Exploring Ansan’s Asia Village + Lunch at Samarkand Uzbek Kafé

After hearing countless people recommend grabbing some affordable and authentic Asian fare in Asan city’s international area, I decided it was time to make the 1.5 hour trip south of Seoul to check out what the buzz was about.

While Seoul’s Itaewon area usually gets all the attention for offering the best foreign food, the truth is that it is largely dominated by Western immigrants, with cuisine to match (American, French, Canadian, South African, Italian, etc).

Despite the fact that a few non-Western restaurants can indeed be found in Itaewon, many expats seem to agree that the most authentic and budget-friendly Asian foods lie in Ansan, a city a short commute south of Seoul.

Ansan doesn’t exactly have a pristine reputation among Koreans, due to the higher crime rates attributed to migrant Asian workers there (“Ansan – Ghetto or Mulitcultural Enclave?”). However, I must say that I didn’t feel unsafe at all walking around the international Wongok-dong neighbourhood. In fact, I found that the people were more friendly than in Seoul!

Here’s what I did this afternoon:

Thai restaurant to the left of the main street entrance

Thai restaurant to the left of the main street entrance

Looking eastward from the front street

Looking eastward from the front street

Vietnamese restaurant outside the Asian village

Vietnamese restaurant outside the Asian village

Vietnamese dishes

Vietnamese dishes

Vietnamese dishes

Vietnamese dishes

A sign pointing to the main street of the Asian vilalge

A sign pointing to the main street of the Asian vilalge

Indonesian food

Indonesian food

One of the first buildings you see upon entering Ansan

One of the first buildings you see upon entering Ansan

After walking down the main drag for a couple blocks, I hit this centrally-located park. It was pretty much empty, and (at least in my opinion) ugly. I boosted the colour and contrast in these photos; in reality, the park looks like a grim Soviet-era artefact. Maybe if they got rid of the concrete and added grass instead…

A park in the centre of Ansan's Asia Vilalge

A park in the centre of Ansan’s Asia Vilalge

A monument in the Asian village park

A monument in the Asian village park

"Eid Mubarak" message from Woori Bank nearby the park

“Eid Mubarak” message from Woori Bank nearby the park

The global monument in the park

The global monument in the park

"Thank you" messages in various languages on the steps of the monument

“Thank you” messages in various languages on the steps of the monument

"Thank you" messages in various languages on the steps of the monument

“Thank you” messages in various languages on the steps of the monument

A faded mural of famous Asian icons in the park

A faded mural of famous Asian icons in the park

The names of the Asian figures

The names of the Asian figures

The park facing southward

The park facing southward

A sign in the park

A sign in the park

A map of Ansan's Asian village in the park

A map of Ansan’s Asian village in the park

Lovely!

Lovely!

No peeing in the park!

No peeing in the park!

Another restaurant

Another restaurant

The main drag of Asia town

The main drag of Asia town

Dog meat (the sign was covering up the meat in the display case)

Dog meat (the sign was covering up the meat in the display case)

A street filled with Chinese restaurants

A street filled with Chinese restaurants

Artwork outside an administrative building

Artwork outside an administrative building

A message from your local government!

A message from your local government!

Himalayan restaurant

Himalayan restaurant

Real estate agency for migrant workers

Real estate agency for migrant workers

After strolling around a bit, I finally happened on Samarkand Kafé, a Uzbek restaurant that had received good reviews online. I awkwardly walked in, not sure whether or not I should do the usual head-nod/bow and “annyeonghasseyo!” (“hello!”) that Korean etiquette requires, since the server was  (obviously) from Uzbekistan.

Various dishes on offering...

Various dishes on offering…

Ansan (31 of 46) Ansan (32 of 46) Ansan (33 of 46)

Ansan (34 of 46)

I decided to order one “samsa” (spiced meat and rice-filled pastry) as a starter, based on the couple reviews I read online. Good. freaking. choice.

After another awkward fumbling around with words and culture (the server thought I was Uzbek and spoke to me in the corresponding language), I was brought a steaming warm pastry…

A samsa (3,000w / $3.00)

A samsa (3,000w / $3.00)

The samsa was made out of flaky pastry, and filled with meat, spices and rice

The samsa was made out of flaky pastry, and filled with meat, spices and rice

It was absolutely delicious, though definitely more of a wintery comfort food than something to eat on a hot, humid day! I didn’t care though; it was so good.

