South Korea has always been on top of my bucketlist and curiosity hits me really hard earlier this March so i finally decided to get on a plane, and start a new adventure.
March 14, I decided to buy my ticket via Jejuair. I got it for like Php 15,000 roundtrip, with 15kg baggage allowance. Yeah, i know, i could have got cheaper tickets but dang it… i must see the Cherry blossoms or else, i’ll have to wait for another year to see it Lol and besides, flying with Jejuair is worth it! No delays, friendly staffs, clean interior, AND cute cabin crew oppas hahahaDefinitely flying with them again for my next Seoul trip 🙂
But if you really want to score some cheap flights, do book your tickets 3-4 months in advance. You can get a roundtrip ticket for as low as Php 5,000 roundtrip MNL-ICN during the seat sales of Cebu Pacific and AirAsia. So, keep an eye on them!
April 3, 11:35 PM, i departed NAIA 1 via Jejuair and after 4 hours….
Welcome to South Korea!!!
Excited for your trip? You gotta read this up so you can have a much better and less hassle vacation. Here are the must-haves when traveling to the Land of Morning Calm 🙂
I purchased a KT data sim through Klook a week before my trip. I got it for just a little over Php 1,000 for an unlimited data for 5 days. Payment is through credit card. You can choose from 5 days (Php 1034), 10 Days (Php1349), 30 Days (Php2742). This is actually the first time i used Klook and i can say that this is a really effective app. Will definitely use this again for less hassle transactions everywhere you go 🙂
NOTE: Don’t forget to use my referral code : S7HTP on your first purchase to get a discount 😉
Though wifi is everywhere in Seoul, specially on subway stations and cafes, i don’t like the hassle of connecting and disconnecting to Wifi hotspots so if you’re a solo traveler like me, this is a total steal!
You can get your data sim at these locations:
Incheon International Airport (Seoul)
- 1/F Gate 6-7 (24 hours daily) —-> This is where I claimed my KT Data sim
- Gate 8-9 (7 AM – 9 PM)
- Gate 10-11 (6 AM – 10 PM)
Gimpo International Airport (Seoul)
- 1/F Gate 1 (7 AM – 11 PM)
Gimhae International Airport (Busan)
- 1/F Gate 3 (6 AM – 10 PM)
Jeju International Airport
- At the Casino shop entrance on the first floor (9 AM – 7 PM)
- Busan Harbor International Passenger Terminal 2nd floor No. 4 Gate (6 AM – 7:30 PM)
Don’t forget to get your queue number on the machine on the right side, and wait for your number to be called on the TV screen as seen on the photo below. All you have to present is the confirmation email that will be sent to you via email or the voucher that you can see on your Klook account and a passport. That’s it! 🙂
Next is TMoney which is available for purchase and reload at any convenience store that you can see. I bought mine from GS25 for 4000 KRW at the airport and loaded it with 30,000 KRW. Now, is 30,000 KRW on a TMoney enough? It depends, in my case, no, it’s not. Maybe it’s because i was all over Seoul for my 5 days visit and i have to use my TMoney on lockers which i will discuss later.
You can reload this from 1,000 KRW to 90,000 KRW. You can only pay the load amount in cash. They don’t accept credit cards for this. Probably the only thing that i can imagine where credit cards are not accepted because seriously, you can use your credit card, almost anywhere, of course, except for the street vendors.
You can also do a refund on the remaining balance on your card from the convenience stores that sell them for up to 20,000 KRW. They will however, retain 500 KRW. So, if your remaining balance is over 20,000 KRW, you will have to go to the Smart Card Office. Address: 10th Floor, Seoul City Tower #581, Namdaemunro 5ga, Jong-gu, Seou, 100-741. Map. Contact Center 1688-0120
The metro in Seoul is relatively easy but with several exits in every station, it is quite hard to figure out on where to exit the station specially if you’re looking for a specific place to go. This app helped me a lot… like A LOT. Download this before your trip, i noticed that everyone in Seoul uses this even the locals. It is also easy to use, just put the station where you’re at and then the station you’d like to go. It will show you how many transfers you will do, how much does it costs, what door to exit, and how many minutes will it take for you to reach your destination. You’ll regret not downloading this app, i swear LOL
Let’s say you’re in Seoul Station and you want to go to Gangnam Station, as you can see on the photos below, it shows you that it takes 31 minutes, 11 stations, 1 transfer and 1,350 KRW (if you use TMoney) to get to your destination.
Download it on Google Play (Yellow icon)
or Itunes (Blue icon)
- If ever you forgot or got lazy (just like me) to exchange your PHP into USD/KRW before going to Korea, worry not! There are foreign money exchange banks at the airport like Woori bank and KEB Hana Bank. BUT, expect that you will not get a good rate at the airport. It is better for you to just exchange a little amount of money, hmm…maybe just around $100 then exchange the rest of your money in Seoul. I personally would suggest the Money changer that is in front of the big red gate of the Chinese Embassy located at 26 Myeongdong 2-gil, Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. They’re open from 9 AM to 9 PM.
- Do you have a credit card? Bring it. Credit cards are widely accepted at almost every store in Seoul (convenience stores, department stores, supermarkets, boutiques, restaurants, etc.) Gives you less hassle in bringing lots of money with you. Although Seoul is a safe place for tourists, i personally don’t like bringing lots of money when travelling so finding out about this gives me so much relief. Just don’t forget to bring cash when buying street foods (obviously) hahaha
- Did you arrived in Seoul, waaay to early for your hotel check-in? Worry not. You can use the lockers at Seoul Station (other major stations have this also) which is centrally located to almost everywhere that’s why it is the most convenient station to leave your luggages. This is what the lockers look like:
They got a lot of these in Seoul Station. I used my TMoney to pay for this. Here are the prices per luggage sizes:
- Small – 3,000 KRW
- Medium – 5,000 KRW
- Large – 7,000 KRW
- X-Large – 10,000 KRW
There you have it! Also, don’t forget to bring your powerbank so you’re fully jam-packed! 🙂