For my 300th post, Im happy to share my Seoul experience! It is the capital of South Korea and let me tell you, 5 days & 4 nights are not enough to explore this city!!! Our DIY itinerary is a good mix of cultural immersion
When In Seoul: Experience
Seoul Metro Subway
Although we have a 12midnight curfew, the subway is certainly the most efficient way to get around Seoul! The 11 interconnected lines was confusing at first glance but it was a life and won saver! After getting our checked in bags at the airport, we immediately bought an M-Pass card at Seoul Travel Information Center (1st floor, exits 5&10). We chose the 5 day pass for foreigners (47,500won/PHP1700) and it was sulit because we traveled by train all the time! We can even refund the remaining balance but we decided to keep it as a souvenir!
|Point to point ang napuntahan namin|
It was last to be added on our DIY itinerary but it turned out to be one of the best experience ever! What is the adjective for quiet but intense? That's the word to describe the experience of touring DMZ which is often dubbed as the "most dangerous place on Earth". To give you a picture, we went on the buffer zone between North and South Korea so we had to sign a waiver that has "they are not responsible if I get shot" or something to that effect. We were escorted by a neutral American soldier and there were NoKor and SoKor soldiers around us. While on a bus tour to explore the area, we were told that there were active land mines on the restricted areas! We booked the tour thru Camp Kim USO for 98,000 won/PHP3,700.
|Freedom House @ DMZ|
Panmunjon or Joint Security Area (JSA) tourJSA is located in the middle of DMZ and it provides the road that connect both countries.
|A glimpse of NoKor's Propaganda Village at Dora Observatory|
|The station that once connected North & South|
If you have a few days to spare on your Seoul trip, you can skip Lotte World! It is an indoor theme park comparable to our very own Star City. We actually researched for the recommended rides but it was Valentines Day when we went there, thus the long lines. Our strategy was to try anything that we see, as long as it doesn't have long queue. We enjoyed monorail, 4D adventure, we even dared to watch a play where everyone was hysterically laughing except us (because it was in Korean)! We weren't able to try the skating rink but we ended up in a buffet at Iron Bull which served American & Italian cuisine! It was the only time that we veered away from local food & unli side dish. I was really looking forward to shopping at Lotte Mart but it was on a separate building! The saving grace are the laser light show and the entertaining KPop show ala Korean High School musical!
|Lotte World at Jamsil Station|
JJimjilbang @Golden Hill Spa: Yongsan Station
I have to mention that Yongsan Station is the best and biggest station in Seoul Metro that we've seen! I already tried Wensha, a Korean style Spa in Timog so I already know what to look forward at a public bath. We were too tired from DMZ and Lotte World tours so we just dipped on the hot Jacuzzi for 5 minutes,
|We tried the night package for 12,000won /PHP450|
Winter wonderland @ Everland: Gangnam Station Exit 10 then Ride bus 5002 to Everland
Yay for foreigner discount! From 40,000 won, we only paid 32,000won/PHP1200! Everland is massive like HongKong's Ocean Park! We needed to ride cable cars & Skyway to go to different areas. Its sad that due to our packed schedule, we weren't able to see the Zoo or try the snow rides! You should allot at least 1 day to explore Korea's version of Disneyland.
|Jess, Gem, Mei with solo traveler, Mia, from Indonesia|
Coffee Prince Cafe: Hongik University Station
Unfortunately it's under construction :(
|Coffee Prince Cafe|
In ancient times, it was the main gate of Gyeongbokgung palace but these days it thrives as the business district in Seoul.
|Cute police station =)|
Its actually my first time to try a bus tour, we paid 12,000 won/PHP450 for a one and a half hour palace tour. We were supposed to try the Downtown tour but ended up doing the Palace Cheonggye Tour.
Our route: Gwanghwamun-> Deoksugung->Insadong -> Changdeokgung Palace -> Changgyeonggung Palace-> Seoul Folk Flea Market -> Cheonggye Plaza
|Press 1 for English|
Bad news: There's no ferry cruise because its winter! No one blogged about that :(
Good news: The view was amazing! We also saw the aerial view of Han River when we rode the train to go to Namsan Tower!
N Seoul Tower or Namsan Tower: Chungmuro Station
Its definitely the best place to see a panoramic view of Seoul with Namsan Mountain on the background. We used the cable car (roundtrip fare 4,000won/PHP150) to go to the tower the bought the Teddy bear museum + observatory package for 15,000 won/PHP570!
|N Seoul Tower + winter <3|
|Locks of love = JunPyo & Jandi's date!|
Teddy Bear Museum
It was featured on my favorite series ever-> Goong!!! Its an amazing idea to use cuddly bears to showcase the history and present life in Seoul!
|Ground floor of N Seoul Tower|
This is where they shot Lee Min Ho's Perfect Match!! This is a village where traditional houses were restored to preserve the original atmosphere of the area. The tourist information officer gave us a map, there were marks on houses where certain dramas were filmed. are actual families living here so silence should be observed.
|Fortunately, no dogs on the vicinity!|
|You'll definitely spot this store at Bukchon Hanok Village|
In English it means "palace greatly blessed by heaven", for Koreanovela fans, its "Jewel in the Palace" palace =)). After entering from Gwanghwamun, the main gate, we passed thru 2 gates before reaching the courts like the queen's quarters, palace of the crown prince, king's throne hall and seemingly endless halls. I'm fascinated by monarchy, fiction and nonfiction so it was a fascinating experience to walk on halls where possibly a king once walked too!
|the palace on topmost photo is called Guenjeongjeon, it is where the king receives his foreign guests!|
We weren't able to see the Blue House, Nami Island, Silent disco @Hongdae, Cooking Nanta or Jump musical! That's 5 more reasons to go back to Seoul!
When in Seoul: Stay in Hostel Korea 10th