Tag Archives: airport bus

May 2011: Wrapping Up My Seoul Adventure (My own observation, tips, budget, places to visit)

Well, to wrap up all of my experiences in Seoul, I wanna say that Seoul is really a nice city to visit. I’m saying this in an unbiased way (even if I’m a korean series addict). I can see that it is way better than Hong Kong or Singapore in terms of things you can do, places to visit, and performances that you can watch. You have a lot to choose from if you visit Seoul….

Anyway, here are my observations:

1. South Koreans love coffee…

In Seoul, you can’t see a corner without a coffeeshop. Kyo (Korean friend and volunteer tour guide) told us that only few of the coffee shop there goes bankrupt.

Moreover, Seoul is not invaded by Starbucks or Coffeebean franchises instead locals make their own brands and own shop. So, you can see a lot of coffeeshops with an unknown name or brand. And you can see that each of the coffee shops have their own themes. So, next time I’ll visit Seoul, I will go coffeeshop–hopping!

2. South Koreans can walk alot— with high heels!

I noticed that they are not that tired walking around the city…. Moreover, they walk using some high powered heels! When I say powered it means totally high. I stated this in my previous post.

3. Seoul is a safe place

Unlike Manila, if you leave your things unattended for some time, you will never see those things again… I tried not attending to my things while in Seoul, and when I look back “Chada! My things are still there” Unbelievable but true! But, for your own safety, don’t be too lax since bad guys are all over the planet

Moreover, we are ladies who strolled in the city streets during the darkest hour of the night… but nothing happened to us. We even enjoyed ourselves without worrying that something might happen to us

4. Some South Koreans are helpful

Well, if without the language barrier, they will really love to help. My friends and I were in trouble looking for the bus to go to the airport, and we didn’t know where the bus stop is. We really looked worried. Maybe that guy also waiting for his bus noticed our dilemma, so he helped us and pointed us the bus stop. I really thank him for that!

5. In Seoul, water is cheap

Unlike Singapore, the water in Seoul is really cheap. So, you have no worries on buying bottled water there

6. Seoul is cheap if you come by 3s or 4s

Food in Seoul is expensive if you eat alone, but if you eat in groups, it would not make your wallet cry that much. The serving size in Seoul is big… It is good for 2 or 3 persons, so food cost is not that big if you have someone to go together

Taxis are also expensive if you come alone (I’m comparing here using Philippine standards)    (But Singapore taxis are more expensive) since the cost will not be shared by the others. If you are traveling in 3s or 4s, taxi is a good option in traveling Seoul but walking in the city is better since you can see the sights and get acquainted with the city without spending any money.

Almost all wonderful sights are free or with a small charge (Cheongyecheon Stream, Banpo Bridge) only 10,000 KRW to all of the palaces or 1,000 KRW for each of the palace.

Airport bus is a good option, you will pay only 10,000 KRW and you are in Seoul already.

TIPS: (Especially for budget travelers)

  1.  Get discount coupons in the internet (through South Korea official website, click here)
  2. When you arrive in the airport, don’t forget to grab the map of Seoul in the information counters. You can also find some discount coupons there
  3. if your phone is not 3G, you can rent a phone in the airport
  4. Always bring a copy of your hostel or the place you wanna visit in Korean
  5. Buy a TMoney card. It is like an octopus card in Hong Kong, it is a rechargeable card where you can use for your transportation (even in taxis) and buy some stuff. When you pay using TMoney, it gives you discounted fares and you can also get some cool coupons if you buy one. You can buy one of these in any Convenience store
  6. If you wanna buy souvenirs, do it in Nandaemun Market
  7. If you wanna buy clothes do it in Dongdaemun Market (much cheaper)
Places to Visit (Things to do)
  1. North Tower (Namsan Tower)
  2. Palaces (Gyeongbokgung, Changdaekgung, Deoksukgung)
  3. Cheongyecheon Stream
  4. Nami Island -unfortunately, we are unable to visit
  5. either Lotte World or Everland –> these are theme parks, and kids will love them. Everland is bigger than Lotte World but the latter is nearer if you are staying in Seoul
  6. Watch JUMP or NANTA
  7. Eat Korean street food, they are good! Then say to the seller “mahjisso” ma-ji-so which means yummy

My Budget

In the Philippines, the package tours going to Seoul is $1,000 (USD) for only 4 days and 3 nights stay. But if you go there without having to apply for package tours, you can save a lot more money. I only spent in Seoul P20,000.00 (Philippine peso) with some souvenir shopping. So, overall, I spent 25,300 Pesos for the entire trip including the airfare.

