What to Do
What to Do
  • 김태연 기자
  • 승인 2005.11.30 00:00
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▲ Photos by Park Yoo-miDongdaemun is where both contemporary culture and anctient culture coexistst for both Koreans and foreigners to experience the differences.

   As you walk along the main street of the Dongdaemun area, you will see different types of businesses. First, fortune tellers make predictions about a person? love life, wealth, and life in general through palmistry and physiognomy. Second, numerous street vendors sell various items such as shoes, clothes, accessories, toys, caps, make up kits, food, cultural items, Digital Video Disks, and sports items. Third, Korean hair salons and nail art shops are helpful in catching you up with the most advanced styles and designs. Here, contemporary culture and ancient culture co-exist.
   In the streets of Dongdaemun, you find people sitting in small rooms made of plastic sheeting. As you lift the plastic door on one side of the small, square room, you see fortunetellers dressed in Korean traditional attire looking at customers?faces and hands to foresee their destinies. The practice of palmistry and physiognomy is one of many facets of Korean culture. Koreans believe that in the palm of a person lies a whole life plan. By following the lines in one? palm and examining facial features, the fortuneteller predicts and gives answers to various questions people ask. Although many people tend not to believe the answers, it is a fun experience not to be missed. 
   Since Dongdaemun is the place in Seoul where trends begin and change, all kinds of items are sold. Whatever you want to buy, you can find it here, as most shops sell different items at cheap prices. Although most shops sell contemporary products, some sell products that originated in ancient times but which may be new to the customers. Dongdaemun is known as the best shopping site in Korea because one can get almost everything at a reasonable price. Bargaining is another experience, and one which shows the sellers?personalities.
   ?xotic?is the word that fits Korean fashion trends. According to Kim Ha-na, a shopper in Dongdaemun, ?ongdaemun is a good place for foreigners to experience Korean culture. Even Koreans enjoy it. I come here quite often and especially at night, since there are lots of things to do and see.?
   In Dongdaemun you can learn to express yourself with your hairstyle and nail art. With the advice given by hair designers, a person can find the style that best fits her. Also, you can easily see the most popular fads. Nail art is booming in Korea! ?arious styles, designs and drawings can be drawn on your nails.
   With all these things to do, your visit to Dongdaemun at night will certainly not be a waste of time, although you might be a little tired the next day. Plus, you will have experienced the old and the new in rapid succession, a thrill in itself.

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