[Eye Plus] Chinese tourists back in Myeong-dong

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : May 25, 2018 - 14:56
  • Updated : May 25, 2018 - 14:56

The streets of Myeong-dong are once again bustling with Chinese tourists, thanks to a thaw in relations between Seoul and Beijing.

Myeong-dong, a shopping district in central Seoul, is one of the most popular tourist spots in Korea. Just walking down the streets is enough to see that it is a foreigner-friendly zone, as you will be stopped by sales staff calling out in different languages.

(Photographed by Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

The number of Chinese tourists had been falling due to icy relations between the two countries following the deployment of an anti-missile system in Korea. But figures from the Korea Tourism Organization showed that the number of Chinese tourists is trending upward, marking 403,000 in April, up 11.8 percent compared to the same period the year before.

(Photographed by Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Street vendors selling all kinds of food keep the streets lit up well into the night. One can enjoy Korean street snacks like tteokbokki or delicacies from other countries, sold by vendors of varying nationalities.

According to a survey by Nielsen Korea, 79 percent of tourists that visited Korea last year said shopping was what they enjoyed the most. Myeong-dong proved to be the most popular destination with 85.2 percent of respondents, followed by N Seoul Tower with 56.5 percent.

(Photographed by Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Local officials have increased the number of facilities to aid tourists in the area including opening a branch of China’s online payment platform Alipay in Myeong-dong.

Photographed by Park Hyun-koo
Written by Yoon Min-sik