Thursday, July 31, 2008

Itaewon (why?)

Ahh vacation time... a period in life to reflect on how much hard work you have done and release yourself into the unknown. Sometimes your list of stuff to do may be bigger than what you are capable of, but nonetheless you truck on.

One of my goals this break was to get some shopping done (clothes, shoes, etc). So BK heard that Itaewon is a great place to shop for clothes. However, I think we must of ended up at the wrong end of Itaewon or maybe it is all just hype.

Why I thought this is because I had heard the streets were too much like America and that it wasn't like visiting Korea. Ok?

But what I saw was just like any other Korean street in my mind. Little shops crammed next to each other with goods spilling out onto the sidewalk. My idea of an American shopping street is where you get brand name stores with shiny store displays in front of you. But typically in Korea the streets are narrow and clothes spill out onto the sidewalk: example But hey I don't mean to complain, I am just stating what I saw. (actually this is not my photo, and this was not the street I was on, but is pretty much a good example.)

Besides I didn't travel away from America so to find slices of it hidden in another country, right? I came here to be here. So I will say that this kind of shopping area isn't that bad, its just a way that I will get use to. Besides, there are malls here and department stores where I can get that western feel and spend my money well.

But if anyone can tell me where the golden part of Itaewon is I would love to know.

Anyways, we walked on despite this small imperfection.
We found a taco place and ate some tacos!
They were pretty decent and I wanted to ask them where they bought their ingredients. So after filling up on some chow, we headed back out this time our destination was a Buddhist Temple, but to get there we had to transfer trains and take a bus. So I will post about my visit to a Buddhist Temple later on because I am beat from being a tourist.

So here are just some pics from the rest of Itaewon...
(Below: Why I am not a tourist...thinks BK)
Man carrying a fan down the escalator in the subway station.


  1. I tried to locate a Macys for you in Seoul, guess you'll have to order online.......coldn't find one!

    Read down: Have you been to the stores the blogger mentions:

    From a blog:

    Another interesting part of Seoul is Hondae, an area around Hongik University - South Korea's best art university. So hip places - bars, clubs, and interesting shops at one of which I bought a cute alarm clock - abound here. I only managed to visit this part of Seoul after dark for just a couple of hours by myself... I should have come here with someone else.

    "Fashion buildings" in the Dongdaemun area are something unique to Seoul. These high-rise department stores - Migliore, Doota, and Hello apM are the three big names with Doota the most stylish - house 1500 to 2000 shop tenants most of which are casualwear boutiques. What's interesting is that among all the other busy floors devoted to young fashion is one quiet floor for Korean traditional dresses for girls. Sooyoung told me that on New Year's Day she wears such a traditional dress and bows to her parents for showing appreciation - Korea is a Confucian country.
    Maybe you should wear a traditional Korean dress to school one day to honor your little students!

    Suggestion if you haven't already:
    You could admire your co-workers clothes & ask them where they shop!

    Yeah. yeah.
    LOVE U

  2. Hi

    I have been to Doota and did some shopping already.. it is a nut house but not bad.


  3. the thing about Itaewon. . . it isn't real America, but you blend in more there than anywhere else in Korea. People say what they want about it (and I've heard some doozies), but the more homesick an expat gets, the longer they've been away, the more important it becomes to get a crappy AMERICAN (or Canadian, or what have you) style lunch instead of a crappy KOREAN style lunch.

    The two best things about Itaewon: english language bookstores with slightly reasonable prices

    2. the restaurants. it helps having a guide tell you which ones in particular, but a good starting place is the alley behind the hamilton hotel. Itaewon has the most diverse restaurant scene in Korea, and most of it's reasonably priced. That's the main reason I go there -- especially since I stopped getting sloshed with other English teachers.


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