Day 13 in Korea (23 Oct 2016) and full itinerary

Our last day was just the flight back to Singapore, we checked in at 7 am and get breakfast inside the transit while waiting for our turn to board the plane.

Throughout the trip, my friend used an app for navigation which is called Daum Map. However it is all only in Korean words, or you can navigate your way using google maps.

For our full itinerary, can check out our google sheets here.

Thanks for reading all my posts and hope you will have fun in Korea as well!

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Day 11 in Korea (21 Oct 2016)

Today we needed to rest more after the workout at Bukhansan, we only left the house at 11am to get brunch at Issac toast at Hongdae area. The toast was delicious and portion was filling.
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It is our shopping day, first stop was Ewha University. It was their exam period,  and we could see encouragement messages stick on the walls.
After that, we went back to our guesthouse to leave our stuff before heading out to Myeongdong where we have our dinner and take the Namsan cable car (8500 won) up to N Seoul Tower where we catch a breathtaking night view of Seoul.
At 830pm, we proceed to do our shopping for facial products at Myeongdong. At Myeongdong, it is better to buy from shops that are located inside instead of the first few stores that are near the subway station. There was a money changer that had a good exchange rate for SGD to Won which is located in front of the embassy, they will need to see your passport so bring along your passport.
It was quite crowded on a Friday night at Myeongdong and there were a lot of street food which we only managed to try a few as we ate a very full dinner.
We got ourselves some warm drinks at Gongcha which were more expensive compared to Singapore outlets.
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We waited for our friend to reach Myeongdong before having dinner, and took a cab home after that. Taking taxi in Korea, the fare goes by meter and every 140 seconds, the fare increases by 100 won. Regular cabs are orange or silver cars, black taxis are more expensive.

Day 10 in Korea (20 Oct 2016)

Hiking day! We decided to hike up highest mountain in Seoul, Baegundae Peak at Bukhansan. We leave the house at 7.15am and bought some bread for breakfast from a bakery at our guesthouse area.

We spent 2.5 hours hiking up to the peak, spent a little time eating some food before heading down. We took the wrong route and spent close to 6 hours coming down. It was not easy, but it was really an experience which test our perseverance and endurance. We follow a blogger’s route from here.

After coming down, we went to get some drinks before hopping on a cab back to our guesthouse.

 

Day 9 in Korea (19 Oct 2016)

Today is DMZ Tour! We woke up at 530am to prepare and head out at 630am. We booked the tour 1 month in advance on Koridoor for our DMZ/JSA Tour which cost us 96000 won. Our tour information can be found here.
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First up is the Joint Security Area (JSA).
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We only had two choices for lunch: Bulgogi and Bibimbap. We chose one of each to share together.
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After lunch, we went to Dorasan Station, Dora observatory and lastly, the 3rd Infiltration Tunnel.

We finish the tour and reach Camp Kim at 4pm after experiencing some traffic jam on the way back. Overall, the tour was worth an experience, for foreigners, it is recommend to go JSA as it is easier for us to visit there compared to Koreans.
After the tour, we went back to Hongdae area, and to cut our hair at Chop Hair Salon. They were a little busy and we did not made booking beforehand, so we left our names and went to walk around Hongdae. We went back to the salon at 6pm which was our booking time. They were quite efficient and finish cutting both of our hair at 7pm. The salon was great and service was excellent, however they only speak minimal English. Therefore it is better if you shown them a photo of the haircut you want. Cut and wash cost us 17000 won per person. After our haircut, we went to get our dinner near our guesthouse. Our dinner was actually what the Koreans eat after a hangover. However, we just ate it as a normal meal, and the soup was good.
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Day 8 in Korea (18 Oct 2016)

Seoul – Gangnam, Garousgil, Gwangjang Market, Cheonggyecheon Stream, Dongdaemun
We took our own sweet time to prepare and went down for breakfast at our guesthouse. We left at 1015am for some window shopping at Gangnam Station Underground Shopping Center. After that we went to Garousgil around 1230pm to have lunch. The things at the area was slightly pricey hence we did not bought anything there. We passed by GDragon’s store and LINE friends Cafe & Store at Garousgil.
At 3pm, we took the metro to Gwangjang market where you should try their famous addictive Kimbap, and other street food like Chicken Feet.
After Gwangjang Market, we walked along the Cheonggyecheon Stream that goes to Dongdaemun area.
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We shopped at Doota mall and had bingsu nearby before shopping more at Migliore mall.
We went to Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) and we did not managed to catch the kpop idols on the red carpet for the Seoul Fashion Week, as we did not knew beforehand.
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Day 6 in Korea (16 Oct 2016)

