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Western Dom Shopping Mall

June 28, 2010

It never ceases to amaze me how little one can actually know about a city in which you’ve lived for over two years. I suppose the shear size of Seoul and it surrounding areas make it impossible to know everything. Coming from Nashville, TN, a much smaller US city, I felt I had a complete grasp of all the entertainment, amusement and museum offerings in the area. In fact, even though there were many great things to do, we were able to essentially do them all and cycle back through multiple times to our favorite spots. The Nashville Zoo was tops with us, as was the Cumberland Science MuseumCheekwood Botanical Gardens and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. When I think about it, there were only three science museums in Middle Tennessee. Here in the Seoul area, there are more in the neighborhood of seven and the Gwacheon National Science Museum alone, is like going to six science museums in one. I’ve been there five times and still have not seen the entire place.

The thing about big cities is that you never stop discovering. My list of places to visit never shrinks even though we venture out at least once or twice a week. The more I do, the more I discover and the more I want to do.

This is how I found the Western Dom shopping mall and La Festa shopping mall. Both are in Ilsan, Korea. I have only visited Western Dom, but La Festa looks like a fun experience too.  The Gyeonggi-Do website has some nice photos and an address for La Festa.

Western Dom is an outdoor mall with lots of fun shops, tons of awesome-looking restaurants, several arcade game zones, and of course, Hello Kitty Town.

We did a little shopping and the kids had a blast in the arcade. Several of the machines kept taking our money so I had to repeatedly call the shop keeper over to dig out our stuck coin. That got irritating after a while, but we had fun with the claw game trying to get a stuffed sushi. These little critters were so cute. There was an ebi sushi, tamago sushi, and maguro sushi. We didn’t win one because these claw machines were totally rigged, but I did get the URL for the plush toy and we’ll try to order online. There was also a machine with stuffed tofus. We purchased some similar ones in Japan which were much cuter, but it was fun seeing them available in Korea.

We also played the taiko drum game that we loved in Japan. The kids love banging on the drums.

If you get a chance, take a trip out to Western Dom for a family-friendly day of fun. Lake Park is also right down the street and it looks like a great outdoor trip.

Madu Station is the nearest one to Western Dom. At the Kim’s Club (shown on the map below) take a left. Western Dom is on the right.

This Chinese food restaurant had a nice-looking atmosphere.

Must go back and try some mandu from this little kiosk. How convenient! An American mall would have an Aunt Annie’s Pretzel shop. This one has a dumpling stand.

Lake Park is just ahead under this archway. You can see it on the Ilsan map below.

Driving back from Ilsan, I took the main road called Ilsanseon. You can see it on the map above. It’s the same road that the subway travels along. There were lots and lots of interesting little stores with familiar international brands. It reminded me of outlet shopping in the US. I didn’t stop, but did snap a few pictures along the way. There was a HUGE kids’ clothing store called Mom’s Mom that looked like a giant warehouse of baby and kid items. They had Carter’s clothing and other US brand names. You can browse their website online.

These pictures are not great, but they give an idea of the stores along the road.

  1. Kelli O'Loughlin permalink

    Jenny – I noticed that Hello Kitty Town doesn’t open until 11 – if we went to Western Dom Mall earlier than that are we likely to run into closed shops or do you think we could explore the mall areas from say 10-11 and then go into HKT?

  2. Barb permalink

    I know its too late for you now Kelli (sob!) but the mall opens at 10am.

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