I visited Korea from March 23rd to the 27th with one of my best friends. It was her 4th time and my second time going to Seoul. We stayed in Hyehwa at a little hostel she really likes.
I was really excited to shop for cosmetics and eat food you can’t really find in Japan. Most shopping was done in Myeongdong since it has all the stores concentrated together. Prices have gone up since the last time I was there and since the yen is so weak it was hard to go as crazy as I wanted to. Shopping was fun but also kind of stressful. For one thing, people are kind of pushy… no one says excuse me. Store clerks lure you in and then follow you like a shadow silently until you buy something then they just disappear. There’s more but, basically, customer service varies a lot from store to store.
We met up with my friend’s very kind friend and he helped us out a bunch. He taught us some words and it’s interesting since there are some words that are the same or very similar to Japanese.
Street food was amazing, as usual. I wish Japan had street food like it, the kind that comes and goes. The only thing I see in Osaka is old guys selling roasted sweet potatoes.
As for history and art… Well, we came across this while walking to Ssamziegil.
and there was another area in a neighborhood with many wall murals.
Can’t tell you what popular songs were playing in the stores as I don’t really follow kpop and nothing really caught my attention. We visited a CD store but they didn’t have k-rock section. Seems like that’s hard to come by??
And street fashion wise there was very little variety… *shrug*
Everyone except a few daring older ladies had this ‘bare face’ look going on. Flawless skin with no blush, no eyeshadow, just eyebrows that were done, very minimal eyeliner, and lip tint.
Almost all girls wear flats/sneakers unlike in Japan where you’ll see girls hiking up a mountain in some 4 inch heels. Those darn thick black frame glasses are still a thing for guys… yup…
Getting around was still very easy and cheap! Anywhere we went was usually 1650 won (170 yen/ $1.50~ ish)
The trip was really fun and I got a bunch of things to give to my sisters and mom.
Considering the plane tickets are priced around the same as round trip shinkansen tickets from Osaka to Tokyo I’ll try to make it back there again soon. It’s just a little exhausting going through the airport checks and what not. Prepare to spend at least 6 hours in total in airports for a 2 hour flight.
I’ll be posting more pictures from the trip on tumblr/twitter/instagram and whatnot.