Friday Faves…Shopping in Seoul, South Korea
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Admittedly, I love to shop. Before departing Atlanta for Seoul, South Korea I did my diligent homework being that I only had one day to shop. I wanted to know the best shopping areas of Seoul. It’s a big city so I had my work cut out for me. I narrowed my list down to three markets. I had the good fortune to sit near Allison on our flight. She is an American that has been living in Seoul for eight years. I asked her to look at my list and she said that I definitely wanted to go to Insadong Market.
The market area is really a shopping district. Insadong offers all traditional Korean art items. I was in seventh heaven. The Main Street is short and has a lot of alley ways, nooks and crannies. Great exploration and worthy finds. I feel the alleys offered the best deals. Honey Bee and I found everything to be very affordable.
The first alley we came upon had beautiful celadon pottery. Wonderful artisans still create this sea-foam green pottery by hand. I bought celadon teacups, unique tea strainers, wooden scoops and spoon. All of these wood items were created by hand as well.
In a different alley I found the most gorgeous, handmade Hanji paper…
Venturing out onto the main road, I was drawn into a fabulous calligraphy shop – still doing everything the ancient way. The walls of brushes were unreal. I had an original initial “V” letter stamp made for me as I waited and watched. The artist worked with a polished piece of marble of my choosing. I wrote how I wanted the letter to be and she proceeded to carve an exact replica. Can’t wait to write someone to stamp the envelope. This little shop has been visited by Queen Elizabeth, Pope Francis and many others.
Korean socks are a scream – so many styles, colors at roughly 50 cents a pair – very cute! I couldn’t resist purchasing several as gifts.
Seoul Starbucks mug to add to my mug collection.
I bought a beautiful authentic clay teapot. The mud and process used is onggi. This pot is one of a kind and has a cute pig face. I also purchased four turquoise glazed teacups.
My most fun and frivolous purchases were makeup. South Korea is crazy for makeup. Every third store was one amazing makeup shop after another. The best part of purchasing the makeup is that each salesperson really wants you to try the products out. None of them would just sell me anything I wanted. A couple of times I was blatantly told “no” because that product was not meant for my skin. The best part – the products are all inexpensive. I have tried and love everything I bought. People have started commenting on my skin YAY!
And here are the free samples they gave me. Can you believe it? Most of them are full sized product.
Needless to say, shopping was a great, fun experience. I was very pleased with the inexpensive prices and wonderful top-grade quality. A true once in a lifetime shopping experience!