Thursday, May 31, 2012

South Korea Trip - Tips on Yummy Food

I didn't think too much about food before I came to Korea...
I only thought about shopping.... 
Since my boyfriend is always waiting for me while I shop...
I bought 2 books for him to check out where we should eat... 

1st meal, we had tofu hot pot near our motel
this isn't a tourist area, food is very cheap!!
5000 won for a tofu pot (forgot to take pictures)
we paid 1000 won more for stone rice

I ordered gyoza tofu pot, there's 10+ gyoza, sooo good!!!
My boyfriend ordered beef tofu pot
we went 2 more times, then I thought I already took pics
haha.. I didn't!!! 

At night we went to Myeongdong for BBQ
many people ordered pork bone hot pot.. 
but we didn't have enough money... cause haven't exchanged money yet...
we ordered what we thought is a dry BBQ
but it was actually wet BBQ! so much soup~~

18000 won

Sinchon/ Ewha University area

We were trying to find Beauty Credit, walked so long... we were dead tired!!!
saw a place for food!!! so cheap!!! 
4900 won for BimBimbop, 4900 won for a seafood noodle + 1 plate of BBQ meat
the soup is soooo good!! Korea was super super cold, I was so dehydrated I need soup!!
We had no luck finding Beauty Credit... 
according to the map Beauty Credit should be nearby... 
we ask one of the salesperson in a shop and she said it changed name to Etude House!!!
I almost exploded.... gees....
many people have never heard of Beauty Credit... no wonder why it closed down...

Myeongdong Gyoza

8000 won per dish
there's only 4 dish to choose from!
Gyoza, Kim Chi noodles, Ground meat noodles, soya milk noodles

We ate here 2x, food is pretty good!!
Even Koreans come here!!
There are 2 line ups, one upstairs, one downstairs.
you sit down, order, pay then eat.. kind of like a fast food restaurant
line up is super long! but because they only have 4 dishes, basically you order and food comes right away
they are American sizes!!!
1st time we ordered 2 noodles + 1 gyoza... that's too much!!!
We saw 2 Japanese girls sharing a bowl of noodles... ha ha
2nd time we go, we ordered 1 noodle + 1 gyoza 
the amount was just right!

土俗村 (I don't know the English name for this place...)
tourist area....
the book says this is the place for Ginseng Chicken soup
people who came are all tourists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Japan and etc.... 
all the workers can speak Mandarin and Japanese

13,000 won for 1 Ginseng Chicken soup
20,000 won for 1 Silky Ginseng Chicken soup

Each order comes with 2 cups of Ginseng wine, I poured 1 cup into the soup cause there wasn't any Ginseng taste... gees that was too much!!!!
portion is big!! it's enough for 2 ppl!!
there's sticky rice in the chicken



This restaurant is in Myeongdong, but not near the beauty shops.. it's at one of the outer streets
Beauty Ginseng Chicken soup and Healthy Ginseng Chicken Soup ( I forgot which is which... ) but nice names!! 

names of the soup are pretty attractive!!!
I didn't pour any ginseng wine into the soup this time!
but I discover Korea Ginseng Chicken Soup really doesn't have a strong ginseng taste!!

Seafood BBQ (near Sinchon and Ewha University)

When I entered I already spotted 2 tables of Chinese tourist... all from Hong Kong... holding the same book as us.... 
My boyfriend and I felt like piggies being sold ha ha
it's not really clean inside... more like a street eating place but inside....
We ordered a 44,000 won meal, this is the medium portion
they have small, medium, large and extra large portion
waiter will help you BBQ
he also knows a big English

Enoki mushroom with rice cake
BBQ scallop
BBQ shrimp
raw oysters 
tofu soup

tiny clams soup

BBQ stove

we were quite satisfied with this meal!!

Many people were talking about how good the banana milk and Market O Real Brownie is
I bought some right after I went to Lotte Mart

individual packing, thick, chewy, tastes pretty good!!!

1000 won milk, there's banana, strawberry and light 
I like strawberry a lot better than the banana (very artificial)

sweet spongy cookie
looks like the big round ones from chinese bakery

very creative cake!! 

saw there enormous seaweed in Lotte Mart....
it's about the size of 3-4 A4 sheets of paper


Korea strawberries are grown in ginseng field
super sweet!!! but also super expensive!!!
the box below costs 7000-9000 won in many places!!
I found one for 5000 won

I saw many people buying boxes of Shin Ramen to Hong Kong...
I ordered a few boxes for my customers earlier
they said the ones made in Korea tasted more elastic then the ones they buy in HK or elsewhere....
I bought one to try 
but I didn't take a picture... coz they all look the same!! 

