I haven’t been able to write these past weeks because of this time-consuming-attention-grabbing-stress-inducing-but-money-earning thing called WORK. Not that I’m complaining, even with my five pounds of eye bags and stress level that has gone past the milky way, I will still work hard so I can travel harder. Soon.
You know what’s the best part of travel besides travelling itself? It’s reminiscing. The part when you recollect and look back on the entire time that you’ve spent without worries, away from the stress, living THE life. It drives you to work even harder and earn more to do it all again. It’s a deliciously bitter cycle that makes all the eye bags worth it. 🙂
One of the fondest memories I had of Seoul is in Myeongdong. It is perhaps the most colorful and most active among the places we’ve been to. The sister and I are not fond of crowds; we want to watch them but we try not to be in them as much as possible. The amount of people in Myeongdong is incredible; the throngs of tourists and locals everywhere bewildered us! We can’t hate it though, and I think its part of its appeal. It is calm then it’s frenzied, it’s charming and exhausting, it exasperates you then tranquilizes you at the same time. LOL! Those exact contradicting feelings and the three underlined words below are what keep us coming back to Myeongdong.
Alight at Myeong-dong Station, Subway Line No.4, Exit #6 OR
Euljiro 1-ga Station, Subway Line 2 (4 minutes) Exit #6
Get enticed by the free masks, buy 1 get 1 (or buy 5 get 10) and tax-less shopping in Myeongdong! Dubbed as the top-shopping destination in Seoul, the streets are lined with endless shops from clothes to cosmetics (let’s concentrate on cosmetics and skin care products). Here are few tips and suggestions to keep your wallets from bleeding and your pockets from crying. LOL!
1 .Do your research and prepare a shopping list – this is a must do but this is what my sister and I didn’t do. The result? Our wallets bleeding and our luggage exploding. We’ve bought too many items that we probably would never use. Here are few South Korean cosmetic brands and their must try products;
- Etude House (Cushion BB Creams, anything Collagen and Lip Tints *we love the lip tints)
- Nature Republic (Green Tea, Ginseng night creams and EXO standees)
- Innisfree (No Sebum Powders *sebum means oil?)
- Tony Moly (Face Masks and more Face Masks)
- Holika Holika (Aqua Petit Jelly BB Cream and Pore Cleansers)
- The SAEM (Any product with SHINEEs face in it LOL)
- MISSHA (BB CREAMS, yes in all caps – most recommended)
2 .Do not make eye contact – LOL! This kidding aside, would also be useful; there are lots of cute unnies aka sales ladies outside the stores that would lure you in with free facial masks. Do not get lured, as you need to buy something to get a freebie. Happened to us a lot of times; we ended up buying the unnecessary just to get the freebie. This goes to show the importance of a shopping list.
3 .Be observant and keep your eyes open – (do not make eye contact but keep your eyes open? Seriously?!) hahaha! Yes, seriously, this is because there are stores like Etude House and Nature’s Republic that appear so frequently, like same stores are just stone throw away from each other. If you’re not sharp-eyed you’ll end up buying more in the same store.
4 .Last but most importantly – Bring your passports and shop TAX-FREE. Yes, in South Korea tax-free shopping is not limited to just Duty-Free. You can enjoy 10% tax refund when you spend more than 30,000 Korean won (KRW) from any shop in South Korea with Tax Free logos – see logos below. Please note that there are stores that offer immediate tax refund or you can claim your tax refund from the airport, just don’t forget your receipts! Click here for more information.
Binge eating of street foods in Myeongdong is highly recommended. We found the restaurants here very expensive so we overindulge in street food instead. They have everything from gourmet to halal. Here are some photos for your eyes to feast on.
Café Hopping and People Watching
People watching is best done in a calm café overlooking a crowded place.
Click here to read my piece about Cafés in Seoul, almost half of the café’s on my list can be found in Myeongdong.
All photos were taken by me and my sister Feb using our iPhone 7 and Canon EOS 1000D.