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Night Shopping Tour in Seoul
"You will start your night shopping tour when you are picked up at your hotel and go to the Myeongdong Fashion Street. The Myeongdong Fashion Street is one of the busiest places in Seoul and is among Korea’s premier shopping destinations. Over 1 million s Myeong-dong market has been a witness to Korea’s tumultuous modern-day history as a center of city politics economy and culture.After seeing the Myeongdong area you will check out the Dongdaemun Doota Shopping Mall which is a fashion mall full of trendy fashion items. There are 540 stores throughout the 8-story building including designer shops select shops
From $90.00
 
Korean Demilitarized Zone and Dragon Hill Spa Tour
"Hotel pickup for this tour will be at 8 or 8:40am in Seoul. From there you will head to Imjingak Pavilion located at 50km northwest of Seoul. This pavillion was built for 5 million people who had lost their homes. Major facilities include the North Hall where you can get a view of the North Korean lifestyle.After the Imjingak you will head to the DMZ a demilitarized zone formed after the Korean War between South and North Korea. It is 2km wide in the North and 4km wide in the South based on the truce line crossing the Korean Peninsula. Visitors can see that the DMZ area’s ecosystem has been preserved you will go to the third infiltration tunnel which was discovered in October 1978. This tour will show you through the 3rd underground tunnel that North Korea which has been continuously provoking the South since the armistice
From $160.00
 
Seoul History and Culture Small-Group Tour
"Experience both the urban modernity and historic traces of Seoul on a three-hour walking tour. Meet your local guide and head to Bukchon Hanok village a residential area dating back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). The village is lined with hundreds of hanoks (traditional Korean houses). Walk along the quiet alleys and admire the latticed windows and patterned brick walls. Today many of these hanoks operate as cultural centers restaurants and tea houses providing an opportunity to become immersed in traditional Korean culture.Next visit the Tteok Museum a unique museum detailing the history
From $52.00

Itaewon Tips (14)

Mafia Stuff In Itaewon.

I normally feel pretty safe in Seoul, even in Itaewon. Rarely if ever do I put myself in a position to find trouble, and even less often do I go out looking for it. That's not to say that it doesn't happen though.

Itaewon can be a lot of fun, but there is also a bit of risk if you are all alone. Take for example my Russian Mafia story from my 2001 trip.

I was coming back from having my Bulgogi Pizza at the Pizza Hut in Itaewon and decided to walk some of it off. I figured I would walk down to the Hanvit Bank and catch a taxi home. Instead, I was cornered by some Russian men who (very persuasively) insisted that I join them upstairs at a strip club with real Korean women. I was escorted up a large amount of stairs by four very large men and made to pay a cover charge. Soon, I was in a dark room with two other men who looked scared to death. All three of us were at tables far apart from each other, and a group of russian women were all seated in a corner. Not sure why, but a record was put on, and they took turns going over to a shower curtain where they would change into a bathing suit and then to a small platform where they would gyrate for a few minutes to the music.

Unique Suggestions To continue the story. This continued for about an hour as bills for beer and a plate of fruit I never ordered appeared. Finally a young Korean woman showed up, shaked herself in a bathing suit and flirted with the Russian guys. I made a dash for the restroom and left when the coast was clear (naturally leaving the bills paid for, so as not to incur the wrath of these guys.)

In short, if you see a bunch of men grouped together and trying to get people to go into a building, give them a wide path. Also, try not to make eye contact and just keep going in the direction you were, without stopping. If this doesn't work, not sure what to tell ya. But I would avoid be persuaded to go into strange buildings with large groups of strange people who apply pressure to you.

Fun Alternatives For the most part, I found Itaewon to be a safe place to hang out. And if you were there with locals, or groups of people you won't have any trouble. Best alternative is not to go around alone, but if that isn't possible, just keep you eyes open and avoid anything suspicious.

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kdoc13
May 24, 2004

Itaewon

Do not shop for souvenirs in Itaewon unless you have money to burn. If you do decide to shop here, be sure to barter. If you start at half the marked price, you may end up with a fair price.

Itaewon does have a huge variety of souvenirs such as faux mink blankets, traditional masks, paintings and drawings, lamps, pottery, and just about anything else you can think of... Prices are just cheaper elsewhere. In Songtan, 45 km to the south, most things are about 1/2 price. In Insa-dong just a few km north, quality is much higher. Even in Namdaemun, things are typically more authentic and higher quality, while at lower prices.

Itaewon does have a large number of name-brand American stores such as Nike, North Face, Columbia, and Reebok, but prices are very high, even when compared to the states. You can often find better prices just by shopping online.

Fun Alternatives Any of the smaller cities throughout Korea have much less expensive shopping.

