Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Seoul-ful Travelling (March Seoul Trip): Ehwa University, Edae & Hongdae

Hello! Here's the next instalment in my Seoul travel posts. 

Haven't read the first part? It's here :P

It's day 2 of my 6 day trip and what's on the agenda? More shopping, yay! 

This time it's clothes shopping instead of makeup, as we headed to Ehwa Women's University. 

Yup, a university just for female students. 

So of course the campus is super pretty - widely regarded as the prettiest university in Seoul, with beautiful architecture. 

But what's that got to do with shopping? Well not so far from the campus is Edae, lined with little shops and boutiques that sell trendy but super affordable clothing - perfectly aimed at young women who want to look fashionable on a budget. 

Here you can find cute clothes from 5000 Won up - that's USD$5! Actually most of the sale racks are at the 10 000 to 15 000 Won price point and up. Still, that's some great bargains! 

By the end of our shopping trip my hands had gone numb from carrying my loot around, lol. Hence the lack of photos since I was too busy draining my wallet, lol. I'm sorry.

A wall plaque near the university. It's basically like a representation of the area - so pretty! 

First glimpse of the campus. 

The side 'walls' are actually a building in of itself! I think it's a library/study area? 

It's all glass - very cool. 

Quick selfie before heading out to shop! My skin and lips got so dry from the long plane ride and harsh Winter wind :(

Edae's pretty big - you literally can shop until you drop, lol. I consider myself a pretty good shopper, but even I had to admit I was done after a few hours. 

You can try and bargain for some things, but if you're buying $10 to $15 sale items you won't get further discounts. Most full priced items you can start with asking for a 'cash discount' (a discount for paying in cash) - sale assistants will understand if you say this phrase. It's normally about 5-10% discount, and from there you can try to haggle it further. 

The language barrier will be an issue but ask for a calculator and put in the price you want, and then they'll counter offer, and so on. 

It's worth being determined, but I found women were less likely to give in compared to older men. I didn't end up bargaining too much since I was mostly buying sale items anyway! 

Check out this amazing hair salon and cafe! It looks like a magical supplies shop straight out of the Harry Potter universe, doesn't it?

From Edae we were off to Hongdae, because it's pretty lively at night.

Tip, rent a locker at the train station so you don't have to lug your shopping bags around or go back to your accommodation. 

Didn't get any good pics of Hongdae, oops. There's some really nice shops here too - the vibe of the fashion is less girlie compared to Edae, with more 'edgier' clothes as well as higher end boutique type stores. There's still bargains to be found of course. 

And there were quite a number of restaurants and cafes too. 

So much effort is put into making businesses stand out! I love the pottery on top of this little shop. We ate at the restaurant behind it - the one with the bear signage ^^

Haha, I love all the side dishes that come with a main meal - I can get full just eating those plus a bowl of rice! 

 Pretty fountain outside of the restaurant~

After dinner comes dessert (obviously). We went to a cute little bakery called Chocolat Yum in Hongdae, to try some strawberry shortcake. This cake is everywhere in Korea! Spongecake, cream, and fresh strawberries are a super popular combination - every cafe we walked past had some sort of variation of this cake! 

Asides from cake, Chocolat Yum had the cutest array of cookies, jams, and other sweets. Sooo cute! 

Wish I could have one of everything :P

Cake <3 I really like the cream here - it's lighter and tastier to Western cream cakes, which can be a bit too heavy for me. The milk must be different somehow, lol. 

The sponge cake was soft and fluffy too, yum yum. If you don't like anything too rich or heavy this is perfect for you. 

Mmm, next stop is to another dessert place - Peony, where we bought another two strawberry and cream cakes. Because you know, we're insane. This one above had chocolate cream and bananas <3

We were literally eating cake for breakfast the next few days! 

More cake at Coco Bruni - please don't judge me, lol. It's a pretty crap photo, but this Earl Grey cake was the most amazing cake I've ever eaten in my whole life. If you only go to one dessert place, I reckon this would be the one I recommend. 

The interior is pretty cool too - the ground floor has a super pretty antique concept going on, and then you walk up to the second floor and it suddenly turns sci-fi futuristic on you, with a cold library, maze like, science like concept. Bizarre but cool! 

At this point we're 90% sugar, so we head back to the apartment to unwind. 

And I finally get to taste that banana milk drink that everyone loves, lol. It's good! 

And before I end this post, here's a mini tour of the apartment we stayed in. It pretty much had everything we needed - kitchen, bathroom, two double beds and one single bed, storage closet, even a tv ^^

It was super bright and airy, really nice overall. 

I slept upstairs - the ceiling's really low so you can't stand up in here, but I hear many apartments in Korea are like this ^^

I think it was nicer and more fun than staying in a hotel~

But anyway, this concludes day two of my Seoul trip! 

Hope these travel posts are interesting - more to come soon. 

