As my plane back to the UK wasn’t until midnight on Monday I decided to have a final explore of some of the things I hadn’t yet seen which included both Dongdaemun and Namdaemun markets, centred around the historic city walls.
Dongdaemun means “Great East Gate” and was the major eastern gate in the wall that surrounded Seoul during the Joseon Dynasty. Today it’s marooned in the middle of a busy roundabout looking somewhat forlorn, no longer gatekeeper to a city which is grown way beyond its original boundaries. Surrounding the gate is Dongdaemun Market, consisting of over 26 shopping malls, mainly specialising in retail and wholesale fashion items. With over 30,000 shops you’re pretty spoilt for choice if you like that sort of thing!
I choose to steer away from the modern shopping malls and headed for the backstreets which looked a whole lot more interesting. Packed between narrow streets lay an array of curious vendors selling all manor of various goods. I particularly liked an alleyway which sold nothing but shoes of every type and size, stacked high against the walls. The place reminded somewhat of Silk Street in Beijing with many counterfeit brands!
If you’re curious to see what the more modern side look like at night check out this video. Next up, the final instalment from Korea (normal service to be restored shortly!).