If you are in Seoul and looking for some kind of electronic gadget, game, part, accessory, etc for your home, office, car, or just for fun~ chances are Yongsan Electronics Market 용산 전자상가  has come up in conversation!  Yongsan was once one of the best places to find everything under the sun,  stores began migrating to this area in the late 80′s and by around 1995 it was booming with stores and people~ that is till online shopping took over.  Now it is a shell of its former self in terms of size, but if you are looking for a large selection of something, custom-made computers, or unique rare random finds it is still a very interesting place to visit and dig around.

At Yongsan I always find something here I never knew existed~ it’s like a treasure hunt sometimes. Check out this pink Hello Kitty GPS I spotted last visit!  I had no idea they made these, let alone imported them to Korea~ awesome! This is why I like coming here.

The area itself is really HUGE, but personally we only ever hit up the pink buildings so those are the areas I will be focusing on in photos today. Many of the other buildings are offices, empty/dying, or misc shops for business stuff like LED lights, signs, etc.

At Yongsan Electronics Market you can find things like~

Misc things like memory cards, chords, chips, wires, extension chords, blank cds, cleaners
Custom built desktop PCs or parts for building your own in any color with lots of cool goodies
Laptops
Keyboards, mouses, webcams, mics, cooling fans, speakers.
DVDs (mostly bootleg)
Digital Cameras, Video Cameras, DSLR
Video Games + systems new, retro, and even classic Japanese finds
Home electronics like rice cookers, steamers, fans, heaters, etc
TVs, speakers/ home entertainment systems

and is the best place to find unique random stuff like colored digital cameras, rainbow lit keyboard, etc if you do not care how efficient something is and are just looking for cuteness or cool colors… something I am often guilty of. Something random, old, or obscure will be found here if it is in Korea.

Please note, if you are looking for the latest model of a Samsumg laptop chances are it will NOT be the cheapest here at all. If you are looking for a custom built PC with LED lights in a fancy tower you will get a fabulous deal.  Make sense? Its a good area for geeks lol.

 Its like a yard sale maze in many buildings~ that is what I love about it though.

random cuteness always appears here even though the area itself is kinda grungy! haha
A cute pink Seal mouse with flippers you can click on  ~ <3

They also have plenty of junk you don’t want, but you know you need.

Some shops speak a bit of English, others speak none~ it varies like many areas, but since it is close to the US Military base they are used to dealing with Foreigners and will do the best they can to make it work.

You can haggle at most of the stores here, the more like a proper department store it looks like the less likely they will be to do it though.  Just like with clothing, if the price is posted it usually means they are firm, however many of the smaller guys will be open to bargaining if you are buying a few things or if what you want is really old.  You MUST pay with cash to haggle here, and often if you just mention “cash” they will knock it down a few bucks without any fuss.

Plenty of parts for your projects or repairs, even ready to go motherboards for sale.

Crazy cheap keyboards, mouses, headphones, replacement fans, and extension chords outside one of the small old shops on the corner.

Cellphone cases, blank CDs, Laptop accessories, etc.  Back in the day you used to be able to get really cute blank cds and mini disks with characters on them from vendors outside like this, but sadly those days are gone! I used to get Hello Kitty blank CDs here for burning back in 2003.

Seonin plaza building 21 (선인 플라자) is stuffed with computer shops,customs, repairs, parts, and accessories.

 If you need a custom built computer, your current one modified, or deals on parts this is a great place to stop by if you know what you are looking for. We had a vendor in here build Nara’s previous animating PC for a few hundred less compared to what he paid in the USA, and I had my laptop crammed with additional RAM for an extremely fair price.

The halls inside are narrow and often fairly busy depending on the day.

Inside they also have a few licensed stores, but they are significantly quieter since the prices are just “ok”

Laptop shopping in Yongsan / Buying a laptop in Korea

Since I travel a bit I purchased a laptop here in Korea at Yongsan Electronics Market,  but I made the mistake of thinking that since I was in Asia I would be able to buy one a bit cheaper. NOPE. Many of the nice laptops will cost the same in Korea as America, if not a bit more because honestly USA has a lot better regular sales/specials for laptops overall I have come to realize.

♥ ♥ ♥

If you need just a cheap one for whatever and don’t mind buying used you can score a good deal on older basic ones, but if you are like me and need to run multiple programs like Adobe with large files you should just buy one at home BEFORE you move to Korea. It will be a lot easier and most likely cheaper for you.

Want a custom desktop PC (especially a powerful one)~ Korea is the best place to get it done cheaply!

 For building custom-made epic desktops this place is great though, you have an amazing selection of almost everything you need and lots of cool add-ons like green glowing fans or see-through towers. Nara’s last computer built in Yongsan lasted for almost 10 years, so they definitely do a great job putting a machine together.

