Bureau and Corporate Funded Body
Apparently, there is a gorgeous and neat underground shopping mall that refused to give into the stereotype of being dark and dull! It’s Go To Mall, in the underground shopping area at the Gangnam Bus Terminal, which has been renewed thanks to a renewal project carried out in 2012. Over 600 shops now line the mall, with a length of 880m and total floor area of 31,566m2. It’s a popular attraction for mall-goers seeking anything from clothes and cosmetics to jewelry, interior props, and plants. So let’s check out Go To Mall, the paradise of shopping culture!
Luxury and Vintage Shops that Tempt Fashionistas!
Can you guess the unique charm that attracts the fashion conscious to Go To Mall? It’s the fact that you can find both affordably priced vintage items and high-end luxury goods here! A high-end department store and a less expensive underground shopping center together in one place? How?
Customers who visit Go To Mall by subway come across a pathway that connects the underground shopping mall to the department store and Central City. Exit 7, located within Go To Mall, also connects to the bus terminal and the department store, so you can enjoy shopping at two different locations!
The secret to the affordable prices found at Go To Mall is its operational system. At Go To Mall, retailers purchase items in bulk (at wholesale prices) and sell them to consumers at only minimum profit margin. As a result, the clothes sold at Go To Mall are over 20 percent cheaper than those sold in renowned shopping destinations, including Myeongdong, Sinchon, and Hongdae.
Also, there is a department store full of luxury goods! Recently, with the rising popularity of Hallyu, the Korean Wave, department stores have become a must-see place for foreign tourists who love Korean culture. Since Go To Mall is connected to a department store, tourists who enjoy shopping for low-cost items as well as high-end luxury goods will find the best of both worlds!
Become a fashionista by shopping at Go To Mall? Take your pick from all of the quality luxury goods in the department store and the unique and low-cost items in Go To Mall!
You Can Find Everything at GO TO MALL!
Is it true that you can find every kind of product related to the necessities of life at Go To Mall, which is open all-year-round? Go To Mall features a variety of products, including clothes, cosmetics, jewelry, and other fashion items, as well as interior props, crafts, and flowers, as diverse as those you can find in any department store and super supermarket.
There were tons of people who enjoy shopping for a variety of products at much lower prices than in other shops at the bus terminal and also people just browsing as well. Moreover, you can even stop by the bookstore or watch a movie at the theater connected to the Express Bus Terminal, so you can have a great time shopping or enjoying your leisure time all within Go To Mall!
Friendly Shopping Mall, GO TO MALL!
Although there are over 15 exits at Go To Mall, you don’t have to worry about getting lost! All thanks to the detailed information signs and monitors installed all around the mall. Following the replacement of the lights in the mall with high efficiency LED lights, the signboards now stand out even more. Nearby facilities, such as hospitals and most importantly restrooms, are marked on these signboards, telling you which exit to use, so you can always find the places you need.
Moreover, the kiosks and monitors installed all around Go To Mall inform visitors of the facilities in the mall and also provide a map of the mall. So, even if you get lost in the mall while shopping, you will be able to find your way just by looking up and checking the signboards or kiosks.
There are also amenities for shoppers looking to take a rest from shopping at the dazzling Go To Mall. When it was remodeled in 2012, elevators and escalators were installed at each exit, and a small aquarium and pine trees were place in the small fountain at the center of the mall for people to enjoy while taking a rest around the fountain.
|Hours : All-year-round.|
|Transportation : Subway Lines 3, 7, and 9, Express Bus Terminal Station|
|(From Line 3 : Head toward Exit 8 and take the escalator upstairs –> Walk straight towards Aritaum and Shinsegae Department Store –> Walk down the stairs near Nambo Pharmacy and Sushi Maiu)|
|Parking: Use Central City, Shinsegae Department Store parking lots|
The up and coming Seoul tourist attraction In the Seocho and Banpo areas! We took a look around Go To Mall in Central City as a tour course for mall-goers, in particular. In this post titled “Go To Mall Tour – Excursion around Seoripul Park, Seorae Village, and Banpo Hangang Park,” we will introduce you to places that are great to visit after shopping at Go To Mall!
From the exotic scenery in Seorae Village to leisure sports in Banpo Hangang Park, this course is full of lots to see and enjoy! So let’s take a look!
