Myeong Dong Shopping Guide | 10 Tips and info to know about Shopping in Myeong Dong

I am writing this article from my very own shopping experience in Myeong D...


I am writing this article from my very own shopping experience in Myeong Dong, Seoul. I find it really amusing to be writing this because right before I fly, I was telling my boyfriend how unlikely I’ll be shopping here because I was in Bangkok just 3 days before this Korea trip. I am also thankfully a beauty blogger, so theoretically I am not lacking any cosmetics nor skincare. But lo and behold, I was like any other girls who probably would never find themselves having too many cosmetics… Basically, #ILostControl in the heaven of cosmetics in Myeong Dong! :P



So let’s see, I barely had a few days in Korea because some of the days during the trip I was on a tour (K Shuttle by US Travels), and two days I was in Busan. Despite the shortage of time here in Seoul, I still manage to visit Myeong Dong a grand total of 3 times on three different days! Athough this is partly cos my hotel in Seoul was only 15 minutes walk away from Myeong Dong, I still love how much Myeong Dong can offer me (based on shopping and food of course).


Before you ask, what is Myeong Dong?

Myeong Dong is one of the most popular shopping districts in Seoul, Korea. You can find lots of beauty brands, luxury brands and even departmental stores here in Myeong Dong. I would say the price range can be $$ to $$$.

How to get to Myeong Dong

Alight at Myeong-dong Station, Subway Line No.4, Exit #6
Euljiro 1-ga Station, Subway Line 2 (4 minutes) Exit #6

***


Myeong Dong is amazing. Both my travel companion a.k.a roommate, Dina and I agree that Myeong Dong is like a cosmetics & skincare heaven. Beauty stores like Etude House, Nature Republic, ARITAUM and Olive young are lined up along the streets and they appear so frequently, you can have the same beauty brand appearing just a stone’s throw away from each other lol.


Aside from your popular trusty beauty brands’ flagship stores, they also have beauty stores that house a few brands together. Here’s a list of them, but the list is definitely non-exhaustive:

Beauty Brands:
Etude House
Nature Republic
TheFaceShop
TheBodyShop
Innisfree
Skinfood
Tony Moly
Holika Holika
The SAEM
MISSHA
Clio

Beauty Stores:
ARITAUM (Amore Pacific brands like LANEIGE, Sulwahsoo)
Watsons
Olive Young

With one of the best travel companions on this trip!

So as you can tell, Myeong Dong has ABUNDANT beauty stores and brand, your heart will literally fly away the moment you step into this crazy shopping district. Here’s some of the things you may want to know about shopping in Myeong Dong:

1. You can get TAX-FREE claims

Simply tell the cashier that you want to have tax-free privileges and they’ll issue you the receipt and keep in a nice paper envelope for you. However, there’s a certain amount to hit and for most of the stores, It’s usually only 30,000 KRW (which is ~SGD37).

However, I do warn that claiming taxes at the airport can be really troublesome and not economically worth it if you’re not buying very high-value items. I spent really lot of cosmetics and the amount I could claim from tax-free global was barely SGD30, so I thought it wasn’t worth the hassle.

In case you are unaware, to claim your taxes, you have to:

Check in at the counter but not luggage > bring your luggage to the tax-free claiming counter > open up your luggage for them to see the items you bought > get a stamp > bring back to the counter to check in your luggage. Yep, make sure it's at least some amount of money that is worth such effort needed!  

2. Some service staff do speak Chinese

I apologise for the non-chinese speaking shoppers for this. The reason why they have Chinese- speaking staff is because most of the tourists here in Korea come from China, so that explains why. It’s definitely more convenient to be able to speak to someone using a common language and get to understand how a product works before blindly purchasing them.

Unfortunately, some of the Koreans do not really speak very good English so it can go quite frustrating when you want to ask about a product. Usually people already know what they want to get, and if the Korean staff can’t speak good English, they’ll usually use a calculator to tell you the price. So, all is well!

3. They actually lure you in to the shops with free masks (HAHHA)

Sorry for the haha behind but it’s an inside joke between me and my friends. When we feel like taking that one free mask, we would actually enter the shop even though we had no intention to buy anything, but ended up buying trivial items like nail polish.. -.- Nonetheless, I’ve not tried taking the free mask without buying anything, but apparently my friend has done it before and she manage to leave the place la haha. I would feel bad if I don’t get anything, so I got nail polishes instead (3,000-5,000 KRW, around SGD4-7 per bottle).

