Ever wondered how the everyday life is like in North Korea? Though every now and then there are photos circulating around on the internet, it is still not a common sight to many as information that we see online are limited to a certain extent when it comes to this relatively unknown country.
Thankfully in Seoul, you can find a one-of-a-kind exhibition showcasing on North Korean art and various consumer product displays (such as posters, stamps, and other commercial goods), which altogether provides a glimpse into the everyday life of North Koreans in the closed society.
Co-curated by Koryo Tours, this exhibition is titled “Made in North Korea : Graphics from Everyday Life in the DPRK” (메이드인조선), and visitors will be able to learn more about North Korea as well as reminisce the similarities of South Korea back in the 70s to 90s.
Originally held in London at the House of Illustrations and based on a book with the same title (“Made in North Korea”), this special exhibition is now open in Seoul at the Hongik University Daehangno Arts Center and it will continue until April 7, 2019.
If you’re always interested to find out more about North Korea, this is THE art exhibition you shouldn’t miss out on when in Seoul! There is also a merchandise corner for you to grab some unique souvenir back home too!
Where: Hongik University Daehangno Arts Center, Hyehwa Station (Subway Line 4, Exit 3)
Opening Hours: Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 6pm (Closed on Mondays)
Ticket Prices: Adults (ages 19+) – 13,000 won / Youth (ages 13-18) – 10,000 won / Children (ages 5-12) – 8,000 won
Etude House recently hinted at a brand-new collaboration with Kit Kat and we’re excited, to say the least!
Though hardly any traces of it can be seen on the online malls now, news of the limited-edition eyeshadow palette were trending on the interwebs last night and people are going crazy over this collaboration.
Coming in 2 different variations – Etude House Color Eye Mini Kit in Original, and Strawberry Tiramisu, each palette encases 6 different eyeshadow colors in variants of mattes, shimmers and glitters for you to create a vast array of looks.
Each shadow is highly pigmented with an intense payoff, so you can effortlessly prepare a look that’s perfect for any occasion!
Etude House has also ingeniously named each color in the palette after a particular component of this chocolate snack, and just like each of their names suggests, the colors are exactly what you think they are!
Original: Sweet Vanilla Choco, Soft Milk Choco, Crispy and Sweet Flavor, Original Choco Brown, Thin and Crispy Wafer, You’re My Kit Kat
(Note: These are not their official English names)
Each set is said to cost KRW 20,000 each and it comes with a pouch that eerily resembles an actual Kit Kat bar, as well as some actual Kit Kats because seriously, why not? It is rumored to be out in the Korea retail stores from February onwards so start keeping your eyes peeled for this sweet new collaboration!
UPDATE on 1st Feb: Etude House has just confirmed on this collaboration and it’s available for sale in Korea retail stores starting today!
Korea used to be a country where people feared to go because of the cultural and language barriers but as Korea strives to accommodate to people of all races and religions, Halal eateries are starting to appear everywhere! What used to be as rare as diamonds are now easier to find, and with so many choices for you to choose from, our tummies have never been this satisfied.
Like any other true Singaporean, food is our life so how can we start planning a trip before deciding what we want to eat?! Without further ado, here are 9 Halal eateries you should check out when you’re in Korea:
1) Makan Halal Korean Restaurant
Located in Seoul’s mecca for foreigners, Makan Halal Korean Restaurant sells a variety of authentic Korean dishes with a Halal-friendly twist at wallet-friendly prices.
One of the more popular choices in Seoul, Makan Halal is well known amongst tourist and locals for its cozy environment and authentic foods such as Bulgogi and Stir-fried Squid!
52 Usadan-ro 10-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시용산구우사단로10길52)
Opens every day from 10 am to 10 pm, except Tuesday.
2) EID – Halal Korean Food
Opened since 2014, EID is one of the first few restaurants in Seoul to receive its Halal certifications by the Korean Muslim Federation.
Owned by a loving Korean-Muslim family, EID is well-known for its Halal take on authentic Korean fare and is a hit amongst people of all religions and ages. Though limited in terms of menu selection, many are loyal fans of the shop’s Samgyetang and Beef Bulgogi.
67 Usadan-ro 10-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울용산구우사단로10길67)
12 pm to 9 pm
3) Mr. Kebab
Touted as “The Best Kebab in Itaewon”, Mr. Kebab sells authentic Turkish kebabs using only the freshest local produce. Opened by a Turkish man who has lived in Korea the past decade, this 24-hour shop carries a bunch of savory eats like Turkish Kebab, Cheese Toast Kebab, Pilaf Kebab and more!
It’s so good that many have said that the food here is as tasty as the ones you’ll find back in Turkey!
