South Korea has been personally my favourite country since I was fourteen years old. Through their Korean dramas, I found myself slowly falling for their culture, traditions, foods and most especially their celebrities. Since then, my life has been greatly influenced by the Korean Wave, also known as Hallyu, which has become one of the reasons why I’ve always wanted to visit South Korea.
December of 2017, I took this off on my bucket list- finally, I was able to go to Seoul Korea. For this blog, I’m going to share my experiences & some travel tips if you’re also planning to visit The Land of the Morning Calm.
TIP: Upon landing in the Incheon International Aiport, we (immediately vlog and take pictures) went to immigration & purchase a Korean tour card locally called T-Card, that allows foreigners an easy access to public transportation, such as subways, buses and taxis; tourist destinations and shopping districts nationwide.
With the -12 celsius temperature, we used our t-card to pay for our taxi as we head to our Airbnb room.
Initially, the room we’ve had was not ours as the landowner gave us wrong details- including address & room number (Watch the VLOG posted above). To our surprise, we opened a used dirty room which apparently caused a huge delay in our itinerary. We complained and the owner sent a taxi to us for free.
Here’s our Airbnb room! It was a small nice room. It is honestly not the best out there but for foreigners like us, who came to spend the day & night outside, this place is right for us. What matters most is that we have a good place to sleep, which they have a heated floor and bed; a kitchen with fridge to store some cold drinks (we always eat out) and a bathroom to wash ourselves which kinda gross a bit because we had to share it with other guests who are not well hygienic.
All the picture’s here are all from the AIRBNB site: https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/20530013
However for CAD 54.00 a night, this place ain’t bad at all, since we were able to live like a local in Hongdae Seoul. For 4 nights, nothing could beat the experiences we made in Hongdae! We were so close to all of the establishments that we got immersed by the youthful vibe of Korea- witnessed drunk students & late night loud parties.
The best thing about our place? The proximity of the food stands to us. Literally, there-are-foods-everywhere!
On our second day, we boarded a ship that took us to the gorgeous Nami Island.
My Fitbit app counted our steps and it took us 40, 000 steps all throughout that day because we also went to Petite France, Namsan Tower and Myeongdong… all on the same day.
TIP: The trip was easier since we had it all booked on Klook.com. We rented a bus and tour guide with us, so our trip wasn’t bad at all. Paying a little amount on Klook gave us more time to explore Seoul.
Using the same Klook app, we went to Vivaldi Park and had our first skiing experience. Tourists could also pay for an instructor, but we decided to do it ourselves which was really tiring but also more memorable.
TIP: Don’t forget to bring your own snow gloves and goggles if you’re planning to Ski. As per our Klook App booking, such items are inclusive of the payment but apparently, it was not. So we had to pay, 35, 000 won for the goggles and 15, 000 won for the gloves. All are still with me now though 🙂
After our ski trip, we went back to the biggest shopping district in Korea, Myeong-dong!
During our trip, although Korea’s transport system is really good, we rarely use bus and subways, which is quite costly. We invested in getting a cab so we could be more time efficient 🙂
On our last day we decided to do things differently, we ditched the cab for subways. Furthermore, with no bookings, we went to our favourite KPOP agencies and visited the famous Gyeongbukgong Palace.
Here’s a video of our trip to YG & JYP buildings featuring BIGBANG
Gyeongbokgung Palace is where dramas like, Rooftop Prince, Queen In-Hyun’s Man and Moon Embracing the Sun took place.
TIP: It’s always good to not book when planning a Palace trip. These palaces offer a free pass if you’ll rent a gown with them. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone.
For 25, 000 Won, I was able to pull a complete traditional Korean attire, which made our trip extra special.
I fell in love with Korea at an early age and it took me a little while to get there, but with all stars aligned, I was able to visit my dream country- I get to taste how it is like to live like a local, eat their authentic street foods and dishes, grab a junk of breakfast from their convenience stores, drink soju on Korean streets, wear a Hanbok in a Korean palace & splurge my Korean Wons supporting my favourite Korean celebrities.
It took me a long time, but all the experiences I made in Korea will always be treasured.
Surely, I will be coming back again to Korea.
If you’re planning a trip to South Korea and/or you’re unsure of how to make your itinerary, please feel free to comment below.