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Where To Shop & Eat In Seoul, Korea

Day 1:
With the all-time low Korean Won, many are flocking to the K-Pop country. If you're into shopping, there's no better place to go other than Seoul, since many are also bitten by the K-Fashion bug.


I love to travel, & I like to roam. I’ve been to Korea on countless occasions in all seasons. This trip to Seoul in Spring is a time where everything is bursting in life. Only difference, no sight-seeing this time. It was a very short trip, only two full days in Seoul. Love the cool weather, about 13 - 15 deg Celsius.

So join me, while I take you to the buzzing capital of Korea & show you where to shop & eat, K-Style!

My 1st stop after a 6½ hrs flight from Singapore to Seoul was straight to the famous Myeong-dong (明洞), as it’s only 10 mins away from Grand Hyatt Seoul.

Myeong-dong is well known for being a shopping Mecca as well as being a fashion trendsetting district. Here, you’ll see fashion clad youth treading the streets of Myeong-dong. The place boasts two anchor department stores (Lotte & Shinsegae), a bunch of shopping malls, & countless designer labels as well as non-brand shops, selling everything from inexpensive accessories to luxury items.
Korean cosmetics & skincare are in the rage now. Myeong-dong is home to hundreds of cosmetic & skincare shops. For those who haven't heard of The Face Shop, this is Korea’s leading global retail brand with more than 1000 lavish products ranging from skincare to haircare.

The difference between the Face Shop in Korea & other countries is that most items here are packed in bundles of 10, making it easier for tourists to buy back as souvenirs. Prices here are unbelievably cheap.

The next stop, Etude House, is Korea’s first specialized make-up brand that introduces novel & trendy products. It was more face masks for me! I found some interesting Royal Jelly ones.

"Pick! Pick! Everything from Samcheonwon (3,000KRW)!" At every corner, you’ll see vendors waving & calling out to passersby, trying to get them to visit their shops. This is my skincare spree!

Besides the rows of shops, streets of Myeong-dong are also lined with street stalls peddling accessories & designer fakes like this “Gucci” one. If you afraid of getting non-authentic stuff when shopping for designer stuff in boutiques & shops overseas, check out my series of How to spot that fake bag!

I found an adorable Hello Kitty quilted bag & I just had to get it. The quality is really good & it's waterproof.  I bargained & managed to bring down the price to 25,000KRW, which is less than S$30!! Yipee! I also got some nice knitted caps at just 10,000KRW each!

I passed by this stall selling Cuttlefish, which attracted me. These snacks cost 5,000KRW.

If you’re eating on the spot, these friendly stallholders will even heat them up for you. As it was drizzling, many street stalls were not open & shops in Myeong-dong are usually open until 10pm. I was getting hungry as it was near dinner time. I decide to stop my shopping for that evening.

I was brought to Nobizib for dinner, which is well-known for its BBQ meat. Honestly, I’m not a fan of Korean food especially Kimchi. But one needs to feast on an authentic Korean BBQ when in Seoul. Well, as long as the meat is not marinated in those thick & sweet Korean sauces, one meal wouldn’t kill. I’ll be back with my review on this celebrity outlet.

How to get to Myeong-dong:
Approximately 750m from Namdaemun Market (10 min walk)
Exit #6 or #7, Myeong-dong Station (Subway Line 4)

I'll be off travelling again from tomorrow. I've been invited to attend a food blogging event in Malacca, Malaysia; staying till next Tues. During my absence, I've scheduled some posts, taking you to more places in Seoul. I hope you'll enjoy reading & do drop your comments as always. They make me SMILE! I'll visit your blog as soon as I get time when I return. Meanwhile, below is a contest for you to win some nice prizes!

Visiting Korea? Take a quiz now & Win Tickets to Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea!

65 comments:

  1. ahem...you luggage end up got overweight or not? :p

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    1. Kathy, my huge cargo bag was empty with only one set of clothes when I went there. All fully prepared! Hahaha!

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  2. So envy with you that you experienced all season whereas for me, I only experienced autumn. Myeong-Dong is indeed a good place to shop and if I want to go back again, definitely will stay nearby Myeong-Dong. :)

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    1. Diana, love all seasons except summer. Hahaha! Was it very far from your hotel to Myeong-Dong?

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  3. Waaa.. Looking at your post makes me drooling all over la! ^^ Can't wait for my trip to Korea this August! :D

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    1. Ceecile, love to have u here with us! Thks for visiting & I'll pop by yours soon. R u following tour or free n easy?

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  4. Hello,

    Nice information, many thanks to the author. Seoul is an ultimate destination for food lovers and can truly be called as a 'homeland of well-being'. There are many wonderful places to eat and these are some of the food wonderlands that take top place in Seoul restaurants. Thanks again and good luck!

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    1. Thks for visiting & enjoy your weekend!

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  5. Shopping to the max! That's what holidays are all about! To have fun!

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  6. hie Shirley!! wahlau eh only 3000KRW? that's sooooo cheapppp...so much cheaper than Malaysia as well..unbelievable

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    1. Hong, face masks start from just 1,000KRW! Siao!! Hahaha!

