14 November 2015

명동 ♡ window shopping expeditions

< this post is picture heavy >
Next to the cultural, historical and traditional sites that I visited throughout my vacation, wandering through crowds of people and experiencing the rythym, the pace of the city myself was one of my favorite things to do and though I'm usually moderate with my spendings I really loved to go around and shop with my eyes. How could there be a better place to do that than Myeongdong, one of Seoul's main shopping districts?
Who caught sight of the headline (and is literate in hangul) might have already guessed it; none other is today's posting about!

Myeong-Dong (명동) is a mostly commercial dong - which means neighborhood; an administrative division in Korea - with a population of ca. 3400, covering approximately 0.99km².
Historically significant sites are the Myeongdong Cathedral and the Myeongdong Nanta Theatre.
It dates back to the Joseon Dynasty when it was mostly a residental area - during the Japanese era names of the area were changed and it became more and more commercial, influenced by its neighboring Chungmuro area.
As of March 2000 Myeongdong has been designated as a special Tourism Promotion Area and is one of the stops of the official Seoul City Bus tour's main route.

I went to Myeong-Dong on several occassions though it was on the other side of Seoul - well in fact almost everything was, since our apartment was in the depth of a residental area.
Anyway you'll find tons of shops and stores there and though it's alluring the area was listed as the ninth most expensive shopping street world-wide in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In fact most of the makeup chains and stores that you find everywhere else in the city as well won't necessarily change their prices just to fit Myeong-Dong and you are able to find good deals and have a great time shopping there, too even though many mid-to-high priced stores open their doors for you in Myeong-dong.

Since you'll find many of the stores with probably better prices in other areas like Hongdae (홍대) or Idae (이대), my favorite thing was to browse around, do some window shopping and enjoy the atmosphere.
If you're looking for special stores like the Teddy or Hello Kitty café, that I went past during my second or third time being there, Myeong-Dong will be the right spot for you whatsoever.
As you can see on the photos, there are a lot of small stands outside and on the streets that sell all sorts of odds and ends, mostly plush toys, key chains and other stuff like that. You can find really cool and delicious food there too.

One of my personal highlights was a restaurant we found during one of our later trips to the shopping district. It's called Seoul Bulgogi (& Barbecue) and I ate the most delicious Korean beef bulgogi there. I can't even describe how amazingly delicious it was and will share more photos than the photo I already shared on twitter that night, in another post because I already have so many photos for this posting today.

To mention some of my favorite stores and actually show you something that I - in fact - bought in Myeongdong, I'll share the next couple of photos, too. 
One of my favorite stores was Etude House and potentially every other makeup store and I tell you, there are a lot of them in Seoul. I actually recall seeing two Holika Holika stores and several Etude House shops alone in Myeongdong. I was especially fascinated by their cute exterior and interior and so far my skin seems to work quite well with their products, too. 

Another store I went to was SPAO, which seemed not very different from the C&A or H&M stores you can find in Europe. 
They had a lot of cool prints in their collection around this time and I actually bought the cute Minnie Mouse t-shirt I'm wearing in the photo. 
However my boyfriend still believes I just went there because of EXO and them being models for SPAO's latest collection. That's a lie! 
Although I have to admit that I had a lot of fun seeing some of my favorite idols everywhere. Most of the people here don't even know they exist so you could say it was a pleasant surprise that I didn't care to hide from my boyfriend, who'll probably shake his head in incomprehension forever.

KAISOO standees at SPAO ♡
CHANBAEK standees in front of a Nature Republic store ♡

Neverminding the crowded atmosphere I always had a really good time in Myeongdong, no matter if I went there with friends - the first time my boyfriend wasn't even with us - with my boyfriend or even alone. I didn't visit any of the historical sites I mentioned above and experienced the commercial Myeongdong only... well at least that means I have some goals for the next time I can visit South Korea, already.

Any questions? Ask in a comment below.

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