192 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시용산구이태원로192)
Opens 24 hours
4) Salam Restaurant
Another Turkish restaurant at the heart of Itaewon (Well aren’t you spoilt for choice)! For just 24,000 won, you can have an authentic Turkish 8-course meal that is both appetizing and filling to the tummy. But if you’re feeling less adventurous, you can opt to have a lighter meal or a Kebab at half the price!
39, Usadan-ro 10-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시용산구우사단로10길39)
Opens every day from 12pm to 10 pm
5) Hajj Korea Halal food
Owned by a Muslim herself, Hajj is a relatively less crowded option for those in Itaewon looking for a quieter bite. Chef Mariam cooks most of the dishes herself and this Korean-Malaysian fusion eatery sells both Korean and Malaysian favorites such as Bulgogi, Mung Bean Pancake to even Nasi Goreng. So come try Hajj, it seriously has the best of both worlds!
39 Usadan-ro 10-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울용산구우사단로10길39)
Opens every day from 10am am to 2 am
A relatively new player in the Halal dining scene in Korea is Nasi Lemak D’Seoul. And as the name suggests, the store specializes in the Malaysian/Singaporean breakfast favorite, Nasi Lemak. Sounds yummy already? There are options for the more adventurous diners too, so how about trying out the store’s Tomyam Kuey Teow?
Located in Myeongdong, another well-known tourist hotspot, Nasi Lemak D’Seoul sees customers from all over the world and is definitely doing a good job at taking our delicious cuisine all the way to Korea!
43-1 Myeongdong 8ga-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울시중구명동8가길43-1)
Opens every day from 11 am to 11 pm
For those who are feeling a teeny bit homesick, head on over to Kampungku for a taste of comfort food! Start your meal off with homely favorites like Nasi Lemak, Nasi Goreng, and even Murtabak, before washing it all down with a refreshing cup of Teh Tarik. Sounds like the perfect meal? There is even a prayer room located onsite (on the 3rd floor) for you to perform your Solat comfortably.
25 Toegye-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울특별시중구퇴계로20길25)
Opens every day from 11 am to 11 pm
8) Manis Kitchen
Love Korean street food but afraid to try some because you don’t know what exactly is used to cook them? Then Manis Kitchen is one place you definitely have to add into your itinerary!
Located a stone’s throw away from the Seoul Central Mosque lies this Korean snack eatery owned by Korean-Muslim influencer Safiya Kang (@syafiya) and just like any other typical snack shops, they sell small bites like Tteokbokki, Corndog, Kimbap, all at affordable prices. Yum!
36 Usadan-ro 10-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울용산구우사단로10길36)
Opens every day from 10 am to 8 pm (Except PH)
Try something different from the usual and experience the wonders of Indian cuisine at Jyoti Indian Restaurant. Ranked the #1 Indian restaurant in Seoul, this is the place you should head to if you want to satisfy your spicy Indian cravings.
Jyoti is famous for their aromatic and fragrant Thali Set, so how about starting dinner off with plates of Chicken Masala, Chicken Tandoori, Lassi and more!
6 Sinchon-ro 20-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시마포구신촌로20길6)
Opens every Monday to Friday from 11 am to 10 pm, and every Saturday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 10:30 pm.
TIP #1: If you’re hoping to stay in a place full of Halal eateries, Itaewon is your best bet. Usadan-ro (aka Halal Street) is where some of the best Halal eats are found, and it is even where Seoul Central Mosque is located!
TIP #2: To discover more about Muslim food in Korea, check out this informative guide by the Korean Tourism Organization!
Now that you know where to head to for a satisfying meal, remember to take note of the Halal certifications. Stores are usually divided into 4 categories according to the practices they have: Halal Certified, Self-Certified, Muslim Friendly and Pork-Free.
So, whenever you’re visiting a shop, make sure to look out for these signs and know what it entails so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into!
For the first time ever in Southeast Asia, the weekly K-Pop music programme ‘The Show’ will be broadcast live from South Korea to 18 countries, exclusively through MTV Asia.
In its 6th season now, The Show is hosted by CLC’s Ye-eun and NCT’s Jeno, and live recordings take place every Tuesday at 6:30pm (KST).
K-Pop fans will be able to tune in to the live broadcast, check out the hot performances and behind-the-scene footages of their favourite artistes, and be a part of ‘The Show Choice’ – a global and real-time fan voting system.
The voting process is done via the Starpass app, available for download on the Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store, where fans are able to vote before the show and even during the live segments.
Catch ‘The Show’ live on MTV Asia every Tuesday at 5pm (SG) and its replay on Saturdays, 11am (SG) and Sundays, 5:30pm (SG). It will also be made available on the MTV Play app.
K-drama hit Sky Castle has been all the rage since its broadcast, breaking TV rating records and trending all over social media and the internet without any signs of slowing down.
With just one episode left to the ending, viewers and netizens are all counting down to catch the finale on February 1, 2019, hoping for a perfect closure to the drama series.
