[My last Korea post, I promise!]
Considering my current employment state, I was pretty conservative with my shopping in Korea. Which was difficult, because the second you arrive, you’re inundated with malls and boutiques and underground subway shops and swap meets. EVERYWHERE. It’s kind of ridiculous. And (mostly) so very cheap, as long as you stay away from all the imported goods. Some goodies I brought home (for myself or as gifts!):
Delicate gold rings and bracelets. I saw this type of jewelry being sold everywhere by street vendors and boutiques at varying prices [the cheapest going down to ~$5/ring or bracelet (!!!) if you bargain], but overall, they were a FRACTION of the price they’d be in the U.S. Aren’t the rings super Catbird-esque? Lurve. I think these were all from Garosugil, a super popular/trendy shopping strip in Sinsadong.
Cute/kitschy earrings from Hongdae (college town), grosgrain ribbon (triple the yardage of the spools sold at Joann’s for less than $3/spool!) from Namdaemun (a traditional marketplace), kraft paper labels (from Daiso, which has way better stuff than the Daisos in LA -_-), bird book tabs (from Hongdae), and a teal iPhone flip case (from a street vendor in Gangnam).
Socks. Socks in Korea range from $0.50-$2.00/pair, depending on where you buy (the cheapest being the “shijangs”– street markets). They come in tons of different prints (weird/cute/goofy) and the quality is awesome. The longer socks on the left were from Hongdae, the shorter ones from Namdaemun.
Prescription sunglasses and glasses from Namdaemun. Also a FRACTION of the prices of glasses in the states. Frames + double-compressed lenses (I’m nearly blind) were about $50-$80 each after bargaining… though if your eyes aren’t as bad (i.e. your lenses don’t need to be compressed) and you choose cheaper frames, they can be even less than that– $30?. Also a few leather wallet/pouches from A-Land in Myeongdong for gifts, and a rad keychain for a friend from a boutique in Hongdae. Fun fact: Myeongdong is listed as the ninth most expensive shopping street in the world!
Skincare products! It’s a pretty undisputed fact that Korea has some of the best skincare and beauty products in the world. Marie Claire says South Korea is about 12 years ahead of the U.S. in terms of technology (read: innovative products) and the average Korean woman uses 18 (!!!!) skincare products a day. Anyway, I bought a bunch of things from Innisfree, which is a popular brand that boasts all natural ingredients– kind of like the Origins of Korea. What I actually purchased is pictured on the left (along with 3 other products, not pictured), and the picture on the right is all the free samples they gave me for my ‘big’ purchase! Insane, right? Can’t wait to try them all.
I also bought some clothes and a pair of cute ankle boots, which completed my shopping wish list. I think I did well. And now I have a good idea of where to shop the next time I visit. 😉
Thanks for keeping up with my Korea posts! I’m all done. 🙂