I have seen so many entries on so many different blogs talking about places to go thrift shopping in Seoul. But the absolute best place to go thrifting hardly ever makes the list. Forget the overpriced vintage shops and the places that sell clothes by the kilogram. Go to Dongmyo! It is a thrifter’s heaven!
So today I am bringing you a hidden gem that I absolutely adore and I am sure that if you give it a try, you will realize it’s everything I say, and more. There are two things you need when going here: time and cash. Let’s get going!
Dongmyo Station is located on Seoul subway lines 6 and 1. I stumbled upon it because I was quarantined nearby. Then, after my last day of quarantining, I still had a few days to stay in the facility for a few days before I could move into my university’s dorm. So, I went out to explore. I didn’t have my phone set up yet, so I didn’t go too far from the place I stayed. But even when I was not far from home, I did hit a nice home run! (Pun intended)
In a wide street near exit three of the station is where you will find thrift shop heaven. You really can find everything you can imagine, and probably a few things you can’t. They sell second-hand clothes, bikes, kitchenware, and even televisions.
And, besides all that, you can meet lots of different people. The streets are filled with ajummas and ahjussis, international students, young Korean adults… It’s like a festival of diversity and I loved it! It was a nice place to start my journey in Seoul and most of the time, you can find people who speak English. English was essential for me at that point – I was fresh off the plane and I could only ask “where’s the bathroom” and say “thank you”.
Slowly, what started as a simple morning walking around, ended in a full day of shopping. While walking through the main street I was able to find a ton of clothes and kitchen supplies that I needed. Then thrift fever took over, and I also bought shoes. But it’s okay, I convinced myself that I needed them, so I could buy them. . No regrets! My closet is happy and full.
But here’s the thing. The tricky part about going to Dongmyo station is that most of the places either don’t take card payments, or they do but they will charge you an extra 10%. If you are okay with being charged more, then you may not need cash. But, the whole point of thrifting is to get things as a discount, so I would bring cash. Furthermore, I seriously recommend you go with a lot of it because you may fall in love something only to discover card won’t be accepted.
Another thing you are going to need is time. Why time? Because this isn’t just one street with a few thrift shops on it, It’s a neighborhood! There are thrift shops that are actual shops, there are stalls, and there are people who just sell their stuff on the side of the street. I’m talking – next-level thrifting experience. You could go and spend the whole day, if not a few days, wandering around the area.
All in all, Dongmyo station is a hidden gem that not many people talk about. It is thrifting chaos, but I definitely enjoy going. Each time I go, I find a new store that sells amazing stuff.
Now that it is summer, the clothing sold there is very colorful, and the most important thing for me is that they do have bigger sizes. You can find not only Korean standard sizes, but clothes made for more curvy bodies as well. If you patiently wander with time in your hands, I assure you that you will find something that suits both your style and your size.
I have been saving some money so I can go back there, and I am very excited about what I will discover next. Maybe I’ll come home with a new TV – who knows?
About a 15-minute walk from Dongmyo, you can find one of the most unique neighborhoods in Seoul. It is often referred to as ‘Little Mongolia’. However, it is a cultural center for many Central Asian countries including Uzbekistan, Kazakstan, and Tajikistan. If you’ve never tried Central Asian food, now is your chance! Click Here, then skip down to ‘HAPAH Mongolian Restaurant’. It is located in the heart of the neighborhood.