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South Korea DIY Solo Trip: 4D 3N Itinerary and Expenses

Having been to South Korea twice, a lot of people may think that I have already covered the must-see places especially in Seoul. But being a fan of the Korean culture and of course, the Hallyu wave (kdramas, kpop, kvariety), I know that there are still plenty of places to visit, food to try, and things to do. So when an opportunity knocked on my door, I immediately grabbed the chance and flew to SK with only Php9,000 on hand.

Background: I was supposed to fly to Sri Lanka last March but for some reason I felt I was not yet meant to see the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Luckily, Airasia offered full credit shell for my flights since they were changing the schedule from time to time. What I did after the refund were search for cheap Airasia flights for April and wait for the Yeouido Spring Festival announcement.

I also applied for a new visa. I had previous Korean visas so it was easier and faster for me. All my applications were done personally so I did not spend a lot of money except for the fare to and from the embassy and the bank certificate and statement. I have few passport-sized photos left when we applied less than 6 months ago so they came in very handy.

Luckily, two weeks before my intended departure, I found cheaper fares through Airasia (to Incheon) and Jejuair (to Manila). So I booked them immediately and used the remaining credit shell for my travel tax. I was also happy to see that the Php550.00 terminal fee that we normally pay at the airport is already covered in the airfare.

As for my accommodation, I searched using Booking.com for cheap but excellent places to stay near Myeongdong. I found the Namsam Guesthouse which was offered at around 25% off with free breakfast and no downpayment needed.

I carefully planned my trip and listed the places that I haven’t visited yet and buildings I NEED to at least see once as a Kpop fan – Entertainment Agencies! I also followed the restaurant/market/food recommendations of some TV shows that I watched. Pretty much everything in my itinerary was new. I was also intent on not spending too much since I’ll be traveling by myself, so I spread my funds wisely in order to cover many places and still eat delicious meals. 🙂

So here it is, my Php9,000 4D 3N South Korea Itinerary and Expenses. (Disclaimer: Suggested to Kpop fans and those who have been to other famous tourist spots in SK. If you want to visit Nami Island, Petite France, Palaces, Everland, etc. you may visit my other itinerary here.)

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4D3N Itinerary and Expenses

Click here for better resolution: Itinerary Korea 2016

 

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4 Days 3 Nights South Korea Itinerary

Annyeonghaseyo! It’s been 3 months since I last blogged and over a month since I came back from my vacation in Korea and everything felt just like yesterday. How time flies!

Anyhow, just dropped by a bit to share with everyone the itinerary and budget that we used for my family’s trip to Korea. Considering that Korea is an expensive country to visit, I think our expenses were not a lot. Also, it was around Christmas season so I had a bit of liberty to spend a little more on food and souvenirs but still I think they were all worth it since we dined at famous restaurants in Myeongdong and brought home nice gifts for family and friends.

So here’s the itinerary that my family and I used. We didn’t get to stay there long so I just maximized the days we had in visiting places that I think they should see as first time visitors of Korea – Myeongdong, Namdaemun, Insadong, Gyeongbukgong, N.Seoul Tower, Nami, Petite France and Everland. I wish we still had time for late night shopping in Dongdaemun or an evening party or stroll in Gangnam, Itaewon or Hongdae but those places can wait. And yes, how can I forget the snow parks and Lotte World? But for now, here’s our simple itinerary packed with lots of beautiful and exciting places that I keep on falling in love with time and time again.

Budget per person (exchange rate 1,000 won=Php43):

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Korea Itinerary 4D3N

All in all, we spent around Php15,000.00 for the 4 days and 3 nights that we stayed in Korea. As for the flight, you can get as low as Php5000-Php7000 on seatsales from Cebu Pacific and Airasia. I got my flight tickets to Incheon last 2014 from Cebu Pacific for just Php7200.00 with additional 20kls baggage.

See? It’s not really that expensive to visit Korea. So if you are dying to visit the places where your favorite Idols and Kdrama stars shot their MVs, CFs, films or dramas or just want to experience snow, cherry blossom or autumn, start preparing your visa requirements now and keep an eye on those seatsales. Fighting!

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To Travel is To Live

Strike a pose!

Strike a pose!

I was looking for travel inspirations across the internet when I stumbled upon a quotation by Ernest Hemingway. He said “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love”. But what if, you get a chance to travel with people you do not know? Will you grab the chance? It was a particularly hard question to answer. I always get the notion that traveling with strangers is such a bad idea. What are you going to talk about? What if you don’t have the same wavelength? There are just too many questions that need answers, but you will never know the answers until you try.

