This Vlogger Takes Us to Myeongdong to See How COVID-19 Affected It

WATCH: Vlogger Takes Us Around Empty Myeongdong to See How COVID Affected It

It's a ghost town and even locals are stunned.

Since most Asian destinations have not opened to leisure travel just yet, we are all left to watch travel videos of our favourite places for now. But as much as we want to reminisce about how it was pre-COVID in other parts of the world, we have to accept that some places won’t look the same anymore. Seoul’s Myeongdong district has definitely taken a hit in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. What used to be a bustling street full of vibrantly lit shops is now barren of tourists and makeup stores. 

Also read: Mint Choco Soju is the New Drink Making Waves in South Korea

What COVID-19 did to Myeongdong

myeongdong covid-19

Image credit: changhui lee

YouTuber Jen Kim, a Korean-Australian currently based in Seoul, took her viewers with her as she visited Seoul’s popular shopping fashion and makeup district. In her vlog, she revealed just how many retail stores had permanently closed. “It’s a completely different place,” she said in her vlog’s introduction. Among the well-loved Myeongdong retail stores that have closed down include Aritaum, Etude House, It’s Skin, Nature Republic, Missha, and Nike. 

As Jen keeps walking down the street, viewers will see through the windows that many of the stores are completely empty with signs taken down. 

Watch the full video below. 

However, there are also popular stores that survived, most of which are brands that are still go-tos to local Koreans like Holika Holika, Laneige, Zara, and Fila. Jen even talked to one of the small shop owners who was able to keep his business alive. He shared that the shop was only able to survive because of loyal customers. The shop owner estimated Myeongdong’s visiting customers are now down to 10%. Apart from that, the general understanding of the surviving small shops in Myeongdong is that they’ll have to close soon too. 

“Obviously also, we’re only seeing the ground floor, but there are actually tons of shops on the second floor and third floor, all the way up. But all of them also closed even though there are flashing lights,” Jen narrated. She also spoke about local sentiments on the changes that have happened. “I think they’re also kind of aware that it’s kind of a ghost town now, and people are slowly walking through a bit lost,” she said.

Myeongdong moving past COVID

Despite all this, Jen reassured her viewers that South Korea is very good at adapting to the times, so she’s actually looking forward to seeing how Korea will revamp Myeongdong post-COVID. “Let’s give some fighting power to Myeongdong, to Seoul, and actually to all cities around the world,” she told her viewers. 

Also read: South Korea Quarantine Exemptions: Here’s a List of People Who Qualify

We’ll take it from her and stay positive that all the beloved tourist attractions around the world will eventually bounce back. With that, see you soon, Myeongdong!

Featured image credit: zero take | Unsplash

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