Walk along a forest path in the city at Seoripul Park
As you walk towards the National Library of Korea, you will the Nue (Silkworm) Bridge that spans across Seocho-daero. Nue Bridge is closely related to the history of the Seocho area. In the Joseon Dynasty, Jamsil Dohoe, an organization for raising silkworms, was located in this place. Also, in the past, people made a living by raising mulberry trees and silkworms in Jamwon-dong. Therefore, in consideration of all these historical facts, the bridge was designed in the shape a huge silkworm.
The nearer we got to the bridge, the higher up it seemed! From the top of the bridge, we could see cars busily passing by and a great view of Seoul was there at a glance. Next to the National Library of Korea, where there is a sign for the Nue Bridge. When you walk up the wooden steps, you get to the famous Montmartre Park and Nue Bridge. At the entrance to the bridge, you will see a sculpture of two silkworms on a cocoon, arching their backs for a kiss. This is called “Wishing Nue” (The Dream of Seocho/Jammong by Kim Yeonggeol and Kim Sigwan). People touch the sculpture and making a wish, as well.
Seoripul Park was named after the fact that “seoripul,” a type of herb, had once covered the Seocho region. It’s a green space with an area of about 540,000m2, surrounded by Seorae Village, the Supreme Court, and the Korea Defence Intelligence Command (KDIC). Upon the completion of the construction of the Nue Bridge, a pedestrian overpass was opened on November 19, 2009, and the green network was completed as well to connect the hill in Seoripul Park to Montmartre Park, serving as a resting place for Seoul citizens living in the heart of the city.
Little France in Seoul: Montmartre Park and Seorae Village
Once a water reservoir, Montmartre Park, on the other side of the Nue Bridge, was created in 2000 as a great place in which nearby residents could rest and relax. Because there are many French residents living in Seorae Village, the pathway from the entrance of the village used to be called Montmartre Road. As a result, the hill was also named after Montmartre, known to be highest hill in France. In every section of the park, you can read poems, such as “Mormartre Hill” by Ryu Geunjo and “Sensation” by Arthur Rimbaud, engraved on the monuments.
Some say that Seorae Village was named due to the way the stream in front of the village meanders through the village. Others say that the residents of Manuiggul, near the Public Procurement Service, used to call the village “Seoae,” meaning a “village at the western edge of the waters,” against the backdrop of a steep mountain (Cheongnyongsan Mountain). Yet as time passed, the name was changed to make it easier to pronounce.
Currently, Seorae Village is being reborn as a global village with exotic and unique facilities. The first French resident to Seorae Village came in 1985, when Ecole Francaise de Seoul was relocated to this area. This is the only French school in Seoul, and it has the same curriculum and practices as any other school in France, which is why more than half of the French people in Korea lived in Seorae Village as of 2008. Now, there are a number of restaurants and stores in the village that serves not only original French food but also provides a unique aura, as well, Not only the foreign residents but also Korean tourists love this great attraction.
Enjoying the Scenery on Bibycle at Banpo Hangang Park
Past the Express Bus Terminal, we headed on towards Banpo Nadeulmok (Junction) along the riverside! Nadeulmok is a purely Korean word that describes a junction. At the entrance to Banpo Junction, you can see Sinbanpo Olle-gil covered with wooden planks. There weren’t many people there, probably because it was lunchtime on a weekday, but there were people who were riding bikes under the warm autumn sun.
With Banpodaegyo (Jamsugyo Bridge) at the center, Hannamdaegyo (Bridge) is located upstream and Dongjakdaegyo (Bridge is located downstream. Banpo Hangang Park covers 7.2km of space between Hannam Bridge and Dongjak Bridge, across the southern part of Gangbyeon, Banpo-dong in Seocho-gu and Heukseok-dong in Dongjak-gu. Banpo Hangang Park played a major role in leading the Hangang Renaissance! It was completed on April 27, 2009, as the first Hangang Renaissance Project – a cultural complex with Moonlight Rainbow Fountain, Moonlight Plaza, Saebit Floating Island, and a riverside stage.
Even though it was a weekday, there were people riding their bikes on the 7.2km stretch of bike road that leads to Yeouido and Jamwon Hangang Park. The bike rental shop near the entrance of Banpo Nadeulmok (Junction) rents out bikes from 9 am to 8 pm for 3,000 won per hour for a regular bike and 6,000 won per hour for a tandem bike. So anyone can enjoy a bike ride! You can easily rent and return bikes at any Hangang Park! So even if you ride your bike from Banpo Hangang Park all the way to Yeouido, you don’t need to come back to Banpo to return your bike. You can just return it in Yeouido Hangang Park!