The shop owner was building this above model for a Starcraft Pro Gamer when we visited.

If you are looking for something extremely heavy-duty for gaming or work this is also one of the best places to come and have your computer built (or gather supplies)! Last time we visited one of the custom shops they had something like a $10,000.00 computer being made for a pro gamer here along with a few celebrities….even though most of the shops look like junkyards.  Many places here just build heavy-duty computers all day, so they are really good at what they do for an extremely reasonable price.

Nara and I both have had our PCs for work built in the states and again here in Korea, Yongsan Electronics Market 용산 전자상가 wins hands down~ easier, faster, and they don’t nickle and dime you for the little stuff.  Plus, if you are going to build a crazy computer you should make it look as awesome as possible. Come on, don’t be boring!

This computer tower was amazing, you could buy blocks and make your own designs on it!

 Cooling Fans with NEON Lights to Trick out your desktop.

Down the road (across from the large subway terminal center) is another small cluster of buildings that houses a DVD shop, cellphones, camera, gps, mp3, and the game mall which takes up the bottom floor.

You can find a nice selection of digital cameras in on the 2nd floor here, as well as several other buildings throughout the area~ Did you know Nikon made a pink waterproof camera? well there ya go!

You can get a lot of really nice professional grade gear here, but the prices can be a bit inflated and the sellers can be a little snakey if you hesitate.. I suppose it’s to be expected given how expensive these products are.  For DSLR cameras new and used in Korea we recommend the Namdaemun Camera Market instead, the shops specialize in those sorts of things and they are a bit more trust-worthy. Still though, its fun to look and compare prices while you are here~ we scoped out some video camera gear and mics.

The bottom area of the 게임 전문 상가 (Game Specialty Area) building is home to the Game Center! A nice building of video game shops side by side.

The video game area is a shell of what it used to be in the 90′s and early 2000′s~ but honestly you really do not need 35 people selling the same things, 15 are plenty. Games for all systems can be purchased here new or used, the language varies though so always check.  Some games sold are localized in Korean only, others have an English option, and some are the actual English release.

Most sellers sell newly released games both brand new and used, although the prices can still be a bit high.

This market also has a lot of imported Japanese games, mainly older titles for Super Nintendo, Sega, handheld systems, and PlayStation ~ all for pretty fair prices.  Back in the day you used to be able to get your systems modified to play imports here or make them region free, but I think those shops may have vanished now so I cant say for sure anymore!  Occasionally you can find a special Japanese release color of systems here as well, which is great for me since I of course require pink everything.

Honestly, the main draw for me at this market is the vintage games~ some of the sellers have piles of things you never thought you would ever see again outside of the internet.

I love those Chinese bootleg games that have 20 games on one cartridge haha.  We bought one for our Gameboy SP back in the day and it had almost 200 retro Nintendo + Atari games which was great for long flights.  Ahh and I see Lion King for the Sega, I loved that game *_*

Since this is Asia you will find a larger selection of Playstation games, but dont worry~ since this is next to an American Military base Yongsan actually does carry a lot of Xbox titles as well, just not as much as playstation.

Old Korean game guides~

The video game building used to be home to several anime figure/toy vendors, but now just one or two are usually lurking around in the back.

Outside of the markets you will be able to spot several green kiosks/mini buildings/huts set up to sell DVDs and Blurays. Most of them are selling bootlegs which is kind of ignored here in Korea to a certain extent in many areas since proper DVD stores are rare and official releases can be quite expensive. The sellers here will have flipbooks with all the titles they have so just pick what you want and they will run off to go retrieve it from storage someplace and snap them into cases for you.

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Generally they sell Korean movies, American, and some Japanese (mostly animated movies) as well as popular TV shows from these countries~ prices are usually just 2000 won per DVD and boxed seasons are charged per DVD in the set.  If you buy around 5 they will usually throw in one for free and put them in plastic cases with printed covers. If you get a bum copy that is bad quality or does not play you can exchange them usually, this is much easier if you are a regular customer.

I am not condoning buying bootlegs btw, just informing the curious!

 Korean DVDs will come with English subtitles 90% of the time, Japanese movies are usually only subtitled in Korean, and American movies will have Korean subtitles. Kids movies can be subbed or dubbed depending on the release, so its best to check before you buy.  If you are homesick for English TV or movies this is a good way to get caught up with what you missed~

In that same area you can also find some vendors selling Korean Street food, usually on sticks. Grease-bombs of deliciousness! Most of the food available to eat in this area is just fast junkfood on sticks, burgers, ramyun, hotdogs, etc so if you want a proper sit-down lunch it is best to eat before or after.

