All Aboard The Seoul Train

November 06, 2015

Photo diary of my first twenty four hours in Seoul. Anyeonghaseyong!

 Seoul in 2½ Days - Day 1: Dongdaemun & Myeong-Dong

I would have felt just a teeny little bit like a twat for curling up under a fluffy down blanket on my Premium Flatbed - the closest thing budget airline AirAsia has for a Business Class - while the rest of the party (except for Michiekins, her hubs, and Baby M) packed themselves like Tetris Blocks on the 6 hour red-eye from Kuala Lumpur, but, One: I made my choice, they made theirs and Two: Everyone who flew down to Seoul for Sheena's hen's night are staying on for a week or more, but I'm only here for 56 hours (I have a wedding on Sunday). Time is a premium and a luxury: and so is the option to 'fly Business Class' on a cheap-as-chips airline. Who else but I? 
Either way, the upgrade paid off: thanks to a solid 6 hours sleep I've had the energy to hit the ground running from the moment we landed in South Korea at eight in the morning through shopping all afternoon in Dongdaemun and Myeong-Dong, then back again to Dongdaemun for their infamous 'dawn-to-dusk' multi-story malls (really a maze spread out over several floors, packed with rows of market-type stalls heaving with the most random clothing and accessories), and now at two in the morning I'm blogging my first Seoul photo diary - so hot off the press that you can still taste the kimchi. Which incidentally is what my hair smells of right now...






The M family who continues to inspire us all with their commitment to keeping baby happy and well-travelled (I didn't fly Business Class at that age...) and also for reminding me that I am definitely not yet selfless enough to have a child.


The hen and her cock. Who is celebrating her hen's night two years after her engagement proposal because Sheena marches to the beat of her own drum. This K-Pop obsessive has been mistaken for a genuine Korean ulzzang (Korean: "Best Face" - the nation's equivalent of home-grown idols who become internet-famous for being pretty) all day. I joke that this isn't her holiday, it's her homecoming and return to 'the motherland' - Sheena balik kampung


By my power of persuasion we took a detour to infamous 'beauty street' Myeong-Dong, where every Korean skincare and beauty brand worth their salt has at least one outlet on this avenue. Koreans make the best skincare products, so to see brands like Innisfree, Etude House, Skin Food etc. all conveniently lined up in two rows for easy perusal is like a beauty-addict reaching the promised land. I'm so glad I'm not a beauty blogger or my head might have exploded from the excitement.





Michiekins taking a break from 'marsupial care': strapping baby to her chest and carrying him everywhere while we use the buggy for our shopping bags. Dique put his DSLR in the buggy seat and pointed: "Look, that's my baby." LOL



Zaha Hadid's distinctly neofuturistic shape of Dongdaemun Design Plaza gave me serious Singapore deja vu.


I prefer classic and traditional over futuristic and modern, but even I was dazzled by this illuminated field of LED flowers...





...watching them glow ever so serenely against the backdrop of bustling Seoul, the chaos and sounds of the city buffered by the undulating curves of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza's had a restorative effect. For several blissful minutes we all forgot that we'd been running all around Seoul - lulled into a serene trance by the incandescence of the flowers. Oh, and the bokeh - a photographer's dream.





Excuse my very dilated pupils, I must've been extremely relaxed. 
Also, my hair feels and looks Seoul-much better in the Korean autumn air than in the hideous Malaysian humidity. 


Sheena the hen, could-be-an-ulzzang, and selca ('self-capture': Korean for selfie) queen showing us why she often gets mistaken for a fashionable young Korean lady: her selca game strong.


The heart and Seoul of the late-night shopping scene has to be in Dongdaemun, where shops typically open past four in the morning and a midnight snack at one of the street-food carts outdoors is part of a balanced diet.






Living large: here I am, looking like a giant in Seoul (as I do in East and South East Asia). Apparently being 5'6" with 36" hips and a UK7 shoe-size means that yes, you might find shoes that fit you and yes, that's why people call you 'plus-sized' or 'big' because nice Asian girls aren't supposed to have double-D chests or thighs like a truck, truck truck. I wonder what the foreigners will make of me at Itaewon (the expat district) tomorrow? Stay tuned for my next Seoul photo diaries, and of course the fleshier Seoul blog posts to come - recommendations, reviews, and that sort of thing! x

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