Bangkok With The Girls: Day 3 Itinerary

The third day was tai-tai (wannabe) day for us, when we travelled all over the world, manicure, foot massage, high tea, shopping and cocktails. First stop, one of Bangkok’s newest mall, Terminal 21. This is a super interesting shopping destination where the guards are dressed like stewards and pilots, each floor represents a different city, interior either looks like an airport or designed after the city it’s supposed to represent. The three of us went crazy visiting the toilets at every floor so we could take photos of them. Even the janitors at different floors are dressed according to the theme of the floor their taking care of. It’s really an interesting sight.

terminal 21 - london bus

terminal 21 - tokyo toilet camwhore

terminal 21 - tokyo toilet

terminal 21 - three of us

terminal 21 - paris toilet

terminal 21 - golden bridge

terminal 21 - janitor

Then we decided to pop into one of the manicure parlours there to get ourselves a manicure treat.

terminal 21 - manicure

terminal 21 - manicure 2

terminal 21 - manicure 3

Mine’s the black and pink set! We travelled to Grand Hyatt ‘s Erawan Tea Room for afternoon tea. The hotel looks really posh and service of the floor staff was impeccable.

hyatt hotel - high tea

This is a set for three. We didn’t have lunch but this was good enough to fill us up as a full meal. The set consists of both savoury and sweet snacks, and many of them are traditional Thai snacks, so the experience was very interesting for us. The food tasted really good too.

hyatt hotel - high tea set

hyatt hotel - three of uis

The high tea was definitely one of the highlights for me at this trip and I’ll be sure to come back the next time I’m in Bangkok. Just take note that it’s rather popular, so always make a reservation. We didn’t, and had to be put on the waiting list. We waited for about an hour before we could get a table. At the meanwhile we went to the malls nearby and went for a foot massage (there’s nothing interesting to buy there). Our pampering, luxurious day was ruined when we visited the Platinum Mall area. We thought we could do some shopping and dinner before heading out for drinks, and then we realised that Platinum Mall closes at around 7pm. We went out and saw lots of street stalls being set up instead. We originally browsed, and then we started squatting down at the stalls and flipping through piles of clothes to fish for good buys.

outside platinum mall shopping 2

outside platinum mall shopping 1

The items were really, really cheap and if you would take some time to really go through them, you’ll be able to find really nice stuff.

We went back to our hotel and got ready for Sirocco, located at The Dome at Lebua. This place has become a “must-visit” spot for me in Bangkok because it’s such a great place to chill out at.

Dinner there is relatively expensive, but going for just a drink shouldn’t break the bank.

sirocco bangkok - getting ready

sirocco bangkok - camwhore 2

sirocco bangkok - camwhore

sirocco bangkok - drinking  

sirocco bangkok - pillar

sirocco bangkok - hh and kj

sirocco bangkok- drinking 2

sirocco bangkok - three of us

Bangkok With The Girls: Day 2 Itinerary

While day 1 was all about fulfilling all we wanted to do in Bangkok – massage and shopping, day 2 of the Bangkok trip was done at a relaxed pace.

L took a Tuk-tuk for the very first time and finally had a taste of the smog and speed that come with the ride.

Well, we didn’t manage to take any photos while we were in the Tuk-tuk, but we took other Tuk-tuk photos that day, so that’s good enough representation. Heh!


tuktuk 1

On this day, we headed over to Bangkok city area, for shopping at Siam Square. Note that traffic to the city can be quite crazy in the morning. We were rejected by a cab driver because of the jam. On the other hand, because tuk-tuks are able to squeeze among cars to beat the jam, they’re usually a little more willing to take you. However, this will mean a round of negotiation for the right price. If you’re unsure, ask your hotel receptionists to advise you what’s a reasonable fare to agree to. If you’re heading out from the hotel, you could ask the hotel staff to help you negotiate too.

Back to Siam Square. There are a mix of local designers and regular retailers in this area. The ware from local designers are definitely a little more expensive, but they tend to be of better quality too. I notice that for similar items, most of the time, Siam Square sells slightly more expensive than Platinum Mall. However they also seem to have a wider variety when it comes to better quality clothes.

shopping in thailand - siam square 3

shopping in thailand - siam square 2

shopping in thailand - siam square 1

The area also has more character, compared to Platinum Mall.

siam square grafitti 2

siam square grafitti 1

After shopping, we went into a Thai restaurant called Somtam for our lunch. This restaurant occupies a huge space and is two-storeys high.


somtam 2

Food is decent (a tad salty) and affordable. However, we were disappointed some common Thai food like mango sticky rice, tom yam soup and pineapple rice weren’t on the menu.

somtam 1

We spent the later half of the afternoon idling at MBK mall’s food court, sipping ice tea (free for tourists!) and stocking up on local produce. And then, we went over to Siam Paragon to buy movie tickets for Iron Man.

