Shopping in Seoul, Korea: A Guide to Shopping in Dongdaemun Market | The Travel Breakdown

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

In my video below, I went shopping in the Express Bus Terminal and Dongaemun Market in the same day. Hence why they're included in the same video. However, I wanted to make separate posts about them so I could focus on tips and information for each. This post is going to be about my experience while shopping in Dongdaemun Market while I was staying in Seoul, Korea!

Let's get to the breakdown...
Dongdaemun Market
Dongdaemun Market is...not really a market in my opinion. Lol. When I think of markets, I think of fresh fruits, homemade goods and cute little boutique shops. Maybe I'm crazy.. which is a good possibility. Dongdaemun is where there are lots of department stores, shopping malls, and some outdoor booths and stalls. The shopping malls and department stores are MASSIVE and are sometimes 14 stores high! Or more! This is also where you can go night shopping because the stores tend to stay open really late! 
If you want to get there by subway, here's the stations! I'd say this is the best way to get there...
 Seoul Subway Line 2 Dongdaemun Stadium Station, or Line 1 or 4 Dongdaemun Station
To go to Hello apM, which is where I went shopping in my video, here are the directions by subway!
Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, 4 & 5), Exit 14.
- 100 meters from Exit 4.
Shopping Tips
My mom haggling for my pink back pack! :D 
  • This is another area where it's best to shop with cash! In the big shopping malls (where there are vendors that own their own booths) you can usually haggle. However, if it's already really cheap (say around 5,000-20,000 won) you're less likely to be able to haggle. The vendors consider this cheap already and aren't usually willing to budge.
  • Similar to shopping in the Express Bus Terminal, a lot of the vendors will have similar looking items, if not the same exact things. Shop around if you're looking for a good deal! You're likely to find a cheaper option :) 
  • There are a couple major shopping malls. This includes Doosan Tower, Migliore, Freya Town and Hello apM (which is the one I visited in the video!). In my opinion, once you've been in one of these and explored a little bit, you've seen it all. They're all pretty similar inside and again, in my humble opinion, not worth spending the time to check out every single one! 
  • If crowds are a concern for you, these big shopping complexes are great because things are so spread out! You won't feel too claustrophobic because, as you can see in my video, there's a lot of area to walk around in! 
There are some of my tips for shopping in Dongdaemun Market! Let me know if you have any tips of your own.. always love to hear them :) 


Shopping in Seoul, Korea: A Guide from Shopping in the Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping | The Travel Breakdown

It's been a while since I've written one of these Seoul, Korean Shopping Guides. I love these, personally, and whenever I write about these... I miss Korea so much! I really enjoy shopping and am the type of person who can just wander around, look at stuff, and not have to buy anything. Well, that didn't happen on my last trip to Seoul, Korea (I bought a decent amount of things :o ) but hey, I guess it gave me more experience to give you tips and my guide on shopping in the Express Bus Terminal.

Let's get to the breakdown...
By the way, before I get to all the information, I'm going to actually write a separate post about shopping in Dongdaemun Market! I put them together in the video since I did it all in the same day, but I think it deserves a separate post :) And the pictures are blurry because I took it directly from the video. It's really hard to take video, talk, and take pictures all at once. So I hope it's ok :)

