I’m writing this in time of the Pandemic, so i’m kinda’ emotional this past few days. No one is allowed to go out, we’ve been in lockdown for the past few months and it’s really devastating.
But nonetheless, we should not lose hope. Let’s treat this as any other problems and believe that this too shall pass.
Moving forward, let me share to you my South Korea Itinerary. I had an opportunity again to visit this country for the 2nd time and as the saying goes, it’s indeed lovelier the 2nd time around.
This time i visited the country during spring and as lovely as the autumn season, spring is also a surreal and magical experience.
(If you want to read about my previous South Korea Trip: do click THIS )
My trip covers Seoul, Gyeonggi-do Province, Jinhae and Jeju Island. This is a DIY itinerary and prices are subject to change. I will have a separate entry on Jeju Island as i spent plenty of time here.
How To Get Here:
There are several airlines that flew to Incheon International Airport (the main airport hub of South Korea). Once you disembark at the airport, there are 2 ways of getting to the city.
a. Airport Express Train – There are 2 types of AREX Train, the Express and the All-Stop Train. (Don’t worry, there are signage to know your correct train).
- Express Train -9000 KRW (orange signage)
- All Stop Train– 4150 KRW(blue signage)
b. Limousine Buses – The buses are number coded depending on your location. The terminal is usually located at the exit of the Arrival Hall.
Seoul – Gyeonggi – Jinhae Itinerary
There are a lot of interesting places in South Korea and a one time visit is not enough. If you’re a first time traveler, you have a lot of theme options to choose from. You can do a cultural, theme parks, museums, shopping, food, Kpop or Kdrama theme. My itinerary is of wide choice as i like to mix everything. Like what I’ve mentioned above, this is my 2nd time. My 1st visit in South Korea also involves a mixture of everything.
Seoul as we all know is the capital of South Korea. It’s the city that houses the famous Namsan Tower, tall skyscrapers, beautiful Palaces and of course unlimited and non-stop shopping. Also this city in South Korea houses many filming locations of our beloved k-dramas.
*7:00 / 9:00 PM – Trinoma to Clark International Airport via Genesis Bus – P280
You may visit Genesis Bus Website for the updated schedule and Fare Prices.
DAY 1: (Arrival / Goblin / Grevin Museum)
1:50 AM – ETD via Jin Air at Clark International Airport
It’s my first time flying with Jin Air, and it didn’t disappoint! It’s a budget subsidiary of Korean Air. The flight itself is inclusive of a light meal with hand carry bag and 20 kgs check-in luggage. Their planes are well-maintain, no wonder a lot of Koreans are booking them instead of Cebu Pacific or Air Asia.
6:25 AM – ETA at Incheon International Airport
7:30 AM – Finish Immigration Procedures / Get Pocket WIFI / Withdraw Money @ ATM / Buy T-Money @ convenience store – 500 KRW
8:00 AM– Enroute to Seoul
ViaAirport Limousine Bus
- MYEONGDONG: Bus 6015(at Gate 5B or 11B). Get off at Myeongdong Station. Last bus: 10:50pm. Fare: 竄ｩ15,000.
You can purchase bus tickets and get information at ticketing offices next to Exit 4 and 9 in Arrival Hall Floor 1 (indoors) or offices next to Exit 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, and 9C (outdoors).
*Airport > Seoul Station > Transfer to Light Blue Line 4 to Myeongdong Station Exit 8
We got the All Stop Train Ticket FYI
9:30AM – Arrival at the hotel (leave luggages)
KPOP RESIDENCE MYEONGDONG 1
Address: 7-7, Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Myeong-dong, Seoul, South Korea
Myeongdong Exit 8, walk then turn left to Myeongdong 10-gil street.
Artbox > Myeongdong Kyoja > About Me > Yoogane > Bag Seller > Missha > Walk inside the alley to see the guesthouse.
Myeongdong Station exit 8 walk a few meters then turn left and walk straight, passing by Artbox, Myeongdong Kyoja and after the shop name ‘About Me’ walk ahead until you see Yoogane (a Restaurant) then followed by a few shops you will see a shop selling bags walk inside the lane , the hotel is right there. Or You can take the airport bus 6015 alight at the last stop which is sky Park mydeongdong 3, walk ahead a few metres turn right and walk straight ahead and follow the above path as exit 8 myeongdong Station.
Take the airport bus 6015 or 6001 (align at Seoul Royal hotel stop). You will see KEB bank. Walk back to the direction which the bus came from and turn at the first LEFT and walk all the way in. The guesthouse is located inside a narrow alley which is easily overlooked, so look out for the vendor selling bags at the alley on your left. It will take 15 mins walking time from the bus stop to the guesthouse.
