This is continued from In The Land of KPOP (Part 1)
Alright, let me just continue writing our vacation in the land of Kpop. This time, it wasn’t Neesa accompanying us, but Idham, who is also an engineering student there, in Inha University, to be specific. Actually, on the first day pun sepatutnya Idham, not Neesa, but since something came up, he had to ask Neesa to fill in for him, which was okay for us because Neesa was very friendly too, and so is Idham.
So, on the second day, after having simple breakfast at Nungmaru Guesthouse, we were ready for the next adventure. Actually, more to adventures in our pockets. Yes, something to do with money. SHOPPING that is! It was kinda bizarre that we already went for some shopping only on the second day we were there. Usually, org shopping on the last day haha. Frankly speaking, we didn’t plan to do a lot of shopping (read;tight budget) since we only came for sightseeing, but a vacation without a shopping spree? That’s impossible, even for hubs. 🙂
That day, we decided to try the subways to go to Namdae-mun. We had our card valued at KRW10k for the whole time we were there. Stations that connect Myeong-dong and nearby cities don’t really cost that much. Only a few hundreds to less than KRW2k. Even on our final day, I still had KRW4.8k left in my card.
First, Idham brought us to Namdae-mun Market. This place is famous among tourists who want to do the souvenirs-shopping. They have varieties of items, from food to brooches and the most interesting part is, some of the sellers here could speak Malay too with a lil bit of Korean slang of course. It was kinda hard to understand, but so cute of them for trying, right?
Here at the store, you can find varieties of brooches from different colours and shapes. You could lose your marble for a little while looking at all the beautiful brooches around you! I lost it too for a minute there, before I suddenly remembered that I didn’t bring that much money to shop. Okay, sightseeing, remember? Haha
But, I did buy some for family and friends. The price range was between KRW2k to KRW10k. I think, I spent more than KRW100k for brooches alone. Some lah sangat kan… Then, we went to this one stall that belongs to a very nice and friendly Korean lady, who I believe is a friend of Idham’s, because they were so chatty with each other. We were there for another souvenir-shopping. Here, you could find souvenirs like a set of cutleries with ‘Korean’ engraved on it, cute bookmarks, plaque displays, nail clippers, fridge magnets and plenty of other cute things. We spent another KRW200k here and only spare some for our own selves. Yeah, things I do for you kesayanganssss sekalian….
We decided to drop by at our guest house to keep our shopping bags there since they were so freaking heavy and we didn’t have that much energy left to drag them. On the way back to the subway, we managed to buy a few more ‘I LOVE KOREA’ T-shirts. 3 for KRW10k, standard price. We bought 9 T-shirst all together. Only one for me, nothing for hubs (no size), and the rest was all for family and in-laws.
After buying the T-shirts, we quickly walked to the subways since we were already behind schedule. Again, something caught our attention. I saw a group of Japanese tourists were circling something. I told hubs I wanted to take a look at whatever they were doing. When I walked closer, it turned out to be a food stall where a Korean guy was demonstrating something. Idham explained that this Korean traditional food was called Kukul Tarae, which means Honey Skin. Well, because it is from honey with some ground peanuts filling in it.
This guy was so funny and very friendly too. Idham said that this guy used to be on a TV show, whatever it was called, I can’t remember. Then, after a while, he took a break and started his Kukul Tarea business here. If you watch the video I posted in my Facebook wall, you would notice that he said a few words in Malay like ‘satu, dua, tiga, empat belas’, ‘macam mihun’ ‘gulung’ ‘sangat sedap’ etc. Haha I’m sure he has a lot of Malay customers. We bought 5 boxes of 3 different flavours, peanut, chocolate and satu lagi tak sure. But memang sangat sedap especially if you eat it right then when the honey skin is still so soft. If you keep it in the fridge, it will harden so jadi mcm candies, but still sedap jugak.
After buying Kukul Tarea, we walked fast to the subway station, hoping nothing caught our eyes anymore, but first thing first, LUNCH! Owh, my favourite time. LET’S MAKAN!
After lunch, we took the subway back to Myeong-dong. We managed to drop by at Nungmaru Guesthouse and keep our bags in our room, before continuing our journey to Namsangol Hanok Village. This place is a free admission, but if you would like to try on their Korean traditional costumes, you have to pay at least KRW5k per person. We couldn’t resist so we tried it on.
Hanbok at Namsangol Hanok Village
KRW5k per person.
After that, we walked around the place, the garden, played their traditional games and then walked some more. Me, being the photographer, I walked the slowest because I was busy taking pictures of everything while hubs and Idham were walking few metres in front of me and chatting about God knows what. I stopped and looked at the surrounding, try to imagine the place in different seasons, winter for example. All white and it must have been so beautiful, or the sweet pink cherry blossoms that you could see from afar if it was in spring, or the gold yellow path covered with the fallen leaves if it was during autumn. Cantiknyaaaa! On my mind je la kan since the place was like a ‘padang jarak padang tekukur’ in front me right then.
After visiting the Hanok Village, we used the subway again to go to Dongdae-mun Market, the biggest retail warehouse in Seoul. You would not only find tourists here, but the Korean themselves like to go to this place too for fabric shopping. There is a wide range of types of fabrics available here. Once again, you would lose your sanity.
I was quite tempted to buy the Koean silk, but since the owner was busy attending to other customers at that time (the one who was sitting in the picture, do you see that?), I just went ‘Mehhhh. X payahla.’ So I didn’t buy anything there. We just walked around the warehouse, seeing all the beautiful and unique fabrics, clothes and cutesy stuff like socks, hats, handkerchiefs etc. I bet fashion designers would really love it here. It’s big and crazy.
After half an hour of walking in the warehouse, we went out and walked to Doota. It was nice to just walk and see the locals doing their things you know. To me it was nice, but not to hubs. His feet were killing him so we had to stop at Dongdae-mun Hollys Coffee for a little break. Weak, I tell you.
At Hollys, we just chilled out and talked to each other about lots of things. Talked about Idham’s study, talked about our study and experience when we were in Aussie, talked about Koreans, the job opportunities there for foreigners, the discipline of its people, the education system.. hah, the list goes on. Haha. About an hour or so, we headed back to Myeong-dong and hubs was still dragging his feet. Haha
Wait for Day 3’s adventure in Everland!