There are many theatres at Siam Paragon and are actually of different grades. Take note to ask the service staff if you’re in doubt because the more premium ones can set you back by over a hundred Sing dollars per person.

If you have the chance, go for a movie in Thailand. Before the start of the movie, a clip about the Thai king is played and everyone stands up as a sign of respect. I was quite amazed by the respect that the Thai people show for their king, from the body language they displayed (bowing, standing up straight, paying full attention to the clip). It’s quite an interesting sight.

As for food… Siam Paragon is relatively more expensive compared to most other places in Bangkok. We settled down at a food court that sells all kinds of cuisine, but ordered only Thai food, of course.

food court at siam paragon

crab cakes at siam paragon food court

We ended our day at around 2am after the movies and headed back to the hotel.

I’ll be updating about my itinerary for the next few days – including cool places to shop and eat at, so watch this space.

Bangkok With The Girls: Day 1 Itinerary

Bangkok is one of those cities I could visit every year and not get tired of it. First, it’s because it’s relatively affordable to get there and spend there. Second, it’s because it’s easy to get around. And then, of course, shopping, food and massage is just so good.

Kind of on a whim, two of my good friends, L and H, and I, decided to visit the land of a thousand smiles again over the Labour Day long weekend.

And here we go!

at the changi airport

Hotel de Bangkok

This is the first time I’ve stayed at Hotel de Bangkok. I typically stay at hotels like Baiyoke Sky but after some research, we decided on this boutique hotel instead.

I was very glad to know that the pictures that were shown on their website was true to how they looked in real life. I also appreciated the friendly receptionists who were really helpful. Before we even checked in, we asked for help to book our spa, call for a cab, and get directions and recommendations. All these were done promptly.

The hotel is also relatively easy for taxi and tuktuk drivers to find. All we need to do is to pass them the slip of paper with its address and map (that you can get at the reception) and throughout the trip, nobody had a problem.

Every morning, the butler goes out to the main street to help us hail a taxi and get it to drive in to pick us up. This particular service helps us a lot because it means we don’t have to haggle for the taxi-driver to use a meter (the butler would have communicated that) and we also didn’t have to wait under the sun for a taxi.

hotel de bangkok exterior

The photo above shows you how the exterior and lobby of Hotel de Bangkok looks. It looks new, modern, clean and cosy.

And here’s how the room looks.

hotel de bangkok room

We opted for a triple-sharing room, which comes with a double bed and a single bed. The whole room was really huge – enough space for us to do a mini runway to show off our new purchases if we wished to (for the record, we didn’t, because we didn’t have time to haha!)

I also love the cosy sofa area, which is where we would sit around for our evening chats. There are also complimentary bottles of water replenished every day that we can use to fill up our bottles. (You can’t bring the complimentary bottles along because they are glass bottles and covered with one-time caps).

Anyway, I’ll highly recommend Hotel de Bangkok because of its low price. Just SGD58 for three nights per person!

Bangkok wonton mee for lunch

After we put down our things and freshened up a little, we took a cab to a wonton mee shop opposite Platinum Mall (it’s around the corner from the bridge that goes to the mall) and near to the Shibuya 109 mall.

wonton mee near platinum mall chef

There were odd looking signs that I spotted in the shop, and they made me wonder if it were just a joke.

weird signs in bangkok

No groping and no farting… really? Are they really a huge issue here?

wonton mee near platinum mall

The portions are really small, but it is quite delicious. But well, I think Pontian Wonton Mee can probably match up to it, so I won’t suggest that you make the effort to visit unless you are around the area. Price wise, it was going at something like SGD1+ per plate if I’m not wrong. But with this amount, those with larger appetites may need two to three plates to feel satisfied.

Here’s the stylo-mylo chef who gamely posed for me when he saw me snapping a photo of him.

wonton mee near platinum mall chef

Crepe opposite Platinum Mall for snacks

I guess we were only glad about the small portions because it meant we could indulge in other food without feeling guilty. We headed around the corner for the crepe stall. This is located at the end of the bridge that’s opposite the Platinum Mall.

