I didn’t realize it since I’m down here in Busan, but up in Seoul up through the 31st of August is Seoul’s Grand Seoul. More here:
How does this sound to you? Watching the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing and stopping over in Seoul for an affordable shopping spree?
A citywide discount, aimed at attracting summer vacationers to Korea on their way to or from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is in full swing.
Seoul City is hosting the “Seoul Grand Sale 2008” from 19 July to August 31, offering shopping deals, bargains on accommodation, cheap meals at restaurants and so on. Shoppers can get up to 70% off, not only when shopping, but also at hotels, restaurants, cultural events and tourist attractions in the city.
The sale is actually not a new thing. The annual event was first launched back in 1999 by the Korea Tourism Organization in a bid to promote the national tourism industry.
But this year is very special indeed, with more than 10,000 businesses participating and the event has also been promoted in renowned Asian magazines since May. These include TTG China, NG Trend Traveler (China), Weekly Travel Journal (Japan) as well as Travel Rich (Taiwan) and TTG Asia (Malaysia) in order to target more tourists from overseas.
City officials say that the sale is designed to compete with discount events in such countries as Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, and to ultimately lure foreign visitors to stop by on their way to or from China during the Olympics.
During the “Seoul Grand Sale 2008” event, duty free shops, department stores and shopping centers in the
areas of Myeongdong and Dongdaemun are having sales of up to 50 to 70% on luxury fashion items and cosmetics. Restaurants in Seoul are offering Korean dishes at lower prices as well.
And what’s so good about shopping in Seoul is that you really can shop all day and all night. Dongdaemun, Myeongdong, Namdaemun and Itaewon are thriving shopping areas in Seoul, where many shops stay open late.
Dongdaemun Market (Dongdaemun Stadium Station on Subway Line 2) is a huge shopping town with about 20 shopping malls and 50,000 shops.
The biggest and the oldest (it opened in 1905) wholesale and retail shopping district in Korea is open 24 hours and specializes in clothing, shoes and other fashion accessories sold at about 30 to 70 percent less than prices in department stores.
There are many buildings specializing in certain items, such as silks, clothes, furniture, bedding, electrical supplies and electronics.
Itaewon is a district popular with foreign residents and visitors for its shopping, restaurants and nightlife.
Spanning the area between Noksapyeong and Hangangjin stations on Line 6, Itaewon, with its wide variety of products and people, has long been a bargain hunters’ paradise especially popular among non-Koreans.
There are some 1,900 stores with clothes, leather goods, antiques and more lining the streets and back alleys of Itaewon.
The Seoul Grand Sale 2008 will not only be a delight for shoppers but also a chance for tourists interested in cultural events, performances and exhibitions to learn more about Korea.
The four most popular royal palaces including Deoksugung Palace, Gyeongbokgung Palace as well as the Seoul Museum of Art and the Seoul Museum of History are all offering free admission tickets for tourists.
Seoul Tower, three theme parks including Everland and Lotte World as well as pleasure boats on
the Hangang (Han River) will also offer discount coupons.
You should pick up a coupon book to take advantage of the special offers available during the Seoul Grand Sale.
In this coupon book, you can find useful information like descriptions and contact addresses of shops that are participating in the Grand Sale, as well as other special benefit coupons.
Discount coupon books are available free of charge at Incheon International Airport on arrival in Seoul as well as at tourist information centers and hotels in the downtown area.
● Inquiries: Seoul Global Center +82-2-1688-0120 (English, Japanese, Chinese)
● For more info: http://www.seoulgrandsale.com/en (English, Japanese, Chinese)