South Korea 2015: 10D9N Itinerary (Busan & Seoul) + Expenses

Monday, May 18, 2015

안녕하세요
annyeonghaseyo....


Let's share about my recent trip to South Korea, a country that I didn't plan to go earlier until a friend of mine introduced a Korean drama to me - Rooftop Prince, starring Park YooChun and Han Ji Min (if you know,hehe). Since then, I have a kaki to discuss about the drama, the handsome actors and pretty actress bla bla bla... Meanwhile, we even start learning Korean (self-learning) and it's always better to have a friend to study a different language together. 

Seoul, on the way to Gyeongbokgung palace.

We got our flight ticket to South Korea at a relatively bargain price of RM700+ (exclusive of baggage fees) June last year. Prior to our trip, I researched about Korea and stumbled upon several blog posts written by the Taiwanese. I'm amazed by the thorough but yet concise write up of these informative blog posts, in particular the maps with specific guidelines, it certainly give the travelers a better picture and less hassle in planning their trips. How awesome!!! One of the main reason that make up my mind to start blogging again is I wanna "give back" to the society after getting so many "help" from the Taiwanese bloggers. So, if you could understand Chinese, I would strongly recommend to read the travelogue written by them.

I traveled to Korea this February, right before Chinese New Year. Korea was still in the "winter mode" and the temperature during day time was about 2 - 5°C and -5 to -10°C during the night. However, during my stay in Korea, there was once the weather went "haywire", it started with -11°C and drop to -16°C (during day time). Guess what? It was snowing that day, an unexpected gift from God and I was jumping for joy, keep pressing the shutter of the camera. There's a BIG smile on my face although this wasn't my first time experience the snow.


The weather went down to -16° C and it was snowing that day.

Basically, this is my #yvesootd in Korea. Layers of clothes, jackets and different colours of scarf. I brought 3 thick jacket, 3 thick scarf and bought another thick scarf in Busan because it cost only KRW1,000 (around RM3.30!!). So CHEAP!

THE ITINERARY 
3 - 12 February 2015 (10 days 9 nights)
Currency: KRW1,000 = USD1 = RM3.30 (this is based on the rate I changed $$, it could be slight higher)

Busan
Day 1: Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) - Incheon International Airport - Busan (by KTX) - check-in to Couchsurfing host's sweet home - Dinner and tour around Gwangli Beach


Day 3: Gamcheon Culture Village - Lunch in Gamcheon Culture Village - Seomyeon shopping district - Check-in Hotel The Sun at Haeundae - Haeundae traditional market - Haeundae street - OPS Boulangerie Patisserie - Daiso

First try on the famous banana milk once I arrived in Incheon Airport. Sadly, I'm quite disappointed with the taste, this is not my cup of bananaaaa...

I've put on layers and layers of clothes and scarf to keep me warm yet I still feel very cold. 

Gamcheon Village

The Korean V-Style Posing at Gamcheon Village

Street foods at Busan, can be easily found in Busan International Firm Festival Square (BIFF) or Nampo area. There are wide range of varieties that will tantalize your taste bud.

Kimbap - this is one of the popular Korean dish made from steamed white rice and roll with other ingredients such as carrot, sesame, omelette, and others.

The soju here is really CHEAP!!!! KRW1,500 (less than RM5) per bottle!!!! Crazy rite..

There's a story behind this coffee.
Our initial plan was traveling to Jeonju (全州) by bus from Busan. Unfortunately, all the bus ticket sold out. So, we decided to go Seoul one day before what we've plan earlier. 变化永远赶不上计划。。。 Planned itinerary need to be changed, quite adventures though because we still don't have any place to stay in Seoul. Furthermore, we didn't apply any internet data. Wanna know what had happened? Then stay tuned on next next next next post about Seoul. :)

Ohya, we are having this coffee at Busan Bus Terminal while discussing the Plan B.

Seoul
Day 4: Haeundae @ Busan - Sasang Station (Busan Bus Terminal) - Seoul (by bus) – Check-in Uhbu's Guest House - Barbeque dinner in Uhbu’s Guest house

Day 5: Gwang Jang Market - Ewha Women University - Dinner @ Chuncheonjip Dakgalbi, Sinchon - Hongik

Day 6: Seoul Station - Lunch in Seoul Station - Lotte Outlet - Dongdaemon - Jimjilbang @ Sparex, Dongdaemon - Doota Shopping Mall - Cheonggyecheon 


Super comfy pants provided by the guest house to every guest. So blessed! I feel home @ this place..


"In Seoul! Loving this guest house that we're going to stay for next 7 days. Knowing many new friends from different countries, and on our first nite here, we have Korean style BBQ together. Lovely guest house, lovely people and sporty omma #엄마 (mom in Korean) who is the owner of this guest house." - Instagram

This is so YUMMY!!!!! Not-to-be-missed, the famous one - Chuncheonjip Dakgalbi at Sinchon.

