Korea Day 1 Itinerary (Seoul) - Travel Blog

2:02:00 PM

Traveling has always been my dream, but due to the lack of fundings, I hardly flew further away than Singapore up till last year. Only when I've started working, I had a bit more savings here and there which allowed me to take a trip or two overseas. 

Back in high-school, I've spent a fair amount of time watching K-dramas and K-pop. Though I may not be overly into it, I'd still enjoyed it regardless. Having said that, it wasn't my main reason of visiting Korea. In fact, it was a hard decision to make, either Japan or Korea as the air tickets pricing were similar. 


In the end, I believe that the expenses in Korea would be lower than it's Asian counterpart, along with having a friend in Korea, made my decision final. Korea it is! So without further ado, I went and book the tickets - Vietnam Airlines. 

Yes, Vietnam Air, it may sound weird but it was recommended by a friend of mine. And seeing as the tickets were much cheaper as compared to the damned AirAsia, I went for it. All and all, it costs RM997 with 30kgs and 4 inflight-meals. As compared to RM1300++ for AirAsia with only 20kgs luggage space and no inflight meals. So what the heck. 


Returning to KLIA after being in KLIA2 for a period of time is certainly quite enjoyable. It truly has been a while now and KLIA is looking a lot smaller than I remembered. 


Ready lah!


I swore to myself that I have to get my passport cover changed, this looked horrible. 


Into immigration we go!


Vietnam Airlines' A321. A tiny plane, similar to AirAsia's flight to Singapore. 


But with a lot more fucking legroom! I could cross my legs and do all kinds of shit with this space. 


Right before taking off, where the announcer says "Please switch off all mobile devices and radio frequencies" and we decided to not give a shit. No lah, in the end also off what. Just waiting for all the uncles and auntie to finish packing. Also, another fair point would be the fact that I can't understand what they were saying. 


30 minutes into our flight and our first inflight meal was served. It comes with braised beef, rice and mixed vegetables, coleslaw and fruits on the side, with a starter butter roll and a drink of your choice. Be it beer, wine, whisky, soft drinks or juices. After the meal is complete, they will go another round of tea or coffee. How awesome is that? And all this is just for a 1 hour 30 minutes flight. 


Arrival at Ho Chih Minh, with a 2 hour layover. Oddly enough, despite us landing without proper 'brdige', they actually have a shuttle bus for us. Unlike the first time I landed in Gold Coast, where I had to walk to the airport. 


Everything here is charged in USD, so do have some prepared. Although Vietnamese Dong works fine too. 


On board a bigger flight - Boeing 777. Complete with blanket, pillow and inflight entertainment. Though the system may be slightly outdated, the movies were somewhat up to date. 


About an hour in, we had our inflight supper. Yes, just few hours after the first meal, we had another. That is definitely something that a certain airline should study from. Not to mention it the food wasn't snacks, it was a proper meal altogether. Complete with braised pork with rice and vegetables, a side of salad with Italian dressing, fruits and drinks. Also, awesome butter roll! And being a Chinese, I went for two butter rolls!


Look at the Full HD display! 


Arrival at Incheon Airport! Lots of things to look at, plenty of girls and of course the lists goes on. 

I would personally recommend getting a data-sim card, if not a wifi-egg. They can be found in Incehon and registered on the spot. It will cost you quite a bit as my 1GB Data Sim is priced at KRW33,000 (RM112++). It is important because you'll need translation and maps, even using their subway app requires data. 

Though most of Seoul has free public wifi, it's not entirely covered. There will be times that there are no wifi and you'll just have to use your own data. 

The first thing that you'll wanna do when you're a the airport would be to get your T-Money card topped up and ready for transaction. As pretty much the entire Seoul will use that; buses, trains and even taxis. 

You can get you T-Money card at the Korean tourists association (or something of that sort) in KL. I will post a separate blogpost on that. 


Once that is done, simply hop on the train (AREX) and head on to your destined location.


After unpacking and shit, we just left everything all over the place. 

