Rob and I took advantage of a "Parent's Day Out" to explore a bit of Dongdaemun on a rainy Saturday afternoon. We hopped in a taxi and our first stop was Heunginjimun Gate, at the northern end of Dongdaemun. It is Korea's National Treasure No. 1 and is the last remaining gate of the Four Great Gates of the Seoul City Wall, built at the start of the Joseon period (about 600 years ago). It's undergoing some restoration, but is still quite impressive to see.
A section of the Seoul City Wall is visible nearby:
Shopping is one of the main things that Dongdaemun is known for, so we found a few areas to explore - here was an underground market with vendors selling blankets, fabrics, and custom made hanboks.
Above ground, the area is surrounded my fashion markets and modern malls. Doota is a popular mall for the young and trendy:
In the center of Dongdaemun's History and Culture Park is the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) - which looks like a giant, silver spaceship. I'm not the only one who thinks so - you can watch a fun video clip about that HERE.
We found an entrance to the Design Market portion and had a little fun taking pictures:
As we headed back towards the main buildings, we explored the history portion of the site - ruins of buildings un-earthed when the site was being converted from sports stadiums to the current design.
Towards the back of the building, there were a number of large art pieces:
A giant Haechi made from recycled materials:
And a few more dig sites:
We headed back towards the Design Lab in building D, which features a grass lawn on the roof...
...and explored the unique products for sale by the artists, while enjoying the creative decor.
After a bit of window shopping, we opted to head outside for some street food and grabbed a pretty tasty corn dog covered in french fries.
To get to the DDP, use Seoul Subway Lines 2, 4, or 5 -
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station, Exit 1.