Seoul Backpacking 2011 – Places

Good day everyone.

I hope my recent post had been of help to those thinking of going to South Korea. Actually there are still a lot more to tell you, but as I only relied on my memory to write, I was bound to leave out a few stuff that I planned to write or tell to the readers.

So my next post(s) will not be really organized, as I will just write what comes to my mind. Plus, writing a day-by-day post doesn’t really fit me because by the third day in Korea, me and my friends already “split” and we went our separate ways. That left me with my BFF, Shambie, and both of us really took our own sweet time in Seoul. LOL. Namsan Guest House was not a GUEST HOUSE to us anymore, it felt like HOME. Hehe.

Namsan 2 Guest House

It’s our HOME for four days in Seoul. And we even lazed around the guest house AFTER we checked out. LOL. The staff are helpful and very friendly, though their English might sound a bit harsh. Kkkk. I think it’s unintentional, since I know I would sound harsh too when I speak in Hangugo (Korean language). So, staff-wise, no problem at all.

The room? Ahhh, too bad I didn’t take any photo of my room (I stayed on the top floor, Twin B room), it’s a room for two. Not that spacious, but big enough for two. The shower’s nice, and there’s a flat screen TV with HUNDREDS of channels to choose from. But most of the time we would be too tired to even watch the TV shows.

There’s a computer for public use in the kitchen, and you can use everything there too. Refrigerator, gas stove, microwave, washing machine et cetera. Breakfast is prepared, around 8 am everyday. Ahjumma will prepare coffee, but you’ll need to toast your bread yourself. Hehe.

WiFi is available too. The speed is not that fast, and sometimes you’ll lose the connection all of a sudden, but speed-wise, surely it’s much faster than Malaysia’s. LOL

Me and my friends left our big luggage at the guest house for the 3 days we went to Busan. The luggage were “kept” just outside the office (which is NOT in a store room or anything) but as we had no choice, we left them there. Thank god, nothing’s missing.🙂

So, if you ask me which place to stay, Namsan Guest House is totally recommended! Just make sure you choose, Namsan 2, not Namsan 1. The latter is wayyyyyy uphill and I don’t think I can survive climbing up the hilly alley everyday. Kkk

Myeongdong

Perhaps the place where I’ve been to the most! LOL Mainly because it’s just across the guest house and it’s a shopping haven for me. But to be honest, I didn’t shop that much even though I got the chance to. I’m not that into Kpop unlike the first time I was in Korea. Hehe. I guess people do grow up. LMAO

I just love being here, amidst the ocean of people (and couples holding hands – urghh). Most of the time you will be lured with freebies from all the cosmetic shops and in the end you’ll end up buying something. Being in Myeongdong multiple times during this trip, I learned NOT TO MAKE EYE CONTACTS with those promoters. Hahaha. Once, I even grabbed the freebies and walked away. Poor promoter she was dumbstrucked.

20110615-114931.jpg

Shopped here A LOT coz I'm CNBLUE-biased!

What to do in Myeongdong? Hrmmmmm… A LOT. Mostly required money (read: shopping) but if you know your way around, you’ll find good deals here. Lots of cosmetic shops like Holika Holika (CNBLUE+Kim Minji), Etude House (Sandara Park), Nature Republic (JYJ), Tony Moly (Song Joongki) are in Myeongdong, so if you missed one, don’t worry. You’ll find other outlets within a few hundred meters.

If you’re a Super Junior and/or Girls Generation fan, be sure to visit SPAO. The price of the garments here are quite reasonable, though the sizes are a bit smaller than Malaysian. Just ahead of SPAO, you’ll find Uniqlo, the brand Big Bang endorsed. It’s a 4 or 5-floor shop, with no escalator, unlike SPAO. Hehe. Both were having sales when I was there. So, my dad now owns a SPAO t-shirt. LOL

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SPAO tee for daddy

You’ll find clothes (blouse,cardigans) at the average price of 10,000 – 15,000 won in Korea. And if you buy well known brands like SPAO or Uniqlo, the price might be doubled (though the satisfaction is indescribable). But my personal favorite in Myeongdong is clothes from Cordi Factory (actually I’m not sure of the name.. but it’s Cordi something..), so sorry I forgot the real and correct name of the outlet.  The price of the clothes here vary, starting from 3,000 won and they are of good quality too.

How to find the shop? First look for SPAO (you won’t miss it), then go into the alley opposite SPAO. There are lots of shops selling bags for 10,000 each on your right, and Cordi Factory is the third or fourth shop on your left. Sorry if  my info is inaccurate, if you ever found this shop, please let me know of the details. I was too engrossed looking at the cheap clothes (and buying them) I forgot to jot down the details. LOL

Namdaemun

Namdaemun

credit: Michael McDonough

I love this place. I know my mom will love it too if she ever comes here. This is where you should be buying all your souvenirs to be brought home (okay, either here or Dongdaemun). Like Myeongdong, Namdaemun Market is HUGE. You can find almost everything here.

