Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Seoul Summer Trip

Another post on travel! This time, its off to Seoul with Limin ^^

Have always wanted to go on a shopping trip to Seoul, so when Limin told me she was going on a business trip i jumped at the chance! The plan was to join her after her event was over, so i booked myself a plane ticket and made reservations for our hotel.

I chose Asiana airlines cuz it was ranked #1 on Skytrax, but i regretted it a little because i realized to my horror that there were no individual entertainment screens! instead there was a big screen shared by the passengers..luckily i had this chick lit book which my sis had sent me and I brought along, so phew it really helped me to pass the time on the 6 hour + flight.

(Note: on my return flight i was so scared of the thought of having no movies to watch that i bought a book just in case. And guess what? they had the individual entertainment screen finally!)

food served on Asiana airlines, not very nice though..

My colleague said that it was a good idea to stay at Myeongdong area, so i narrowed down the choices to Metro Hotel or Ibis Seoul Myeongdong hotel as both are right smack in the middle of the shopping area and super convenient. I wanted to book Metro hotel because it was more affordable plus they had free breakfast..but becuz i booked pretty last min, there were no more rooms left ;( so i booked Ibis hotel instead.

Limin was supposed to join me from the hotel where she was staying at for work (think it was Sheraton). We met up and checked into the hotel at the lobby (the lobby is not the ground floor which was pretty weird)

our hotel room - its pretty small but quite cozy. not much amenities though, just the basic bed, wardrobe, a small desk and the toilet. There is no bath tub, only a standing shower.

Do you know in Korea its pretty common for hotels not to provide toiletries?? you have to buy them from a vending machine (or bring your own)..luckily i brought my own stuff cuz i heard about it previously but can be quite a surprise if you are used to being provided with hotel toiletries..

vending machine selling toothbrushes, tooth paste, shower gel etc

After we checked in, we immediately hit the shops for shopping!

Ice cream sold along the streets, the locals love it. I kept seeing pple buy the ice cream haha.

Limin and I went to this salon (Red Club) where they did manicures and facials. Limin had her nails done while I had a pampering facial that was so good i felt my face was so "boing" and supple after the facial! too bad this effect only lasted a couple of days but it was good while it lasted lol.

We were a little hungry so decided to stop for lunch. Chose this cafe nearby cuz the inside decor looked interesting.

side dishes

i love this flask of water that the restaurants/cafes there always put at your dining table, its very handy and you dont have to keep asking the staff to refill your glass of water. They should have this in Singapore!

Noon Square, there's a H&M outlet there.

But my favourite shopping mall is still Migliore!! It's a wholesale fashion mall with many small shops selling clothes at wholesale prices. I think i bought 70% of my clothes from there. They have 1 at Myeongdong area (smaller one) and another at Dongdaemun which is much larger and much more shops.

Food, food and more food!

street food, they sell this spicy looking rice cakes and skewered sticks

potato that is twirled round a long stick and fried. Tastes just like potato chips!

Tried ginseng chicken soup at one of the restaurants in Myeongdong, it was pretty good!

But the portion was so huge, both of us couldn't finish it. The staff even asked us if we wanted to take away so we felt abit bad for wasting the food but we didnt really fancy the idea of carrying the soup with us around while we were shopping lol.

Breakfast @ Krispy's Kreme

Found a Krispy Kreme near our hotel. The donuts and coffee at Krispy Kreme's were soo good, we had breakfast twice during our trip there.

my hazelnut latte with green tea pistachio doughnut..yummy!

this cheese stick sold at Lotteria (fast food store) is amazingly yummy! look at the cheese oozing out.

Healthy breakfast @ Smoothie King.

Their wraps are full of veggies (limin didnt really like it) and very little meat. Their prices are also on the high side, needless to say we only tried once and never went back haha.

Isnt this animated thing cool? I created them using a photo software called Photoscape ;)

Took a train to the Ewha and Hongdae area.

billboards on the train station

Went to visit the Coffee Prince cafe, the place where they filmed the famous korean drama Coffee Prince. Its in the hongdae area, we had a bit of problem finding the place and had to keep asking the locals for directions a couple of times. Finally we found it and realized that we had actually passed by it on the opposite street lol.

Famous Coffee Prince cafe emblem

Limin looks cute here!

we bought some drinks at the cafe, it was very pricey and we didnt think the drinks would be really good since it was a tourist place but we were wrong! the drinks were very refreshing!

