Sunday, 15 February 2009

Dongdaemun Market


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Dongdaemun Gate is also known as the Great Eastern Gate.
The historical gate was built in the Joseon Dynasty.

We still have so much to share from our trip to Korea. On Pepero Day last year, K-popped! Trio ventured to Dongdaemun in Seoul.

Dongdaemun means "Great East Gate" and it was so named because it was a major eastern gate in the wall that surrounded Seoul way back in the Joseon Dynasty. Dongdaemun is a.k.a. Heunginhimun (Gate of Rising Benevolence). We were there at Dongdaemun one sunny autumn morning.

Besides being a major landmark in Central Seoul, Dongdaemun Market is also located here. You will find large wholesale market for shoes and textile in this area.

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The wholesale shoe market is a huge
attraction at Dongdaemun Market

On one side of Dongdaemun Station is a long row of shoe shops. Shoes ranging from women's pumps and stilettos, men's leather shoes, sport shoes to bright pink furry boots can be found here. The shoes are mostly made in Korea or China and are not the branded kind you find in high end department stores.

Price is reasonable and could be a steal if you have good bargaining skills. We didn't dare try to bargain nor did we walk away with a single pair between the three of us. Although there were thousands of pairs displayed (or piled up in some cases), we didn't find any that caught our attention.

The other side of Dongdaemun Station houses shops selling textile ranging from towels, quilts, blankets, bed sheets, hair accessories, yarn, ribbons, buttons etc. We also saw many stores selling fake fur in the shape of round furry balls or long fur stoles.

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Liz and Rooster checking out the fake fur shop

At the Dongdaemun Underground Shopping Center, you will find more shops. This is the place to order your tailor-made hanbok (Korean traditional dress) if you so feel inclined to bring it home with you.

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Order your hanbok from Dongdaemun Underground Shopping Center.
Many seamstresses wait to serve you at their little shops.

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Colourful accessories (scrunchie) for your hair.
It was so cheap! 10 of these for a mere KRW1,000 (around USD1). Ten!
In retrospect, i regret not bringing some back for family and friends.

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Kitchen hand towels (designed in Korea, made in China) on the left.
Fluffy bath towels on the right. You will find them aplenty at Dongdaemun.

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Buttons of every size, design and colour...

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Korean made sequined flowers and accessories at Dongdaemun Market

Read more about K-popped! in Seoul


oasis27 said...

Visited the place a couple of years back while attending a seminar. I went with this Malaysian girl I met at the seminar. She snagged herself a lovely winter coat at a really good price. Later back at the hotel, we discovered it was stolen goods - it still had the dept store security tag/lock thing on it. I never found out if she managed to get it out w/o ruining the coat.

Kelly Belly =9 said...

Your photos are great. What kind of camera are u using?

amy_meteorgdn said...

Did you guys bought Hanbok?
What is the price range at Dongdaemun?
I'm planning to go Korea this December.

Sparkplugz said...

I know that I should have said this to you guys ever since you started the posting about your trip to Korea, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!! I'm getting much needed information from your blog posts for my upcoming trip to Korea in April. Many of the things I wonder about, you guys answered them for me.

One more thing that I would like to ask you is whether you need to be able to speak korean or go with a korean friend (like Seoul Sista) in order to be able to enjoy the trip like you guys did?

Thanks so much again for sharing your experiences. Please share as much as you possibly can :)

Rooster said...

@ amy_meteorgdn: No, we didn't get a Hanbok. I'm not sure about prices. Maybe someone here can help?

@ Sparkplugz: Knowing a little Korean is very helpful, but not necessary. Most of the locals we met were nice and even though they spoke no English, they went out of their way to help us out.

Rooster said...

@ Kelly Belly =9: Nikon D40 and Canon 450D

dokebi said...

Was this trip recent? I hear that many tourists from neighboring countries in E. Asia are visiting Korea b/c of the devaluated Korean won

We're all glad that u trio enjoyed the trip : )

Orchid said...

We went to Korea in November 2008.

Vic in Long Beach, CA said...

Rooster, your experiences (speaking little or no Korean) and mine were the same. I needed a fuse for a piece of computer equipment I was showing at a convention. Went into a little ma and pa hardware store. The family was so nice at helping me!!

Now (onto other subjects) I have to ask. Would your first photo here, be considered "The Souls of Seoul"??


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