Updated: Jun 13
Myeongdong: The shopping district
Into shopping? Who isn't (well, some of us I guess).
Enter one of the most well-known shopping districts in the world, or at least, in Korea!
Myeongdong is the place to go for whatever you're looking for. From apparel to electronics, one can find many great bargains here. Located in Jungu-do, Myeongdong consists of numerous shops, stores, and malls. It was about five years ago that Myeongdong was on the top 10 most expensive shopping streets in the world.
Line friends store and the big bear (can you spot the chicky?)
We window shopped most of the town, but with its wide variety of commodities, you're bound to find something that you either need or simply want. Since we're backpacking as far as we can go, we decided to be frugal and limit our shopping spree as much as possible.
Our main goal was to find affordable hats for our day trip to Ocean World, one of Korea's water parks. Interestingly and slightly odd, the rule at Ocean World is, you are required to wear swim caps or baseball caps, as well as a life jackets. Safety first? More about Ocean World in another blog.
We strolled our way towards the area where there are more affordable shops and tables in the sidewalks, jam packed with goods. There are bag shops, clothes shops, accessory shops, hat shops, cook ware shops, and more! We pursued the hat stores looking for the best deal on baseball caps. One store was filled, floor to ceiling with hats. We ventured in, making our way to the heart of the store without toppling any goods. We asked to see an adventure-type hat. We wanted to make sure it was well made for the price. The older man in charge of the store wasn't amused with our examining of the hats quality and he quickly shooed us out of the store! Swatting us away like flies on rice! Amused and a little shocked we rushed out, taking no damage to our wallet and willing to take our business to the next of many hat shops in the area.
We quickly found the next (of many hat shop and were greeted by a pleasant Korean boy who happily showed us the hat selections. This was a complete 180 from the old angry hat man at the previous store. We found some generic caps for 10,000 won, and, because the service was great, we decided to give that store our business.
Don't be afraid to take your money elsewhere when shopping abroad, no pressure.
After our success, we went on the search for food. We found this amazing restaurant. It was affordable and the food was super yummy! We ordered the tonkatsu (돈까스; Japanese-style breaded pork) and Yukgaejang (육개장; spicy beef soup) spicy beef soup.
There was complimentary soup, if you wanted to prepare it yourself, on the side wall of the establishment. A bit of powder and a hot water dispenser to prepare it. We gave it a try, it was a little bit salty for our tastes. But the food...the tonkatsu was so good, the breading was not oily and the cuts of pork were superb.
The sauces for the tonkatsu were almost forgotten, but were rushed out to us with apologies. The sauces were unique and complimented the breaded pork quite well. We haven't had tonkatsu sauce like that before. Mmm, and that yukgaejang, it still has me thinking about it. It was spicy, the shredded meat was moist and not overly chewy, and the soup was loaded with veggies! If I was hungover I would have been right as rain after the first bite. We highly recommend this restaurant with the friendly ajumas (aunties) in the front.