The reporter is very familiar with South Korea. Since the first expansion tour in August 2009, he has visited South Korea five times. But if it is worth remembering, in comparison, the second trip to Korea with my family can be described as a genuine and in-depth tour of Seoul.

  At 10 am on June 13, 2010, the reporter and his party set off from Terminal 2 of the Capital International Airport, and arrived at Incheon Airport at 11:20 Seoul time after a flight of 1 hour and 20 minutes. At the airport, I took the Airport Express and then transferred to the subway to arrive at the Lotte City Hotel in Seoul, where I stayed. I put down my bags and started the cultural tour of strolling in the shopping streets of Seoul.

We first came to Itaewon Shopping Street in Yongshan District, Seoul by subway. After getting up from the subway, a bustling bustling scene immediately appeared in front of people's eyes. Because Itaewon has been influenced by foreign culture for a long time, it has become very "exotic". It is located near Namsan, Seoul, and is close to the US military base in Korea, so it embodies pure American culture everywhere. The crowds on the street are mainly Americans and tourists from all over the world who come to Seoul. It has the taste of "Sanlitun" in Beijing.

  Here you can experience and understand the comprehensive culture through food, entertainment and shopping. The international popularity of the shopping street Itaewon is self-evident from the saying "It's not surprising if you don't know Seoul, but it's strange if you don't know Itaewon". Itaewon Shopping Street is centered on the Hamilton Hotel and extends in both east and west directions.

  In Itaewon, the signs of shops and restaurants are all in English, and there are many authentic American-style clubs and shops, which makes people feel like they have arrived in another country. Although traveling in Seoul, it feels like entering a foreign country, which makes people feel a little fresh.

The 1.4-kilometer section from Itaewon 1st Cave to Hannam 2nd Cave has not only countless shops, but also a variety of entertainment facilities and gourmet restaurants.

A major feature of the street in Itaewon is the widespread use of English. Not only the Koreans and foreigners walking on the road talk in English together, but even the shop signs on the roadside are marked in English, and you can often see the words "oversized". number" and "lengthened and enlarged".

The best-selling items in Itaewon are denim, fur and leather products. Most are pure American style. There are also cheap duty-free specialty shops selling designer fur coats, leather jackets, and formal wear. There are also pure American-style spacesuits, sneakers, hip-hop outfits and other "full foreign flavor" shops.

There are also various Chinese and Western restaurants such as pizzerias and fast food restaurants around. There are also Korean traditional sauna rooms, traditional restaurants, etc. And many international characteristic clubs, coffee shops, ice cream shops, etc. It can be said that Itaewon is a street that is in line with international standards and has a very foreign style.

  Since the late 1990s, tourists from Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East have been increasing in Itaewon, and it has gradually changed from a street centered on the US military to a street for tourists from all over the world. In 1997, it was designated as a special tourist zone. . Most of the people who come and go on this street are foreigners, so most of the shops can speak foreign languages ​​such as English, Japanese, Chinese, etc., and the products sold are of many sizes, which can meet the needs of foreigners.

  In addition, you can also taste foreign flavors such as Turkey, India, Pakistan, Switzerland, Thailand, etc. that are difficult to find in other places, which has become a great pleasure for sightseeing here. Itaewon, which is gradually developing into a world-class tourist attraction, also holds the Itaewon International Festival every year, with open-air cultural performances. In addition to shopping, tourists can also experience the essence of Korean traditional culture in an exotic environment.

Photo taken at the entrance of Insadong Shopping Street

  If Itaewon Commercial Street is similar to Sanlitun in Beijing, then Insadong is like Liulichang in Beijing. It is located in the city center of Seoul, South Korea. It is a rare space. Various ancient and precious traditions circulate from Insadong. From the perspective of items, it clearly reflects the characteristics of Korean traditional culture. On the morning of June 14, 2010, the reporter and his party came here for a parade.

  There are many alleys on both sides of the main road in Insadong, which look like a maze. Galleries, traditional craft shops, ancient art shops, traditional tea shops, traditional restaurants, cafes, etc. are densely packed in this labyrinth. Shopkeepers in Insadong have their own uniqueness, and young and middle-aged people love it very much.

Among them, the gallery is the center that continues the lifeline of Insadong. There are more than 100 galleries here, where visitors can enjoy various exhibitions of Korean paintings, panel paintings, and sculptures. Representative ones include Hakgojae, which used to be a folk art center, Gana Gallery, a base for talented painters, and Gannart Center. If you want to feast your eyes on the most famous galleries in Insadong, you can take the "art gallery tour car" and visit more than ten famous galleries at a low price.

  When we came here, we saw two side-by-side promotional posters of the "Rodin Sculpture Art" exhibition hanging on the poles on both sides of the entire Insadong street, which was very eye-catching. It can be seen that although the local traditional culture is the mainstay here, it does not exclude Western culture and art.

  The accompanying friend pointed to the name of a "Starbucks coffee shop" marked in Korean on the street and told the reporter: Insadong pays great attention to promoting the traditional culture of Korea. The name of the store can only be seen on Insadong Street.

  There are also traditional tea houses, restaurants and food stalls with special flavors in the landscape of Insadong Commercial Street. These small shops will come into people's eyes one after another when they walk along the long commercial street. Some are on the street, while others are in the alleys. Especially some small shop owners will warmly greet you when they find customers shopping. When they saw us, they spoke Chinese first, but when we didn't respond in time, they spoke Japanese again. It was really interesting.

