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SEOUL, KOREA TRAVEL GUIDE: KOREA TRIP ITINERARY & TIPS - FOR FIRST-TIMERS

Hey bunnies!!! I'm back from my Korea trip and I have so much to share with y'all!

Traveling to Korea has been on my bucket list ever since I was introduced to the world of Kpop. I adore Korean's fashion and makeup, I enjoy watching Korean dramas (DOTS is my fav!!), listening to K-pop songs (Big Bang, in particular), not forgetting to mention the exotic Korean food! And these are only a slice of the pile of reasons why I longed to travel to Korea!

Well, I'm so glad that I finally made it to Seoul for the 1st time in my life with my mom and my BFF, Joanne! We booked our flight tickets from AirAsia back in March, and unfortunately the rate wasn't the best at that point of time. We still went for it anyway, considering how difficult it is for Joanne and I to find a perfect timing to travel together. Since the both of us were on holidays, we happily embarked on a 10D9N trip to Seoul, lasting from 14th May to 23rd May.

In this post, I'm going to share my itinerary in Korea with y'all in the shoes of a first-timer. It's my first trip to this beautiful place, and I really hope this post will benefit those of you who wish to / will be travelling to Korea for the first time!!

ACCOMMODATION 
During our trip, we stayed in an airbnb studio in Gangnam, and I must say that the place have far exceeded my expectations. The stay was literally worth every penny! I mean, just look at the photos!



The studio is equipped with all the basic amenities, such as wifi, air-conditioner, shampoo, hair dryer, 2 super comfortable Queen-sized beds, kitchenware, TV and more! And there is even a washing machine right outside your room! 

Most importantly, the studio was IMMACULATE. The bed sheets were in brilliant white and the toilet was squeaky clean!

Plus, the MRT station was just 3 mins walk away from the apartment, which puts you in a super strategic location!

Now, the most important question: THE RATE?
It's only RM797 per person for 9 nights, which is pretty reasonable I think!

On a side note, Lucy, the host of the apartment, was extremely helpful! She replied my messages instantly and even recommended us some of the nice restaurants nearby the apartment. 

(And if you are wondering if I was being sponsored, the answer is NO. Joanne found this apartment and we honestly felt that this place deserves to be recommended to anyone who seeks for a lovely stay in Seoul).

Here's the link if you wanna check out the listing: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5961079
Now that you're here, I'm sending each and everyone of you RM62 traveling credits on Airbnb!! All you need to do is just register yourself through THIS link!


HOW MUCH MONEY TO BRING? 
It's obvious, but I have to mention that this actually varies depending on your spending habits. For me, I spent about RM5k on clothes, cosmetics, shoes and skin care products, RM1.1k on food, and RM120 for transportation (over the course of 10D9N).

If you are planning to hop on a shopping adventure, RM3k-5k is enough to afford you a ton of locally manufactured clothes, shoes and makeup (most of the clothes are 10,000 won per piece, which approximately translates to only RM35!)

On the other hand, if your target is locked on local food and some lightweight shopping, RM1.2-1.5k per person should be ample for 10 days, and with this amount of money, you can indulge on various delicious street food, Korean BBQ, Bulgogi and even a scrumptious seafood dinner in Noryanjin Fish Market. Food in Korea is actually inexpensive, unless you are the likes of a daily Dior Cafe patron hahaha!

Pro tip: DO NOT enter restaurants that do not state the price of the food on their menu, because they usually tend to overcharge.

HOW TO GET CONNECTED IN SEOUL? 
You may purchase a local SIM card from the airport or in Korea itself. However, I would suggest you to rent pocket wifi from Travelrecommends.com, as it's more affordable than its competitors, and it can be shared between multiple devices, so you don't have to bear the cost alone!

Travelrecommends.com offers overseas wifi router rental service to several countries, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, Europe, US, etc.

