Singapore Top Travel, Beauty, Food, Lifestyle Blog

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Seoul Mar'14: Juno Hair at Gangnam/Exploring Cheongdam

Heya folks!

Thought I'd talk a bit about Seoul (from my previous trip in April) since I know many people are planning to visit Seoul soon during the holiday season! I'll mostly focus on a few spots that we visited: and the first is Gangnam!

Gangnam is like the CBD (business district) of Singapore, and it is also the area where many people visit for plastic surgery.. Just a walk on the streets and you'll see lots and lots of billboards and signages for plastic surgery clinics.. And also many people (both locals and tourists alike) all wrapped up with head bandages or wearing shades to disguise puffy post-operation eyes.... It's practically a norm in Gangnam! Lol. So don't be shocked or stare impolitely.

When you're in Gangnam, you should visit Garosu-gil, which is the popular "Designer Street" and has got tons of little shops and many many cafes. Gangnam Underground Shopping Centre (at the metro) is another popular spot for locals to get cheap deals: There are lots of 10,000 won sale racks there!

For those looking for luxury shopping, go to Cheongdam and Apjujeong, but be warned that the prices there even for tiny boutiques can go up to hundreds of dollars!

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Our hotel was situated about 15 minutes walk away from Gangnam Metro, and the first thing Evonne and I did when we arrived in Gangnam was to.. Get a shampoo and blow-dry. Haha!


Upon recommendation from a local staff from Etude House, we went to Juno Hair Salon, which is located outside Gangnam Metro :)

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Juno Hair

Gangnam 1 branch (준오헤어 강남1호점)
3/F Gangnam-gu, Yeoksam-dong 816-4 (강남구 역삼동 816-4)
+82 2 556 4605

www.junohair.com

Open Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m.-9:50 p.m

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A quick google search got me the above address: It should be the right one! :)

In Seoul, most of the larger service-oriented places usually have 1-2 service staff that can speak either English or Mandarin, and fortunately for us, there was a lady at Juno Hair who was quite fluent in Mandarin, so we were able to communicate with them without much problems.

We were quoted 35,000 won for a wash and blow-dry (which my Korean friend later sounded indignant and shocked to hear.. She told me that for the locals it can be as cheap as 10,000 won? Not too sure about that, but I did visit a small salon on my last trip which quoted me 25,000 won) and both of us decided to go for it.. Chio Korean-esque hair, yes please!

The salon was huge and we were led to place our belongings in a locker, before being helped into a robe (similar to the kind you get in our spas and massage parlours) and brought to the hair-wash area.

The chair is automated!

My hair wash was pretty good, it was long, intensive and thorough! Would have hoped for a bit more of a neck massage but ah well. Good enough!

Unlike in Singaporean salons where customers sit wherever there are seats, each hairstylist has a designated spot :) My hairstylist was a sweet Korean lady: her name is Shim Sol Lip, if you're interested to look for her at Juno Hair!

What Evonne and I both agreed upon was the meticulousness of our hairstylists, every single strand of hair was blow-dried into position with care, and even up to the point when we were about to leave the salon, my hair stylist was still adjusting my hair for me!

Evonne's gorgeous curls


We were told that the toilet was best for camwhoring hahahaha so how could we disagree? ;D

I was given soft Korean curls that were carefully and lovingly tonged in place... Very impressive experience in terms of service and skill, so two thumbs up to Juno Hair for that! Despite the expensive price tag that came with it.... :P

I've also noticed that the bigger hair salons such as Juno Hair even serve up drinks and have pastries/cakes available for their customers, they really go all out to pamper their customers!

Another view of the huge salon.

Evonne and I, with our freshly done up hair!

And this is my adorable hair stylist, Shim Sol Lip! (Ok, I'm not even sure which is her first name or last name)


Some of the very friendly and lovely staff at Juno Hair. Thanks for the awesome service! Evonne and I even went back a couple of days later for another shampoo and blow-dry because the experience was so good! :)

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One of the cafes that I've enjoyed the most in Seoul is Caffe Bene, and you'll find different branches located everywhere in Seoul!


We stumbled upon a small branch right next to the Urban Hive at Gangnam, and walked in to an enticing display: it was so tough to decide what to order!

Looks so good, right? 


We ended up ordering this strawberry pastry with whipped cream..

And the Belgian waffle with ice cream!


Shiok.


Trying out the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 which is a Android-enabled smart camera! Cool stuff.



The strawberry pastry was as delicious as it looked! And I loved the Belgian waffle too.. So yummy and addictive with a slightly chewy pastry accompanied with the sweet ice cream.

