Seoul 2017: Pre-travels

I’ve been meaning to write about this since last year, but I didn’t have the time to actually continue. Sharing here our trip to Seoul in November of last year! 


First things first, this trip was not planned. Everything happened after my sister booked a cheap flight from Cebu Pacific: and by cheap I mean round trip tickets to Incheon at PHP 4,924.21 each.

Booking

We didn’t wait wee hours for this promo fare! We randomly saw this on the website, so I actually have no tips for this. hehe

Visa 

My sister already holds a 3-year Korean visa, which she got through the BPI promo. We asked the bank if supplementary card holders are also eligible and they said yes. Long story short, I availed of this promo as a supplementary card holder, and I got approved. I’m sharing this because I’ve scoured through so many blogs and found very little info on supplementary cards for this promo. 🙂

Requirements for the visa, as well as the schedule for visa application can be found in the Korean embassy website. Do read instructions carefully and follow them! When they say paste the picture, paste it. I saw a lot of people going out from their lines just to paste their photo. Inside the embassy, there are tables where you can fill up forms, paste pictures and have documents photocopied. But save yourself from the hassle and have everything ready.

I went there a week before the November 1 holidays, so the place was packed. The line took about 45 mins to an hour, but the embassy staff processed everything super quickly. In fact, I barely said ‘good morning’ to the consul when she handed me my claim stub. :O Since I am a BPI card holder, my processing would only take three working days.

You can check the status of your application through the Korean Visa Portal. My status showed APPROVED a day before my claim date, and yes, I got a 3-year multiple entry visa! yeeeey!

Accommodations 

We booked Hotel Maui in Dongdaemun through Agoda. Will hopefully be able to put up a review soon!

Itinerary

We used Google MyMaps to do our itinerary. We kind of wanted this trip to be ~chill~and enjoyable, so we didn’t do a very detailed itinerary.  Here was our plan, which we didn’t really follow. (which was both a good thing and a bad thing) hahaha.

Day 1: Nami Island, Namdaemun Market, Ewha Women’s University, Hongdae Shopping street

Day 2: Palaces, Bukchon Hanok Village, Samcheong-dong

Day 3: Seoraksan, Daepohang Port, Myeongdong

Day 4: Yeouido Hangang Park, Namsan Seoul Tower, and other random places we might want to go to

Capture

Clothing 

:/

Our trip was from November 20-24, and Accuweather said the temperatures can reach up to -6 degrees C. For this we bought Uniqlo heat tech inner wear, a pile-lined and insulated jacket. The only mistake here was we didn’t buy heat tech pants and winter shoes, because by the second day our legs were cold and stiff…and I literally couldn’t even bend my toes even with thermal socks. 

Pre-booking 

We booked our Namsan Seoul Tower Ticket via Klook (priced at PHP 299 each), and our egg wifi from KT Olleh (priced at PHP 690 for five days), also via Klook.

Other Notes

1. South Korea has these types of outlets (see below.), so be sure to bring adapters.

socket

2. If you want to exchange your PHP to KRW at a local bank here, do call or reserve weeks before you want it exchanged. Learned this the hard way as we got not-so-good rates at the airport.

3. They are pretty much a cashless society. Almost everything can be paid thru credit card, even in kiosks. So if you do want to go cashless or for emergency purposes, call your bank and have your credit card activated for international use.

4. Download the subway app! I repeat, download the subway app if you want to go around commuting! There are a number of versions available, so choose what you want. This kind of saved our lives in the subway. There is also a Bus App so you could also check that out. During the latter part of our trip, we found that travelling via buses was actually 10x more relaxed.

subway-korea1

Anywaaaaays, there’s a summarized version of all our planning. Check out the next posts for the trip!

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