Category Archives: Shopping

Girl (Shopping) Power at Ewha Womans University

Just like Hongik University is situated by Hongdae’s many shops, restaurants and nightclubs, Ewha Womans University is conveniently located near Edae, a treasure trove for young women who like a) shopping and b) good bargains.

It was hard to resist all the shops of cute clothes and shoes as I walked from the subway station toward the campus. I walked past a plethora of street food vendors, cute girls’ clothes, and even a Barbie shoe store. What?!

Barbie (shoes) store

As soon as I crossed into the Ewha Womans University campus, I liked it. It’s very open, verdant, and — oh my goodness — no motorcycles allowed on campus! Continue reading Girl (Shopping) Power at Ewha Womans University

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Feeling Youthful in Hongdae

My friend has been telling me about Hongdae for a while. It’s one of Seoul’s college areas, located right by Hongik University, and she’s told me all about how you can find many eateries and budget-friendly shops (aimed at broke college students). Lively nightlife, too. While I’m just now getting around to blogging about it, I actually first visited Hongdae back in January. It was freezing that day. So cold, I had to stop inside several stores to thaw off before continuing to walk around. It was a very brief jaunt.

Hongdae is supposed to be a pedestrian friendly area, but… you still have to watch out for cars and motorcycles or you’ll end up squashed on the road. During that first trip, I came across everything from cafes and bars, to body piercing shops, nightclubs, food stands, cat cafes, nail salons, clothes shops, even a Trick Eye Museum. There’s also a CGV movie theater right when you exit the Hongik University Station. Plenty of name-brand stores like H&M and New Balance, too.

Sculpture in Hongdae.

Cafes, shops & more. Continue reading Feeling Youthful in Hongdae

The dainty Garosu-gil Street

The other day my friend took me across the river into Gangnam for lunch at Garosu-gil Street in Sinsa-dong.

Not sure how to best describe Garosu-gil. It’s like a small version of Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, or like Abbot Kinney in Venice. Clean, pretty, pedestrian friendly. It spans just several blocks, but if you explore the side streets you’ll find many cute shops, cafes, dessert places, lots of eateries (pizza, Japanese food, tacos, Spanish food, you name it), nail and hair salons, skin care product shops, and more. The main street is known for the ginkgo trees that line it.

From the minute you exit the Sinsa subway station (exit 8), you start spotting plastic surgery clinics. And nicer cars. In my two short trips there, I’ve seen a Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini and a group of nice Harleys rollin’ down Garosu-gil.

My friend and I had lunch at Vatos Urban Tacos, founded by some guys out of SoCal (they have another location in Itaewon). Continue reading The dainty Garosu-gil Street

Christmastime in Seoul

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:

Continue reading Christmastime in Seoul

Lessons in grocery shopping in Seoul

Disclaimer: Not every post moving forward will be daily journal-type entries. I guess everything’s so new and fresh right now I’m just excited to share. Enjoy it while it lasts and while I have time for it. 😉

Day three: The food here in Seoul is delicious. That said, if we ate noodles, dumplings, pork cutlet and fried street-vendor food every day for months on end, we’d return to the states quite a bit heavier. So! While I plan to try as much of the local food as I can while we’re here, I’m hoping to be able to cook at home, too, and not go out to eat all the time.

My friend from the plane had mentioned that e-mart is a Walmart-like store found all over Seoul, with groceries and home goods at affordable prices, so I knew I wanted to check it out. I’d also read that Lotte Mart is a similar type of store, and we have one located close-by at Seoul Station. On my first day venturing out solo, I decided to drop by both stores and do some price comparisons.

Lotte Mart is enormous. Two stories of everything you could ever need. The second floor includes Lotte Hi-mart, their electronics and appliances section. I walked and walked and browsed, noticed they had what looked like a discounted section (think dollar-store kind of items), and concluded they have very reasonable prices overall, including for groceries. They also carry many common American brand-name products, albeit those are slightly pricier than back home.

Lotte Mart

Lotte Mart aisles Continue reading Lessons in grocery shopping in Seoul