"Plov" - lamb meat, served on top of sliced carrots and a rice pilaf (7,000w / $7.00)

“Plov” – lamb meat, served on top of sliced carrots and a rice pilaf (7,000w / $7.00)

For my main, I ordered the also highly-recommended “plov”: tender lamb meat, served with carrots and a rice pilaf. The portion was huge!

I’d read online that Uzbek cuisine is pretty oily, and heavy on the meat and starch. This is true. Again, I’d suggest this type of food for a more wintry day. But yes, again, it was so good that I ate my fill of it!

SO delicious!

SO delicious!

Give me mooooore

Give me mooooore

So much meat! The plov was very heavy and filling. A bargain for $7.

So much meat! The plov was very heavy and filling. A bargain for $7.

The outdoor seating section of Samarkland

The outdoor seating section of Samarkland

Samarkland from the outside

Samarkland from the outside

After stuffing myself at Samarkand, I made my way back to the station, content that I’d tried something new today.

A Chinese-inspired model outside a cellphone shop

A Chinese-inspired model outside a cellphone shop

Heading south down the main drag back to Ansan Sation

Heading south down the main drag back to Ansan Sation

Staring northward from Ansan Station, towards Ansan's Asian village

Staring northward from Ansan Station, towards Ansan’s Asian village

Ansan Station

Ansan Station

To get to Ansan Station, take Line #4 Oido-bound and get off at Ansan Station. Leave through Exit 1, and walk straight across the road, using the underpasses. From there, you’ll hit the entrance to Wonggok-dong (ie: Ansan Asia town).

From there, you’ll find lots of different Southeast Asian and Chinese restaurants.

To get to Samarkand Uzbek Kafé, walk two blocks north of the entrance along the main street. Turn left, and Samarkand will be on your left.

The Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian and Chinese restaurants are too many to count.

However, I’ve read all over the web that the best Indian food in Korea is served at Ansan’s Kantipur restaurant. I considered visiting, but decided to go for Uzbek food (because come on, when’s the next time I’m going to get to eat that??). If you’re interested in dining at Kantipur, check out “The Moose” blog for a review and photos.

Otherwise, I’d recommend just walking around Ansan and seeing what tricks your fancy! The choices are endless.

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A Stroll through Samcheong-dong (삼청동)

Yesterday, I decided to head north of the river and explore Seoul’s Samcheong-dong (삼청동) neighbourhood.

Located just north of Anguk Station and the traditional area of Insadong, Samcheong-dong boasts a number of artsy cafés, boutiques, and restaurants.

Despite the sweltering heat and humidity, I decided to head out for a quick jaunt – and by “quick jaunt”, I mean that I walked across the city from Gwangjang Market! It was worth it though, since it was the first time Seoul’s been sunny for a while, in this summer that many are dubbing “the longest monsoon season ever”.

Anyways, here are some photos I snapped up during my stroll:

(PS: check out my review of Café W.E., a fantastic Korean-Western fusion dessert café located in Samcheong-dong)

Deoksugung Palace (덕수궁)

Walking past Deoksugung Palace (덕수궁) on my way from Gwangjang Market

A bicycle outside a cafe

A bicycle outside a cafe

Wall painting near the southern entrance to Samcheong-dong

Wall painting near the southern entrance to Samcheong-dong

Typical Samcheong-dong café fare: ice cream waffles and other sweet treats!

Typical Samcheong-dong café fare: ice cream waffles and other sweet treats!

Samcheong-dong (4 of 7)

Graffitied doors on a traditional Korean house (hanok) restaurant

Graffitied doors on a traditional Korean house (hanok) restaurant

Cute clothes

Cute clothes

Jewelry on sale

Jewelry on sale

The tree-lined street of Samcheong-dong

The tree-lined street of Samcheong-dong

Jewelry boutique having a sale

Jewelry boutique having a sale

Bus #11, which takes you to downtown Seoul, Gyeonbokgung Palace, Seoul Station, and Namdaemun Market.

Bus #11, which takes you to downtown Seoul, Gyeonbokgung Palace, Seoul Station, and Namdaemun Market.