We book an AirBnB that is located in Mapo-gu, 5 minutes away from the Gongdeok Station. That is one of the station that connects to almost everywhere such as the direct airport line, and several others that lead to Nami Island, Mount Bukhan and many more. Personally, this was a great location and highly recommended. 

The room is able to fit up to 4 people and it costs about RM170-180 per night, depending on the currency. The house where we stayed was fairly difficult to find, but thanks to my good old friend, he manage to find it for us and brought us there. The owners, both old folks were really nice and friendly, though they do not speak much English. 

It's pretty hard to communicate so do remember to download the Translate app by Google to make things a whole lot easier. 


After settling down, we went for lunch and because we wanted to see the Sakura before it dies, we head down to Yeouido Park, where they say its really beautiful there. And the only place nearby would be Food Empire, a rather fancy food court located right next to the park. The mall also resembles our Pavilion, which has quite a number of brands, thought most of them aren't exactly luxurious. 

*Nearest station: Yeouido (Purple lane)


Look at their food court, look at the detail put into it. It's fancy to say the least. 


I believe this was the Sundubu-jjigae, or something of that sort. It certainly isn't kimchi cause the girl said that it was finished. Anyway, this meal costs KRW7,500, which I find is fairly affordable. 

Taste wise, great. The stew was warm, slightly spicy and packed with a good amount of vegetables and tofu. The rice was also unique, not just any white rice. 


The walk after lunch - towards Yeouido Park. A scenic view indeed.


KRW3000 for this sakura-like alcohol. Though it tastes just like a sweet soda.


Sitting on the grass, blending in macam the Koreans.


My first time seeing sakura, and quite a big tree at that. I was worried that we wouldn't be able to see any sakura due to the strong winds and rain. Fortunately, there were quite a number of trees left, but most of them had already been dead.


Sakura!


Trying to be pattern a bit.


Continued our journey by foot (and a bit of train) to this palace. 


Deoksugung Palace - KRW1000 per person. Extremely cheap and definitely worth going for! If you choose not to pay, you will not be allowed in pass the gate. One may wonder, what is it in there that is worth going for? 

Well, for one, it's a huge park within. Yes, very huge. It's also well maintained with plenty of space to simply sit down, relax and enjoy a conversation or two. For those who like taking photos, this is one of the great places to take some OOTDs, profile picture or simply scenery. It's that beautiful. 

Last but not least, the admission tickets are only KRW1000 - which in my conversion, was pretty much RM3.50, why not right?


A bunch of highschool kids taking some sort of school photos. 


Everything you see here is within the palace gates. Yes, all this view for only KRW1000, what's not to love? Amazing place, lovely view, plenty of photographers, lots of school girls and of course, couples as well. 

For guys, be wary, your girlfriends or wife might want to take a whole lot of picture and you will be labeled as an 'Instagram Husband'.

*Nearest station: City Hall (Blue line)


Next up, Namdaemun Market. It's a 10 minute walk from Deosukgung Palace and we heard that it's a great place for some food and shopping. Is it true? Well, let's see.


Walking into Namdaemun Market, we stumbled across this tiny stall that has a queue longer than it should. Of course, being attracted to the queue, we followed as well, not knowing what to expect. All I knew was that 1 item costs KRW1000, and to me, that was an invitation. 

We went and queue for a good 20 minutes before we were served And at the point where we ordered, the lady boss was fairly nice to us, and asks us what we wanted. I just pointed at what is apparently a Korean Pancake, and asked for 2. She then ask for what flavour, as she pointed at the menu, asking which one. 

Luckily, I learned a little sign language here and there, and was able to request for 1 each. 

This little buns of joys packs in 2 different filling - red bean and glass noodles. The red bean version is a lot sweeter while the glass noodles were more on the savoury side. Both were glazed with a type of soy-base sauce, which made it really tasty. Personally, I loved the savoury version more. It's crisp on the outside, chewy around the core and undeniably delicious at the center - lovely!


Here are some shots of the place. There are plenty of stuff that you can buy here, though most of them are actually repetitive. I suggest not to spend more than 10-20 minutes to look around as the prices were a little high (personally). Socks, shoes, bags and clothes are some of the more common items found. Snacks, vegetables and poultry too are available, but needed to be sourced. 