Riding on the Sky Castle trend, one of Korea’s Top Beauty YouTubers — Risabae, decides to make things a little more fun amidst all the drama suspense, by recreating the Coach Kim Joo Young (Kim Seo Hyung) look using her skilful makeup techniques.
First, she emphasizes that the overall look has to be simple, but to highlight on Coach Kim’s perfect features, detailed contouring is a must. The YouTuber also made use of various contouring techniques to brighten up the cheekbones and sharpen her nose to resemble that of Coach Kim’s.
In the makeup cover video, Risabae also puts in extra effort in the finish, using powder to ensure that her face maintains the matte and cold look instead of a moisturised finish. Thereafter, she recreates the brows and emphasizes on the frown, right eye hole, and even the dimension below the eyes so that she can achieve the “dark, slightly cold and creepy” look.
A+ for effort, really. That, plus her funny imitations of Sky Castle’s Coach Kim in the video. Watch it with English subtitles below:
Risabae is known for her amazing makeup skills, and in the past she has also done several themed makeup covers of celebrities and K-pop idols, such as MAMAMOO’s Hwasa, IU, Red Velvet’s Joy, Sunmi, and many more.
And each time she’s super on point and never fail to impress:
Depicted in a 1950s war-stricken Geoje Island, Swing Kids balances the harsher reality of wars with the excitement of dance. If there’s one way to describe this film, I would say that Swing Kids is akin to a war-based version of Step Up.
During this period of unrest, POWs and military personnel from 4 different countries come together and find freedom in dancing thanks to their unexpected passion for tap dance. That is, until reality strikes and they are rudely awakened from their blissful dream.
The film starts off with Roh Ki-soo (played by Doh Kyung-soo), a North Korean soldier placed in the Geoje camp and is well known amongst the civilians as the brother of a famous war hero.
Enter Jackson (played by Jared Grimes), a former Broadway dancer dispatched to Korea after being unwillingly separated from his Okinawan girlfriend.
In area where racism and nationalist ideologies run rampant, Jackson gets tasked by General Roberts (played by Ross Kettle) to form a tap dance team in an effort to boost the reputation of the camp.
Using a ticket to Okinawa as a bait, Jackson begrudgingly agrees but is faced with a hurdle of problems. Not only was he having a hard time finding the right people for the job, but he was also being treated like a second-class citizen by the people from his very own country.
As the film progresses, the situation gets more dire and both him and Roh Ki-soo face various moral dilemmas as the Christmas performance approaches. The pressure increases when they are taunted with the idea of not seeing their family again.
While watching the film, Swing Kids once again reminds us that dance and music are both a universal language that can help people put aside their differences. Though they have different end-goals in mind, once the music turns on, wartime politics are long forgotten (albeit temporarily) and the show begins.
At the height of this film, it emphasizes the potential disasters war can bring but it also proves to us that friendship can triumph over political ideologies.
That being said, the unexpected comedic elements that happen sporadically added a nice momentum to the film. Without it, Swing Kids would have been too draggy and boring because there wasn’t much of a climax the viewers could look forward to.
As someone who has never watch DirectorKang Hyong-chul’s work before, there is no basis for me to compare but I think this film could’ve done a little bit better because it was just missing that little something.
Though nothing too major, there were a few minor plot holes and loose ends that weren’t tied up well. Though a tad bit unsatisfactory, Swing Kids also did a great job at reminding us that reality is far from a fairy tale thanks to its abrupt (yet kinda expected) twist at the end that is sure to leave you both sad and speechless.
Nonetheless, the cast (including Park Hye-su, Oh Jung-se, and Kim Min-ho) did a great job pulling off their characters and difficult choreographies.
Seeing as they were in sync and dancing for at least one-third of the film, a lot of hard work must have gone into it so props to them for pulling it off. Not only was it visually pleasing, but the taps were also a pleasant sound to listen to, the entire thing could’ve been a musical on its own.
Additionally, the choice of music and the cinematography is worth another praise of its own. Not only did the songs complement the film’s vibes outstandingly well, but the cinematography was also on point, and did a great job in capturing the unorthodox beauty and tense atmosphere of the 1950s.
Overall, Swing Kids is a great movie to watch with your family and friends this season. If you like something musical and funny (but with a hint of darkness), this is a film you should watch!
Actor’s Appeal: ★★★★☆
Sense of Satisfaction:★★★★☆
Swing Kids is now showing in Singapore cinemas. Watch the official trailer and find out more about the film here:
Singapore InSomnias, rejoice! You requested it, you got it! As part of their first ever Southeast Asia Tour, South Korea’s popular metal girl group, DREAMCATCHER, will finally be making their way down to Singapore to greet fans with a full-fledged concert real soon. In collaboration with MyMusicTaste, ‘Invitation from Nightmare City in Singapore’ marks the second time the girls will be on our sunny shores, with their first visit just months prior, during HallyuPopFest 2018.
