Myeongdong, a famous shopping district and tourist destination in Seoul, was jam-packed with Chinese tourists during the week-long national holiday. To accommodate the influx of visitors, brands marketed to consumers with signs and banners written in Chinese characters, leaving China’s tourists feeling like they hadn’t even left their country at all.
One the first day of the holiday, a number of Chinese tourists were seen lining up outside the Lotte Duty-free shop before it opened. Apparently, many department stores in Seoul were embellished with red and gold (auspicious colors in China) and with the Chinese lucky number “8” was always visible in the pricing.
“I was shocked when I went shopping with my friends yesterday in Myeongdong. It was full of Chinese. Slogans in the cosmetics shops were in Chinese characters and the sales people spoke to people in Chinese too. We doubted whether we were staying in Korea,” said a local resident.
Seoul put preventative measures in place to deal with overcrowding during the notoriously busy holiday week, and traffic controllers were stationed in famous tourist spots like Dongdaemun.
Guan, a Chinese tourist in Seoul, said she felt familiar with the location after seeing a banner in Chinese characters reading: “Welcome to Myeongdong”.
She expressed her fondness with Seoul, and we assume Seoul was likewise fond after she forked out her pockets ‘o’ cash.
Previously on Shanghaiist: Chinese tourists say South Koreans ‘look down on them’
[Images via Net Ease News]
By Christy Lau