When you’re spent after biking, why don’t you take some time and enjoy the beautiful night view at Banpo Hangang Park? It’s here you’ll gasp at the Rainbow Fountain that adorns the view of Banpo Bridge at night. The Rainbow Fountain is in operation every day from April to October. In April, May, June, September, and October, the fountain is turned on three times a day at 12pm, 8pm and 9pm on weekdays and six times at 12pm, 5pm, 8pm, 8:30pm, 9pm, and 9:30 pm on weekends. But you can’t see it when it rains or when there is a strong wind, so make sure to check the weather forecast before heading out to Banpo Hangang Park!
With a cool autumn breeze blowing through the city these days, there must be a lot of you looking to go on a picnic! So put on the nice clothes you bought at Go To Mall in Central City and enjoy a bike ride through Seoripul Park and the riverside, which will soon be covered in beautiful autumn leaves!
When you’re hungry from shopping at Go To Mall, you’ll want to enjoy some good food, right? Well, your in luck. News has broken about a World Food Street being set up in Go To Mall, which is full of many different types of food and snacks. So now let’s move on from this mouth-watering news to enjoy a luxurious healing time, which would make your special day even more special, no more worries about food and accommodation near Go To Mall!
If you would like a hot dog, walk out through the Meeting Place exit in the middle of the mall. You will see NY Hotdog and Coffee next to the Banpo Hangang Park Exit (Exit 8) from the Express Bus Terminal Station on Line 9.
Apparently, hot dogs were so named because they looked like dogs with their tongues lolling out of their mouths on a hot summer day. Along with hamburgers, which are pretty much THE fast food, it’s a simple meal that satisfies your growling stomach. A lot of shoppers coming and going from the mall were stopping by for a bite as well!
There was a lot to choose from, but since it was lunch, I had the lunch set (1 plain hot dog and coke) for 4,900 won. This restaurant was also a popular tourist attraction featured in the Korean Drama “School,” So inside the restaurant, posters of the drama as well as pictures of scenes from different episodes hang on the walls. Hallyu fans are often here taking pictures of them.
The largest Starbucks in Korea? Starbucks in Famille Park
For a cup of coffee after lunch, I walked out of Food Court via Exit 4 and headed towards Sungmo Hospital. From the four-way intersection, you can see the Famille Park Branch of Starbucks, near the Marriott. It looks somewhat like a greenhouse or an observatory.
It’s a premium coffee shop that was opened in July 2013 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the first Starbucks in Korea, so it is decorated in items that commemorate the 15th anniversary. The Famille Park Starbucks is the seventh Starbucks that sells the single-origin premium “Reserve” coffee. The branch, indeed, looks very unique thanks to its domed ceiling.
Go! Go! To the Food Court in Go To Mall!
As you walk along Go To Mall towards the Raemian Apartment Complex, you will pass by Todai and arrive at the Food Court in Go To Mall. It’s now pretty late, but there are groups of people eating in all of the restaurants.
Particularly, the rotating sushi bar is full of people. Located here are Kim’s Gimbap, teok-bokki (Stir-fried Rice Cake) restaurant, and other great restaurants lined up along the aisle. Yes, this does look like a great place to fill up your stomach after shopping!
The Food Empire, one of the major attractions in Go To Mall, was reborn as a World Food Street, in November. It was relocated to the area near the JW Marriott and signs that say “London,” “Paris,” “Chicago,” and other cities are hanging on the wall. Take a world food tour at the World Food Street, where you can get a taste of great food from the major cities around the world! Isn’t that exciting?
For a Special Healing Time-JW Marriott Hotel
After shopping, a walk in the park, and some great food, it would be great now if you could take a rest somewhere. So then, how about a luxurious rest in the hotel in front of Go To Mall? Eighty percent of visitors who stay at the hotel are foreigners normally, but it’s also a popular destination for Koreans who would like some special relaxation time.
From September to November, the hotel offers a popular evening package for Koreans who would like a special experience at the hotel: a great spa experience to relax your body and then a meal in the hotel restaurant, with food that is pleasurable not only for your palate but also your eyes. So how about a night at this hotel to make your ordinary day a little more special?
A great day then…shopping at Go To Mall and enjoying the beautiful nature in Seoul in Seoripul Park and Banpo Hangang Park, a variety of food from all around the world to fill your stomach and a special time at the Marriott! That’s a full day from morning till night, taking a tour around Go To Mall and Central City.