YAY!!!! Back to school.. 

Beautiful wall at Ewha Womans University 梨花女子大学.

Day 7: Breakfast @ Tosokchon (Ginseng Chicken Soup 土俗参鸡汤) - Gyeongbokgung Palace + Gwanghwamun  - Bukchon Hanok Village -  Samcheongdong - Ssamziegil Mall @ Insadong - Dinner at Insadong

Day 8: Breakfast @ BonGousse Rice Burger in Sinchon - Isaac in Sinchon - SHOPPING IN MYEONGDONG - N Seoul Tower 

Day 9: Gangnam - Garuso-gil - Beans Bins Café (for the famous waffle!)

Day 10: Uhbu's Guest House - Seoul Station - Express train to Incheon International Airport - Tax refund at Incheon International Airport - Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) - Home Sweet Home

Crazy weather in Seoul, -16°C... (only one day)

LOOK!!!! Is snowing!! Is Snowing!!!!!!
This was taken at Insadong.

My first experience wearing hanbok (Korean traditional dress).. 

Let's take a picture with the Korea flag before we start exploring this city - Seoul.

p/s: One of my best buy in Korea is this pair of comfy UGG inspired boots that I'm wearing. It cost KRW3,000 = RM10 only!!!!!!! I bought 3 pairs back to Malaysia and give it to my friends as souvenir. I bought this on day 2 in Korea, and I continue to wear this for the next 8 days, until I'm back in Malaysia. Too comfy!!!!!! :)

Gyeongbokgung Palace
One of the main royal palace that is arguably the most beautiful and remains the largest of all five palaces. 

Souvenir shop at Bukchon Hanok Village 韩国北村.

Saliva drop.... All the good foods in Korea.

My TAM-JIAK look.
每当我在韩国吃喝时,他总会说:"来,帮你拍照。"到韩国前几天我还会pose 给他拍,可是到后期时,我有点不耐烦了(尤其是当我很饿时),我就会说:"不用啦~Heiyo..!" 可是他还是很坚持帮我拍。谢谢你的坚持,谢谢那回忆。

Beautiful street at Garosugil, one of my favourite street in Korea.

I'm amazed by the beautiful exterior of the shops at Korea. Each of the exterior has its own unique design and the walk along the street is not boring at all! This was taken at Garosu-gil at Gangnam.

Hongdae (Hongik University Street) is one of the most lively place in Seoul, especially for the youngsters. Art is everywhere which live up the whole ambience of this street. Unique café, handmade crafts and accessories, art market, fashion shops can be easily found at here. Evening will be packed with people because of the street performances... you will definitely feel the energetic side of Seoul here. 

Hello from N Seoul Tower.

Beautiful sunset view from N Seoul Tower.

ACCOMMODATION
I heard a lot about couchsurfing but yet to have the chance to give it a try. So, for my stay in Busan, I've approached couchsurfing. We stay in a lovely apartment own by a Korean lady for 3 days 2 nights, she's staying with her cute black bunny name Cora. We have good time chit-chatting about her life in Busan, boyfriend, work, travel and hobby. Due to the privacy of her house, I didn't take any picture of her house.

The purpose of couchsurfing is to understand more about Korean culture by staying together with Korean or the local. From here, we could also make many new friends, learn their language, exchange stories and many more... This is so FUN and I enjoy it so much!!!!!

You do not need to pay a single cent for couchsurfing, but normally as a guest, we will buy some gift for thanking them to host us. Before I travel to Korea, I bought few little gifts from Malaysia - batik design scarf and maxi dress, straw bag and a little gift box made from anyaman mengkuang. From this couchsurfing, I did share about Malaysia with her and invite her to visit us one day too!!!

If you would like to know more about the whole objective and purpose of coursurfing, you may visit this site - http://about.couchsurfing.com/about/.

Great weather on our day 3 in Korea.

On our 3rd day in Busan, we say good bye to our friendly couchsurfing host and check-in to a hotel located at Haeundae - Hotel The Sun, KRW58,800/room per night (RM176+). I think they have refurbished the room based on the research I did previously, and thus the room is very clean, cosy, comfortable bed and they provide complimentary drinks / coffee and popcorn! How cool ya!? Anyway, I will introduce more about Hotel The Sun in another post.

A glance at the room in Hotel The Sun.

How about our stay in Seoul? Hotel and guest house in Seoul ain't cheap, and I budgeted less than RM1,000 for 6 nights. Sounds impossible? Based on my research in trip advisor, booking.com, agoda.com and Air BnB, most of the room cost RM200 and above per night. When I almost give up on searching more options and to accept the fact that I gonna spend a lot for the accommodation in Seoul, I stumbled upon Uhbu's Guest House from a website (forgotten which site). From the photos, this guest house looks so cosy and most importantly, the price per night is really cheap!!!!! We stay at private room, shared bathroom at RM100 per night!! I'm sure you can do the calculation right, where else you could get a room at this price, yet it located at Dongdaemun area.

