Wednesday, October 27, 2010

DAY 8 in SEOUL - Shopping n Eating At COEX

(Above) Us getting out of our room looking to an interesting day ahead

Our eight day in Seoul, we decided to head to the famed COEX Mall,Seoul. It is a well known shopping mall which lies just beneath the Samsung-dong Trade Center in Gangnam-gu of Seoul. The underground shopping mall of COEX Mall is the largest shopping center in Seoul and also Asia's largest underground mall. The sprawling shopping arcade of COEX Mall is spread across an area that accounts for 85,000 square meters of space housing some 260 shops and restaurants within. The location of COEX Mall is at a convenient position. It is near the Samseong Station on Seoul Metro Line 2. COEX Mall of Seoul offers locals and tourists from different corners of the globe with an extensive range of shopping options. The mall specializes in selling clothing materials and dress items, interesting range of quality makeup, fashion and accessories, and items for decoration of the interiors. COEX Mall of Seoul is home to about hundred shops that offer shoppers a variety of items and products. This place is a favorite hangout of teenagers and young couples.
The Hyundai Department Store and COEX SKM Duty Free shop are also directly connected to COEX Mall. Shoppers can compare and shop for affordable non-branded goods as well as high-end luxury goods. Also nestled amidst the myriad shops are the COEX Aquarium, Megabox Cineplex, and the Kimchi Museum - a popular destination among international visitors to enjoy some sightseeing between shopping sprees.

(Above) Hyundai Shopping Mall next to COEX.

(Above) Walking down the street outside as we headed to COEX for breakfast.

Breakfast at Macdonalds since most of the eateries were not opened so early at eight in the morning.

(Above) Menu board at Mcdonalds. Interesting to see burgers not sold in Singapore.

(Above) Bill for breakfast at Macdonald

(Above) Entrance to the COEX Aquarium

(Above) kids waiting to go into the aquarium

(Above Us posing at the COEX aquarium

As the shopping complex is so huge, there are helpful information display touchscreens(Below) available in main languages including mandarin and English. It works like a giant i-phone.

(Above) Touch sensitive screens take some getting use to if you are not a i-phone user.

(Above) Gayle having a go at the information touchscreen.

(Above)Factory outlet at COEX for branded items from Guess, Armani.

(Above) Jackie Chan eatery selling Chinese noodles and dim sum but not much crowd there so we didn't try.

(Above) Shops galore at COEX

(Above) Eugin coming out from the Apple shop

(Above)Dropping by Uniqlo

(Above) Super sized I Phone 3GS at the A shop.

(Above)Nice looking cakes on display

(Above)Posing at a Standee advertisement corner for a Korean war movie

(Above) Familiar sight - Coffee Bean

(Below)Boutique fashion shops offering a slice of Korean fashion

(Above) Gayle enjoying her shopping experience

(Above) For shoes in Seoul, still can't beat your Pedro or URS or Charles and Keith in terms of design, comfort and pricing in SIngapore.

Being the car enthusiast, Eugin couldn't keep his hands off trying the Kia car models on display. Here he is trying out the Kia Sportage SUV which had not been released at that time in SIngapore yet.

(Above) Kia Megatis

(Above) Trying out the Megatis

(Above)Some quirky aspects of Seoul - a queue line for washroom cubicles.

We felt hungry after the walking and looked around for lunch. Along the way we spotted the central foodcourt.

(Above) We came across a number of eateries and were spoilt for choice but finally decided on a eatery selling soup which obviously must be good since thre was a crowd in the eatery. Although the menus are in Korean,Eugin used his phone camera to take a picture of the soups that we wanted which were displayed outside the shop to show our desired orders.Much gesturing and nodding followed between us and the waitress followed.

(Above) Ox Blood Soup. Really goodness boiled into the soup. Natural goodness from ox bones, meat and blood boiled.

(Above) Blood bits from the Ox Blood Soup Eugin ordered.

(Above) Gayle ordered the Hangover Soup, a fish stew famed for curing hangovers after a drinking binge.

(Above)When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Throw your rice in your stew soup and eat it together.

(Above) Empty bowls are a sign that food was lips smacking good!

(Above)Price of our satisfying lunch

(Above) We found Koreans very loving, many couples young and old held hands or hug, quite unlike the stuffy unromantic behavior we see in certain Korean dramas.

(Below) Some of the shops at COEX

(Above) The AK Duty Free Shop where you can purchase duty free items in advance. You select your item, pay for it, get a redemption receipt and on the day of your departure, redeem for your product at the redemption counter at the aiport's AK Duty Free Branch.

(Above)Gayle buying SK II products at the Duty Free departmental store.

(Above) Us taking a breather together to rest our feet.

(Above) We dropped by the super market and found their array of side dishes an eye opener and interesting experience.

(Above) Cute doggies at a pet shop at COEX

(Above)We spotted the familiar signboard of TGIF ( Thank God It's Friday), a restaurant which was once opened in Singapore beside Park Mall and has sicne closed.

(Above) Menu offered at TGIF.

(Above) Queue starting to grow at the Nooblo eatery

With our stomach growling after a afternoon of walking around and shopping, we spotted an eatery called Nooblo(above) which sold ingredient fried in a pan or boiled, very much like teppanyaki cum steamboat, Korean style. There was a crowd building up which indicated to us that there must be quality food on sale there.

(Above) Interior of our dinner eatery - Nooblo

(Above) Pouring the oil into the heated pan.The simmering fragrance of oil and the crackling sound from the pan just sets the atmosphere for a food fest.

(Above) In goes all the main ingredients - blood sausage, vegetables, rice cake.

(Above) Adding of mint leaves to add some spice and taste to the spread.

(Above) In Seoul, the waiter doubles as the cook as he stir fry the ingredients in front of you

(Above) Closeup of the ingredients in the pan.

(Above) Gayle - bon appetit, going to start on enjoying dinner

(Above) Empty plates and bowls are once more testimony to good food!

After dinner, we shopped a little more before heading back with our buys to our hotel.

(Below) On the way back to our hotel across the road, very convenient if you wish to shop at COEX.

(Above) Home sweet Home, a sight for our tired legs

Gayle tried out some of her buys. This was also to check if there was any defect so that we could go back to the shop if there were but luckily there was none.

(Above) Accessory bought.

(Above) Trying the top from Uniqlo

(Above) Trying the embroided tee.

We ended our day with a nice relaxing warm bubble bath while watching TV in our luxurious bathroom.

(Above)Bath salts provided by the hotel. Fill in 3/4 bath water , warm and throw in sprinkling of bath salts and viola, a frothy connoction beckons!

(Above) Watching Simon Cowell in American Idol