Friday, May 8, 2009
Korea - Day 3, Myeongdong (Shopping)
Today we went to an area in Seoul called Myeongdong. I'd say it's a good 10 blocks of shops, restaurants and pretty much everything you can imagine to buy or eat. This is a big destination for girls to come and buy makeup...my main impression! Above is the daytime view and below is the night light view. Along with the lights comes the bustling atmosphere of shoppers, eaters and even the workers in the area.We walked around shopping for a while, accessories, makeup, clothes, snacks...and generally taking in the atmosphere, when we came across a KRISPEE KREAM! Donut factory and all! Stop calorie counting, carnage ensued!Here's a pretty funny sign that was on the walls as an accessory and stationery shop. My favorite lines being "Do you have a low self esteem?" and "Have you gotten therapy?"It was pretty obvious that Pae was in her element, dare I say heaven! Her goal today was to get an idea for what kinds of cosmetics they had here and prepare a list of stuff that we would buy before we left back to Thailand.You see, there are several very popular and trendy Korean brands of cosmetics that are a good 80% cheaper if purchased in Korea. Those import taxes kill you. Along with the stuff that Pae wanted for herself, everyone who heard we were going to Korea gave her lists of things they wanted, so she was taking inventory and preparing for a super-grand shopping extravaganza in days to come. We would, tonight, spend countless hours in cosmetic shops like Skin Food, Etude, Missha and The Face Shop.As we shopped we looked for this Kalgooksu shop that is famous in the area. There are only three dishes on the menu, kalgooksu noodles (translated "knife noodles", mandu (Korean dumplings) and bibimgooksu (mixed cold noodles) and all items cost only 7,000 Korean won. Cheap lunch!After a long day shopping all of the shops, we decided it was time for (another) snack! Before we came we had seen, and printed out, a website featuring this small ice cream stand in Myeongdong. We got there and showed the guy our printed out picture...and what do you know...it was a picture of him! Note the Boston Red Sox jersey...We made his NY Yankee jersey wearing buddy take the picture! Yankees suck!For dinner we found a crowded restaurant on the north side of Myeongdong and ate "pork bone and potato soup", something we had eaten before at a Korean restaurant in Bangkok...Pretty much the same in Seoul, giant and spicy...Above, before...Below, after! Note, this is a four person serving!Can't say that I've had this much fun shopping. If not for the atmosphere, food, Pae, snacks, ice cream, food, the fact that I was on vacation, and food, it could have been a tough day!