I will share everything about this guest house in separate post too. But before that, let's have a glimpse of Uhbu's Guest House.

The welcoming and colourful entrance of Uhbu's Guest House

 All the new friends I made in this guest house, they are the 90s from China.

一趟韩国之旅,让我见识到韩国人热情的一面。也因为这样,让我在韩国也有个 omma (妈妈)。出去时,她会塞几个暖包给我们;回来时,会准备吃喝的给我们等等。。我一定会再回来,也一定会回到这韩国温馨的"家"。My lovely Korean mom, thanks for taking care of us during our stay, and the best hospitality that even a 5 stars hotel couldn't provide. I will be back to this lovely home in Korea again.

The Korean pancake party prepared by omma (mom) as a farewell dinner before we're leaving Korea next day. p/s: All of us address the owner of this guest house as omma (mom in Korea). That's the way she wants us to address her, don't you feel so warm to have a lovely mom in Korea? The extraordinary hospitality given by them is priceless, we stay together, have fun together, and get crazy together (after having some soju)!!! LOL.

Ok, I will definitely share more about the things we do together and all the best hospitality we experienced here.

Friendship is one of the best gift I get from this Korea trip. Truly unexpected!

TRANSPORTATION
From Incheon International Airport to Busan.
Here is our first experience with KTX, the Korea's high-speed train to travel to Busan from Incheon International Airport, a 3 and half hour journey and they will stop at 5 stations for drop-off and pick up passengers. On the KTX I ride, there were many ajuma (aunties) heading to Busan too. The overall journey was quite smooth and comfortable, we managed to have some good rest as well. 

Korea's high-speed train (KTX)

Price: KRW71,100 (RM250+) per person for one way. 

KTX also offering food push cart service where you can buy foods to fill up your tummy, junk and light foods, and drinks. We haven't have our meal after came out from airport, and thus, here's our first Korean meal in KTX. This set priced at KRW10,000 (RM30) and that's quite expensive! Most of the dishes were served cold but we didn't feel disappointed because it taste good. But of cause, the rice was served in hot and that's really keep our tummy warm. p/s: Korean rice is delicious, the rice is in smaller size and sticky.

From Busan to Seoul.
As I mentioned earlier, our initial plan was travel to Jeonju from Busan. Unfortunately, all the bus tickets have been sold out. So, we decided to travel to Seoul one day earlier. To avoid another disappointment again, I quickly walked to the ticketing counter asked for the price and how long will be the journey. 

Busan West Bus terminal

HOW? by Metro, from Haeundae (Line 2, Green Colour) to Sasang Station (exit 5)
After exit 5, there's a Mc Donald's, walk forward and you will see the bus terminal.

Our bus ticket to Seoul was KRW24,600 (RM81+) per person and it was a 4 hours journey (1.30pm - 5.30pm). There's one stop for the passenger to take a break to washroom or fill up their tummy at the R&R station. This is the scenery we saw during the stop at R&R, I think it will look more beautiful during spring and summer. 

METRO & SUBWAY
When in Busan and Seoul, one of the most convenient transportation to get around the town would be light railway train (LRT). In Busan, they call it Metro and in Seoul, that would be Subway.

To get access to Subway or Metro, you will need to buy ticket from the machine or get a T-Money card (similar to our touch & go card). I borrow T-money card from my friends before depart to Korea, because I can save the money to buy another card. By using T-money card, it will be 100 won cheaper compare to buying individual ticket for each ride. 

T-Money Card is a transportation card where you can use to pay for taxi fares, subway and metro, and also transaction at convenient store. Not to worry if there are balance in your card when you're about to leave Korea. You can either keep the remaining balance or to get the refund from any convenient store after deduct a 500 won service charge.

This is the machine to top-up t-money card, we can check the balance in the card as well.
No worries if you can't read Korean as there are few languages to choose and English is definitely available.


 My pale look at Busan Station @ Busan.
This was taken on our first day arrived in Korean, and directly heading to Busan. It was a hectic day due to the transit here and there. But we're going to start off our exiting journey in Korea!!.


 This is one of the subway station at Seoul. As you know, LINE is from Korea and they really do a lot of marketing.


Super cute Brown.


Subway station is also one of the place that you will get the chance to see many artistic drawing and arts. So, take your time to walk around the subway if you're not in a rush.

Finally!!!! Come to the last (but not least) part of this post, the total expenses for 10 days 9 nights in Korea.

