learn koreanShopping

Shopping in Korea

I don’t adore shopping or even window-shopping per se. Really hate to dilly-dally and waste my time (sorry shopaholics, cause I am not in that group, definitely). Do I sound so nerdy? Hahaha..I am half a guy here.

But, here I am telling you about my shopping experience in Korea for autumn and winter. I hope I don’t sound too boring though. Verdict: I had two coats prepared for winter but after getting some advice from my korean friends, it would be better if I shop once I reach Seoul.

When I came around end of September, the weather was temperate and warm like in Malaysia so if you’re coming in to Korea around this time, you don’t have to bring thick clothes. If you feel cold, cardigan or thin jumper will do. You could layer your clothes if you are prone to cold weather. Sneakers are fine but bring more socks. Your feet will be smelly because you will walk a lot. Trust me on this one. Korea’s landscape is 70-80% mountains so you could imagine. You can’t escape fatigue!!

However for middle-October, you may need thicker jumper. My two cents – just bring one good jumper and layer. The rest, buy the clothes in Korea. Due to global warming, autumn span is shorter than winter and the weather drastically change unknowingly. minus 2 degree is normal but if there’s wind, you gonna die in the cold. Yikes! Buy a good pair of gloves. They sell it almost everywhere, on the street side and don’t forget to bargain the price!!

November and December are cold ranging from 10 to minus 10 degrees. On some days it would be colder depending on the region you are in – Gangwondo, Seorak mountain are will be colder compared to the southern part. Maybe, you could buy cheap winter clothes in bundle shops in Malaysia and buy a better one in Korea.

Why? Because you’re gonna be green in envy when you see Korean are so stylish in winter. They wear fashionable clothes, pretty scarves, winter boots. Arghh..they have SALE almost everywhere! If you look around in Migliore, Doota, APM and Lotte shopping complexes, they have huge price slashes for autumn and winter clothes!!

My case – we bought winter clothes from Basic House, where Hyun Bin and Yoon Eun Hye are the ambassador for 50,000 won.

Later when we walked into Young Plaza (next to AvenueL)in Myeongdong – we saw a very stylish winter coat for 29,000 won because they had SALE there. Darn!

Clothes are cheaper in Dongdaemun (compared to Malaysia) and you could haggle the price (in most of the shops). Just try your luck!

How? (if you don’t know Korean..it’s ok!)
1. Smile
2. Greet anyonghaseyo
3. Ask – olmayeyo
4. If you find the price is too ridiculous – haggle/bargain – kakka juseyo
5. If the price cut is reasonable – buy. If not, just walk over to the next shop. There’s loads of shops selling similar stuffs. Don’t worry!
6. Don’t forget to say – Kamsahamnida.

Learn the basics

1- il
2- i
3- sam
4- sa
5- o
6- yuk
7- chil
8- pal
9- ku
10- ship

baek – hundred
chon – thousand
man – 10 thousand

eg. 100 won – baek won
1000 won – chon won
10,000 won – man won

200 – i baek won
300 – sam baek won
the rest follows

2,000 – i chon won
3,000 – sam chon won
the rest follows

20,000 – i man won
30,000 – sam man won
the rest follows

For example, if the price is:
8,500 – pal chon o baek won
60,250 – yuk man i baek o ship won
9,700 – ku chon chil baek won


Listen to FREE podcast from KoreanClass101 before you travel. Life will be a lot easier. Trust me! ^_^

0 thoughts on “Shopping in Korea

  1. sorri menyampuk hehe
    rainbow skit i'm a student in korea
    kalo rase perlukan tourist guide kat sni
    let me noe
    kitrg akan uruskan semua psl penginapan mkana from airport smpi balik semula
    kalo berminat tglkan email ya=))

  2. Hi Zarina,

    Your blog is pretty interesting and helpful. I will be going to Seoul 3-6 Feb. Would you say that 500,000 won (excluding accommodation) is a reasonable sum to bring, for a 3-day trip (not counting the 3rd as AirAsia flight arrives at night)? Thanks!

  3. Thanks Zarina. We just plan to jalan2 and cari makan; priorities will be the Korean Folk Village and the palaces. Evenings to check out the city.Shopping would be nice, but optional. Any recommendations what else to do? Is the Seoul Fortress worth going to? It looked pretty cool in 2 Days 2 Night.

  4. salam sis..,
    blog ni best la..~~!!ermm..,tp nk tnye la kalau 4k tu for a week kn, tu dh trmasuk dgn penginapan and transport kite selame 1week 2 ke?

  5. W'salam Shena,
    4K ringgit Malaysia right?
    It should be more than enough for a week inclusive of accommodation + transportation + food + shopping.

    We spent about RM1,200 for 7 to 10 days in Korea excluding flight tix in Nov 2009. ^^

  6. Salam Sis,

    We are gooing to Seoul around mid Feb this year.. Am planning to put up around Dongdaemun for shopping.
    Appreciate if you can suggest the kind of quality goods that are still considerably cheap that we can shop there and which particular shopping centre/area in Dongdaemun offers competitive price..

  7. wahhh….glad to find a blog yang tell a lot of things about korea…thanks to you, going to korea seem a lot easier than i thought..dah lama teringin nk pergi korea cuma masa belum mengizinkan…hmm..if i have a question about travelling to korea, i can ask you right? :))

  8. W'salam Zul,
    Dongdaemun is a good choice if you want to check out Korean fashion. You could try going to APM/Doota. Both are retail outlets. Price wise, you could bargain if you buy a lot at one outlet.

    From my experience, not many of the sellers could speak English but if you could say some survival Korean it would be enough.

  9. salam…k zarina…
    how do i want to contact d malaysian student for d travel guide in korea?i'm going to korea this early feb but still didnt make any reservation for d accomodation yet..is it possible to find an affordable accomodation rate once i reach there?since im still student, reasonable budget is totally my utmost concer..=)-nana-

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