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Ewingjr98
Dec 15, 2007

Only if you're craving western food

The shopkeepers may speak some English, but the items are over-priced. Not worth the subway ticket. The atmosphere seems forced and disengenous, as though the whole place was designed solely for foreigners.

Unique Suggestions I understand that the western restaurants here aren't bad, but I didn't have the opportunity to try them out. I went in the morning when it was dead, but I hear nightlife here can get interesting.

Fun Alternatives I think Insadong has much more of a traditional shopping atmosphere, although it's not much cheaper. And if you're looking for a real bargain, Dongdaemoon or Migliore may be a better bet.

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pranayama
Oct 24, 2004

Itaewon- visit once, then try visiting Korea

Itaewon is either a blessing or a curse, depending upon what sort of traveler you are. If you are a typical American, having little interest in culture or assimilating, then by all means, yes, head to Itaewon. Some of the tailors speak better English than you. You can find Western-style lunch on every corner, often over $20.00 for lunch (ask before you get it- a mistake I made several times). Personally, I don't like Itaewon at all- I feel ill when I am there. They are selling goods on the street for often more than triple what it cost them in Dongdaemun. They do speak English, but are very pushy, and don't mind getting upset if you don't buy their goods. I advise letting James, the tailor, give you his spiel. There's also that Pavoratti tailor, hah, but James- I thought he was an American Porsche salesman, he was that good. But $260-420 for a suit is steep- they are $110 in Pyongtaek or Osan; also, I don't like how the Koreans in itaewon make up these silly Romanized names, like "John Steadman," as I feel that it presume that Americans are too ignorant to remember or pronounce Korean names. I was unhappy with the food everywhere, as it is so overpriced, except for Korean food. If you are nervous when you first get to Seoul, this should be your first destination, and hopefully, your only visit. A good primer, if you are afraid to deal with the locals.

Unique Suggestions You can find an Outback, Starbucks, Paris Baguette (the awesome Korean bakery chain), Baskin Robbins, Subway, Taj Mahal Indian food, and Taco in Itaewon, and of course, McDonalds and Burger King. Definitely go to the Burger King, so you can appreciate how much better it tastes in the US, but also, the unique, multi-step trash-disposal (pour out your liquids, cups go here, paper goes here, leftover food goes here- damn they are efficient). Truly, a Western haven, if you can afford it and don't want to venture anywhere else (or late at night, when many deals elsewhere become available). Otherwise, it seems to be controlled by jaded Korean street vendors, peddling counterfeit wares at marked up prices. If you have to shop there, they do have Burberry scarfs, some Burberry shirts (they are REALLY nice), Polo shirts and sweaters, designer belts (Gucci, Cartier, &c), Prada jackets, Chanel everything (bags, wallets, jackets), Coach, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Armani, and any other designer label that exists, in most forms. Go to Taco, which is on the road perpendicular to Itaewon, for a cheap burrito (plan to wait 30 minutes though) in an othewise expensive area.

Fun Alternatives Alternatives? Anywhere else in Seoul. Dongdaemun, Myong Dong, Seoul Station, Yongsan Station, Hongdae.

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ShaneBarber
Dec 19, 2005
 
 
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Itae Won

I do not know why so many tourists fall for this poor excuse of a market. It?s not even a third of the size of the 'Dongdaemun Market' and 'Namdaemun Market.' In fact, the only reason I visit it is that I was near the area. Its a few minutes walk from the War Memorial and since I was done early I walked to Itae Won to see what I was missing. Indeed, I wouldn?t have missed much. I wouldn?t buy anything in here folks for you can get it cheaper on the other markets.

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darthmilmo
Mar 21, 2004

itchywan

Ahh Itaewon... Love it and hate it. Don't be fooled ~~almost everything here is marked up in price! From photo development to tea sets. The replica antiques shop under Helios seems to be on the up and up though. There are also alot of prostitutes and girly bars up on the hill.

Unique Suggestions But as far as foreign food- it can't be beat for quality. Great Thai, Indian, Italian, French food places as well as foreign food supermarkets offer reasonable prices. (since you can't get them anywhere else!)

Fun Alternatives If you're looking for souveneirs- insdie the Mall in Namdaemoon has much better selection and better prices. Insadong also has many beautiful things- but is also pricy... better value than Itaewan though.

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itsCharlie
Jan 28, 2007

Not really Seoul

We walked through on the way to the Korean War Museum. I was pretty shocked to see how americanized this area was. On the outskirts it's your basic Korean neighborhood. But, the more touristy parts are not worth going to at all. Most of the people we saw were western and probably soliders (not that there is anything wrong with that, but not really a reason to travel). Stay away unless you know someone on the base. There are much nicer places to spend your time.

Unique Suggestions Get off Itawon St. and into the back streets. Atleast you can experiance a true Seoul meal there.

