However, I came to realize that it's more fun to shop at the lesser-known shopping districts where it's relatively peaceful (read: no rambunctious tourists from you know where) and less crowded. And if you're lucky, you might come across some really good deals (like 1+1 sale events or clearance sales) or find goods that are sold at cheaper prices.
One of my favorite lesser-known shopping destinations is Kondae (Konkuk University), located just two subway stops away from where we live. Lined with restaurants, cafes, and retail shops, Kondae is a go-to destination for teens and yuppies (I have not used this word in such a long time, lol), and is now garnering attention for being the new Gangnam.
Kondae is known for its 'Taste Street', a whole block lined with pubs, cafes, and restaurants with vast dining options - from samgyeopsal, Chinese food, to Western cuisine. It also has a Rodeo Fashion Street where you'll find a variety of clothing stores and popular sports brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. In addition, Kondae is also home to Common Ground, the very first pop-up container mall in the country.
|Welcome to Common Ground!|
Made with 200 shipping containers and covering an area of approximately 5300 meters, this creative shopping complex opened its doors to the public two years ago and has become a hot spot for university students, locals, and tourists ever since.
Packed with lifestyle shops, artisan shops, and clothing stores mostly from indie brands, Common Ground gives off a very charming, and somewhat 'hipster' vibe.
Common Ground also has a gallery which showcases the works of local artists, and an outdoor space for programs, concerts, and even weekend markets.
How I wish we came on a weekend! It would have been fun to shop at the flea market and watch live performances while we were at it!
If you're not into mainstream brands or love exploring artisan products, then Common Ground is right up your alley. It's a trendy destination that's perfect not only for chilling out, but also for taking Instagrammable OOTD photos. And I bet anyone who has visited this place will agree with me. :)
|Can't miss those bright blue containers!|
|Accessories and cosmetics on the first floor of the Market Hall.l|
|A flower shop on the second floor of the Market Hall.|
|The Toy Republic shop on the second floor.|
A DJ stationed inside the red booth smack dab in the middle of the Market Hall keeps the mood laidback yet upbeat.
|We found Gong Yoo at Commong Ground! :)|
The place also offers a variety of food and beverage options, which includes the restaurants lined up at the Terrace Market on the third floor and the food trucks located on the exterior area of the shopping complex.
|Rainbow cakes at Dore Dore.|
|The food trucks were still closed when we arrived.|
|On higher ground.|
|Outdoor space for concerts and parties, even.|
|Itchy and Scratchy!|
|Hello, Homer Simpson!|
|Common Ground floor guide.|
|The entrance to the Market Hall.|
To get to Common Ground, take the subway to Konkuk University Station Exit 6 and walk straight ahead for about 250 meters. You know you've arrived at your destination once you see the bright blue containers. You can't miss it!