A lot of foreign tourists are now visiting Korea for Seoul’s Foreigner Welcoming Week from September 25 to October 5. Here’s a great tour course to take a look around Hangang, Seorae Village, and other attractions in Seoul, on foot, to go shopping for luxury good and vintage items, and to spend a relaxing evening with a great meal and comfortable accommodation! So don’t forget to tell your foreign friends about the Go To Mall tour course!
Mall-Goer Tour Course
The Hub of Shopping Culture in Myeongdong – Myeongdong M Plaza
Where do most people gather in Seoul, on weekdays and the weekends! It’s Myeongdong. Even in the afternoon of a workday, there are quite a lot of people roaming the streets of Myeongdong! Now, what do you think of when you hear the name Myeongdong? Yep, shopping! So enjoy a “Malling Tour” in Myeongdong, the shopper’s heaven, where there is tons to see and enjoy!
But it helps to have a full stomach before shopping, right?! After a nice bowl of noodles at the main branch of “Myeongdong Halmeoni Guksu,” your tour of Myeongdong can begin!
Our destination today is “Myeongdong M Plaza,” remodeled and opened anew in December 2013. M Plaza is largely divided into the Fashion Zone, from Lower Level 1 to the third floor, and the Food Zone on the fourth and fifth floors. In the Fashion Zone can be found ZARA Women, ZARA Kids, ZARA Men, ZARA’s second brand TRF, and Forever 21.
On other levels, KM Play, which is a design item shop, and the Experience Center for Traditional Korean Culture are located. The Food Zone houses eight restaurants, including Starbucks, Saint Augustin, where you can get a taste of Thai cuisine, School Food, which was featured in the Korean drama series “Dream High 2,” and the traditional Korean food restaurant Ttangkkeut Haetsal. It’s a great place for shopping, eating, and having fun! So, mall-goers one and all, come and explore Myeongdong M Plaza.
After a 5-minute walk past Woori Bank in front of Myeongdong Theater, ZARA’s flagship store will greet you on the first floor. The former U2 Zone was remodeled into the multi-shop center called Myeongdong M Plaza. It has gained huge popularity by attracting popular brands, ZARA and Forever 21, which Korean people once had to travel overseas to visit.
ZARA came to Korea in 2008 and opened its first store here in Myeongdong. Particularly because this is the only store with ZARA Kids, which offers clothes for children, a lot of family shoppers come to Myeongdong. Forever 21 also chose Myeongdong as the location for its first branch in Korea. In a huge space of three floors, Forever 21 offers good clothes at an affordable price. The brand received a lot of spotlight when it first launched in Korea and is currently opening branch shops in Hongdae and other areas. Since the brand is known to have dedicated stores, foreign tourists and residents in Korea also come to Myeongdong M Plaza to shop at Forever 21.
Beyond Fashion to Culture! KM PLAY
The best attraction in Myeongdong M Plaza, KM Play is a unique fashion item shop located on the lower level of the building. A variety of great items catch your eye, and it feels as if you are in an art gallery. KM Play has two stores, one in Garosu-gil and the other in Myeongdong. Both of these stores offer shopper a diverse range of choices and unique experiences.
Simply browsing through the many themed items available at M Plaza will give you an experience that goes beyond simple shopping. You will have a cultural experience! You can buy hats, vintage items, figures, jewelries and other various items, so it’s even more fun to look around.
If you are tired from shopping, walking to and fro between places that catch your eye, then take a rest here and grab something to eat. At Myeongdong M Plaza, there are Korean restaurants as well as restaurants that cater to foreign tourists, such as Chinese and Thai food restaurants. If you’ve had enough of everyday food, then you should definitely check them out.
M Plaza is a must-visit site for foreign tourists to Korea. There is the Seoul Global Cultural Experience Center in the M Plaza to make the visit more fun for tourists. At the entrance, there are guidebooks that provide information about the various tourist attractions in Seoul; these come in different languages, including Chinese, English, and Japanese. They are shaped like gayageum, a traditional Korean string instrument.
Visitors can make on-site reservations for a chance to wear hanbok, traditional Korean clothing. Foreign tourists who visit the center to try on hanbok wait in line with huge smiles on their faces. With the permission of the person in charge, I took a picture. Foreigners were enjoying the experience of trying on different types of hanbok, from the everyday attire to that you would wear at a traditional Korean wedding and even a regional official garb.