You get the choose the combination of fillings that you want and they make it for you on the spot.

crepe opposite platinum mall

crepe opposite platinum mall

Here’s the happy trio enjoying our crepes. They’re really awesome! And very, very filling. I couldn’t finish mine – I think I probably only had about 3/4 of it.

crepe at bangkok

Shopping at Platinum Mall

Of course, as serious shoppers, we headed straight to the Platinum Mall thereafter. Because we flew in on an early flight, by the time we reached the mall, it was only around 11am and the stalls were all just opened. Unlike previous times, I think I had quite a bit of restraint and didn’t buy the entire mall home.

platinum mall in bangkok

Let me try to share with you photos of the clothes and accessories at this trip (I’m very proud of them) in later posts. You can follow me on Instagram to see some of the OOTDs I’ve posted too.

Fuji Japanese Restaurant

central world

opp central world

central world

Next stop was Central World, where we went to Naraya for more shopping, and also for affordable and yummy Japanese food at Fuji Japanese Restaurant.

fuji restaurant

fuji restaurant

We were a little hungry by then and I think we went a little overboard with the ordering. It’s kinda scary because we realised we don’t really look at the prices when we order food in Bangkok.

I decided to do a messy collage of the food that we ordered because I think you’ll get bored looking at individual photos.

food at fuji restaurant bangkok

What I think you should really order when you’re there – the sushi platter (see middle photo, next to the tamago sushi), the potato salad spring roll (second one in first column) was pretty tasty too, the sashimi, definitely, and perhaps the salmon soup (the soup was quite good).

Thai massage at Healthland Spa

Our final stop before the our day 1 ends was to Healthland Spa. It’s a few stories high with tons of rooms and therapists to accommodate huge number of patrons. From what I know, a lot of Singaporeans come here.

The place looks well-maintained and is clean.
healthland spa bangkok

We opted for the 2-hour Traditional Thai Massage that’s priced at 500 bht. This works out to just about SGD21, which is seriously, seriously, great value for money. The Traditional Thai Massage is probably one of the cheaper services they offer (besides 1-hour Foot Reflexology at 280 bht and 1-hour Therapeutic Massage at 350 bht).

The spa also offers facial treatments that start at 1,500 bht for one hour and Vichy Shower treatment coupled with either body scrub and/or aromatherapy massage, starting from 2,250 bht.

This is us changed into our massage garbs, ready to relax and ease our muscles’ tension.

healthland spa inside suite

And that’s our first day! I’ll be updating about our second day’s itinerary once I get my time around it 🙂 Wait for it, because I have a lot of gems I discovered at this trip and tips to share.

Review: Star Cruises SuperStar Virgo (Part 2) – Malacca Itinerary

I wrote about my first day spent onboard SuperStar Virgo. Pardon me for the lag, I’ve been busy with work and also my trip to Bangkok (yes, this calls for another post!), but here’s the post on my second day spent!

We woke up to this the second day. How awesome.

balcony view - star cruise superstar virgo

We headed over to the Mediterranean Buffet for breakfast and was allocated the alfresco seats where we get to have a great view of the sea.

sea view - star cruise superstar virgo

breakfast at mediterrean buffet

At around 9am, it was time to disembark. We took a small boat that took us to Malacca.

Yay! Finally on land!

disembarked at malacca

The media group hopped onto the tour coaches and we were taken to a house that’s owned by a super-rich Peranakan family, where we get a glimpse of their lifestyle and lifestyle.

outside peranakan house

peranakan house

Unfortunately we couldn’t take any photos while we were inside. But it was a very eye-opening experience, and the guide did a great job explaining different parts of the house to us and injecting a good dose of humour here and there. I think this was especially interesting to Keith who has Peranakan ancestry.

After this visit, we went to see the St. Paul’s hill, another icon of Malacca.

st paul hill

We only did a very brief stop here where the tour guide explained to us about its historical significance, but we didn’t have time to climb up the hill. I’ve done this before on a previous trip, though. I’d say that there’s nothing much to see up there, except the remains of the tomb of St Francis Xavier, and also the remains of a church that has been destroyed. However, the top of the hill provides a good view of Malacca city, so if you have time and like a bit of a workout, go for it for the view.

