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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