Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dongdaemun (東大門市場, 동대문시장) Section 1 - An Incomplete Visit @ Seoul [South Korea]

Dongdaemun in Seoul was renowned in Korea for its position as a humongous shopping district with thousands of stores that remained open till the wee hours! Now, we are talking about 5 am or so; some even operate 24 hours! 

Hence, don't be misled by the historical gate in front of you and think that everything in this area is just boring history you could easily read from the internet. 

The three of us actually walked from Kwangjang Market and almost got lost even though it was just a simple straight road ahead of us! Nevertheless, we can't be blamed as we could not help noticing that the crowd was getting thinner as we trudged along.

Condition improved after we arrived at dongdaemun (the gate you see in the first photo); turn right and you will not miss the gaudy signboard of Pyounghwa Clothing Market! 

Louise had a list of shopping complexes to conquer that day and the first one we stepped in was Doota Fashion Mall; items inside were of a higher end and this would translate into higher prices. 

Both sisters, upon seeing that i was bored, dumped me at this cafe known as Gaongill so that they could check out ladies wear and accessories! You know how long i was abandoned there? An hour!!!! 

As we didn't have mobile /data connection, all i could do was to get a delicious cup of sweet potato latte and play candy crush. Can you imagine that!? I am literally wasting my time! :(

Out on the street again (like finally). There were indeed a lot of dessert cafes in Korea but i didn't quite have the stomach / time to relax in a cafe. 

Some stage performance i think; unlike one of my friends, i didn't chance upon any popular K-pop groups like Girls Generation, Big Bang etc. Put it this way, put them in front of me and i might not be able to identify them too! Except for Yoona or Suzy from Miss A.

Said to be a must-have, i was prepared to endure the chill from the soft ice cream which was in addition to the windy weather in Seoul that day. Unfortunately, the machine had broken down. Yippppppeeeeee, less fats for all of us! 

Entered Hello apM; personally, the first thought that came to mind was its similarity to Platinum Mall in Bangkok. The major difference, however, was that most, if not all, clothing were for the incoming winter! 

Nothing really suitable for the horrendously humid and hot climate we have back home. Louise did spot a cap that she was rather keen in; after bargaining, it still cost over S$30 which we found to be exorbitant! She eventually got one of an almost same style in Zhuhai (China) for only S$5.

To be honest, i don't find products sold in Korea to be economically priced although they were often compensated by a higher quality. This is my view which could be slanted given i didn't have time to visit section 2 of dongdaemun; said to be filled with wholesale outlets! 

At this time, my tummy was searching for something hot to warm it and this came to my attention as i noticed quite a constant flow of customers while waiting for both sisters to check through a promo arena for children's clothes. 

My aim was on the sausage wrapped with a layer of fish cake. Other options include having the rice cake replacing the hot dog. Being a meat eater, it's obvious i would go with the sausage.

At 3,000 won, it was really juicy and delightful to have in the windy weather! You may also choose from a variety of sauces like tomato, BBQ, mustard and a delicious spicy version.

Shopping carts on the spacious walkway. 

In my entire dongdaemun visit, these adorable piggy banks appealed most to me! A pity they were really heavy and prices were in the range of almost S$50. 

Surprisingly, we had much better shopping at Lotte Fitin! Do keep in mind that most purchases in official shopping complexes like Lotte and Doota are tax free

Last look of section 1 of dongdaemun before we took the train back to Hotel Manu. Would i be back? Maybe i would, to give dongdaemun a second chance by covering section 2. 

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For the summary of my South Korea trip (including Seoul and Jeju Island) and links to the respective day, click HERE

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