Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer in Seoul 2014: The Amateur Guide

Hello~ here come the part 3 of my travel diary in Seoul. 

Now I will share my quick itinerary (and also the directions) with you. So, I used Subway / Metro / MRT a lot during my trip. I think it's the most cheap and quick transportation in Seoul *plus it is very easy to understand*. 

The first thing you need to prepare before boarding to Seoul is the Subway Map. If you're a traditional person who like to bring paper everywhere, try to print this map.

This is the full map of Seoul subway. It maybe looks crowded with so many colourful line, but once you read it, it isn't that hard to understand the line.

And if you think bring a huge map is not your style and you have an android phone, try to install this program on your phone. This program is really helpful during my trip. It can show you the direction between stations, like where you need to transfer and how much stations you need to visit to get on your final destination. It also shows you the cost and the time of arrival. [This is really useful, trust me!]

Also not to forget the magic card~ T-Money. You can buy and reload this card at the nearest 7 eleven or at the station. 

Now, once you already had the subway map on your hand, let's make a move~

  • Ehwa Womens University [Edae Area]
Main Attractions: The University Building (make sure you visit here!), Street Shopping (They have the best price).

This area is shorten as Edae (and the information at the station also write Edae for this stop). Edae is on the line number 2 (the green line). To go to the university, go to exit 2 and walk straight until you can see the huge building in front of you. Edae Shopping street can be found through exit 1 or 2 (both exit are back to back, so you no need to worry if you exit the wrong number).

Shopping at Edae is one of my favourite. The price here is definetely cheaper than the other street like Hongdae and Myeongdong. Also this area is less crowded especially in the morning.

  • Hongik University [Hongdae Area]

Main Attractions:
Trick Eyed Museum: Hongik University Station (Line 2, Green line) exit 9. Go straight 150m, cross the road, and turn left to Hongik-ro Street. Go straight 120m and turn right down the second side street (in between Tony Moly and Holika Holika). Continue walk 100m and you will see the museum on your right. If you see the floating lady above you that means you're on the right place. though it's kinda creepy if you visit at the night.

The Hello Kitty Cafe: Hongik University Station (Line 2, Green line) exit 9. Go straight 150m, cross the road, and turn left to Hongik-ro Street. Go straight 120m and turn right at the second side street. Keep looking to the left because the cafe is quite hidden. Actually this cafe is very near with the Trick Eyed Museum but the location is kinda hard to found if you're not focus. Try ask people around you if you get lost ^^

Street Shopping and  Live performance Hongik University Station (Line 2, Green line) exit 9, just walk around and you will see the shop everywhere. Live performance usually start at afternoon/ night
  • Mecenatpolis Mall 
Actually this mall is not really a tourist attraction, but I really want to take picture with the umbrella canopy so decide to go here. plus it is near my hostel :D

Hapjeong Station (Line 2, Green Line) exit 9. Once you walk out the station it will directly connect you to the mall.
  • Gwanghwamun Square and Gyeongbokgung Palace

Main Attraction:
King Sejong Statue and Admiral Yi Suun Shin Statue: Gwanghwamun Station (Line 5, Purple Line) exit 2. The King sejong statue is right in front of you and the Admiral statue is behind you.

To go to Gyeongbokgung palace, simply walk straight to King Sejong statue direction and you will see the huge gwanghwamun gate in front of you (see the pictures). It is the door to enter the palace. If you are too lazy to walk, ride the subway to Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3) exit 5 (inside the palace, so you don't need to walk).
  • Bukchon Hanok Village 

Anguk Station (Line 3) exit 2. Walk straight until meet Tourism Information Center and request the huge map to Bukchon Hanok Village.  PS: Bring your water bottle, the road to the village is quite far and complicated :)
  • Insadong
Main attraction: Ssamziegil (there is Alive Museum - similar to trick eye museum, inside here), Jogyesa Temple, Tapgol Park
Anguk Station (Line 3) Exit 6. Walk straight 100m and then turn left to insadong street. Walk toward Jongno Police Station and enter Insadong one-way street. Just follow the street and don't forget to look around :)

  • Myeongdong Area

Myeongdong station (Line 4) Exit 6. It is the main street of Myeongdong, you just need to walk straight to enter the heart of Myeongdong. Try to found M-plaza (around 200 m from the exit 6) and go to 4th floor, they provide free hanbok for foreigners. There are many departement store here such as Shinsegae, Lotte Dept.Store, Migliore, etc. and you can easily found it if you walk around.