4. There are both expensive and cheap stuff

It depends on how you shop, and how well can you find treasures. Of course, you too pay for what you get.

I notice the facemask from Nature Republic uses really good quality mask sheets, but not so much for TheFaceShop’s face masks.. Of course, the price can differ a lot, so let’s just say each to her own!

Bags can also go from really expensive to really cheap at 10,000 KRW (~SGD12). I got a huge backpack with decent quality at only 10,000 KRW! I can put so many things, including my laptop inside, woohoo!


5. Look out for unbelievably cheap items

It’s not a secret that cosmetics and skincare in Korea are very cheap, since that is where they come from. But you might not know that some items can be crazily cheap because they can go on a one-for-one promotion, of 50% discount! If you happen to be shopping with friends, you might get to enjoy even cheaper price tags just by sharing! So my tip is to look out for incredible promotions and especially those one-for-one!

For example, my all time favourite Thefaceshop sunscreen cost SGD 28.90 in Singapore, SGD17.90 in Singapore DFS, but 16,900 KRW in Korea AND was on one-for-one, so that makes it 16,900/2 = ~8450 KRW = ~SGD10!!! HOLY CRAP.

This meal was only 8000 KRW (~S$10)
6. Food might be slightly more expensive here

My suggestion is to get out of Myeong Dong area for food. Simply walk out of Myeong Dong for barely 5 mins and you can easily find local eateries along the main road. They are very affordable and yummy, quite a safe bet.

I also noticed that the street food are more prominent in the night scene and not so much during the day. You’ll find toppoki, Nutella banana crepe cake and many local street food.





7. There are lockers at Myeong Dong Station

Congratulations! There’s practically nothing to stop you from shopping now! Fear not if you have to lug your luggage around if you have not checked in, or you’re leaving Seoul to other cities in Korea. There are lockers in Myeong Dong station as identified in the photo.



8. Prepare a shopping list

You may find it useful and more efficient if you already have a shopping list on hand before you shop in Myeong Dong. Some of my girlfriends in this trip with me actually have a list of things they want so they practically head in, get the stuff and get out. They saved a lot of time and in some sense didn’t get caught into buying more random stuff like I did :P

It will also be useful if your friends can tell you what they want so that you can compile them into a list, likewise to plan your expenses.

9. Do not overspend at one go and at one place

Here’s an advice from my roommate, Dina, who seldom shops for cosmetics but went so excited with me as we shopped together: Do not immediately buy all the things you saw for the first time. There are many chances for you to get the same item elsewhere, so don’t do impulse buy. You shouldn’t also spend all your money only at one place so as to enjoy your whole trip.

10. Bring a huge shopping bag/backpack

You won’t know how much you would be buying, but having a big bag to contain all your purchases is surely better than carrying many small little bags of stuff. Guess it’s self-explanatory ;)



And that's about it! Hope this Myeong Dong Shopping Guide would be useful to you and feel free to share with all the happy ladies out there! Once again a huge thanks to KTO Singapore for making this trip possible, Caro for taking such good care of us and leaving me an absolutely happy girl with all my shopping loots.... next up, probably some shopping haul? :D I will also be doing a simple travel guide to Korea, so stay tuned for it!


Thanks for reading! ❤ 
If you like the post, follow me on instagram too! 

Love,
Celine

You Might Also Like

6 comments

  1. Your post is making me seriously consider visiting Myeong Dong, Seoul. Looks amazing and the food looks delicious!

    http://arnellavanilla.com/category/home/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Its been a few years since I last went to Korea and your post makes me wanna go there again! Anyway can you also do a post on accommodation there? Greatly appreciated :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thnx for e info.
    Looking forward for e snow this Christmas. Yeah...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello! I love your post!! Although I just curious about the locker. I want to know where it is and how much do we have to pay and stuff like that. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for this guide! Going to Seoul soon and I'm excited about shopping for cosmetics!!

    http://geekykat.com/

    ReplyDelete

Hello there!

Flickr Images