SOUTH KOREA: #SEOULSEARCHING First Solo Trip Abroad

Once you get on a place once, you’ll be wishing to visit it again solo. I missed walking on palaces and Kdrama locations abound in Seoul, so for this solo trip, my mission is to get most out of palaces ticket and Discover Seoul Pass that will take me to different adventures within this city. An all-out sightseeing tour!

Sharing to you my first solo trip abroad and expenses during summer at Seoul 서울.PhotoCollage_20191022_113118568-01-min

June 05-10, 2018 (Seoul, South Korea)
1KRW = PHP0.05
Itinerary and Expenses (6D5N)
Airline: Jeju Air
Fare: PHP4832.41 RT (Saver fare with 10kg carry-on baggage)
Visa processing: FREE; Personally went to Korean Embassy last April 2018
Travel tax: PHP1620
Transportation:
KRW35000 – T-Money Load credits for Whole Stay in Seoul
Accommodation:
KRW84000 – Bong House (5D4N Basic Single Room reserved via Booking.com)
Activities:
PHP2452.23 – Discover Seoul Pass (48hrs) via KLOOK https://www.klook.com/activ…/3819-discover-seoul-pass-seoul/
KRW10000 – Combined Palaces Ticket valid for 3 months (includes Gyeongbokgung, Changdeokgung with Secret Garden Tour, Deoksugung, Changgyeonggung, and Jongmyo Shrine)

TOTAL EXPENSES (EXCLUDING FOOD): PHP15354.64

[Discover Seoul Pass MapSEOUL SIGHTSEEING TOUR (with some K-drama Locations):

GANGBUK (North of Han River)
Changgyeonggung Palace
Changdeokgung Palace
Unhyeongung Palace
Unhyeongung Yanggwan
Tapgol Park
Bosingak Belfry
Cheonggyecheon
K-Style Hub (FREE Hanbok Experience but need to reserve)
Gwanghwamun Square
City Hall (Seoul Plaza)
Deoksugung Palace
Deoksugung Stone-wall Road
Gyeonghuigung Palace
Myeongdong Tourist Information Center (FREE Hanbok Experience)
Hyehwamun
Seoul City Walls
Naksan Park
Ihwa-dong Village Museum
Ihwa Mural Village
Myeongdong Cathedral
Myeongdong Shopping Street
Namdaemun Market
Seoullo 7017
Culture Station Seoul 284 (Former Seoul Station)

GANGNAM (South of Han River)
Dosan Park
Starfield Library at COEX Mall
Yeouido Hangang Park
Yeouido Park
Banpo Hangang Park
Some Sevit (3 Islands)
Lotte World Tower & Mall
Seoul High Court
Prosecutor’s Office
Supreme Court of Korea
Garosu-gil
LINE Friends Store
Café 89 Mansion

DISCOVER SEOUL PASS ATTRACTIONS (with original ticket prices):

3RD DAY (started at 0950H):
MBC WORLD KRW18000
Trick Eye & Ice Museum KRW15000
Grévin Museum KRW18000
Alive Museum KRW12000
TESEUM SEOUL KRW14500

4TH DAY:
HANBOKNAM (Themed Hanbok) KRW20000
Figure Museum W KRW15000
SMTOWN@coexartium (SMTOWN Museum) KRW18000
SMTOWN@coexartium (SMTOWN Theatre) KRW19000
COEX Aquarium KRW28000
63 Square (63 Sky Art) KRW13000
63 Square (Aqua Planet 63) KRW25000
Sealala Water Park (Jjimjilbang sauna/spa) KRW10000

5TH DAY:
Seoul City Tour Bus (Gwanghwamun) KRW18000 (used at 0900H)
Seoul Bike KRW1000 (Got Seoul Bike Code before 0950H)

LAST DAY:
Airport Railroad (AREX) KRW9000

IMG20180606053656
#SeoulSearching Starter Pack

ITINERARY:

1ST DAY (TUESDAY)
2310H FLIGHT at NAIA Terminal 1

2ND DAY (WEDNESDAY)
0405H KOREA ARRIVAL at Incheon Airport Terminal 1 (Adjust Clock GMT+9) Claim Discover Seoul Pass
0450H Load Seoul Pass with T-Money credits worth KRW20000
TRAIN SUBWAY T-Money charge KRW4250 from Incheon to Seoul Station (Airport line) then Seoul Station to Hyehwa (Line 4) Exit 4.
Walk to Bong House Address: 3, Sungkyunkwan-ro 5ga-gil, Jongno-gu, Jongno-Gu, Seoul, 03073, Korea, South (5D4N Basic Single Room with Shared Bathroom)
0645H BREAKFAST
0853H Walk towards Changgyeonggung and buy Combined Palaces Ticket (good for 3 months)IMG20180606100314
0900H Enter Changgyeonggung then explore and walk to the gate of Changdeokgung (use Palaces Ticket).
0930H Start of Huwon Secret Garden Tour. Explore Changdeokgung before or after the tour.
1115H Visit Unhyeongung Royal Residence02 (2)-01

1135h Unhyeongung Yanggwan Behind Unhyeongung Palace (Goblin’s house)03 (2)-01
1200H Tapgol Park
1215H Bosingak Belfry
1220H Visit K-Style Hub near Cheonggyecheon (FREE Hanbok Experience but need to reserve)
1245H Walk along Cheonggyecheon until you reach Gwanghwamun Square
1300H Walk down south to City Hall (Seoul Plaza)04-01
1315H Explore Deoksugung (use Palaces Ticket)05 (2)-01
1340H Go to Deoksugung Doldam-gil (Deoksugung Stone-wall Road) Goblin drama location06_stonewallroad-01
1400H Walk to Gyeonghuigung Palace
1435H Ride 702 bus to Euljiro1 (il)-ga Station (Use Seoul Pass Card load with T-Money credits)
1445H Alight near the station and towards Myeongdong Tourist Information Center
1505H FREE Hanbok Experience and take unli pictures for 10 minutes and send to your email. Optional print your photo at KRW1000.
1520H LUNCH
Met a friend and toured me to Bucheon Aiins World – World Nightview Fantasy Lighting Festival08-01
2000H Back to Hyehwa Station and ate DINNER nearby
REST

3RD DAY (THURSDAY)
BREAKFAST
0523H Early morning jog from Bong House to Hyehwamun. Walk along the Seoul City Walls up to Naksan Park.
Visit Ihwa-dong Village Museum (Doctors and Do Bong Soon location)09-01
Ihwa Mural Village then walk back to Bong House
0825H Leave Bong House. Ride at HYEHWA and alight at DIGITAL MEDIA CITY station Exit 9.
0950H Walk towards MBC World and use DISCOVER SEOUL PASS for the first time (starts the 48-hour countdown)10-01
1155H Back to DMC station and alight at HONGIK UNIV. station Exit 9 for Trick Eye & Ice Museum11-01
1310H Back to HONGIK station and alight at EULJIRO1 (IL)-GA station Exit 1 for Grevin Museum
Walk towards Jongno to get to Insadong. Late LUNCH.
1440H Walk along Jongno to get to Insadong for Alive Museum12-01
1545H Ride at JONGNO3 (SAM)-GA station and alight at DONGMYO station Exit 6 for TESEUM Seoul13-01
1745H Back to DONGMYO station and alight at HYEHWA station.
DINNER
EARLY REST

4TH DAY (FRIDAY)
BREAKFAST
T-Money Load. Ride at HYEHWA and alight at GYEONGBOKGUNG station Exit 4/5
0845H Enter Gyeongbokgung (use Palaces Ticket) then exit near National Folk Museum
0910H Walk inside Bukchon to reach HANBOKNAM for Hanbok Experience 90 minutes (Optional rent of accessories like Hat KRW3000)15-01
1110H Ride at ANGUK station and alight at APGUKEONG RODEO station Exit 4 for Figure W Museum (unfortunately closed)
1215H Walk towards Dosan Park to rest a bit. Then ride bus going to COEX mall. Alight at SM Town.
LUNCH
1250H SM Town Museum16-01
1430H Queue for SM Town Theatre Tickets. Show starts at 1530H.
1745H Walk towards COEX Mall for COEX Aquarium17-01
Visit Starfield Library
2000H Ride at BONGEUNSA station and alight at SAETGANG station then ride bus to 63 Square (Observatory and Aqua Planet 63) My Girl Location
Walk towards Yeouido Hangang Park. Chill and eat LATE DINNER
2230H Ride at YEOUINARU station and alight at MULLAE station Exit 4 the walk until tou reach Sealala Water Park (Jjimjilbang sauna/spa). REST19-01