After receiving a lot of love during their last visit, the septet will be making a stop here this March to thrill the crowd with their irresistible charms and explosive dance numbers. Proving their immense popularity, the group will also be making their way around Asia, stopping by other countries such as Seoul, Jakarta, Manila, Tokyo, and Kobe.
Recently celebrating their 2-year anniversary, DREAMCATCHER debuted in January 2017 with the single ‘Nightmare’ and have been gaining attention worldwide for their unique sound and concept.
Details of the DREAMCATCHER CONCERT: Invitation from Nightmare City:
Date: 22 March 2019, Friday Time: 7:30PM Venue: Gateway Theatre Ticket Price: $208 / $88 (excluding service fees)
There will be an exclusive presale for TasteMakers happening from 29 January 2019, 12pm to 31 January 2019, 11:59PM. On top of having exclusive access to the presale, TasteMakers will be granted 10% discount off the purchase of 2 tickets. Instructions on how to access the benefits will be sent to your MyMusicTaste-registered email before ticket sales go live.
If you are not a TasteMaker, fret not because public sales will start from 1 February 2019, 12pm onwards! All tickets will on sale via APACTix. In the meantime, for more information, you can check out DREAMCATCHER’s MyMusicTaste event page.
If there’s one more thing we envy about Koreans, it’s their flawless, glass-looking skin. For years, they’ve been at the top when it comes to producing effective yet affordable skincare products, so much so that a lot of people nowadays turn to Korean brands for their skincare woes. (Me included, I’m a sucker for Korean brands)
Over the years, Korea has seen different types of masks enter the industry, ranging from traditional sheet masks to foaming masks, and it seems like they’re not stopping anytime soon.
And recently, we tried out the Premium Modeling Gel Masks fromDERMABELLBasic. If you’ve never heard of them before, a quick search on Google shows that it is a Korean brand well-known for supplying spa centers around the country with the highest quality natural plant-based cosmeceuticals.
Thanks to easier access to advanced skincare ingredients, DERMABELL launched their very own DIY Modeling Gel Mask after accumulating many years of knowledge on skincare. That means you can enjoy spa-like treatments, any time and anywhere!
This revolutionary product is said to provide your skin with up to 72 hours of moisture and maximum nourishment so that your skin appears supple and plump always! Now, these are some substantial claims but I’m always on a hunt for new products to try so when we received some of these masks, I was excited to put the product’s claims to the test, to say the least.
Here is a quick introduction to the 3 different types of modeling gel masks produced by DERMABELL. Each caters to different skin types and worries, so check out what’s below to find out which will suit you best!
Perilla (Purple) – The Perilla mask is infused with perilla, basil leaf and tea tree extract to sooth irritated skin, and with centella asiatica to rejuvenate and repair the skin’s barrier. Highly recommended for those with sensitive, damaged and inflamed acne-prone skin!
Propolis (Yellow) – The Propolis mask contains Jeju buckwheat honey, royal jelly and green propolis extra that helps provide intense hydration for the skin while slowing down signs of aging. Highly recommended for those with dehydrated, rough and aging skin.
Rose (Red) – The Rose mask is made out of rose, mulberry bark, wolfberry extract to slow down the production of melanin while providing the skin with intense nourishment and moisture. Highly recommended for dehydrated, dull and pigmented skin.
It’s imperative that you find a mask that suits your skin best so that you can see the best possible results. So as someone with dehydrated/rough skin, I figured that the Propolis mask would best fit me and after trying it out, I was not disappointed.
I was so impressed by the product, I can definitely see myself stocking up more of these at home! Here are some reasons why I can see myself using them again in the future:
1) Instant Hydration
Immediately after peeling the gel mask off, my skin feels freakishly hydrated. So much so that even after a few days, my face still feels so moist and supple – It was unlike anything I’ve felt before.
Also, I absolutely loved how instant and long-lasting the effects were, now I can finally wave my dry skin goodbye!
2) It’s Easier to use than you think
The gel mask was easy to use and convenient to take about. Unlike traditional sheet masks which need to be refrigerated before using, this product only comes with 2 sachets, a mixing tray, and a spatula so that means you can use it anywhere.
And even without a fridge, the mask applies on cool and you are left with a nice and refreshed face after peeling it off! (Also, can I just add that mixing the product was an entire experience on its own?!)
3) Adheres well to every part of the skin
After mixing the formulas up, the mask appears thick and viscous, yet it is somehow able to seep into the fine lines and pores on my faces very well.
Surprisingly, it also adheres onto my face better than I thought it would, so well that I could do whatever I want while waiting for my face to absorb all the goodness.
