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✈ 서울 T R A V E L O G U E ✈ Raiding Myeongdong (명동)

In this entry I declare my love for one of the most commonly favourited places in Korea – Myeongdong!

It might be a shopping area with pretty expensive things but I think there’s still ultimately so much to see over there. I love it!!!  We went back like at least close to ten times after our first day I think, because it was so convenient for us.

We woke up really late the first day we went..about 2pm? Hahah and by the time we left our place it was already around 4PM because the four of us take approx two hours to get ready. Can’t believe our sloth habits – we practically lived the nights only.

With Keith not waiting for me up ahead. 😦

So nice this photo!! I have so many nice shots of you and those of me in your camera are…T_T

This was a stall at the traffic light junction that we had to cross everyday, and I kept thinking about DBSK whenever I saw it. But the stall is super cute and selling some sort of bread with different fillings inside. They apparently have quite a number of stores around Seoul.

If you look behind Mel you can see the girl in a poo-shaped hat LOL. I think that’s kind of like their mascot.

Huge-ass optical shop that 2PM and T-ARA endorse!

This was from another day as you can tell (they are wearing different outfits!) but here we are buying T Money cards from the machine in the subway. They can be bought from other GS25, Family Mart or other convenience stores.

I think a lot of people actually buy the ones that look like a normal card – and those work fine as well I think, but we bought the ones that look like a mini key chain (lost mine after a couple of days though so I had to buy another – but it was cuter!) .You can top up any value from 1,000 won. Ours costed about 8,000 won but I think the cards are cheaper.

The bottomline is: I guess you have to pay more for cute stuff?

The streets were REALLY crowded – and this was around 5pm. There were a lot of street stalls and we were all looking around but because the crowd was madness, we hopped into a random eatery for our first meal of the day ha ha ha.

The ‘D’ from Deli fell off I think.

The omu rice with Japanese curry was mine – see what I meant when I said I ate Japanese curry a lot there!

We arranged to meet up again at a particular spot since the place was so big and we didn’t want to spend so much time waiting for each other, but Mel, Keith and I ended up walking around together anyway! We checked out some underground shops selling idol merchandise and spent a crazy amount of time in F21…barely managed to look at everything – but this totally made up for time we wasted:

KRISPY KREME!

I swear I have never loved any donuts as much. Seoul has plenty of Dunkin Donuts everywhere but Krispy Kreme tastes the best. All three of us went straight for the original glazed.

After eating we met up with CA again and by chance, there was a street performance going on!!

Pretty useless pictures cos I was too busy watching!

There were different performers doing popular K-pop dances like Lovey Dovey, Nanrina etc..but there was one middle-aged gag woman who was doing 2PM’s Heartbeat and it was so funny!!!! She looked like she was having spasms.

Had no idea how this group of young schoolgirls did a bunch of dances in their leggings and short skirts because it was so friggin cold!! We had to shift closer INTO the crowd just so that we would be blocked from the icy wind.

And this was from another day in Myeongdong when we went to a Japanese eatery. Mel was so happy because we didn’t really eat rice the previous few days we were spent there.

One diligently eating, the other diligently uploading photos up on Twitter.

Can totally see all the gibberish we were scribbling.

End of that day ~

On another evening, we headed to Myeongdong again to meet up with Anne and Amy, the two girls we met while queuing for M Countdown, because it was the only place we were familiar with. Both girls had only been there once before that day – and they have been in Korea since last year/January! Haha, our only days to feel remotely like experts.

It was also the morning Mel woke up earlier than all of us – which is actually the norm – and went down to buy all of us a pizza lunch as a surprise!! So sweet of her.

This was literally what I saw the moment I woke up and looked down from my bed.

Our heroine!! And CA jumping down to eat haha.

Most delicious pizzas ever :’)

At night, Anne brought us to eat at Shabu Shabu – probably one of our healthier meals after all the junk we consume day after day.

Anne ignoring the camera because ‘food is more interesting’.

After eating we walked around and a few people went crazy buying idol socks..but I couldn’t really find any I liked 😥 Please buy me Onew ones if you see them, Stef/Michy!

Went to take NeoPrints – something I remember vividly from my lower secondary school days.

Pretty much the same as the one at Cathay Cineleisure in Singapore. I had the time to snap all these shots because the rest except CA were all squeezed into that one tiny booth decorating hahaha.

And because Keith and Mel were super enamoured with these super tall ice creams that were on sale along the streets, we all bought some!

From CA’s camera:

From mine:

I think I told him to pretend he was the Statue of Liberty and he did this. Um.

/added

We made an impromptu decision to head to a noraebang (karaoke joint) that night too and we picked a random one opposite unisex Korean clothing boutique A-Land in an alley.

It costed us about 5,000 won each for an hour, still reasonable, but much cheaper at Teo Heng (for Singaporeans).

The song menu is in Korean unless the songs are of a different language, so it helps to be able to read! Also, we choose songs via this super elaborate remote where you can manually key in Korean letters to find a song/artiste so being able to write/read Korean seriously helps! We had a very effective Anne help us while we excitedly screeched “Big Bang! Fantastic Baby! SNSD! AHHHH”

Chong Aik and Amy also did a very impressive cover of JYJ’s ‘In Heaven’.

