Archive | 11:18 pm

Snapshots from Seoul: Incheon International Airport

24 Mar

NOTE: Incheon International Airport is not actually in Seoul but in Incheon (a city on the northwest part of South Korea) but for the sake of uniformity of my travel accounts in Seoul, I’m keeping the same heading 🙂

Incheon International Airport is South Korea’s biggest airport and has been voted as “world’s best airport” for a few years in a row.

Like my other posts, I did not have enough time to explore the different places we have visited and that’s what happened with our airport experience, too. I wasn’t able to see all the wonderful facilities it offers like the spa, skating rink, museum, gardens, and even the duty free shops.

Oh, another good thing about the airport is the free WiFi which is tops! The airport has also a train that connects to the airport’s other boarding gates.

It was also a breath of fresh air to not experience a hassle with the check-in process (I was in a group tour and we check in as a group. It was a long and strenous wait when we departed Bangkok, not to mention the chaotic immigration queue which took over an hour) and the immigration queue was a breeze.

Anyway, I was really delighted to catch the cultural parade in the airport. It was an apt farewell to us, tourists, who were bound to boarding our planes and going back home.

They play the roles of King and Queen from the Joseon Dynasty

I may have only seen perhaps 10% of the airport but compared to all the other airports in countries I have been to, I can say that Incheon International Airport is definitely one of the best!

Which other airports impressed you? Care to share?

Cheers 🙂

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Haul from Seoul: Souvenirs

24 Mar

When traveling, it is a must for me to get at least a fridge magnet, keychain and a doll. It was my first time in South Korea so I had to buy souvenirs for family, friends, workmates and my collection.

Since I traveled with a tour group, we always, if not all the time, ate at a tourist restaurant. Yes, there are heaps of tourist restaurants in Seoul. I really didn’t like eating there because all I see are tourists, same groups of tourists even, and the food is set. We have no choice and we can’t order what we like. Anyway, I digressed…

Usually, there are shops or stands outside the tourist restaurants which sell souvenirs, food and what have you.

These are what I bought:

South Korean flag fridge magnets

I got the magnets from The National Folk Museum of Korea.

bookmarks

coin purses

figurines

fridge magnets

keychains

pens

… and the freebies…

long spoon and chopticks set + pencils

I also got two I ❤ Korea shirts (not pictured).

The last, but not the least… these are requests from my workmate and cousin 🙂

Hyun Bin sticker book and Lee Min Ho sticky notes

They are popular actors in South Korea. And yes, outside tourist restaurants, they sell all fan goodies, too.

So, these are my traditional and not-quite traditional souvenirs from South Korea. What do you usually get when you visit a foreign country? Care to share?

Cheers 🙂

Haul from Seoul: The Face Shop

24 Mar

Like what I said in my previous posts, I consider The Face Shop as one of my favourite brands. I never get breakouts from its skin care products and BB creams, the few makeup I got from the brand work well and have good quality, and its price is reasonable. Kim Hyun Joong as an endorser is also a plus factor 🙂

Of course, I had to take the opportunity to grab my essentials when I went to Seoul a few weeks ago. Now that I am looking at the products I got there, I realized that I didn’t really get a lot and that Ishould have gotten more.

Anyway, here’s my haul:

The Face Shop Snail BB Cream

I have tried using the Snail BB Cream and luckily I don’t get breakouts from it. I am not sure if it healed my hormonal pimples because I have only tried it twice. It only comes in one hue and like other BB creams it blends with the skin tone. I set it with my MAC Lightful Marine Bright Foundation Powder but I turned pasty. I have yet to find its best setting partner.

Clean Face Spot Corrector, Mild Lotion, Mild Toner

These are my backup products. I am currently using the products from the Clean Face line because I have really sensitive skin and I suddenly got breakouts on my chin. These products (lotion and toner) are gentle to the face and don’t tingle. I also use the facial cleanser from the same line.

Clean Face Sebum Control Soothing Mask Sheets

I was sales talked by the SA to get these as well 🙂 I haven’t tried them and I hope they work.

Konjac Sponge and Blush Brush

I love the konjac sponge! I was also sales talked into getting this but it was good that I got it. I really like its soft, jelly-ish texture (Konjac is a starchy plant used in making flour and jelly) which is very gentle to the skin. I use the konjac sponge when I wash my face. The angled brush on the other hand is made from synthetic hair. It is not that soft but it is dense.

And for the freebies 🙂 The bubbly sales attendant, who I think is a high school student, was happy I gave in to the products she recommended me. She was fun to talk to and really friendly so I didn’t mind. In return, she gave me a generous amount of freebies and samples.

Free mask and samples of Intevia Cream and some herbal emulsion (I don’t know its name). Both cream and emulsion are not available locally.

Kim Hyun Joong stickers and post cards

Since my haul was over KRW60,000, I was able to apply for VAT refund (which I did not even claim) of KRW3,500. If I am not mistaken, the minimum purchase which entitles you for a VAT refund is KRW30,000.

I really did not get much, but I have already over-shopped here to compensate for the “mini” shopping I did in Seoul. I just can’t resist The Face Shop, that’s why 🙂

Shopping is fun!

Cheers 🙂