When starting a new life in a new place, bringing along tupperware is not a priority. You bring the essentials, figuring you’ll find new cups, dishes, trash cans, laundry hamper, spatula, ladle, etc. Buying these household goods allows you to explore your new city. I did just that and can give expats in Korea a tip: Daiso is the place for discount housewares. Think Ikea’s Marketplace crossed with the 99 Cent Store from the states. The products cost a fraction of what other stores charge and there is an eye toward design. Look for Daiso (다이소) as a stand-alone store or as a special section inside a mart (마트) or market. There are frying pans, mirrors, aprons, cotton squares, tea pots, scissors, cutting boards, baby wipes, cough drops, utensils, cleaning products, notebooks, house slippers and more–all with the price labeled so you don’t have to wonder or ask the shopkeeper in broken Korean. Prices start at 500W and go up to 5,000W.


2-story Daiso near Kyobo Bookstore and Nonhyeon Station (exit 3).