Seoul – Gyeongbokgung Palace, Samcheong-dong, Bukchon Hanok Village, and Insadong

It was a rainy day, as predicted on the weather forecast. The staff also reminded us to bring an umbrella when we head out. Our first stop was Gyeongbokgung Palace, and we wanted to catch Changing of Royal Guard Ceremony at 10am. However, that weekend there was a special martial arts performance which replaced the Royal Guard Ceremony. We paid 3000 won each to enter the palace as we wait for the performance which was 11am.

After watching the performance, we head for lunch at Samcheong-dong, which was walking distance or you can take a shuttle bus that goes around the area to Bukchon as well.

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We proceed to Bukchon Hanok Village with our umbrellas and windbreaker. At Bukchon Hanok Village, we did not managed to see much as it was raining, but we got the feel of the traditional houses around the area.

After Bukchon Hanok Village, we went to Insadong to do some shopping at Ssamziegil which is a mall with a interesting building layout. We tried the Poop shaped bread and bought souvenirs/traditional sweets there for our family.

After Insadong, we decided to head back to our accommodation to leave our stuff and head out for dinner nearby before going back to rest.

 

Day 12 in Korea (22 Oct 2016)

We had our last breakfast provided by our guesthouse and pack our luggage. We check out and took the All-Stop Train AREX to Incheon Int’l Airport. We store our luggage there for 10000 won per luggage. At 1pm, we had lunch at the airport and bought the Ollehwifi ID password from the convenience store.
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We head to where the Song Triplets live, who became famous through The Return of Superman, a korean variety show. It is called the Songdo Central Park. The place was filled with families, either just taking a stroll, cycling or camping there. There was also a deer farm there, but be prepared that there are a lot of files there as well.
We had dinner at Incheon Chinatown which is famous for Jajangmyeon.
At 615m, we were too tired and head back to the airport to stay-over for the night. Our flight was 9am the next morning, and we wanted to experience 24 hour sauna but the plan was cancelled at the end.

Day 7 in Korea (17 Oct 2016)

Seoul – Nami Island, Petite France, Itaewon

Early in the morning at around 545am KST, we woke up to get ready to head out for Nami Island. A place famous for the filming of Winter Sonata, a popular Kdrama when it was aired on TV. We left our house at 730am, and catch our ITX from Yongsan station. We booked the tickets on the first day we reached our Seoul accommodation. At 830am, the ITX train left Yongsan for Gapyeong, it was an hour ride which cost us 5200 won.

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Next, we need to book the Gapyeong tour bus  which cost us another 6000 won. There are bus timings for the tour bus so it’s good to take note if you’re heading to Petite France and Garden of Morning Calm as well.  It is important to remember to keep your ticket as it is entitled for unlimited rides on the tour bus for the day.

We reached the wharf and took a ferry to Nami Island. The admisssion was 8000 won including the return ferry. We had to show our passport to get foreigner ticket price.

We caught the 1225pm tour bus from the same bus stop where we alighted, and proceed to Petite France. The admission price was 6000 won after using a discount coupon from VisitKorea. Petite France was quite a small place compared to Nami Island, hence 1 hour was sufficient to walk around the place.

At 150pm, we took the tour bus to Cheongpyeong Station where we will take our ITX train back.

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Our train left Cheongpyeong at 239pm and head for Cheongnyangni Station. It was a 40 mins ride and cost us 3400 won.

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At Cheongnyangni Station, we discover that there was a Lotte Mart, so we went to shop for snacks.

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At 4pm, we took the metro to Itaewon where we had an expensive dinner at a Italian restaurant. We also passed by a LINE shop at Itaewon.

After dinner, we head back to our guesthouse to put our stuff and proceed to Hongdae to do some shopping.