Other Seoul Travel Posts

Myeongdong & Namsam Tower

Thanks for reading! 

xoxo Tulip

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Friday, 15 May 2015

Seoul-ful Traveling (March Seoul Trip): Myeongdong & Namsam Tower

In March I was finally able to fulfil my wish to travel to Seoul, Korea ^^ 

I travelled with two friends, for 6 days, and though there were some slight hiccups I had an amazing experience. I already want to go back again! One day soon, hopefully. 

Day 1 of the trip, do you want to guess the very first stop? 

For a girlie-girl, beauty-holic lover like me, it has to be Myeongdong! 

It's literally just makeup store after makeup store littering the streets for as far as the eye can see. Be still my beating heart! 

Yay! Etude House! 

Actually Myeongdong is mostly a repetition of the same stores every few blocks, but still, there's plenty to see - and buy. Pretty much all the well known Korean beauty brands can be found here - Etude House, Innisfree, Aritaum, Nature Republic, and the list goes on. 

We went around mid-day, and the crowd wasn't too bad - it got much much crowded in the evening. And night's when the street food pushcarts came to set up shop. 

I was pretty overwhelmed since there was so much to look at! So much pretty makeup, not enough cash, lol. 

Korean retail service is different to Western shopping too - similar to Malaysia I was a bit put off by how intensely and closely the salespeople would trail behind me >.< 

The language barrier was difficult too - many of the salesgirls kept asking me questions, but could only speak to me in Korean or Japanese - neither of which I could speak. 

Keke, I like to browse alone, so it was uncomfortable to keep being followed around. 

My first 'meal' in Seoul was actually dessert! We were walking around looking for some place to have lunch, but somehow we ended up at a dessert place instead. We ordered the chocolate bingsu, which is a more modern take on traditional bingsu (a popular Korean dessert made up of typically shaved ice, condensed milk, and fruit). 

Even though it's mostly shaved ice, this tasted sooo good! The ice is so finely shaved it's practically fluffy! And the condensed milk at the bottom of the bowl adds the sweetness. You must try some sort of bingsu if you ever travel to Seoul ^^

It was extremely cold the day I arrived, so after a little bit of shopping we headed to Namsam Tower, as we wanted to visit before it got too cold and windy at night. The forecast was about minus 6 degrees celcius, so we wanted to go earlier before it got even colder. 

First look at Namsam Tower, as we rode the cable cart up there - you can go by foot, but that's a long hike up! 

Here it is, one of South Korea's most famous attractions~

I hear it's a popular dating spot :P

Somewhat artistic shot? I don't know, I was surprised to see this on my camera, lol. I don't remember taking it! 

A peep at the sprawling buildings of Seoul from high above...

Amazing view of Seoul! Would've loved to have seen it at night - maybe next time :P

Selfie in front of the awesome viewpoint. Haha, it was freezing! I was actually shivering :P

View from a different area. 

The main attraction at Namsam Tower (asides from the view) - is of course, the thousands upon thousands of 'love locks' secured to the railings. 

You can see there's a mix of super old and rusted locks mixed with colourful shiny new locks~

Christmas-like trees made completely of locks! 

They had to make these as the railings were overflowing with locks. 

I hope to return one day, to find the lock my friends and I secured to commemorate our girl's trip ^^

Cable ride back down - some guy was moaning with fear lol, but it's not scary? The cabin shifts and creaks a bit, but it descends quite slowly. 

It was nearly 6ish by the time we got down, so we headed back to Myeongdong to continue our shopping. 

Super pretty display window filled with things girlie and pink - I love that backpack in the front! 

You can see the crowd's started to build up compared to earlier in the day, and the push carts and shop stalls have started to set up in the middle of the street. 

I found it really fascinating that in Korea, you have to look up to take everything in. It's not unusual to find restaurants, cafes, and other shops stacked on top of other businesses. 

The shop stalls were selling everything from street food, to clothes, to Kpop posters. There's plenty to look at! I bought a selfie stick, lol. 

Asides from the makeup, you'll get tempted by all the popular street food! You can fill your belly between all that makeup shopping, lol. 

I had a long list of snacks I wanted to try, but alas I only have the one stomach T_T

Even in winter, strawberries were abundant! Korean strawberries are really nice - Aussie ones tend to be a bit sour, whereas Korea's is only sweet. 

Various snacks - dried squid and fish, and crunchy fried sweet potato chips. Good for late night snacking ^^

Delicious fish cakes on skewers - soo tasty and fills your belly with warmth <3

And they were so darn cheap - just a little over an Aussie dollar each! 

The famous sausage, with a potato 'tornado' swirl on a stick. Dipped in salty seasoning before being dunked in a deep fryer *drooling uncontrollably* 

We only stayed until about 7.30 and then we hurried back because it was freezing! My teeth were violently knocking against each other from how cold it was >.<

But all in all, what a great first day in Seoul! 

Stay tuned for more to come about my trip ^^

Second Seoul post is up: Ehwa University - Edae - Hongdae

Thanks for reading! 

xoxo Tulip

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