Tuesday, July 29, 2008


It's time to go shopping! Twice now this week I've happened to stop by one of Seoul's biggest outdoor shopping areas. This is the place to go. If you're looking for shoes, there are tons of street stalls selling all sorts of shoes for around 10,000 won aka $10USD. There are so many cute clothing stores, lots of American brands and Korean brands. Lots of carts in the streets selling socks and stockings (oh so many socks), purses, t-shrits, cold drinks, hot snacks, dried snacks, and anything in between. There are at least two movie theaters in this area, one near myeongdong station, and another in Lotte department store. There are all kinds of food to try here, in any price range. There are a lot of nice restaurants here, but there are plenty of cheep kimbap places and as I mentioned before, tons of street food. I saw two different mandu (dumpling) places with lines out the door waiting for a table. Maybe someday I'll go back and try it.. it must be good if they're lining up out the door. You can also just find a little bit of everything here, as this next picture illustrates. These are cartoon characters on springs. They bounced up and down from the ceiling. It was very entertaining. I actually bought myself a hello kitty key chain from this same vendor.

Oh, I also wanted to mention Lotte department store. The one by Myeongdong, although I assume that other locations would be the same, is very high class. First floor is all uber nice brands, like Gucci and Yves Saint Laruant (not positive on that spelling). Next floor up is very expensive stuff... sorry, can't remember brands.. all I know is that I was seeing shirts for more than 300,000 won, and a fur jacket for 1,500,000 won. Third floor was all nice brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren and Club Monaco. There was at least one more floor, probably more, but I couldn't bring myself to go any further up.

Oh, and while you're in the area of Myeongdong, you should walk a few more blocks and you'll find yourself in Namdaemun market. This is a more traditional market with lots of bargaining with street sellers. (actually, this area reminded me alot of Patronato in Santiago, but with much tighter streets and a bigger variety of things to buy.) Hopefully I'll have a post about Namdaemun someday when I have more time to explore. I did manage to buy myself a set of ten (Korean.. aka metal) chopsticks... since somehow my apartment doesn't have a single pair.

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