TRANSPORTATION
KRW 108,050
- KTX (from Incheon to Busan)
KRW 71,100
- Bus (from Busan to Seoul)
KRW 24,600
- Taxi (1 ride only @ Busan)
KRW 4,350
- Express train to Incheon Airport from Seoul Station
KRW 8,000
ACCOMMODATION
KRW 134,400
- Couchsurfing @ Busan
FOC
- Hotel The Sun @ Busan
29,400
- Uhbu’s Guest House @ Seoul
105,000
ENTRANCE TICKET
KRW 19,500
- Gyeongbukgong Palace
3,000
- N Seoul Tower (2 way cable car)
8,500
- Jimjilbang
8,000
FOOD & DRINKS
KRW 188,785
MISC
KRW 30,000
- T-Money card reload
30,000
- Shopping
x
Total
KRW 480,735
Convert to Ringgit Malaysia
(based on RM3.30 exchange rate)
RM 1,586.43
(per person)

To travel to korea is not that expensive after all. Of course, the above expenses does not include flight ticket and shopping expenses because the pricing can be vary. Besides that, some of the expenses as stated above such as taxi fare and accommodation, I've divided to 2 people. 

Some of you might ask how about the sim data which provide unlimited internet connection? I asked the plan and package at few counters at Incheon International Airport, but I think the price is quite expensive which is around RM100  - RM200 for a week (if I'm not mistaken) and thus, I didn't apply any sim data. Anyway, do not need to worry, because most of the restaurant, hotel, guest house and also subway station provides free WiFi. Unless you are going to check-in all the places you're going, then might be better to apply one if you're fine with the price.

Tee hee... All the products and stuff I bought in Korea.
Total expenses in shopping is around RM3,000 (including bf's shopping spree)


I hope this post will be useful to you and this post is written based on my experience. You may still need to check with some Korea official website for the transportation fare, time table etc. I can't wait to start sharing about my Korea journey with all of you..... stay tuned ya.



till then....

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【Click HERE to browse other South Korea travelogue.
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18 Comments ♥

  1. Hi dear, can i know where did u buy your comfy boot? i'm going to korea this month, i would like to buy it for myself!! hehehe :) thank you in advance :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dear,
      I bought it at Busan. :)

      Delete
    2. May I know what is the exact place in Busan? Me too is going to Busan this coming January~

      Delete
    3. Hi AS,
      I don't know the exact place because it was randomly saw it and bought.

      Delete
  2. Arex Express train is the best way to access from the airport to Seoul station. It is fast(it takes only 43 mins to Seoul station) and clean. Plus, the price is also reasonable. It cost 8,000won and if you take one of these airline;Asiana,KAL,Jeju airline, you get some discount(6,900won). Arex Express train info desk is located between gate no.9 and no.8, desk no.45 on 1st floor in the airport.
    T-money card is a prepaid public transportation card which means
    you have to load some money on your T-money card before you use it
    on subway,taxi or bus. And you can purchase a T-money card ata low price
    if you head to Seoul station from Incheon airport. Find the Arex info.desk
    on 1st floor at the airport. It located between gate #9 and #8, desk no.45.
    They have a special promotion for foreigners; Express train ticket to Seoul station
    + T-money card it costs only 8,900 won. The regular price of
    the express train ticket is 8,000 won and T-money card is 3,000 won.
    So the promotion is a good deal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to Seoul again, this might be useful, will check it out. :)

      Delete
  3. Very comprehensive and detailed! Thanks a lot - I'm planning a trip to Korea this year and this is very helpful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome dear. Enjoy your trip to Korea, it is a beautiful country. :)

      Delete
  4. i had heard abouth coachsurfing but never try before. i feing nervous getting around with people im nt familiar but i would like to try. pls share more abt ur experience on coach surfing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Annchi,
      Basically, you will need to go through the review on the host's page, to make sure this host is reliable and received positive comments from their guest. This is to make sure your safety too. It is fun to know the local people as they might bring you around, or introduce some nice place / nice food to you. Hope you enjoy it. :)

      Delete
  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, I m goin busan in may for 5 days 4 n , what are the must go places n food? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      For the must-go places, you may refer to the places I shared in this itinerary posting. As for the food, Busan is famous with (i) hotteok and (ii) dwaeji-gukbap (it is a pork and rice soup).

      You may give it a try. Enjoy Busan. :)

      Delete
  7. Hi,

    may i know where did u take the bus from busan back to seoul? where can i check the bus schedule?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, as written in the post, it is at Busan West Bus terminal.
      Here's the how to go to the bus terminal. By subway, go to Sasang Station (exit 5). After exit 5, there's a Mc Donald's, walk forward and you will see the bus terminal.

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

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

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi you mentioned you bought your boots and scarf in korea for such low price. Is there a specific place you bought it? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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