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The best part of the deal? You read it - UNLIMITED WIFI, from only RM19/day!! Remember how I could update my Instagram and Snapchat all the time when I was in Seoul? :p

Not forgetting to mention, the connection was pretty stable and the speed was consistently fast throughout our trip, which made browsing on-the-go easy and hassle-free!

OUR 10D9N ITINERARY 



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DAY 5: Everland Theme Park 
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DAY 6: Common Ground @ Konkuk University, Dongwha Duty Free Shopping at Gwanghwamun, Dior Cafe at Apgujeong, Gwangjang market


DAY 7: Nami Island, Petite France
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DAY 8: Ewha University, Ewha University Shopping Street, Noryanjin Fish Market 


DAY 9: Raccoon Cafe @ Hyehwa, Myeongdong (final round shopping!), Korean BBQ @ YangJae

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DAY 10: Hotel check-out, airport shopping


TRANSPORTATION 
I mostly rely on the subway to travel from one point to another. The subway in Korea is just as efficient as Japan's, as each subway station has a specific name, number, and each subway lines are marked with different colours. Prior to heading anywhere, be sure to do a little research to find out the station where you should disembark, and the correct exit to take in each station in order to find your way to the destination.

In Japan, using Google Map to get around is very reliable. HOWEVER, in Korea, I wouldn't suggest you to use Google Map because it occasionally gave us the wrong information and directions. T_T

So, instead of using Google Map, I would suggest you to download this app called SEOUL METRO SUBWAY MAP & ROUTE PLANNER.

It's a bilingual app which shows you the Seoul subway map. Besides, it will show you all the directions, such as which station to get down, when to transfer to another line, and the estimated time needed to travel from one place to another.

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Since we were in Seoul for so many days, we bought a T-money transportation card too, and it is reloadable just like your Touch-N-Go card. You may get this card from any machine in the subway stations (English version is available)! For us, we spent around 35,000 won (per person) for transportation throughout the 10D9N.


OK, so that's about it!
I will be blogging about each tourist attraction in Seoul and the photos I took there, so look out for my upcoming blog posts!!

Stay tuned!! ♥

- SEOUL TRAVEL VLOG -

41 comments

  1. I love it there! Spent a lot of time in Hongdae and Uijeongbu. Can't wait to go back!

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  2. Hello😀what camera you use?

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  3. Hello😀what camera you use?

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  4. Thanks for the tips, really enjoy reading your blog.

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  5. Hello Jessica! May I know how you travel to Nami Island? :)

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  6. Hi! Can you share the directions to Gentle Monster? Thanks!! <3

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    Replies
    1. Hi! It's just behind 3CE (Hongdae)! It's better to ask the volunteers wearing red shirts walking around in the street in Korea as they will give you the directions clearly in English!

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  7. I'm planning to go to Korea soon, and do you think 1.5k is enough for a hardcore shopper? Overall, how much money needed to actually buy a lot of things in Seoul including foods,cosmetics and clothes? Please reply soon ��

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    Replies
    1. well she did say 3-5k if you're doing hardcore shopping. :)

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  8. Hi there Jessica!May I know where did you get the Pink and Grey striped top that you wore in Neverland? it looks lovely!

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  9. Hi.. may i ask about the pocket wifi. Up to how many user?

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  10. Lovely Post! Got amazing Ideas from this.

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  11. Hello😀 about the accomodation, how many months you should book before your trip? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I book about 2 weeks before my trip. But it's advisable that you book as early as possible, especially during peak season!

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    2. 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/

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  12. Hi ! Were your Nami island and Everland photos also taken with the Panasonic Lumix GF7 ? Thanks for the tips !

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    Replies
    1. Hi Olivia! Yes, all the pictures were taken with a Panasonic Lumix GF7 (but I changed the normal kit lens to a F1.7 portrait lens).

