Korea Seoul Travel


As my plane back to the UK wasn’t until midnight on Monday I decided to have a final exploration 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 that 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 manner of various goods. I particularly liked an alleyway that 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, is the final instalment from Korea (normal service to be restored shortly!).


Originally from the UK, David is designer and wanderer currently based in Kamakura. Prior to this, he lived in China and longs to explore more of this vast and varied land. He started Randomwire in 2003 to chronicle his travels and occasional musings. Feel free to drop him a line.

2 Comments Add New Comment

  1. Adeel says:

    So DONG in Korean also means east like the DONGZHIMEN subway station in Beijing :). And that alley very much reminds me of TIANQIN and the Silk Streets. So did you buy any? Do these guys bargain like the ones at Silk Street? My biggest bargain there was I guess denims which started from 700 RMB and ended at 65 RMB :).

  2. David says:

    Interesting observation Adeel, I hadn't noticed so thanks for that 🙂

    To be honest I didn't buy anything as I had no room in my bags to bring stuff back, that and the fact it would have been hard to find a matching pair of shoes here!

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