this is the second part of my South Korea Winter edition 🙂
From Busan, we rode the KTX to Seoul Station. The travel time is approximately 3.5 hrs and the fare is 59800 KRW. We pre-booked our tickets from Korail website for hassle-free service.
Our itinerary for Seoul is much the same as in Busan, no itinerary! haha. Well, as I’ve said, my friends went to Seoul for several times and they also asked me where I want to go, but since I really did not make a lot of effort in researching, we just decided we max our day with whatever our schedule can do. It was a spontaneous and fun-filled travel. I actually don’t want to pressure myself in going to all the places and ending up so tired and restless. After all, this will not be the last time I will visit South Korea (yep, I promise that to myself after leaving Seoul, haha).
We arrived around 5pm in Seoul station. It was really a big and busy station, good thing there are a lot of guides who can speak English well so it was easy to identify where we should head and which subway we must take. And of course, my friends know the way so no problem!
We stayed in Hongdae at Duriworld guesthouse. This lovely, affordable and clean guesthouse has been my friends’ favorite and every time they visit Seoul, they will stay here. In all fairness, the place is very accessible since it is just walking distance to the subway (Hongik Uni Station). It is in Hongdae area which is filled mostly by local youngsters and college students so the place has more of a local vibe than touristy compared to Myeong-dong. The guesthouse is also properly maintained and it is well-secured. In addition, this area has a lot of shops (cosmetic shops!), restaurants and coffee shops. We also saw local street performances by the students in the area. We spent our first night walking around Hongdae, eating dinner at a local restaurant (it’s a gem, really!!) and made our way to my friend’s favorite cafe, Paris Baguette (which I appreciated more after I went to Korea cos I never visit it here in Sg, haha).
Anyway, so here are the places we visited during our 6 days in Seoul, let my pictures say it all 🙂
- Nami Island: our first stop, Nami Island. My inner kdrama fan overwhelmed me when, finally, I saw the endless love mementos. Well, my misfortunes in Korea continued up to this beautiful place when my boots (my mom’s boots, old but we thought still can be used) decided to retire during winter. I ended up wearing a pair of slippers which became my most favorite souvenir (lol, and because I never listened to my friends when we were in Busan to buy a nice, cheap boots for 10000 KRW, i hassled them, again, sorry!!). Even though I had so many mishaps on this trip, it just made it more colorful and fun, and I really realized that you can really have true friends overnight 😀
Nami Island is truly a gem. It is one of the beautiful places I’ve seen and I will be back someday around autumn since this place is best to see during that time with a colorful and vibrant vibe. Well, it is still beautiful in winter!
- the Palaces: South Korea is filled with palaces and I don’t want to miss a thing. However, since we were there during Chinese New Year, it was a little crowded as they say that the usual days.
Gyeongbokgung Palace and Chandeokgung Palace are among of the UNESCO World Heritage sites and they were majestic and full of history. Visit this page to learn more about this palaces. Entrance fees for these two palaces is 3000KRW each. We didn’t manage to cover all other palaces though and the secret garden in Changdeokgung since we went there a little late. And we also didn’t see the changing of guards in Gyeongbokgung Palace due to snowfall (too bad!! that’s why I have a lot of reasons to go back haha! think positive lol.)
- the Parks: Oh, these are my favorite places in Seoul. Not only these places is free and off-beaten paths but also it gives me a very relaxed feeling even though we did a lot of walking (I like walking around!!).
Olympic Park, Haneul (Sky) Park, and Hangang Park are among the places we visited. The alone tree is situated in Olympic Park, and it is the picture in the header of this blog 🙂 Haneul Park, on the other hand, is my favorite. It was actually a landfill 15 years ago which gave me a surprise since it was really beautiful up there. Haneul Park is part of the 5 small parks around World Cup Park. Hangang Park was my last stop, my friends already went home but I wanted to visit other places in the morning before going back to SG. It was a refreshing sight, the Han river is just right in front of you. I didn’t have a lot of time to stroll so I just sat there for quite sometime and enjoyed the view.\
- Seoul Station, Ehwa University, Myeong-dong, Insa-dong, Hongdae: Shopping? Food trip? Well, these are good places to see when you want to shop and fill your luggages with cheap yet good quality cosmetic products. I mostly shopped atLotte Mart in Seoul Station. My luggage was filled with winter clothes and I shoved off all my souvenirs, food and cosmetic items in my bag (lol). These places are also good to eat and enjoy Korean street foods 🙂
- SM TOWN and Convention Center: we visited this place to see some exhibits and rekindle some of my kpop fandom in me. Super Junior everywhere!! 🙂 I may need to have a separate write-up for my inner kdrama/kpop syndrome during our stay in Korea. hahaha!
- NSeoul Tower: is the 3rd Skyscraper I’ve visited! The sunset was so beautiful and it capped off our day!
- Osan airbase: we visited my friend’s cousin who is currently residing at the Osan Airbase, I don’t have pictures but we had a very sumptuous dinner that I will never forget! wohoo steak! 🙂
I will surely go back in South Korea. Seoul is easy to go around with an app in your phone for the subway stations. Everything is accessible in Seoul! Visit this site for the transportation and the attractions they have. It is a safe country but of course, one must still be vigilant and alert every time 🙂
Check out my Busan write-up if you haven’t read yet 🙂
<travel date: January 2017>