KTO Hallyu Tour – Day Two
Big Bang Teddy Bear – Tae Yang I suspect – at Skinaniversary
By the second day we were well on the way to forming lasting friendships and of course, having a lot of fun. I will always be extremely thankful to the Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) for the chance not only to go to Korea but also to meet all the lovely people on the trip – the other participants, the tour managers, and the KTO staff. Even though our schedule was a little daunting – 8:00-8:40 am to 10:00-10:30 pm – it was so packed with fun activities and great people that we hardly noticed the time. What did we do on Day Two… keep reading. ^^
Many Hallyu stars came here
Day Two’s morning was the one aspect of the tour that I both dreaded (sorry) and was excited about at the same time. You see, we were schedule to go to Skinaniversary Beauty Town for makeup and a photo shoot. I was excited about the makeup part of the morning, especially after visiting Skinaniversary’s website… but the photo shoot, not so much. I’m way more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it.
But I love makeup and skincare stuff – especially Korean products (about 2/3 of the stuff I use nowadays is Korean) – and I’d read & heard good things about Skinaniversary so my excitement for the morning mostly outweighed my nerves about the photo shoot… mostly. ^^
After a brief tour and introduction to Skinaniversary, we were led upstairs to the giant counter I saw on their website. Yay, so excited to see what they have to say about my skin. There were a dozen or more ladies on the other side of the counter waiting for us with these wands that would analyse our skin. But unfortunately, we were ushered through so quickly that I wasn’t able to read what it said about my skin on the screen (and I read fast) and we weren’t given a printout so I don’t actually know what the skin analysis said. ㅜ.ㅜ
Our makeup room
Next step, makeup
We were then taken to a room with some of Skinaniversary’s makeup. One of the ladies working there gave a quick makeup demo on one of the lovely members of my team, before turning us loose on the makeup. I’ll be honest with you, I was hoping (and expecting) to to have my makeup done not to do my own. Don’t get me wrong, there was some lovely makeup, I was just expecting something a little different.
Speaking of pictures
After we finished our makeup, we were taken one by one to the photo shoot which was in this cute little Hallyu teddy bear museum (inside Skinaniversary). I loved the Big Bang display! And of course, since we could pick which display we had our pictures taken in front of I picked Big Bang. ^^ I took a couple of pictures myself and one of the ever lovely and helpful KTO staff took some pictures of my during the photo shoot. Don’t worry, I won’t scare you with too many of the photos – some are really awkward looking – but the professional photographer did get a couple of decent ones despite my unphotogenic self.
Taking a picture with the trick art
We had some free time so we got to know each other, used the free nail polish (purple for me, of course), and took some pictures with Skinaniversary’s trick art. There was a lot to do at Skinaniversary other than just makeup and skincare. I was impressed with the various things we could do all in one place.
And of course, they fed us again! We were so well fed on the tour that I didn’t get a chance to snack much. Today’s menu was bibimbap! Always a good dish for lunch and it was made just a little more fun because I got to show Chloe, a lovely girl from England, how to make it. I adopted her as my “dongsaeng (동생)” for the trip. ^^ And then it was time to change gears and head back to Seoul – through a crazy thunderstorm – to our next stop and some traditional Korean culture.
Preparing the food
Korea House is the perfect place for foreigners to learn a little bit about traditional Korean culture. We had the chance to learn and make two traditional Korean court dishes, try on some hanbok and practice our Hangul writing. I loved the cooking part – hmm… need to get one of those steamer baskets so I can make one of the dishes again.
Aren’t we pretty?!
After a brief introduction to Korean food, we were given the ingredients to make two delicious traditional dishes along with some help from the friendly chefs teaching us. I was impressed at how quick and easy both dishes were to make. And tasty too! (We got to eat our creations. ^^) Then it was off to practice our Hangul before trying on some beautiful hanbok and taking some more pictures. So pretty (the dress I mean) but hot in the sunshine.
Looking down one of the streets at Bukchon Hanok Village
Bukchon Traditional Village
And our journey into Korean traditional culture continued with a wonderful, if quick, tour of Bukchon Traditional Village. I’d been there before, of course, when I lived in Korea but it was amazing to see it through the eyes of our tour guide. I ended up learning so much. Our tour guide for Bukchon Traditional Village was a gentleman about my parent’s age who was an absolute fountain of information about the neighbourhood.
And of course, I love the architecture. I have a thing for traditional Korean roofs – not sure why – but I always end up with a ton of pictures of them and this time was no different. It was an absolute joy of a walk, even with the heat (and boy, was it hot).
I love seafood in Korea – so fresh
Dinner was at a lovely Italian restaurant – very delicious food and a lovely vibe – that would be a great place for a date. Loved the black bread and the pasta. The seafood pizza was also a hit.
Namdaemun in the rain – taken from the bus – during the intense rainstorm
Other than my teeny disappointment with Skinaniversary, it was a perfect day. I love learning new recipes and of course, I always love learning more about Korean traditional culture and history. But Jump was definitely my favourite part of the day! If you’re in Seoul, even for a short time, go see it! Fantastic, amazing, funny, interactive, engaging, cute… it was a show that I recommend hands down. Or rather two thumbs up!
For those that don’t know, Jump is a non-verbal show. Well, there is some talking but you don’t need to understand Korean to follow the story. It’s a combination of theatre, taekwondo and dance – basically a funny play with cool taekwondo moves and choreography. Love, love, love it! Plus now is the perfect time to see it because Korea has a festival on during the moth of September that features all of the great shows you can see – Korea in Motion.
You can stay in some of the traditional houses too
And that was Day Two! Wasn’t it packed with excitement!?! Have you done any of the things I did in Day Two? Would you like to? Leave a comment below and let us know. ^^