Wintery Korea- Day 6

Just realised that I still have 2 more days of my winter trip that I have yet to post. The last 2 days were an extention on my own. Only us 3 Singaporean bloggers extended our stay, everyone had left the day before.

For the first time in 4 days, there was no need to wake up early for breakfast and check out of the hotel. So we did a little lie in till about 8+…not too late because we wanted to make use of our one full day in Korea to do shopping and more shopping in Myeongdong! But first thing first…breakfast!

Breakfast cart in Myeongdong

No, no, Carolyn & I didn’t have our breakfast here though it’s very popular with the Koreans. nope, we went to my favourite donut place…Nope, it’s not Dunkin’ Donuts.

Yoon Shi Yoon for Dunkin Donuts

It’s Krispy Kreme! Delicious! The plain sugar one is really soft and nice and hot. Perfect for a cold winter morning. I wish they have it here in Singapore. And and they have free wifi!!! Wheee! Can finally check my mails.


Donuts and tea for breakfast

I had originally wanted to go Kyobo bookstore (which is one fantastic big bookstore. I always visit it whenever I’m in Seoul) because there wasn’t any bookstore in Myeongdong. So imagine my surprise when I saw on the map that Myeongdong had a YoungPoong Bookstore branch now. It’s inside the new mall (well, new to me anyway), Noon Square. It’s very near Krispy Kreme. And inside this mall, you can also find a very familiar brand- Crystal Jade. ^^

The YoungPoong bookstore wasn’t very big but it was adequate. Check out your favourite magazines like Asta TV, Junior etc here. And if you are learning Korean, a dictionary is a must.

Myeondong has been changing its face since I first visited it in 2003. It used to have small shops selling bags, clothes, shoes etc. And it was fun shopping there, never quite knowing when you may find a gem or two. Whilst it is still exciting to shop at Myeongdong, it is now dominated by the big international brands like H&M, Zara etc. The streets are also lined with all the Korean cosmetic brands now…literally at every corner. And no wonder, as cosmetics is one of the most popular item for tourists to Korea. We all tend to fill our shopping basket and bags with these colourful, affordable items. No doubt, the fact that they are endorsed by well-known celebrities helped greatly in the sales. So there are at least 2-3 The Face Shop stores within Myeongdong. Sinilarly with Etude House and Tony Moly. And all the cosmetics brands are next to each other or just across the road. Whilst it is very convenient to shoppers to literally shop from shop to shop without going too far,  still, I do wish there was a little bit more variety. Or maybe I haven’t looked hard enough for the gems in the little nook and corner?

Familiar faces everywhere you turn.


Kim Hyun Joong & Yoon Eun Hye for Basic House
FT Island for Baviphat
CN Blue for Holika Holika
Rain & JYJ for nature Republic
Kwon Sang Woo for Tears
Lee Seung Gi for The Saem
2PM for Spris
Kim Hyun Joong for The Face Shop

Shopping in Myeongdong, Seoul can be very addictive. Those of you who have been to Korea would know that you get generous supply of samples when you purchase these cosmetics. The salesgirl at the front of the shop, whose sole job is to get the passerbys into the shop, can be very aggressive though. You will also get a ‘gift’ just by entering the shop…often they are just cotten pads, but sometimes they may be a face mask. Speaking of face masks, I bought so many during this trip, I think I can open a face masks shop already. Face masks have gotten very popular in recent years and they are incredibly cheap in Korea with a wide variety of choice. Sometimes, if you bulk in bulk, you could even get it for about 800won per piece. That’s about a dollar a piece!

2PM next to JYJ & Rain, with Lee Min Ho, CNBlue, Kim Hyun Joong and Song Jong Ki just across the road. Now if only they were really there. ^^


Hanskin- the mother of bb cream

Now if you are in Myeongdong and are into SME artistes, then you must visit EverySing. It’s inside SPAO building and it’s not immediately noticeable if you’re on the ground and looking at all the celebrities dressing the windows of the various shops. If I remember correctly, I think it’s near the construction of a hotel. Anyway, Myeongdong isn’t really very big, you won’t get lost.


