London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, and finally, Seoul. An irresistable deal on Zuji.com.sg had me frantically calling my best friend persuading her to come with me in one and a half months. Luckily she agreed and the next thing I knew, I was hoping onto a flight bound for Seoul with a stopover in Shanghai (more on that later). Seoul brought out my insatiable appetite for shopping. I never cared very much for facial products before but after the trip, it was all and still I could think about. How to whiten and brighten my face, which face mask to use at night and in the morning, and which BB/ CC cream to use etc. It was maniacal. For four days in Seoul, all I wanted to do was shop. Even eating was not a priority. Lounging in a cafe? A waste of time. With malls in Dongdaemun opened till 5am, sleep also had to take a backseat.
Seoul Incheon Airport set out a very strong first impression for me. In this day and age, modernity in an airport is commonplace, and such quality can even be considered essential, but Incheon triumphed in marrying this quality with style. A universal surgical-blue theme interspersed with soft wood paneling was seen throughout. The latter design successively cutting across the surgical effect. The airport was well-organized, clear directions marked out in English. As I made my way to Customs, I was swooning over the universal blue theme, right down to the warning decals on the ground. Efficiency was a certainty; my luggage was waiting for me at the belt. However I did have to take a monorail and queue shortly at customs.
I stayed in Ibis Ambassador Hotel which was located in Myeondong, directly opposite Lotte World shopping mall. There was a Lotte mall targeting the younger crowd next door and I spotted Kitson on the street level. The view from my hotel was amazing! They say Myeongdong is the best shopping area in Seoul but I reckon it is good for face masks and beauty products only. I saw loads more bundle offers such as free brightening cream for every three tubs of make-up remover; these offers were not as much for the same brands elsewhere. For clothes and accessories, Dongdaemun and Hongik/ Hongdae were more varied and wider in choice. I was in love with the street food (more variety after 6pm in Myeondong) especially the Potato Tornado (I had three sticks in two days, a lot for carb-conscious me). I had the sausage coated with fries (Corn dog Fries?) twice. The first was a relevation, the second I realised it was pre-made (most probably from a factory as I saw no deep-fryer in the stall) and heated up using a microwave so my love for it swiftly disappeared. I could not and still don’t understand Korean ricecakes. The cute round disk with an engraved heart is pure brown sugar – not groundbreaking nor worth the calories to be honest. On the first day, I went to Banila Co. and grabbed a few products for my sister. Having bought a sizable amount, I was fed with beauty samples which I gladly piled onto my face that night. The next morning, being so pleased with my soft and glowing skin, I went back to the store and grabbed a lot for myself. Late at night, outside Lotte, I spotted a van stacked high with beautiful oranges and people running up to grab a black plastic bag of it, it was a sight.