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Namdaemun, My Favourite Souvenirs Market

Date of Visited: 09th September 2011

After done with Myeong-Dong and Dongdaemun, two of the hottest tourist spot in Seoul, we're then heading to another one, Namdaemun. Just like Dongdaemun, Namdaemun is located near its namesake of Great South Gate. It is the largest and oldest traditional market in Seoul.

Namdaemun 01

Among three of these places we went on the second day, Myeong-Dong, Dongdaemun and Namdaemun, I tends to prefer to shop in Namdaemun for one main reason, tons of souvenirs I can choose from and this is where I can bargain for more cheaper price than elsewhere. So, if you love to collect fridge magnets and keychain just like me when everytime going travelling or even looking for vast variety of traditional and local souvenirs for family and friends, this is the recommended place.  

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Pretty awesome hanbok for the little one.

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Once I spotted all of these, I tends to forget where were my friends are. 

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Begin my mission to hunt for more fridge magnets, keychain and souvenirs for family, friends and even for myself.

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If you are looking for seaweed either for cooking or even snacking purpose, Namdaemun is the best place to search for.

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Since we walked non-stop from Myeong-Dong to Dongdaemun and after that to Namdaemun, we decided to take a break by visiting a cafe located nearby the Namdaemun market.  

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A coffee break in Holly's Coffee before continue with the mission of hunting more souvenirs.

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Although many of Namdaemun's shops are within the buildings that make up the area, but when the days start to break, the market is busy and happening with the group of street vendors that setup in the alleys and walkways between the buildings. 

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The typical Korean street food vendor which can be seen in most Korean drama. Namdaemun even being listed as Asia's 10 greatest street food cities under the Seoul list. (Source)
Too bad for us as we didn't managed to try any of the street food cause our stomach were filling with tons of water from the cafe we visited.

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It's so hard for me to bid goodbye to all the cute and pretty souvenirs at Namdaemun. Wanna see what did I bought from there? Stay tune for "My Travel Haul from South Korea" post in the future. wink

How to get to Naedaemun:
Hoehyeon Station, Subway Line 4 – Exit 5, 6 or 7 (You can get off either one of these exit to the market)

[Credit To: Wikipedia, Official Site of Korea Tourism, LifeinKorea]
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Dongdaemun, 24 Hours Shopping of Seoul

Date of Visited: 09th September 2011

After bidding goodbye to our lovely Korean friend, Kyung Hee in Myeong-Dong, then we're heading to next pitstop for shopping time again. Talking about shopping in Seoul, it is one of the popular activities which most travellers/tourists like to indulge in as it has more to offer from shopping mall, centres to markets and even streets which you barely to miss them out.

Since we have T-card with us, hence we fully utilised it by taking subway to the next destination.

Seoul Subway 01
One of my best travelmate who travel together to Japan in 2010, Nicole.

My best travelmates in crime. We used to travel a lots of places during studied in UK.

My friend "forced" me to take this pos, pretending I was very strong. 

More spacious and clean inside subway train.

Dongdaemun 01
Dongdaemun, is our second destination on the second day. Dongdaemun is claimed to be the largest market in South Korea that supplies stocks to thousands of retail fashion shops around the whole of Korea. You can find greatest bargain in almost more than 30,000 stores in the Dongdaemun area with many different kind of products such as clothing, accessories, bags, shoes, textile, fabrics, footwear, and sporting goods.

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Literally, Dongdaemun means "Great East Gate" but for sure this word not only means that in Korean but in Chinese too. It was so named because it was the major eastern gate in the wall that surrounded Seoul.

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Dongdaemun area was built nearby an old fortress wall gate and it can be easily noticed this once come out from the subway station.

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Typical street of Dongdaemun

Ginseng can be found anywhere in South Korea. Cheap or not? Don't ask me cause I'm not interested with it.