Took multiple shots of the food hahaa as usual the camera needs to eat first you know?

Yum yum! Didn't manage to visit Caffe Bene again on my last trip and I was quite sad :( Maybe next time!

Really loved the hair!

My outfit: TheVelvetDolls Tweed Skirt and Box Clutch! Top from Bebe, trench jacket bought in Korea a couple years ago, and booties are from HongKong (Argyle Centre)

Just me trying to look pretty as I snap away on my Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 lol :D

A picture of my pretty hair colour, done by Salon Vim! PS. They're having their annual GSS promotions so you can check out the promos on-going on Salon Vim's Facebook page here!

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Thank you Joreen, for this beautiful shot!

With half the afternoon gone, we decided to take a cab down to Cheongdam for a stroll! The weather was still pretty good in April, cooling and not too sunny. Can't say the same right now as it's approaching summer and getting way too hot in Korea!

Taxis are really cheap in Seoul, but many of the older taxi drivers cannot speak English, so it's best if you have the Korean address for them to refer to. Most taxi drivers have GPS so it's not difficult at all to get any where as long as you have the address :)

I really love the afternoon sun in the autumn, it just makes every thing look extra dreamy and magical!

The famous Cheongdam version of "Champs-Elysees".. Does look kind of European doesn't it?

We wandered about a long time along Cheongdam, towards Apjujeong area. Apjujeong is pretty quiet nowadays because Garosu-gil has became more popular, but there are many little eaters and boutiques around that area too  :)



Most gorgeous flowers being sold by the street side.. Unfortunately the Korean ajuma was quite fierce so I couldn't snap more photos :(

Honeycomb soft serve is very popular in Seoul and you can find many cafes selling it! I wanted to try it because Woon was raving about it to me. And we needed a rest from all the distance we covered on foot. Coffee break time!

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Wifi/Internet in Seoul

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For the social media addicts like me, you'd be happy to know that wifi is super accessible in Seoul. Most cafes have free wifi available, and even on the streets, you can connect to random wifi hotspots!

If you need to stay connected 24/7 though, instead of paying $15 a day for data roaming, another alternative is to rent a Olleh egg: it's a wifi device from Incheon Airport, this device allows multiple connections and costs only 8000 won a day, which is very affordable! It comes with two batteries which last for 4 hours each, so two charged batteries can probably suffice for an entire day out. YZ and I rented the egg on our visit and it was a life-saver!

Having data connection is especially useful for me because I can use my phone as a GPS and route my way with Google Maps/iOS Maps. So I would definitely recommend renting the wifi device, since it's quite cheap.


Inside Dal.komm Coffee.



I had the honeycomb soft-serve! It's extremely sweet, so I found it impossible to finish on my own. I did like the sticky sweet honeycomb chips which lent a unique texture and flavour to the milk soft serve.

Our view from the cafe, the sun was just about to set for the day.

Evonne's grapefruit drink was very refreshing but also way too sour for me, haha.

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We carried on with our street roaming after the little break and this time round, we were on the look out for a dinner place.. And for none other than my favourite Korean BBQ!

Geez, most of the places at Cheongdam are really not cheap, even the restaurants are pricey though I'm sure they're really good! We walked into a couple, look at the menu and walked right out again. Finally, we came upon a restaurant that looked nice and not too expensive.


I can't read Korean, so I can't even decipher the restaurant name? Haha. But yessss Korean BBQ!!!











Verdict? Tasted SO good!

I loved the juicy pork belly slices and my favourite way to have the meat is to wrap it up in a piece of lettuce with some sauce. This ensures that I get my serving of greens in.. Lol. I'm not a big fan of kimchi, but I do like the other side dishes, and I love Korea's soybean paste stew! It's something like miso soup but a lil spicier. Everything tastes especially good piping hot because of the cool weather!

It was a super satisfying first night's dinner in Seoul, for sure.

Just in case any of you are interested.. The name and location of the restaurant! I'm not even sure exactly where it is because we walked soooo far in Cheongdam.

We took a taxi back to our hotel after dinner and I popped by the supermarket nearby because..
Big fat juicy Korean strawberries which are the best ever! The pack that I was holding only cost 6900 won? I literally bought strawberries every single day because they were so cheap and delicious! Unfortunately, strawberry season is now over.. it's cherry season right now in Seoul!

This brings the lengthy blog post to an end.. Next on my Seoul places-to-blog list is Myeongdong, which is probably the most popular district for tourists in Seoul!

Photo credits: Most photos in this entry are taken with either my Olympus E-PL5 or Evonne's Fujifilm XE-2.
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© Yina Goes

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