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Hangul Signs, Seoul, South Korea
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South Korea Hotels

Korea's Top 10 Tourist Destination
Shopping in Seoul, Korea
Shopping in South Korea : What you can Consider Buying
Top Ten Attractions in Seoul
Visiting the Demilitarized Zone in Korea

'Gangnam Style' inspires tourist campaign in Seoul (video)

“You know the song and you know the dance… But what’s Gangnam?” Cashing in on the success of PSY's viral musical video, Seoul officials have started a campaign to attract tourists to the city's Gangnam district.

The amazing success of the South Korean rapper's song, which has spawned many parodies on YouTube, has inspired officials in Seoul to launch a campaign to attract tourists to the city’s titular Gangnam district.
Three Reclining Gold Buddhas and Ornate Decoration in Seonunsa Temple, Jeollabuk-Do, South Korea
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The Republic of Korea, commonly known as South Korea or the Korea Republic, is an East Asian country on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. To the north, it is bordered by North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), with which it was united until 1945. To the west, across the Yellow Sea, lies China and to the southeast, across the Korea Strait, lies Japan. Approximately one-half of South Korea's population lives in or near the capital Seoul, the second most populous metropolitan area in the world.

Korea traces its founding to 2333 BCE by the legendary Dangun. Since the establishment of the modern republic in 1948, South Korea struggled with the aftermath of Japanese occupation (1910-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), and decades of authoritarian governments, undergoing five major constitutional changes. While the government officially embraced Western-style democracy from its founding, presidential elections suffered from rampant irregularities.

It was not until 1987 that direct and fair presidential elections were held, largely prompted by popular demonstrations. South Korea has been a vibrant multi-party democracy for two decades.

The South Korean economy has advanced rapidly since the 1950s and is now the 11th largest (nominal value) economy in the world. South Korea is also one of the world's most technologically advanced and digitally-connected countries; it has the third most broadband Internet users among the OECD countries and is a global leader in electronics, digital displays, shipbuilding, semiconductor devices, and mobile phones. 

Shopping in Seoul, Korea   by Marilyn Chew

South Korea Hotels

Surrounded by mountains, Seoul is a vibrant and fascinating city with a population of about 10 million. With more than a million registered motor vehicles and dominated by skyscrapers and multi-lane highways, it still manages to maintain a hidden history of ancient temples, palaces, pagodas and peaceful gardens. This ancient city has been the capital of Korea since the 14th century.

Seoul's has a distinct four seasons: Spring - nice weather. Temperatures range from 16°C (62°F) to 24°C (75°F). Summer - hot weather and heavy monsoons (as well as typhoons). Temperatures range from 24°C (75°F) to 35°C (95°F). Autumn - blue skies, sunshine and spectacular foliage fall. Little rain. Temperatures range from 12°C (55°F) to 20°C (70°F). Winter - cold and dry. A good time to visit if you like skiing. Very few tourists and freezing weather. Temperatures between -6°C (20°F) to 10°C (53°F) with January bringing the most snow.

Seoul is a heaven for shoppers with numerous mega-shopping centers. You can really shop till you drop. Seoul is famous for high quality goods coupled with excellent and reasonable prices.

Ginseng Shop, South Gate Market, Seoul City, South Korea
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Only one caution: be prepared for large and massive crowds. Usually people including most tourists are polite, but there can be some pushing and shoving at times in and around the major shopping areas.

Namdaemun (The Great South Gate) Market 
The downtown Namdaemun Market, the biggest traditional market in Korea (covers about 10 acres), offers everything from ginseng to kimchi to military uniforms. Among the popular items for tourists are clothes, shoes, fabrics, tableware, flowers, ginseng products, toys, and watches. It is a world-famous shopping paradise and an attraction that tourists should not miss. Most shops have their own factories and make the products themselves offering both wholesale and retail at an extremely low prices. Prices are generally 10% to 20% lower than prices at other markets. Hours vary by store, so it's advisable to plan out in advance according with a shopping list before you start the actual shopping. Wholesalers operate from midnight to 6:00 a.m., and retailers are open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Although most retailers close their stores on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month, many street vendors operate stalls in the alleys. Near the main street to the north of the market there is also an extensive underground arcade. Visitors can get travel information and interpretation guide service in English and Japanese for free.
Busy Street in Seoul, South Korea, Korea, Asia
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Yongsan Electronics Market 
Yongsan Electronics Market was formed by a host of small electronic dealers and has since developed into the greatest electronic shopping town in the East. It covers a whopping 78,650 square meters in size. It has more than 7,000 shops in 24 shopping centers which includes Electronics Land, Najin, Seonin, Wonhyo and a computer wholesale center. 

Visitors to this shopping town can enjoy shopping for almost all kinds of the latest electronic products and components, including computers, games and lighting equipment. The prices are about 10 to 30% cheaper for Korean made products, while imported items can go as low as 50% lower than elsewhere. 

Also, it is possible to receive larger discounts at the beginning of the year, at the beginning of the school year or during holidays. Most major stores are open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.

One of the most famous shopping streets in Seoul, Shinch'on is located within walking distance of 4 universities. The are restaurants, cafes, cinemas and night clubs filled with youths wearing the latest fashions. It was a wild place to be on eve of public holidays.

If you're shopping for antiques, Insa-dong is the place. It's a narrow street lined with antique stores, art galleries and secondhand bookstores. Dubbed "Mary's Alley" by foreigner to Seoul, Insa-dong is the best place to purchase antiques, reproductions, calligraphy, paintings, and a wide variety of implements and articles from Korea's past. Traditional teahouses and art galleries are also concentrated in this area.

