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Friday, April 26, 2013

Window Shopping at Myeongdong and Ewha university – Day 15 in South Korea

It is said that the cheapest places to go shopping in Korea are the area nearby the universities as the items are catered to a student's budget. Thus for our third day, we decided to visit one of Seoul's most prestigious university which is not only famous for its quality education, but also as a shopping haven for women.

seoul train
A look of Seoul's rapid trains

Before we checked out some of the stores in this strip, I found a restaurant near Ewha U's entrance that offers jjimdalk. The one that was sold in this joint tasted different from the one we had in Gyeonju - the latter having more of the authentic taste I guess, I couldn't compare to how it actually taste with the ones being sold in Andong. Though it was still a nice feeling to have jjimdak as I can say this was one of my favorite Korean food!!

Jjimdak is a spicy dish that originated in Andong, Gyeongsangbukdo. The main ingredients of the dish are soy sauce, broiled chicken, vegetables (mainly potatoes and carrots) and vermicelli noodles. For Filipinos, think of it as something that looks like adobo without the peppercorns but more spicier. The soup is just perfect for the weather and the ingredients all-together makes a wonderful combination that is sure to give you energy for a whole day of walking around and shopping. The one that we ate ranged from 10,000-12,000 won and can be shared by two.

jjimdalk
The irresistible jjimdalk :D

After our lunch, we strolled around the area to find nice bargains. Apologies for the lack of pictures as I didn't know how to make time for taking pictures as I was sooo busy window shopping. LOL

As usual, the area was full of cosmetic shops (which you can see EVERYWHERE btw especially in Seoul), a lot of shops are catered to women's clothing, shoes and accessories though at the farther part (near Sinchon station) you could also find some bags and shoes for men.

Ewha university shopping

Ewha university
Ewha university's shopping district

After agreeing that me and my friend did not have enough money to buy anything, we decided to go to, of all places to go when you're broke, *insert drumrolls* Myeongdeong - how smart of us. LOL. Filipinos are just addicted to souvenir shopping for their friends and family even though budget is very restricted and I guess the two of us both are no exemption to this.

seoul station

A look of how train stations of Seoul looks like


After alighting at the station, we went to Myeongdong Cathedral to at least catch a quick mass or say our prayers as we haven't had the chance to go to church for the rest of the trip. When we arrived though, there was currently a wedding being held so we were not able to go inside.

Myeongdong church

Myeongdong Cathedral is South Korea's main Catholic church built in 1894 and is also one of the city's famous landmarks.

Myeongdong church travel
Myeongdong Cathedral

Myeongdong

Located at the heart of Seoul, Myeongdong is Korea's shopping paradise and is always included at majority of the travelers' must-go-to list within Seoul. The place has International famous shops like H&M, Forever 21, Uniqlo, and of course, Korean brands as well. Stores that specializes on cosmetics are dime a dozen here (like any place in Seoul I guess). Nature Republic, Etude House, The Face Shop are almost in every street and offers lots of free samples so it wouldn't hurt if you go inside one of the shops and get lots of face masks without even buying anything. Teehee :). There are also various of restaurants and stalls that specializes on different cuisines and street food so you don't really have an excuse of leaving here on an empty stomach.

seoul nature republic
my friend fan-girling on Jang Geun Suk's pictures in Nature Republic

Compared to Ewha, Myeongdong is definitely more crowded and busier. There are lots of shops that sell the same items here so I wouldn't recommend going in at every cute shop that you see since technically, the price difference is just minimal.

streets of Myeongdong
One fun thing to try in Myeongdong is eat this very tall ice cream approximately 32 centimeters.  We went there in Autumn and yes, it was freakin' cold but me and my friend both love cold desserts so I didn't even have to convince her to try this. It tastes a bit stale and was not that sweet but the experience of seeing people's reaction when we were walking around eating the ice cream was a bit funny. Lots of shocked faces - "What the hell were they thinking eating such cold food in this freezing weather!" but majority of the people I heard, mostly Koreans, were envious and wanted to eat an ice cream too when they saw us (so we were effective as advertisers, huh?)

