You probably have read how I had GONE FOR EYEBROW TATTOO IN SEOUL, how I had GOTTEN MY HAIR DONE IN SEOUL, and also checked out SOME OF THE STUFF I BUY WHEN IN SEOUL, and also WHAT I EAT WHEN IN SEOUL…
The truth is Seoul is an interesting place with lots to see, to eat and to do. I feel rather sad for the peeps who have only seen Seoul through group tours. It’s really not the same, and I don’t think you really get to experience what Seoul is all about through group tours.
I had been to Seoul eleven times, and most of these were pretty long trips. And I had gone on tour packages twice, so I should know. Heck, you don’t even get to eat nice Korean food when on tour packages, you know?!
No no no no no, definitely not the same thing.
So do yourself a favour and see Seoul on a free and easy trip, if you can. Or if really unsure and unfamiliar, take a short tour package and extend another three days or something to roam around Seoul on your own.
I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a tourist. What I advocate for myself is not to JUST be a tourist, but to be a traveler as well.
And I love love love this quote,
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never believed that an overseas trip is only about taking a photo at the entrance of places of interest. And I’ve never believed that we get to have a real taste of another country if all we do is to visit touristy places and interact with people who serve tourists. And the people you talk most to are your fellow mates on the tour package, from the same country as you.
Then again, different folks, different strokes *shrugs*
Oh anyway, again…. I digressed *hits own wrist*
Am blogging to share one more thing that you can consider doing when you’re in Seoul next. I know of many peeps who find themselves returning to Seoul trip after trip, year after year. Since you’ve already gotten the usual touristy bits over and done with, why not try stuff that’s a little different, and perhaps a little more local?
During my last trip, I visited the dentist!
Did you know that VISITING THE DENTIST IS AMONGST THE TOP 10 FEARS PEOPLE HAVE? In fact, it’s right up there amongst the top three, alongside public speaking and heights.
I know of people (and me guilty too!) who dread dental visits and would not go for regular check-up… only to regret whenever the big fat hairy toothache strikes.
But but but, fear aside, I’ve also noticed how sparkling white and bright Korean celebs’ teeth are! It’s almost strange considering how infamously much the Koreans smoke and drink coffee! Did you know that 44% OF THE ADULT MALES IN KOREA SMOKE?
So I’ve always thought they must have a pretty booming dental business, hee! And I know that the celebs visit not only the beauty and hair salons often, they also visit the dentists very regularly.
I have always been very, very, very self-conscious about how yellow my teeth are. In fact, I’d even gone for teeth whitening (which cost me over a thousand bucks!) some years back with barely any improvements. It’s also made me very reluctant to part with big money to try another or other teeth whitening techniques.
Teeth whitening procedures ain’t cheap in Singapore, each session typically costs $800-$1000+, although I’ve heard of dental clinics that include the home-care kit/tray (which otherwise costs $400-500).
Fashion and lifestyle blogger Moonberry blogged about her teeth whitening experience HERE,
Business and lifestyle blogger Grace Tan also share her teeth whitening experience HERE. Both Moonberry and Grace had included the clinic rates and fees, so you can have a rough idea how much these things cost in Singapore.
Young lifestyle student-blogger Joey Ong was also sponsored one teeth whitening session very recently and you can read about it HERE, and in her blog, she’d included a $188 promo. Yea, I know, incredibly cheap. You could go find out more, maybe they’re hoping that people would sign up for a second session or buy the home-care kit or something. Not sure. But it sure appears that Joey had a fairly pleasant experience there.
Other than the incredible offer on Joey’s blog, I guess it’s safe to say that teeth whitening procedures ain’t cheap here. Perhaps that’s why this MyFatPocket blogger Jessie Ting had gone to Bangkok to get hers done. Read more about it HERE.
So now, back to my experience in Seoul…
I had done some googling, and found lots of expats sharing online, all exclaiming about how affordable dental care is in Korea, and most also raved about the as-pleasant-as-dental-visits-can-get experience, hehe!
When I was in Seoul in May/June last year, Live Dental Clinic had an English-speaking staff to manage its enquiries. It was Karen who had attended to us. She replied to our email very promptly, and provided information clearly and even offered details that she thought might be useful to us.
The email enquiries quickly progressed to text messages and phone calls since we were on the move most of the time. Again, she was very responsive, clear and very helpful. Especially with the rates and what those rates included. Very, very clear.