Itaewon is famous for bargain hunting. If you like to dig through piles of junk to find hidden treasures, this is the place to go. Here you can find branded goods which were rejected for export at very attractive prices. These items are not bad in quality, they just are of irregular or odd sizes.
Apkujong-South of the river (Kangnam) is a place of fashion. It`s the land of upscale Department Stores, funky cool boutiques and luxury branded shops. This is the happening place for the latest in fashion. If you have the money, they have the goods!

Techno Mart 
Techno Mart, a large shopping center, is occupied by more than 2,000 electronic shops located from the 1st to 8th floor. You can purchase electronic products, computers, sound systems, communication equipment, CDs and much more. Prices here tend to be 10% to 20% lower than other places.

Women Walking Past Shop Window with Car in It, Hongik, Seoul, South Korea
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Offering a variety of goods from the antiques to the latest in fashion and pricing ranging from bargain prices to top end exclusive prices, Seoul is truly a heaven for shoppers.

South Korea Hotels   /   Seoul Hotels


About the Author: Marilyn loves travellings and maintains the website: All About Travellings - An informative site on travellings, tours and holidays.

Shopping in South Korea : What you can Consider Buying   by Geraldine Tan

South Korea Hotels

We were extremely excited when we touched down at the Incheon International Airport. I had done lots of research on South Korea and brought with me the shopping list that I had prepared earlier. No items to be sparred, we were determined to make this trip a fulfilling one!
Neon Signs in Street, Gwangju, Jeollanam-Do, South Korea
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Although we had constantly reminded ourselves to be gentle with our pockets, we arrived home with bags of Korean specialties. We did a great deal of shopping in Seoul and Jeju Island, fully utilising every compartment of our luggage bags to make rooms for the things that we bought. Like Singapore, South Korea is a good place to shop. If you are visiting South Korea, here are my recommendations.

-- Korean Ginseng --
An expensive and nourishing herb, Korean Ginseng is widely known for balancing the "chi" in the body, good for the overall well-being of the body. I got to know from the sales assistant that Korean Ginseng is also effective in relieving menstrual cramps in women. 

Grown in the mountains, Korean Ginsengs between four to six years old are harvested and sold. The older the Korean Ginseng, the higher the price it demands.

Besides the normal "white" Korean Ginseng that I have mentioned earlier, you will also be able to find what is known as the Red Ginseng in South Korea. The Red Ginseng is prepared by treating "white" Korean Ginseng in Chinese herbs, giving it a red colour. It is known to be effective in treating erectile dysfunction in men.

Apart from being the main ingredients for many of the Korean cuisines such as the Ginseng Chicken, Korean Ginseng can be taken on its own in small slices or in the form of powder. As Korean Ginseng tastes a little bitter, you may want to consider buying honey coated Korean Ginsengs. The sweetness of honey helps to curb the bitterness of the Korean Ginseng a great deal.

If you find Korean Ginseng too expensive, Korean Ginseng products such as ginseng candies and rice cakes are good and affordable alternatives. Korean Ginseng and ginseng products can be found in many shops in Seoul.

Bottled Ginseng Root at Namdaemun Market, Seoul, South Korea
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-- Amethyst --
We visited an amethyst shop in Seoul. Amethyst is a gemstone that is purple in colour and many women's favourite. I was amazed by the Korean's creativity and brilliant workmanship in jewelleries. Amongst the beautiful pieces of amethyst jewelleries, I came across an amethyst bracelet that could be folded into a four-leaved clover pendant! You should see the "WOW" written all over my face! Amazing!

We were told by the sales assistant that amethysts come in two grades - Grade A and B. Grade A amethysts are darker in colour and more expensive while Grade B amethysts are less expensive but in a lighter purple. Drop some hints to your partner. You might just get yourself an amethyst bracelet as your birthday present!
Woman in Costume Performing for Table of Men Dining at Sanchon, Insadong, Seoul, South Korea
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-- Honey --
Honey is good at soothing any discomforts caused by a sore throat. Should you be visiting the Jeju Folk Village, buy yourself a few jars of honey, a perfect gift for everyone back home! Here is a trick that you might want to try. Scoop two tablespoons of Korean Honey into a bowl, followed by some water. Gently sway (not shake) the bowl, allowing the excess honey to stay at the base. Notice that polygons of the same sizes, similar to the cells in a beehive, start to appear in the honey!

-- Kimchi --
Kimchis are fermented vegetables served in every Korean meal. They are made of vegetables such as cabbage, cucumber and radish. 

Red, hot spices are applied onto the vegetables and kept for fermentation in big jars. Extremely hot and sour, kimchi is a delicacy in Korean cuisine. Kimchi comes in airtight packets and can be found in all supermarkets in South Korea. In order not to cause your fridge to stink, make sure you keep the kimchi in airtight containers after you have removed it from its packaging.

There are simply too many things to try out in South Korea, and it is impossible for me to cover all of them here. If you like shopping and planning to go for a vacation, visit South Korea! I can assure you that you will shop till you drop!

South Korea Hotels


About the Author  For more travel resources and information, please visit the Travel Mambo™ website at During her trip to South Korea, Geraldine, a young Singaporean, was extremely captivated by the Korean's rich culture and beautiful sceneries. She has written to Travel Mambo™ to share her experiences with the rest of the world.


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