Also, Myeongdong M Plaza houses Haechi Hall, a multipurpose concert hall for musicals and concerts, on the fifth floor. Although there was nothing going on the day I visited, you can enjoy a number of different performances if you check the schedule in advance. Myeongdong M Plaza is a place where you can kill two birds with one stone, since you can enjoy shopping and cultural performances.
From shopping to cultural performances! Myeongdong M Plaza is a great place for mall-goers of every age and nationality looking to enjoy everything in one place. If real “fun” is on your agenda rather than a simple shopping experience, then you should definitely stop by and take a look around!
[Seoul Tour Course for Mall-Goers 3]
Shopping and Fun all-in-one! Yeouido
It’s mid October, and now there’s chill in the air as the autumn breeze blows through Yeouido Park. Apparently, the “go-to” place for the mall-goers is located right here in Yeouido. When you get off at Yeouido Station, on Subway Lines 5 or 6, and head towards Exit 3, you can get there on the moving walkway. Can you guess where it is? It’s the IFC Mall!
The IFC Mall building is made up of three buildings including the Conrad Hotel and two office buildings. It was created as the “International Finance Center” as Yeouido, Seoul, was designated as the financial center of Korea in 2012.
The IFC Mall consists of three underground floors. Lower Level 3 houses the Food Empire and a number of restaurants, where you can get a taste of different kinds of food, as well as a CGV Multiplex Cinema; Lower Levels 1 and 2 are dedicated to Youngpoong Bookstore, an Apple Store, and over 100 fashion brands, including a variety of luxury shops and SPAs (specialty retailers of private-label apparel).
In particular, Food Empire, on Lower Level 3, is a “mall of restaurants” modeled after a European subway station. On workdays, it’s packed with office workers, especially during lunchtime. An interactive big screen installed in front of the CGV Theater catches the eyes of children. When the children move in front of the screen, it recognizes their movements and plays fun video clips. Along with the Kids Playround at the entrance of the mall, it’s a great place that children love.
What attracts many mall-goers can be found on Lower Levels 1 and 2: major SPA fashion brands, including UNIQLO, ZARA, 8Seconds, H&M, Guess and shops that feature rising fashion brands, such as Hollister and Stradivarius! It’s the shopping section of the mall, where a variety of fashion brands, from home and abroad, is located! Mall-goers who know a thing or two about fashion gather at this place. A place for great shopping at any time of the year, great food not only to eat but also to look at, and a movie theater on top of that – you can tell why mall-goers are crazy for this mall, right?
Like a News Anchor! KBS Exhibition Hall “KBS ON”
Now to a place where you can learn everything (well, maybe not everything, but close!) about the past and present of TV and radio broadcasting in Korea! Located in the vicinity of IFC Mall, you can get there after passing the steps in front of the main KBS building, where Kang Ho-dong and his friends used to shout “Two Days, One Night!” If you head up further towards the stream, you will arrive at the KBS Exhibition Hall, “KBS ON.”
Non-group visitors can visit KBS On any day, with the exception of holidays and regular closed days (first Monday of every month), between 9:30 am and 5:30 pm, free of charge. When I went, it was past lunchtime, so there weren’t that many visitors. From the first floor, I walked straight up the steps to the fourth floor. There were huge familiar looking models on each floor. When I got to the Broadcast Experience Hall, on the fourth floor, a group of preschool children were curiously examining the displayed broadcasting equipment, chaperoned by their teachers.
The fourth floor is dedicated to the past glories and history of KBS and the Korean media. It is divided up into a number of sections, including KBS Programs, New Media, Virtual Studio, Drama, Entertainment, Animation Dubbing, Sports News at 9, KBS Announcer, and Mini Museum. They even offer a program that allows visitors to experience what it is like being a news anchor for a little while. It’s a great place for children to learn about media and have fun!
Along the hallways and walls, posters for KBS’ major TV shows and life-sized cardboard cutouts of celebrities, anchors, and broadcasters are present for visitors to take pictures. There’s the historical drama Jeong Dojeon that I loved to watch.
KBS On opened in 1977 as an exhibition hall, and it became what it is today through a complete renovation in 2001. If you come at the right time, you’ll see the actual filming of TV shows in the KBS Concert Hall and the radio studio, just like at the Open Studio on the first floor of the main building. The Mini Museum on the fourth floor showcases TV cameras, microphones, and rare devices and equipment used for broadcasting and filming.