Interesting sculpture near the entrance to Samcheong-dong

Interesting sculpture near the entrance to Samcheong-dong

Random storefront

Random storefront

Animal knick-knacks

Animal knick-knacks

Animal knick-knacks

Animal knick-knacks

Art gallery

Art gallery

Funky Starbucks-inspired set - they were cheap! Too bad the gallery was closed.

Funky Starbucks-inspired set – they were cheap! Too bad the gallery was closed.

At the gallery

At the gallery

Alleyway in Samcheong-dong

Alleyway in Samcheong-dong

Art on an alley wall

Art on an alley wall

Stairs leading to a restaurant

Stairs leading to a restaurant

French restaurant

French restaurant

Samcheong-dong (18 of 39) Samcheong-dong (19 of 39)

Giant ring outside of a shop

Giant ring outside of a shop

Locals browsing in a boutique

Locals browsing in a boutique

Cute clothes

Cute clothes

"Vintage" clothes

“Vintage” clothes

Incredibly over-priced "vintage" shop

Incredibly over-priced “vintage” shop

Hello Kitty Café

Hello Kitty Café

Chocolate shop

Chocolate shop

Samcheong-dong (27 of 39) Samcheong-dong (28 of 39)

Clothes for display outside

Clothes for display outside

A little shrine to the Virgin Mary outside?

A little shrine to the Virgin Mary outside?

Cute buidling

Cute buidling

Designer space

Designer space

Samcheong-dong (33 of 39) Samcheong-dong (34 of 39)

Retro Pie shop

Retro Pie shop

Samcheong-dong (36 of 39)

Café W.E. - Korean and Western fusion, featuring things like sweet red bean fondue and hotteok pancakes!

Café W.E. – Korean and Western fusion, featuring things like sweet red bean fondue and hotteok pancakes!

Artsy storefront

Artsy storefront

Artsy storefront

Artsy storefront

Samcheong-dong is located downtown, right next to Seoul’s famous Gyeongbokgong Palace.

Most stores open around 10:30am-11:00am and close around 7:00pm-10:00pm.

Directions:

• Anguk Station (Line 3, Exit 1) – 10 minutes on foot
• Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3, Exit 5) – 20 minutes on foot

Map of Samcheong-dong (Photo: Visit Korea)

Map of Samcheong-dong (Photo: Visit Korea)

Dining at Seoul’s Noryangjin Fish Market

Just before school ended a few weeks ago, some friends and I made the jaunt to Noryangjin Wholesale Fisheries Market, located right below the centre of the Han River.

Despite the fact that the market was located a mere 10 or 15-minute bus ride from our dorms, for a few of us (myself included), this was our first time going. Noryangjin Market is a pretty major tourist site in Seoul, and a definite “must-see” while visiting the city.

One of our more passionate fellow exchange students would lead impromptu mini-tours to the market during the wholesale auction time. The thing is, these tours were a tad bit early. While I certainly would’ve loved to see the lively atmosphere and get a good deal on the fish at the same time, I just couldn’t seem to drag myself out of bed in time for these 4:00am adventures! In hindsight, and with only a few weeks left in this city, I wish I would’ve gone.

In any case, we still made it to the market!

However, it was a bit last-minute and I didn’t exactly research enough travel tips before going.

We all think we were ripped off a bit, but the food was so good and the experience was so essential that we didn’t care 🙂

Entering the market from the subway

Entering the market from the subway

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Would you like tentacles in your meal today?

Would you like tentacles in your meal today?

Stalls upon stalls

Stalls upon stalls

Where to next?

Where to next?

A fishmonger stands with his wares

A fishmonger stands with his wares

This salmon looked pretty good, so we picked up a couple filets and some lobster-ish looking things (hey, they were really good!). After meeting up with a couple other friends who’d already bought their fish, we made our way to one of the nearby restaurants to get everything all cooked up.

Nice presentation

Nice presentation

Et voila, the results! Juicy, tender salmon. I didn’t take as many photos as I would’ve liked, but you get the picture!

Possibly some of the best salmon I've ever tasted - and I'm from the Pacific Northwest!

Possibly some of the best salmon I’ve ever tasted – and I’m from the Pacific Northwest!

