Other Shopping Info, Seoul
I went on a DMZ tour while in Seoul and the tour guide took us to an amethyst jewelry shop and a ginseng shop at the end of our day. She was wearing a pretty amethyst bracelet during the tour, so when she took us to the shop, I bought a similar bracelet for $415. I subsequently saw the same bracelet for $100 in shops all over Seoul. I also puchased $400 worth of ginseng in the shop she took us to and found out the there was a higher grade of ginseng available in the government shops which sells for far less than I paid. I have since been informed that the tour guides get kickbacks from the shops for depositing the unwitting customer. I have many guidebooks, and was not warned of this scam. I am very trusting generally, but I wanted to warn people of this practice.
Now I got the inspiration to include this tip over here after Teacher_at_Loss asked me where to buy cheese in Seoul. Here's the weblink for a place where expats can buy all kinds of Western stuff and what do you know, they open everyday since they stated rather bluntly that they "don't have a holiday" in their website! Do they have cheese? Yes, they do, mascoporne from italy and even fresh mozarella for you to drizzle on your pizza.
Most of the sales people spoke Japanese and English. They let you bargain.
What to buy: I bought a Korean Traditional clothes which I can use to attend parties. I purchased 4 leather belts for my officemate and it only cost like $25 US dollars.
What to pay: I paid $60 for the Korean Traditional outfit. I am not sure if it was a good price but for the material it is reasonable. Elle small suitcase that I paid for $90 last year at the Duty Free only cost $40 for an imitation in Korea and it looks the same. I wonder if the one I purchased is an imitation:(
The Hoehyeon Underground Shopping Centre is conveniently located at the sub-way station area between Myeongdong and Namdaemun areas. You can drop by at this shopping area to have a look when you are at Myeongdong or Namdaemun, but personally I find this shopping area to be quite small and inadequate as compared to Namdaemun and Myeongdong (which are much more exciting, with lots more shops).
Im A Sucker for Airport Duty Free Souvenirs!
Lotte Duty Free Shop carries over 200 brands of perfumes, cosmetics, watches, accessories, clothing, bags, chocolate, coffee, royal jelly such as BVLGARI, CARTIER, CHOPARD, FERRAGAMO, BURBERRY, SWAROVSKI.
Required Documents: Passport, Airplane Ticket.
What to buy: Korean Souvenirs like Colombin Strawberry Chocolates, Amethyst, Hallyu (Korean Drama) Souvenirs and all the Luxury Brands above!
What to pay: Payment: Korean Won, US Dollar, Japanese Yen, Credit Card((JCB ,VISA, MASTER, AMEX, DINERS, LOTTE Card) and definitely no haggling here!
From my shopping experience in Seoul, the duty free shops (DFS) in Seoul city are selling at a much much cheaper price than the shops in Myeongdong. They are not only cheaper by the 10% tax but the cost price are often much cheaper than the same shops selling in the city. Let me quote you an example. I bought a BB cream from the famous BB cream shop (Hansxxx) at $38,000 won at Myeongdong. Next day when I went to the Lotte Duty Free shop, that exact tube of BB cream was selling at $28,000 won. Sigh! :D
Now I know why I saw hugh number of tourist flocking into the DFS the moment it opened at 9.30am. We even have to queue at the lifts to go up to the DFS level.
There are various DFS in different parts of Seoul. Hence, you do not need to wait till going to the airport on your last day to shop at a DFS.
My conclusion is: If you're interested in say, korean skincare products, when you next visit Seoul, make visiting one of those DFS as your very first shopping stop! Buy whatever you want at DFS. As these DFS do not carry as much variety range as those shops in the city, buy in the city shops only those not found in DFS.
What to buy: Skincare products, luxury goods etc
What to pay: At Lotte DFS, there is further discount if you use VISA card when paying. Products are usually priced in USD but you can also pay in WON.
So when I was visiting my girlfriend in Seoul, she loved traveling the Seoul Metro and on occasion she would get lost. I decided to search for a store where I could buy apparel that had the Metro map of Seoul on a t-shirt, hoodie, mug or other item and I found this online site where you can go and make and purchase your Seoul Metro on any apparel or gift item you want. I gave my girlfriend a few of these gifts and she loved them. This is a cool online shop that allows you to have a keepsake of the Seoul Metro station. The shop is an online shop and you can only by the Seoul Metro Map apparel on www.zazzle.com/stepasideapparel.
What to buy: This memory of Seoul Metro station on apparel is quite cool and it is one massive subway system.
What to pay: You can spend anywere between a $2.00 for postcards up to $25 for a t-shirt with the Seoul Metro Map on the t-shirt.
Lotte World is a fun mall to hang out. Great atmosphere and tons of shopping can be done. You won't find bargain prices like Dongdaemun, so its a good place to do some window shopping.
Went to the swimming pool that they have. That was a lot of fun. Cute swimming teacher. weot weow. hahahah in their speedo. In Korea when you do any sports they always wanna dress up the part. Back home you can just go and swim, wearing your bathing suit. In Korea you have to wear a swim cap. That was funny when we were about to jump in and the life guard said "Hat! Hat!" lol.
Skating is the same thing. You need skating glove. Cost 1 000 Won. But seriously skating gloves? hahhaha. That skating rink is really big and its a famous spot for shootings of drama series. I saw famous Korean celebs doing a taping there. If anyone ever watch the Korean Drama Series "Full House' then you would know the skating rink @ Lotte World.
What to buy: Good to do some window shopping. They have great gift items here.
What to pay: No bargaining done here! Pay the price that you see.