Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yongsan: Techie's Paradise

During my stay in Seoul, I visited the Yongsan Station twice. This is a huge complex that houses a large subway station, mall, IMAX theater, and the famous electronics market. The area houses several buildings and blocks of sidewalk vendors.

Upon arrival in Seoul, my group gathered and then headed to the hostel where we dropped things off and cleaned up a bit. then, it was off to Yongsan for a late lunch and some electronics buying. The area of the electronics market that is attached the the mall is like nothing I have seen before. It was like a high-tech flea market. The large mutli-level floorspace was taken up by independent vendors selling their wares. Different shops had different specialties: household appliances (rice cookers, electric shavers, and hair dryers), consumer electronics (MP3 players, cameras, accessories), plasma TVs, GPS units, etc.

A couple people in our group needed digital cameras. So, while they browsed and haggled, I finally found my power converter. I needed a transformer that could take the 220 volatage electricity in Korea and turn it into the American style voltage of 110 that wouldn't fry my stuff. To my surprise, I easily found three different vendors with three different models. Not only did I find what I wanted, I was able to bargain hunt! The two people in my group got good deals on name brand cameras. Even the people that didn't buy anything marveled at some of the consumer electronics that won't be hitting the shelves in America for a year or more--everyone left happy.

After I realized I left my memory card in my computer at Geoje, I returned to Yongsan. Even though many of the shops were closed because of the holiday, I was able to find a really good deal on a nicer, faster card. In fact, I did some price shopping after I got back, and found that I got a real bargain--a 1 gb XD picture card for W45,000 (about $45.) The same card will cost more of that before taxes.

In the outdoor area of Yongsan, my smaller travel group browsed the countless pirated movie displays. These movie pirates were really professional about their business. They had a case on display and kept a master copy in their mini offices in their tents. When someone buys a movie, they burn a copy right then and hand it over. Their selection included movies that had just been released in the US. That meant they were probably copies made from some guy with a camcorder in the theater. Every time I think of watching a pirated movie, I am reminded of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer and Jerry get involved in the pirated movie business in New York.

After looking a museums, palaces, and folk displays all week, it was nice to get a little glimpse into the future--at least the future of technology.

Yongsan Electronics Market

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate comments. If you have a personal message to me, then e-mail would be best.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...