Dongdaemun Fabric Market

Last week while in Seoul, my friend and I went to the amazing shopping district called Dongdaemun.  According to my Lonely Planet Seoul guidebook, Dongdaemun has "over 30,000 stores and stalls that are supplied by 50,000 local manufacturing companies."  Can you even try to picture that in your mind? This place is completely overwhelming!  You could spend days here and still only scratch the surface.  One of the best things about it is that you can bargain the prices!

I have never experienced shopping like this before and I can't wait to return!  I must mention, however, that the average Korean women is a petite 5'3" and I measure in at a whopping 5'1" so shopping here for clothes and shoes is a dream for me - everything fits and doesn't need hemmed!  Unfortunately for the average taller Americans, shopping here can be very difficult as larger sizes simply aren't available.

On this trip, we spent most of our time in the Dongdaemun fabric market.  Words cannot even begin to describe the enormous amount and variety of fabric and sewing notions available here.  There was floor upon floor and row upon row of vendor stalls taking up every available inch of space from floor to ceiling selling every color of every item.  This is literally the only store you would ever need for any sewing project you would have in your entire life!  If you don't sew, you can still pick out what you like and have things custom made.

There were many suit fabric stores - choose your fabric and have it made into a custom tailored suit!

The traditional Korean dress is called a hanbok.  There was an entire floor of the building devoted to hanboks. You can have them specially designed and made just for you in the fabrics of your choosing.

A variety of children's hanboks.

The outside of the fabric market building

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness
simply didn't know where to go shopping."
~Bo Derek 


  1. Do you have a spare room? I SOOOOOO want to go fabric shopping there! lol And I wouldn't even have to go through rattie withdrawl ;)

  2. I went just last month and I wanted to go back to Korea !!