SEOUL | South Korea (1)

Annyeonghaseyo!

South Korea is one of the hottest tourist destinations in Asia nowadays, thanks to the ever popular K-dramas and K-pop.

Getting to South Korea from Singapore is a gruelling 7-hour flight. Fares are steeper compared to other Asian countries. Even promo fares can’t be considered cheap and may include a layover or two. Still, South Korea is a country worth visiting.

Getting to Seoul from Incheon airport:

Incheon is about 50km from Seoul. SK has efficient transportation system and there are several ways to get to the city center.

  1. Limousine bus – one of the easiest and most convenient way of getting to destinations in and around Seoul, costs 10,000krw and takes about 60-90 minutes depending on your destination.
  2. Airport Express (AREX) – you can choose either express or all stop train. Do note that the last stop will be Seoul station so if your accommodation is farther, you have to take the subway.
  • Express – non-stop train, reaches Seoul station in 45 minutes. 8,000krw
  • All stop – stops in various transfer stations, takes about 60 minutes. 4,150krw

Tip: while at the airport, get yourself a T-money card. It is a stored value card you can use for transportation. It saves you 100krw per ride and is way more convenient than getting single journey tickets.

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Accomodation

I chose AirBnB this time as I still had discount credits from my previous travel and it was the best decision I made during this trip.

We stayed at a house in Jongno area owned by a very sweet and thoughtful couple, Jee and Yumi. Their home was very neat and pretty and very close to the subway station. Our room was very clean, has it’s own bathroom complete with toiletries and all. Moreover, they prepared a simple daily breakfast for us and were very helpful with everything. And oh, they have the cutest dog ever, Tolmang.

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It was my birthday on our last day in Seoul and they prepared a little birthday celebration for me complete with cakes, korean fried chicken and great conversation. BEST. HOSTS. EVER!

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Jongmyo Shrine

Jongmyo Shrine was a primary place of worship for kings throughout Joseon Dynasty. The memorial service, called Jongmyo Jaerye, is said to be the oldest complete ceremony in the world, and was carried out in obedience to the king’s order.[1]

  • entrance fee – 1,000krw, free for visitors wearing Hanbok
  • only guided tours are allowed except every Saturday
  • closed every Tuesday

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Changdeokgung Palace

Changdeokgung Palace was the second royal villa built following the construction of Gyeongbukgung Palace in 1405. It was the principal palace for many kings of the Joseon Dynasty, and is the most well-preserved of the five remaining royal Joseon palaces. The palace grounds are comprised of a public palace area, a royal family residence building, and the rear garden.[2]

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Gyeongbokgung Palace

Gyeongbokgung Palace was the first royal palace built by the Joseon Dynasty, three years after the Joseon Dynasty was founded. Built in 1395, Gyeongbokgung Palace was located at the heart of newly appointed capital of Seoul (then known as Hanyang) and represented the sovereignty of the Joseon Dynasty. The largest of the Five Grand Palaces (the others being Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace), Gyeongbokgung served as the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty.[3]

Don’t miss changing of the guards performance when you visit this palace!

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Cheonggyecheon Stream

Stream passing close to Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, the Sejong Center, Insa-dong Street, Changdeokgung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace, allowing visitors to easily visit major tourist sites after a leisure stroll along the stream.

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Myeongdong

Korean skincare and makeup heaven! I was very tired from too much walking but when I saw all the stores it was like my energy was fully restored! haha! Don’t worry boys, there are also a lot of yummy street food lined up so you can eat while waiting for your girlfriends. LOL

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Myeongdong Cathedral

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Bukchon Hanok Village

Hanok – traditional house. Many of the hanoks here operate as guesthouses and restaurants where visitors can experience and immerse themselves in traditional korean culture.

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Β Stay tuned for part 2!

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