What makes this market outstanding than others is because most of the shops around this area open from 9:00 pm until 5:00 am or even 6:00 am on the next day. So if you can't enough to shopping during the daytime, you can continue shopping at here until you're drop. Experience this nightime excitement which not often seen in many other places in the world.

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We spotted one whole row of food street vendors that sell many of local cuisines, hence we decided to try.

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My friends and I did tried one of Korean popular authentic street snacks, stir fried rice cakes (as photo below), added with some crispy fried seafood snacks (as photo above). Although it was quite a spicy, but it taste delicious and we did almost have two bowls for it.

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Dongdaemun 09

We strolled around Dongdaemun for one or two hours but we found out nothing that we fond of. Maybe because this district market would be more happening at night than the daytime, thereafter we moved to the next place before it's getting dawn.

How to get to Dongdaemun:
Subway Line 1 or 4, Dongdaemun Station

[Credit To: Wikipedia, ExploringKorea.com, VisitKorea.or.kr]
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Snapshot Sunday: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

Pisa Leaning Tower, Italy

When seeing one of this "Seven Wonders of The World", don't you feel want to do a pose to hold up and prevent this tower from falling? My friends and I did the same thing too. Guess, this is one of the popular tourist activity.

Check out my old travel post: Pisa, Italy
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Myeong-Dong, Seoul Shopping's Haven

Date of Visited: 09th September 2011

Myeong-Dong, is undeniable one of Seoul's main trendiest shopping area, with more than 300,000 square meters of shops ranging from selling clothes, shoes, handbags, accessories to cosmetics. So imaging that the place that my friends and I stayed was just 150 meters away, we visited Myeong-Dong almost everyday, and sometimes even twice a day.

According to the tertiary itinerary that I did, we were supposed to go Nami Island on the second day. Unfortunately, it started to rain once we stepped out from out guest house. Hence, change to plan B. As I did mention before, one of the main reason we visited Seoul is also to meet our pretty and lovely Korean friend.

We met somewhere at the subway station nearby our guest house and once we met, she suggested to bring us for lunch around Myeong-Dong. Myeong-Dong is not only famed as a shopping haven, but it also crowded with numerous of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and night clubs too.

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This is the restaurant where our Korean friend brought us too. It's quite popular by the way and ever visited by some celebrities.

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Let me introduce our Korean friend, Kyung Hee (the lady in white stripe shirt). Is it she lovely?

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Kyung Hee ordered 2 big plate of this meal which claimed by her to known as "Seong Kee". It is some sort of glass noodles cooked with soya sauce added with lots of chicken, veggies and wait! Did you notice the super huge potatoes that mix together? It was a bit spicy but frankly speaking, we really love this and almost finished the two huge plates. We planned to spend Kyung Hee but at the end, immediately she paid for the food and said she treat us as her guests. Kamsamnida Kyung Hee!

Since we got plenty of time, we strolled around Myeong-Dong for few hours before move on to the next destination. Myeong-Dong is crazily insane filled with countless of fashion beauty and cosmetic outlet. You can even spot the exactly same outlet, not only two but sometimes more than 3 in the same row. So the next time your mission is to hunt for those beauty and cosmetic products, I strongly recommend to stay nearby Myeong-Dong but one reminder need to be aware is your wallet. It can seriously makes until you burn a hole in your wallet.

Myeongdong 01
♥♥ the atmosphere of Etude house

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I forgot what is this but it is so cute. Caught my attention.

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I guess all of these outlet can be found in Malaysia.

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But for these 3, I'm not quite sure. Anyone got any idea whether is it available in Malaysia?

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Myeong-Dong also being listed as one of UNESCO. Cool!

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Few high-street fashion outlets located in one of the famous department store, Lotte

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This big mascot is one of the promotion technique to attract more customer to visit their shops.

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My friends were browsing handbags and it was freaking dirt cheap. RM28 for each and somemore, "Made In Korea". Really worth to buy.

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Not only on surface, Myeong-Dong also has underground shopping center.