South Korea Trip - Tips on Hotel/Motel

My friend introduced me to Amiga Motel. Prices are different depending on the website you go to.... tripadvisor, Innostel all have different prices... I found their email and directly booked a room with them. I do not need to pay yet. The motel is managed by a family, daughter can speak a bit of English, mother can speak Korean and Japanese, father can speak very little Japanese.

Address: 110-470 193-9 Yeonji-Dong, Jongno-Gu, Seoul 
Modern 40,000
Classic Modern 45,000
Deluxe 55,000 won
Twin 70,000
Deluxe Twin 80,000

Airport Express will stop on Jongno 4 ga and Jongno 6 ga (section 4 and section 6 of Jongno street) and the hotel is on Jongno 5 ga. Extremely easy to find!! Location is very convenient!! We got off at Jongno 4 ga, walk straight until you see Family Mart and a subway entrance on the opposite side of the street, this is Jongno 5 ga. Walk into the little street for about 2 mins, sometimes you will see the sign below, but usually just at night time, cause in the morning, the guests will all go out. When you see the sign, turn right. 

There's a post office on Jongno 5 ga. Motel has a cart you can borrow if you have lots to ship back. This isn't a tourist area, but there's lots of places to eat and prices are good!! We had a tofu pot for just 5000 won, add 1000 won for rice in stone bowl. 

This is where you turn right 

extremely clean washroom! 2 ppl can shower together ha ha!! One in the tub and one just standing!!

We booked a Deluxe Room, 55,000 won/night. The room is so big!! We paid 330,000 won for 6 nights, no more discount, cash only if book directly with motel. But we still got a deal, we didn't have to pay any extra tax and what sort..whereas if we book through website, we have to pay tax!! No computer in the room, but there's a line where you can hook up to your laptop. Rooms with computer is additional 5000 won/ night. 

They clean 1x every 2 days. 2 free cans of coffee every 2 days. If you don't drink it, too bad!! They won't put another 2 cans there for you. Towels are changed everyday, but too small.... not enough....

They kind of restrict our sleep time... they request we leave the motel around 10-11am, so they can clean... 

Plasma TV and water machine is available 

Some of the daily basics are available (toner, lotion, hair spray, air freshener)

The hotel is clean, but I really don't like their attitude. We arrived at ~9am..check in time is 2:30pm. Our flight arrived at ~5am!! we had to hang around the airport until the first airport express is available! We are dead tired already... but they said we can't check in until ~4-5pm... cause they need to clean the room... the daughter wants us to pay all the rent beforehand and don't let us pay using credit card... we haven't even exchanged money yet, how can we pay....?? Ok, so she said we can pay after... came back ~4:30pm, our luggages were in the room already. As we step into the elevator, she said "Pay!"... ok... I take that having poor English... we only exchanged enough for 1 day cause rate is not good....

The dad's attitude is most extreme.... one day they forgot to change towels for us... when I came back, I accidentally spotted where they put the clean towels so I helped myself. That day was snowing, so bottom of my shoes had ice that aren't melted yet... I didn't wanna dirty the room floor, so left my shoes outside my room. He came up and yelled at us for taking towels ourself and not asking him to bring them up.... ok I am just trying to save him some work cause he was the only one on duty... then he took my shoes and put it inside... they have a spy camera!! I don't feel good at all... I am a customer, why should I be yelled at?? First they require us to leave the hotel at 10-11am so they can clean up the rooms... I've never seen a hotel like that!! It's usually whenever the customer leaves then you go and tidy... we paid and we have to fit their schedule and convenience??

My conclusion is... if you want a place that's clean and tidy, this is a pretty good choice... but customer service and attitude is bad!!

Next time I would try Kara Motel ~~

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

South Korea Trip - Great Tips on Shopping

This post took me a long time to finish.....
Stupid me.. I just shop shop and shop and forgot to take some of the pics...
I found some online.... =)

Lotte Mart

Since we can't check in yet, we left our luggage in the hotel then went to Lotte Mart
There's one Lotte Mart located at Seoul Station
They have everything from food, grocery, electronics to cosmetics!!
It's like... Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart and London Drugs all combined!
Lotte Mart is 3-5 floors and each store is different....
Lotte is a big company and they have department stores, duty free, wedding companies, supermarket and etc.... 
I heard that the Skinfood in Lotte Mart gives a lot of samples if you shop there, but I didn't bring enough money..... 

