Sunday, January 5, 2014

Travelogue: Korea Winter Trip 2013: Day Two (COEX Mall, COEX Aquarium, LOTTE Duty Free, Hyundai Department, Gangnam Metro)

Click here if you have missed the day one post.

Day 2 started early for us cause we had a good nights' rest! Breakfast 'home' together before we headed out to COEX Mall which was about 43 minutes train ride over.

With regards to the metro stations, don't worry, it is pretty easy to navigate around and the colors are very distinctive. You'd not have a problem figuring out which station and which line to take. Oh, you should download the Subway application I introduced in my summary post to help you with getting around Seoul.

Probably the best and must to drink in Korea. This cost ₩1,200 per tiny bottle. (totally miss this.)

Most signages comes in English, so fret not!

We arrived at COEX mall after 45 minutes but to our dismay, it was under major renovation and nothing else was opened except the Aquarium, Starbucks and Burger King (and a few random shops). I was pretty upset because I thought COEX was a huge mall that we could do some shopping and Lionel also found a interesting food court with 16 restaurants inside for lunch. The website didn't had any form of notices at all when we were planning the itinerary too. But of course I didn't allow it to dampen my mood! We still went ahead for COEX Aquarium, had a good lunch at burger king and grabbed some coffee at Starbucks!

It's not hard to find the Aquarium with the help of the signages even though the whole place didn't even looked like COEX Mall. It was panels and panels everywhere.

The mall inside looks a little 'hazy'.

Here you can see the entrance fee for adults. It's ₩19,500 per head.

Here's the entrance to the Aquarium. I'm not going to post every single picture I took in the Aquarium (or this post would be heavy image content)

There isn't anything really fascinating so I guess it's just a typical tourist attraction. But well, you're on a trip to enjoy so just go ahead with it. I did enjoy seeing my manatee, penguins and a new found love, prairie dog.

Meet my new love, Prarie Dog!

The have like fridge.. washing machine... traffic light.. mail box.. all to exhibit their fishes. For this, I say they are pretty creative.


A mandatory tourist shot!

I assume this is what's left opening in COEX Mall now. Not sure when is it reopening though.

Something that really fascinate me A-LOT. Everything, literally everything in Korea for their food products comes with calories. Yes, calories. (Except for street food) Every doughnut I eat, I look at the calories first. Subconsciously, I didn't eat too sugary doughnuts because the calories looked as if it was shouting at me to stop! A can of sprite, a bottle of banana milk, a cup noodle or even burger king menu! It has calories written on it. Now you know why Koreans so skinny right... Lols!

Their burgers are... comparatively smaller then Singapore and their drinks are god-damn-gasy. I swear it's super-duper-gasy. Each gulp of sprite makes me burp 10 times (okay just 3 times hahahhaha) Oh, and something different? Koreans clear their own trays in food courts and fast food joints. Thrash are thrown into the waste bin while your unfinished drinks would have to be emptied into this big container before you stack the cups beside the waste bin. I didn't take any photo of it but when you're there, you'd understand what I'm saying.

After lunch, we went over to LOTTE Duty Free right at intercontinental hotel jutst right beside the Aquarium. Also didn't take any photo of it but trust me, you'd not miss it while walking towards the Aquarium. While facing the Aquarium, it would be on your right hand side. Just keep walking straight and you'd see the LOTTE Duty Free mall right below the hotel and the first store is MCM.

Everything at the LOTTE Duty Free (There is another one at Myeong Dong that closes at 8pm, which I will blog more details later on) is cheaper then what you see at places like Myeong Dong. I bought every Laniege item on my list and spent about ₩370,000 here for 8 bottles of sleeping mask, 4 bottles of water bank essence, 2 bottles of water bank gel, 1 eye gel and 1 BB cushion. It's really a-lot cheaper compared to what we have in Singapore.

After our massive shopping spree there we went on a random adventure to explore COEX and the nearby mall.