SNSD greeting you at the door

There are karaoke rooms where you can sing to your heart’s content. Whilst I can’t remember exactly how much they charge, I believe it wasn’t very expensive. I think you get discount if you’re a student (which I’m not ><). You can also take photos with your ‘oppas’ (not sure why everyone wants to call every single male singer oppa…)

Take a photo with SHINee oppa?

I’d rather take a photo with Super Junior. For some strange reason, they are at the back of the shop…Hmmm…


Super Junior @ EverySing

Of course, the main purpose of visiting EverySing is to shop to your heart’s contents on your idol’s products that you can’t get anywhere. From folders to photos to posters to keychains- they know how to tempt you. Keyeast used to have at least 2 shops selling Bae Yong Joon’s merchandise too. Sadly, they are no longer around. I’m sure if Keyeast sets up a retail arms selling it’s artistes’ merchandise, they would do well (Kim Hyun Joong, Kim So Hyun, Lee Na Young, Lee Ji Ah, Hwanhee, Joo Ji Hoon). Anyway, to give you an idea of what’s inside the store and how much you should bring…hehe! Here’s a short tour of the place.

That was enough shopping for awhile, so whilst Carol went off for her church service in the nearby Myeongdong Catheral church, I went to get my lunch. I decided to check out the street good, which has always been fascinating for me.

Sauseges galore!

Sweet pancake

1,500 won mega ice-cream

There were lots and lots of interesting stuff but I ended up getting this cup-of-I-don’t-know-what-it-is…


I really have no idea what was inside the cup. I think there were potatoes, chicken, tteokbokki etc. I don’t what it’s called either (anyone any idea?). It cost 2,000won and was rather nice. hehe! I also had odeng, which was really, really heaven in the cold weather. Yummy!

I then made my way to the Lotte Department Store just across the road from Myeongdong. It is also right next to the Lotte Hotel. The department store offers 14 floors of shopping and is immesely popular with the Japanese tourists. If you have the time, check out the basement floors where the supermarket is. Extremely interesting. Anyway, the reason I went to the store? To visit Tea Loft opened by My Man, Bae Yong Joon. It’s even mentioned in Frommers Guide. Tea Loft is located on the 14th floor and you can only reach it via lift from the 13th floor. I haven’t been there since 2007 and wasn’t sure what to expect. Is it still around?

Yes, it was! Yippee! And it was crowded too…and no, the crowd there doesn’t look like they are his fans. They looked like ordinary people out to have a nice Sunday afternoon tea. Btw, the Korean snacks there are very popular and well known. But since I was alone, I just ordered a drink- omija ice tea. It was strange and took some getting used to. I should have stuck to my initial choice of a hot tea. Still, it was nice to just sit there and chill out.

Omija Iced Tea from Tea Loft

And then it was time to meet Carol in Meyongdong again. It was already evening and pretty packed with shoppers. How about some singing in the cold winter night to warm things up? This group was singing but I have no idea who they were. Funny thing was, the Koreans who were watching them didn’t know either as one of them actually asked me. Huh? But they don’t sound too bad and Carol even took a photo with them after the whole show. What do you think? Can make it as part of the K Pop senasation?

And finally, dinner. The one food that I’ve been craving and salivating for ever since I knew I was going to Korea on this trip- Andong Chicken. I even wrote about it back in 2007 here


Yummy Andong chicken

Braised in soy sauce and spice and I don’t know what else, it consists of chicken, potatoes, glass noodles and onions. There are quite alot of Andong chicken restaurants in Myeongdong, so you should have no problem finding it. The one I tried has 3 floors and sell only Andong chickene and it was crowded. It’s difficult to find this dish in Singapore. I’m not sure why. If ever you’re in Korea, you must try this dish. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Sigh…. I shouldn’t write about this in the middle of the night. Now I’m really, really hungry.

After a very satisfying meal, it was more shopping and then back to the hotel to pack all our loot into our luggages. We would be leaving the next day.


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