Dongdaemun Market in Seoul, Korea

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Dongdaemun Market


Like Namdaemun Market, Dongdaemun Market is located near its namesake of Dongdaemun (Great East Gate). Korea's largest wholesale and retail shopping district has 26 shopping malls, 30,000 specialty shops, and 50,000 manufacturers. Within the ten blocks of the market area, you can find silks, clothes, shoes, sporting goods, plumbing and electrical supplies, electronics, office supplies, toys and just about everything else imaginable.

Makeup & Fashion

Traditionally, wholesalers operated from 1:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and retailers were open from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Buyers came from all over Korea to take advantage of the cheap wholesale prices during the wee hours of the morning, creating an unusual nightlife in the area. Now, the area stays open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., allowing shoopers to do their thing almost any time the mood strikes them. (Most stores close on Mondays and holidays.)

However, many of the new stores have been targeting college and high school students. The older 2- and 3-story buildings have narrow walkways between the stores, poor lighting, exposed plumbing and conduits, and ajumas run the individual shops. The newer high rise stores resemble department stores, having wider walkways, brighter lighting, modern stylings, loud techno-pop music blaring from speakers, and college-age people running the stores.

Dongdaemun Shopping Town and Dongdaemun Chain Store (across the street from Dongdaemun) both exemplify old Dongdaemun Market. They contain many shops catering to newlyweds, selling clothing materials, bedding, dishes and silverware, and other necessary items for starting a new household. Many couples and their parents head here before their wedding to get custom-made clothes, curtains, and bedding materials. Young couples also come here to get tradtional and formal clothes for their small children.

On the other side of Samil Elevated Road, across from Dongdaemun Stadium, are Doosan Tower and Migliore, today's hottest shopping areas for college students and teens. Here you can find the latest clothing, shoes, bags, colored wigs, CDs, inexpensive jewelry, and other fashion accessories. You can also find several shops selling Western food and toiletry items- one of the best places those hard-to-find items you left back home. Many young designers have opened their own stores here.

The Korea International Trade Association (KITA) recently opened the Dongdaemun Market Information Center to assist foreign buyers in Dongdaemun Market. Located in the basement of the Fraya Town Building, staff members can answer questions and offer assistance in English, Japanese, and Chinese. They also have some information available in Russian. The Center is open 12:00-22:00 daily.

TEL: (02) 2261-2192~4
FAX: (02) 2261-2195
E-mail: Dongdaemun@mail.kotis.net

 

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