If Myeongdong is the skincare cosmetic products paradise, then Dongdaemun is the designer fashion shopping paradise!
There is a tourist centre when you walk out from the Dongdaemun History Culture Park Station, exit 13 or 14. It’s always great checking out for any information that you are after before starting your journey. Dongdaemun is not a small area if you would like to check out all shopping malls namely Lotte Fitin, Goodmorning City, Hello apM, Milgliore, Doota, Maxstyle etc.
With the reputation as the Seoul No 1 fashion district, I was happily shopping for clothes, shoes, hats, scarfs, accessories etc for a whole day in Dongdaemun. It was absolutely awwwwwesome and I felt so gooooood for shopping!
Dongdaemun Map - Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government
With all these excitement kicked in, some of you may have the same question like mine – where should I start?
Personally, I started my shopping trip from Doota, Milgliore and all the way back to Lotte Fitin with a simple reasons:
1. I do not intend to spend more than a day shopping in Dongdaemun so I want an effective shopping day.
2. I am not good at checking out every single shop and I would like to buy something I like then move on to the next to save my time. In doing so, I might have bought something that slightly more expensive but I didn't want to miss out the design that I wanted.
To compare prices in general, Doota’s shops are relatively more expensive compared to shopping centre such as Milgliore. Ideally with sufficient time and if you are after lower cost fashion and happy to miss some upmarket items, it’s good to shop from Goodmorning City, Hello apM, Milgliore to Doota etc.
P/S: I found the same clothes costs 58,000 Won in Doota was selling 15,000 Won at the next building and you still can negotiate with the seller from 15,000 Won down to 13,000 Won if you are lucky! I managed to get that with two pieces and she was happy to sell that. Once again, it’s time to brush up your negotiation skills.
It’s good to think - you pay for what you see! Ahh… Are you sure?
1. No Fitting Room Policy ~~ Free size?! ~~
It is very common for the shops to have no fitting room hence you can’t try on the clothes before you buy it. It is very risky to purchase first and try it later in your hotel. Most retails do not allow to try on the clothes hence it's too bad if it looks better on the mannequin than on you.
*Watch out for Free Size – I am not a big size lady (perhaps size 10 but I can’t fit into some Free Size skirts/ Pants!
2. Fitting Room Available! ~~ Are you sure it's a good news?! ~~
You may be at the losing end even though some retailers allow to try on the clothes before making any purchase. Why? Watch out for some retailers who installed slimming mirrors and adjusted the angle/ position. From my personal experience, I looked so much taller and slimmer with the clothes I tried in the shops but back to reality when I tried again in hotel room. Don’t get me wrong, I am still happy with the clothes that I bought but just felt less when I came back to reality (I didn't look as tall and slim as in the shops). It is not something you can avoid since it is quite common in retail industry but just to set an expectation for you so that you are prepared for what may happen to you.
When you really like something, BUY IT if you think the price is affordable to you and you won't regret even if you find cheaper prices later. I was considering for a top for two days since I had a few days of shopping to Myeongdong/ Ewha Women University Dongdaemun/ Garosugil etc but couldn’t find it anywhere hence I went back to the same shop and - it was GONE! Sold.Out. Urgh….
Basement Food Court
I always love to try authentic local food wherever I go, Korea definitely is not an exception. I had a yummy lunch in Doota basement food centre that definitely would like to share with you
- Tteokbokki with Ramen
It was a spicy dish with lots of ingredients in it such as rice cake, fish cake, hard boiled egg, deep fried seaweed wrapped with glass noodle etc, large portion and the chef cooked it just right - the right temperature with the right texture. I still missed this dish after I left...
Some shopping centres closed on Mondays/ Tuesdays/ National Holidays such as Milgliore, Goodmorning City and Hello apM, Etc so it’s better to plan for your calendar perhaps to shop Wed – Sun and avoid Mon, Tue and National holidays. If you are not a shopaholic, just go with whichever is open – since there are enough shops for you to shop till you drop!
Mon-Sat from 10:30am to 5:00am next day/ Sun 10:30am to 12:00am (Closed on National Holidays only)
From 10:20am to 04:20am of next day (Closed on Tuesday)
From 10:30am to 04:30am of next day (Closed on Mondays)
Sun-Wed 11:00am to 12:00am; Thu/Fri/Sat from 11:00am to 02:00am of next day (Closed on national holidays)
Please check on their official websites for updated operation hours from time to time.
The hours provided above is for reference only, it was correct at the time of publishing.
A country rich in history, culture. If you have never tried the delicious Korean food, it's colourful culture, or perhaps check out the plastic surgery industry - this definitely is a popular destination for Asia.