Christmas shopping in Seoul, in my opinion, is a bit of a challenge. Yes, there are a lot of cute things! (I heart Artbox.) Scarves, stationery, printed socks, handbags, etc. But if you’re looking for nice clothes, shoes, or designer accessories like sunglasses or watches, I feel like you’re going to get ripped off. This is based on my very limited time here, but still. From what I’ve seen, things are overpriced. Way overpriced! It’s better to shop online, on Amazon or something, you’ll likely find the item for much less. The challenge for us, of course, is getting it shipped here in time.
The crowds have been insane. There are always crowds, and old ladies shoving you out of the way, but we only have a few days left until Christmas, and people are even more desperate to sift through the “sale” piles and racks and find what they want.
Regardless, I’m enjoying the season here. We’ve had days of snow and plain ol’ bitter cold. FREE-ZING. We’ve both finally bought proper, long winter coats, which has helped battle the single-digit temperatures and wind. I especially love the Christmas decorations in what seems like every plaza and shopping mall. Christmas trees everywhere, lights everywhere. Here are a few:
As promised, pics from our trip to the Coex Aquarium. (Didn’t you just love the happy crab video??) It’s a decent aquarium, lots of creatures (not all aquatic ones…) and very creative displays/tanks, actually it’s size is quite impressive considering it’s located in an underground mall. Oh yeah, and they have a long underwater sea tunnel which was fun.
As I mentioned, we’ve had some snow. This particular day, it was slushy. Just a short video because I was enjoying having actual winter weather 🙂
This week I also paid a visit to the Changgyeonggung Palace, since my combination-ticket booklet was about to expire. Not the ideal day to go…it was in the single digits! But I bundled up and made the trek. It was pretty seeing the palace covered in a thin layer of snow. Interestingly enough, I wasn’t the only tourist there that day. Also, note the icy sidewalks…. It was just as icy inside the palace grounds. What! So I had to be super careful where I stepped. They don’t seem too worried about lawsuits here, apparently. Either way. Someone told me the other day, “you see one palace, you’ve seen them all.” I would disagree. They each have their own stories, you just need to read up.
This one was built in 1484 (seriously, old!) as a home for three former queens. It was torched by the Japanese, rebuilt, etc….then turned into a park complete with a zoo and botanical garden. The zoo was eventually removed, but there’s still a lovely pond in the botanical garden leading to a Victorian glass house. I didn’t make it all the way to the glass house because it was just too cold and I’d been walking around a while. But here are some pics below.
Side note, on my way there, I stopped to enjoy a little music in the subway: