Hours : 09:00 ~ 18:30
Closed : 1st & 3rd Sundays
What to buy: Oriental Medicine Herbals
This is the big department store that have everythings for shopping.
What to buy: Clothes, shoes, bags, toys, fashion accessories.
Silk screen panels are often custom made and can be acquired in any village or town of decent size. Outside of major centers, they can be extremely inexpensive..
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