Save your time and head on to Dongdaemun instead, there you'll find plenty to shop in which I'll cover soon.


Walking through Namdaemun Market and we stumbled upon this odd looking stall. It may not look like much, but we saw plenty of people actually eating here. And you know when I see a queue, I will join that bloody queue. 

You can opt for dine-in or takeaway, but if you're dining in, that's where you'll be standing. There's no chairs or high-table, just a small line of space where you can put your food. 


First up, toppoki. For KRW2500, the portion was amazingly generous. It's also cooked quite nicely where the sauce was actually quite spicy. Toppoki was plump and chewy, along with a generous amount of beancurd. Lovely!


KRW2000, a plate of bite-size kimbab. It's made with the same ingredients as a standard kimbab, only smaller. On its own, it tasted really nice, but dip it in some toppoki sauce and it'll be even more amazing! Highly recommended!


KRW1000 - Kimchi vermicelli. A humble bowl of vermicelli with diluted kimchi broth, seaweed and vegetables. Though it may look a little bland, it packs in a whole lot of flavour. It's a great way to counter the spiciness from the toppoki as it's pipping hot, while maintaining a decent amount of flavour left lingering. It may be a little filling up to this point, but we have to keep going.


KRW2500 - I don't know what this is. Seriously. Everyone around us ordered it and I felt obligated to. I didn't know what to expect except a long, black thing. Fortunately, this 'black sausage' tasted absolutely amazing. 

There was a good amount of depth of flavour, along with that rich smoky taste. It felt as if there were a bunch of glass noodle compressed within some pig intestine or some shit like that, but I did not care. It goes great with the salt provided on the side, or toppoki sauce left from our first order. Yes, I now understand the importance of that damned toppoki sauce. 

So yeah, pretty much that's it. We went for everything on the menu and it only costs us KRW8000 (RM27++). For two person, that's pretty neat! We were stuffed and satisfied, both physically and 'taste-budally', if that's even a word. Also, free water and soup provided!


After that satisfying meal, we head on the next place - Myeongdong. Yes. The infamous Myeongdong where men suffered and girls prevailed. The central shopping district for all tourists, especially when it comes to make-up and shit like that. Guys, be prepared, it's war. 

*Nearest station: Myeongdong (light blue line)


Yes, regarding Myeongdong. The first thing that anyone should know about it is that it's confusing as shit. This is what I know from spending 3 different night there. 

They have 3 different lanes, with the middle one being the most crowded. It is also the one with the most food, though there are multiple repetition here and there. It's hard to say which is the best but I simply went for the one I see with a line. Yes, that's a tip that you should remember - always go for the queue. If there's no one there, high chance that it wouldn't be nice.

Next, there are plenty of beauty shops around here. Heck, there's more than 5 Innisfree, 3 Natures republic and I don't know what else. They pretty much have one every corner, it's scary. Go in to one, purchase your shit and walk another 100 meters, there's another. Wtf? 

They also like to bribe you to enter their shop. Don't feel obligated but do take the free sample. It ranges from masks to cream, though most of the time they actually hand you masks. Simple take and walk in the shop, walk one round and come out - repeat and profit! Mathematically, I could get up to 20 masks, just by entering shops and not purchasing shit. 

Now if you do purchase shit here, then remember to ask for more sample. The more you spend, the more sample they give. Larger and more established companies like Innisfree and Natures Republic often hand out pretty decent gifts and travels packs if you do spend a good amount of money (KRW30,000 ~ KRW50,000). 

Spending above KRW30,000 will also entitle you to tax refund, in which you can get cash from several location. At minimum, you'll get about KRW2000 back from a shopping spree of KRW30,000. Not that much, but accumulate overtime and you'll soon see the difference.

So yes, ladies, if you do enjoy shopping for masks and what not, this is definitely the place. For me, I went for the food. Because why not? Second dinner! 


