As an active participant of the South Korea thread topics at Pinoy Exchange, I always encounter questions regarding shopping in Seoul. The usual Pinoy tourist would point at the default shopping places, ie., Myeongdong, Dongdaemun and Namdaemun (and some won’t even get over Myeongdong, as in they would stay, shop, eat, tour, etc only in Myeongdong – Why? ).
I’m not a shopaholic, therefore shopping is not on the top of my list of things to do while traveling. However, I always travel with shopaholics, so I can say that I am heavily acquainted with the places to burn money at in Seoul. My constant Googling of everything related to Korea also gave me some not-so-useless information regarding what to- and where to- buy in Seoul.
Here’s my Quick Guide to Shopping in Seoul, from a non-shopper’s point of view.
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Returning to Seoul from Chuncheon, Sookyoung 이모 brought us to Noryangjin Fisheries Market to have seafood for dinner. We have always wanted to try abalone after hearing some friends raving about it, and Noryangjin is the best place to get some. Visiting this place is an adventure in itself. My country is an archipelago and I’m no stranger to fish and other aquatic animals, but I’ve never seen so many unfamiliar sea creatures in my life. It’s like visiting COEX Aquarium but instead of just looking, I get to eat the animals on display afterwards.
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For a supposedly experienced traveler, I am geographically-challenged. I am really bad at directions. I tend to go left when I should be going right, and I wouldn’t find out until I’ve already gone too far in the wrong direction.
That is why I was extra-careful when I was planning my trip to Chuncheon to visit the two gardens, namely Jade Garden and Garden of Morning Calm. I went to Korea with Charity and Mommy Chie, but they both begged off to go with me to the Gardens as they have already visited Jade Garden last year and didn’t want to go there again. But since these two have been in my bucket list of places to visit at in Korea during autumn, I felt that I absolutely MUST go there. Heck, if the whole trip turns out to be a misadventure, at least I have something to blog about. We just decided that I’ll meet up with them wherever they will be by the time I return to Seoul.
Armed with a sizable load on my T-Money card, prepaid mobile WiFi (more on this later) in case I needed to contact my friends later on, and what I thought was ample research on transport options and their respective time tables, I went on a tour of the gardens of Chuncheon. Alone.
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Annyeong! From Seoul, South Korea!
The theme for this trip is, “anything goes”. As in, we don’t have any planned itinerary and we will only go out when we feel like it. The only thing I have planned is a visit to the two gardens – Jade Garden and Garden of Morning Calm, and I’m going to do it on my own because my other two companions have been there before and they don’t feel like coming back. It’s a new challenge for me, the super-geographically challenged person that I am, so expect a blog entry solely devoted to that experience. Wish me luck!
We started this journey with a surprise. We didn’t tell Sookyoung 이모 that the guests that she’s expecting is actually me, Mommy Chie and Charity. What she was expecting were Charity’s mom and sister. Well, it’s not exactly a total lie as Mommy Chie and I are Charity’s spiritual mom and sister. We were mapping out our plan to surprise her but the plan got totally busted. As we were walking along the street leading to 이모’s house, we bumped into Sookyoung 이모 herself, who was so shocked that she nearly passed out right there on the street when she saw us.
For our first activity here in Seoul, we saw Episodes 14 and 15 of My Lovely Girl. I haven’t seen a single episode of this drama yet, so I didn’t know what to expect. To be perfectly honest, I was impressed by Rain’s acting in that drama. I am not sure if my expectations are just lowered because I was kinda ‘traumatized’ by his performance in his last two acting projects. But really, his acting here totally moved me. I saw the episodes without subs, but I understood the emotions that he was conveying even if I didn’t understand the dialog.
I can’t say the same about his co-star, though. Was she happy? Was she sad? Was she angry? I don’t know. Her face is the same no matter what’s the scene. #myopinion
But in my opinion, the best actor in the cast is none other than the Golden Retriever.