The Hongdae area has a very arty and bohemian feeling, abit like our holland village but much more happening. Alot of students hang out in the Hongdae area cuz its near the Seoul universities.

passed by this cool cafe which had this red beetle parked right inside the cafe.

nice drawing on the table

Sightseeing - Korea House

Korea House

we asked the korean lady dressed in traditional costume if we could take pics with her she said no ;( so i secretly snapped pics of her when she wasnt looking LOL.

nice architecture

btw limin's entire outfit for the day was bought from Seoul the day before haha. The lime green top and the blue jeans! She wasted no time in wearing them hee

we spotted these really scary looking silver bugs!! never seen before silver bugs, i promise you they are silver in colour!!

this effect is cool rite ;D


Okay, time to 'fess up. we wanted to visit the Namsangol folk village, so we took a cab to the place. He dropped us off somewhere nearby and told us we had to walk up ourselves cuz its out of bounds to cars. so we thought ok, we'll explore the place ourselves.

We found this korean looking building and though, oh okay this is Namsangol. So we walked around, explored the place and took pics. Then we thought oh okay, this place is quite small. Not sure what the fuss is. THEN we realized, oh shites..maybe this is not Namsangol. And true enough, we realized this is only the Korea House. The Namsangol folk village was actually behind the hill further behind lol.

Ok lah, we consoled ourselves by saying it should be the same type of korean houses hahaha


Went to Doota and Migliore for some serious shopping. Bought lots and lots of stuff. Including this nice white jacket which we both bought!

Had lunch - ramyeon noodles

Spotted so many small cafes called Isaac (limin said we had to take the pics and show them to my brother LOL)

Also popped by a hair salon at Dongdaemun while waiting for Doota to open and had a blow dry. I decided to have a trim too and i asked them to curl up my hair at the ends. (Saw many korean girls with their hair also done like this, dunno how they mange to do it themselves or maybe they just go salon everyday?)

And i super love the effect!!

Seoul Station

I wanted to buy food stuff like citron tea to bring back to Singapore but we couldnt find any supermarkets in Myeongdong area, only small convenience shops (its really weird, how do pple get their groceries in Seoul??) so we had to go to take a cab to Seoul Station where Lotte Mart was at.

different types of watermelons sold at the supermarket

never seen so many fish tied up like this before so had to take a pic!

i think some hydroponics, they seem to be growing veggies inside Lotte Mart. How cute can you get? even their signs are so cute!

they had a cosmetic area inside Lotte Mart, bought Crack nail polish for Cindy from The Face Shop.

The salesgirl tried it out on my nail, cool rite?? the black nail polish is the crack polish, you have to apply a base coat first (preferable a striking colour like hot pink or yellow) so the effect will be nice. Then you apply the crack polish over it, and in a few seconds, it starts cracking!

huge bag of food stuff - bought citron tea, hot choc, cold noodles, instant noodles etc

On our last night in Seoul, we decided to treat ourselves to a nice BBQ dinner in Myeongdong.

Chose this korean bbq restaurant which was an excellent choice!! The beef was so duper delicious and tender and the staff keeps cooking it on the hot plate for us. We didnt have to lift a finger, she just kept flipping the meat over to make sure it was cooked nicely and even trimmed away some charred edges and then placed the beef in a plate for us to eat! How awesome is that rite??

Comes with so many free side dishes that can be refilled. we ordered soju and i got really red after that hahaha

The next morning, we decided to find another place to have brekkie at instead of the usual Krispy Kreme. Decide to eat at Dunkin Donuts, which was another good choice cuz their muffin with cheese and bacon was to die for!

check this out. Why cant Dunkin Donuts serve breakfast sets like this in Singapore?? They only serve boring donuts at the Dunkin Donus in Singapore!!

my super cute drink o.O

Was a great trip, i have never bought so much stuff before during a shopping trip. Not even during our HK trip last year during summer. My shopping haul included 7-8 dresses, many tops (cant count), jeans, shorts and 3 skirts for work. Not including the stuff i bought for Kelvin and the food items. And all super good quality, most of them made in Korea.I think i sort of burst my budget (spent over $1k plus in total including food and transport) but it was worth it.

The Seoul trip was too short so im definitely coming back to Seoul soon!!

1 comment:

phunkgirrl said...

ÔMG! What a fantastic trip!!! Wished that I was there with you girls! The itineary was packed with good food + super shopping + lovely sights + fun girls! A recipe for a fantastic vacation!!!!!! Thanks mei for uploading your photos!!! It really keep me updated! Love, jie