Korea – Staying up all night

1994At least once you’ve got to visit NamDaeMun and DongDaeMun, and you can do it the same night. Those are the names of two of the ancient city gates of Seoul, but  visiting them means visiting the gigantic open-air markets on the one hand, and the vast malls on the other. Things open up for business around dark, and close down around 7am. Stay in a yeog-wan (a small inn), visit a ta-bang (tea shop) for a quick shot of caffeine, and keep going all night. And when we’re talking about malls in Korea, remember, it’s completely different – it’s a nation of small businesses. So a mall is a large multi-story complex with areas that would resemble a mega-Dillards, except that each little area of racks is a separate clothier, or vendor. And the food court is to die for – Korean Chinese food is often there –  available only in Korea. But the malls in DongDaeMun are unique beyond just the hours. The speciality there is clothing, and it’s where clothiers get theirs. Prices are the lowest, selection the broadest, and did I mention it’s at night?

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