10:00 AM – Brunch – 10,000 KRW
11:30 AM – Sinchon Graffiti Tunnel [・・誤ｲｽ嶹被┣・・/b>]- Sinchon Station [・・護溜 ・ｽ・們､卓蕗・], Gyeongui Line (NOT Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 2.
This is the iconic Tunnel of the famous Goblin K-Drama
- Myeongdong Station to Seoul Station, then transfer to Gyeongui-Jungang Line GJ to Sinchon exit 2 (Gyeongui-Jungang Line is an old station, so you need to go out of Seoul Station to transfer to that line) – 1350 KRW
Turn left after getting out of the station and follow the road for 200-300 meters. The tunnel entry will be on your left hand side.
*Some people come from the other side and use Megabox Sinchon [메가박스 신촌점] as a landmark to find this place; you will need to follow the building and you will eventually end up at some stairs that lead you down to the tunnel.
4:00 PM– Grevin Museum – Entrance – 18,000 KRW
(Nearest subway station: Euljiro 1-ga StationLine 2, Exit #1-1)
SinchonStation Gyeongui-Jungang Line GJto Seoul Station, transfer to Dark blue line 1 to City Hall Station, then transfer Green line 2 towards Euljiro-1 ga Exit #1-1 – 1250 KRW
I once saw a fashion blogger with a romantic pic with Lee Min Ho’s wax. I’m so envious that i take down the wax museum address as soon as i saw it. And promised myself to not miss it on my next visit to SK. And yep, this is what happened. Hahaha
I basically went here for 2 things:
1. To see Bae Yong Jun’s Wax
2. To sit beside Lee Min Ho’s Wax figure.
7:00 PM – Dongdaemun Design Plaza
> Euljiro-1 ga StationGreen Line 2 to Dongdaemun History and Culture Station Exit 1 & 10 – 1250 KRW
8:00 PM – Hotel Check-in
> Dongdaemun History and Culture Station Light Blue Line 4 to Myeongdong Station exit 8 – 1250 KRW
Dinner – 10,000 KRW @ Myeongdong
11:00 PM – Adios!
TOTAL: 67,250 KRW
Fare: 9750 KRW
Food: 30,000 KRW
Entrance: 18,000 KRW
DAY 2: (Nami Island / Petite France / Garden of Morning Calm)
Gyeonggi-Do on the other hand is one of the most romantic provinces of this country. Why? Simply because some of the most unforgettable and iconic K Dramas were shot here. Who can forget Choi Ji Woo and Bae Yong Jun’s Winter Sonata? This series made Nami Island as the most romantic place for lovers. This drama is one of the pioneers of Hallyu Wave (Korean Wave). It’s so iconic that they made Nami Island so popular. These two even have their own monument in the island.
Petite France became popular because of another iconic K-Drama, “My Love From Another Star (My Love From the Star / You Who Came From The Star) which stars Jun Ji Hyun and Kim Soo Hyun.
Garden Of Morning Calm is another beautiful garden in Gyeonggi Province. It’s like a floral and trees museum. It’s even grander especially at night when all the lights were turn on. So romantic and calming. Park Bo Gum’s Love in the Moonlight is also filmed here.
If it’s your first time in Gyeonggi-do and you only have 1 day to spare, you can limit your visit to Nami Island, Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm.
I’ve been to Nami Island during my 1st visit in South Korea. During that time, the only way to go here is via taxi. But now, Gyeonggi Province introduces a Hop On Hop off tourist bus, so it’s a lot easier to navigate.
Please manage your time tho’ and sync it with the bus schedule if you want to strike 3 tourist spots in a day.
