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.
TechnoMart is a large shopping center, which has a shopping mall, discount stores, and a total of more than 2,000 electronic shops located from the 1st to 8th floor. You can purchase electronic products, computers, sound systems, communication equipment, CDs and much more. Each floor specialises in it's own product.
On the B2 floor there is also a large Lotte Mart department/grocery store where you can shop for clothes, groceries, home appliances, food and snacks at a reasonable price.
Above the 8th floor are many affordable restaurants and entertainment options.
On the 10th floor there is a CGV movie theater with a total of 2,000 seats. Also, a Dairy Queen! The only one I've seen in Korea; was nice to be able to get a peanut-buster parfait! :)
There is also a viewing area next to the restaurants, where you can go outside onto the roof and take in the view of Hangang.
Open at 10am.
Electronics stores close at 8pm, restaurants closed at 9pm, CGV cinema open late for movies.
Be aware: TM is closed every second and 4th Tuesday of the month.
What to pay: Items can be purchased at a 10-20 % lower price compared to other shops in Seoul.
You can haggle prices here. The better you are, the better the discount!
Shop around, too. The shops farthest away from the escalators offer the best prices...
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.
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..
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.
Most HRC I have been to are restaurants with a gift shop attached or within the restaurant. This is actually a night club with dancing. After viewing the map, I thought I could get off the # 4 Metro Line at Samgakji (428) and walk east on Itaewon to get there. Don't! It's tooo far, transfer to the # 6 line to Itaewon (630).
I collect HRC pins as you may have noticed on my various travel pages. Every once in awhile, I will also pick up a shirt or two. I always check to see if there are any HRC where ever I'm traveling to. This one in Seoul was due to open March 2008 but actually opened on April 16th, 2008! Just in time for my visit!
What to buy: American Food, Pins, Shirts, Hats.
What to pay: More than average. Two shirt and two pins cost me 110,00 WON (about $110).
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.
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.
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.
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
This is a relatively new mall. The architecture is very modern and hip. There are outdoor areas where often events are held. There's a great food court where you place your order at a central register after looking at all the pictures (just take a picture of what you want and bring it to the cash), pay, and then go into the food court and wait for your number to come up at the counter/outlet you think corresponds to the type of food you ordered. Did you know you could get cherry tomatoes on your sundae? And don't ask for a "sundae" - you'll get something else entirely!
There's also a movie theater in the mall.
The rail and subway station are in the same building so it's very convenient to shop here.
Across from the I'Park Mall is one of the Yongsan Electonics Mall buildings. Definitely worth a visit.
What to buy: I didn't actually shop here but I did notice interesting underwear stores and Asian toy stores.
Located to the south of the Han river, Apgujeongdong is the leading fashion mecca, formed as a cultural zone with a high propensity of consumption. It creates leading fashion trends, customer friendly shops, foreign brand name shops with high quality goods, reasonably priced hip hop fashion shops, and accessory shops. Its very popular with wealthy Koreans. There are many shops and restaurants concentrated around “Rodeo Street” Apgujeongdong.
What to buy: Rodeo Street is well known for its hip pubs and high fashion boutiques from designer to vintage clothing shops. It is a favored haunt of Korean celebrities.
I'm always surprised to see American businesses flourishing in other countries. 7 Eleven is a convenience store where you can buy quick food, drink, magazines and all types of other stuff that you wouldn't be able to get if the other stores are closed. In South Korea, the competition to 7 Elevens would be Storyway.
MYEONGDONG is pedestrian- friendly area in the heart of the city is loaded with departement stores, shopping malls and mid market apparel shops. Packed with shopping street and people symbolizes the ultramodern fashion and culture of Seoul.
NAMDAEMUN is Korea’s oldest open- air market; it has existed on this spot for more than 600 years. Just a few minutes from Seoul’s ancient Namdaemun gate ( Sunglyemun or South gate). Namdaemun market is permanently crowded and is open round the clock. It is a ‘must’ for bargain hunter.
DONGDAEMUN has recently become the largest apparel shopping area for young Koreans. While shopping, you can enjoy live performances and other events at the open stage of Doosan Tower, Freya Town and Migliore. Has more night time shoppers than day times, all looking for a better bargain
What to buy: Item you find during a trip become part of your memories. Visit the world-renowned fashion streets of Myeong- dong and Itaewon, the major wholesale district at Namdaemun and Dongdaemun market, the streets of Insadong full of traditionnal items. From arts and craft bade by artisan to the world-famous natural health food ginseng, the traditional costume ‘hanbok’, or the eye-catching array digital product.
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