Annyeonghaseyo! If this travel guide caught your attention, then you’re probably thinking of visiting the “Land of Oppas” and KDramas soon. Hello, Seoul, South Korea!
If Japan is called the “Land of the Rising Sun”, Korea is dubbed as the “Land of the Morning Calm”. Korea earned the title “Chaohsien”, which meant morning freshness, in 1934, because of its stunning mountains and clear waters, especially in the morning. Of course this was not always the case because Korea was divided in the year 1945 and the “Land of the Morning Calm” was eventually shattered during the ill-fated morning of June 25, 1950, when North Korea attacked South Korea.
The war lasted for three years and ended with an agreement called armistice, but that did not officially end the war because the two Koreas remain divided to this day, divided only by what they call the 38th parallel that demarcates North from South. If you have already watched Crash Landing On You, then you’re already familiar with what I’m saying.
And even though this is a Seoul Travel Guide, I’ll still include in this guide nearby provinces in Seoul that’s worth visiting.
Arasso? Then let’s start!
GETTING TO SEOUL
By Air: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia fly to Seoul. Travel time is approximately 3.5 to 4 hours. There’s a time difference between Korea and Philippines, Korea being one hour ahead.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SEOUL
Accommodation: There are many hostels and hotels in Seoul. Only question is the area where you plan to stay, which actually depends on your activities or itinerary. A room good for 2-3 people only costs more or less Php2,000 in a hostel and approximately Php4,000++ in a hotel.
Like in any other countries, best to stay in an accommodation where there’s a near train or Airport Limousine bus stop.
K-Guesthouse Dongdaemun 5 – There are many K-Guesthouses in Seoul but I recommend this one in Dongdaemun 5 because the owner, Amy, was so nice, there’s a cool Chicken and Beer restaurant just below the building, Subway Stations (Lines 2, 4 and 5) are only few steps away, Dongdaemun Design Plaza is just few meters away, shopping mall is few steps away, and there’s a nearby Airport Bus stop. Very convenient!
G Guesthouse Itaewon – If you have watched Itaewon Class, this is where Jang Geun-soo lives. Same place where Park Saero-yi met Jo Yi-seo for the first time.
Ray’s Place – This Airbnb place is located right in front of Seoul Station and where we also stayed for 4days and 3 nights.
MEAL. Food in Korea is not affordable but price of their Korean Barbecue is almost the same as the one being sold in Manila. If you want to save, you can opt for Korean noodles but that’s no fun, so I suggest you try what they are also famous for – Chicken and Beer. If you love spicy food, you will love Korean food.
TRANSPORTATION. Main mode of transportation in Seoul is their subway. Like in Japan, riding their train is a breeze. There are also buses and cabs everywhere but riding a train is faster, easier and more affordable.
TOURING. No tour guide needed when in Seoul. Just research the places that you wish to visit prior to your arrival, and familiarize yourself with the subway stations and exits so you won’t get lost and waste time and energy.
THINGS YOU NEED TO HAVE
Comfy footwear. You will do lots and lots of walking so you need a comfortable shoes to last you all throughout your trip. Sneakers is good idea.
Camera or Smartphone with a nice camera. You will regret not bringing one when you visit Nami Island.
Money. Bring enough dollars or Korean Won with you. You will need lots of moolah for eating and shopping.
Medicine. If you are allergic to some medicines, it’s always best to bring your own first aid kid, especially if you plan to visit Seoul during Autumn or Winter.
Korean Subway App.
SEOUL DAILY ITINERARY
1st stop: Namdaemun Market
1st stop: Changdeokgung Palace
2nd stop: Hongdae Shopping Street
1st stop: Hwaseong Haenggung Palace in Suwon City
2nd stop: Itaewon
Myeongdong Shopping Street
1st stop: Bukchon Hanok Village
2nd stop: Gangnam
Bau Haus Dog Cafe