Etude House  

pretty pink princess shop!!
the whole shop is based on the color pink, with princess designs and furnitures!!
My boyfriend always laughs at me.. 
Koyuki is having princess syndrome again.. have to go to the princess hospital... 
membership card is what he called the patient ID card... 
when he sees lots of girls shopping like crazy and trying out nail polish, he said "many princess are healing their princess syndrome..."

This is the best place you will shop for make up

They have tonnes of selection and colors for eyeshadow, nail polish, lip stick, mascara, lip gloss and etc..... anything you can think of to make you pretty!!
They even have BB cream and mascara for MEN!!!
These are for my customers and myself. 

I am sure many people know this brand
Their products are based on natural food, such as rice, black sesame, black sugar, tomato, lettuce and cucumber, black raspberry and etc... 
Their products absorb very easily into the skin!!
I think they can give me more free samples..... 
After I bought from this shop.. I saw a Skinfood in Dongdaemun (Doota?), there's 10% discount + tax free!!! I regret so much!!!


Missha has tonnes of make up as well!! 

Same as Etude House!!
Most famous product is BB cream, mascara
There's a shop in Hong Kong, but the price is 3x Korea price

They have 20% on the 10th of every month, so I made my purchase on that day...
Most of them is for my friend
I bought a whole bunch of eyeshadows there were like ~2000 won each!! 
I was stupid... I should have picked a shop that is tax free... 
Spent like 220,000 and I could have received 10,000 won in tax return
I bought at a shop inside a subway station... 
There shouldn't be any samples when they give you 20%, but I managed to get some....


My favourite brand!!!
My famous products: Green Tea Line, Olive Line
Their sheet mask is thinnest!! super good!! 

I spent a lot in Innisfree!!

I was so glad I picked a big shop in Myeongdong, they displayed soooo many free samples and free gift sets!! Shop is also tax free =)
I spent like 700,000 won...? I had coupon for 10% discount~
I kept asking the salesperson for more and more samples
at the end I bought 1 big bag and received 1 big bag of samples
Most of them I gave to my customers 
hand cream is buy 1 get 1 ~~ 

Holika Holika

Holika Holika is one of the new brands by Enprani
uses the color purple for their theme, gives a very magic kind of feeling!!
prices aren't cheap....

I bought only a this much and already 100,000 won


another new brand that came out these 2-3 years
packaging is fun and cute!!
they packaged toner, lotion, cream, hand cream and etc using fruits... 


I was shopping in Myeongdong and saw a shop having great sale 30-50% discount!!
same street as Myeongdong Gyoza
But after I went in, many things aren't on sale....
The salesperson keep selling me items... at the end I bought ~100,000 won
When I pay, I discovered at least half of the items weren't on sale... 
so I was like.. whatever.. maybe they'll give me more samples
at the end.. yeah they did gave me samples.. but don't know what kind of brands they are... they aren't Baviphat... what a rip off... 
so the next day I plan to refund then go to Meyongdong Store #4 to buy
I heard this shop gives many samples and you can use coupon for 10% discount
When I refund, they offered me 20% discount and ask me not to return....
ok... fine then....
very happy I can get more discount ha ha

Tony Moly

I bought some items at Lotte Duty Free
prices are all in USD
if you use Platinum Visa or Infinite Card, you get an extra 15% discount
there's quite a lot of free stuff and samples from duty free too!!!

Tony Moly has some really interesting products!!

such as Latte Morning Pack, Latte Scrub, Tomato Brightening Mask, soap egg, black head egg, hand cream in a peach and etc.....

While I was shopping for a Tony Moly shop in Myeongdong, I came across a shop and they told me they gave the most samples......
I checked their cashier and they really do have a whole bunch of samples there....
so I bought like 150,000 won... but they don't give you much samples at all!!!
just like 2 of everything... 
I suggest going to big shops... little shops really don't have a lot of variety of samples 

The Face Shop

This shop is on the same street as Myeongdong Gyoza
They gave me so so so many samples!!!
When you go in, they give you 4 toner/lotion samples
the items below (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th row) are all free!!!
The shop in Dongdaemun almost won't give you any free samples
I bought 23100 won and they only gave me 1 mask sheet!!!
I really don't wanna buy at that shop but only that store had the product I was looking for!!!

Just came in time for their event!!
Bought the pink set for 69,000 won, total 9 pc!!
Bought the gold set for 69,000 won, total 8 pc!!
The rest are all free!!
I bought it from the shop inside Doota (a big building) located in Dongdaemun
There's a few buildings in Dongdaemun that are 24/7
there's also a place for resting, you'll see many guys hanging around!!

