I’ve had this post in my drafts since last March lol…
Oh, my goodness. I meant to write about my neighborhood a lot sooner. So, I live near Deokcheon station in Busan and it’s just about filled with anything you might need: a young life area with restaurants, clothing stores, and more, an underground shopping mall, and a traditional market.
I don’t really know what to call the young life area. I go there most of the time since the street has a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and dessert stores. It also has a food mart and clothing stores I like. There’s also an Artbox (my fav!!) which is a stationary store, and Daiso, which is like a dollar store. There’s even a cat cafe! But the highlight for me was the Sim Sim Doorim Cafe. It’s a comic book cafe!
You go in and pay for how many hours you want to stay- about 2000 won for the first hour. You take off your slippers and you can browse all sorts of comic books (all in Korean, of course). They even have Japanese manga, but in Korean. The store also has these little secluded reading areas that I adore. You can just go in and lie down and do whatever, so I usually came here to use the wifi in the quiet, secluded setting before I got internet in my apartment. You can also buy coffee, snacks, ice cream, or ramen!
Moving on, this young life area also has a mall: Newcore Mall. It’s not too small and has a good selection of clothes, though pricey in my opinion. It’s worth checking it out when they have sales. Next to the mall, however, is a used bookstore! MY FAVORITE. It’s called Aladdin Used Books. It’s rather easy to find except for the fact that the signs for the store are entirely in Korean. Here’s what it looks like from the outside:
They have a wide selection of books in Korean, English, and even Japanese! I was surprised at how many English books there were, to be honest. I’d been to bigger bookstores in department stores and was disappointed when I found that they didn’t sell books in English. Aladdin Used Books is therefore a great, and even better, alternative. The books are relatively cheap and are in good condition. The inside is pretty quiet and has areas for people to sit down and read. You can sign up for a membership without using your ARC so it’s pretty handy!
Deokcheon also has an underground shopping area. It’s pretty large! One reason why I like it better than Seomyeon’s is because it’s linear. Seomyeon is very broad and has stores literally placed every which way, which makes it easy to get lost because it’s very confusing. Deokcheon is just a long, straight line with stores on either side- and that simplicity makes me like it more. It’s nowhere near as big as Seomyeon but it still has a wide collection of clothing items.
Last is the Gupo Traditional Market. I rely on this area for the majority of my groceries. I go there multiple times a week but I still get lost whenever I go…because I suck at finding my way around lol. Anyways, as soon as you enter the area there are some ajummas selling seafood in the middle of the street. If you go past them and down the stairs, you reach the seafood/fresh market area. They sell almost everything here. Fish, octopus, vegetables, rice, traditional crackers, meat- just name anything Korean and you’ll find it here. I have to make sure I go there on a full stomach because otherwise I’m just tempted to buy everything! The people here are generally friendly and often give me extra when I buy from them. I honestly prefer buying from the traditional market so I can help support local farmers and businesses. Plus, the ingredients feel more…fresh?
Overall, my area has anything I’d need within arm’s reach. Although my apartment is small, I’m thankful that everything else is so close. The location is also good because I’m near lines 2 and 3 and can get to most areas of Busan fairly easily. It’s been a wonderful experience wandering around and I will admittedly miss it when I leave.