Yongsan was cool, but if that was the end of the trip we’d go home disappointed. There were some good component stores, and a world-class computer market, but it was mostly cameras, TVs, netbooks, cellphones, and other consumer electronics.
Thankfully Hacker Space Seoul and a few commenters turned us onto Cheonggyecheon, Seoul’s hidden geek paradise. This market is a winding maze like Akihabara’s Radio Center, but it extends for a whole neighborhood. There’s countless winding paths though Cheonggyecheon, and each quarter has a unique personality.
The northwest quarter is a labyrinth of stores selling through-hole parts, connectors, and other electronics stuff. In the northeast there’s watches, batteries, power supplies, and LEDs available from hundreds of tiny stands. To the southeast there’s metal supplies and metal workshops, and to the southwest there are a hundred stalls with nothing but kilo bags of rivets, bolts, washers, and other fasteners. Everything is densely packed along tight pedestrian walkways with delivery motorcycles constantly zooming by. This market is all about tools, material, and equipment for making, there’s very few finished consumer electronics here.
This is an amazing market but it’s relatively unknown. Hacker Space Seoul suggested we work together to document Cheonggyecheon. We kept a survey of the area and turned it into the map above, we’ll pass on our source so members can pinpoint their favorite spots. See the complete map (and Inkscape source) on the wiki.
- A. Floor 1&2: Stereos, TVs, big & rack audio, video, guitar amps
- A. Floor 3&4: Surface mount part reels, chips, LCDs, protoboards, LEDs
- B. Floor 1: ham radio, audio, TVs
- B. Floor 2: Console video game restoration, repair, and construction
- C. AseaKorea.co.kr (upstairs): Through-hole parts, cables, connectors
- D. Ground level building: Solder, though-hole parts, connectors, speakers
Dispatches from the labyrinths of Cheonggyecheon are coming up next.
Cheonggyecheon seems to be pronounced something like Chung-ga-chun.