Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cosmetics Haul from Seoul: Etude House, Clio Professional, Innisfree, and More

I actually thought I went crazy shopping for South Korean cosmetics in Seoul. But when I see these pictures, I don't think I did. Though spending US$200 in just 2 days of shopping in Seoul is something that I am not used to (so yeah, maybe I did go crazy shopping for cosmetics). I bought mostly from brands that are not available yet here in the Philippines because the prices of Etude House, Tony Moly, and The Face Shop don't differ much with the prices here in the Philippines (save for the mask sheets which was buy 10 get 10 for 9,500krw in Etude House, Myeongdong).

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Where my S(e)oul is Part 2

Traveling for 4 days in Seoul isn't enough. I wish we had stayed there for a longer time but due to work commitments, all of us had to go home and then back to reality. 

My observations/experiences in Seoul:
  • Their public transportation is really efficient and what I like most about the subway is that even if it is already rush hour, it is not too packed (unlike the MRT here in the Philippines). Also, the entire system itself is actually very efficient. They have stations in the most convenient locations and all lines are well connected.
  • I didn't think 5 degrees C would be too cold for me. I have experienced 6 degrees C before and I do know for a fact that it is cold. So I was like "nah, 5 degrees wouldn't be too much of a difference." Boy, was I wrong! It was soooo cold! 
  • There was this vendor in Namdaemun who knows how to speak in Filipino! I was really amazed! He said he just study everyday and try to memorize as much words as he can. I am inspired to learn Korean, too! 
  • Foreigners have asked for directions from me. I am not sure if it is because they think I look like a local or because I just look like I know the place really well (which I don't, by the way because it is my first time in Seoul).
  • The hotel had frosted glass doors in the hotel. I was taken aback by this because why would you have glass doors in a hotel room unless it is a motel, right? But it is a hotel, I swear! Good thing I am with  my family and I shared a room with only my sister.
  • Fried worms is a local street food. I saw tons of this in Namdaemun!
  • There are tons of cafes you can find all over Seoul. South Koreans must really love their coffee. Unfortunately, we weren't able to try any of the rows and rows of cafes we saw all over Seoul. We were too caught up with sight seeing to even bother to relax and chill for a few minutes over a cup of coffee. But I wish we did.
  • I promise to go back there next year! I must save up again!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Where My S(e)oul Is (Part 1)

I have always been fascinated with the culture of South Korea. I fell in love with it the moment i became aware of it. I love Kpop, I love Kdrama, I love Kcosmetics, I love Kfood...I actually even believe I was of Korean descent in my past life. I finally was able to satisfy this hallyu fascination and now, I can't wait to go back! I swear, Seoul, I will see you again soon! I have more places on my list that we weren't able to visit because it was just a very short 4-day trip. Quite palpably, I went crazy shopping for makeup in Myeongdong. There were so many stores selling makeup in every corner. Beauty bloggers, you will surely love this place! :)

Some observations of Seoul, South Korea:
  1. They stay on the right side when riding the escalator. If you are in a rush and you want to walk through the escalator, the left side is dedicated for you.
  2. They will really return to you anything that you leave behind. I accidentally left my handkerchief in a subway station and this Korean girl tapped me on the shoulder and was talking to me in Korean (which I obviously did not understand) and kindly returned it to me. The same thing happened to my sister. She accidentally left her T-money (subway card) in the subway and this Korean guy screamed Chogi yo at her to get her attention and returned her T-money to her. They're really kind!
  3. Most stores will not accept 100,000krw bills so make sure to have at most 50,000krw bills in your pocket. There is a bill changer at subway stations near the machines that reload the T-money where you can have your bills changed into 1,000krw bills.
  4. There are so many young couples everywhere! I swear, it was like the land of love. Everywhere I look, I find so many young couples hugging, kissing (yes, kissing on the lips! I saw them with my own eyes! And I thought South Korea has a conservative culture) and just being sweet with each other. It's not that I am too conservative for PDA. It's just that I really thought South Koreans are very conservative for this.
  5. They will not say excuse me if you are standing in the way and they want to pass by. They will just try to squeeze their body in the space available and will not care if they bump into you (I know this doesn't apply to all South Koreans but this happened to us a lot when we were shopping in Namdaemun. It may be our fault for standing in the way, though).
  6. Everything is so expensive! This is why they say you shouldn't convert to your own currency when shopping abroad because everything will come out to be very expensive. The cheapest meal I had was 5,000krw and that is about 204Php! Here in the Philippines, I can already have a fulfilling meal in just 50Php! I really wonder why food is so expensive in Seoul.
Hope you enjoy this photo diary (and hopefully my photography skills already improved?) :)