4) Provides Maximum Coverage
Unlike sheet masks which usually comes in a standard size, this gel mask can be applied on any face shape, big or small. Applying your own masks also means you get can reach inaccessible places easily (E.g. Forehead, nose etc) so no parts of your face gets left out!
Furthermore, the portions were generous, there was so much I could literally ‘paint’ my face however I liked and still have excess after.
5) Fuss-Free Preparation Process
It was quick to prepare and fuss-free. As someone who hates to spam facial products daily, I am always on a lookout for an all-in-one mask that can take away a portion of the fuss, yet supplement my face with nutrients. And this mask does that and more!
All you need to do to get all the benefits is to leave the mask on your face for 15-20 minutes and voila! Your face is almost brand new!
Recently, we also gave out some of these masks to our lovely readers and here is an excerpt of what they have said after using it!
“I peeled the mask off and the peeling process did not hurt at all! I could immediately feel and see a difference in my skin — my skin felt really supple, smooth and hydrated after using the mask! The Premium Gel Mask did brighten up my skin a little and I’m really amazed!” – Anonymous, 18 [Rose]
“Skin was significantly smoother today and the moisture was “locked”, keeping it cool throughout the day. The pores are visibly smaller…Overall pleasant scent that will be well-liked by both genders.” – Leow Zia Sheng, 28 [Rose]
“No regrets 20 minutes later after I peeled off the mask to supple, hydrated, glowy skin (the Korean glow??!!). The zit on my face had also diminished following the treatment!! Definitely a must try for those that have yet experienced the mask!!” – Tay Sze Yan, 40 [Propolis]
“Usually, when you use a sheet mask, you’d have to dab off the excess essence from your skin, but with the modeling mask, you don’t have to because there is no residue left on your skin.” – Filzah Sumar, 28 [Propolis]
“When I applied it to my skin, it had a really nice and cooling effect, I loved it! It was not messy at all, was easy to take it out and most importantly was not sticky at all. I noticed that my skin was moisturized and less red.” – Teo Jun Hao, [Perilla]
“Interesting application, although I do advise you to really pin all your hair back cos it can get a little messy. That being said – the results were instant. After letting it sit for 15-20 mins, the gel hardened slightly and I was able to peel it off nicely, and it revealed plump, hydrated and glowing skin. The bonus is that the effects don’t just last for a few minutes – my skin continued to look dewy and fresh for the next few days!!” – Sonia Chew (Radio/TV Personality), 27 [Perilla]
If you’re looking for a new face mask to try out, how about getting your hands on your very own modeling gel mask by DERMABELL? Now is the time for you to stop shelling so much money on a generic product and start investing in your skin properly.
This award-winning brand used to be available only in Korea but right now, it can be easily purchased from the DERMABELL Singapore online store at $45/box (5 packs of mask). There is currently a bundled offer at $39/box with a minimum purchase of 2 boxes, and free shipping is available for Singapore orders over $50 purchases. So what are you waiting for, try it out now and let us know what you think. 🙂
EXCLUSIVE PROMO for HallyuSG readers: We’ve gotten this special deal just for all of you! Enter the promo code HALLYU30 during checkout to enjoy a further 30% discount off your total purchases from DERMABELL! Promo code is valid from now till the end of February (28 Feb), and it can be used more than once per customer.
This post is brought to you in collaboration with DERMABELL.
Fans of this huge discount chain, rejoice because Daiso Korea has recently opened another mega outlet in the heart (arguably the trendiest area) of Seoul, Hongdae! Well known for their low prices and useful knick-knacks that you never thought you needed, this is the 2nd mega store Seoul has seen, the first being located at the tourist favorite, Myeongdong.
Located just behind Hongik University (Hongdae) Station Exit 4, one of the quieter parts of this trendy area stands a 7-story Daiso, filled to the brim with almost anything and everything you can dream of. Although, unlike traditional Daiso stores that sell items at a fixed price, Daiso Korea has different prices for each item. But their quality and variety definitely stand out when you compare them with other countries.
Each floor is designated to a certain category of items. 7 floors might seem a bit daunting but of course, the best way to conquer these 7 levels is to take the lift up to the top floor, then slowly make your way down to explore what each level has to offer. To help you better navigate yourself before your trip to shopping heaven, here’s a quick guide on what each level consists of!
1st floor: Nothing much to explore here unless you’re curious about the cashier and customer service desk. Your journey starts on the 7th floor and will end on the 2nd floor.
2nd floor: For seasonal specials and beauty related items, this is the level you should head to. Apart from the standard beauty stuff such as hair curlers and cosmetics, items here will change every season to fit the climate! Since it is winter now, this area is filled with items like heat packs and gloves so it’s perfect for short-term visitors who need a quick and cheap way to warm up!
