I was told by a lot of people that Korea is pretty cheap compared to Japan. When you factor in the exchange rate, that's true. Based on a 1 cent = 1 yen = 10 won ratio, my hanbok (traditional Korean dress), which cost 170000 won, would come out to about 17000 yen, or 170 US dollars. But factoring in the exchange rate, 170000 won is actually about 12,000 yen, or $150.
I didn't really expect to find much that I wanted to buy, but I did get some beauty products, as well as the dress I mentioned before. One thing I can say is that Korea has a LOT of cosmetics and skin care shops. There are so many different shops that I really had no idea where to start. We just walked into a couple of stores and came out with stuff.
[caption id="attachment_822" align="aligncenter" width="630" caption="From Nature Republic: Pine Tree Urban Detox Toner and Emulsion, 9,900W (US$8.75) each; Mung Bean Facial Cleanser, 3,300 (US$2.92); Eco Crayon Lip Rouge (Red Orange), 6,000W (US$5.30)
From Aritaum: Mugwort Facial Masks (pack of 10), 10,000W (US$8.83)
From eSpoir: Eye Primer, 10,000W"][/caption]
One interesting thing about Seoul are the late-night department stores. We went to one called Doota, which opened at 7pm and stayed open all the way into the early morning. I had never heard of such a thing, and I don't think Japan has any department stores like that. We sat with a crowd of people all gathered outside the doors, waiting to get in as soon as the place opened.
Like most department stores, Doota had a lot of fashions that I wasn't interested in. But I did manage to find a unique top in a shop called "Dirty Alice," which has a few clothes similar to my style. It's not really the season to wear it, so I'll probably show it off later.