KRW5000 - Aboong, or something similar. It's pretty much a fish-shaped cone filled with homemade ice cream, dusted in green tea powder and finished with a block of natural honey. In short, I'll say that this was simply delicious. I loved the fact the honey is edible, giving it that chewy essence and sweetness along the vanilla ice cream and bitter green tea powder. The combination was spot on and the only issue I had was to eat the damned fish. You really need some skills on that. 


KRW5000 - Pomegranate juice. Yes, it might be a little pricey but hey, we're on a holiday. Expenses don't matter! (cries in the corner) It's good, and a little sweet but a great beverage to wash down the ice cream no doubt. There's one thing about Koreans that I realised, they all drink their juices in packets instead of plastic cups. Rather odd but yeah. 


KRW2000 - Churros.  I do not know why, but I went for it anyway. Seeing as how she did her churros, I dove in and ordered one - standard churros with cinnamon sugar. Made fresh on the spot, the girl proceed to squeeze out a long line of star-shaped dough and then placed in it a wok of boiling oil, frying it on the spot. Once that is done, it is then dusted with cinnamon sugar. Fairly simple right?

The flavours were good, loved the subtle sweetness from both the churros itself and cinnamon sugar, and the churros for being crisp and chewy!


KRW3000 - 20cm ice cream. Yes, I know that it's gimmick and I've already guessed that it will taste bad, but I had to try it anyway. All for the sake of exploring. Amazingly though, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I went for the yogurt flavour, which tastes like yogurt (that's a good thing). The only thing was that it's a little icy instead of creamy, which I can live with. 


This is just one of the many Innisfree available. Look at the heads! 

After spending a good amount of time eating, I can no longer feast. I was bloated and I felt like vomiting. Hence I stopped and went on to the next place. On the first day, we hardly explore any of the beauty shops as we were somewhat running out of time - and tired as well. 

Next up, cat cafe! It's just gonna be a series of cat photos. So yeah. 


That's about all the photos on cats.

The entrance fees is KRW8000 per person, but it comes with one drink of choice. You can choose from anything that is available on the menu so that is pretty nice. There's no time limit to how long you can stay, which is great. Simply come in here, play (watch) with some cats and just enjoy the time in solitude. 

Most of the cats aren't very friendly as opposed to other cat cafes I've been, but they're being well taken care off. All their furs were really soft and nice, which is relaxing to the touch. To find out where this cat cafe is, no worries, there will always be a cat mascot around Myeongdong, distributing flyers and bringing people in. There are more than 10 cats available, so do keep yourself company. 

That is it for day 1, I'll compile a a shorter list of Itinerary below.

Korea Day 1

8am - Arrival
8.30am - Purchase simcard and trying to activate the damned thing. 
9am - Top up and left Incheon Airport
10am - Arrival at AirBnB
11.30am - Left AirBnB to Yeouido Park
12pm - Lunch at Food Empire
12.30pm - Yeouido Park
2pm - Left to Deoksugung Palace
4pm - Left to Namdaemun Market
6pm - Left to Myeongdong Market
8pm - Cat Cafe
9pm - Left Myeongdong back to AirBnB

*Disclaimer: All photos are taken with my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge without any further editing. 

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8 comments

  1. Thought that you actually used your DSLR. Everything looks beautiful. I wanna go back to korea!

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    Replies
    1. ahahahaah! no lar, too heavy weih. yeah. it's damn nice!

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  2. during your trip in korea were you able to see stores selling dog and cat meet? or dogs being abused on the the streets?i hooe u can find time to answer this really bothers me. i mean dog meat .

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  3. If you are finding a budgetguesthouse, please check out Kimchee Guesthouse. They have several branches around Seoul and Busan. They provide various kind of room (from private to share room). https://kimcheeguesthouse.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow~ Fantastic!!:) It's really so helpful. When I traveled to Seoul, Korea, I played with Korean local friends who are sooooo kind and really soooooo funny. I want to share the website http://tourmatekorea.kr ! Enjoy your Trip!:)

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  5. wow really an enjoyable post , i really enjoyed it reading , and the most enjoyable and watchable thing in this post is the series of cats pictures :D

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    Replies
    1. Yes! Korean loves cats ahahah. They too have quite a number of Cat cafes!

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