3rd floor: This is one level that will test your self-control. Akin to Artbox, there are soft toys and stationaries at every corner. If you’re someone that enjoys stalking the stationary hashtag on Instagram, this is the place where you can fulfill all your stationary fantasies.
4th floor: Got a boring room you’re dying to decorate? Then it’s time to beautify it with some fabrics and tiles. Also known for releasing exclusive yet affordable collections (almost every single Daiso release have trended in one way or another), your crib is now one step closer to being the topic of envy.
5th floor: If you looking for a new hobby, gain some inspiration from this level. Be it gardening, cooking or camping, the options here are endless!
6th floor: Back when I was still broke exchange student, this was one place I always hung out at when I’m desperately looking for some cheap household goods. Not only were they affordable and decent, but they also had a huge variety for you to choose from.
7th floor: Solve all your kitchen woes here because anything and everything kitchen-related can be found at this very level. Seriously, they have plates, plastic containers, bento-making equipment, and knives. If you ever need something for your kitchen, this is your best bet.
If you’re tempted to check this place out, do so quickly, you won’t want to be stuck in a crowd!
Opening Hours: 10 am to 10 pm daily Address: 182 Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 양화로182) Telephone: 02-336-6016
BTS has just completed the Singapore leg of their “Love Yourself” World Tour last Saturday (19 Jan), and it was nothing short of amazing and spectacular. Over 45,000 fans were thrilled at the concert, which was the first ever K-pop show staged at the iconic National Stadium.
Their last concert in Singapore was held at The Star Theatre some four years ago, and what has changed at this show was not just the larger venue or the increased number of fans, but also BTS themselves as grown and improved artistes in terms of their music and influence.
If there’s anything noteworthy to mention besides the sold-out status for the blockbuster concert, I think it’s how the BTS members still remain as the same fun-loving and down-to-earth artistes to their fans (more affectionately known as ARMYs), even after gaining a huge surge in popularity across the world.
Despite the snaking queues on Saturday, the wait was all worth it when the concert kicked off on an explosive note with their hit track “IDOL“, accompanied by deafening fan-chants and cheers. BTS also performed a string of their classic hits such as “Save Me“, “I Need U“, “Run“, “Fire“, “DNA“, and many more.
The members made sure to fully utilise the extended stages so that they could get closer to the audiences, and from time to time, they would thank their fans and shower plenty of fan-service throughout the performances.
Besides the powerful group performances, the solo stages were a joy to watch as well, as each member showcased their charms in the spotlight with their individual tracks.
It will be tough to choose a favourite stage, but if I had to pick one that impressed me the most, it would be V’s “Singularity” performance, where he re-enacted the opening sequence from the MV and delivered the stunning dance choreography with a coat rack. Those intricate moves sent fans into a renewed frenzy and I too, was mind-blown, to say the least.
Just imagine the entire audience in National Stadium singing in harmony to Jungkook’s “Euphoria” and Jin’s “Epiphany” – the high notes were belted out effortlessly by the boys and I got so much goosebumps just watching these two performances alone. Needless to say, the remaining solo stages were executed flawlessly too.
Nearing to the end of the concert, fans were also treated to a verse from Jimin’s self-composed track “Promise“, which he later shared during Naver V Live on the same night, that the song was the first ever track he’d ever composed and he hoped that the lyrics and melodies would be able to provide as much comfort to the listeners as it did for him.
The members took turns to share their heartfelt messages for ARMYs, quoting from V, “You’re part of my story, memory and scenery“. RM also declared that ARMYs are the sweetest and loveliest fans, as he ended off the speech saying, “I just want to give all the beautiful words to you guys. I love you.“
Every performance that BTS puts up on stage is a testament of the years of blood, sweat and tears they’ve gone through, and I can’t help but to feel a little emotional and proud of a K-pop group that has come this far as I watched the septet perform during the 2.5-hour concert at the National Stadium. It was definitely a night to remember for all ARMYs and fans who were present at the show, as the concert drew to a close with the beautiful and uplifting track, “Answer: Love Myself“.
Special thanks to Singapore SportsHub for having us over at the suite to be a part of BTS World Tour “Love Yourself” in Singapore.
As winter reaches its peak in Korea, the strawberries are beginning to grow in full bloom and apparently berries grown in this season are at its sweetest! And when you’re talking about Koreans, they definitely know how to make full use of this seasonal berry. If you’re a fan of this pink fruit, this is one period in Seoul you definitely would not want to miss. Every year, hotels go all out to prepare the fanciest desserts with this fruit and this year is no exception.
Just close your eyes and imagine: You walking into hotel lobby (yes, most strawberry buffets happen in hotels) and entering a lounge full of all things pink and sweet. Isn’t that exciting? From cakes, macarons to even ice-cream, once you’re there, you’ll definitely be spoiled for choices and that is why, we will be introducing to you some of Korea’s best strawberry buffets! You’ll be in for a visual feast; Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
1) Grand Walkerhill Seoul, The Pavilion
After receiving a lot of love from the public, Grand Walkerhill’s strawberry buffet returns for their 12thinstalment, and the theme for this year’s buffet is ‘Very Berry Strawberry’!
