Dong Dae Mun Market
The Dong Dae Mun market in Seoul is a great place for
foreigners to shop. The name “Dong Dae Mun” means “Eastern Great Gate”. At one
time, the city of Seoul was surrounded by a wall. Outside the eastern gate
people used to gather to buy and sell goods, and as time passed, this gathering
developed into a large market. The perimeter of the city has moved, but the gate
and its market have not. Although originally situated on the eastern edge of the
city, the slow progression of the city’s perimeter outward has meant that the
market is now centrally located.
What can be bought
Dong Dae Mun market is comprised of a number of multistory
buildings with merchants’ shops in them and stalls strewn between them. These
shops and stalls sell a large range of goods including fashionable clothing,
electronic goods, sporting goods, jewelry, shoes, bags, tools, hiking and
camping goods. The opening and closing times vary somewhat between shops and
stalls, but in general they are open at night, as well as during the
The following is a list of the most popular buildings at
Doosan Tower ( also called “Doota”) – The shops in this
building sell clothes, shoes, jewelry and bags. Credit cards can be used to pay
for goods. Usually, haggling is not possible at the shops in this building.
There are changing rooms on each floor where clothing can be tried on.
Hello APM – This building is similar to Doosan Tower, but
the goods are generally for younger people.
Miliore – This building is similar to Doosan Tower in that
it sells the same types of goods and has performances on a stage in front of the
building. However, the building is more cramped inside because the shops are
smaller and the aisles between them are narrower.
Jaeil Pyoung Hwa – The shops in this building are a bit
cheaper than in the buildings mentioned above. Credit cards at this building
can’t be used and clothes can’t be tried on. Most of the shops sell women’s
clothing with only a few selling men’s clothing. The quality of the goods in
this building is reputed to be very high.
How to get there
There are numerous ways to get to the market. Dong Dae Mun
market is next to the “Dong Dae Mun Stadium” subway station. This station is
made easier to get to than most by the fact that it is on the intersection of
three subway lines and so can be approached from a number of directions. The
three subway lines that intersect at the market are the number 2, 4 & 5 lines.
These subway lines are colored green, blue and purple respectively on Seoul
subway maps. The market can also be reached by bus numbers 144 and 420 which
depart from Gangnam station.
While shopping at this huge market, if you feel your
energy level getting low, there are many stalls selling food to fuel your
continued hunt for bargains.
by Robert Reginald