Itaewon – Unexpected Treasures

Have explored almost all of Seoul over the last few days, Itaewon is the most exotic place in the cosmopolitan city to me. Majority of expats or immigrants find solace in its accommodating nature. They chose to set up their homes there where they can be tucked comfortably in an foreign enclave away from the main korean community.

There is an amazing explosion of cultures, language and lifestyle from all over the globe within the relatively modest area. Through daily interactions, these world cultures mingled and integrated with one another, creating a unique and distinctive atmosphere. In simple term, the whole place is even more rojak than Singapore!

The shopping street at Itaewon stretches 1.4 km from Itaewon 1-dong eastwards to Hannam 2-dong. The area has a vibrant ambience with shops, restaurants, bars and street vendors with most signboards written in English. English can be easily understood on the streets.

From the surface, Itaewon looks like it is just a long straight stretch of road. It’s only when I ventured into one of the seeming shallow side alley that I realised the main shopping street was just the tip of the iceberg! There are well hidden cozy cafes to be found after negotiating through small corners.

In order to systematically ‘clear’ the area, I decided to start from ‘The Flying Pan’ and move in the direction away from Raymond place. That will allow me to end off on the other side of the road just opposite Raymond’s place.

I love the disorderly array of shops within these narrow side alleys. It is close to impossible to tell where an alley will close off and the shops just surprises you at every turn. I love it that there are more guys apparels and accessories stores here.

One can find hip hop style, casual wear, and formal suits all clustered on either the broadwalk or the tight alleys. Good quality leather goods are available and numerous tailors can be found flunting their best works on their shop front. Just look that that gorgeous baby blue jacket, it cost a bomb btw…

Singapore fashion buyers seem to always go for a safe limited color range for men. It’s always the boring white, black, dark blue. Koreans are more open to experimenting with less traditional men’s colors.

I used every opportunity to stock up on pastel baby blue canvas shoes, bermudas and sweater here at Seoul at fantasic prices.

While shopping, I chanced upon a rather peaceful demostrations by a significantly large group of aunties and their family members. I supposed only aunties have the time to hold a rally on a Thursday morning. I am not sure about the content but they sure are enthuastic about it!

I managed to clear shopping at around 11am plus. Quickly head back to Raymond’s place to put all my purchases before rushing off to dedicate the rest of the afternoon at Samcheongdong.

You may also like to check out my posts on other exciting travel destinations here

1 Comment on this Post

  1. Manager Hyung

    Itaewon is basically one of the most beautiful places in Seoul. It’s like a cultural precinct where anyone wishing to take the first step into the exploration of South Korea’s heritage should go first.


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