Then it was time for what we’ve been looking for – Malacca food along Jonker Walk!

jonker street

Our first stop, we went in search of the 88 Chendol, arguably the best in Malacca.

chendol at 88 chendol malacca

mao ze dong - malacca 88 chendol

malacca 88 chendol

noodles - 88 chendol

The stall also sells noodles, though I don’t find it especially good. The chendol is definitely the must-try. And if you’re sharing with others, go for the Peranakan (Baba) Chendol that features a generous amount of Gula Melaka and coconut milk. Their chendol with durian and soursop toppings are also very well-liked.

Besides chendol, another food that Malacca is famous for is the chicken rice balls.

chicken rice ball

malacca chicken rice ball

picture of us eating chicken rice balls

picture of us

That’s Keith, Calvin and me.

And then it was time to go back to our room – which is at SuperStar Virgo.

zheng he structure at jonker walk

Before I continue, let me share two trivias with you about Malacca.

1. Do you know that Malacca is the only place in the world where dinosaurs are still spotted?

dinosaur in malacca

Haha! We saw this while walking back to the meeting place!

Now, a more serious one.

2. Do you know what Malacca is named after? This tree.

melaka tree

Anyway, I don’t have any other photos after this because (brace yourself for long, sad story)…

Keith and I were asked to help a pair of tourists take photos. The process took rather long because they wanted a few photos and also insisted on helping us take (although we declined). The delay cause us to lose sight of our group. We walked towards the general direction where we last seen them go towards, but when we reached a crossroad, we made a wrong decision to turn right instead of left because we saw a group of tour buses and thought that one of those are ours.

It turned out that we were wrong and we hastily went the other direction, only to see our bus leave without bus before our eyes. Instinctively, we chased after the bus. And in the process, my camera that was in my pocket fell out of it, and bounced a few metres away. The battery were also jolted out of its case and bounced a few metres.

My heart shattered as I watch it arrive at the middle of the road. Without thinking, I dashed out to the road to pick them up. Thank goodness the traffic was slow so I wasn’t killed by the cars.

We continued chasing the bus. A car with two Malaysian ladies asked us what we were chasing and offered to drive us so we could catch our bus. Thanks to their help, we managed to. Well, the chances of them reading this blog is really low, but hey, if by any chance you see this, I’d like to say THANK YOU! We didn’t have the chance to properly say thank you and bid goodbye because we had to rush up the bus. Thank you for the hospitality and warmth you’ve shown to us. It was a very kind and generous act and we’re very grateful to you!

Ok, so back to the camera. My camera died on the spot. It refused to be switched on. 😦

But I digress. Time to get back to the trip.

We had dinner at Palazzo. It’s an Italian fine-dining restaurant. Meals here are not included in the free meals we’re allowed to take while on board, in other words, you have to pay for it. It’s a little pricey, so I’ll recommend it only if you’re looking for a good ambience (it has fantastic one) or just looking to pamper yourself at the trip.

dinner at palazzo

After dinner, we spent the rest of our time at Taverna, a poolside theme snack bar, where we had a bucket of beer and watch patrons dance. It was really fun seeing everyone – strangers turned friends for that day – all dancing to the live band music, whether or not they’re good dancers.

We then headed over the arcade for a few games, and then went back to our room to sit at the balcony and watch stars and enjoy the breeze.

Alright, and that’s day 2. Next post will be the final one, about how I bid farewell to my home for three days.

Disclosure: This is a media invite by Star Cruises, but I’m not remunerated in any way to write this review on Beauty Sorority, in fact I’m not obligated to.

Review: Star Cruises SuperStar Virgo (Part 1)

Malacca is one of the cities that I’ve visited many times. I’ve made several trips there with my family for annual pilgrimages at the Santa Cruz (Holy Cross) Church. Most of the time we drove there, and a few other times, we took a bus.

Truth to be told, I really dislike long rides. Seats feel uncomfortable after a while and I begin to fidget. I spend too much time sleeping (thank goodness I’m not the driver) because there’s nothing better to do – besides listening to the radio, but even that gets old. And if I keep awake, I’m likely to get carsick and feel nauseated.

And then there’s the problem with finding toilets. Most of the time, I’m forced to hold my bladder until the next rest station, visiting restrooms that aren’t the best in the cleanliness department. Finally, meals are another issue. When you’re on a road trip, sometimes you don’t get to pick what to eat. Pretty much you have to wait until everyone agrees it’s time to break for a meal, and you look for the most convenient one you’ve arrived at.

