Shopping in Seoul is an interesting and sometimes chaotic experience, with a vast selection of products, busy malls, and communication barriers. However, there are many bargains that make it worthwhile. Most shops stay open until 10pm and some markets are open 24 hours.
Myong Dong is the most popular shopping district, home to sports and fashion shops offering cheap and trendy clothes for young people. In Tongdaemun, Doota sells cheap beads, accessories, and shoes, as well as every imaginable type of fabric for homes.
Second hand goods are numerous at markets like the Hwanghak-dong Flea Market. Chang-anp'yong Antique Market treasures include paintings, calligraphy, and old chests, as well as stone and ceramic artefacts.
Seoul's biggest department stores are also in the Myong Dong area: Shinsegae, Lotte, and Hyundai. These dazzling emporiums stock everything under the sun, from cheap electronics to high end fashion. All feature labyrinthine grocery selections and popular food courts.
The birthplace of leading global electronics companies like Samsung and LG, South Korea is renowned for its cutting edge technology. The best place for it is Yongsan Electronics Market, where dozens of stores specialise in one or two of the latest gadgets and frequent sales mean excellent prices.
The Itaewon area has shops selling discounted designer clothes from brands such as DKNY, Nike and Adidas; stalls on the street sell hats and fake designer handbags. Apkujong has upscale department stores and boutiques, as well as the Kangnam underground shopping mall. Prada, Gucci, Armani, Stella McCartney and the Galleria are also found here.