  • Namdaemun Market
Hoehyeon Station (Line 4) Exit 5. This is the best place to buy souvenirs. You can bargain if you buy more than 1. Souvenirs here are cheaper than at Myeongdong and Insadong.

  • Dongdaemun Market

Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station (Line 2) exit 14. Lotte fittin is around this area too (you can easily see it once you walk out the station).
  • N Seoul Tower
To get to the Seoul tower you need to use cable car and to reach the cable car there are several way. My direction is using Glass Elevator to reach the cable car.  

Direction to the Glass Elevator: Myeongdong Station Exit 4, walk straight until you reach the junction in front of the Shinsegae Building. Then turn left and walk straight until you see the glass elevator. Take the glass elevator to the Namsan Cable Car. and the board the cable car to reach the tower.
  • Nami Island
You can go to Nami Island (from Seoul) by shuttle bus or by subway. If you go by shuttle bus from Seoul, it will directly take you to Nami, but my friends and I want to stop at Petite France first so we decided to go there by subway.

Go to Cheongpyeong station (Gyeongchun line) it's quite far far away on the right of the subway map and you maybe need several transfer :). Upon reach the station go to exit 2 and you will see the bus stop. Wait until the shuttle bus come. Make sure you ask first before take the bus because there are 2 different bus ( 1 that will directly take you to Nami Island and 1 that will go to Petite France). PS: keep the bus ticket because you will need it again to ride the bus to transfer to Nami Island and back to the station.

To go home, board the shuttle bus again to Gapyeong station and then choose you're destination like usual (use the help of the program that I've mentioned above).

Remember: When the first time you arrived, the station is Cheongpyeong but to go home, you need to ride subway from Gapyeong Station. Just follow the shuttle bus's schedule and you will be okay :)
  • Sindang Tteokpokki Town
Sindang Station (Line 2) exit 7. Walk straight until you reach Jungbu Fire Station and turn left. 

Most directions on Internet said to go out from exit 8 (Me too follow that instructions). But I think the right one is from exit 7. Because if you walk out from exit 8 you still need to make u-turn before walk straight. But if you walk from exit 7, you just need to walk straight.

Now the questions about budget and how much you should save if you want to go to South Korea~ I will not tell you the amount of money that I've spent because it will include my allowance to buy cosmetics, clothes, bags, etc hahaha. But, of course I will still help you with questions about budget. Here are some useful informations for you. I hope you can calculate your budget based on my information below~
  • Flight: try to stalk Airasia website, usually they have a very nice promotion (Usually below IDR 5.000.000 for round trip). Also don't forget to calculate the fee for the visa, because we need that to enter the South Korea. The last time I applied for my visa, I need to pay IDR 600.000 for that with the help of travel agent (and maybe it is different in every country / city).
  • Accomodation in Korea: Try to browse Hostel/Guesthouse through , it is more cheaper than hotel and if you come with many friends, I think guesthouse is the best solution for you. For hostel usually it will cost around IDR 250.000++ /night/person, while guesthouse usually cheaper than that (around IDR 125.000++ /night/ person).
  • To travel around Seoul: Use subway/bus. Travel around using subway usually cost around 1.150won ++ (depends on how many times you should transfer). The T-money card cost around 3.000 won.
  • To know the fixed cost: Browse the admission fee for every tourist attraction that you will visit before you go to South Korea. KTO is the best website to begin. KTO also offers discount coupons for tourists, make sure you print it before you go to Seoul.
  • Food: If you want to save more money, you can eat at 7-eleven (they have food less than 1.000won and higher, such as ramyeon/triangle kimbap/banana milk,etc). If you eat at Restaurant usually the price is around 5.000-10.000 won (I suggest you share with your friends). Guesthouse/hostel usually offer free breakfast like bread, coffe, and ramyeon.
Okay~ that's all my simple direction and tips for those who want to go to Seoul ^^ I hope I can help you with this post. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask me, If I know the answer I will be very happy to help you~

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