Around the DVD guys is one of the smaller PC accessory buildings that is now home to mostly misc stuff like mouses, plugs, keyboards, etc.

Stacks of things you may need or not realize you needed

This is the building also has a decent paper vendor for printers~

printer cartridge refills~ these can save you so much money, just bring in your empty ones and they will load them up with more ink! Usually it is about 70% cheaper vs buying a new “official” cartridge and works just as well.

Speaker shop!

This small and semi empty building is also home to epic old PC man, he has been here FOREVER. He sells lots of old PC games from the 90′s to today, although the main draw is honestly all the old nostalgic games he has and old Japanese ones. I swear he has been sitting on some of this inventory for over 15 years…

He is overpriced and hardly haggles, but he does have the best selection for old and random anime games and always has! I found lots of old Sailor Moon games that I never even knew existed, princess makers, old K-pop themed games, dating sims, etc. which amuse me to no end.

New games vary, but older ones will set you back about 10,000 won or so.

The larger buildings are home to even more shops as well as some scattered licensed dealers and repair shops for certain brands.

A lot of these buildings are kind of dead nowadays since they had a hard time competing with the internet and the sheer amount of other stores originally crammed in these malls. You can find more of the usual cameras, tvs, laptops, as well as home-related things like steamers, fans, rice cookers, etc inside but I do not find it very impressive in terms of selection or price so I never really stop by. Still though, if you are in the area and shopping for a particular home item sometimes it is nice to swing by to see models or compare prices.

The back streets are mainly for businesses selling lighting, surveillance equipment, LED signs, etc. and continues on to form areas for home supplies/building and textiles.

Yongsan Haul

Last visit I dug around the vintage PC guys booth and found some really cute retro games!!  I grabbed an old school Sailor Moon game, Princess Maker, and two really old Korean games for 하니 Run Hany  (I visited the park dedicated to her over the summer~ remember?? ) and the classic character Dooly!

I need to download something to play these since my system is too new now ~_~ trying to figure out what works best, it was not as easy as I had assumed loll.  I will try and feature them soon because I am really curious to play!

Directions to Yongsan Electronics Market 용산 전자상가

The area of Yongsan Electronic Market 용산 전자상가 is a large cluster of several buildings, but once you arrive in the general area it is very easy to walk around them all since they are very close together.

You can get to Yongsan two different ways, Line#1 (Dark Blue) to Yongsan Station OR Line#4 (Light Blue) to Sinyongsan Station.  We prefer Line #4 because it is closer for us personally, but you do have to walk a little bit while line#1 spits you out right in a terminal/ shopping building (although the shopping in that building is really meh and empty).

For Shinyongsan Station you are going to take Exit #5 and follow the crusty quiet path towards the bridge, through it, and continue on the path as it goes uphill along the road~  eventually it will end right in front of building #22 (the one that is great for computer parts). It is an easy and peaceful walk nowadays~ in the past the tunnel was filled with software bootleggers selling disks though!

For Yongsan Station you are going to want to follow the signs for the malls to Exit#3 and continue down a high covered walkway which will end right around the Video Game building.

The major stores in Yongsan are open around 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and are closed the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month.

Najin |Seonin|Wonhyo/Terminal Shopping Center- Closed first and third Sundays

Electronic Land |Space 9 Shopping Center- Closed first and third Tuesdays

♥ Handy Korean ♥

Yongsan Nerds – 용팔이 (slang, not nice so don’t call someone it directly lol)
Electronics – 전자제품
Where can I buy _______? – ______ 어디서 살 수 있어요?
Digital Camera – 디카
Computer | Laptop – 컴퓨터 | 노트북
Does this have English language (general term) – 영어 버전 있어요?
English Subtitles – 영어 자막
How much is this? – 이거 얼마예요?

Have you been to Yongsan before? Did you buy anything or see anything amusing? Have a favorite shop for items or repairs? If you could come here, what would you buy?? Comment below!

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25 Responses to “Yongsan Electronic Market ♥ 용산 전자상가”

  • I just absolutely adore your blog posts! This one is by far one of the nicest. Did you happen to catch how much or the brand (besides Sanrio) the GPS was? It is really really cute. I think I might have to bump up my trip to Korea after seeing all the cuteness.

