Our time for shopping and scouting for good food to eat wasn’t as much as we would wish for, but we did manage some of it. And ate some really nice food over there.
I spent several nights getting this map up, showing the places where we went for food and shopping. Why don’t Google Maps have an English version of map for Korea? Arggh! *Pulls hair!
Most of the shopping places that we’ve been to, are already famous place that I think most people already know by now.
Great for midnight shopping and it’s crowded even until 2 or 3AM! The problem with midnight shopping at Dongdaemun was how to get a cab back home after shopping. There are lots of cars parked by the road side, shoppers hanging around, and people trying to snatch cabs around you. On our last trip, we cut short our shopping trip as the little one was fussing back at the hotel room with the grandparents, maybe detected that the mummy and daddy had sneaked out for some fun without them! In a desperate attempt to get back to the hotel room we board a killer cab unknowingly. Ok, the cab driver did try to tell us the cost but we couldn’t understand a word. It was only 5 minutes later that hubby decided to alight the cab, on the spot! The meter had jumped to an incredible price of 20 SGD! In 5 short minutes! And our hotel was 1 hour away! As we alight at some rather desserted area, we took some time to get another cab to get back to the hotel. Scary!
The opening hours here are quite short. By 5 PM, most stalls are preparing to close and shopping here with kids and strollers are definitely not an option. Best to come without strollers. You can get lots of interesting stuff inside those cramped buildings so you won’t want to miss that if you can. The outdoor shopping all looked the same after a while.
3. Shopping at Lotte
The Lotte DFS is where we got all our Korean skin care stuff. Forget about getting at places like MyeongDong. There’s no tax rebate, unless for special items. The prices at Lotte is direct tax free price so we don’t have to go queue at the tax rebate counters at the airport just to get some refund and risk missing our plane back.
However I did buy imported items like LongChamp (on 40% discount!), and only get to collect the items at the airport at a specified counter nearest to where we would board our plane. A bit of a hassle as we need to make sure we arrive at the airport way earlier than our flight time.
If you shop at Lotte, there’s usually Lotteria for some fast food and Lotte Mart to get some groceries. The Lotte Mart was 1 of our favourite shopping place. Everyone gets to buy something. Seaweed, kimchi, fruits, beverages and biscuits for the kids. I even got items like leggings, cloth masks from there as there were really cheap! Cheaper than at Qoo10 or those fashion shops. For the kimchi, we originally intended to hand-carry on board the plane then we saw the signboard at the baggage check that we were not supposed to bring kimchi on board! Lucky we saw the sign early and checked in the kimchi instead.
4. Cath Kidston (Special mention)
I have no idea why, but I see loads of Koreans bringing Cath Kidston bags. Is it in the hot trend now? Anyway, I’m a fan as well and couldn’t resist getting my hands on this one especially when it was on 40% discount too! Happy!
5. Provence Village, Paju Premium Outlet
The Provence Village is this nice little western theme village near the Paju Premium Outlet. Each shop here is nicely renovated with different theme, designs and colours. We saw some shops selling paintings, artistic display works, accessories and even bakeries and cafe that look nice enough to hang out and laze around for a while, especially in the cool winter weather. The accessories looked like they came from the Namdaemun wholesale market though. But I guess if we didn’t have time to go there, we could just buy it here too.
There were cafes and bakeries there too but we just had our lunch of bbq beef, handpicked by us at the counter before bringing it to the table to barbecue so we couldn’t really do with a tea break right after. The beef was really yummy!
The Paju Premium Outlet was quite a nice place and it’s not crowded that time we went. We didnt have a lot of time there but managed to get some stuff there. The kids were napping, so they missed out all the fun
6. Authentic Korean Food at San Dul Hae
Hubby’s friend brought us here a few years ago and we still miss the food. So here we are again. Still as yummy! I learnt that the rice was cooked in the stone pot itself so it was extra fragrant. There were lots of side dishes and each one was so good that we ordered extra servings. The kids had rice and seaweed soup and the whole plate of fish where, of course, made the poor mummy very busy deboning it. It’s located near the Olympic park in Songpa area, not too far away from where we stayed. They also had the clever idea of presenting the dishes in a whole tabletop and just pulled it over our table for easy serving and clearing.
7. Ka Oon Beef soup noodle
We had this rather late at night and all of us were almost famished, after we failed to eat something filling at the Hongdae Hello Kitty Cafe so we didnt really take much photos.
8. Another famous korean dish we tried, was the dakgalbi (stir fried marinated chicken with cabbage). It was supposedly famous in the area nearby
Nami Island. So we popped by 1 of those eateries to try it. We had both the non spicy (for the kids) version and the spicy version. Verdict? The non spicy one wins. The sweet tasty marinate, stirred fried with fresh cabbage was a match in heaven
9. Lastly, the hotpot that saved us from freezing in the super cold winter at Nami Island. Our favourite! We order this everytime we come!