My budget was $1500 USD but I only spent less than $600

RECORDED EXPENSES: (Next Time I travel I will record everything.. sorry 😦 )

Hostel –> 75000 KRW per night x 4 nights / 3 persons == 100,000 KRW or P 3950 or $91.86 USD

Air Ticket –> we chanced upon a sale: 134 177 KRW or P5300 or $123.25 USD



May 2011: My Arrival in Seoul: Tips and some Infos

We arrived in Incheon International Airport by 6a.m. SK time. When we alighted the plane, I wore my scarf and sweater upon advice by the airplane captain that the ground temperature was 11 celsius in Incheon. Wow, I was really excited to deplane that I forgot that I was wearing only my slippers and not my boots.

I really felt the cold that came between my toes… the first thing I said upon deplaning….  was “oohh, its cold” and never opened my mouth once again… This also made me to not  appreciate other things in sight

We made our way to the immigration and baggage claiming area by riding a train when one old man suddenly approached my friend and was asking where we were from. My friend really got scared because he came very close to her. We are laughing so hard, because it seems that the guy like her. –this is just plain talk— I just wanna be talkative.. haha

Anyway, after claiming our baggage, we went directly to the airport limousine bus station. Which is located in the desks near the customer service. We paid 10,000KRW per person for our transportation from Incheon Airport to downtown Seoul. The ride took 1 hour of our time. The driver of the airport limousine is not that friendly and doesn’t know how to speak english.

While on the bus, I realized something…

As a traveler this is a must —->>>> before going to other countries, we always need to have our phone set in roaming mode. I did what I usually do before I travel. I set my phone in roaming mode. However, this is not the only thing needed here in SK, but also a 3G phone. So, my roaming mode was of no use because my phone is not 3G! So, I wasted my time and effort in setting up my cellphone. Anyway, I realized it too late, so I just sat comfortably while ranting to myself… Anyhow, if you don’t have a 3G phone you can rent a phone from the telecom companies that have stalls near the bus ticket counter  and money exchange.

We noticed that inside the bus, there is a bell which you can press if you want to alight to the next station, but remember that if you cannot read Korean, then you will be having a hard time since unlike Hong Kong which has english translations of the next station, this bus doesn’t have such and also no English map to look at. So, as innocent Filipinos “who only knows how to shout “para” to alight the bus or jeep” we are very confused on when  to press that freaking button! My friends and I were arguing and saying

“We should alight  in the next station, let’s press the button!” and continuously saying

“Where the hell are we?”

“Is the next stop, our stop?”

After some years of deliberating, we alighted at the wrong station. We alighted too early, we went down in Nandaemun stop not in Lotte Hotel. Anyway, we took the taxi instead.

So, how to press that button? Just press it before the next station, this will signal the driver that someone is going to alight. If you don’t press it, and no one does, the driver will not stop for that certain station, and you will be obliged to go down the next stop.

There are three colors of taxis in Seoul, the ordinary taxis were the orange and gray ones, which are cheaper than the black one. The Black taxis are called as the luxury limousine taxis. Those black ones are expensive but they include English translations. The ordinary ones doesn’t know how to speak English. So, if you wanna ride a taxi (orange or gray) make sure to bring some translations with you!

If you wanna save while staying in this city then you should always bring a translation in Korean of the place you were staying or the places you wanna visit.

We stayed in Seoul Backpackers Hostel Myeongdong Branch. I made a review of this hostel in my other post.  Since the check in time is still by 2pm, we went to Daeksukgung Palace and enjoyed it too much. After that we went to N Seoul Tower. Here is the review of N Seoul Tower

This is all for today, tune in!