Myeong-dong is one of the most alluring and popular shopping districts in the city of Seoul, South Korea. It is approximately a half-mile stretch of primarily retail outlets. The district has a population of around 3,000 people, but it is a shopping destination for most people who visit the area. Myeong-dong shopping is popular with both domestic and international travelers as there are a wide range of shops that sell high-end designer clothing and other such goods. These goods are not available in every city in Northeast Asia, so many of the domestic tourists who make the trip to Seoul make a point to visit modern shopping centers like Myeongdong, Apgujeong, and massive complexes like the COEX Shopping Mall.
Besides being a hotspot for shopping, Myeong-dong is also known for its nice selection of fine eateries, cafes, and places to have a drink. It is also an area where people visit to see attractions like the Myeong-dong Cathedral, a testament to Korean Catholicism in the city. There are also a number of Myeong-dong hotels, making it easy for people who are just heading to Seoul for a couple of days to do some shopping, to find a nice and affordable place to stay.
Myeong-dong shopping offers visitors the ability to get in on some of the trendiest goods on the market, from handbags and jewelry, to clothing and electronics. It is also the home to four major department stores: Migliore, the Lotte Department Store, High Harriet, and Avatar. As in many other places in South Korea, Myeong-dong offers a similar retail mix of goods, where you will find a variety of craftspeople selling traditional goods alongside major department stores like those listed above. As you embark on your Myeong-dong shopping experience, you will notice that you have the option of ducking into some of the most highly sought after high-end, designer boutiques as well as checking out people along the street selling goods. Street vendors are not as prevalent in an affluent area like Myeong-dong because of the fact that the retail rent consistently ranks in the top ten places per square foot in the entire world. In other words, if you want to sell your goods in this district, you have to pay dearly for rent. But it would not be South Korea if you did not find a few vendors selling their goods here and there. They are a nice complement to the seemingly inexhaustible number of retail outlets, specialty shops, and shopping centers.
If you are planning a visit to this part of Seoul, you should also consider visiting the Myeong-dong Cathedral. In a country where Eastern religions like Buddhism have flourished over the centuries, there has also been a decidedly Western Christian influence brought in by missionaries from France, England, and the United States, as well as other countries. South Korea has a strong representation of Catholics in their country and the Myeong-dong Cathedral is perhaps the most recognizable symbol of the faith in the country. It is also the place for political protests occasionally, but this is not always the norm. Myeong-dong is a fascinating and cool place to visit. You will be able to find virtually any kind of goods you are looking for, whether in one of the department stores or one of the many specialty boutiques.
Image: thelearnr (Flickr)