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Korea is known as a Mecca for shoppers, offering a great
variety of items at reasonable prices. Tourists may purchase
many necessities and souvenir items of both domestic and
foreign origin tax-free at any of the hundreds of shops
in department stores and shopping arcades in Seoul as
well as major cities throughout the country.
Popular shopping items include jewelry, furs, silk, antique
chests, ceramics, lacquerware, brassware, embroidery,
personal computers, video and cassette tapes, sportswear,
down winter coats, eel skin and leather products, ginseng
and dolls. Major department stores located in the heart
of Seoul and include Shinsegae, Lotte, Galleria, Samsung
Plaza and Hyundai. Also branch department stores can be
found in many other areas, often located nearby a subway
shopping district in
attracts visitors with
its Oriental medicine
A network of underground arcades branch out from Myeong-dong,
Seoul's most popular shopping and entertainment area.
Many subway entrances and underpasses also lead to a maze
of tunnels with shops aimed at bargain hunters. Of all
commercial areas in Seoul, however, Itaewon, which is
located adjacent to the major U.S. military compound,
bustles with the greatest number of overseas visitors.
Insa-dong, or Mary's Alley, is clustered with many fabulous
antique and art stores.
With thousands of shops and stalls, divided section by
section according to category of item, Namdaemun and Dongdaemun
Markets are the largest general wholesale markets in Korea.
They are renowned for offering an inexpensive, wide variety
of everyday items. Tourists will easily find any number
of things to buy in these markets, which will accommodate
all tastes and budgets. Between midnight and 4 a.m., retail
merchants from all over the country come to restock their
stores, presenting the bustling spectacle of a nighttime