Myeong-dong, the center of large multi-shops
ave you ever heard the expression that says "go to Myeong-dong to see people"? As this expression indicates, large numbers of people gather at Myeong-dong in spite of its small size, making it one of the most densely populated areas in Seoul. The dense population of Myeong-dong also makes itself famous as a place where people will most likely meet someone new or someone they already know.
The average number of people visiting Myeong-dong everyday is one million, and the number even increases up to one million and five hundred sixty thousand during weekends. Until the 80's, Myeong-dong had been a popular place for couples. However, it is better known as a shopping mecca now days because many people come in groups to just enjoy shopping.
Myeong-dong has been a city of art and romance, and a residence of fashionable literary men. Myeong-dong became a street of bank industry in some part as many banks were built in it in the mid 70's. Therefore, it is a convenient place to exchange foreign money to Korean money. Myeong-dong has gradually gained the reputation as being the best place for fashion as large department stores like Lotte, Metro Midopa and Shinsegae began to appear during the 80's. Today, there are more than three thousand six hundred stores in Myeong-dong because many middle and low price stores continuously joined in during the 90's. Moreover, multi-shopping centers like Utoo Zone, V Exchange and Trend 20 are becoming very popular among young generations as they provide shopping, food, accessories and make-up, all together.
There is Migliore also in Myeong-dong where you can buy clothes, shoes and bags for very cheap prices. Unlike well-known expensive brands, thousands of small wholesale merchants sell unique fashion style clothes very cheaply in Migliore. It's open from 11:00am to 5:00am
There is a place tourists should never miss in Myeong-dong; the National Souvenir Center where you can buy various kinds of Korean souvenirs that show the beauty of Korea. The best quality and service are guaranteed since KNTO (Korea National Tourism Organization) operates it. The National Souvenir Center contains various souvenirs.
For example, it has small souvenirs like fabrics, hand crafts and accessories and also has the best products from 8 provinces of Korea and wood carvings. Just looking around the National Souvenir Center will help you understand Korean culture better. A tea shop is located on the third floor of the center where you can try Korean traditional tea as well.
If you are a collecting antiques, try Hoehyeon underground shopping center in front of Shinsegae Department Store which has some antique stores. There are about ten stores that deal with old LPs and are famous for numerous old LPs that they possess. There are about twenty cool stores that arouse interest of collectors of phone cards, lottery tickets, old money and seals.
Every weekend, 'Stamp Culture Street' is open in the area within 100m of the Central Post Office. 'Stamp Culture Street' is held from 2:00pm to 7:00pm on every Saturday and from 12:00pm to 6:00pm on every Sunday. If you begin to feel tired of shopping, visit Myeong-dong Cathedral. You might feel a little bit confused to find a cathedral in the middle of crowded stores. However, you will feel silence and holiness secluded from the world outside.
(Sourced from WHAT'S ON SEOUL)