Korea is globally renowned for its shopping. Whether you’re into luxury goods, cosmetics, street fashion, or smartphones, you can find so many amazing bargains here. The biggest mistake I made when we first moved here was shopping in the big department stores (Lotte, Hyundai, and Shinsegae) where clothes and cosmetics are stupidly expensive, even when they’re on sale. The best places for clothes shopping here are actually usually in little boutiques or underground street fashion shops. My all-time fave shopping streets in Seoul are Apgujeong-ro and Garosu-gil in Sinsa-dong, where funky, independent shops sit nestled in between luxury brands and chain stores.
UPDATE: 23/07/16. The Jetoy Flagship Store in Apgujeong has apparently MOVED: its new location is 14 Noon Square, 3rd Floor, Myeongdong. Click here for a map.
Lucky for me (maybe not so lucky for my wallet), Korea is overflowing with cute stuff! I’ve been a sticker and stationery-hoarder since a young age, and the vast abundance of adorable stationery stores here is totally taking me back to my childhood. (I don’t think Eoin realizes that the big Hello Kitty binder I bought for ‘studying’ is actually just stuffed full of packets and sheets of cutesy pootsy stickers…)
Anyhoo! My absolute favorite cute Korean stationery brand here is Jetoy Choo Choo, which most notably features glorious googly eyed cats surrounded by pastel pink roses and sparkly butterflies…sigh!
So, let’s take a Jetoy Choo Choo quest around Seoul! ♥
UPDATE: Care Vegan Cafe has closed, but may reopen in a new location. Check their Facebook page for updates.
When I became vegan, obviously my dining options slimmed down quite a lot, especially since Korea is a very pro-meat country. And, now that I’ve become a dog mom, my dining options have reduced even more, because I love taking Duggie just about everywhere with me! Thankfully, finding dog-friendly cafes and restaurants with vegan menus isn’t too difficult in Seoul.
Insadong is rife with traditional Korean vegan and vegetarian restaurants serving temple food; we’d already visited the two most well-known temple food restaurants in this area, Sanchon and Baru, so over Buddha’s Birthday weekend, we visited two lesser known establishments: Oh Se Gae Hyang and Han Gwa Chae.
Most restaurants in Insadong are located down a series of winding labyrinths with random dead-ends, hidden doors, and unmarked fronts. Even while using the most sophisticated navigation equipment, you’re bound to get a bit lost wandering around here!
Last weekend we headed into Itaewon, because my all-time fave vegan bakeshop, PLANT, was closing for a few weeks for renovations, and I had to grab one last slice of cruelty-free cake!
Last year, we spent Buddha’s Birthday at Haedong Yonggungsa, a seaside temple in Busan. (Click here to check out the post!) It was an unforgettable experience, with the smell of incense combining with the scents of sea, and the sight of the brightly-colored lanterns hanging against the rocky coastline. This year, we spent Buddha’s Birthday in the midst of the bustling city, at Jogyesa Temple in Insadong.
Last Monday was Children’s Day in Korea, which is a pretty self-explanatory holiday! The holiday was founded in the 1920’s as a day to celebrate children; it’s basically an excuse for parents to spoil their kids for a day, and for over-schooled Korean kids to get a day off of studying! Why don’t we have this in America, huh?!
Since we have our own furry child now, we decided to dress him up in a spiffy new outfit and take him out for a long walk and a trip to the puppy cafe!
This past weekend was one of Korea’s biggest (and by far the brightest) holidays: Buddha’s Birthday, also known as the Lotus Lantern Festival.