Last week, the Tweedlets ventured off to Seoul for a 3 nights, 4 days holiday to do some serious shopping and eating. To be honest, 4 days was not enough!! We recommend you go for 6-7 days. We flew from Hong Kong with Asiana Airlines, and the flight was 3 hours long. We very luckily got upgraded to Business class and it was great to be able to relax during the midnight flight.
This was our meal on the flight to Seoul. I opted for the fish dish and Tweedle T got the Korean congee. They were both very tasty! After our meal, we both got into a proper laughing fit at around 2am (the kind where you laugh so much you get tears in your eyes and your abs ache) and I think the people on the cabin wanted to kill us!
Us on the plane #SELFIE!
We landed at Incheon International Airport at 5am and after immigration and reclaiming our baggages, we went to Gate No.6, 1st Floor to pick up our Olleh Wifi egg device which we reserved online. In Korea, it is popular for tourists to rent a wifi egg during their stay to go around the city, instead of buying a phone card. Each egg supports up to 5 devices. It is a pocket wifi which you can take around with you in your bag throughout the day. An amazing invention I say! Perfect for tourists. The battery of the wifi egg lasts for around 8 hours before you have to recharge it. You have to pay a deposit fee of 200,000 won (200USD), which you will get back when you return the egg at the end of our trip. The egg costs 8,800 won / day (9USD). We found it really handy to have this wifi egg throughout our trip and definitely recommend it to newcomers!
We got to our hotel (Myeongdong Skypark III) by the Airport shuttle bus from Incheon International Airport. We took the #6015 bus, which took 70mins and dropped us off just 5 mins away from our hotel. The bus is very inexpensive compared to taking a taxi. The bus cost 10,000 won and the journey was fine. We took the 7am bus and it was not very busy. We slept through most of the ride as we were soo tired from only having 1 hour sleep on the plane. We eventually arrived at our hotel but check in was not till 2pm. So we had to pay 55,000 won extra to check in early. We were really tired and needed sleep so decided to go for it.
Since we paid a bit more, we got upgraded to this Quadruple room! We put the beds together to make 2 double bed and had a good sleep until 2pm! We had to recharge ourselves before we can be keen tourists! I guess the only bad thing about flying on the midnight flight from HK –> Seoul is the lack of sleep you get! But if you are hardcore, you could probably power through and wait till the end of the day before crashing. The hotel had around 10 floors and we were on the 7th. The room was quiet and clean. There was a drinking water machine in the corridor which dispensed cold/hot water, as well as ice cubes. Toiletries in the bathroom were from the Korean cosmetics brand Etude House. They provided shampoo, toner and body wash. You had to ask at the counter for conditioner or toothpaste due to environmental reasons. The mini fridge had two bottles of complimentary water and a bunch of shopping vouchers ready for us! The location of hotel is amazing, smack-bang in the middle of myeongdong and right by the Metro station.
Our hotel was located in Myeongdong, a very centralised commercial area in Seoul, known as a main shopping area for tourists. If you were to shop for cosmetics, it would be in Myeongdong! They have all the Korean cosmetics shop in this area, all doted very close to each other. Including Etude House, Holika Holika, The Face Shop, Shara Shara, Tony Moly, Atrium, Innis Free, Too cool for school and lots more! There were probably 2-3 stores of each brand just in the Myeongdong area! Almost all of the sales ladies spoke Mandarin Chinese. Apparently a lot of the ladies come from China to work in Seoul, due to the large amounts of Chinese people who visit the city, it has become very useful knowing Mandarin in order to target the Chinese consumers. Some Koreans have also learnt Chinese for a couple of years in order to attract more sales in their stores.
One TIP: If you don’t plan to stay in myeongdong but want to be out for an entire day, probably don’t buy too many face masks or skincare because it gets really heavy to carry!!
Before we started shopping, we had to fill our tummies! Trip Advisor’s top recommendation for food was Myeongdong Kyoja, a dumplings and noodles fast food resturaunt. Despite reviews saying it was hard to find, we found it very easily on a main street. It was around 3pm so we walked straight in with no que. There were only four options to choose from in the menu. It was all written in Korean with no translations. We figured the signature dish must be the dumplings and we also orderd a bowl of cold mung bean noodles. The portion size was great for the two of us and we finished it all without wasting any food. They were both delicious!! The noodles were very refreshing and it was a new and interesting dish for the both of us. The dumplings were filled with pork and vegetables. The kimchi was very spicy – compared to the ones we have in Hong Kong. It was great to see the locals chatting and eating, getting a feel of the culture.
After 3.5 hours of shopping in Myeongdong this is what I got! Tweedle T also managed to buy a lot of things :)! We were both very satisfied with our purchases. It was quite overwhelming walking into stores as the sales ladies immediately started showing us their products and followed us around as we browsed the shop. Since it was a rainy day, there weren’t too many people around so the salesperson from Shara Shara was desperate to sell more products, therefore gave us discounts for face masks. There were lots of buy 1 get 1 free offers if you bought the masks in bundles. Picture of the left shows you all the face masks I got – including funky pink lip masks, black charcol masks, shea butter, avocado and eye masks! So many goodies!!! Picture on the right shows more masks and make up products I got, as well as some freebies.
I came across this cute mustache Smile Line patch in Tony Moly, which you can place on your smile lines as a mask treatment! So cute huh?!
After resting for a couple of hours, we took the hotel shuttle bus to Dongdaemun, which is another touristy area, popular for clothes shopping, night markets and street food! Dongdaemun stays open until 5am in the morning. We got there at around 10.45pm and tried some delicious street food, including Korean style sushi rolls (Gimbap), fried chicken and tteokbokki (popular korean street snack – chewy rice cake). We didn’t bother shopping in the proper shopping malls (eg. Doota Mall, Migliore, APM) because we knew the prices would be similar to things we’d find at home. But instead, we targeted underground malls and wholesale markets, where we knew the cheap shopping would be. It was really fun walking around, exploring and bargaining. We took the 1.30am shuttle bus back to the hotel.
These are some of my amazing buys from the markets of Dongdaemun. This Celine lookalike bag cost 33,000 won (33USD) and is of really good quality! Where else can you get such amazing prices! Tweedle T and I got matching mint green iPhone 5 cases, which also has a card slot for putting your travel card in! The salesman was literally throwing his phone on the ground showing us how sturdy and hard the case was – hahah! Overall, we had an amazing first day in Seoul!!
Stayed tuned for Part 2 of our adventures in Seoul, where we visited Gyeongbokgung Palace and Samcheong Dong!
Have you traveled to Seoul before? Which was your favourite area? Let us know in the comments section below!! :)
Lots of Love,
Tweedle D xoxoxo