Wednesday 23 July 2014

Seeing Seoul - shopping etc

This is a must do in Seoul. There are so many shopping markets, centres and stalls everywhere that it is a shopaholic’s heaven, for any budget! They are also open late in to the evening and all weekend, perfect for working people.

Beauty treatments are huge in Korea – almost every other shop offers lotions, potions and cosmetics. But these are not always run-of-the-mill products…there are some more unusual items on offer. One which caught my eye was the snail slime face masks! I couldn’t resist and bought a batch to use with my mum and sisters…keep your eye out for a future blog post!

 They have promo girls working in the street to beckon you in with offers and free samples.

I couldn't resist a little Sunday afternoon pamper time, so treated myself to a massage and pedi...

The best places I went to were Namdaemun and Dongdaemun Market…you can lose hours wandering through the streets, shops and stalls.


Technology: Korea has become a powerhouse! The traditional labor/manufacturing industries have been replaced by IT and electronics industries. It is home to some of the world’s biggest manufacturers, including Samsung (the world’s largest technology company), LG, Hyundai and Kia. Seoul has a very technologically advanced infrastructure, including the world’s fastest internet (speeds up to 1Gbps!! Blink and that iTunes track is yours…)

This means that people are constantly glued to their phones, everywhere you look!

This technology even makes it way to the toilets!

The popularity of K-pop is evident throughout most of the shops, with large cardboard cut outs greeting you at a number of entrances!

There is also a notable American influence, due to the large army base near the city. There are 7-11s on a number of streets and lots of American candies and food brands around, even if some have been altered!

Culture: you could write or read for hours about the interesting Korean culture. Even Wikipedia has masses on the subject but a few things that were very evident to me during my visit was the amount of respect people had for each other, particularly with deference to elders and superiors. There is also an important gift-giving culture in business. Fortunately my mama taught me well and I never show up empty-handed! Though my haribo and Alpen chocolates had nothing on the gorgeous jewelry box and chopsticks set I received – I was touched by the generosity!

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