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Traveling in Seoul: Go Night Shopping in Dongdaemun Market

Traveling in Seoul: Go Night Shopping in Dongdaemun MarketTraveling in Seoul: Go Night Shopping in Dongdaemun Market

Eager to shop while in Seoul? You can shop practically any time you want in this lively South Korean capital. Of course, this doesn't apply to all shops and markets in the city, but you can still surely find some really good places to check out within the area -- whatever time it is. Shop after dinner, after midnight, or during the wee hours of the morning. There is always an option for you. If you're in for some late-night shopping, try the bustling Dongdaemun Market, where you can find throngs of nocturnal people wandering the streets and searching from one store to the next for their best find.

What to Expect

Dongdaemun keeps up with the image of Seoul as a place of harmony between the traditional and the modern. This shopping haven offers a satisfying experience for both locals and tourists looking for all sorts of souvenirs, antiques, bargain buys, cultural products, luxury brands, and fashionable items. Whether you're looking for value-for-money street shops or posh stores, you can find them all here.

This place is most popular for fashion goods -- mainly clothes, shoes, bags, jewelry, and accessories. But it is also a great place to buy ceramics, lacquerware, brassware, embroidery, herbal products, and antiques. The best part: There are a variety of shops and stalls that offer major discounts for products that are often already cheaper than those found in other shopping locations.

Night shopping in Dongdaemun goes beyond the glittering neon lights and loud music. It provides shoppers with fresh, creative new looks, especially for those already bored seeing same-old brands found in department stores.

You won't be able to tour around the entire shopping district in one night. This means you may find yourself having the urge to go back next time.

Try getting even more bargains from merchants' original offers. Even if there's a language barrier (some retailers may not speak English), you can still maneuver your way through a good deal by simple hand gestures, saying the numerical figures and giving a warm smile.

When to Visit

You won't run out of shopping spots to visit in the Dongdaemun area. Generally, Dongdaemun establishments are open from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. Some shops are open from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. There are regular stores and stalls that are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Others tend to open a bit earlier, around 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., while others tend to close a bit later, around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m.

Take advantage of sales, which are typically available during each of the country's four seasons. Generally, these sales happen sometime in January, April, July, and October. In between these times, specific malls and stores also have their own scheduled sales and promotional deals that are worth checking out.

How to Get There

If you're staying in Seoul, getting to Dongdaemun is a breeze. Of course, if taking a taxi within the city or having a car rental during your trip, it is as easy as mentioning "Dongdaemun" to the cab driver or using a GPS unit. If you want to save money to add to your shopping budget, take the subway bound for either Dongdaemun Stadium Station or Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station. As a tourist who lived in Korea for almost a year, I can personally attest to how effective Korea's subway system is. Personally, it is your best option -- unless you shopped like crazy and you have too many bags to carry.

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