Of course, all of that seafood needed to be washed down with a few bottles of Korea’s finest ale, Cass. Hey, when you don’t have a nice Chardonnay for the fish, what’re you gonna do? I should mention that the conversation at this meal was conducted in French, which was super for me. Good practice, and a good ego adjustment to realize that my French isn’t as good as I sometimes like to believe it is!

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The prawn/lobster-ish things are in the centre.. Couldn’t figure out what they were, but they were good!

The restaurant even gave us a “service” (Konglish for “on-the-house”) haemul pajeon. Nice!

Focus is off :( But the haemul pajeon (seafood pancake) was pretty good!

Focus is off 😦 But the haemul pajeon (seafood pancake) was pretty good!

Overall a memorable experience.

Not sure if I’ll try to make it back to Noryangjin before I leave, as I have a sneaking suspicion that you can only get the best deals during the wholesale auction (and hey, I make no promises about being able to get up at that time!).

Also, I was able to visit Jalgachi Market in Busan during my free K-Shuttle bus tour last fall. There, I was able to stuff myself with (raw) fish for less than $10 – as opposed to this dinner in Seoul, which cost over $30.

Granted, in Busan I had a local/tour guide with me who knew the best places to go – and to be honest, we didn’t even buy anything inside the market. We went to a vendor on the street outside, which could be why we got such a good deal.

As well, we took our spoils to go and sat on a park bench instead of paying a “BYOF” (bring your own fish – lol) fee somewhere ^_^ I’m not cheap, just thrifty!! I swear it!

Anyways, if anything, a trip to Noryangjin is worth it just for the photos. It’s a lively, colourful atmosphere that you may not see back home.

Sundays in Seoul: Free Cooking Class at CJ Food World

 

This past Sunday I attended a free cooking class at CJ Food World, in Dongdaemun, a famous shopping area in northeastern Seoul.

 

CJ Food World is the national headquarters of brands like Tous les Jours (Canadians: think a French-inspired, self-serve version of Tim Horton’s) and Twosome Place (a Starbucks-esque “dessert cafe”). They also have an in-house cooking studio, where the class I was in took place.

 

I found out about the cooking class through a group called Community Korea. They have a very active facebook presence, and regularly advertise events, contests, and sales for foreigners. This was the first time I’d attended one of the events they’d promoted, and I was really excited. I’d won the class from an online draw (been so lucky lately!).

So, I took a bus from outside my school right to the CJ Food HQ:

CJ Food World  Upon arriving, we were led into a meeting room which had free coffee and tea (silly me, I’d already spent $4 on a soy vanilla latte – but in my defense, it’s not often you see one of those on a cafe menu here in Korea!).

 

After the meeting room, we were ushered into the cooking studio, where we began cooking our Lunar New Year-themed dishes, “doenjang goggi buchu jeon” (soybean pancake with chives) and “haemul beoseot soondubu jeongol” (Seafood & mushroom soft tofu stew).

 

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The chef presented a lively and engaging cooking demo. His English was really good; turns out he’d spent several years as a restauranteur in the US.

ƒÌ≈∑≈¨∑°Ω∫130203copix43We were supposed to pair up, so I went with a girl I’d met at an event the weekend prior; 10 Magazine’s Sunday book club (which featured Michael Breen, author of “the Koreans”).

That’s us below:ƒÌ≈∑≈¨∑°Ω∫130203copix25

Our dishes!

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The rest of the participants…ƒÌ≈∑≈¨∑°Ω∫130203copix28

All in all, it was a lot of fun! The organizers had altered the dishes a bit to make them appeal to foreign tastes though. A couple of us noticed this, as the mixture they’d provided actually had sugar added, giving the pancakes an unusually sweet flavour.  As well, we were given beef to use in our pancakes, another non-traditional addition to the original Korean recipe. The chef noted during the demo that they wanted to “spoil” us foreigners (hence the beef), but I think many of us would’ve just preferred the traditional version! But, it was so thoughtful of them to go the extra mile.

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The chef explained several times throughout the demo that since Korean food is too often overshadowed by “sushi” (Japanese food) and Chinese food, the goal of the class was to try and make Korean food appeal more to foreigners. Part of this was promoting a new line of products, which essentially cut out half of the prep involved in cooking many popular Korean foods (which traditionally take more work than other Asian cuisines). Some of these included Korean BBQ marinades, soup stocks, and hotteok (Korean sugar pancake) mix.