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slang75
Sep 07, 2004

itchywan

Ahh Itaewon... Love it and hate it. Don't be fooled ~~almost everything here is marked up in price! From Photo delevopment to tea sets. The antique replica market under Helios seems to be on the up and up though and prices are reasonable. There is also visible prostitution on the hill and girly bars scattered around if this offends you.

Unique Suggestions But as far as foreign food- it can't be beat for quality. Great Thai, Indian, Italian, French food places as well as foreign food supermarkets offer reasonable prices. (since you can't get them anywhere else!)

Fun Alternatives If you're looking for souveneirs- insdie the Mall in Namdaemoon has much better selection and better prices. Insadong also has many beautiful things- but is also pricy... better value than Itaewan though.

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itsCharlie
Jan 28, 2007
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jburron

"Welcome to The Land of Big Smog"
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Ewingjr98

"Return to Seoul"
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kdoc13

"Seoul - My favorite place on Earth!"
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AKtravelers

"Seoul: Energy in the Land of the Morning Calm"
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schwein

"Organized Chaos --> Seoul, South Korea"
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Clothes and such...

As you're traveling through, you'll have a number of people trying to convince you to come to their stores to get hand-made suits and shoes for ridiculously low prices. Some of these shop owners are very good, but some will sell you crap and you won't figure it out until you get home. You will also find fake Rolex, Tag Heuer, Ralph Lauren, etc. Some of the stuff you'll find (namely clothing) is the real deal, but for some reason it didn't pass the quality check by the company so local vendors sell it.

Unique Suggestions When buying those discounted Polo shirts, make sure the name is spelled properly (eg. Ralph Lauren and not Ralf Lavren). If ou're shopping for suits or other clothes, know what you're looking.

Fun Alternatives You can shop at the places where the locals shop for suits and shoes, but you'll generally pay more. Find a local U.S. military person there...they are usually there for one or two years and have scoped out the best places to buy quality suits and other clothes.

OneWill
Dec 19, 2004

If you ever find yourself in...

If you ever find yourself in an area full of americans, such as the Itaewon Clubbing District, or around the Yongsan U.S. Army Garrison, stay away from the parked cabs looking for customers! They target foreigners, and double their prices! Just stand on the street and hold your hand down and wait for another one.

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san_miguel
Aug 26, 2002

No Big Deal

My 1st time in Korea, read a lot about Seoul and Itaewon.
It is a very big let down, day and night. Its raining, and the fake apparels by the road side is not as I had expected. Compared to the sprawling bangkok with lots more everywhere. At night, the bars are too mild for my liking. I ended up early to bed and read the emalis.

Unique Suggestions I wanted to get a korean handphone as mine doesnt work in Korea.
Too bad, the salesmen dont speak english and they arent any cheaper back home in Malaysia or Singapore.
I went to 2 so called 'Guro and Gassan digital complex' on the metro map, got lost somewhere down in the metro changing trains. Both has NO digital complex anywhere near them!

I ended up just looking at stadiums, the sport complex which had a design Olympiad on, and the world cup stadium.

I like the area around Hongik Uni sation for shopping and nightlife, catering to the young koreans (there was a scuffle with police when I was there last night, but well under control).

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AudiA5
Oct 26, 2008

ITAEWON - As there is a major...

ITAEWON - As there is a major US Army base in the area, the shops here grew up to serve foreign clientele. The prices can be quite expensive but most of the shop owners can speak and understand English and Japanese. Get your souvenirs at Namdaemun Market instead!

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leonik
Aug 26, 2002

Things to Do Near Seoul

Things to Do

Cheong Gye Cheon - Man Made Stream

Cheonggyecheon steam is a nice place to escape a busy Seoul lifestyle. In fact, steam is located just in the centre but somehow you don't feel like you are in the centre. Magic There are many small...
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Things to Do

Korea House & Namsan Hanok Folk Village

At first there is no "entrance fee" completely open to public for free. In this village displays various household goods and furniture arranged in accordance with the times of which they were a part....
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Things to Do

Heunginjimun Dongdaemoon - Great East Gate

Dongdaemun is known for its shopping area, a place for a cheap clothing items in Korea. But actually means Great East Gate. This is more commonly called Dongdaemun Gate, first built in 1398. This was...
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Things to Do

Dongdaemun Market

I visited this night market during my last night in Seoul. I was not impresed as it was mainly a clothes market. The area though is great to walk around in the evening as it is surrounded by the big...
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Things to Do

Tapgol Park (Pagoda Park)

This is a crowded city centre park. Not so green, but with some interesting historical sites. Tapgol Park is built on the former site of Wongak Temple which was destroyed at a time when Buddhism was...
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Things to Do

Ongo-food Communication,- Day Tours

Why not take a cooking class? Learn to cook a Korean dish. That's what I did when I visited Seoul! It's a fun experience and something that you can bring home with you (new cooking skills) to enjoy...
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