I just got my favourite souvenir today – a haircut! It is by far the best one i have received (disclaimer: i never spent more than S$40 on a haircut). This one from Busan cost a grand total of KRW 15000 (S$18), and it included shampoo and waxing. I did read from a forum about how quick and good value hair styling in Korea is, so i wasn’t totally surprised by the service i received, but still, the speed and professional execution was nothing short of amazing.
I found a hair salon by chance (if you Googled for it, there are hardly any results in English). The one i visited is “Choi Hair Kukur”, conveniently located at one end of the Seomyeon food street. I highly recommend coming here. It’s spacious and brightly lit, you’re quoted upfront how much it costs, the equipment are top notch, and the hairstylists communicate patiently with you (through Google translate) to find out the hairstyle you want.
The second item i’m going to recommend you getting, something probably not found in anyone else’s recommendation list, is a wind breaker. It is quite windy in Korea, so much so that a wind breaker is a mainstay of the modern Korean costume. Everywhere you go, you’ll see multi-coloured wind breaker worn. I have personally experienced how strong the wind is to know how essential a wind breaker or coat is here. For an item that is so commonly needed, can you imagine how low the price can go? Well, i bought a simple, single colour, very thin and very light wind breaker with hood for KRW 10000 (S$12), from the discounted rack. My better half bought a true Korean style multi-coloured wind breaker for KRW 29000 (S$34). We got addicted and each bought a pair of water resistant stretch pants that are also very popular among Koreans. They were KRW 15000 (S$18), from the discounted rack. Koreans are serious hikers/outdoor lovers, and if you were to go hiking in Korea, you’ll see stretch hiking pants worn by one in every two persons. I don’t think it can get any cheaper elsewhere.
Socks. There seems to be many shops around that sell nothing but socks. At KRW 1000 (S$1.2) per pair, they are very affordable, and the quality looks pretty good. They are made in Korea too.
Let me tell you something you shouldn’t buy in Korea – womens’ shoes. I don’t know why, but they are bloody expensive. As for clothes, there’s something to suit every budget. For everything else, i’ll leave you to find out from Google. These days, with international shipping so common, many items from Korea can be bought online, but nothing beats being in Korea for the real experience.