I had enquired about teeth whitening for E and myself. She had told us that it’s 300,000KRW for each session, and some people may require two sessions. The interval between sessions should be a minimum of three days.
If we had needed or wanted the home-care kit, that would be 400,000KRW.
What I liked was how I could commit to just one session first, which was a rather affordable 300,000KRW. If i liked the results, then I could go back for a second session, or just buy the home-care kit. So E and I confirmed an appointment.
Off we went!
The nearest subway station to Live Dental Clinic is Hanti station (yellow line).
Come up via Exit 2.
It’s about 5-10 minutes walk. For us, Karen kindly met us to take us to the clinic. I suppose when it’s your turn, you can choose to ask for detailed directions, or ask your ‘Karen’ to meet you at the station, hehe!
I’ll share a map at the end of the post, but I’ll also share here some pics that the clinic has uploaded on their Facebook page on how to get there.
You will see Lotte Department Store when you come up from Exit 2, just walk alongside Lotte (facing Lotte, walk towards your right) until you hit the end of the building. Then turn left and keep walking.
We’re here, we’re here!
Live Dental Clinic has three resident dentists, I believe. And they also have what looked like a small army of highly efficient assistants.
Gotta say it’s quite different from the dental clinics that I had been in Singapore. This one feels more ‘premium and luxurious’…
The reception area is very spacious! And there’re like magazines, newspapers and even beverages! Nice!
For our first visit, we didn’t linger long in the reception area as we were whisked inside after Karen helped us fill in the forms.
Here, the inside.
Quite nice hor?
The not-so-scary dentist’s chair, hee!
Hehe, there’s free wifi too. But I didn’t fuss myself with that since the dentist’s chair ain’t exactly the most comfortable nor suitable place to be surfing the world wide web.
There’s a screen where the dentist can show you x-ray of your teeth to explain stuff to you. Like showing you where your cavities are, or where filling has fallen off, or whatever.
Surprisingly, despite the initial fear of communication since I don’t speak Korean, everything went on fine. The dentist can understand English, and he speak a little English.
Other than a dental assistant who is very friendly and smiley, Karen was also on hand to help translate what the dentist said, and also to convey what I wanted to say to the dentist.
Now, remember was there for cleaning, and also teeth whitening?
The dentist checked my teeth and said that I might not see big improvement after the whitening procedure as the natural colour of my teeth is greyish. I asked about what if I went back for two sessions. He said it would still be unlikely for me to get sparkling white pearlies. He’s pretty certain there won’t be that much brightening effect. *sad face*
So I decided to skip the teeth whitening, and just do the cleaning. The cleaning’s only 60,000KRW!! *surprised*
It was a fab experience, not scary, not painful.
And oh, I also got onlay for my cavities. An onlay is something in between a filling and a crowning. I remember googling there and then for onlay prices in Singapore, and that it’s about half the price to do it in Seoul. (Sorry, I forgot the exact amount.)
So it’s a no-brainer and I did it.
Ya, they even provided sweet polka-dotted blankies for me! Just in case you’re cold, but more coz I was wearing a dress.
And oh, hee, I stole a photo of E having her teeth checked, cleaned and scaled!
Other than the washroom which is outside the clinic, they actually set up a small powder room inside the clinic for us gals to freshen up after seeing the dentist!
The Koreans think of everything!
The onlay required a follow-up trip coz making the mould took time. So we went back again for a second visit a few days later.
This time around, I made sure I had coffee, hehe!
Mind you, it’s not just about the affordable prices. The experience was also pleasant coz the dentist who had attended to me had a nice, firm touch. He was also not hurried and took time to explain things, and waited patiently whilst Karen translated stuff to me. Karen was great too, as she made sure repeatedly that I understood what’s going on. She even explained each step of what the dentist was doing.
All in, it was a fab experience. So pleasant and affordable that I’m even thinking to go visit the dentist every time I’m in Seou, bwahwahwah!
Go on, go try it!
Live Dental Clinic
시그마빌딩 5층, 강남
Sigma Building, 5 Floor,
(Mon to Fri) 9:30am ~ 6:30pm
(Tue to Thu) 9:30am ~ 8:30pm
(Sat and Sun) 9:30am ~ 2:00pm