Hello there! 🙂 If you haven’t read my post yet about Travel Guide to South Korea, you can check it out first before reading my DAY 1 itinerary because some things were already mentioned there. Thank you! :*
We arrived at NAIA Terminal 3 around 3 o’clock in the morning because our departure time to South Korea via AirAsia was at 7:00 am. We looked for the entrance gate assigned to AirAsia. The gate doesn’t really matter actually. You can choose any gate with shorter queues. Ssshh! 😀 We paid for our travel tax which was P1, 650. Facing the airport, it’s located on the left side near the exit area in the third floor. There are different rates for travel tax, see table below.
Next, we checked-in our baggage, we’ve had 20kg baggage allowance because of too many coats, hello winter! 😀 Since our ticket was booked after February 2015, we didn’t have to pay for the terminal fee of P550 because it was already included in our plane ticket.
Before lining up for immigration, we completely filled up a departure card (this should be given by the airline staff upon checking-in). Since South Korea is a visa-required country for Filipinos, there were no so many questions being asked by the officer unless you’re holding a different visa other than the tourist one or you have worked in South Korea before. So for legit tourists, just prepare your return ticket, hotel booking and travel authority (for Government employees) or DSWD clearance (for minors not traveling with his parent/s).
We were very early so we still had time for brekky! Yey! We took our breakfast at Tapa King for around P150 per person.
FLY FLY FLY!!!!
We arrived at Incheon Airport around 12nn (SoKor time). South Korea is 1 hour ahead of the Philippines. Their airport is very big that we needed to ride an airport train from the building of arrival gates to the passenger terminal (immigration, custom, baggage claim and exit). It took us one and a half hour for immigration clearance because there were many tourists. Make sure to get your arrival card and passport ready for immigration and custom’s declaration form for yeah, custom. 🙂
Allowed and cleared. Yey!
We initially planned to rent a pocket wifi for our entire stay in SoKor. The price per day was reasonable (5,000 KRW or P210) but the rental fee for the gadget wasn’t. LOL. It was around 200,000 KRW (P8500) . OHEMGEE!!! so we decided not to rent anymore. haha. And glad we were right because wifi in South Korea is almost everywhere. Yezzz!!!
Next, we exchanged our US dollars to Korean Won at Shinhan bank because they offer discount of 1,100 KRW (P45) for AREX (Train from Incheon to Seoul) Tip: Buy Korean won in the Philippines. No need to exchange from Php to USD then to KRW in Korea, value decreases 😦 We bought some of our KRW at NAIA terminal 2 arrival area Money Exchange and some at Incheon airport.
We took a lot of flyers at the Tourist booth. hahaha
Then we headed to KFC. I bought the largest meal for 7,700 KRW (P325) because I was so hungry and there were no any rice meals in the menu. 😦
After eating, we then looked for a convenience store and bought our T-Money cards for 2,500 KRW (P105) each.
There are many options for transportation from Incheon Airport to Seoul.
BUS: The ticket booths for the Airport Bus are located near Gates 4 and 9 inside the arrival area and near Gates 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13 and 9C outside the airport. Deluxe bus costs around 14,000 to 15,000 KRW (P635) while the standard bus costs 9,000 to 10,000 KRW (P420). 1 1/2 to 2 hours travel time. There are different buses for some station or destination in Seoul, if you’re bound to Myeongdong Station, you can take BUS 6001 or BUS 6015. For more options, check this link.
TRAIN: AREX 8,000 KRW (P340) each, 45 minutes travel time
PRIVATE CAR: 80,000 KRW (P3,400) fixed rate for the whole group, max of 8. 1 to 1/2 hour travel time. They can drop you straight to your hotel. For reservation/booking, email Mr. Jacob Jung at firstname.lastname@example.org. They also offer daily tours within Seoul or to Gapyeong (Nami Island) or to Everland. I recommend this for group tours, for more details check their page here.
We took the AREX train because there were only 3 of us. Cheaper! 😀
but kinda hassle because we needed to transfer station from Seoul to Myeongdong while carrying our heavy luggages. huhuhu Fare:1,250 KRW (P50) We arrived at 24 Namsan Garden Guesthouse around 5 o’clock in the afternoon. For detailed instruction from the airport to the guesthouse, check this link.
We unpacked our things, changed to thicker clothes then yey! Foodtrip begins! hahaha
Myeongdong Shopping street is the make-up capital of Seoul. There are more than a hundred local and foreign cosmetics store!!! To the left, to the right, turn-around, everywhere! hahaha
But we were not after that, we were more excited with the different food stalls at the center of the road which are only there at night, fyi. LOL. Their street food are expensive. We bought only one for each kind then divided it into three. #tipidmoves haha (Click to enlarge image :D)
After reaching the end of the street with a heavy tummy, we then decided to try a cafe within the area. There are many cat and dog cafes in Myeongdong but we wanted to visit Hello Kitty cafe. 🙂 We tried their hot chocolate which costs 4,500 KRW (P190) . I took a video inside the cafe which will be included in my South Korea video (to be uploaded soon :D) So sorry if I only have few photos here. LOL
We really enjoyed our stay in this cafe, in fact, we stayed until the owner asked us to leave the place because they were closing already! hahaha Time to go home! 🙂