We stayed in two parts of Dongdaemun in Seoul, 3 and 1.
Dongdaemun 3 was further out by cheongnyangni station, it was more of a local area with a huge market that sold everything you could want from old Korean traditions. There’s also a big shopping centre there. The room for the hostel was comfy and big, with an ensuite bathroom and a mini hallway.
Dongdaemun 1 is closer into the centre so the rooms are more expensive, smaller, more uncomfortable, and tend to smell slightly of the sewage on the street. That sounds terrible but it’s worth it if you’re here for a short stay because Dongdaemun 1 is really in the thick of it. The alleyways surrounding the hostels are teeming with life, great food, and a great atmosphere in the evenings when everyone sits outside with friends to eat dinner.
There is a local clothes market with 8 floors of all types of services. We wandered around the accessories floor for an hour and didn’t see it all, you can get traditional dresses, material, tailoring services all under one roof.
We definitely know someone who’d think they’d have died and gone to heaven in this place.
There are also sections of old walls in the area, although they look suspiciously renovated. Come to think of it, walls are bound to fall down sometime so you can’t blame them. The name of the place actually means east gate and it is seriously impressive when it’s lit up at night.
If you venture onto the other side of the gate, and the busy intersection, you’ll be rewarded with a really bustling area with local markets.
You’ll be able to find pretty much anything down these warren like streets, but especially some street food and clothes tailoring services.
And also a few eggs.
The reason we ventured down to this area is because we found a Nepalese restaurant online that we wanted to go to. It was actually really emotional to be back amongst Nepalese culture and we ate a really nice lunch in there. The menu was packed full of food that we hadn’t tried since we left Nepal and India in April and we literally wanted to order everything.
It was a nice area to go for a little wander around the back streets and you can walk up the hill and look back over the rooftops in is area of the city.