Fresh Eyes on Seoul – South Korea

seoul

My first time trip to go abroad took place in Seoul, South Korea a few weeks ago, when it’s summer time. Summer is between June to August around which I visited the place. August is Seoul’s hottest month and the temperature goes between 26-35 degrees Celsius, pretty much like mid-summer in the Philippines.

Like Japan, Korea also has 4 seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter and these are clearly differentiated by colors of leaves. Most people visit Seoul during spring season, when the cherry blossoms bloom and this is around late March to May.  Fall is from mid-September to November. If you want to visit Seoul on a winter, it’s usually between December to February. The coldest month is January, with temperature ranging between minus 6 degrees Celsius.

Getting there

Most international flights land at Incheon International airport. You can rent a taxi but it will be very expensive, with fare expected to be around 40,000-70,000 Korean won.

If you want a more practical way to get to Seoul City from the airport, you can take the AREX or the Incheon Airport Railroad Express. You can buy and re-load your T-money at any convenient store. You will need your T-money for paying the train anywhere you want to go. The train will cost around 4,050 Korean won and it will get you to the city in an hour.  All stop train will leave Incheon at 11:58pm sharp, because Koreans are time-conscious.

I stayed in Myeondong Hotel, specifically in its Vestin Villa which is the cheapest hotel unit ever. My sister and friends stayed there as a group for about 7 days for only 5,000 pesos. Although it’s located on top of the hill,  Vestin is very convenient because it’s near the train station, convenience stores, and restaurants. The hotel also gives a nice view. You can see the Namsan Tower.

 

Places to go

  • Our first destination was the Gyeongbokgung Palace. I could see the length of our visit which is 1-3 hours because it’s when you watch the presentation of the guards. The admission is 3,000 Korean won per adult.  The Gyeongbokgung is the primary palace. You should be on time so that you can watch the changing of guards well.

  • Our 2nd destination was the Traditional Houses of Bukchon Hanok Village. It’s a nice place especially the houses. They are comparable to the Philippines’ plush subdivision. Korean houses are called Hanoks. Length of visit is 1-2hrs. Admission is free.

  • Our 3rd destination was the place for the love birds: Namsan Tower or N Seoul Tower. You will ride in a cable car for you to reach the tower. Admission price is 17,500 Korean won inclusive of round trip cable car fare. You can lock your love using padlocks and by writing the name of your love one and lock it there.

  • Our 4th destination was Nami Island. It’s an hour away from the city. Many families, tourists and couples are the ones coming to visit. Admission price is 8,000 Korean won for foreigners, and you must bring your passport for confirmation. You will ride on a boat, with an estimated time arrival of 15-20 mins.  After arriving in the island, you can rent a bike for 3,000 Korean won for 30 minutes or 5,000 Korean won for 1 hour per person.  Discounts apply if more than 1 person is renting the bike.

Nami Island is a very well-known place in Korea among Pinoys because of the very popular Korean Novela, The Winter Sonata. They showed there the bicycles that the actors used for tourist attraction and they also put the statues of the characters for ” the most memorable scene” in the series.

  • Our 5th destination was the Lotte World. It is located as portions of Seoul: 240 Olympic-ro,

Songpa-gu, Seoul, South korea. It is also called the “magic island”. Admission for adults 18 years old and over is 44,000 Korean won. Teenagers aged 13-17, Children aged 3-12, and babies 12 and below are paid 38,000, 34,000, and 11 Korean won respectively. Lotte World’s operation time is Monday to Thursday from 9:30am-10:00pm and Friday to Sunday from 9:30am-11:00pm.

You can go to Lotte World using the subway, Seoul subway line 2, line 8 at the Jamsit,  while exits 3 and 4 lead to Lotte World directly. There are a lot of things that you can see in Lotte World because it’s surrounded by enormous entertainment, water parks, shopping complex and many other businesses in this place.

Outside of Lotte World, you will see the extreme rides. I tried one of those rides and can say that it’s really, really extreme. But yes, I did it so I could conquer my fears.

The Adventure of Sinbad is also worth a try. You will ride on a boat that takes you to the Sinbad Legends. Inside, you will experience and see sword fighting, three headed dragons, skeletons, genie and many more. There’s also the Pharaoh’s fury, an Egyptian-themed adventure. You will ride on a jeep-like vehicle that you use to watch the giant crocodiles, mummies, cave full of bats, treasures, and many more.

More South Korea Photos here

  • Our 6th destination was Gangnam City. My impression is that it’s a place where rich people live and shop because of all of the brands from the US were there and it’s also where most Korean celebrities live.

Best of all, it is exciting to know that this country with 25 million people is just behind Japan and Indonesia. If you have a visa to Japan, for example, you can reach it via a 35-minute train ride.

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About the author /


Bovee Colley C. Fuertes is a fresh graduate of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Major in Marketing Management from University of St. La Salle, a degree she has achieved following several attempts at becoming a scientist, doctor, lawyer and engineer. Finding her several tries complicated, she concluded that perhaps things will be much simpler and easier when she becomes a manager of her own business.

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