The Express Bus Terminal
There are TONS of shops in this area! About 600 to be exact :D You could walk around for days and see something different I feel like. Here, you can find everything from household goods to shoes to bedding to beauty items! Yes, even beauty! This is a pretty good one-stop-shop kind of area if you only have a limited amount of time in Korea. However, be warned... underground shopping gets crowded! 
Look how far back it goes! And this is in practically all directions!
Let's get some of the basic information out of the way. The address to the Express Bus Terminal for   Undergound Shopping in Seoul is:
162 Banpo 4(sa)-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea
 To get there by the Subway: Line 3, 7, 9 at Express Bus Terminal, exit 8.
Excuse my crazy face! I put this screenshot in here because you can see the subway sign in the background. That way, you can see exactly where I came in from in the video!
Shopping Tips
Look how cheap you can find clothing for here!
I ended up buying this shirt for about $5!
  • Always bring cash! Most vendors in Underground shopping areas don't take card. Actually, a lot of "mom and pop" type of shops take cash only.
  • You don't necessarily need to know Korean in this area. You just have to walk up, take a look, and if you find something, give them however much it's marked! Simple as that. This is because most racks are marked so you don't have to ask how much things cost :) 
  • I don't haggle in this area. This is because the items are already cheap enough! I honestly wouldn't even try. You might end up offending the shop keepers because the items are already a good deal!
  • Wear comfortable shoes! This particular underground shopping area is connected to Shinsegae, Megabox Movie Theater, and a couple other attractions! So there's lots to do and look at and you don't want to be bogged down by uncomfortable footwear. 
  • There are some food court areas down there, but bring a snack! They are spaced out and sometimes a little bit of a walk to get to. Nothing is worse than being super hungry and not being able to find somewhere to eat.
  • If you're really looking for a good deal, you can always shop around. You'll actually notice a lot of shops carry some of the same items or items that look very similar so try to find the one the has the best deal!
You can find all kinds of stuff! Even items for the home :)
There you go! There's some basic information about shopping and navigating the Express Bus Terminal Underground Shopping in Seoul, Korea! I just uploaded a video where I take you around with me while I'm shopping there, so be sure to check that out above as well as subscribe to The Beauty Breakdown!


Jini Beauty Korean Beauty February Subscription Box Service Review

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Hello gems :) Today I'll be reviewing a beauty box subscription service called Jini Beauty. They sent me one of their boxes so I could check out the products, service and give you my overall impression of them. The biggest thing that makes them different from other Korean Beauty Box subscription services is they curate boxes for different skin types. So you can choose a box based on whether you have dry/mature, normal/combination, oily/acne, and sensitive/trouble. Neat right? Every month, you'll receive 1-2 full sized produces and 3-5 deluxe samples. Anways...
Let's get on to the breakdown...

Everything I got in my box was packaged very nicely. It came in a sturdy box and had a bunch of crate paper cushioning all the products. It also came with a card that had all the products listed and some other facts. 
I got the box for Dry/Mature skin. Inside there was a 
-Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask
-Illi Ginseng Firming Mask
-Missha Time Revolution Night Repair New Science Activator Ampoule
-Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream
-IOPE Super Vital Cream Bio Intensive
-Tony Moly Delight Tony Tint in 02 Red 
Pricing and Shipping...
These boxes are $24.95 a month. If you subscribe for 3 months, you get a 5% discount. For a 6 month subscription, you get 8% off. For a 12 month subscription, you get a 10% discount.  As for shipping, they only ship in the United States right now!

My thoughts...
When I opened this, I was kind of confused because I couldn't figure out which product was supposed to be the full-sized product since they all seemed like deluxe samples. I ended up emailing the company and I was informed that the sheet mask was considered the full sized products. I was a little surprised because in my head, I don't feel like a sheet mask is considered a full sized product? I don't know if I'm the only one who feels this way so it could just be me!! I'm assuming this is because there's a Sulwhasoo deluxe sample in this box. Its a VERY generous size and would probably last a while. I looked up how much the full size retails for and it's around $50. I couldn't find how many oz the sample in the box was, so I can't breakdown how much the sample is worth. This whole topic is subjective though so you'll have to judge for yourself whether you think it's worth it or not :) 

If you want to see what was in the other boxes, check out their blog post. I saw the full-sized products in the other boxes and they seem fairly reasonable! :) 
Anyways guys, that's my review of this Korean Beauty box. I always love Korean Beauty subscription services and think it's a great way to try products that you might not have gotten for yourself. Plus, it's like Christmas every month :D