It's what we all look for when we're travelling and shopping in a foreign country. We want to, and need to know things to buy in Korea and which item is worth our money cause we have no information about the products. If you're confused with things to buy in Korea when shopping, these tips I'll be giving you below should help heaps. These should be what to buy in korea / the items that you would happily bring back home because they are affordable, local, and super cute.
Don't forget to check out part 1, too if you want to be fully informed with the advice! Now let's get straight into it.
Koreans are such an expert when it comes to mobile accessories. It almost seems like it's one of the passions that Korean people have, to figure out how to make even cuter phone cases. There are places that specialize in selling phone cases only (or the related mobile accessories) and you'd be able to find one for your phone without difficulties especially if you use iPhone, Samsung Galaxy or LG.
The price is reasonable as well, some of the cheapest start from 5,000 KRW. If you want something more exquisite and unique, the price can go up to 30,000 KRW or up. There are some well-known franchise brands but most of the time, it's cheaper to just buy them at a street stall where you're offered with almost the same wide range of options, only cheaper.
* Click the name of the brands to go on to the website and find out a store location.
Which country do you think consumes instant noodles the most? South Korea beats every other country by consuming 76 packages of instant noodles in a year, per capita. That means why you should try ramyeon and must buy in Korea. The instant noodle (ramyeon in Korean) industry is massive so there are incredible number of ramyeon brands, and ramyeon kinds. There are basically every kind of flavor ever imaginable.
One of the most famous Korean instant noodles which you must buy in Korea is Shin-ramyeon. (Red packaging on the upper left side of the picture.) It's regarded as the most Korean, classic, unbeatable No.1 instant noodle in South Korea. You might have seen it in a grocery store back in your own country because this ramyeon has been winning a global reputation as well. The Chinese Character "Shin" in the name of the ramyeon means "hot" or "spicy" and it sure has gained its popularity and reputation thanks to the addictive spicy taste.
The No.2 best selling instant noodle in South Korea is called Jjapaghetti or Chapagetti. (Green packaging in the picture.) It's the first instant Jjajangmyeon (Korean - Chinese noodle) noodle ever produced in Korea. Jjapaghetti does not have broth, it's stir-fried noodles with a rich black bean flavor to it. The noodle can be something that you have never had before since the flavor of Jjajangmyeon dish was uniquely originated in Korea.
All of the noodles boast that distinctive Korean flavor, you can try one at a time and find out your favorite. It's a fun and affordable way to try some of the most local tastes. Once you figure out your favorite, grab a bunch of them so that you can give away to your friends and enjoy the rest yourself.
- Spicy broth : Shin-ramyeon (신라면), Neoguri (너구리), Omori Kimchijjigae ramyeon (오모리 김치찌개 라면)
- Mild broth : Sarigomtang (사리곰탕), Tuigim Udon (튀김우동)
- Fried : Jjapaghetti (짜파게티), Buldak-bokkummyeon (불닭볶음면), Bokkum Ganchampong (볶음 간짬뽕)
- Cold : Paldo Bibimmyeon (팔도 비빔면), Dungji Naengmyeon (둥지 냉면)
Koreans are a huge coffee / tea fanatic. Although the preference for brewed coffee in on the rise lately, the instant coffee market is still huge. The most famous instant coffee is called Maxim Mocha Gold Mix, a 3-in-1 coffee mix containing coffee, milk powder and sugar. Some say that it's a little too sweet but it packs a punch real quick when you need a coffee and the effect right away. Anyhow, it is the No.1 instant coffee in South Korea, so just giving a shot wouldn't hurt.
Korean fruit teas are greatly recommended if you're not too much of a coffee person. They might seem bizarre at a first glance, since they contain the whole slices and pulps of the fruit in a jar, covered with a thick textured sugar, looking almost like a fruit jam or something. The traditional Korean method to make fruit teas is a little different from that of the Western's. We mix sugar and fruits together and let it age for a while so that the nutrients inside remain intact as much as possible.
The most popular fruit teas in Korea are Yuja-cha (Yuzu tea) and Daechu-cha (Jujube tea) and they are easy to find in any grocery store or supermarket.
You can also find mixed grain powder (Misutgaru in Korean) or tea packets of mixed grain / nuts. Misutgaru is a combination of 7~10 different grains and usually served cold. Mixed grain / nuts teas contain walnuts, almonds, adlay, peanuts and lot more. Both of them are rich in nutrients and can be a great substitute for a quick breakfast.
- Instant coffee : Maxim, Kanu, Cantata
- Instant fruit teas : Damteo (담터), Bokumjari (복음자리)
- Mixed grain / nuts powder : Damteo (담터)
It all started with a mobile messenger application called Kakaotalk, which now over 93% Koreans are using as their everyday messenger app. As the app gained the insane amount of popularity, Kakao corporation started to widen their market into retail commerce as well by developing goods using the main Kakao characters.
Kakao friends shops sell almost everything, only in adorable Kakao friends. The shop is dominantly full of figures, dolls, stationery, however there are also clothing line, cosmetics, electronics and even golf balls or snacks.
You may not be familiar with the friends, but they are still very appealing just the way they are. Some dolls that are huge in size would cost over 100,000 KRW but the mini - medium ones are usually around 10,000 ~ 28,000 KRW, so that's not too bad for a super cute doll.
Since both of the brand and the goods are hard to come across outside of Korea, plus all of the stuff is absolutely adorable and super practical as well, it makes a good souvenir to bring back home.
- 62 Gwangbok-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
- 162 Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
- 1305-7 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Go on to the official Kakao Friends website and have a browse what items there are!