Anyway, all these problems seem to be irrelevant when I took Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo to Malacca last week with Keith.

Walking from the check-in point at Harbourfront Cruise Centre to the vessel was like a red carpet walk. We were greeted by the smiling crew members and stopped every now and then for a photo opportunity with mascots and performers.


Arriving at the main lobby, I was welcomed with drinks and a three-piece band performing for us. And just when I thought the fanfare was over, a troupe of dancers made up of sizzling hot dancers came up close and personal with us, presenting an energetic number.



After the welcome performance, we took our bags to the cabin – one that came with a gorgeous balcony view. This is also where we would be spending many hours sitting at, talking about everything under the sun, while we enjoy the sea breeze and star gaze at night.

balcony view star cruises

We finally decided to stop lingering at the balcony and headed to Pavilion Restaurant, a Chinese-style restaurant on SuperStar Virgo. Food was pretty amazing. My favourites have to be the Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Dried Top Shell and Chinese Herbs – a very hearty and gratifying soup. The Baked Cod fish with Egg White in Honey Grazed was also a hit – Keith thinks that it’s one of the best cods I’ve had so far. I saved my tummy for the dessert – Combination of Mango Cream Pomelo and Vanilla Ice Cream and am glad that it rounded up the dinner very well.





Then it was SHOW TIME!

We proceeded to watch Cher. Or rather, Cher’s impersonator from Thailand. The moves and appearance look so much like the real celebrity, it was rather surreal to watch.

cher star cruises

After that, we proceeded to Lido Theatre that features a grand stage and plenty of seats for audience, for a magic and illusion performance, Mirage, by  Europe’s top illusionist, Vincent Vignaud. The massive space allowed gigantic props, dance and juggling performances and even fire displays to be presented as part of the show. Mirage will be showing from now till end of July.

star cruises superstar virgo magic show


By the time this performance ended, it was close to midnight. We decided to take a little tour on our own around the whole vessel, looked at the stars for a bit (as Keith taught me how to recognise certain constellation) and headed back to the cabin.

I will be talking about what we did the next day (including the Malacca trip) in the next entry. Watch this space!

Disclosure: This is a media invite by Star Cruises, but I’m not remunerated in any way to write this review on Beauty Sorority, in fact I’m not obligated to.

Review: Club Med Sahoro + My itinerary

I was at Club Med Sahoro (that’s in Hokkaido) a few weeks ago and had a blast. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’d probably have read quite a bit about my experience already. Here are five things I enjoyed most from the trip:

#1 The SNOW!

For readers who aren’t from tropical countries, you might find this rather hilarious. But having been staying in Singapore (which is summer all year round), I’ve never seen so much snow in my life before! (I did see some when I was in Chicago, but it’s nothing like what I saw in Hokkaido.)

Just check out these pictures, people:

The snow over there is what they call “powder snow”, which is extremely fine. Saw that picture of me lying on the snow ground? When you’re dressed appropriately, sleeping on the thick layer of snow actually feels very comfortable.

# 2 I got to ski!

I’ve never skied before (I mean, how easy is it for a Singaporean to pick up skiing as a sport, right?). Club Med Sahoro is the perfect starting ground, I think. The resort provides easy rental of ski outfits, gears and equipment, the ski grounds are relatively easy (or so I heard), and most importantly, there are ski instructors at hand, who conduct classes of different level of difficulty everyday.

Here’s my “classmates” (all Japanese ladies, who became friends with me after a while), and my instructor (in orange top, a Japanese who speaks good English):

3. The food was great!

Club Med has an all-inclusive concept, in other words, all your meals get covered while you’re there. Club Med Sahoro has two restaurants, one serves buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the Mina Mina restaurant is a “nabe” (steamboat) concept, which only opens for dinner and is only available by reservation.

I think the most notable thing about the buffet restaurant has to be its wonderful desserts. You’d see why in a bit through my pictures:

The desserts don’t just look good. They taste fantastic as well.

The Mina Mina restaurant is also a must-go. The buffet offering is extremely fresh, and there’s a wide variety of sauces available.

The concept is such that you begin by putting the food on a tray, and then pour sake over it before covering it up till steam appears. Then, you eat the food with the Pozu sauce, a sour, zesty Japanese sauce.