On top of preparing their famous strawberry tower, there will be 21 new items added onto this year’s menu, bringing the grand total to over 45 different variations of strawberry desserts. Besides strawberries, 3 of the world’s greatest delicacies have been prepared for you to savour as well.
Buffet Period: 12/01/2019 to 28/04/2019
Friday: 5pm to 7pm | 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Saturday, Sunday, PH: 12pm to 2pm | 2:30pm to 4:30pm | 5pm to 7pm
Price: 68,000 won (Adult) | 50,000 won (Child)
Getting Here: Gwangnaru Station (Subway Line 5), Exit 1. Shuttle buses are available every 20 mins from the subway station to hotel.
2) Banyan Tree Club Granum Dining Lounge
Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings at Banyan Tree’s ‘Very Vary Berry’ spread! Transport yourself to the land of strawberry and munch on just any strawberry-related dessert you can think of. Strawberry Mont Blanc, cupcakes and even brioches, you name it, they might have it!
For those who are afraid of a sugar overdose, fear not because you can have savoury bites (awarded The New York Times Top 10 Super Food) for you to complement the meal with!
Buffet Period: 07/12/2018 to 14/04/2019
Weekends & PH: 12pm to 2pm | 2:30pm to 4:30pm | 5pm to 7pm | 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Price: 59,000 won (Adult) | 45,000 won (Child)
Getting Here: Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station (Subway Line 2/4/5), Exit 8. Take Bus 420 and alight at National Theater of Korea
3) Intercontinental Seoul COEX Lobby Lounge and Bar
Treat yourself to an exciting array of strawberry desserts at Intercontinental COEX’s ‘Strawberry Avenue’! Enjoy a variety of sweets such as soufflés, flambés to even pizza (sounds weird but apparently, it’s really good).
Located just a stone’s throw away from one of Seoul’s biggest malls, ending your shopping spree with a strawberry high tea session never sounded like a better idea.
Buffet Period: 04/01/2019 to 31/03/2019
Friday: 12pm to 2pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12pm to 2pm | 2:30pm to 4:30pm
Price: 55,000 won (Adult) | 35,000 won (Child)
Getting Here: Bongeunsa Station (Subway Line 9), Exit 1
4) Grand Intercontinental Seoul Parnas Lobby Lounge and Bar
Not to be confused with the previous buffet, this is a more luxurious option for those willing to drop the big buck for a finer slice of life. Featuring a 6-course meal (filled with foie gras, caviar and truffle) and a semi-dessert buffet, the ‘Strawberry Gourmet Boutique’ is sure to take your strawberry buffet experience up to a whole new level with its fine and exquisite menu.
Some of the desserts this place offers include: The strawberry cannelés bordelais, strawberry saint-honoré and red crumble choux.
Buffet Period: 05/01/2019 to 31/03/2019
Saturday, Sunday: 12pm to 3pm
Price: 65,000 won (Adult) | 40,000 won (Child)
Getting Here: Samseong Station (Subway Line 2), Exit 5
5) Lotte Hotel Seoul, Peninsula Lounge and Bar
Relish a marvellous spread of over 20 different types of strawberry desserts at Lotte Hotel Seoul’s ‘Must Be Strawberry’. On top of having classic favourites such as strawberry tarts, and macarons, enjoy an ‘Art Welcome Dish’ made by the 2008 IKA Culinary Olympics Gold Medalist, Na Sung Joo!
Also known for their perfect food and drink pairings, help yourself to a glass of strawberry Cabernet Sauvignon for the ultimate strawberry experience.
Buffet Period: 05/01/2019 to 21/04/2019
Saturday, Sunday: 11:30pm to 1:30pm | 2pm to 4pm
Price: 55,000 won (Adult) | 30,000 won (Child)
Getting Here: Euljiro 1-ga Station (Subway Line 2), Exit 7 & 8
6) Sheraton Seoul D’Cube City Hotel Lounge Bar
If you’re looking for a place that serves a good mix of savoury and sweet eats, then ‘All About Strawberries’ should be part of your itinerary. The all-you-can-eat buffet presents an array of fresh fruits and over 13 Korean side dishes on top of the standard strawberry desserts.
After gobbling down a piece of strawberry coco tart, a warm bowl of tteokbokki sounds like the perfect way to end the confectionary marathon.
