As a beauty product junkie, I have countless makeup/skin care at home but I would always succumb to temptation in buying more. I tend to buy Korean Brands so Myeongdong turns out to be a paradise for a junkie like me. Korean beauty product brands such as Innisfree, Etude House, The Face Shop, Laneige, Nature Republic were found along the streets, with staff standing right outside the store drawing customers in.
Apart from the beauty products, there are also clothing stores and numerous shoe outlets (such as Adidas, Nike, ABC Mart, Lesmore) found in Myeongdong so for men out there accompanying their special half to Myeongdong; fret not.
Read on why I think Myeongdong is amazing for me and if time permits, I will post my holy grails from the trip~
Ps: This post might be extremely long!
Coming from experience, I know that Beauty products in Singapore can be expensive, depending on the product. Purchasing beauty products in Korea is much more affordable comparing to getting the same item in Singapore. For instance, Innisfree latest Jeju seawater eye serum costs $46 in Singapore but the same item costs 30000₩ in Korea, which is approximate $39. You get my drift.
Wide variety of brands
Common brands such as Laneige, Etude House, Innisfree, The Face Shop, Skinfood, Tony Moly etc. that can be found in Singapore are widely found in Myeongdong. What’s so unique are that instead of having just 1 physical store in the area, there are multiple stores found. For example, I had come across at least 4 Innisfree stores in the area.
Note: You might want to explore all the different stores to find the best possible deal. While walking around can be exhausting, the stores here have different promotions going at the same time so it might be good to scout them all out. For example, while I was there, Innisfree Store A was having a 50% off all their facial mist. On the other hand, Innisfree Store B promotes a buy 1 get 1 free for their facial mist.
And it would be good to make sure you calculate your purchases first before heading to the cashier! As the makeup stores can be packed at times, there are cases where the cashier might overcharge you for your purchases! (It happened to me at the Innisfree store. I was supposed to get a 50% for my mist but the cashier forgot about it and charge me the full price. Alas, I realize it a bit too late so I kind of paid extra for my mist – even though it is still substantially cheaper than buying from Singapore).
There are also cosmetics brands that are not found in Singapore that can be found in Myeongdong. Some of such brands are Holika Holika, VDL, Too Cool For School, A’pieu, The Yeon, Mamonde etc. While some Singaporeans may be familiar with Holika Holika, VDL, Too Cool For School as they used to have physical stores in Singapore, they had withdrawn and thus buying their products have to be only from online platforms such as Qoo10, Althea or Hermo. They also have physical stores for Clio, whose products can be found at our local Watsons but to me, it’s always more fun shopping at the physical shop.
Olive Young (올리브영)
Olive Young is a drug store chain that is widely found in Korea. Apart from the normal Olive Young store, Myeongdong is home to a 2-Floor Flagship Olive Young. The 1st Floor is home to where most of the skincare (Masks, cleansers) and makeup products are. Brands include Peripera, Luna, Loreal etc. The 2nd Floor were more towards body care and men products. Twosome Coffee can be found on the 2nd Floor of the Flagship Store as well. They often have promotions on some of the items so it’s always good to drop by and take a look at what Olive Young has to offer.
Operating hours: 10 AM – 10.30 PM Daily
Line Friends Store
Another stop that you can mark your visit to Myeongdong would be visiting the Line Friends Store. You won’t miss the store due to the gigantic brown found at the entrance of the store.
Food are widely available in Myeongdong, either in the form of street food or fast food or restaurants, you will definitely not go hungry I’m sure!
My top recommendation is the Myeongdong Gyoza, where the Gyoza tasted amazing, coupled with their chopped noodles.
Apart from the Gyoza, you can try the street food found outside the stores. They have a wide range of street food available, from Barbeque Chicken Wings, Egg Buns, Chicken Skewers, Grilled Lobsters with Cheese to Fruits, Drinks.
Fried Chicken are also a common food that can be found in Myeongdong. Apart from KFC, which can be found in Singapore, other fast food chains that you can take a look are Lotteria, TwoTwo Fried Chicken. My latest fried chicken love will be Mom’s Touch, which was located along the main street of Myeongdong. As the restaurant is located at level 5, it can be easily missed.
But the chicken there is extremely good. I fell in love with how crispy and tender the fried chicken turned out as well as the cajun fries. Hopefully, Mom’s touch is still around by the time I visit Korea again! 😀
Myeongdong is home to a few themed cafes as well. Apart from the Hello Kitty theme cafe, they also have a cat and a dog cafe. I have been to the cat cafe in Myeongdong during my trip in 2015. I have yet to visit the dog cafe found in Myeongdong though I visited another dog cafe elsewhere – which I may post about.
Directions to Myeongdong shopping area
- MRT Line 4 (Exit 6)
While one of the perks being a traveler is that I will be able to get Tax Refunds if I spend above a certain amount. Back in 2015, ALL tax refunds are required to be done at the airport. For my trip this time, some stores practice on the spot tax refunds, which meant that the moment you spending more than 30,000 won, you will be able to get your refunds on the spot. Please note that the moment you spend more than 200,000 won, tax refunds will have to be done at the airport.
Information is accurate as of 15 April 2017.