Once you’re done with this first round, you can ask the waiter to remove the tray to reveal a steamboat-like soup. Put the items into the steamboat, cover it up, and wait for steam to appear before you serve yourself.

Finally, add miso, margarine, ramen and other ramen ingredients into the existing soup (or ask for more stock, if you wish) and cook your own ramen!

#4 The GOs were super cool

At Club Med, the staff are called “GO” (which stands for gentil organisateur, which means “nice animator”), and us, guests, are called GM” (which stands for gentil membre, which means “nice member”).

On my first dinner, I was pleasantly surprised by a performance at the ski area (which is right outside the buffet restaurant and every diner will be able to see it through the ceiling-to-floor windows). The ski instructors skied down with tiki sticks. Later, the GOs also went around to tables with birthday boys/girls/men/women with a cake and sing the Birthday Song for them.

Every night, the GOs also put up performances to entertain us. While they aren’t professional performers, the atmosphere reminds me very much of those school performances I used to go through, so it feels particularly warm.

Don’t be surprised too, if any GOs come over to join you at your table for your meals. Most of them do that and I’ve had many lovely conversations with them.

#5 Get out if you want

For those who want even more activities, you can go for excursions (at an additional fee). Leslie and I went a horse-riding excursion and it was super fun. I love horse-riding and was really eager to do it again.

EXTRA: Free drinks all day long!

I confess, I love to drink. The all-inclusive concept of the resort also includes free alcoholic drinks – and you can imagine how I totally dig it. Drinks are available at the restaurants, as well as the bar.

Ok, more pictures from my Club Med experience before I end this post, including pictures of what I wore indoors. While it’s snowing outside, you can simply wear summer clothes inside because it’s warm:

Will I be back again? You bet!

Beauty shopping in Korea

Thanks to the junkies who commented, I’ve decided to work on this article first 🙂 Hope it helps those of you who are going to Korea!

Ok this part pertains to just shopping for beauty products. I will probably put up another article for shopping for other things if I think I have enough to contribute 🙂

Before you go…

1) Prepare a shopping list. You’d probably be succumbed to a lot of convincing sales talk when you’re there. Armed with a shopping list, you’d at least be clear what are your “planned” items and what are impulse buys.

beauty shopping list

2) Do your homework. According to your shopping list, you’d probably want to check out the prices of the products in Singapore and note it down somewhere to know that whether the item is a MUST-BUY (and must buy a dozen) when you get there. But that being said, even if you don’t do your homework, I can pretty much tell you that products from Korean brands are almost definitely cheaper. So, for the lazy junkies, argh – just go with your shopping list and grab, grab, grab.

When you’re there…

1) You’ll probably realise that shops such as Etude House, The Face Shop, Tony Moly are EVERYWHERE. But I prefer to do the shopping on one day, and at Myeongdong. The reason is that Myeongdong’s stores are catered to tourists (but no, no mark-ups, don’t worry), so most of the sales assistants are able to speak English, Mandarin, Japanese and Thai (I don’t know what else they speak, but these are common languages). This makes purchase a lot easier.

Also, it’s just super fun to see LOTS of cute sales assistants standing outside the stores with small baskets and free gifts, trying to get you in. Stores in Myeongdong are also more generous with their free gifts and samples after each purchase.

beauty stores in myeongdong

By the way, instead of saying “free”, Koreans say “service”. So, if they pass lots of sachets to you, saying “sa-bi-si” (service), they are really telling you “these are free gifts”.

2) If you really like a particular brand, make sure you get everything you want from one store. In Myeongdong, you could easily find several of the same store, sometimes in close proximity too. That means, you see one huge Nature Republic store, walk down the next street, you may just see another Nature Republic store.

So if you love Nature Republic, for instance, choose one of the stores (usually there will be one store that is catered specially for international customers), and buy everything you want from NR there. That’s because the more you spend, the better the free gifts given. So instead of spending 1000W each in five stores, spend 5000W in one store. That way, you’ll probably be able to get a free travel kit (with maybe, a toner, serum and moisturiser in travel-size) and two sachets and two small bottles of products, rather than say, ten sachets of products.

3) No bargaining. Erm, seriously!

4) It might be a “Kristen-syndrome”, but I will usually definitely walk into stores that are not available in Singapore such as Innisfree and Holika Holika, and buy something from there. Coz I know that if I don’t get the things from there then, I can’t get them when I’m home.