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    2. 1000KRW? that is even cheaper..Penang also cannot get that price

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  7. I would have done the same as you, grab all the face products and what more so much cheaper. Korean products have already floated our market and sometimes I am not sure which one to buy. Fantastic place and I can see you had a great time.

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    1. Nava, we're spoilt for choices with so many Korean products in the market. Lol! Driving me crazy when I was there :)

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  8. Wow, all those thousands figures surely scare me off, hahaha! Luckily these are "won". LOL! All those product surely tempt me. Etude house in Singapore seems to sell at much higher prices. Nevertheless, good to have you sharing here.

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    1. Doris, u're funny lah! S'pore prices are almost tripled! Seoul's so cheap!

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  9. OH WOW! I've never been to Korea but these photos are making me wanting to go! And while I don't want K-Drama...I am crazy about Song Seung Heun...OMG! He is just too gorgeous!

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    1. Bessie, hahaha! U'll go wild if u're in Seoul! Lol!

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  10. Never been to that part of the world except Japan and boy was I in heaven in Tokyo. They say Japan is one of the costliest countries and if what you say about Korea is true, I can easily stuff my bags there. Guess have to start the marketing to Mr. Ash for a Korean vacation.
    Love Ash.

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    1. Ash, I can imagine u being in Japan shopping & eating! Hahaha! I love Tokyo! Start your plan A strategy with your hubby & make sure u've a plan B too! Heehee!

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  11. You do seem to have the inside scoop of some great places in Seoul! I would look you up for the tour if I went there. Days of shopping does make for a nice vacation!

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    1. Tina, many more to come! U're sure to go wild with shopping there! Hahaha!

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  12. Wow lucky you! Can't wait to see the posts on Korea food

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    1. FoodieFC, the first Korean food post is out! Do chk it out & thks for visiting while I'm away :)

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  13. whenever my friends or relatives go to korea, i'd ask them to get me some masks because it's just so cheap there! :)

    Latest: Romantic Affair 2.0

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    1. Fish, definitely must-buy items there. Dirt cheap!! Hahaha!

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  14. It's just Day 1 and you have bought so many things ya. How long are you being there? You travel there yourself or with others? I really wonder how you travel from one place to another with so many things. :)

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    1. LuPorTi, just 2 full days lah :< Just shopping trip. Hahaha!

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  15. Shirley, It seems like you got some great deals at Seoul market. Everything is so cheap I was trying to convert,this will be my guideline if I ever visit Seoul.

    And yes, finding a fake bag is difficult but your tips were handy.

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    1. Balvinder, told u it's soooooooo cheap! Hahaha! Wait till u read my outlet post coming up :)

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  16. this is heaven for a shopaholic like me! haha.. nice post. this could be the guideline if i visit Korea someday..hehe

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    1. Aemy, glad u found the review informative! Thks for visiting while I'm away. Will drop by yours when I return from M'sia :)

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  17. Thanks for all the info Shirley. I really need to bookmark all your Korea posts so I will know where to go, what to eat, where to jalan jalan when I go there! Oh and I love Face Shop products too - especially their raspberry roots range!

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    1. Denise, alamak! Raspberry roots? Should've told me earlier. I've not used this range b4. Gotta chk out :)

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  18. South Korea population was like "dam", and the best thing is with too much people. You will saw people walking on the street on almost anytime.

    they even have night-market / food street appear on time around 2am - 3am too!

    hahaha for me I will go for food hunt hunt hunt XD wanted to try 炒年糕

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    1. Edmend, looks like my Korea trip has attracted u to drop by every post :) Love to see u here more often. Yap, their night mkt opens thru the nite. Siao! If only we've stuff like that here. 炒年糕 in Seoul? Mmm.... interesting!

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  19. Greetіngs! I've been following your website for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the fantastic work!
    Also see my site: Gartenhaus schwedenstil

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    Replies
    1. Thks for dropping by & leaving your kind note! Have a good day!

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  20. This is really an interesting blog as it focuses on the very important topic. i came to know about so many things or tips.

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    1. Great that you've found it informative! Have fun!

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  21. Hi read ur site n seems its all about lady stuff but still its a great site..im goin der soon in apr with my wife wonder how cheap is the clothing n shoes in streets shop? Hope its cheap as the facial things hahaha

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    1. Thks for visiting & it's great having u here! Things are really cheap due to the strong SGD. Beauty & skincare are much cheaper than in S'pore. I'm sure you'll have a good time shopping there!

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  22. Thks for the reply,im bobby n a muslim bt would like to try korean bbq bt isit possible to have only beef chicken n etc bt nt pork cz look dat korean love pork..so hw is the pricing too..n btw apr is spring season so izit cold dwn der? Txs shirley

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    1. Hi Bobby, you may wanna chk out my dining experience @ Nobizib Korean BBQ, A Celebrity Hunt In Seoul. Just click on the tab above under "Dining Reviews" to read about other restaurants in Seoul & other countries. Prices are all in my posts.

