So… I’ve been busy. Reality got the best of me and I had to fight so many monsters along the way. Yeeha. But I’m back! That’s more important, right?
Anyway, I’m so excited to tell you about the new mall near our small abode.
For about a year now, we’ve been passing by a big construction site in Goyang, Gyeonggi-do on our way to Incheon International Airport. Mr Kim and I have been giddy with the idea that it could be the 2nd branch of Ikea. Unfortunately, (er, fortunately?) it wasn’t Ikea. It was announced in June that the huge construction site would be a mall under the Shinsegae group of companies. Shinsegae (which literally means, “new world”) is one of the largest department stores in South Korea. Not bad. Not bad at all. We’ve always been fans of Shinsegae Corporation (like E-mart!) because true their words, “new world,” Shinsegae offers a new worldly experience.
(Side note: Ikea Goyang will open soon too!)
This time they are not only building a department store but a MALL. M-A-L-L! I know, there are lots of malls in Korea, like COEX… Well, COEX has been there for years and while it was beautifully renovated, it still did not have the “mall vibe” I was looking for. I grew up surrounded with malls. And from where I’m from, malls have been a part of our culture (unfortunately). So I was so giddy to hear that Shinsegae will open another Starfield Mall in Goyang. And knowing Shinsegae’s standard, I know the whole of Gyeonggi-do and Seoul will be in for a high-quality treat. The best part is… it’s actually just 20 (!) minutes away from our house. Twenty! The mall rat in me has been jumping up and down. Hihihi
Okay, loves. Settle down as I give you a rundown on this baseball-field wide block of heaven on the land of Kimchi.
So here’s the facade of the mall. Nothing outstanding with it really… WAIT!I was over the moon when I saw the sign…
They finally got it! See that sign? It says “Grand Opening,” a big step up from the usual Konglish signs, “Grand Open.” It’s a good sign. Trust me! 😁
Moving on, err, not actually. We were kinda stuck in traffic (for about 25 minutes) as the whole Korea decided to visit the mall on the same day. To our surpise, though, this lad came bearing gifts of bottled water! Genuine service. Just what I expected from Shinsegae. Of course.After about 25 minutes of waiting, we finally entered the parking lot. Mr Kim was quite happy that we did not have to drive around the huge parking lot just for a parking space. Luckily, we were able to find a spot immediately. So off we go to the mall.
(Quick TIP: If you are only going to the supermarket, make sure to park at B2 spaces 1-5. We parked at B2 column 44th which is at the opposite end of PK Market and E-mart Traders, but near B2 parking entrance.)
Overall, I am pleased with the vibe of this mall. It has a classy feel to it. The open space and glass ceilings made it feel more spacious and less crowded even though it is packed with people (and pets too!). I couldn’t help but gush over its interior design which were mostly matte finished white paint, geometrical patterns, bricks and metals with hints of gold and bronze. Of course each stores (especially coffee shops and specialty stores) carry their own unique designs which add flair to the overall mall experience. Unlike its rival malls, Starfield Mall Goyang, was successful in prioritizing the needs of its consumers. They have a wide array of brands and establishments that can cater to all groups of people… especially ajummas like me. Hihihi. Obviously, this is possible because of the vastness of the mall area. (Side note: they even have a rooftop pool!) (Extra side note: they have three supermarkets!)
It would be difficult to go every store that can be found inside this mall. So here I’m just going to list my favorites:
- It has a cooking studio! Last month they were offering a cooking class for kids in English.
2. It has lots of seating areas. If there’s an open space, there is a seating area. Perfect for those who easily gets tired. (Like me!) They even have lounges near restrooms equipped with comfortable sofas, usb ports (for those who want to charge their phones), and water dispenser. Lockers can be used for free too.
3. Restrooms. So far, it is well kept and relatively clean. But what really impressed me about Starfield Mall’s restroom is that the doors don’t have gaps which is quite uncommon in Korean public restrooms. This means a bit of privacy. They also have signs telling you exactly which restroom and which cubicle you currently in (similar to subway platforms). Quite impressive! Sadly though, they only have it in Korean.
4. Supermarkets! Not one, not two, but three! (Now, I just sound like those annoying home shopping adverts!) A whole space for No Brand. “No Brand” is another Shinsegae’s line of products. It’s like their own brand – without a brand per se. (Makes sense? Hihihi) It’s quite cheaper compared to other “branded” items. Generally their products cost about 500 won cheaper than the competitors. Plus, quality is not bad too. One of my favorite No Brand products is their instant coffee. Aside from the No Brand store, there is the PK Market. Another heaven on earth and deserves its own post – which I will do later. Because I mean, it’s uh-mazing. I could live there, I swear. And lastly, the Korean version of Costco, E-mart Traders – another dimension of fab (food wise).
5. Sports Center. Okay, we have never been inside yet. But from the services they offer it seems fabulous. They have archery, zip coaster, wall climbing and other stuff to kill your boredom. Most people walking in were kids and youngsters though…but hey, who says you cannot join?! Why not… except for Mr Kim maybe because of the weight restrictions. Boo hoo! (But no, I’m not going to reveal his weight nor the weight restrictions. :D) They also have a height limit… aaaanddd… Hahaha! I’m proud to say that I exceed the 150cm restrictions.
6. Lastly, HOME DECOR STORES. While I loved all the home decor stores (I’m telling you, they have like 10 of these stores including Zara Home and H&M Home), I died and went to heaven inside Hanssem and Maison Ticia. They have showrooms (which is not common in Korea due to space issues)! And this Fixer Upper fanatic was so giddy, I ended up having consultations on renovation. Luckily, Mr Kim was on his right mind to shake me and tell me that we cannot afford to overhaul our small abode at this moment (‘coz seriously I was about to just swipe that card). Those stores were like mini-Ikea but better (and a bit more expensive). I spent hours literally touching each and every tiles they have. Ogling at the paint, carpets, sinks… I didn’t know it was possible to actually develop an infatuation over a proposed kitchen layout. But I did. I left those stores a bit shaken and almost teary-eyed because honestly, I want those layouts to come to life (I mean, whatever) and make themselves at home in our home. Maybe next time, like next month? (Please let it be next month. Hahaha) Surely, it wouldn’t hurt to move houses for about three months just to have our whole house renovated, no? I guess not. *sigh* In the meantime, we’ll keep on visiting those stores until we get tired…or until they get tired of me. Ha!Bonus – Mr Kim’s picks: Showrooms for Hyundai, BMW and Mini.
So there you have it. If you have time, please do visit Starfield Mall Goyang. To get there by subway, take Line No. 3 (Orange Line) and get off at Samsong Station. From Exit 3, it would be about about 5 minute walk.