If there’s one place I would love to visit again it’s definitely South Korea! My friend recently sent a message in our Viber group reminding us that it has almost been 2 years since our South Korea adventure.
Hahaha awww good times! Can’t help but feel nostalgic about it too. Went there with my high school friends and though we’ve known each other for years, it was our first out of the country trip together so it was truly special for us. And I fell in love with the land of k-pop and k-dramas almost instantly!
I’m always asked about our South Korea itinerary and I kept on taking mental note to myself that one day I’ll write about it so I can just tell friends to go visit my blog hahaha. Sooooo, 2 years later.. here it is! 😃
BUT FIRST… some reminders!
Here are 4 helpful tips so you can enjoy your South Korea adventures, hassle-free!
KOREAN VISA – yes, you still need to apply
[Update: As of 2018, the Korean Embassy in Manila has implemented a new visa application process. They will no longer accept walk-ins, instead, all tourist visa applications should go through any of their accredited travel agency. Read this helpful guide for more updates.]
I know it was recently announced that Korea will be visa-free until next year. However, the thing is you have to arrive through its airport near the venue of the 2018 Winter Olympics – which is YangYang airport. As of date there are no direct commercial flights going there from the Philippines. PAL and Cebu Pacific only offer flights to Incheon and Busan. So in short, you still need to apply for a Korean visa.
Good thing it is FREE of charge (for those staying for 59 days or less; they charge Php1,800 if you’re staying 60-90 days). All the requirements needed can be found here and all important reminders can be read here. I just find it a hassle requesting for the necessary documents from my bank and my employer, and then going to McKinley, Taguig to submit and then wait for 5 working days to come back for the releasing. But, hey it’s free so sige na ngaaa hahaha!
So okay, now that we’ve tackled the visa issue… time to book a place to stay in Korea!
HOTEL OR HOSTEL OR AIRBNB?
Since it was a 6-day trip we didn’t want to spend too much on accomodation cos we’ll be out most of the time anyway. We booked at Hostel BB Hongdae Line in Hongdae area that’s nearby a subway station. Tip when booking: See to it that you’re just walking distance to a subway station for faster travel time.
Hostel photos from Agoda.com. We chose the Triple En-Suite Room with Private Bathroom since we are 3 in the group. It was such a steal for only around Php600 per person per night! Plus factor is the ref inside the room hahaha cos we always have leftover food which we sometimes reheat in the common kitchen area. (their kitchen is complete with cooking pans, pots and all! I loveeet!)
PLAN YOUR OOTD!
I kid you not, every spot in this country is just so picture perfect! Don’t miss that opportunity to take selfie with that magnificent background to boot! Most importantly, check the season and plan your OOTD accordingly. In our case, since we went there late November it was already transitioning from fall to winter. IT WAS REALLY COLD! And just our luck, we actually experienced the first snow drop during our stay there.
If I remember it correctly, we experienced -3 degrees celcius during one of our nights there! I was monitoring the weather/temperature prior to our arrival so I kinda anticipated that it will be cold. But the snow? Ohmygoodness! Pure bliss! Hahaha! If you’re traveling around this time of the year, here are some fall/winter essentials that you should def pack:
- Leg warmer
- Thick coat/jacket
Thank goodness for heated seats and heater in most places there! I easily get cold despite wearing at least 3 layers of clothing.
HOW MUCH POCKET MONEY SHOULD I BRING?
It really depends on what type of activities you will most likely do there. Will you go on a shopping spree? Food trip? Sight-seeing? For us, it was more of visiting popular tourist spots, and experiencing some authentic Korean dishes too! Php20,000 – 25,000 is a fair amount of pocket money already, considering we stayed there for 6 days! That covered our hostel, food, transpo, entrance tickets, and a little bit of makeup shopping in Myeongdong!
OMG, stay clear of this place if you have no self-control and/or you’re an impulsive buyer (guilty!) HAHAHA! But then again, even if you’re tight on budget I believe you can still stretch it. Food, transpo and accomodation are really cheap!
So there you have it, part 1 of my Korean travel blog! Stay tuned for part 2! I’ll share more about our itinerary and must-visit spots! Let me know if you have any questions by commenting down below and I’ll try to include that in my next post. Thank you for reading! 😉