Floated everyday even on weekday especially with young people, Myeong-Dong is not only happening and lively in day time but also in night time. One of the place not-to-be-missed if visiting Seoul. Trust me, I'm kid not!

How to get to Myeong-Dong:
Subway line 4, Myeong-Dong Station, Exit 6
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First Footsteps In Seoul

NOTE: First and foremost, thanks to all my blog readers including my friends and family for the support on the contest I participated for Malaysia Airlines "The Big Flight" (click here for info). I am truly grateful and touching too for the commitment to drop by my blog.

Date of Flying: 08th September 2011

Let's take a break from my outdated Europe travelogue and let me fly you to the oriental country. I not sure whether for you guys a return ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul, South Korea cost RM470 would consider to be cheap or not but for my friends and I, we think it is reasonable to purchase this airfare and so we did that.

For this trip, my friends who went South Korea with me used to be travelled together when we studied in UK before. We travelled together to Wales, Scotland, London and even around Europe for 20 days. Since ever we graduate, we seldom keep in touch but we promised to make another reunion trip someday. Therefore, we decided to choose South Korea as our reunion trip for one main reason, also in order to meet our Korean friend, who we knew her during the Europe trip.

South Korea Day 01 01

Despite flying countless times with AirAsia, this would be my first ever boarding with this long-haul airline franchise, Air Asia X. Unlike the normal flight I have with AirAsia, this AirAsia X is incredible massive.

South Korea Day 01 02South Korea Day 01 03
I also got the chance to meet and know a new friend during this trip. Welcome our new member, Keng Yap (the gal in yellow polka dot blouse). This is what most people claimed that the best part of travelling is knowing more new friends and yes, I did.

South Korea Day 01 04
AirAsia X is more wider with 2 aisles and the seats are 3-3-3 and 2-3-2. However, there is no inflight entertainment provided unless you purchase it through online earlier.

South Korea Day 01 05
Witness the sunset from hundred feet above the sea.

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Finally we touch downed Incheon International Airport at 9pm after almost 7 hours of flight ride. Korea time is earlier 1 hour than Malaysia, therefore by the time we reached there, it almost 10pm Korea time.

South Korea Day 01 07

After done with all the immigration checking and taking our bags from the conveyor belt, we're heading to 7-Eleven to buy the T-Money card. This card is very useful especially for the travellers and foreigners to pay transportation fares on public buses and subways around Seoul and Gyeonggi area and helps to prevent from all the long queue and hassle.

South Korea Day 01 08

The T-money card that we bought from 7-Eleven costs 3,000 won itself and we reloaded 10,000 won for each of the card. From Incheon International Airport to our guest house which located at bustling area of Myeongdong, we got 2 options; either by subway or airport limousine bus. From the research I done before going to Seoul, I suggested to take airport limousine bus to avoid the hassle of keep changing station with the hand of heavy bags.

South Korea Day 01 09

Done with the purchase of T-money card, we then heading to the gate 5B to wait for the airport limousine bus to arrive. The bus number we're taking is 6015 and we'll get off at the last station, Sejong. The bus ride took almost an hour. Out of our expectation, just reloaded the card with 10,000 won few minutes ago, few minutes later the all 10,000 won fare gone after taking this bus ride. Looks like we gonna reload it in the next morning to continue our journey.

When we arrived the Sejong station, it almost reach midnight. Thank goodness the person in charge of the guest house willing to wait to pass us the key. Once we entered the guest house, this is what we stumbled upon,

South Korea Day 01 10
A table filled with foods. It was included in the accommodation fee, therefore my friends almost ate finish all of them. Guess they were too hungry because we only have a small plate of nasi lemak inside the plane. While having our supper, we were entertained by the late night show and what shocking us was that Korean television broadcast 18SX without any sensor. I guess the guys must be damn delightful when got to watch those show. eek

So, this is my travel story of the first day touch downed in Seoul. Stay tune for more travel tales.

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