I had half a day spared to visit COEX mall, a day before I go to Japan. I planned of doing my shopping there. My friend warned me that the place is huge and that you can easily get lost. Because I am still in denial that I have an impaired sense of direction, I did not download the map or even searched the mall before going there. The travel from my hotel to the mall was pretty easy, the challenge was when I entered the mall. The mall has 154,000 square metres for the area, of which 144,000 square meters are on a single underground floor, making it Korea’s largest underground shopping mall. It is actually the largest underground mall in Asia. Language barrier also made it worse for me bing unable to read directions.
After half an hour trying to work out where I was, I accidentally led myself outside and then found SMTOWN. I had no idea how I got there but I took the chance to explore the place. It was just the entrance on the first level with walls and columns adorned with letters and symbols which I would eventually decipher as the names of the SM Entertainment’s talents. The escalator goes through LED screens showing music videos of the talents.
Upon entering the second floor, you will stumble upon SUM. I don’t know if it means something but it is a celebrity shop with celebrity items and memorabilia as well as products endorsed by the SM Entertainment talents. You can find toys, pillows, photo cards, magazines, candies, posters, clothes, food and heaps of Kpop collectibles.
Level three was the SMTOWN Studio where a fan can become a celebrity for a day! It has a training studio, recording studio, music video studio, and photo studio for fans who would like to pay for tour package from $30 to $500 AUD depending on what they fancy.
The fourth floor is the “Liverary Cafe” and surprisingly it is a library and cafe in one! Lol. Fans can have a snack or a meal after a long day ogling and deciding which EXO pillow to buy or Tour package to choose while reading some Kpop books, magazines at the same time listening to their favourite Kpop idol’s songs (you really need a day to do that lol).
The SMTOWN theatre is in the 5th and 6th floor where concerts and musicals are held. There was a queue of avid fans when I got there, maybe a concert or a meet and greet, I didn’t bother to ask or maybe more appropriately I am unable to ask (going back to that language barrier thing lol).
There are a lot of displays of costumes, pictures, trophies and awards of all the SM Entertainment talents along the escalators and corridors throughout the building. From SNSD’s music video costumes to Super Junior’s awards, all of these for sure would quench any Kpop fan thirsting for Kpop goodness.
My whole time in the COEX mall was 92% spent in SMTOWN and 8% in the mall itself. It was so huge I did not risk getting lost around it considering I need to meet my friend in the afternoon. Sadly I missed on the shopping but anyway there is still next time.
How to get to DDP:
- 513 Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Line 2, Samseong Station. Exit 6