|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 😛 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? 😀 I will also be doing a simple travel guide to Korea, so stay tuned for it!
Thanks for reading! ❤