So upon the request of one of my persisting friend that was like you should talk about your travel, well I decided to tell you all about my last trip in South Korea, more exactly in Seoul. So let’s go…
First of all, you need to know that if you arrive at Incheon, which is probably the case in most cases, it is actually 1 hour of bus between Incheon and the capital, this journey will cost you 10.000 wons, so more or less 10 euros. You can pay at the desk in the arrival hall. The good news is that there is Wi-Fi on the bus ! On that note, for my Europeans fellow, I will also buy a pocket Wi-Fi egg at the airport, this was a life savior for me on my last days when my friend was with her parents and could not take care of me. Personnally, I used that company. You will need a passport and a credit card, and they charge everything at the end of your trip when you get back to the airport. They also have an office in town near Hongik University. You pay like 3 euros per day for 1 GB which is largely sufficient if you actually enjoy your trip and are not on your phone 24/7 which I hope for you, you are not.
The Accomodation and Day 1
So I do know about you, but when I travel, I get really excited and I want do thing for the first day. Except that depending the place where you travel to, you will have take a flight of 10-12 hours and then you need to exchange money, pick up your Wi-Fi egg and take a bus for one hour and you are not yet at the place you choose to sleep…So yeah, planning big plans for the first day might not be a good idea (I thank my friend to have put common sense into me on this one). The first day, you will just rest, eat, see Cheonggyechon and then go sleeping to your fabulous hostel, personnally I went there, which is not the best to meet fellow travellers. However, if you go there to meet someone, it is perfect and cheap and you have some basic samples to take breakfast in the morning.
Also be careful, while booking, some establishment like this one have CURFEW !! And sometime, it sucks even if I am not the biggest party people, I was kind of disappointed by that, but it is my fault for not having check it more carefully.
Day 2: Buhkansan
I decided to go to the Buhkhansan National Park by myself…well, it was a bad idea !! I got lost, get down of the mountains when it the sun started to come down. Thankfully for me, I met some canadian girls that litterrally saved my life even if they do not know it. Don’t be deceived by all the elderly people who do this hike like a piece of cake, it is not easy when you are not used to it !! If you want to do it, prepare hiking shoes. Also at some point, you can choose between an easy and difficult path. I want with the easiest one, but I did not finish the hike, I had no views which apparently you get midway in the difficult path so I would definitely choose the difficult one so that you get a great view even if you do not reach the top. I ended up the day with a well deserved Jajangmyeon, it is chinese food but it is my favourite Korean meal. (Yes, it took me all day because jet lag kicked in and I wake up at 12 a.m that day). I would definitely recommend leaving early in the morning!
DAY 3: Gyeongbokgung et Changdeokgung Palace + Quick Hongdae stop and Korean BBQ
The Gyeongbokgung is a must do, you cannot miss it ! Be aware that you will have free entrances to all the palaces in the city if you are wearing an Hanbok (Traditional Korean dress) and that a rental of an hanbok should be around 10 euros, just look around the palace, there is a full street of shops dedicated to this. The other palaces are also worth it and way less crowded ! We had to go back to Changdeokgung the day after because all the place for the Secret Garden were close at 3 p.m.
Day 4: Changyeongung palace, Secret Garden of Changdeonkgug and Namsan Tower
So we try to pass by another palace to get to the Secret Garden, but unfortunately we had to pay again (well for me it was the first time, I had wore an handbok the day before). However, this allowed us to discover Changyeongung which were basically the quarter of the queens, a very beautiful palace less crowded than Gyeonbokgung. Then we proceed to the Secret Garden that is just next to Changyeongung, but you will have to pay the entrance to the palace and the entrance to the secret garden, which I think is like 8 euros (3 for the palace and 5 for the secret garden). Then we proceed to go to the Namsan Tower for the sunset, and of course we eat in between ^^
Day 5: Namdaemun Market+Insandong & Han River
On day 5, we head to the Namdaemun Market and had delicious tteobokki and something else whose name I forgot, then I got to do some shopping near Insadong and we finish the day at the Han River where we had the chance to enjoy some christmas decorations ! I also enjoy Tonkatsu, delicious !
Day 6: Morning of Calm+Nami Island and Petite France.
We went on an excursion to all of these places, it might be a little bit on the expensive side, but I do not regret it. For fans of Korean Dramas, you will get to recognise some spots of your favourite drama. Personnally I was in fan girl mode in Petite France because one of the episode of Running Man was filmed there and I absolutely love this show !!
Day 7: Namsan Park+Dondaemun Market & Gangnam
If you are love books, they have an amazing library inside of the Coex Mall inside Gangnam!Definitely a neighboorhood to make shopping, you can also go admire the different bear statue on K-Star Road inspired by Kpop Idols. Besides having a pretty view from Namsan Park, k-dramas fans will also notice that they have already seen this background in one or two dramas.
I also spent some time in Myeongdong (great to go eat and shop) and I spent some time in Itaewon for my last day. I definitely want to go back to explore Jeju, Gwangju and Busan ! I might even go crazier and figure out how to enter North Korea with a guide of course, I am not that crazy !
I hope this gave you some inspiration and the will to go explore the world.
Wishing you the best of luck.