Fred Van Eijk

Where in the world is Travel Counsellors’ Fred van Eijk? Not sure what he’s up to today, but he was recently spotted overspending in Seoul. He shares with us some of his favourite Korean places to shop ’til you drop.

Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is a shopping paradise. Some of the malls remain open until five in the morning. You can quite literally, shop till you drop. So, the emptier your suitcase when you arrive, the better.

All the big international brands, but also local designers are working overtime. One thing is clear: they love their cosmetics here. In the district Myeongdong, the largest shopping area popular with both tourists and locals, I stumbled upon endless face creams.

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I had already noticed how young South-Koreans look, and it became clear to me why; every cosmetics brand from Korea and outside of Korea can be found here. Besides that, you’ll discover many diverse boutiques and you can give yourself a little break at the countless restaurants and cafés.

For a place to stay between all those shops in Myeongdong, I’d recommended Hotel28; the first Korean hotel that is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. It has a cinematic theme and each floor is adorned with artworks inspired by movies. The more urban rooms are equipped with industrial details, a seating corner, a desk and flat screen TV. But the best part has to be that you can use the minibar and espresso machine for free.

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For a place to stay try Hotel28.

Not just the 10-years younger looking locals and their magic creams have left a great impression on me. Seoul is an impeccably organised city; the airport runs like a well-oiled machine in which queues were simply non-existent and everywhere you go you’re met with friendly people. South-Korea is civilised, dynamic and has a rich history. I took some time off from all that shopping to discover the gorgeous royal palace and the 19th century Roman-Catholic cathedral. No doubt I will come back to discover more of this country and of course, to stock up on that face cream, I wouldn’t mind looking 10 years younger either. Or is it really just their genes?

 

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Have you travelled to Seoul?