Also, one of our last nights in Myeongdong was spent watching NANTA!

They have about five different teams that rotate shifts because NANTA plays every day with three shows. There was a White Day Special when we bought tickets online (the only way of purchasing tickets) so we we saved about 15,000 won for second cat seats. Paid around $37 per ticket. The theatre is pretty small and each show is pretty packed because the audience are made up of mostly tourists.

The musical revolves around a bunch of chefs trying to make the deadline for the preparation of a wedding dinner – and it’s a non-verbal musical so non-Koreans are still able to enjoy it! I was feeling pretty sleepy that night so I don’t think I paid enough attention, but it was still pretty entertaining, and the cast interacts quite a bit with the audience.

Anyway, other things I remember:

1. For those looking to buy K-pop CDs:

In Myeongdong, there is a really large CD shop called Music Korea – visible the moment you exit the Myeongdong Subway Station leading toward the main shopping area. It is located right above Nature Republic beside Migliore (another mall) and cannot be missed! This was where I bought most of the K-pop CDs I did, but it’s much better to purchase CDs inside Myeongdong station itself because they are much more affordable.

Yes I only realised it after I bought almost all the CDs I wanted/for people. -.-

There are also shops in Migliore selling CDs at pretty affordable prices. Read here for more info! And for fans of SM, you can visit the EverySing store in Myeongdong on the top floor of SPAO, or a larger outlet in Apujeong. The store basically stocks a whole lot of SM merchandise and some other drama stuff. You can even take neoprints with your favourite stars or buy framed photos – seriously amazed at how much money they can make out of fangirling tourists.

2. For people who want to change SGD to Won

Before we left Singapore, Keith told me that his friend asked us to change money in Myeongdong if we needed to because the rates were so much better – which is true! There really are a lot of money changers in the area, and I changed money 4x (omg totally overspent) – once at a changer along the main streets and three other times at two shops in a dodgy-looking alley, which had better rates.

I can’t really remember where their exact locations are, but I am pretty sure that they are directly opposite Lotte Plaza –  which is opposite Myeongdong. Your best bet is to walk till the end of a street, then turn into the lanes where more restaurants/eateries are located – they lead to darker looking alleys but you can spot the lights from the money changers from far. The rates around that area should be around the same and better than those inside the main street.

Places mentioned:

Myeongdong Station (명동역)

NANTA (COOKIN`)

www.nanta.co.kr

13 Comments

    • I couldn’t find any in Myeongdong 😦 maybe you guys can find some elsewhere!! And yeah! hopefully it’s still there. LOL

  1. Kaylie

    How did you go watch m countdown? Where is it? What’s the process like cuz Im gonna go this summer

    • Hi Kaylie!

      I’ve covered going there and where the building is in my post here: https://fellfromtheskies.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/%EC%84%9C%EC%9A%B8-t-r-a-v-e-l-o-g-u-e-exploring-dongdaemun-queuing-for-m-countdown/

      I didn’t actually get to watch the show itself because like I mentioned in my entry, they only let in the first 70-75 people in the queue (you get two chances, pre-recording & live recording, but the pre-recording is dependent on other factors such as whether you have the artiste’s CD, part of a fanclub etc. Every group has its own regulations).

      If you are planning to head down, I suggest going early, especially if it is an artiste’s comeback that day! 🙂 If you have time, try going down around 7pm at night. There will usually be someone recording some names to put on the list once you are there. When your name is on the list, you can ask the person in charge when is the next time they will be checking ‘attendance’, then come back at that time to prove you were there beforehand.

      You can email me if you have other questions! Hope you have a good trip.

  2. Angie

    Hi, in your opinion, is it cheaper to buy Won here in Sg or sell Sg for Won in Seoul?
    The last time you went you exchange Sg or USD?
    Thanks in advance for the reply!

    • Hi Angie,
      I think you get a better rate when you exchange SGD for Won in Korea, like in Myeongdong as I mentioned! However, it’s probably wise to change a considerble amount of money in Singapore before you go just in case. Once you get to Seoul you can look for money changers and check the rates – they will either be around the same or better, it’s hardly worse.
      I exchanged SGD the last time I went. 🙂

      Hope that helps! x

  3. Mary Zhu

    THAT SHOP!! (well.. all of them.. XD) BUT THE SECOND SHOP!!

    whats it called @_____@
    why do most kpop shops have no website.. TT.TT

    • Hi there, I’m assuming you are referring to the Tumblr I linked that has pictures of shops selling idol merchandise/CDs. I actually have no idea what the shop is called either. .___.

      But if you’re looking to buy K-pop stuff, I think you can just try Gmarket! They sell basically everything, ship anywhere and is pretty affordable. Just search what you like and I’m pretty sure you’ll find it.

  4. helloimemy

    Reblogged this on helloimemy and commented:
    Her experience was superb! Hoping to have my own blog about my OWN Korean trip. 🙂

    • Hi Jerraine, they’re basically everywhere around Myeongdong, if that’s where you’re asking about. The subway station there has the most shops with K-merchandise though!

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