Annyeong! A travel post this week!
I travelled to Seoul last Summer and this post was supposed to be done 9 months back but I didn’t manage to share it properly with my readers due to my lazines! But since this blog is something which I wanted to do for a long time, my motivation would conquer it! :)
This post contained most of the touristy places which many of you might already know! I do regretted visiting all these touristy places but since this was my first trip to Korea, I could only travel like a normal tourist! :( I will not bored you with the whole itinerary but I’ll show you what were some of the places I went in Seoul! Besides, there are also some discount tips for those traveling this year! So keep reading!
1. Drink: Banana milk
By now, you should know that Banana milk is the ‘must-drink’ item when you visit Korea. It’s available in all the convenience stores in Korea. And personally, I felt that this tasted different from the packet ones you get in Singapore. Although this version was less sweet, but I didn’t like it that much! It tasted artificial to me and since I am not a fan of banana, it’s a no-go. But still remember to try this because you might like it!
2. Eat, eat and eat!!!
Random Korean eatery in Myeongdong
Myeongdong Kyoja. Love this!! xx
Tosokchon Ginseng Chicken. Not a fan of this because it wasn’t spicy and tasted.. bitter! :(
Korean bakeries are really good. Breads are always so fresh! Just hop into any cafe and have your breakfast when you are there!
Lotteria, Korea’s McDonalds. Shrimp burger is yummy!!
Bongchu Jjimdak in Myeongdong. THIS WAS DARN GOOD.
But pretty spicy so my brother couldn’t take it!
Yoogane @ Myeongdong. <3 Dak galbi!!! Esp with CHEESEEEEEE!
And probably the cheapest and most satisfying meal of my trip.. 8000 KRW Korean BBQ @ Sinchon. Do not get confused with Sincheon! It’s a hidden shop so it’s pretty hard for me to tell you how to get there here.. Let me know if you are keen to visit there!
Those were just some of the food I ate! And most of them are the commercialized food which were popular among tourists. Well, I just wanted to play safe! Totally regretting it because there were times where we ate at cozy family restaurants and the food tasted SO MUCH BETTER. And those ajummas/ajusshis serving the food were really friendly and they even tried to talk to us. Really love the service!
My advice is to just head on to any restaurants you are comfortable with and order like a boss! Most of the restaurants have pictures on the menu so it’s not much of a problem. Otherwise, you can just ask the person beside you ‘Do you know English?’ Most Korean youngsters do know English. Btw, that was my favourite phrase when I was in Korea. And strangely, people replied me ‘NO’ and walked away. Hmmm, I guess they were just shy. Really shy … o_o
3. SHOP TILL I DROP
Myeongdong is a super awesome place for skincare products. You see ETUDE, Tony Moly, Missha, Holika Holika and much much more wherever you go! Best part is that they are super cheap (about 30% – 50% cheaper?) so buy more of their beauty products! And I was told by my friend that Missha is one of the more popular brand among Koreans! There were also many local brands such as Basic House and SPRIS so you would definitely like it since most of their local brands are not available in Singapore! Besides the shopping streets, there were also the underground mall where I heard things were cheaper there but I only managed to get my Korean CDs there since I didn’t have much time!
There are 3 main malls in Dongdaemun (Doota, Migliore and Hello apM). Shopping in Doota is really expensive but the material of the clothing justify the high price while Migliore and Hello apM are just like Singapore’s version of Far East Plaza. Forget about the streets of Dongdaemun. Most of them strictly sell in bulk so it’s difficult to buy in small quantity!
It was a love-hate relationship for Dongdaemun because things there weren’t exactly the cheapest! I could easily find some items cheaper at Myeongdong so I guess I got cheated by reading other site’s review :(. And besides, the ajumma and ajusshi were really pushy. Once you step into their shop, you are already implying them that YOU ARE BUYING. There were exceptions of nice people thou where they gave you their genuine comments on how the top/shorts look on me but that was really rare. And if you were to exit the shop without purchase, those ajumma and ajusshi stare at you like….. O_O
If I am not buying after looking, I would just say ‘Gwen Chan Ah Yo’ (It’s okay), ‘Kam Sa Hahm Nida’ (Thank you) and walk away. Well, some even shouted ‘WAE YO’ (Why) but I just shook my head and walked off!
Streets of Edae.
It’s walkable from the Korean BBQ Shop (@Sinchon) which I mentioned earlier!
Edae and Hongdae are my ultimate favourites because things are generally cheaper since it’s catered to the student crowds and you get to see more stylish youngsters! Besides, the shops in both locations are really quaint+pretty so it’s comforting to shop and shopkeepers are much friendlier too.
If you are at Edae, remember to buy socks! Lots of them! Most of them only cost about 1000-2000 KRW. I remembered that they were sold for about 1000-3000 more in Myeongdong and Dongdaemun and you can never get such pretty yet cheap socks in Singapore!
Hongdae is an artsy fatsy street!
Hongdae was lovely too and items sold there were generally more unique. There were also lots of tents where youngster sold handmade items! Besides that, there is also a flea market every Saturday and Sunday afternoon (I think!) so remember to check that out!
If you would like to get some local souvenirs (Korean keychain, paper fans, drums etc..), head down to Insadong and Namdaemun. There was nothing much at Namdaemun but it was an interesting experience because I get to see halmeonis and hal-abeojis chilling and doing their thing (looking cute together :) ). And please please, do not ever buy the seaweed from Namdaemun! You can get them at Lotte Mart which is about 40% cheaper!
And these are just some of the ‘must get’ items… I know most of them are available in Singapore now but it is definitely cheaper to get in Korea!
Last but not least, go crazy in Lotte Supermarket @ Seoul Station! They say grocery shopping is therapeutic and I had to agree! I spent about 2-3 hours in Lotte Supermarket as I was busy ransacking the snacks and cutlery corner. How could one leave Korea without getting their local snacks back? It’s much cheaper to get it in the supermarket as compared to the convenience stores. And after purchase, you basically pack your items in recycled boxes! No plastic bags! How environmental friendly! :)
Koreans love coffee so ‘cafe culture’ is something you need to experience in Seoul :). You could easily find a cafe as you walked down the streets of Seoul but I strongly recommend you to go to Samcheongdong! The cafes in Samcheongdong were extremely pretty and it looked much more cozier than those you find out there in the main street.
Oh! And I heard Apgujeong was nice too but I didn’t have time for that sadly :(
5. Visit the ‘Must-Visit’ Places
Hanbok experience is available at Gyeongbokgung Palace!
These were basically all the touristy place I visited and although some might not be as enjoyable as it seems, but I did my Korea trip last year! I can’t wait to head back soon, although I have no idea when… :( . But I guess it’s okay to dream since it will come true one day heh. ^^
Earlier, I also mentioned that there are some discount tips for those travelling this year! Head on to Visitkoreayear and print out the relevant discount coupons (or all if you are kiasu) and use them for your trip! There are loads of big brands so it will really help you save some money if you are on budget :)
Besides that, here is also a airport limousine bus discount coupon for the bus number stated below! Just print the coupon and pass it to the bus driver! One coupon is valid for a one-way ride.
I hope my post did help you :) and OH! I was thinking of having a giveaway for my readers! It’s actually just a pair of brand new chopsticks and spoon I bought in Korea. It’s worth about $10 in Singapore HMMMM.
What do you guys think? Should I ?? :)