Shopping Guide at Myeong Dong
Myeong Dong is known to be one of the most popular shopping districts in the city of Seoul, Korea. Myeong Dong, renowned for being a skincare and cosmetic heaven is the ideal place where you can find a wide variety of beauty brands and skincare brands. There are similar brand stores like Nature Republic and Etude appearing over and over again within just a short distance away from each other. There is also 2 big departmental stores locate along the streets of Myeong Dong; Lotte and Shinsegae. Before you go all crazy and fly there immediately to start your shopping spree, there are a few things that you need to know while shopping at Myeong Dong and they are listed below.
How to Get There
Get to Myeong Dong through subway by using Line 4 (Sky Blue Line) and Exit 5/6/7/8. The exit is will bring you to Migliore shopping mall which is located in the heart of Myeong Dong. Another way is to use Line 2 (Grass Green Line), exit 5/6 and then walk for about 5 to 10 minutes to reach the main shopping area of Myeong Dong.
Do you know that you can get tax-free claims while shopping in Myeong Dong by simply telling the cashier that you would like to enjoy tax-free privileges? Yes, it is that easy and you can save a significant amount of money by doing so. However, there’s a catch and you usually need to hit an amount of 30,000 Korean Won to enjoy this privilege. The cashier will then issue you a receipt in a nice-looking envelope. Be cautioned that it can be really troublesome and not worth it when you are claiming for these taxes at the airport if you are not really buying high pricing items. In order to claim your tax, you have to check in at the counter without luggage first. You have to then bring your luggage to the tax-free claiming counter and then open up your luggage for the officers to check. You will then receive a stamp from them and you can bring your luggage to check in at the counter after that. It can be a tiring process so make sure the amount of money you saved from doing so is worth making an effort to go through the process.
Chinese Speaking Staffs
If you can speak and understand Chinese, your shopping experience in Myeong Dong will be smoother compared to non-Chinese speakers because some of the Korean staffs can actually converse in Chinese because many tourists in Myeong Dong come from China. As a Chinese speaker, it is convenient and to your advantage to ask on how the products work before purchasing them blindly. Most of the Korean staffs do not speak proper English so it can be a frustrating experience for non-Chinese speakers but don’t worry, they will usually use a calculator to inform you of the price.
There is also a tourist information center located at the Myeong Dong Jungang Ro intersection that has 2 guides who can provide assistance to visitors in 3 different languages; English, Chinese and Japanese. In addition, there are several multi-lingual guides walking around in Myeong Dong and willing to assist the visitors.
You can get free masks while shopping in Myeong Dong because most stores will try to do some sort of promotions to lure customers into their stores and one of them happens to be giving out free masks. By putting similar skincare brands and cosmetic brands all in one place, I believe the competition is fierce and these stores will have to be creative to capture the throngs of customers walking along their stores.
Search for Cheap Bargains
It is not a secret to most shoppers that the skincare and cosmetic products in Korea are very cheap but you need to know where to look for cheap bargains. It is advisable for you to shop with a friend so that you can benefit from the one for one promotions and get 50% discount off after dividing the cost of it evenly with your friend. However, be warned that you get what you pay for.
Food Is Not Cheap
If you are on a budget shopping trip and would like to spend most of your money on buying skincare and cosmetic products, then do not have your meals in Myeong Dong as they are slightly more expensive in the area. A better solution is to walk about 5 minutes to find local food eateries located along the main road.
Lockers at the Myeong Dong Station
You can go crazy during your shopping trip without having the worry of lugging your luggage around because there are lockers available for you to store your luggage in the Myeong Dong Station.
It is very easy to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude and similarity of the stores in Myeong Dong hence it is important to plan before and prepare a shopping list or you might end up spending a lot of time and of course money by not buying something random that you do not like and need impulsively. Certain people just go there for what they need and leave after.
Survey before Buying
It is crucial that you do not overspend in one place and all at one go. Due to the similarity and competition of the shops of the same nature, you can probably find the same item elsewhere at a lower price. If the shop is located quite far from each other, then it is up to your discretion to decide if the effort to walk back is worth the amount of money you saved.
Bring a Big Shopping Bag
As you do not know how much you are buying, it is advisable to bring a big shopping bag. Although you may have prepared a shopping list before, there may be some things that you like to have while shopping so it is definitely more comfortable to carry a big shopping bag as compared to many small plastic bags.
I hope you are now fully prepared for your shopping in Myeong Dong by reading this guide. It is time to go immerse yourself in this skincare and cosmetics heaven.