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  13. Hi Jessica, I find your travel blog very interesting because first and foremost, you know how to have fun and have a creative shot to all of your pictures. You also discussed deeply how a tourist can make the most out of his vacation in Seoul. Very insightful indeed! :)

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  14. Hi Jessica,

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience in Seoul. I really enjoyed reading your blog. :) Hoping to visit Seoul someday.

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  15. you recharge T money card per days only of travel?

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  16. Thank you very much for sharing information that will be much helpful for making coursework my effective.

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  17. Thank you very much for sharing information that will be much helpful for making coursework my effective.

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  18. 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/

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  19. Hi.

    This was very helpful. Thank you very much! :)

    Your travel date is the same as mine! We will be visiting Seoul this coming May and I'm wondering about the weather? Is it cold? :)

    Thanks!
    Mina

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I think the weather in early of May is still chilly, but mid May will be quite hot! Check the weather forecast before you pack hehe!

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  20. So great blog i really like it and i would like to share with you guys the most place i usually stay in gangnam so it's to share information for great trip
    Check out Gangnam Villa on Booking! http://www.booking.com/Share-CRE2we
    It worth it for perfect location and english speaker.
    Enjoy your trip

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  21. Such a great post. the complete guide about what to do in korea.

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  22. Hi Jessica,

    I super enjoy reading your blog post and watching the vlog!!! :) Your pictures were STUNNING as well. Do you mind if I ask you which camera did you use for the pictures? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi there! Thanks for your support! I am using a Panasonic Lumix GF7! :)

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  23. I love the OOTD photos you've taken! The part about budgeting is so true-- Seoul has so many shopping opportunities, YMMV when it comes to that.

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  24. I love this! I'm going to Seoul this May 23, and I actually don't know what to pack; clothes. I mean, should I pack more cardigan? Or should I pack summer clothers already? I am so confused. Please help :)

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    Replies
    1. May 23rd should be summer already, I think you can pack light but bring a cardigan just in case haha!

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  25. GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS
    The concept of Gross National Happiness is a Development philosophy in Bhutan. The Late Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck expressed his view on the goal of development as making "the people prosperous and happy". The importance of "prosperity and happiness" was highlighted in the King's address on the occasion of Bhutan's admission to the United Nations in 1971. This vision was further elaborated by the Fourth Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck who declared in the first years of his reign that "our country's policy is to consolidate our sovereignty to achieve economic self-reliance, prosperity and happiness for our country and people".

    While the emphasis is placed on both, prosperity and happiness, the latter is considered of more significance. The Fourth DrukGyalpo emphasized that for Bhutan "Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product" and this is now being fleshed out by a wide range of professionals, scholars and agencies across the world.

    Concerned about the problems afflicting countries that focused only on economic growth, Druk Gyalpo Jigme Singye Wangchuck decided to make the nation's priority not it's G.D.P. but its G.N.H. (Gross National Happiness). He suggested that the progress of nations be measured by "Gross National Happiness" for the rich are not always happy while the happy generally consider themselves rich. While conventional development models stress economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH claims to be based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other with Directive Principle of State Policy to give Fundamental Right to the people.

    Gross National Happiness consists of four pillars:

    Fair socio-economic development (better education and health)
    Conservation and promotion of a vibrant culture
    Conservation of environment and
    Good governance.
    Guided by Gross National Happiness Bhutan has tread the trail of economic development but not to the detriment of the Happiness of her people. This development philosophy has made the lives of the Bhutanese comfortable by embracing the Middle Path. Bhutan has savored immense stride of economic progress that had complemented in the preservation and promotion of the four pillars of Gross National Happiness. Thus, Bhutan extols its forest cover and diversity of flora and fauna when elsewhere many species are disappearing and are on the verge of extinction. GNH is a unique approach to national and global development.

    CONTACT
    National Adventure Tour & Trek
    Thimphu, Bhutan
    P.O Box 1747
    Phone: 00975-2-365474
    Mobile: 00975-17111120/77667700
    Fax: 00975-2-365475
    Email: nationaladventuretour@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete

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