Searching for Seoul in Koreatown

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Shanghai Daily, January 21, 2011
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The Jingting Seoul Plaza shopping center is full of Korean-style stores.

More than 30,000 Koreans live in Koreatown in Shanghai's Minhang District - about 60 percent of the city's total. Let's takes a stroll along Hongquan Road to smell the barbecue and catch the vibe.

The aromas of barbecue and kimchi, the sounds of spoken Korean and Korean language signs make one forget this is Shanghai. But this is Little Seoul or Koreatown on Hongquan Road in Minhang District of the city's west.

This is the heart of Shanghai's Korean community and home to around 30,000 Koreans, more than half of the city's Korean population of 50,000.

It's filled with restaurants, shops and shopping centers, small vendors, supermarkets, banks, cinemas, night clubs, karaoke, apartments - everything that a little town needs. Almost everything is labeled "Made in Korea."

"Koreans overseas like to live together for easy communication and support," says resident Kim Heewon, who has lived in the town for six years.

"We feel comfortable and happy here. It's more like a Korean village and it feels like home," says Kim who runs a trading business and manages the second floor of Jingting Seoul Plaza shopping center.

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