Finally a blog post after a busy month of travelling for pleasure and work. It's been a brilliant month of running around but I must admit I am happy to be home in London.
I'll start with my first stop, Seoul- South Korea.
A lot of people asked me why on earth was I heading to Seoul in February when the weather temperatures are typically in the minus (the highest the temperature got was -2C). Well why not, weather should never stand in the way of a new adventure. Having travelled a lot of Asia, it made sense to explore Seoul before it became the new IT place to visit (The next winter Olympics will be in Seoul) and it is a well known fact to really appreciate Japan you should visit Seoul first to appreciate and take into account both cultures. Yep next years trip will definitely be Japan. Plus knowing you're off to a warmer climate after always helps ;) .
My sister and me ended up staying by the famous Namdaemun market and the Seoul tower. This location was perfect, It was right by Seoul Central station, the links to the rest of the city were perfect and walking distance to the shopping district Myeongdong (Come on that's important right?!).
To get up to Seoul Tower you have to take 2 Cable car rides...
Outfit post were very rare in the -10 weather...Bu first day outfit post:
Coat- Burberry Parka
Scarf- Louis Vuitton Sprouse
Faux Eiffel Tower.
Kiss my sister...
Mandatory Kitty photo.
Seoul's very own take on the Love Lock Bridge in Paris.
As you can see from the Seoul Tower and it's surrounding there is a lot of Parisian inspiration from a faux Eiffel Tower, to a whole corner dedicated to putting love padlocks on. It truly felt magical (and especially cold due to the high altitude). The views were simply breathtaking.
My new friends...
Souvenir for mum.
We spent the rest of our 3 days exploring the city and the ancient palaces, mixing a nice dose of Korean culture with some shopping and eating.The palaces were incredible. Set in the middle of a modern city with a back ground of the mountains. The Secret Garden tour was probably my favourite of the whole trip as you just felt like you were in Nirvana. Pure beauty and bliss.
We also headed down to Gangnam where Samsung was born. Of course I thought I would exit the station and see everyone dancing to Gangnam style...but we didn't, although a lot of Psy endorsement around Seoul. I loved all the little signs, the country is full of cute characters for their underground and tourist spots. The underground also plays cute music when the train is arriving...London take note.
The BEST Croissant and Chantilly cream with strawberry ever.
Now down to the important part...the SHOPPING! Koreans are very much known for being petite. So clothing and shoes are hard to come by if you are size 12 (at a push) or 39 and above. However, the markets serve to deliver new and cutting edge jewellery, it was only recently both Vogue and Grazia featured pieces on fashion influences coming from Seoul, clothes and shoes. The markets are for the real bargain hunters, laden with fakes (NOT at all convincing and beware. Stay well away) cute niche items, great for wholesales and kids clothes. Oh and fur....If that's your thing. Myeondong on the other hand and a Doota (a shopping mall catering to independent designers) cater all the cutting edge fashion, local brands at reasonable prices. I was completely in awe of the clothing, especially the coats. I bought myself a beautiful Celine like coat.
High end, Luxury Shopping varies. As this is Asia there are all kind of variation of stock, certain items that do not make the cut in American or Europe so they come to Asia where luxury goods are on tap. It's a fabulous experience but be warned this comes at an escalated price due to import taxes. If you are not desperate and able to spend in your home country then I would suggest wait unless you see one of those rare Asia only items. My sister went for these Chanel pouches from Cruise collection...
Of course it snowed on our last day, which was amazing as we got to see some this year. Not only that it was refreshing to see people embrace snow and ice without dramatic news bulletins.
It was really sad to leave Seoul but it really did live up to everything Both myself and my sister wanted it to be. Beautiful in architecture modern and historical, full of Korean and western food (absolutely loved the french bakeries) and a nice variation of shopping. This technologically advanced city will definitely be on everyone list to visit.
A special note has to go out to Incheon Airport, a shopping mall in disguise. It is full of the best shops in the world...2 HERMES stores in one giant terminal. It was perfect, well stocked and temptation heaven. The stock in Chanel. Hermes and Louis Vuiton was brilliant. Also the Airport homes 2 of the coolest cafes in the world, Charlie Brown AND Hello Kitty!
I hope you guys enjoyed the first half of my holiday posts, I will feature my post on my Kuala Lumpur and Penang trip next.