Other tips

1) If you’re planning to buy items such as facial masks for your friends, as well as yourself, get the value-packs. Those are usually bundled in 10 per pack, and they’ll usually throw in two free masks or other free items. Get different value packs, share them among those you’re buying them for, you’ll get more bang for your buck.

2) A sales assistant usually follows you everywhere for the entire stay you have in the store, introducing every product on the shelf, bringing you on a tour around the shop, and asking what you’re looking for. Most of them are actually more helpful than irritating. So, feel free to ask questions. Find out about what their bestsellers are, and which items are best value-for-money. However, they can also be a little pushy/overly-convincing. If you’re not intending to bust your budget, then make sure you stick to your shopping list and stay firm! Just tell the sales assistant that you’ve already bought something similar 🙂

Korean beauty products

OK, I think that’s about all that I could offer. Or at least, all that I could think of. Why don’t guys shoot me some questions if you have any? 🙂

Btw, a few other resources that you could look at: This K-blog, which gives a few product reviews and highlights specific tourist areas on Korea. And also this article that I contributed for 8flo Lifestyle 🙂

What I bought in Seoul

One of the reasons why I love Seoul is because of the shopping. This trip I bought myself these beauty products:

Korean beauty products
Above: Top left is Collagen Moistfull skincare set from Etude House. To its right, lip brush from Holika Holika, two sets of falsies from Innisfree and Etude House. The blue pen is a brow pen with brush tip. Under Collagen Moistfull is three tomato leave-on masks from Tony Moly. Below the tomatoes are nail polish from Tony Moly, nail polish top coat from Etude House, gel liner and lash glue from Saem and tweezer from Innisfree.

I must highlight that the tomato leave-on mask seems quite amazing. The sales assistant applied a bit on my hand when I entered, and after about 10 minutes of talking to me, she cleaned it off and I saw a freaking white patch on my hand, where the mask had been. It’s kinda amazing. That’s why I’m giving it a try and I’m gonna share with you how it goes.

Ok, you might be wondering – is that all??? After all, you saw a picture that looked like this:

Tired from shopping at Myeongdong.

Yeah, I spent a ridiculous amount of money at Myeongdong but they’re not all for me! I bought stuff for friends as gifts, and other stuff which people have asked me to help buy.

beauty stores in myeongdong

My brother, mum, dad who travelled with me also bought stuff. Yes, dad, too. I’m surprised because he’s the last person you’d expect to buy any beauty products, yet I think he succumbed to the allure of Myeongdong’s beauty stores and finally asked me “What’s good for people with oily skin?”

Korean facial masks bought from Myeongdong.

The above are all the facial masks that I bought from Myeongdong’s stores. Not all are mine (maybe just… 40% of them?). Some are my mum’s and bro’s. Got a few for relatives and friends too. This should last me till my next trip (if I’m going again). The last batch of masks that I bought in April were only all used up in November. By the way, this picture was taken at the hotel. I spread everything out on the blanket. I stayed in Rainbow Hotel at Namyeong area, by the way – in case you’re interested.

For choice of hotels, I always look out for what I call my “4Cs”: Convenience, Crime-free (I really mean safety. In other words, not located in “complicated” regions. I used crime-free so that it can begin with C, haha!), Clean and Cheap.

Rainbow Hotel is just a 3-minute walk away from Namyeong subway station (Line 1, and two stops away from City Hall station, which where you can change to Line 2 and is near one of the palaces in Seoul) and a 10-minute walk away from Sookmyung Women University subway station (Line 4, two stops away from Hoehyeon station, which is next to Namdaemun Market, and three stops away from Myeongdong!). Super convenient. It also has 24-hour convenience stores and several eateries in the vicinity.

But I digress. So, back to shopping…

Besides beauty products, I also got for myself: two dresses (You’ll be seeing one of them soon enough. I’d be wearing it to tonight’s Remy Martin party), a pair of stockings, a bag, two pairs of shoes (that I uber love!), a rosary bracelet from Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral, where I attended Sunday Mass at. The church is super pretty, by the way. Here are a few pictures of it:

Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral

Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral

Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral

Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral

Beautiful, right? It’s the first church in Korea, and a gothic cathedral. The picture in my last entry where I was under a tree with red autumn leaves was taken there, too 🙂

More in the next entry!

P/S: Check out Seoul Awesome as well. Leslie T. goes in-depth for each tourist spots. He just covered Insadong in his latest entry.