To cap off the lesson, we all gathered for a few photo ops coordinated by a very serious Korean photographer. Actually, it kind of reminded me of the “Suntory Time” scene from one of my favourite movies, “Lost in Translation” (clip below).

Of course, it was very different because it was set in Japan, and my cooking class was in Korea 🙂 Korea and Japan are very different. Dokdo is Korean. My Korean friends would be very proud of me right now 🙂

ƒÌ≈∑≈¨∑°Ω∫130203copix03Some of the products that we used:ƒÌ≈∑≈¨∑°Ω∫130203copix05

Anyways, probably the best part of the day was getting the freebie pack they sent us home with! Holy guacamole, Korea LOVES too give out free stuff to foreigners!

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What the f-ck am I going to do with all this kimchi… It’s a non-resealable bag, by the way.

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They even gave us thank you cards!

“Thank you for your time” – seriously? You gave us a free cooking class, plus what I’m estimating was around 30,000w ($30) worth of free samples. My pleasure!

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Korean Cosmetics Haul #2 (Face Shop, Innisfree, Skinfood, Etude House, Too Cool for School)

So, after being here in Seoul for six months, I’ve found some pretty good (and pretty horrible) Korean cosmetic products.

The biggest things I’ve learned? Well, Korean mascara is horrible (although I can’t say I wasn’t warned), hair products are generally non-existent (specifically heat protect) and I should’ve started using Skinfood earlier.

I’d actually been avoiding Skinfood for a while because their whole brand and packaging “look” never appealed to me. Actually, it seemed kind of tacky. I knew the premise was that most of the products were made from food products (quinoa body lotion, ginseng face mask, sugar cookie blush, etc) but I never thought of going in until I read some good things about a few of their products online. After buying the products, I was very impressed. They also gave me a ton of freebies – as in, more than you’d usually get at a Korean cosmetics shop – so of course that had a positive influence on me!

The products I’m going to review today are:

  • Innisfree: No-Sebum Mineral Powder ★★★★★
  • Etude House: Drawing Show Brush Liner ★★★
  • Too Cool for School: Dinoplatz Lost Identity Lipstick ★★★
  • Etude House: Lash Perm Volume Mascara ★
  • The Face Shop: Anti-Trouble Spot ★★
  • The Face Shop: Face It – Oil Concealer, Dual Veil ★★★★
  • The Face Shop: Tea Tree Oil Spot Corrector ★
  • The Face Shop: Blemish Zero – Clarifying Toner ★★★
  • Skinfood: Black Sugar Scrub ★★★★★
  • Skinfood: Argan Oil Silk Hair Mask Pack ★★★★
  • The Face Shop: One Step BB Cleanser (Cleansing Oil – Foam) ★★★

My apologies for not putting them in order!

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Innisfree: No-Sebum Mineral Powder ★★★★★

Definitely an HG product! I think it’s supposed to be used more as blot powder, but I’ve started using it as an all-over finishing powder instead of MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural. The two are very similar, except MAC’s version costs $25 CAD and Innisfree’s costs 8,000w (roughly $6.50 CAD), in addition to coming with a free applicator. Definitely going to stock up when I got back to Canada!

Pros: Lasts long, goes on sheer (good for any skin tone), really fights oil.

Cons: Pretty small, but still good for its value.

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Etude House: Drawing Show Brush Liner ★★★

So, previously I was using the Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner (after having downgraded from MAC’s version, nearly triple the price). I’ve since downgraded to the Etude House version, and I find it’s pretty comparable.

Pros: Lasts long, easy to apply

Cons: Not as dark as MAC’s or Revlon’s version. I also prefer the stubbier applicator from Revlon as opposed to the longer one from Etude House (kind of between MAC and Revlon).

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After smudging them…Image

Too Cool for School: Dinoplatz Lost Identity Lipstick ★★★

So the packaging here was just too awesome. I’d read about this lipstick that starts off green, then changes colour to match your lips. Had to buy it. However, when I applied it on my lips, it became too dark. I don’t like wearing a lot of colour on my lips because I usually go pretty dark with my eyes.

Pros: Awesome packaging

Cons: Expensive; too dark.

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Etude House: Lash Perm Volume Mascara ★

Easily the worst mascara I’ve ever used. Clumpy, hard to apply, and just generally horrible. I tried using it then removed it immediately after. The stuff is awful.