There are a number of gates into this market, but the easiest for me to get is from exit 2 of Myeongdong subway. Once you got out from exit 2, you will see Shinsegae shopping complex and cross the street to go to Namdaemun just behind it. Or was it beside? LOL. Either way you won’t miss Namdaemun.

Our sole quest for the day was to look for authentic Korean brooches for our moms and aunts and colleagues back home. So Shambie and I head out to Namdaemun in search of that. But my oh my we underestimated the size of this market so after about two hours we finally found the brooch shops.

And luck was on our side, thankfully, as we met the same seller that we bought the brooch from last year. We met Benny, and I told him I remembered him going to our tour guide’s room in Gangnam selling brooches March last year. He was shocked, but happy that we actually remembered him, so without asking, hello D-I-S-C-O-U-N-T!! Hehehe.

He brought us to his mother’s shop and hers were even more beautiful!! Me and Shambie actually had to stop looking as each new box she showed us, we were like, “O.o.. pretty!! Kyaaa!! So nice!! Omo, the color!! Aaaaa…” We ended up buying more than we did at Benny’s stall. Haishhh, he’s one helluva good businessman I tell you. LOL

Benny speaks good English too. I have his contact number and email, so if you need them, just let me know. Mention my name <Fizzy> from Malaysia, and ask him if he could give you more discounts. Hehehe.

And oh, in Namdaemun we managed to eat Kebab too!! It’s sold by a Muslim. He’s a Pakistani if I’m not mistaken. The small kebab stall is situated outside the market, it’s one of the many stalls near the main road. If you hear Al-Quran recitals then you’re not far from the stall. Again, I can’t give you the exact location of this stall. We found it by luck too, after being ‘lost’ looking for the brooch shops. Hehe. But to finally be eating chicken meat, we were so satisfied. Burpppp.

You can buy “I Love Korea” t-shirts here too. But don’t quickly buy at the first shop you found. Look around first. My friend got it for 10,000 per piece, while others (that I met at the guest house), got 3 pieces of the shirts for the same price.

In my opinion, you need to spend at least one whole day here. There are just so much things to do,look at, and finally buy. I didn’t get a chance to visit here last year, that’s why I made sure Namdaemun is in my itinerary. It should be in  yours too.

-part 2 coming soon-

19 thoughts on “Seoul Backpacking 2011 – Places

  1. phewww… oh!!!~ while reading this, made me sweat…
    what a huge market..must visit….
    and pasti will mention ur name if stop by at Benny’s mom shop..😄 [can I LOL]
    3 part done read…make me excited to go to korean.. =) [feel like jingle2]

  2. hi, i’ll be visiting seoul soon n really interested in buying the brooches frm there. can i have Benny’s contact number please?? heheh TQ

  3. Hi. Really luv ur post about seoul. I hope to go to korea next april 2012. Hoping to get some nice brooches! Can i have benny’s email add n contact no as well. Any address?🙂

  4. hey fizzy~ a thousand like given for all the posts. am going to korea next week. so maybe benny could do me some help. do send me his contacts ya, thanks

  5. salam sis fizzy.. ive been reading ur update in cnbluestorm.. and finally found ur iwn blog.. keke.. lucky me.. em, im going to seoul nx saturday. may i have Benny’s contact num?
    is it possible to use our local num to call him when we are in seoul nanti?

  6. Salam Fizzy,

    I’m going to Seoul again in a week. This time will be going on our own without tour. Can i have Benny contact number? Will be great to take my mum shopping for brooches as we didn’t buy any last trip. Thank you!

    • Salam.. Second time in Korea and backpacking? GOOD!!!!

      You can contact Benny via local number if you’ll be roaming in Korea.

      (02) 753-4763 010-5128-9122 (cellphone) email: ausbenny@hanmail.net

      please mention “Fizzy” to him.. preferably you should email him.. tell him when you will come.. ask for direction, namdaemun is huge!

      and if you want to contact him, call his handphone. i’m afraid his mom will pick up the office one.. she can’t speak english. benny is fluent..🙂

      hope this help.. and have fun in korea!!

      Sent from my iPhone

      On 2012. 8. 14.,

  7. Assalam benny..i was just read ur blog n thanx so much u gave us so much interesting information.my frens n i planned to go there sumtime soon..can u tell me where did u stay in myeongdong n wat’s da pricing there?my frens are soo into brooches n thru ur information i can get lots of tips so thanx again n i plan to go n see benny ur fren there.i wud like to contact him if its okay..

  8. Hi,

    just wondering if u remember roughly where in Namdaemun is the brooch shop? We were unlucky the last time as we weren’t able to find much. Also, was wondering if know any days that the brooch shop closes in the week?

    Thanks

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