Hello gals! How’s everyone? I have not post something for a long while and kinda of missing it. Need to learn how to manage time better and post more often in order to share more goings and also read more of your lovely posts.
So I went for a 8-days holiday in Seoul recently. A trip booked a year ago, so a lot of anticipation before it actually did happened. It was a holiday on easy breezy lax mode. Just slept in till natural wakey up, shopping, makaning e.g…, we just didn’t want to push it too much.
Somehow we got by not even knowing a single word of Korean. Maybe because we stay only within major parts of Seoul City and also being with elephant skin, not being afraid to hand-signs. *^___^*.
You can see the country’s effort in conserving her rich history. Lots of museums to house the amazing archive stuffs and for the educational part. It really is quite interesting for people who appreciate it and for any tourist from a very different country indeed. I mean NICE. It’s just so cool how in Seoul you can have office buildings right next to Royal Palaces within a short few minutes by foot. The now and then, at the same time. The country simply embraces art and history in many ways. When you get there, you will see what I mean. If you are an arty person, you will fall in love with Seoul.
Below: Gyeongbokgung Palace
Noticed anything from the above picture of the palace? Hee.
Below: Some FOOD during the trip. Finally I tried a giant clam. But my food observations; in a typical Korean eatery/little restaurant, the food choices would be pretty much like what be easily bought from any Korean food court stall in Singapore. Really no kidding. I was bored after a short few days. Of course they do very good kimchis which are so crispy… I didn’t see a lot of Mcdonalds there. Only about 2 outlets out of my whole trip mainly in Seoul City. And I saw just 1 Subway that was nested in the so-called International area call ITAEWON. Baskin Robbins and Dunkin Donuts are everywhere…. Those who love coffee; you will be spoilt for choices there. A café be easily spotted. There’s some serious coffee business competition there. Street food stalls at some traffic corners for quick bits. We also visited the Hello Kitty Café there. Quite a sweet little pinky place to have a cuppa and rest legs.
Below: Secret Garden of Changdeokgung Palace.
Below: Their "HDB" flats look very much like those in Singapore yeah?
Below: National Museum of Korea. The sixth largest museum in the world in terms of floor space.
Well.. the above. Hmmm... I stayed on the 12th floor but aint the Presidential Suite lah.. Everytime I walked pass this sign, I wished! The same but not the same! What to do!? I stayed at the Grand Ambassador Pullman / Ex-Sofitel at Donggik University Area. Just a 5mins walk from subway so quite convenient and the hotel also provide free shuttle bus services to the shopping areas like Myeongdong which is a less than 10mins drive.
Anyway, some general infos and my observations I would like to share, no offences. I do love Seoul, and it’s just my opinions:
(1) The saying of “Excuse me” in their language is almost non-existent. Out of 15 people or more who bumped me like I am the pure eye-sore getting in their way, only one guy said the word I reckon is Korean Excuse Me with politeness while he was trying to get pass me…. They will shove, push u aside (enough strength for you to know) without hesitation just to have their way cleared even if you are not really stalling as you walk… The Singapore saying: “your lao pay’s road ah”? I wondered for many atimes. *shrugs
(2) They love their beverages really sweet. I would example it to a 120% sweetness of a bubble tea here if you get what I mean. So watch out if you are ordering sweetened drinks at cafes. I was shocked a few times.
(3) Whether they understand English or not, the Koreans, young or old, male or female, that I had enquired with or approached are all very helpful and obliging. They ain’t intimidated not knowing English and still helped me the same. Many even resort to walking some steps with me to show me even more clearly where I should head to.
(4) There are many Chinese nationals working in Seoul, especially in main tourist spots and mostly are the Beauty Assistants. So there’s really no problem at those places. Isn’t that great? Considering we will visit Beauty Shops like there’s no tomorrow.
(5) Their food courts work in a way whereby, you go to the main counter to order what you wanna eat, make payment, then get a ticket number. There be screen(s) around the food court, when you see your number, you then can go to the respective counter to pick up the food.
(6) Free of Charge drinking water from dispensers is provided in most food courts and restaurants.
(7) The Korean girls are really fashionable. Even casually they have a certain style or try to create style presence. You don’t see freshly shampooed wet hair on the streets. Let’s just say they make an effort. Perhaps not more than the Japanese but more than Singapore girls. Most of them really have very good complexion I envy. Is kimchi the secret behind their beauty? So jealous!
(8) The subway system is good covering most areas conveniently for your free & easy travel. Food & Drinks allowed but still the trains and stations are clean. The subway culture there is quite different and eye-opening . You have beggars in the cabins. You have many people who would move from cabin to cabin; I assume to save time on not getting down at an exit point further to where they wanna be. You have sales people pulling their trolley of goods inside the train then give a loud sales pitch for all to hear. There could be make-shift stalls selling stuffs before you even get to tap out at station turnstile or just set-up in between train tracks….. Sale of stuffs in stations are common and most of their subway stations have shops aka Dhoby exchange style for some convenient shopping. A lot of our bargain purchases came from those subway shops during commuting trips. So keep a look-out.
(9) Bring your own shopping bag. They will charge you for plastic bags for their green efforts.
(10) I see protest by people almost everyday. They could be in a group holding cardboards, lining up outside office buidlings, or could be all alone just by the roadside, by the train station.... It's really a common sight.
If you plan to go to Seoul, you are in for an interesting trip. Have fun and hope you find some information useful from here.
Here's a flower for you all the way from Seoul. *here you go...
There be 2 more parts after this. Part 2 be The Beauty Haul and Part 3 be Miscellaneous Haul for non-beauty items.
Thank you for reading.