This is part of a series of posts under the category Heart and Seoul 2014.
Key chains, letter openers, or ref magnets are okay, I suppose. But when I think of pasalubong, I always think of sharing a small piece of the culture that I experienced and for me, there’s no other better option than to bring home food from that culture. I always enjoy giving food items as pasalubong not just because they’re cheaper but because I enjoy discovering foodie finds and sharing stories about them back home.
This is why whenever we travel, I always make it a point to visit a local grocery, or supermarket, or even a convenience store not just to simply grab a tube of toothpaste, or an umbrella, or something that we forgot to take along with us. I love visiting those places because I want to know what locals commonly eat and consume.
When you’re visiting Seoul, the best place to go to is Lotte Mart and the most accessible one is definitely the Seoul Station branch.
Lotte Mart is the leading discount store chain in Korea and the Seoul Station branch has the highest sales to tourists. The reason for this is that they offer international delivery, locker services, and tax refunds! You can find anything from processed food, household goods, clothes, fashion accessories, toys, cosmetics, electronics, name it, they got it.
The Seoul Station is a major transportation hub and is home to the KTX (the high-speed railway), and trains, buses, and subway lines also meet there. Thus, expect the branch and the station to be very busy. But do not worry, Lotte Mart is easy to spot, it occupies the 2nd and the 3rd floors of the building, and is open until 12midnight.
So we hoarded a lot ~ look at our bags! 🙂 We got rice cakes, pastries, chips, chocolates, whoopie pies, and many others. We were very happy with our loot and if only we had enough baggage room, we would’ve hoarded much more. For my pasalubong, I spent about 56,000KRW in Lotte Mart (about P2,300). That covers pasalubong for my family, in-laws, and office friends. *High five!*
If you don’t have enough room for extra baggage and you really would like to buy a lot, you can proceed to the station near the exit where you can box the goodies yourselves. They have scissors, tapes, and everything else that you’ll need to pack everything neatly in place. And then you can send that right away through their EMS or Express Mail Service. Take note though that custom duties and delivery rates may apply.
Hope this helps. Until my next post, Annyeong!