Myeongdong ice cream
the famous 32cm ice cream of Myeongdong!
We decided to explore the underground markets after we felt that we could not buy anything on the stores in the streets. It looked like an entrance to a subway station so I'm actually quite surprised that we stumbled upon a long strip of shops. There are three different underground markets near the area which are Myeongdong, Sogong and Hoehyeon Underground Market. I could say that the price of shoes and clothes are somewhat the same from what you see on the stores in Hongdae or Ewha but the souvenirs here are cheaper.

Myeongdong Underground Market

how the market looks like inside

If you were also wondering where you could buy K-Pop merchandise in Korea, then Myeongdong is the answer for all your fan-girling needs! I'd recommend the underground markets also for cheaper prices. I was not able to buy anything in the underground market except for souvenirs though as I had no enough money left.

seoul kpop merchandise

Tons of K-pop merch!

For me, Myeongdong looks to westernized with all the big buildings and crowded bars and restaurants and is so touristy. However, the city is also very colorful and diverse. It's so fun to see lots of shop employees that can speak different languages such as Japanese, English and Chinese!

Myeongdong shopping

Tips I could probably give for shoppers is that you could haggle here! Try your best to use your charm on getting discounts ;)

Also, most of the shops, especially the smaller and non-branded ones do not have fitting rooms so you can't really try on the clothes. It's also a problem that most clothes are "one size" so for those with weird body type (like me) it would probably be a bit hard to find clothes that you can buy.

seoul blog

It was so fun to explore the vibrant and lively parts of Seoul. It was too bad that my budget for the trip was almost gone (as it was our second to last day) and so I did not have any money left, but nevertheless, the experience was very amusing and is definitely one of my list of the places to visit again if I have the chance to go back to Seoul in the future.


Directions:

Ewha Shopping District:
Ewha Womans University Station, Line 2, Exit 2/3

Myeongdong Shopping Area:
Myeongdong Station, Line 4, Exit 7



Day 1: Gangwon-do
Chuncheon and Nami Island

Day 2: Gangwon-do
Mt.Seorak (Seoraksan)

Day 3: Gyeonggi-do
Yongin and Food Tour

Day 4: Gyeonggi-do
Suwon: Hwaseong Fortress, Korean Folk Village

Day 5: Gyeonggi-do
Everland

Day 6: Gyeongju
Food Tour

Day 7: Gyeongju
Seokguram Grotto

Bulguksa Temple

Cheomseongdae and Anapji Pond

Day 8: Busan
Railway Train in Korea

Day 9: Busan
Igidae Coast

Busan Fireworks Festival

Day 10: Busan
Haedong Yonggungsa Temple

Flying with Jeju Air

Day 11: Jeju (E)
Food Tour- Altang

Dragon Rock

Jusangjeolli Cliff

Teddy Bear Museum

The Seaes Resort

Day 12: Jeju (W)
Sunrise Peak

Seopjikoji

Trick Art

Folk Village

Sangamburi Crater, Mt.Halla

Manjanggul Cave, Maze Park

Jjimjilbang

Day 13: Seoul
Flying with T'way Airlines

Couchsurfing in Korea

Day 14: Seoul
Palaces and Bukchon Village

Day 15&16: Seoul
Myeongdong and Ewha University

N Seoul Tower

Booking Flights
via T'way Airlines

Travel Report for South Korea
16 days travel itinerary and tips

4 comments :

  1. Hi i really love your blog! this inspires me and can i have your permission take some words from your experiences here in myeongdong for my korean speech? bc i dont know how to explain myeongdong well coz i dont have any experiences yet at this place and since my topic is about "my dream destination in korea" Thank youuuuuuu <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Charlotte! No worries, feel free to quote! ;)

      Delete
  2. Hi, your blog is nice and i like your suggestions and tips for customers.This is really good for who have a doubt about how to sell products online for free?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi! I would like to ask if we were to alight along the streets of myeongdong how do we go to the myeongdong underground? Hope u can reply me asap!

    ReplyDelete

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