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21 January 2004
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Korea Life Blog - Yongsan

Sit back and relax and enjoy pics from Saturday in the electronic-dong: Yongsan. There's pretty much every electronic you could ever want available in Yongsan at the cheapest prices in the country. The difference in price between here and in departments stores is amazing, leaving me to wonder why anyone buys anything at a department store. I've seen computers and TV's over 500,000 won cheaper here.



Here's a shot of Yongsan from the new subway station. Notice the building there with a huge robot on it. Wait - is that my old hero, Voltron, Defender of the Universe?




Another shot off to the side. Looks like the end of the line for subways, a lonely site indeed.




OK, you come out of the tunnel from the station into this long shopping corridor. There's electronics everywhere. As with anywhere in Korea, if you stop to look at anything, you will be bombarded by salespeople.




Lots of music and DVD shops as well as digital cameras and handphones. You can see that guy there under the MP3 sign. He's yelling at people to look at his goods. They all seem pretty desperate, probably because there's a lot of competition. There must be a hundred places here to buy the same exact things. Profits must be really slim.



Outside you come across the arcade alleys full of more handphone and electronic shops. I can't figure out why there are KTF and SK handphone shops literally everywhere. You can walk by one SK and then see another 3 shops down. It's ridiculous. Can't they combine shops and lower costs?




Upstairs in one of the main shopping buildings is the video game floor. If you like video games, this is the place to come. It's a gamer's heaven. I felt like a little kid again. Here's the display room for Nintendo Game Cube. There's 6 or 7 TVs set up with games and all the extra gadgets to try out. And nobody bothers you in here. In the Xbox room I beat Julie in a fighting game at least 5 times.



The whole reason I came to Yongsan was to check on prices of Playstation and Xbox. A Playstation near my home will cost 250,000 won bare bones. Here you get one for just around 200,000 if you barter. I bet you could get a few extras thrown in as well. You can also find any game you could want ever want. I'm not exactly this applies to games in stock, but if they don't have one in stock (shh!) buy burned copies for around 12,000 won.
Like at the pirated CD stands, some shops have huge booklets of games to thumb through.


I didn't actually buy anything. Like I said, I was just gauging the prices. I'm trying to decide between the Playstation and the Xbox. I want to play some games like Rocky and Tiger Woods Golf as well as use the system as a DVD player. The Xbox is 50,000 won cheaper, but it's not very popular in Korea and it could likely fail. In that case, games and/or service would become hard to find. The Playstation is becoming more and more popular. I read that 700,000 units were sold last month alone (compared to 60,000 Xbox's). That's pretty amazing for a population of around 40,000,000. If anybody owns both systems and could give me some advice, please do so.

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