Pros: Nothing (maybe the packaging, which I fell for)

Cons: Crappy applicator, super clumpy

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The Face Shop: Anti-Trouble Spot ★★

I don’t have much to say about this; it’s not that great. It’s not horrible either; but it just doesn’t get rid of my acne. I’ve been using it together with the Tea Tree Oil Spot Corrector, so maybe I’ll try using it on its own in the future. I bought it because it was on sale.

Pros: Meh.

Cons: Meh.

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The Face Shop: Face It – Oil Concealer, Dual Veil ★★★★

AMAZING, simply amazing. This stuff rocks! Covers up even the worst spots and under-eye circles. I’ve heard some people comparing it to Urban Decay or MAC, which is why I bought it. Affordable and super effective. Great design too.

Pros: Cheap, lasts long, great dual-applicator tips.

Cons: Nothing really.

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The Face Shop: Tea Tree Oil Spot Corrector ★

Also a “meh” product, bought solely because it was on sale. Produces no noticeable results.

Pros: Meh.

Cons: Mehh.

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The Face Shop: Blemish Zero Clarifying Toner 

A pretty decent product; good for the people like me who want to reduce redness (but not bleach the face in the process). Got it on sale a few months ago; great value for size.

Pros: Reduces redness and trouble spots “sans-brightening” (aka: non-bleaching)

Cons: Not all that strong

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Skinfood: Black Sugar Scrub Foam 

This product warrants a heart-felt OMG. Wow. Seriously though, this is my new HG scrub. It works magically. My skin is SO soft after using it, and my foundation/primer even goes on easier the morning after. I only use it about once a week. It’s one of Skinfood’s top sellers.

Pros: Doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, produces AWESOME results, little product needed. Also very affordable!!

Cons: None!!!

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Skinfood: Argan Oil – Silk Hair Mask Pack 

This treatment is pretty awesome. Not quite as effective as my HG hair treatment (Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Treatment) but still pretty good. It’s hard to find decent hair products in Korea. Maybe it’s because all Korean girls have enviably thick and shiny hair naturally and don’t need to use treatments, heat protect, and the like. In any case, this mask pack is a lifesaver. Works great on my extensions.

Pros: Cheap. Works well, makes hair shiny without weighing it down.

Cons: You need to use a lot of product to get results.

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The Face Shop: One Step BB Cleanser (Cleansing Oil – Foam) 

Finally a half-decent product that doesn’t turn my skin into a pasty mess or make me break out! Hurray. It cleanses deep without irritating the skin. Definitely going to buy it again.

Pros: Removes foundation really well. Good for sensitive skin.

Cons: Not that great for reducing trouble.

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A Trip to Ani Land (the Studio Ghibli Store) in COEX

Today I visited a store I’d been wanting to go to for a long time… “Ani Land” in COEX, Seoul’s biggest mall. Ani Land carries collectibles from Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation company with a cult following. Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Howl’s Moving Castle are all my favourite Ghibli films.

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Outside of the store…

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…And inside

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Everything was SO expensive though! I was really disappointed. Even the keychains cost upwards of $15. Everything was imported from Japan.

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The photos are poor quality because I’m still not 100% comfortable taking pictures inside specialty shops like this. I forget that I’m in Asia, where it’s okay to do that. In Canada the manager will usually have a hissy fit – buy something or get out.

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A whole cabinet filled with Kiki’s Delivery Service stuff. I wanted the mug!! It’s the same one Kiki buys in the movie.IMG_0991

Lots of figurines… Spirited Away on the far right

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Stupid expensive stuffed animals. I wanted a stuffed Gigi (the black cat) from Kiki’s Delivery Service, but the smallest one was $13; the regular one was $30. Just couldn’t justify it.

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Not Ghibli related, but still cute!

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Giant Totoro in the window

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More Totoro stuff

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Totoro Wreath

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A giant beer in the movie theatre lobby as I was walking out of the Ghibli store

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Finished my shopping trip with an udon + sushi set. Ready 5 mins after I ordered, not bad.

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The planner was only $12 so I treated myself. So cute!!!IMG_1007 IMG_1008 IMG_1009

….And a Totoro one for a fellow Ghibli-obsessesd girlfriend back home

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