4:00 AM – Wake-up Call / Breakfast – 10000 KRW
6:00 AM – Must Leave already
6:30 AM-Myeongdong to Dongdaemun History Culture Park Station, then transfer to Violet Line 5 to Gunja Station, then transfer to Green Line 7 to Sangbong Station, then transfer to Teal Gyeongchun line (Sangbong-Mangu) towards Gapyeong Station- 2250 KRW
8:30 AM – ETA
Walk towards the Bus Stop on the right side and take the Gapyeong Tour Bus – 6000 KRW(paid in CASH)
Gapyeong terminal → The Garden of Morningcalm
|Petite France||Chungpyeong Terminal||Chungpyeong Station||The Garden of Morning Calm|
The Garden of Morning Calm → Gapyeong Terminal
|Course||The Garden of Morning Calm||Chungpyeong
|Petite France||Nam-E Island||Jara Island||Rail-Bike||Gapyeong
※ Call No. : Gapyeong Terminal 031) 582-2308 / Chungpyeong Terminal 031) 584-0239
CITY BUS SCHEDULE
*Time sync with the Gapyeong Tourist Bus
Garden of Morning Calm – 9500 KRW
9:00 AM – Take Gapyeong Tourist Bus
10:35 AM – ETA
*11:45 AM – Leave the area and go to the bus stop
12:00 PM – ETD from Garden of Morning Calm – Take Bus
Petit France – 10,000 KRW / 8,000 KRWSenior
Lunch –10000 KRW
12:50 PM – ETA to Petit France
*2:30 PM – Leave the area and go to the bus stop
2:50 PM – ETD From Petit France Take Bus
Nami Island – 13,000 KRW / 10,000 KRWSenior
3:15 PM – ETA to Nami Island
3:30 PM – Ferry to the Island
*5:45 PM – Leave the area and go to the bus stop
6:15 PM – ETD from Nami Island, Take Bus to Gapyeong Terminal
|Single||– 4,000 (30 min.), \8,000(1 hr.) / \2,000 (overtime charge per 15 min.)|
|Couple||– 8,000 (30 min.), \16,000(1 hr.) / \4,000 (overtime charge per 15 min.)|
|Family||– 15,000 (30 min.), \5,000 (overtime charge per 10 min.)|
7:18 PM – Gapyeong (Sangcheon bound) to Sangbong Station, then transfer to GJ Line to Hoegi, then transfer to Blue Line 1, Hoegi (Cheongyangni bound) to Dongdaemun, then transfer to Light Blue Line 4 to Myeongdong exit 1 – 2250 KRW
9:00 PM –ETA
Dinner – 10000 KRW
*If with energy, roam around Myeongdong
TOTAL: 73,000 KRW
Fare: 10,500 KRW
Food: 30,000 KRW
Entrance: 32,500 KRW
DAY 3: (Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival)
Jinhae is a district in Changwon Province. This place houses the biggest Cherry Blossom Festival in whole South Korea. The area is succumb by thousands of Cherry Trees during spring. The area is naturally crowded during the festival and like any other festivals, hundreds of shops are lining up the whole area. They even have grand event shows.
4:30 AM – Wake-up Call / Breakfast – 10000 KRW
6:00 AM – Enroute to Jinhae via Klook – P2097(44,687 KRW)
5:15 AM – Depart from Hongdae
5:45 AM – Depart from Seoul Station VIP Room
6:00 AM – Depart from Myeongdong(Mcdonald’s store at Myeongdong Station’s Exit 4 (line 4)
6:15 AM – Depart from Dongdaemun
10:30 AM– Arrive at the Jinhae Gunhangjae Festival
Snacks – 10000 KRW
- Visit Naval Academy Museum and cherry blossom street
1:00PM – Lunch – 10000 KRW
2:00PM – visit Yeojwacheon Romance Bridge and the cherry blossom tunnel along the stream
3:00PM – Gyeonghwa Rail Station
4:30PM– leave for Seoul
9:00PM – get off at Myeongdong/Seoul Station
Dinner – 10000 KRW
11:00 PM – Annyeong!
Visiting Jinhae is another Surreal Experience. The place is absolutely stunning during Spring. You will immediately feel the blooms as you enter the city. We went here a day before the Festival, it’s beautiful but really crowded!
The Cherry Trees here are more of white outer bloom hue with Pink middle shade making it of Light Pink color in pictures.
The best time to visit Jinhae is 1st week of April. It’s better to stay overnight if you want to have pretty photos and to avoid the overwhelming tourists. Best time for photography is very early morning between 5:30 am – 6:30 am as the crowd will start to rise as early as 7 am!
I decided to book via Klook because of a hassle free travel to Jinhae. It’s expensive than doing a DIY, but because it’s Cherry Blossom Festival, it would be difficult to book a bus ticket. My decision didn’t disappoint because it’s LITERALLY and figuratively crowded during our visit.
If you want to take the bus. The bus ride is about 4 1/2 hours.
Go to Intercity Bus at the Nambu Bus Terminal – Take the subway, get off at Nambu Bus Terminal station (line 3) – exit 5. Fare – 26,100 KRW (please make sure to reserve in advance as this is a popular destination during spring).
- TIP: As soon as you arrived in Jinhae, make sure to buy your return ticket if you’re doing a 1 day tour. In case the return ticket is sold out. Your last option is to take a cab and go to either Masan or Changwon Proper and ride the bus from there to Seoul. You will disembark at the Express Bus Terminal.
