Wanderlust : Seoul, Korea (Day 1) [Namdaemun Market, Myeongdong, Lotte Mart]

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Yay!! I spent 8D7N exploring Seoul for the first time there. I went during April, the month where North Korea wanted to bomb South Korea but thank God they didn't! The weather in the morning was great but when it turns dark, the wind is a killer! 

Day one itinerary: 
Namdaemun Market
Myeongdong Cathedral
Lotte Mart

Yea I took a midnight flight and transit at Hongkong via Cathay Pacific.

Looks like a scene in the movie, Tangled but in the opposite way where I'm above and the lights are below haa!

My supper on board from SIN to HKG

Snack time from HKG to ICN

Finally after 6 hours of sitting on the plane. I've landed in kimchi land :)

We took Airport Limousine bus 6002 to our hotel which was at Jongno 3(sam)ga station. It costs 10,000KRW per person and the journey is about an hour.

Credits to utravelnote

GS Hotel, my stay for the whole trip. As we reached before checking-in time thus put our luggages there for safe keep and head out for adventure. Only came back in the evening to nap thus forget to take photos in the room, 

My deluxe room  (SGD90 per night) looks similar to the photo above, it comes with a double bed and a single bed.  The room were really cosy and comfortable with the heated flooring, really a essential during the cold nights there. I suspected the bed to be heated too cause we have difficulties waking up every morning, hence tends to miss the free breakfast provided by the hotel too. Breakfast includes cup noodles, toast and cereals. The hotel provided a desktop with internet, including in room wifi, big television, daily beverages for free such as bottled of mineral water, a can of Korean tea and a can of corn tea, and  all other necessary amenities. All in all there is nothing I dislike about this hotel, I simply love it!

After alighting, turn left & you'll see Shinhan bank at a T-junction. 
Turn right at that junction & you'll see Seoul Theater (right side). 
Go straight & turn right at the Pharmacy & Udon Restaurant. 
About 50m, you'll see the hotel on the left side.

GS Hotel Jongno Address: 
87, Gwansu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 110-420 South Korea
서울 종로구 관수동 87 [돈화문5-5]

The hotel is located within 3mins walking distance from the nearest train station, Jongno 3(sam)-ga.

Look at the mobile toilet!!

If you've read my wanderlust post to Taiwan, you'll know its my joy to try McDonald in all countries.
In Korea, they don't serve tea in their breakfast menu, only coffee and orange juice. Bacon McMuffin yo!!

My colleague lent me her T-money card (like Singapore's ezlink card) so I'll just need to top-up the card to start using.

Not all stations are modernised, some are using this but at least there's English notices.

They actually have vending machines on the train platform, as they are allowed to eat and drink on board and yet the trains are so clean.

They do follow the green footprints!

This interchangeable signs are available in English too, plus they points to the directions the door will be opening.

First stop, Hoehyeon station to Namdaemun Market


Plenty of food everywhere, you'll never be hungry again.

We didn't stay long at this place as there isn't much for youngsters at this area.

Take note if you are travelling to Korea, they practice standing on the right.
When I first got there I stood on the left and everyone looked at me, cause in Singapore we practice keeping left. Haahaas it took me awhile to get used to it.

Moving off to Myeongdong for shopping and dinner.

P.S. I would not recommend to buy facial masks here, try else where not crowded. 
As this was my first stop, I bought quite a bit and the next few days I found better deals like buy 10 masks + 2 masks free for the same price I paid here. Hence, I strongly recommend you to do your checks.

With my favourite travel companion , Jacq :)

Many loots and beauty products!! We decided to head back to the hotel to unload first.
I think the person fell asleep inside lols! But its a good way to attract attention! At least it got ours ;P

Myeongdong Cathedral. A lovely church with a history.
It's so sunny yet you see me wrapped up like this cause the wind is really chilly!

To our surprise, the street in the morning changed. towards the late afternoon the street stalls will be up for business.

This is so simple yet delicious. Egg bread with melted cheese on top.

Hotdog wrapped with bacon

Back at Myeongdong for dinner and possible more shopping haahaas!
Woori Garden Korean BBQ

Woori Garden Korean BBQ was ranked quite on the top of TripAdvisor so we decided to try it.
It tasted good with as the beef brisket were sliced into really thin pieces & the Grilled pork loin were really well marinated. Take note it may not be cheap eating in Korea, especially in restaurants. 
Go print their online coupon to get 10% discount off your total bill. http://www.woorigarden.com/

Get out of Exit 8 of Myeongdong and it's located at the basement of that building. 
There'll be signage.

65-6 Chungmuro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul. 100-861 Korea.

Food shopping at Lotte Mart!!

Thank you for reading! :)

CONTINUE READING >>> Seoul, Korea (Day 2)

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  1. Looking fwd to the second post in Korea! Very detailed thank you.

  2. Thank you! My day two in Seoul is up now :)

  3. when did you go to korea? mid april? late april?

  4. Hello. Get the chance to read your blog about Seoul. And I'm going to Seoul this coming April. From the photos you uploaded the weather seemed very cold. What was the day and night temperature?

    1. The weather was supposed to be spring but the winter was somehow extended, unpredicted weather nowadays. During my visit, the temperature in the day was about 10 over degrees, whereas the night falls to less than 5 degrees. Beware of the super strong and chilly wind, even though there's sun.

  5. Hi....nice posting. from your experience, is it allowed to eat and drink inside limousine bus (from inc to downtown) & inside MRT (because vending machine is available inside station)? Thanx

    1. Thank you for reading :) For the limousine bus, eating and drinking is not allowed on-board. As for inside the train, I have seen Koreans eating and drinking but did not experience it as it would be troublesome to hold on to it till your stop. There are bins beside the vending machines though. Hope this answer your doubts.

  6. Hi Nikki, can I noe if stuffs in Lotte mart is worth buying? like if its much cheaper there than in SG? cos now the rates got even worst..

    1. Hi Yeewen, my trip there was a few years ago therefore I hard to compare between the prices now. Also, SG has been opening more and more Korean marts, it's hard to tell if it is worth buying. What I can suggest is before flying off, head to one of the mart to check out the prices and go over to Lotte mart to compare. Do avoid getting scam from the street stalls, as their's can be pricey as compared to Lotte mart.

  7. Hi! Will be heading there this coming weekend and happened to find your blog on Seoul :)
    May I know for the airport limousine bus, do they inform you that your stop is coming or do you have to figure it out on your own? I'm afraid I might miss my stop or alight at the wrong place :/


    1. Hi Agnes, there is a stop announcement on-board so you don't have to worry :) you can check with the driver any time if you feel lost. Enjoy your trip!

  8. Your Pictures of the food so sinful..... yum!
    Researching for my future trip to Korea...LOL
    Still not decided on the date yet.
    Any idea when is the best time to go? Thanks!!!

    1. Thanks for reading! Hmm I don't really know the best time to go, but I tend to visit during the Winter cause Singapore can be really hot and humid haahaa. Have fun planning :)

  9. Hey Nikki !

    Orange here, Wow nice blog ya. Realize i lost your number. hahaha.
    Anyway, where is get good deal for masks?

    1. Hi Orange! :) thank you! I can't really remember the exact location, but I chanced upon it near some lanes down Ewha Womens Uni.

      I'll drop you a fb message ;)