Day 5 in Korea (15 Oct 2016)

Busan -> Seoul

We are going by KTX instead of flight as it will take us around the same duration. It is cheaper to take KTX, and we don’t have to worry about delay as the train is very punctual. It is advised to pre-book the KTX one month in advance before you leave for Korea. We had breakfast and chill in the morning at our accommodation.

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We check out from our accommodation at 1130am, and took the metro to Busan Station where we will take the KTX. We collected our tickets using our passport at the information counter, and had our lunch there.

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The KTX from Busan to Seoul took around 2hrs 30 mins, and it is very punctual and will only stop at the stations for 2-5 mins. Hence, it is advised to be early at the platform when taking KTX, we personally witness a lady who fail to board the KTX at the last minute, and no, the train did not stop to pick her up.

We reached Seoul Station at around 3.30pm and took the metro to our accommodation, which is a guesthouse with breakfast provided. Our guesthouse is called Lee&No , located at 561-29, Yeonnam-dong Seoul, Mapo-gu 03988 South Korea. There were washer and dryer at the guesthouse as well, we spent around an hour to wash and dry our dirty clothes. The dryer was charged at 1000 won for every 10 mins, and also operating hours for the laundry room.

At around 6.30pm, we left our guesthouse and head to Banpo Bridge where there is water show from 7.30pm to 9pm, with an interval of 30 mins. We had our dinner at the Express Bus Terminal Station and did some shopping before the show.

The water show was a disappointment to us as it did not turn out as nice as the photos on the internet. It could be partially due to our lack of talent in photography. We did not took very fantastic photos, but it was an experience for us.

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Day 4 in Korea (14 Oct 2016)

Today we set out to explore Busan! Our Busan airbnb does not includes breakfast, so we went out for breakfast at Krispy Kreme at Seomyeon Station Underground Center. They have fewer variety of doughnuts compared to Singapore stores, however it is cheaper. It cost 1300 won per doughnut. However, their latte was quite bad, they added too much milk, my travel buddy said.

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After our breakfast, we set off to take metro to Nampo Station where we will walk to our first stop, Busan Tower and Yongdusan Park. We came out from Exit 5 of Nampo Station and walk to the park.

Busan Tower and Yongdusan Park were a visit for those going Busan. We took nice photos of the scenery before heading off.

Second stop is Taejongdae Recreation Area. Sadly, during our trip, the observatory is closed due to renovation till completion which is planned for December 2016. We bought the Danubi Train tickets for 2000 won per person. We only got down at Yeongdo Lighthouse, then took the next train and went back to the platform.

Danubi Train Course
Platform→ Taejongsa Temple → Yeongdo Lighthouse → Observatory → Gumyeongsa Temple → Taewon Jagal Madang → Platform

(Reference from http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/ATR/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264167)

After Taejongdae Park, we went to get lunch at BIFF Square. We ate the famous Ssiat Hotteok, which is filled with various types of seeds, and it has sweet filling inside and crispy on the outside. It cost 1200 won.

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And we also tried this big fishball with cheese filling, which cost 2000 won.

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There is a street nearby where a lot of stalls were selling the same things – kimbap, sundae and noodles.

After we have fill our stomachs, we travel to Gamcheon Culture Village. Upon reaching the entrance, we bought the map of the village which cost 2000 won per piece. We can collect 9 stamps at various stops of the village and redeem two postcards. Follow the fishes on the wall which are there to guide tourists around the place.
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Be prepared to climb a lot of steps and slopes in at Gamcheon, we took around 2 hours to finish walking as we stopped to take photos and go to the places to get our stamps. Before moving onto to the next location, we rest at a nearby cafe where we could see the landscape of the whole village.

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Last stop before heading back to our accommodation, we went to see the the music fountain show at Dadaepo Sunset Fountain of Dream. There was only one show timing on weekdays during October, which is 730 pm. So we went to the area earlier to have our dinner nearby and got ourselves seats for the show. It is recommended to go there earlier to get seats as limited chairs  are set up for the show. The show was awesome and it was definitely worth a watch . It could be colder at night due to the wind, so remember to bring a jacket along to watch the show.

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