      April is a nice season to visit Korea. You'll probably need a sweater or a jacket as temperature varies over a wide range there.

      Since u're here, u may wanna try your luck in my Giveaway & win some beauty products for your wife. Subscribe to my free newsletter to stay tuned as more Giveaways coming up sponsored by Hard Rock Hotel!

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  23. Lotte world or everland? Heheh txs bobby

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    1. Enjoy your vacation, Bobby! Hope to see more of u here :)

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  24. Hi shirley,txs to all ur reply great to see ur site..btw isit better to change my won in spore or in korea? Does e moneychanger der easy to find? Txs

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    1. Pleasure is mine, Bobby! I always change my money before I travel to save all the hassle. Just personal preference :)

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  25. Hi,u have been in korea for alot of time i can see dat..so jus wanna check with u for 15deg in spring izit cold or warm n if its warm do i still need a jacket there? Thanks

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    1. Thks for coming by! You'll definitely need a sweater for 15 deg as temp in Korea varies & can drop quite a bit in the nite. Then again, shopping is cheap there, so u can always bring a light jacket & shop for a thicker one if needed. Enjoy your vacation!

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  26. I'm studying in Japan but still have no chance to have a trip to Korea. I do have a plan but still didn't find the right time to go. So sad :(
    Btw, love your blog very much! :)

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    1. Nuremy, that's so cool! I lived in Japan for some months too! You should visit Korea, it's so near from there. Thanks for your lovely note & it's great having you here! Hope to see more of you........

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  27. I plan to go on holiday, but still no sure whether it's japan or korea, japan has the favour of better exchange rates, but i've been to japan twice already.

    what do you think.

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  28. Thanks for coming by Luxury Haven! I know the yen has dropped & I'm planning to visit Tokyo next month. I visit Japan almost every year & will never get sick of it because of the food & shopping.

    Things are cheap in Seoul too, & I like shopping there as much. However, I can't eat Korean food that often compared to Japanese cuisines. If you've not been to Korea, I would suggest you visit at least once. How's that for a thought :D

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  29. I was deciding on singapore, korea and japan, the flight for singapore was really cheap, but everything else in singapore is pretty much expensive, I was hoping to visit the garden by the bay and sentosa island, may be i'll save that for next time.

    My last visit to japan was to one day at kusatsu, one day enoshima and 6 days tokyo, and everything went very smooth, if i do visit it will be kusatsu again, but will spend a extra day, and may be outer area of tokyo, but tokyo is a must for me including the skytree tower.

    Still haven't found much about korea, but some natural onsen is a must, including some good food, but not too spicy, seems like my taste is very similar to yours, don'y like the very thick type sauce.

    I'm more interested in IT, but not into fashion, well branded stuff.

    And i'm not to sure on the money wise, are the money good in korea, and are stuff expensive, i'm from the UK, but live in hong kong for the past 21 years.

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    1. Singapore is getting more & more expensive these days. I would say skip my country & head for Korea & Japan instead. Hahaha!

      I've done quite a number of posts on Japan too. You can check them out under "My Foot Prints" tabs above for my travel posts.

      If you're going to Seoul, you may wanna try their famous Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup At Tosokchon (土俗村參雞湯), Seoul.

      Well, I haven't bought any IT stuff from Seoul unlike Akihabara in Tokyo so I can't advise much. I would say prices are pretty affordable in Korea. You can check out my other Korean posts to have a rough gauge on their prices.

      Nice mtg you! I used to live in HK when I was a kid & visit there often. I've an invitation to review a new hotel in HK, but my schedule's rather tight now. Btw, how do I address you?

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    2. You can call me stanley, I will be visiting chimelong in zhuhai on october the 9th, the ocean kingdom and staying at their hotel, the chimelong hengqin bay hotel, there are too many bad comments about the hotel, but I need to experience this my self, and the hotel is part of the ocean kingdom, so good or bad i need to try it out.

      It was planned to visit singapore in march, but singapore is probably not a good option at present, japan or korea will be june, may be it's too early to ask question about it now, I will research more about korea then decide in a few months time before I get the ticket.

      thanks for your help, I will look into your site a bit more for experiences you have encountered.

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    3. Hi Stanley, you seemed to be travelling a lot & so adventurous! I wouldn't wanna take a risk knowing the poor reputation of a hotel. Travelling to Korean or Japan in June, wouldn't that be too hot?

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    4. The Hotel in china is one of the biggest with 1888 room, it's part of the ocean kingdom, good or bad, at least I know, sometimes you need to try it yourself to know the actual results.

      June is about right, the weather is not a problem, if not june I will need to push back to october.


      thanks

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    5. Stanley, the hotel sounds real cool! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us here & enjoy your coming vacation!

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  30. By the way you have a very nice site here, very informative and has very useful information.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind note; it means a lot! It's nice having you here & sharing your thoughts with us :D

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  31. South Korea is a shopping haven for the ladies ;-) Honestly, I also did not like the food there as there were not many varieties.

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A lovely note makes a beautiful day!
Thank you for dropping by Luxury Haven and taking the time to let me know your thoughts :)

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