TOTAL: 83,000 KRW
Fare: 43,000 KRW
Food: 40,000 KRW
DAY 4: (Enroute to Jeju Island Day 5 to 7) Please refer to my Jeju Island Post
5:00 AM – Wake-up Call / Breakfast / Check-out
* Breakfast – 10000 KRW
8:00 AM – Gyeongbokgung Palace – beside Bukchon Hanok Village
- ENTRANCE: Free if you’re wearing a Hanbok
Myeongdong Station Chungmuro Station, then transfer to Orange Line to Gyeongbok gung Station exit 4 (near starbucks) – 1250 KRW
9:00 AM – Rent Hanbok – via KKday Seohwa (at the opposite side of the road from Gyeongbok Palace) – P922 (20,000 KRW)
I actually emailed Seohwa and booked my Hanbok (traditional costume of South Korea). But then when we arrived at the area, there are enormous stores for Hanbok Rentals with a much lower prices just outside of the Station. We got ours for only 10,000 KRW good for 3 hours. So it’s okay not to book for this one, but don’t leave Seoul without having a Hanbok Pictorial. It will definitely complete the experience.
Way back 2011, the only place for Hanbok rentals is at Namsangol Hanok Village. There are free Hanbok outside the palaces but not as grand as those in the Hanbok Rental Shops.
*If with time:
Samcheongdong Doldamgil – Goblin’s First Meeting
- Taepyung-ro 1 ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul – Sinchon Station to Seoul Station then transfer to Blue Line 1 to Jongno 3 (sam)ga then transfer Orange Line 3 to Anguk Station Exit No.1- 1350 KRW
- Bukchon Hanok Villageharbors traditional houses called hanok, the history of which can be traced back to the Joseon Dynasty. Many of these houses also function as restaurants and shops.
Entrance Fee: FREE
Nearest station:Anguk Station (Line 3, Exit 1 or 2)
1:30PM – Cityhall Station Blue Line 1 to Seoul Station, then transfer to Light Blue Line 4 to Myeongdong Station Exit 1 – 1250 KRW
11:30 AM- Namsan Tower / Love Locks – Go to exit 3 of Myeongdong Station, then take the street towards Pacific Hotel towards the cable car
- Roundtrip Ticket – 9500 KRW
This is another iconic place in whole South Korea. Many famous K-Dramas where filmed here like Legend Of The Blue Sea by Lee Min Ho and Jun Ji Hyun, Boys Over Flower, Lovers in Paris, etc. This is also the backdrop of Park Seo Jun’s Itaewon Class.
2:00 PM -ETA (get luggages)
Myeongdong Station Line 4 to Seoul Station, then take AREX to Gimpo International Airport – 1550 KRW
3:00 PM – ETA – Check-in Process
Late Lunch – 10000 KRW
DAY 8: (Shopping Day – Dongdaemun / Namdaemun / Myeongdong / Myeongdong Cathedral)
6:00 AM– Breakfast – FREE
7:00 AM – Check-out
Take Taxi to Jeju International Airport – 6000 KRW (2000 KRW / pax)
10:00 AM – ETD Jeju International Airport to Gimpo Airport
T’Way Flight TW708
11:10 AM – ETA – Enroute to Seoul
Via Train – Take the All-Stop Train – 1550KRW(blue signage)
*Airport > Seoul Station > Transfer to Light Blue Line 4 to Hoehyeon Station Exit 4(Upon exiting, turn left to Toegye-ro 2-gil Street, walk for 5 mins. Located after Kpop Residence)
Via Bus – Airport Limousine 6021 (Bus Stop at Hotel PJ) – 7000 KRW
12:00 PM – Leave Luggages at the Hotel
Jung-gu, Toegye-ro 2-gil 22, Myeong-dong, Seoul, South Korea 04635
12:30 PM – Gangnam. Admission Fee: FREE
Hoehyeon Stationto Dongdaemun History & Culture Station, then transfer to Green line to Wangsimni, then transfer to Orange line to Apgujeong Rodeo Station, exit 2 – Cheongdam crossroads – Cube Cafe- 1250 KRW
1:30 AM – ETA
Lunch – 10000 KRW
KSTAR Road / Gangnamdol / SM Entertainment Building / JYP
GANGNAMDOL HAUS in front of exit 7 of Apgujeong Rodeo Station beside Louis Vuitton
Gangnam is a high-end area of Seoul. Even made famous by PSY via his Gangnam Style dance craze. It houses several high-end shops and entertainment agencies. So if you want to stalk and spot a K-Pop Star, try to roam around the district. You might see Chanyeol walking out of his agency. Hahahaha
We actually saw someone coming out of a Prada Store, a beautiful lady with a face of an actress. She hail a cab, and get off at a Chanel Store which is only a minute walk from each another. Hahaha. Crazy! So we concluded that she might be a star and doesn’t want to be seen. o well….
