Seoul is really cool city for shopping. So today we set out for three different shopping districts. One has traditional, beautiful handcrafted tourist items. I immediately noticed how much nicer the shopkeepers are to us Western looking shoppers. The second shopping district we went to area, had more youthful trendy shopping and the third was what I call the mega garment district in Dongdaemun. The building we visited was at least five or six city blocks long and three stories high. There was a large building right across the street that Kyle said was more of the same thing. And from what I could tell, many, many others just like it.
I have been to a lot of downtown garment districts and have never seen anything like this. Apparently it caters wholesale to Koreans and that’s why you don’t see a lot of tourists here. Tourists would need a guide to go in here. Also it’s open from midnight to dawn apparently so that merchants can do their shopping here before the next work day. Also there are entire buildings and streets dedicated to high quality leather goods such as handbags and shoes. Good thing I skipped that!
Kyle had said the place made him nervous because the vendors were aggressive and negotiating was the norm. However if you want to buy good quality clothing, such as a down parka for 30 won (under $30 US) this was the place. I found an incredibly beautiful cashmere and wool peacoat for 70K won, bargained down to 60 won with the help of Kyle who translated. And with the favorable exchange, that means my cashmere coat with silk lining was only $53 USD!!!!!!! I love my new coat (last pic). Not a bad look for a Hawaii girl!