  Insadong is a "car-free street" every Sunday from 10:00 to 22:00. At this time, it becomes a cultural space to share the fun with the citizens. On this day, not only the existing shops will be open, but there will also be traditional performances and exhibitions on the street, as well as maltose sellers and fortune tellers.

  Even foreigners who come to have fun flock here. In order to appreciate the traditional culture of Korea, these foreign tourists will look at antiques in traditional shops or buy some old paintings. I will also buy some maltose or traditional scallion pancakes on the street. Many foreigners will completely indulge in the charm of traditional culture in this urban center.

  On the morning of June 15, 2010, the reporter and his party came to Myeongdong Commercial Street after Insadong Commercial Street, and there was another lively scene here. Myeongdong Avenue is located in the central area of ​​Seoul, South Korea. It has become a representative area of ​​Korean fashion because of the dense concentration of various brand stores, department stores, and bonded stores.

  Although there are a wide variety of clothing, footwear, accessories, cosmetics and other popular commodities to buy here, because the design and quality of the finished products are higher than those in Namdaemun Market and Dongdaemun Market, the prices are also more affordable for middle and upper consumer groups. In terms of positioning, "Myeongdong" should be classified as "Ximending of South Korea".

In Myeongdong, large department stores include Lotte Department Store, Shinsegae Department Store, U2Zone Commercial Building on Myeongdong Street, Myeongdong Milio Commercial Building, AbaTar Commercial Building and other shopping malls.

High-end products are mainly purchased in large department stores, while in bonded shopping centers such as Milio Commercial Building and AbaTar Commercial Building, you can buy fashionable products at low prices. In addition, there are various brand stores gathered in the central street and the alleys on both sides.

  Around Myeongdong Commercial Street, there are various food stalls all over the street. The colorful, colorful and assortment of small commodities are dazzling and dizzying. The voice of selling is endless. Some stores also promote products in the form of entertainment activities in front of the store, which increases the popularity of the store and sells the products.

  In Myeongdong, besides shopping, there are many delicious and fun things to do. In terms of food, there are Western restaurants, fast food restaurants, Korean, Western, Japanese and other restaurants, among which Myeongdong tonkatsu and knife-cut noodles are the most famous. In addition, there are beauty shops, banks, theaters and other facilities in Myeongdong to provide convenience for tourists.

  It is particularly worth mentioning that when you come to Myeongdong, you must go to the "Myeongdong Temple" to pay your respects. Because this is the earliest Catholic church in Korea, the pure Gothic architecture is antique. Behind the church is a place for people to rest in the troubled city, where tourists can relieve the fatigue of the journey.

  Among the shopping streets in Seoul, apart from Itaewon and Insadong, which are similar to Sanlitun and Liulichang in Beijing, I think there is another place with a strong cultural atmosphere that is very similar to Wudaokou and Xueyuanlu in Beijing, and that is Seoul. Street view of the commercial district around Daxue Road.

Daehang-ro is a young road formed around the former Seoul National University College of Arts and Sciences, and it spans Dongsung-dong and Hyehwa-dong. Since 1980, several drama theaters have been moved to Daxue Road, making it a cultural street.

Since then, cafes with live performances, cinemas, theaters, etc., as well as ordinary cafes, bars, etc. have gathered here to become a comprehensive cultural space. In particular, the Blue Bird Theater and Xuetian Small Theater, which have a long tradition, also maintain their lifeline here, making Korean art take root here.

  Daxue Road is a popular place for young people in Seoul to gather, because there are many landscapes and rich food here. In the shopping street, there are restaurants, fast food restaurants, bars and other places suitable for young people. Young couples or classmates can enjoy a happy time in the nearby cafes or restaurants after watching a drama or performance here. Therefore, the unique atmosphere here is especially loved by people.

  There is also a particularly famous performance project "Painting Show" in Korea on Daxue Road. I remember that when I came to Seoul last year, I saw a performance of "Nanta Show" with a symphony of pots, bowls and pans. That unique performance was extremely impressive, and it is said that the performance of "Painting Show" in Seoul and "Nanta Show" can be called a sister chapter.

  The performance venue of "Painting Show" is in a very inconspicuous small place in the shopping street around Daxue Road. The scale of the theater is not luxurious at all, but the performances are very distinctive. The small theater can only accommodate more than a hundred spectators, most of whom are tourists from all over the world who come here especially for the name.

  "Painting Show" is also called "Graffiti: Show". As a silent musical, it is a full-process performance of painting works on stage. It was first staged in Korea, and it is difficult to find its source in the world. Actors draw on small drawing paper or use the whole stage as a canvas to draw more than 10 works of art. The special effect of the painting is set off by the sea or the shell, showing the audience a variety of materials and techniques.

After the performance started, the four protagonists "look" appeared one after another. They interact with the people on earth (the audience at the scene) through art and body language through humorous performances. The look that becomes a painting in an instant, the look that acts recklessly and always makes mistakes, the look that is good at dancing, etc. have different personalities. The whole performance presents classical and modern, eastern and western art elements in a comprehensive form. Combining painting skills and special effects, it brings unexpected surprises and touches to the audience, which is endlessly memorable... (Photo: Feng Ganyong)