  • Custom avatar MinMin:

    Whoa. *.* Gamer overload! I loved this post! Staring at all that gear and all those lovely vintage games made me salivate like a moron~ This place is pretty amazing. You showcased it perfectly. ^~^ Well done! I hope you can get a system running for your Hany and Sailor Moon games… I’m super curious about those. ヽ(^。^)ノ

    • Elle:

      so glad you enjoyed it! This post I guess is not appealing for everyone, but for a % of people I hope it is awesome to look at~ because it really is a fun place to dig around. They used to have a modified PC that had a fish tank INSIDE the thing or something crazy, haha it was awesome. Apparently for the software I need something kinda like the ones you can play roms with, so I have been hunting around. The only one I found so far was a crazy headache to use and I needed a walkthrough just to put these old DOScommands in…must be an easier way lol I should just buy a junk old PC for $100 haha

      • Custom avatar MinMin:

        (⊙o⊙) Fish tank inside?? That’s insane! I cannot believe that. *.* These guys are the gods of specialty PCs. And I understand how crazy hard it can be to find the right software. -.- But I hope everything turns out right in the end concerning your games. :D

  • Custom avatar Jennifer:

    I really enjoyed this post seeing as I looove video games and such. :)
    Will have to show my boyfriend those custom computers and the Lego PC tower!

  • OMO! I really want to go there!
    Looks so cool. As a video gamer and a lady who built her own PC this looks like heaven.

  • Custom avatar Alicia:

    I would love to explore the Yongsan Electronics Market,
    it looks like so much fun. That shop hat sells all those cute PC games I would love to spend A hour or two exploring. Sailor Moon ,love her so much. I would have gotten down with A Sailor Moon dance after I got that.

  • ooh, I like the “handy Korean” section!

    • Elle:

      a few people posted that they wished I would include this in more posts, so I may try to start that again! Nara usually helps me with these, so I learn a bit as well hahaha

  • Custom avatar Megan:

    Ooooo, I really hope you get to play the Sailor Moon game (and take a million screenshots, of course). I loved Sailor Moon growing up and even had a PC game, but it was wicked lame (I think the only one ever published for US audiences). Yours looks like it could be a fighter, which sounds awesome!

    AH HA, found the one I had! http://www.amazon.com/The-3D-Adventures-Sailor-Moon-PC/dp/B0008447XO Oh god, one of the reviews tells about the gameplay…Magical Puzzle Room…Galactic Moon Library…3D Fashion Salon & Fitting Room! Ish. Looks just as terrible as I remember :D

    • Elle:

      OMG HAD THAT 3D GAME! It was so awful, but I loved it so much! hahahaha!!!! You can find videos of the opening with those awful 3d models dancing on youtube XD Yeah, this one looks like something for the SNES in terms of quality~ I originally had grabbed it in hopes that it was the coveted “Sailor Moon, Another Story” RPG, but now that I have had more time to look at the pack I think it is the original “Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon- ARCADE” scrolling fighting game from 1995 because she seems to be in her season 1 outfit in the game and it has the maker listed as “Japan- Banpresto” which matches with what the online wikis say. When I get it working I will be sure to take a bunch of screenshots!

      • Custom avatar Megan:

        Exactly…totally awful, but also THE BEST THING EVER because at that time, I would have pretty much sold my soul for any and all Sailor Moon merch. I bought whatever I could get my hands on, which wasn’t much in 1997 in the suburban midwest.

        I hadn’t heard of the Sailor Moon RPG and now that I’ve googled it, WANT!

  • Custom avatar Christina:

    OH MY GOSH! A Pink Seal mouse and a Winnie the Pooh Pink Keyboard?! I am a firm believer in,”You can always find a treasure in a pile of stinky garbage”, Christina’s words of wisdom. :] I absolutely love reading your blogs after ending a hard relationship :’}

  • Custom avatar akif:

    Great review.. gave me very good idea of what to expect and how to go about the area.

  • Custom avatar ravindra:

    I just came to korea, I live in pochoen, can you tell me how to go this place from uijambo, where to buy a new pc !

  • Custom avatar Gio:

    This was sooo helpful, I am literally going to head to Yongsan right this minute!
    Thank you!

  • Custom avatar sabila:

    thank you so much for lot of useful infos <3

  • Custom avatar davide:

    can you please tell me where the section with used laptops is found ?

  • Custom avatar Kwcin:

    Hey really nice post. I had my PC custom built about 6 years ago and its time for me to build a new gaming pc. Is there any specific vendor you could recommend or you had a good experience with? I can’t for the life of me recall who did my old one but they were great, just a checklist sorta deal. I do have a Korean wife so language isn’t an issue. Thanks.

    • Elle:

      It has been a few years and they guys tend to hop around, but if language is not an issue I would just shop around the smaller booths and find a guy you like! The nice pc guys are easy to tell just by a a bit of chatting. Across from the older building is a really famous gaming pc builder, they usually display the towers outside and they are extra fancy looking. Cant recall the name right now… but he does a lot of the pro gamer and celeb pcs, they cost a few thousand though!

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My name is Elle and I am an Illustrator & Gallery painter from California, but currently I am living in Seoul with my Korean Fiancé!

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