seoul trip - learning points

(1) Google map is not accurate. Okay, I already know that before. But with respect of Seoul in particular, the inaccuracy is mindboggling. Perhaps because most people can’t read Korean to verify if a certain address is really there. And those who can may not understand enough English to explain which way is right or wrong. Solution? Get a traditional map from bookstore or airport or hotel.

(2) Remember to print the address of the place you are heading to in Korean characters. At least if you still can’t find your way, you can show it to the locals and they will be able to point you to the right direction.

(3) If you are still lost and the locals have no idea where the address is, call the place you are looking for (i.e. your hotel) and ask a local to speak to the receptionist to get the directions. Don’t bother trying to do it on your own, chances are you’ll be completely clueless of what the person at the other end is trying to say and end up spiking your phone bill for nothing. So yes, get a local to do the talking for you using your own mobile phone or a public payphone (that’s common courtesy, unless he/she is kind enough to offer to use his/her own phone). Once the local gets an idea of where it is, he/she will be able to narrate it to you. It’s easier to understand someone who’s in front of you than over the phone.

(4) Speaking of phones, only 3G mobile phones work in Korea and Japan. Non-3G phones don’t work at all.

(5) 3-day Seoul City Pass costing KRW 35,000 is actually quite expensive. You get unlimited rides on the city tour bus (blue line) and 20 subway rides a day, but the truth is nobody rides the subway 20 times a day! The most I did was 4 or 5 rides a day, and mind you, I went to quite a number of places. So if you don’t think you are going to use the city tour bus or the subway that much, might as well get a reloadable T-money card (something like our Touch n Go card). At least it’s refundable (Seoul City Pass in non-refundable).

(6) Clothes (especially women’s) are pretty and cheap. You can get a really nice top for KRW 10,000 to KRW 15,000 (about RM 30 to RM 45), but only if you pay cash. This is especially true at shops in subway station malls, Myeongdong shopping district and chic clothing stores nearby Hongik University. So if your trip objective is to shop, bring lots of cash!

(7) Cheap hotels (like the one I stayed at) may not accept credit card (weird!). So prepare some extra cash for that, just in case.

I’ve put quicklinks to backdated entries about the trip on the right-hand panel. Happy reading!


Seoul-mates ;-) Our favorite Seoul past time activity - taking self-photos!

8 comments:

Erin said...

sewonotnye dgr cite org jalan2! you learn more from a trip than from books kan. but honestly, korea has never been on my holiday list...xtaulah nape hehe. cant wait to read about your next trip :)

dieya said...

glad that u like reading about it! i started thinking about going to seoul since i watched korean drama series (pengaruh tv laa nih). but it was never top of my list. so pegi tempat lain dulu, barulah sampai seoul finally.

dyanna said...

bestnya gi Korea :)
is it easy to find english speaking korean around?

dieya said...

memang best! :-)
not that easy actually, unless u r aroound tourist areas. but u don't really need to speak much to the locals. the signboards at public places (malls, subways, bus stops etc.) usually hv english translations, so it's totally possible to survive without knowing any korean.

Anis Syuhada Nazari said...

Hi sis:)
bestnya..anis habis baca trip akak ke Seoul..
actually I was planning to go to Korea for my so called 'reward vacation'..hehe
tp ble fikir2 balik, mcm kna guna byk duit jer kalo g sana..huhu
maybe next time :)
nak tanya akak lah, agak2nya how much it cost if I want to spend 1 week of vacation there?:)

dieya said...

anis,

hi there! well, i would say negara2 maju ni memang agak mahal nak pergi, so you do have to save lots of money.

takpelah, you are still young, still studying, don't rush.. nanti dah kerja and ada income boleh pegi wherever you want to :-)

anyway to answer your question, the cost for one week i would say:
- return flight tix (the cheapest MAS tix): RM 2,500 (incl. tax)
- hostel (bukan hotel ya) RM 50/night x 7 nights: RM 350
- food (bare basic): RM 50/day x 7 days: RM 350
- transportation (subway) : RM 30/day x 7 days = RM 210
- shopping (depends how much you shop): RM 500

so altogether save laa dalam RM 4,000 okay. i know it's a lot of money, but as i said, don't rush. sabar dulu, jgn korek duit PTPTN or duit parents pulak ;-)
dah kerja nanti, you hv your own money, then you can spend all you want okay dear :-)

Anis Syuhada Nazari said...

Haha,
don't worry. I will not 'korek' my parents money.hehe Belum sempat nak korek mst dorang dh ckp.."kau jgn nak mengada2 anis".hahaha. Btw thanks ya sis for the information:)

kalau camtu..boleh tak kak dieya suggest tempat yg best.Yang anis boleh pergi utk 'reward vacation'. Anggaplah..anis ada 4K utk vacation tu..plg kurang..3K

dieya said...

anis,

good girl! save duit sendiri, baru rasa puas + berbaloi :-)

okay.. before that, anis nak mana2 tempat dlm dunia ni ke or just within south korea? if south korea, i've only been to seoul, so can't help you much with that.

but if other parts of the world, RM 4k can take you a long way. if you take a tour package, you can even go to europe for RM 4k. paris is really nice, i totally love it. so if you decide to take a tour package, make sure it includes paris.

anyway, as you may have noticed, i'm not a fan of tour package. my trips are all free & easy. is this going to be your first trip without parents/guardians? if yes and if u want to do free & easy, i suggest you to go to somewhere civilized, english speaking and safe. australia would be nice for a start (i.e. sydney, melbourne, gold coast).

once you get the hang of free and easy travel, then you'll have no problem to do the same thing anywhere in the world!