Nature Republic

this brand is ~3 years old?? 
I wasn't sure if Nature Republic and The Face Shop are sisters....
their website and interface looks almost the same!!
big stores will give out more samples!!
I bought an eye liner 7700 won and they gave me mask sheet x 1, toner + lotion (3 sets) 

Some of these were 50% off, I ask my supplier to get them for me then ship to hotel.


retail stores are so expensive!!! 
I bought most of the items at Watson's!!!
Laneige BB Cream 50mL, buy 1, you get 10 mL x 5 for FREE
Laneige Sleeping Mask 80mL, buy 1, you get 20mL x 4 for FREE
retail stores give some samples... but not so many....

coupon is for 10% off
I suggest buying in the airport duty free, cause airport has tonnes of coupons!!!
Eg. $10 USD off when you spent 50,000 won


Hanskin has 10 year anniversary!!
tonnes of discounts!! some products are 90% off!!!
cleansers, toners, serum, eye cream, face cream, mask are all 5 for 20000 won!!!
if you spent 80,000 won, they give you 4 full size products!!
so... as expected... I bought 24 products for 80,000 won!!
Most popular is BB cream~~ 
the Japanese just loves it!!


At first I didn't know the 2nd floor has 5 pc for 20,000 won

I spent 40,000 won + 40,000 won on the 1st floor...
They gave me Magic BB Night Cream 10mL x 4 for FREE + a whole bunch of BB cream samples!!
Magic BB Night cream is so good!! 
It's not overly rich! absorbs fast, moisturising but not greasy and feels just right!!

It's Skin

Some of the items I bought at Lotte Duty Free

I used my Infinite Visa to get 15% discount 
Most popular is the It's Skin Power serums
this line has 11 products which gives the following effects...
ffeeeening, moisturising, oil control, relieve redness, reduce wrinkles, deep moisturising, brightening using vitamin C, cell rejuvenation, collagen, Q10, reduce pores

Snail Repairing Line is the most popular lately!! known as PRESTIGE
it can reduce fine lines and wrinkles
the gold packaging looks so elegant!!!

The Saem

Another new store which opened these 2 years
lots of entrance gifts!! 
they gave me 1 sheet mask, gloves, toner/lotion/serum set
next time I passed by, they gave me a mirror, make up cotton, rabbit pen
I didn't buy much, only bought a few sheet masks!
products are quite pricey!
Beauty Credit

A lot of Beauty Credit stores have already closed down....
There's only one in Myeongdong and  江南店
江南店 gives sooo many samples!!
Tahe the subway line 2 to 江南站 Exit 6, go out, walk straight and you will see the store 


Milk and Q10 series are buy 2 get 1 free

body products are buy 2, get a free hair treatment (product)
The Korean salesgirl is sooo nice!!
She can speak Mandarin and told me all the products that were on sale
There's was one on sale for 50% off, but she told me it's expiring in a few months
so.. of course I didn't buy it!!!
Spend 30,000 won get a free hand cream
Spend 100,000 won get a free aloe vera face gel
I ask her to give me more samples, she has absolutely no problems!!!
she kept stuffing and stuffing into the bag
at the end I bought 1 bag and got 1 full bag of samples!!!
Basically everything on the bottom of the picture (most left hand side, bottom and most right hand side) are all samples!!!!
I was gonna record how she stuff samples in the bag ha ha!!!


I didn't buy anything from TEARS 
I walk pass their store in Myeongdong and they were having 50% off sale
However... I just had 90% discount on Hanskin products, so I was already satisfied =) 
In addition, their salesperson doesn't seem to care....
they didn't try to sell me any products... 
there are no entrance gifts either...
I kind of regret not buying anything... I should have buy something to try out this brand!!!

Olive Young

This shop sells many brands, some of everything....
just like SaSa in Hong Kong
they have Hanskin, Skin79, Dr. Jart, Enprani, Avene, Dermal and etc... 

I love these "brand name" socks!!!
They are super comfortable!!
There's LV, Chanel, Gucci, Hermes haha!!
1000 won for a pair, I bought 10 pairs!!
You can find them in Myeongdong on the streets after 5pm
yes after 5pm!! that's when Myeongdong becomes a lively town!!
Men's socks are 2500 won a pair
you can also buy them in Itaewon
I tried asking the guy if he can do buy 10 get 1 free, cause I can do that in Itaewon
then he pushed me away.. what an idiot!!
if you don't wanna give discount, just say no, no need to touch me!!
lots of Japanese were buying these too!!


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