Buffet Period: 01/01/2019 to 30/04/2019
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 11am to 1pm | 1:30pm to 3:30pm | 4pm to 6pm | 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Price: 49,000 won (Adult) | 24,500 won (Child)
Getting Here: Sindorim Station (Subway Line 1,2), Exit 1
7) Courtyard Marriott Seoul Times Square
One of the more affordable options on this list, ‘My Strawberry Farm’ offers a scrumptious feast at wallet-friendly prices. Don’t let the price tag deter you because even though the assortment might be lesser compared to the others, there is no reason to complain when there’s unlimited wine and strawberry cocktail!
Besides, price shouldn’t determine its quality because their desserts look absolutely mouth-watering.
Buffet Period: 05/01/2019 to 27/04/2019
Saturday, Sunday: 3pm to 5pm
Price: 39,000 won (Adult) | 20,000 won (Child)
Getting Here: Yeungdeungpo Station (Subway Line 1), Exit 5
8) JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul
If Barbie had a kitchen, I’m pretty sure it’ll look like this! This will be the 4thtime Barbie has invaded Marriott’s strawberry buffet but this year’s edition will be extra special. In conjunction with the iconic doll’s 60thanniversary, get ready to be greeted with the sight of all things pink and girly once you step into “SALON de DDALKI”.
While you enjoy some of the greatest strawberry tiramisu and roll cakes, don’t forget to admire the dolls as they accompany you while you eat. Skip the queue and book your table with reservations here!
Buffet Period: 15/12/2018 to 12/05/2019
Monday to Friday: 1:30pm to 3:30pm | 4pm to 6pm
Saturday, Sunday, PH: 11am to 1pm | 1:30pm to 3:30pm | 4pm to 6pm
Price: 55,000 won (Weekdays/Adult) | 59,000 won (Weekends & PH/Adult) | 33,000 won (Weekdays/Child) | 35,000 won (Weekends/Child)
Getting Here: Dongdaemun Station (Subway Line 1/4), Exit 8/9
Are you someone that loves the fun and sun? Inspired by the west coast vibes of sunny California, channel your inner Cali girl with the new and improved PUMA Cali shoes. Once a court staple, the revamped sneakers now comes with a versatile chunky rubber sole and subtle metallic details, successfully transforming itself into a dreamy street style mainstay.
Its sleek and modern silhouette, adorned with a hint of fun, is the perfect shoe for the confident yet personable girl that strives to seek out the adventures in life.
PUMA is the embodiment of all things strong yet graceful, so what better way to epitomize the shoe and the brand’s qualities than to have International K-Pop star Hyolyn as the face of Cali in Southeast Asia?
After fighting a life-threatening disease during birth and forging her very own solo career following SISTAR’s disbandment, Hyolyn’s remarkable display of boldness and determination makes her the perfect face for the PUMA #CaliTravelog campaign.
For the first time ever, there will also be a chance for you to win an opportunity to meet and party with Hyolyn at the PUMA CALI PARTY in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 27 April!
From now till 19April, take part in this in-store contest (running in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia) by snapping a picture of yourself at the Cali mirror trying on the PUMA Cali shoes, and uploading it onto your Instagram with the hashtags #CaliTravelog and #PUMASEA.
The Cali mirror can be found at all PUMA stores island-wide, including AW LAB, Limited Edt, Robinson and The Social Foot stores, so don’t forget to bring out your inner Hyolyn fangirl and strike your best pose while you’re there!
Make sure you follow and tag @PUMA.Cali on Instagram because weekly winners will be announced on their page from 23 March onwards.
On top of that, you can also take part in another contest and stand a chance to win a dream trip to California with your girl friend (worth USD 4,000) and visit places specially handpicked by PUMA, from holiday options such as the Caravan Outpost, Ace Hotel or the Joshua Tree Acre.
Here’s how you can participate to win:
Purchase a pair of PUMA Cali shoes and receive the Cali Dream Trip Ticket
Upload a photo of yourself in your PUMA Cali shoes + Cali Dream Trip Ticket on Instagram
This contest will end on 31 March and winners will be announced on 5 April 2019. Winners are required to show their Cali Dream Trip Ticket and purchase receipt for verification purpose. For more information, check out the contest T&Cs at: https://pumacalitnc.com/
So what are you waiting for? If you’re looking to get a pair of PUMA Cali shoes, now is the best time for you to get it. For more details of the PUMA Cali shoes and PUMA #CaliTravelog campaign, head on over to PUMA Cali’s Instagram for the latest updates!
The PUMA Cali Mirror can be found at the following stores in Singapore: PUMA stores (Bugis+, Century Square, JEM, MBS SELECT, Paragon, Suntec City), AWLAB (Suntec City, Tampines 1, Westgate, Wisma Atria), The Social Foot (Orchard Central, Suntec City), Robinson (Heeren, Raffles City) and Limited Edt (JEM, MBS, Queensway, VivoCity, 313@Somerset)
This post is brought to you in collaboration with PUMA.