We stayed at the Westin Chosun while in Seoul (a work booking, so pricey at $194 a night but worth it for the location and its tasty breakfast buffet spread). Walking distance from us was the Myeongdong Underground Shopping Center, which is essentially an underground mall of random shops featuring color contact lenses (very popular), K-pop memorabilia and knock-off purses.
An elevator ride up to street level and you're smack in the middle of the Myeondong Shopping District – known for fried street food on sticks and face masks.
The district is most active at night, when all the food vendors set up shop. What you can find to eat: Korean egg toast, spiral-cut potato, grilled scallops, roasted lobster with cheese, fried baby crab, roasted sweet potatoes, grilled abalone, to name a few.
People eat and shop as the stores stay open pretty late (10 p.m.) to accommodate the crowds.
You can get food and snacks all night ranging from $2 to $10.
Most anyone who visits Seoul will leave with package of face masks if you pass through this shopping district – either because your friends/family have asked you to pick some up for them (Koreans are world renowned for great skincare) or you've been lured by the crazy deals or shopkeepers literally grabbing your arm to pull you into their shop.
For good reason since Koreans have amazing skin (which I would guess is more due to genetics than skincare but we can only hope that using the face masks will give us that "glass skin" look).
I left with multiple packages of face masks, which I gave as gifts and use myself.
Another must do is to partake in Korean barbecue, where you cook your own meat. We were a little lost how to do it properly so our waiter kindly walked us through it.
And to eat bibimbop, a bowl of warm white rice topped with namui (sautéed and seasoned vegetables) or gimchi (Korean traditional food) and gochujang (chili pepper paste), a raw or fried egg and sliced meat.