APART from being a cultural haven and technology hub, Seoul is firmly establishing itself as a shopping and food destination. So whether you’re a foodie or a shopping junkie, you’re in luck when you find yourself in Seoul. The Philippines AirAsia familiarization tour revealed a number of districts that serve as both shopping and food havens. Here are a few must-visit food and shopping destinations in Seoul:
One of the main shopping districts in Seoul, Myeongdong is lined with major department stores and shops selling homegrown and foreign brands, from clothes, bags, shoes, accessories and skin care and makeup products, such as Etude House and Tony Moly. Restaurants aren’t in short supply either, but the street food makes the streets and alleys in Myeongdong even more vibrant, especially when night sets in.
Only half a century old, Namdaemun Market is the largest traditional market in South Korea and retains much of its charms. From packed Korean seaweed to dried Korean chillies to toys, gadgets, clothes and bags, this market is a budget shopper’s paradise. For the foodie, a wide selection of traditional street food like boiled pork jowl and shoulder can be found in every corner.
Home to a diverse range of fashion goods, Dongdaemun Market isn’t just a market, it’s actually a huge century-old commercial district made up of traditional markets and modern shopping centers that traces its beginnings to 1905. The iconic Dongdaemun Design Plaza is located in a section of one of the market’s five shopping districts. Owing to its size, the Dongdaemun Market offers extensive selections of street food and treats, such as ice cream served in twirling cones.
For all things Korean culture and crafts, the roads lead to Insadong Street. Don’t forget to explore the many alleys that branch out the main road, as these offer a number of quaint surprises, such as shops covered in wall-climbing plants, hidden museums, and restaurants offering traditional Korean fare.
Hongdae Shopping Street
Located in a university area, Hongdae Shopping Street is a favorite of young crowds who patronize an ecclectic selection of shops, restos and stalls. Treats ranging from casual brewed coffee to tiramisu sundae offer endless choices among foodies. Hongdae, which is short for Hongik University, also draws street performers who entertain the crowd along a strip of road that also features street art. (NSV)