To many, souvenirs are a form of saying “I’ve been there!” when they travel to another country. As for myself, I’m not a big fan of buying souvenirs.
However, due to demand for souvenirs from people back at home – it has to be done, right? So when I traveled to Seoul, I had to do did some souvenir shopping.
Well, there are quite a variety of souvenirs to choose from here in Korea.
To look for souvenirs, the most convenient spots are at the street markets, such as Myeong-dong Market and Insa-dong Market.
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From kitchen utensils to handbags, apparels to beauty products – there are so many to choose from. Street markets are definitely great places for tourists to purchase some souvenirs.
Most of the souvenirs have a touch of the local culture. They symbolize the strong Korean tradition that has been preserved for generations.
On the other hand, there are also modern souvenirs – such as Hello Kitty. Know what, you can practically see Hello Kitty stuff at every corner of the city. It’s even available at the Hello Kitty Cafes.
I don’t know what’s the fuss about Hello Kitty. Cute? Perhaps.
By the way, you may think that there would be loads of Psy or Gangnam Style souvenirs in Korea since it’s a worldwide hit – but I somehow didn’t notice much of them.
Hello Kitty still rulez in Korea.
Besides that, facial masks are quite popular as well.
Apparently they’re very cheap in Korea, and yes indeed – they’re so much cheaper than the ones sold in Malaysia. A pack in Korea costs KRW1,000 (RM2.85), while the same exact pack in Malaysia costs RM6.00.
No wonder facial masks are selling like hot cakes in Korea.
Anyway, souvenirs in Korea, or Seoul in particular, is quite affordable if you allocate the budget for it. The souvenirs may cost as low as KRW1,000 (RM2.85) and up to KRW20,000 (RM57.00).
Well, there are certainly souvenirs that cost higher for the wealthy travelers. But if you’re a budget traveler, better stay cheap.
At the end of the day, shopping for souvenirs seem quite fun after all – especially when we went from store to store to search for gifts, and bargaining for a better price.
Oh no, ‘bargaining’ doesn’t work most of the time because the most common reply we receive is “Very cheap!”.
So, what souvenirs did we get from the trip to Seoul?
Here they are…
TOTAL DAMAGE: KRW373,900 (RM1,065.62) for all these souvenirs from Seoul, Korea.
If you’re wondering – yes, I keep track of our traveling expenses at Seoul. It’s a habit.
Let’s see some of the interesting stuffs that we brought home to Malaysia…
Packets of seaweeds. They’re quite delicious and I finished 1 whole pack (28 sachets) within a week. Sure wish I had bought more seaweeds.
Starbucks tumblers from Korea. One costs about KRW15,000 (RM42.75) and they come with a complimentary beverage each.
Mini pin badges bought from N Seoul Tower. Simple and suitable to be given to kids – they can pin it onto their bags or wherever they like.
Fridge magnets. It’s the most common souvenir to buy from any country. These magnets make fridges look like they traveled the world more than anyone else.
Handbags for the ladies. Definitely not branded ones as they cost at most KRW20,000 (RM57.00). Quite stylish, I must say.
“I Love Korea” shirt. This is another common souvenir – every part of the world definitely has its own “I Love The City” version. In fact, the clothes here in Korea are pretty cheap and affordable.
Since I’m also not a fan of buying clothes… I didn’t buy any fancy clothes. Yeah, so obvious.
But hey, if I like buying clothes, I’d SO walk into this store and purchase some interesting clothes!
Yeah… Sexy Cookie! Sounds delicious! ;)
Oh wait a minute, I don’t think I can. Crap!