3:00PM – Hostel Check-in
Apgujeong rodeo Station to Wangsimni, then transfer to Green Line to Dongdaemun History & Culture Station, then transfer to Light Blue line to Hoehyeon Station Exit 4 – 1250 KRW
Check-in / Refresh
4:00 PM – Dongdaemun
Dongdaemun is another story. If you want to shop crazily, then this place is for you. The place is open 24 hours a day! All your fashion finds can be seen here. They have shopping buildings for retail and wholesale. I think a day is not enough to cover the whole area. The complex itself houses several fashion buildings with lots of stores.
They also have Toy and Stationery street here so make sure to visit them if you have time.
Hoehyeon Station to Dongdaemun Station – 1250 KRW
Stationary and Toy Street – Exit 4, walk till Dokil Pharmacy and turn right at the street.
Fashion / Clothes – Exit 9
7:00 PM– Myeongdong – Dongdaemun to Myeongdong Station Exit 6 – 1250 KRW
Dinner – 10,000 KRW
10:00 PM – Namdaemun Market / Myeongdong-Myeongdong Station to Hoehyeon Exit 5- 1250 KRW
Namdaemun Market – You can find lower priced souvenirs here. There are also lots of bargain fashion finds. This area is a combination of a wet and dry Market. A lot of street foods aswell.
Myeongdong – This is actually quite popular among tourist, the area is similar to that of Causeway bay in Hong Kong and Shibuya in Tokyo. Streets are occupied by beauty stores, restaurants and other fashion items. So if your goal is to buy souvenirs, it’s best to buy them at Namdaemun Market for lesser price. But for cosmetic products, then this is your heaven!
TOTAL: 39,800 KRW
Fare: 7800KRW+ 2000 KRW Taxi
Food: 30,000 KRW
DAY 9: (Departure)
8:00 PM – Check-out and go to Airport
Hoehyeon Station Light Blue Line 4 to Seoul Station, Transfer to AREX all Stop Train to Incheon International Airport – 4150 KRW(blue signage)
9:30 AM – ETA
Breakfast – 10,000 KRW
12:55 PM –Incheon International Airport Terminal 1 To NAIA Terminal 3 via Air Asia Z2885
4:00 PM –ETA to NAIA Terminal 3
TOTAL : 14,150 KRW
Food: 10,000 KRW
DAY 1 : 67,250 KRW
DAY 2 : 73,000 KRW
DAY 3 : 83,000 KRW
DAY 4 : 57,300 KRW
DAY 5 : 90,700 KRW
DAY 6 : 46,600 KRW
DAY 7 : 93,000 KRW
DAY 8 : 39,800 KRW
DAY 9 : 14,150 KRW
Jin Air – $5290.82
Air Asia – 7192.42
T’way Air – 3702.06
Visa – 700
Airport Tax – 600 php
Travel Tax – 1620 php
Wifi Router – 1002 php
Accomodation: Appr: 421,856 KRW
SEE my JEJU ISLAND post
This visit to South Korea is really special. The excitement i felt during my first visit is still there. I remember the first time i stepped at Incheon International Airport, my very first thought is to find anything related to Bae Yong Jun (he’s my very first Korean Oppa! hahaha). Time didn’t stop but my love for BYJ is still there, tho’ not similar as before all thanks to Ji Chang Wook, Lee Dong Wook, Seo Kang Jun, Lee Min Ho, and Hyun Bin. Hahaha
This place is still the same, it’s still beautiful! The only difference is the people, they are warmer than before. They are now friendlier to english-speaking tourists, the willingness to help is there. We have 3 unexpected instances during this trip that needed a help of a local and they didn’t disappoint. They helped us in any way possible. “Kamsamnida!”
I remember someone asks me, what country I love the most, Japan or South Korea. Japan is really beautiful, and as beautiful as it is, i find it really aloof and expensive. South Korea on the other hand is priceless, fragile and will really warms your heart. Probably it’s all because my heart is enveloped by the joy and the romance, K-Drama brings. (don’t worry my co K-Drama fanatic, some people may find us strange but that doesn’t conclude that we’re illusionist and hopeless. It’s just that our preferences aren’t the same as theirs’. If watching K-drama makes you feel happy, alive and warm, then you don’t need other’s opinions. Your feelings are all that matter!).
So to answer the question, Yep, I love South Korea the most! “Nomo Nomo Saranghe! (with finger heart)!”. See You Soon!