We followed this sign and... it lead to a business tower. =.= So don't bother.

Some how we found our way to Hyundai Departmental Store from where we got our Starbucks (which is the same place as Burger King) with the help of the signages.

Once you enter, this is what you see. Food food and more food. 

As you go higher it sells cosmetics, facial products and other branded goods. It's like a Singapore Paragon there. Prada, Gucci, Tory Burch and more brands. There are discounts but... I don't think you would want to shop there. Unless, you have a specific branded bag you want to buy. Else it's just good to walk around the basement to grab some food or just to walk around to see.

After we explored Hyundai and got bored, we decided to head over to Gangnam Metro for their underground shopping.

Generally, the shopping there is cheaper compared to the retail malls. You get to see skirts at ₩5,000 and leggings at ₩6,000 to ₩10,000. Some wool tops on sale would be about ₩10,000 to ₩15,000. All of us didn't get any clothes though. Maybe during summer or spring it would be better. I'd tell you when I go back there. Hahahhaah.

Here we are at Gangnam Underground Metro shopping.

We decided to go a random exit and explore randomly.

Generally the stations are pretty close to each other. So you don't have to worry if you can't find the same exit cause chances are when you get down there, you'd find back the first exit you came out from.

This was only about 5plus going 6 and it's turning dark already.

Look what we found! Daiso! But their things are not all $2 like Singapore. 

You can take a tourist shot here.

Interesting car parking system.

For all the meals we had in Korea it wasn't planned. It's really just walk walk walk, see, "wah look nice hor" okay eat. Hahahhahahaha. Thankfully all that we had tried was delicious!

Our first random stop for day 2 was this diner called Happy Yoogane! I have no idea what's the address and I've tried googling to no avail.. But what I can say it's opposite Watami in Gangnam.

I did some google on 'Happy Yoogane' and this is how the logo looks like..

I guess their first store was in Myeong Dong, but Gangnam has it too now.

Took a queue number and waited patiently for our turn. (got queue means good food right? Singaporean mentality hahahhaha)

We ordered for 3pax and man, we couldn't finish it!

Korea food may be expensive but trust me the portions are really generous. According to my friend, he mentioned that for food prices more than ₩20,000 is usually for sharing. Unless you're at a high class restaurant then of course it doesn't apply. But generally that's how you can roughly gauge the portion.

The staff there would cook it for you, so don't worry if you don't know how to!

Salad comes with apple sauce most of the time!

Their Kimchis are super spicy, super sour. Me no like!

Super, duper awesome pancake. *yummmmmmmmmmmmmeh*

This is how my T-money card looks like!

You see that arrow? It means the train is going towards the arrow direction. So just look out for it if you're confused which side does it go to.

Here's a shot of our 'home' for that 10 days.

Fruitful day 2 ended early because we had to pack for our Jeju trip tomorrow!



COEX Mall (depart from Hongik University subway station)

Exit 5 or 6 of Samseong subway station
After you exit, you should be able to find your way with the signages
Address: 58, Teheran-ro 87-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 

Gangnam Metro Subway Shopping (depart from Samseong subway station)
Once you exit the gantry it is the shopping area
If you take exit 1, you will get to see what I posted.


Day 3 preview...


  1. Hi, can I check with you did you chance upon any Issac Toast in Gangnam area? :)

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Sorry, I didn't see any Issac toast, but the shop front looks like a scene in Running Man. Hahahhaa.

  2. hi ranielle would like to ask was it worth it to visit jeju in winter? or is it better in autumn? would appreciate your reply thanks

    1. Hi Nurul, Apologies I just came back from Korea hence the late response.

      Yes, it is worth to visit Jeju in winter to experience the cold and some snow. When I was there it snowed. However, if you're very afraid of the cold then autumn is fine too cause the wind there is very very strong hence it'd be might colder as compared to Seoul in Winter.