5TH DAY (SATURDAY)
BREAKFAST Check-out from Sealala
0900H T-Money Load. Ride at MULLAE and alight at GWANGHWAMUN station to take Seoul City Tour Bus Open-Top (Panorama View)
1020H Alight at Banpo Hangang Park. Explore Some Sevit islands. Take lunch.20 Some Chavit-01
1040H LUNCH
Go back to bus pickup point and alight at Yeouido Park. (Unfortunately, we found no Seoul bike so we walk towards Yeouido station.)
1140H Found Seoul bikes near the entrance of Yeouido Station. Use Seoul Bike Code to rent good for 1 hour.21-01
Bike towards The National Assembly Building then to Yeouido park. Visit KBS Hall. Return to Yeouido Station.
1330H Ride at YEOUIDO station and alight at JAMSIL station. See Lotte World Tower & Mall.
Ride at JAMSIL station and alight at SPORTS COMPLEX station. Waiting for bus travelling to Pocheon (Treat by a friend). DINNER of snacks bought at Pocheon Herb Island.22-01
2130H Got back to JAMSIL station then HYEHWA and REST.

6TH DAY (SUNDAY)
BREAKFAST
Check-out from Bong House. Ride at HYEHWA station and alight at SEOUL NAT’L UNIV. OF EDUCATION station Exit 11.
Walk towards Seoul High Court (Miss Hammurabi Location), and Prosecutor’s Office then to Supreme Court of Korea.
1000H Ride at SEOCHO and alight at SINSA station Exit 8. Explore Garosu-gil.
1015H Visit LINE Friends Store and Café 89 Mansion (Lee Jong Suk’s café)
1045H Ride at SINSA and alight at JONGNO3 (SAM)-GA station Exit 8 for Jongmyo Shrine (Use Palaces Ticket). English Guided Tour starts at 1100H.
1220H Long walk to Myeongdong Area. Passed by Myeongdong Cathedral and bought cosmetics from an errand. LUNCH.
1330H Long walk to Namdaemun for an errand of Korea shirts then to Seoullo 7017 (Third Rate My Way location).09_1-01
1345H Arrive at Seoul Station’s Airport Railroad & City Airport Terminal claim AREX ticket (show screenshot of voucher and give KRW500 to be refunded after the trip). Then check-in at Jeju air counter (at least 3 hours before flight) to get boarding pass and finally at Immigration. Board AREX train at scheduled time.
Arrived at Incheon Airport Terminal 1. Go directly to Immigration for final check (special queue for Jeju air passengers). If you have loose KRW coins, buy any snacks. Otherwise, keep those as souvenirs.z2IMG20180610164135-01
1910H FLIGHT
2210H PH ARRIVAL

Notes:
1. This was my second time in Korea so I skipped Nami Island, Petite France, Everland, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Namsan Tower, atbp. Because of promo by Jeju Air, I immediately booked it (Korea and Japan in a month). On my 3RD DAY, I planned to go to Namsan Tower for observatory and Hanbok Experience (both included in Discover Seoul Pass) but I was tired already so I took early rest. Need to rest due to jampacked itinerary…hehe

2. Plug Type F outlet in Korea (with two rounded holes) so bring an adapter. I forgot to bring mine so I bought one from my hostel worth KRW2000.

3. When you run out of pocket money, you should have ATM card ready for International Withdrawal. Withdraw on a nearest ATM machine like Shinhan Bank near Gwanghwamun station and get KRW100000 if possible because I almost withdraw KRW50000 and saw they have the same withdrawal charge, so I opted KRW100000. About KRW4000+ is the charge per withdrawal.

4. Take advantage of FREE activities within Seoul like Hanbok experience (Myeongdong Tourist Info Center, Gwanghwamun, Deoksugung, K-Style Hub), Museum entrance like The War Memorial of Korea, Namsangol Hanok Village, etc. Sa K-Style Hub near Cheonggyecheon, meron ding area where you can have pictures taken with Kpop Stars.

5. Survival apps: MAPS.ME and Google Maps for Navigation, Korea Subway App, Discover Seoul Pass app (if using the pass) and Korea Trasit Guide (for buses and trains in Seoul). There are also Naver and Kakao maps but MAPS.ME is enough for me because even offline it is very useful.

Hope this helps. For those who want to do sightseeing within Seoul and buying the pass, check first the spots to visit to make most out of it. In my experience, it is SUPER WORTH IT! With plenty of options on transpo, accommodation, attractions, food and shopping, you can do it! Enjoy your Seoul trip!

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