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While in South Korea - COEX is a Must See

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One of the best ways to view modern Seoul, South Korean society is to spend a day at COEX.

AsianConnections Travel and Lifestyle writer Sarah Woo visited the mega complex which has an aquarium, hundreds of shops, restaurants, theaters, and a convention and exhibition center.

For a glistening look at modern day Korea, be sure to visit the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) mall in Seoul.

Part mall, part convention and exhibition center, this is anything but your average shopping experience.

One could easily spend an entire day in this underground complex, which at 85,000 square meters is the largest such center in Seoul to date. Visit any of the hundreds of shops, restaurants and food courts to suit any taste, the aquarium, or even the 16-screen Megabox cineplex.

Aside from shopping, the best reason to visit COEX is to witness the explosion of young Korean men and women who swarm this popular gathering place.

Dressed in every latest fashion trend, youthful Koreans are a testament to the changes rumbling in a country that still espouses cultural traditions of hierarchy and kinship ties.

While young women breeze by on stiletto heels, they are still modestly dressed by American standards. Starbucks has become a popular hangout spot, but coffee is still somewhat of a novelty in Korea, where until recently one could only find instant powder.

While unexpected, the COEX mall is one of the best places in Seoul to see the blend of old and new. Be sure to make a visit!

Directions: Take the Seoul Metro line 2 to the Samseong-dong stop.