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      History of Myeongdong


      Myeongdong dates back to the Joseon Dynasty when it was called Myeongryebang (Hangul: 紐낅諛; hanja: 삇獵쓪) and mostly a residential area. During the Japanese era the name was changed to Myeongchijeong (Hangul: 紐낆튂젙; hanja: 삇亦사뵼, Meijicho in Japanese pronunciation) and became more of a commercial district, being influenced by the rising commerce in the neighboring Chungmuro area. It became the official district of Myeongdong in 1946, after independence.

      After the Korean War and into the 1960s, the economy blossomed and the financial sector from Namdaemun-ro and Euljiro gradually expanded into Myeongdong. The area flourished as city renovations took place and high-rise buildings were built. Many department stores, shopping centers, restaurants, upscale shops and boutiques set up their businesses in Myeongdong and it became the mecca for the young and trendy in the 1970s.

      Besides being a major commercial and financial district, Myeongdong has been a popular location for political demonstrations and protests, especially during the turbulent years of the 1980s and 1990s. Myeongdong Cathedral has been a frequent spot for many of these demonstrations and still is to this day. As of March 2000, Myeongdong's has been designated as a special Tourism Promotion Area and is one of the stops on the official Seoul City Bus tour's main route.





      Seoul's financial hub is divided between here and Yeouido where the Korea Stock Exchange is located. Major insurance, securities, financial services companies, and investment firms with headquarters in Myeongdong include Citibank, SK Corporation, Kookmin Bank, Korea Exchange Bank, Lone Star Funds, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, AIG Korea Insurance, Hana Bank, and HSBC. The Bank of Korea is also in the vicinity.

      Other notable landmarks in Myeongdong include the Chinese Embassy, which was first opened on January 4, 1949. YWCA headquarters, UNESCO Hall, Myeongdong Theater, and the oldest Catholic cathedral in Korea, Myeongdong Cathedral.

      Except for early morning and late night delivery hours, the main street and most of the alleys are blocked off for pedestrians to roam freely without being hindered by traffic.





      Myeongdong (紐낅룞) is one of the busiest number 1 shopping district in Seoul and is among Korea셲 premier primary shopping destinations. Over 1 million shoppers pass through this area each and every day and being located in the heart of Seoul, Myeongdong is well known to be Korea셲 modern-day history as a center of city politics, economy, and culture. Its wild popularity has led to similar shopping districts springing up all across the country. The two main subway lines which meet in the center of the district begins from Myeongdong Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No. 4) and Lotte Department Store at Euljiro. . The area셲 well-developed transportation grid makes it the ideal place for visitors who may not yet be familiar with the city.

      Aside from shopping, visitors can check out the Myeongdong Cathedral and the nearby Namdaemun Market, a market with over 600 years of history. Myeongdong셲 combination of historical significance, nearby tourist attractions, and prime shopping has established it as the ultimate tourist destination in Seoul. In a poll of nearly 2,000 foreign visitors, conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in November 2011, stated that 13.4 percent named shopping in Myeongdong as their favorite activity in Seoul.

      If you purchase items that are more than 30,000 won at a shop where you are eligible for tax refund, request for a tax rebate form you will typically be given a blue or orange colored form. Fill it up and submit for tax refund in cash at one of the tax refund outlets here in Myeongdong or at the Incheon airport if you depart back to Singapore. All skincare/cosmetic/beauty products outlet are eligible for tax refund and it is quite easy to estimate up to 30,000 won (about 30 USD) with your purchases!




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