I begin my 1st trip of this year by visiting the jinjja daebak, SEOUL. I was there for a week and I didn’t want to be back (as always). I’m gonna share my experience by categories, from “must-go” to “must-eat” instead of the usual day-to-day thing because I guess you won’t be interested in my waking up to brushing of teeth & etc., right? heh. So this post will be solely on the places which I think you will love & you should visit when you’re in Seoul.
❆ Get T-Money
Before you could start touring in Seoul, T-money is essential for all your train rides. It works just like our ez-link card and English instruction is available, so fret not. The price of the card is ₩3000, approx. S$3.50 (exchange rate: S$1= ₩857), without any value in it. I spent a total of around ₩20,000 (S$23.50) on my T-money for my entire trip. Just for your information, my hotel is conveniently located at Seoul Station, getting around was really easy. Now, you’re good to go!
❆ Gyeongbokgung Palace
There are 4 Palaces in Seoul itself, Gyeongbokgung Palace seems to be the main so I would recommend that you guys just visit Gyeongbokgung Palace as it’s gonna take at least 2 hours for this palace alone. Entrance Ticket is selling at ₩3000 (S$3.50) | ₩1500 (S$1.75) for Adult (Ages: 19-64) and Children (Ages: 7-18), respectively. There is free scheduled tour in three different languages such as English, Mandarin & Japanese which will help you to learn more about the history of the palace at a certain timing, be sure to be there on time.
Gyeongbokgung Palace Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5
Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2 More info..
Within a walking distance from Gyeongbokgung Palace, we strolled to Insa-dong with a cup of Starbucks in our hands to brace 10-12°C. There is one main road in Insa-dong with alleys on each side. Within these alleys are galleries and traditional restaurants, tea-houses, and cafes. If you love arts, satisfy your arty-crafty desire at this place, you can find arts at every corner in Insa-dong. I gotten an handmade handphone cover for my iphone which was designed by the designer herself. Take photos with rows of trees (like we did) and eat Jjajangmyeon (Korean Black Bean Sauce Noodle) for only ₩2500 (S$2.92)!
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6
Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3
❆ Ewha Woman University
Korea’s first educational institute for women and one of the most popular shopping districts in Seoul. You can find affordable clothing price ranging from ₩10,000 (S$11.70) onwards and pretty girls, but not all are natural la heh, choose wisely okay? Temperature actually dropped to 6-7 °C that day, we were all freezing our asses off the street. I spent about ₩70,000 (S$80) on REDEYES earrings because my skin is allergic to any other brands except for Redeyes earring, so I bought about 7-8 pairs at one shot. Trust me it’s very much cheaper in Korea!
Ewha Womans University Station (Subway Line 2)
❆ Express Bus Terminal
This is a shopping heaven and I mean it! Apparently, my lover, Aud is a girl but not the shopaholic kind, she got so scared by the way I shopped, needless to say for the boys ya, they only bother about searching for WiFi. This is a Korea version of JJ & Pratunam market. My inner voice was scream:“cheap~ buy..cheap~ buy!” HAHAHA! Actually, I didn’t buy a lot because I still got a few more days ahead before my trip ends but they think I got too much, oh well~heh.
Express Bus Terminal (Seoul Subway Line 3, 7, 9), Exit 1 or 2
This is Seoul’s primary shopping district with big fashion, sports and skincare brands. They have a huge Laneige Flagship store at the heart of Myeongdong. I spent about 30 minutes and if you spend more than ₩50,000 (S$58.50) you’ll get a further discount [seasonal] & tax refund. I spent over ₩150,000 (S$175) to restock my Laneige product. After a long day of shopping, we pampered ourselves to a 1.5 hours massage session at O2 Body & Foot for just ₩42,000 (S$49) located conveniently at 1st Floor of Hotel ibis Ambassador Seoul, MyeongDong.
Myeong-dong Subway Station (Seoul Subway Line No. 4)
❆ Hongdae/ Hongik University
Hongdae is a youthful neighbourhood with young crowds mainly. Get ready to find many unique cafes and the super huge & popular StyleNanda, I didn’t wanted to leave that place! Getting lost in Hongdae is not very bad after all. I also got my Palladium Boots in Hongdae and I’m so loving it!
Hongik University Station (Seoul Subway Line 2, Gyeongui-Jungang, AREX), Exit 8 or 9
❆ N Seoul Tower
Take a cable car, lock your love lock with your love ones over the magnificent view of the entire Seoul city in both day & night. We were up there at temperature around 2-5 °C, it’s cold but I’m missing right now when I’m in super hot red dot.
[Cable Car] Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) Exit 3, walk for about 15 minutes following the street of the right side of the Pacific Hotel.
Cable car tickets is about ₩10,000 – ₩12,000 (S$12-S$14) can’t really remember is it is for 2-way or 1 but it’s not expensive. Entrance tickets to Seoul Tower is sold separately.
❆ Gasan Digital Complex
Recommended by John’s colleagues in Korea, there are at least 3-4 outlet mall in around this station itself. Get ready to find fashion, luxury brand items, furniture, household items, cosmetics, shoes, all at a discounted rate. They don’t just sell old designs but new one as well! My boy got a NorthFace jacket to brace the freeze at just ₩282,000 (S$330), affordable. It’s at least S$400-S$500 in Singapore. On this day, I fell sick due to the drastic change in weather.
Gasan Digital Complex Sation (Seoul Subway Line 7), Exit 4
I’d come to the end of places I would recommend you to visit when you travel to Seoul. I did not recommend Dongdaemun because it is so famous and well known but it’s really not attractive at all and everyone there are minding their own business, no customer service. After all, it’s a wholesale market which means you can’t get just one piece usually (there could be exception though). The people might think that you’re PRC and give you nasty attitude, only ask when you’re buying. On the side note, this trip had been awesome compared to my last year’s visit to Korea. It’s currently on my favourite travel list now and I’ll update on the food in Seoul Yummy next week so please stay tune okay? Happy TGIF!