Wow, I’m so surprised that apparently so many people read my blog! 0_0 I guess that means I better get my rear into gear and write as much as I can about Seoul/South Korea before I leave this time, haha. Actually, I’ll be returning to Korea in the future, too, so I guess I will be maintaining this for quite a while. πŸ™‚

Anyways! Some visitors to this blog expressed interest in finding a vintage/secondhand market here in Seoul on my original (but abruptly ended) post. So here’s my follow-up to it. Because of a great and stylish 였빠 (oppa), I was able to go shopping in this area a couple times now.

This place is notoriously hard to find, so be warned. I’m not even sure I can give you clear directions because you have to go through back streets and the second time I went I must’ve got off at the wrong stop or something because the building simply wasn’t where it was supposed to be and yeah haha. Also, it’s been about a month since I’ve last gone, soooo I’m quite hazy. D;

Let me give a brief description of the place. The building is near λ‚¨λŒ€λ¬Έ μ‹œμž₯ (Namdaemun Market), and quite near λ™λŒ€λ¬Έ (Dongdaemun). So I guess that’s why all the stores inside are constructed in the Dongdaemun way (with each floor being divided up into about 80-100 different stalls. You climb up the stairs into the building and are immediately hit with that special “secondhand”/vintage smell. There’s stalls full of these wonderfully vintage leather bags, any kind of bags, really! There’s stalls of baby clothes, clothes made for ajummas, clothes for any female, so on and so forth. I did see that most of the stalls carry either unisex or male-oriented clothing (there’s LOTS – and I mean LOTS – of male track jackets, T-shirts, button-down shirts for men, denim for men, etc. etc.). However, don’t let that scare you off! Androgyny is very in these days, and even if you’re not into that, you can find very nice clothing items that will fit you quite well. (I must warn you that the clothes sizes follow a slim build, however, for both men and women.) There are also shoes, such as vintage Converses, Nikes, etc. I was a little skeptical about trying on shoes, mostly because I’m a girl and the shoe sizes seemed only for men, but also because the condition of the shoes were not too great in my opinion (but I am quite picky about the quality of my vintage shoes… okay, I must admit I’ve never bought a secondhand pair of shoes yet ^^;;;). There’s ties, handkerchiefs, scarves, shoelaces, belts, and vests… but I’ve still to see some good suspenders. The only ones I’ve seen there were cheap quality and ugly. I dream about these amazing leather suspenders that I saw and immediately coveted in the Harajuku Gap, but didn’t buy because they were Y5400. πŸ˜₯ So. I’ve still to see some great suspenders! I don’t think I recall seeing any household goods.

Moving onto prices. The prices here are significantly cheaper here than in even Dongdaemun. But, of course, they are selling items for secondhand. Also, the store owners are also quite willing to bargain with you for cheaper prices, especially if you buy more than one item. Some examples:

I have bought:

  1. Two high-quality, nicely-cut vests for W8,000 each (around $8 each)
  2. A Members Only black leather jacket for W40,000 (around $40) *giggles wildly*
  3. A denim bag emblazoned with a huge Union Jack for around W8,000 (around $8)
  4. Two very nice quality blazers for about W20,000 each (around $20 each)
  5. A nicely-worn brown leather belt for around W7,000 (around $7)
    – To this day, I do not understand why belts have to be over $20. >____< Yes, even leather ones.
  6. A summer dress for around W8,000 (around $8)
  7. Two denim jackets (for around $13 each)
  8. Oh yes, and my oppa got this fabulous yellow and cornflower blue-striped tie from Hugo Boss for ~cha-ching~ … W3,000 (around $3). Puhahaha~

So! As you can see, prices are very reasonable, especially since prices in Dongdaemun have been on the rise recently (also, the store operators at Dongdaemun have been getting more salty in their bargaining, harrumph). So this is a great alternative. That’s great and everything, but the most important thing remains:

How do you get there?!

Ok. I will try to help you here as much as I can. Whew. *preps self* Remember that this place is renowned for being hard to find. Ok. So I’m going to give directions from μ•ˆμ•” 였거리 (Anam Rotary), which is where I followed my oppa’s guide to take the number 100 bus, if I remember correctly. I think it’s the 100. ;_; Oh god. I think it is. I’m so sorry I can’t remember. Anyways, you take that bus for about 15-20 minutes, and get off about 3-4 stops AFTER the Dongdaemun stop. So basically, the area is around μ’…λ‘œ5κ°€ (Jongno 5-ga). There’s a market where the vintage building is located inside called κ΄‘μž₯ μ‹œμž₯ (Gwangjang Market). Once there, you have to take a left turn into the market and start navigating your way to this building where you will climb up to the second floor to find the vintage-y goodness.

Yeah, that’s no help. I guess the best you can do is to write the following on a piece of paper and ask people around the area:

Q. Where is Gwangjang Market?
Translation: κ΄‘μž₯ μ‹œμž₯이 μ–΄λ””μ—μš”?

Q. Where is the vintage market inside of Gwangjang Market?
Translation: κ΄‘μž₯ μ‹œμž₯에 μžˆλŠ” κ΅¬μž¬μ‹œμž₯이 μ–΄λ””μ—μš”?

Honestly… I think the best bet is for you to drag a Korean person there. It would be a great little adventure for you… whether you find it or not! Honestly, I’m not even sure if I’ll be able to find it again quickly when I go back. D; I’m pretty sure that with a Korean person that is good with directions, you will be able to find it somehow. Oh, one final note! One way to know that you’re right next to the vintage market building is if you see all these the fabric stores with bolts of cloth displayed outside. Once you hit that alley that has a whole stretch of cloth shops, you’ll know that you’re right next to the vintage market building, and should probably take the nearest flight of stairs up to a building.

Good luck, and happy hunting! Let me know if you guys first find the place, and then second, buy something there! If you need anymore clarifications or details, let me know, and I will honest to God try to help you as much as my memory permits.