Sunday, October 30, 2011

Korea 2011: Dongdaemun

Why visit: 24hrs shopping paradise at affordable prices
Recommended time to spend: One day
Nearest Train Stations: Dongdaemun History & Cultural Park {Line 2 or 4} OR Dongdaemun Station {Line 1 or 4}

This is a famous mecca in Korea for shopaholics. If you think that 9am-9pm shopping hours are not enough for you, then you have to visit Dongdaemun because although store opening hours vary, a lot of the shops here are open until 5AM daily {except for Mondays or Public Hols}. Some are even open 24 hours!!!!

On some nights, I took a stroll by myself while hubby and our little pumpkin rested in the hotel for the night. Even though the clothes in season were not suitable for Singapore weather, shops there sold practically everything else like accessories, shoes, bags, tidbits, electronics, toys etc. and there are even outdoor fashion shows and music concerts to enjoy :)

Dongdaemun is Korea's largest retail and wholesale shopping district. Major retail shopping centres include Doota {located within Doosan Tower}, Good Morning City, Hello apN and Migliore. All are walking distance from each other and have multilingual staff at the information desks at Level 1. However, individual store owners usually just speak a spattering of English so don't expect to converse with them much. There is a tourist information centre in front of Good Morning City or inside Doota though, and you can get your city maps & event information there.

For the wholesale shopping centres like Dongdaemun Shopping Complex, Migliore Valley, Gwanghee Fashion Mall and Heungin Stardom, they usually sell goods in bulk, and thus lower prices per piece. In the heart of Dongdaemun Market is Shinpyeonghwa Fashion Town, the largest wholesale market in Korea with over 1,200 stores! That alone should take you a few hours to go through...

Bargaining is allowed for most stores *grinz* If not, there will be signs saying something like "No Discounts" or "No Bargaining". The store owners will whip out their calculators once they know you don't understand Korean to show you the price in numbers, then you can gesture or tell them you want cheaper prices, and haggle over the calculator numbers heehee

If you in Dongdaemun, also check out the 2nd-hand book street at Pyeonghwa Market, Level 1 {sells book about 30% cheaper than usual bookstores} and Mukja Golmok, the food alley located between Dongdaemun Market and Jongno.

More posts on my Korean travels here.

What famous shopping areas do you have in your city?


Susan said...

Which mall would you recommend since there are so many of them with so little time? I've a feeling that I wouldnt be shopping for much clothes since it's winter season by the time I'm there.

Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

Thanks for sharing these posts. I'd never thought of travelling to Korea before but then I'd never thought of going to Japan before until I was sent for work; and I loved it! I like how you've given the place a personal touch with these posts. Look forward to seeing more. I might yet be enticed to visit!

Ai Sakura said...

Susan: To choose just one, I'd say Doota since it is like a "regular' large mall, clean and presentable. There's a great view from the top too with resting/eating areas. Some of the other malls are kind of narrow and look like individual "pasar malam" stalls under one roof. Not easy to go with kids who love to run and touch everything!

Veronica: If I could inspire one person to go visit a country they've never been before, that would be awesome. Stay tuned for more! :)

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

Oh, I can't wait to visit one day! I always wanted to travel to korea. Plus, this shopping day looks fantastic!

Grandma Bonnie said...

Sounds like a wonderful place to shop. Hope you have a great week.

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Unknown said...

Fantastic shopping! I would love to visit Korea someday.