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Korean transcription(s)
 • Hangul
 • Hanja
 • Revised Romanization Itaewon-dong
 • McCune–Reischauer It'aewŏn-dong
Itaewon featuring Seoul Central Mosque
Itaewon featuring Seoul Central Mosque
Country South Korea
 • Total 1.37 km2 (0.53 sq mi)
Population (August 2013)[1]
 • Total 19,193
 • Density 14,000/km2 (36,000/sq mi)

Itaewon (Korean: 이태원, 梨泰院, [itʰɛwʌn]) is a dong, in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. It is served by Seoul Subway Line 6 via Itaewon, Noksapyeong and Hanganjin stations. About 22,000 people reside in the district and it is a popular area for residents of Seoul, tourists, and U.S. military personnel.

Local attractions[edit]

Many restaurants serving international dishes are found in this area including cuisine from India, Pakistan, Turkey, Thailand, Germany, Spain, Italy, England, France and Mexico — foods that are not widely available in Korea. Essentially, it's known as "Western Town," reminiscent of many Chinatowns in many Western countries.

Itaewon is, along with Insadong and Seoul Tower, one of the most popular areas in Seoul for tourists. Major hotels such as the Grand Hyatt and local landmark Hamilton Hotel can be found here as well as dozens of shops and services aimed at tourists. High-quality leather products can be found here at reasonable prices (though haggling is expected) as well as traditional Korean souvenirs.

Counterfeit goods and clothing are ubiquitous and of varying quality. Some genuine goods that are produced in Korea for the international market as well as some authentic imports can be found. Itaewon is known for its tailors that make custom-made suits.

Aside from the tongue-in-cheek businesses, there is a rich community of business owners, including a pie shop owner from the U.S.A. (Tartine), authentic American burgers, a wine bar, an Austrian delicatessen (with an array of cheeses and meats), a veterinarian/pet groomer with an excellent reputation, a chiropractor from Oregon, doctors and nurses, pharmacists, and grocery shop owners.

Also most of foreigners in Korea reside near Itaewon as well as some of the richest Korean businessmen including Lee Kun-Hee, the chairman of Samsung group.

Red-light district[edit]

There is a portion of Itaewon known as "Hooker Hill." Although the stereotype of only American servicemen visiting, this area is well-known among men from other countries, including Middle Easterners and Africans.

Furthermore, because South Korea is not widely socially accepting of homosexuals, there is an underground gay area in this district as well.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°32′24″N 126°59′31″E / 37.54000°N 126.99194°E / 37.54000; 126.99194