Monday, October 14, 2013

Korea Trip Day 1: Incheon Airport, Garosu-gil, Insadong

We took the 1 AM flight from Singapore and arrived in Incheon airport at around 8 AM and I guess we exited the airport after clearing immigration and collected our luggage at around 9 AM. So we kinda have a full day in Seoul even on the first day albeit looking a bit gross after the flight :p

As mentioned in my previous post about shopping tips in Korea, I didn't bring much of my toiletries and skincare because I had planned on buying them in Korea. We were lucky to spot a Skinfood outlet just after exiting immigration check. I bought a lot at that store because I knew that we were just going to the service apartment after this and buying it there means I don't have to carry the heavy stuff with me while doing other sightseeing. If you are not familiar with Korean skincare brands, Skinfood is actually one of the better ones as they use natural ingredients. And they are so expensive in Singapore!!

Even though it's located in the airport, it's outside of immigration so this outlet is not actually duty free, so I still had to ask for the tax refund form there.

From this outlet, I bought green tea shower gels, some mask packs, loose powder, lots of serums, and toners. I even received a Skinfood membership card. The girl told me it's fine to get it even if I'm not living in Korea. However, it only works to collect points and doesn't give you immediate discounts.


I basically just throw everything inside my half empty luggage, and proceed to take the bus from outside the airport to the service apartment. You can refer to this blog post about how to go from Incheon airport to city area.

Took a photo with Big Bang.... bus, pls excuse my make-up-less face.. :p

The bus dropped us at the bus stop in front of Coex Mall, and we still had to walk around it to the service apartment. We didn't know where it was actually but there are people who are managing the traffic outside of Coex Mall and they pointed us in the right direction. Friendly Korean people! :)

We didn't do much at Coex Mall because it's undergoing renovation. We had to pass by a few empty shops in the morning when going to the Samseong Station (line 2).

After washing up at the apartment, my colleague suggested to have lunch at Garosugil (gil means road btw). We spotted some familiar shops like this one below...

They still cost a bomb even in their own home country!
 and there are many cute little shops selling handmade stuff like in this small alley...


We wanted to eat BBQ meat for lunch because my colleague has been living in Seoul by herself for the past 3 months and when she mentioned to a Korean colleague that she ate BBQ alone, he mentioned that it's very pathetic hahahah.. so we said lets eat Korean BBQ together today! Note: apparently this is also a popular search in Google lol..


I was actually trying to search for what is the logic behind it... :p

Beef... yummy!
 We are not so used to cooking this BBQ and the plate got black quite fast. I think the waiters in Korea are very particular about that so he either ended up changing the cooking plate or cooking them for us :p

Pork.. salted.. very yummy too!

The front of the BBQ restaurant

I'm not very good at remembering how much meals cost but this one is definitely cheaper than any Korean BBQ place in Singapore and it's also not exorbitant price.

After lunch, my colleague suggested to get ice cream at this place called SOFTREE. She said they use organic milk and they have honeycomb as topping.

One of their signs
Sound interesting but there was a long queue there and I think we waited in total for about an hour before we get to eat it! They give you a number after you paid and they called your number in Korean. So I asked the cashier how my number would sound like in Korean and memorized it :p


Honeycombs

The ice cream is really soft and it taste a bit like Mac D ice cream cone but slightly different, and the honeycomb topping was sweet and has an interesting texture..

Finally got the ice cream!

After ice cream and more shopping, we decided to go to Insadong (Anguk station line 3) to get some souvenirs. I bought some Korean spoons and chopsticks (those metal skinny ones) for about 2000 won.. cheap!! and also some colourful pouches. We also visited the famous Ssamziegil.

So many shops!
Found tteokbokki or Korean rice cake (my ang moh friend said this is fat noodle haha). It's pretty good and very spicy!

Cannot remember how much this cost.. maybe 3000 won?
They even have a common sitting place where you can sit down and enjoy your snacks. We tried them too :)

With my 2 pinoy colleagues at Ssamziegil
Ssamziegil has many small shops selling cute little handmade stuff like this keychain that I bought from there and now there's also a trend of wearing big square backpacks. I bought matching floral backpacks for Michelle and myself, but didn't buy the square backpacks because it's too bulky and I don't think it suits my husband..

After all the first day damage has been done, look who I found!! 이민호!! :)

I should have waited for the shop to close and stole this one home! :D

Directions
Garosu-gil: Sinsa Station (line 3)
Insadong: Anguk Station (line 3)

Next: Korea Trip Day 2 Part 1: Gwanghwamun, Gyeongbok Palace, and Blue House

For summary of the whole trip, check out my previous blog post South Korea Trip Sept 2013 11D10N Itinerary (Seoul, Busan, Jeju)

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