Thursday, 22 November 2012

Day 1: Sg to Seoul, Myeongdong

After a close to 7 hours flight on the comfortable SQ ride, we finally reached our destination.. Incheon Internation Airport, the gateway to the sacred land of Kpop & cosmetics!! The airport is really big and we had to take a internal airport train to go to the immigration counter.. 

According to the instruction given by our guesthouse, we can either take airport limousine bus number 6015 or take Arex ( Airport Rail Express).. But we decide to take the limousine bus even though its more expensive than AREX because its more fuss free.. The bus will bring you straight to your destination & save you the trouble of transferring & climbing up/down the stairs during the transfer.. 

In addition, we have a discount coupon for the bus ride as well.. 

Forgive his grouchy face, we only have less than 4 hours of slp the previous night.. 

There are timing for the bus but the average interval is about 20mins.. The bus ride itself will take about 60-70mins into central Seoul.. By the time we reached Myeongdong, its already 530pm and the sky is starting to turn dark already.. 

Lotte Shopping Mall

We alighted @ the last stop of 6015, which is the Sejong Hotel stop.. Felt abit disoriented cause the street is so so busy!! We just follow the direction of the crowd & found the landmark, Pacific Hotel.. Eco-guest is right on top of the street along the hotel.. Within minutes after we alighted, we arrived at our guesthouse!! 

The owner, Mr Kim ( if i am not wrong ) was already waiting for us at the dining area and what surprise me is he can speak fluent mandarin!! He is really very helpful & warm towards us, just like how the review mentioned him..Come to think of it, I should have booked my last night stay with him also.. :(

He brought us to the room personally & helped me with my luggage.. Just a sidenote, the guesthouse does not has a lift so you have to lug your luggage up the stairs.. That is 1 thing you have to take note when booking your stay with guesthouse cause its pretty common over there.. 

Here is how the room looks like ~~

 We are going to slp on the floor tonight.. Fret not, the floor is heated... 
 The small dressing table is so cute.. 
 The room comes with a private bathroom.. 

After freshening & taking a quick rest, we walked towards Myeongdong.. We did not know where we should go, so as usual we just follow the crowd.. I guess that is the best thing to do when you are unsure and we are there!!

First thing first, we went to have our USD changed into Won... There are tonnes of currency exchange over there.. Compare the rates first before changing, the rates differs shop to shop even if they are just beside one another.. But what I heard is, its better to change at the bank itself.. I din get to go there cause we reached on the Saturday night.. 

There are numerous recommended restaurant in Myeongdong.. In the end we went for the cold noodles.. According to a travel prog, korean will go for cold noodles when the weather is cold so we are trying to be a local here.. :P

The restaurant we zoomed in is very near the money exchange we went to ( rates not the best), its behind the busy street.. Check around for this stall Basic House, the walkway leading to the restaurant is on the left hand side of Basic House and on your left should be a nature republic store.. 

Once you are in the restaurant, they will serve you this super yummy soup in a small cup.. (beef? pork?) It is so nice, I kept asking the ajuma to help me refill it.. hehe.. 

 Cold noodles in clear soup.. 
 Spicy cold noodles with raw stingray 
This is just his default mode that day due to lack of sleep.. 

Frankly speaking, I am not sure if we can drink the cold soup.. Cause from what I observed, the locals just leave the cold soup intact, so I just follow them. 

Recommendation: For 1st-timer should come and try it out. Noodles are really chewy and I like the pear inside the noodles.The cold soup one is pretty bland but you can taste a tinge of sweetness in it, it comes with 2 small slice of boiled beef. The spicy noodle is skewed towards the sweet spicy kind, so for ppl who dun take spicy stuffs, I think its still pretty manageable. The raw stingray is chewy as well. For me, I dun think I will come back for the noodles but will definitely come for the complimentary refillable hot soup (hehe).. For Mr Mah, he say he quite like it.. 

After dinner, its only 7 plus.. We walked around Myeongdong to have a feel of the bustle & hustle of one of the world's most expensive rental place.. There are so many different cosmetic & skincare shops just along 1 street itself & I nearly lost my control.. To name a few, there are Etude House, Laniege, Tony Moly, Missha, Nature Republic, Face Shop, Skinfood, Beyond, Clio, Innisfree, It's Skin, Banila Co.. (Where is my HANSKIN!?!) 

 Roadside stalls in Myeongdong
 Myeongdong Theatre on the main street
 Look behind me, the yellow leaves & the amount of ppl!! 
 Nature Republic occupies the whole building.. Btw, this is not the only Nature Republic in Myeongdong.. 
 3 storey Uniqlo.. And you need to queue to get in!!
 Seoul famous snack.. Tornado Potato Chips.. 

We went back & rest pretty early cause we need to catch a flight to Jeju the next morning and we also din sleep much the previous night..

Good night Seoul.. 

Anyway, one thing I want to mention & am perplexed on is how come the price of products for the same skincare brand will cost differently at different stores in Myeongdong.. I bought a makeup remover wipe @ Store A for 13800 and the same thing is selling for 11800 @ Store B.. Store A is located at the busiest street of Myeongdong, whereas Store B is on another less busy street.. 

PS: There are a number of brands participating in the korea tourism board Coupon Service. You can print those coupon out and enjoy discount from the brand.. 


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