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Backpacking Indochina Day 7 – Blood, Sweat, and Tears

For the endless bus rides

For the endless bus rides. (c) Stef Carandang

Day 0: Manila to Bangkok, Thailand

Day 1: Grand Palace, Chao Phraya River and MBK

Day 2: Songkran and Khao San Road

Day 3: Bangkok, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia, Pub Street and Night Market

Day 4: Angkor Wat Heritage Complex and Apsara Show

Day 5: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Preah Sisowath Quay

Day 6 Part 1: Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Central Market

Day 6 Part 2: Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

At 6:00 in the morning, we went downstairs to have breakfast. I honestly thought we will be the first ones but I didn’t know what kind of people are the others because they woke up so early. We ordered breakfast from the hotel restaurant. Kat seemed to have a rift with breakfast. Ang malas malas nya. She ordered bread with jam and butter while Shiela ordered bread with egg and butter then I had bread with egg and cheese. I had an entire entree when the waiter served my food, Shiela’s wasn’t bad at all. But when Kat got her breakfast, she had what she asked for: jam and butter. Yun naman pala by default lahat ay may jam and butter. Hahaha. Naawa nalang si Kat sa sarili niya.

At Golden Wind

At Golden Wind (c) Stef Carandang

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Backpacking Indochina Day 6 Part 2 – False Alarms

 

Habang tumatagal, matumal na ang group pic.

Habang tumatagal, matumal na ang group pic.

Day 0: Manila to Bangkok, Thailand

Day 1: Grand Palace, Chao Phraya River and MBK

Day 2: Songkran and Khao San Road

Day 3: Bangkok, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia, Pub Street and Night Market

Day 4: Angkor Wat Heritage Complex and Apsara Show

Day 5: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Preah Sisowath Quay

Day 6 Part 1: Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Central Market

Midday of April 17th, after a heartbreaking trip to the Killing Fields and S-21, it’s about time to leave the humble city of Phnom Penh. At 11:30 we made our way to look for a place to eat. We decided to eat just near Hometown Hotel because time is of the essence. With 30 minutes cooking time, Cambodians I think didn’t get that memo.

We were joined by the others -Tikoy, Edge, Golden, Dan, Ms. Lyn, Vhik, and Froi. I ordered my comfort food–spaghetti and garlic bread. When the waiter started serving the food, he handed “my garlic bread” to Froilan. I didn’t even know it was mine (False Alarm #1) because the waiter didn’t say so and it was a small-sized french bread. I thought it would be just like the usual garlic breads here in the Philippines. We all thought it was free so they munched it, it was far from me to get some so I just passed. And Froi was having fun eating it so I didn’t bother taking some. Vhik and Froi were really enjoying the “i-didn’t-know-garlic-bread-of-mine”. Until Shiela asked “Umorder ka diba ng garlic bread?”. Froi laughed, I think he realized that he was eating my garlic bread. Hahaha. I myself was clueless that it was mine so I just said it was fine. At least I got to taste some. And whew I thank Vhik and Froi for eating half of it, the moment I tasted it, I asked “ano to tinapay na garlic flavor o bawang na tinapay flavor?”. Chunks of garlic were literally inside the bread. Haha. Anyway, my pasta was exceptional, as always.

Chicken skewers for lunch

Chicken skewers for lunch

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Backpacking Indochina Day 6 Part 1 – The Ghosts of the Past

Prepping for PP to HCM travel.

Prepping for PP to HCM travel. (c) Roan Guerrero

Day 0: Manila to Bangkok, Thailand

Day 1: Grand Palace, Chao Phraya River and MBK

Day 2: Songkran and Khao San Road

Day 3: Bangkok, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia, Pub Street and Night Market

Day 4: Angkor Wat Heritage Complex and Apsara Show

Day 5: Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Preah Sisowath Quay

I had a good night sleep in Hometown Hotel despite the reviews I saw on tripadvisor (Note from Shiela: I barely slept, just so you know. Thanks to that post you shared. 😦 ). It was a particularly easy day for me – talking about the things I needed to do before going out. I wore my tank top and after a while, we went out. 7:00 was the call time, the sun was up and I was starving. Few moments and we’re off. We were fetched by our shuttle service to the restaurant. Half an hour passed and we were nowhere near the restaurant. Edge needed to call the hotel staff to tell the driver the directions to the restaurant.

I was particularly preparing myself to see a fine dining restaurant. No joke, I was thinking, “why are we driving for almost half an hour if we weren’t going to a fine dining restaurant?” But as they say; “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”. True that! We were all waiting for our orders, and when they started serving our food, I was rather impressed. The food was good. The espresso was the best I had ever. And everyone seemed to like their food. We were all done except for Kat. Hahaha. (Nasa France pa daw yung French toast niya). When we were all done, including Kat, we went to the shuttle to start the journey to the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center.

Brekky!

Brekky!

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Backpacking Indochina Day 5 – The Journey

Groupie after 9 hours (c) Melva Co

Groupie after 9 hours (c) Melva Co

Day 0: Manila to Bangkok, Thailand

Day 1: Grand Palace, Chao Phraya River and MBK

Day 2: Songkran and Khao San Road

Day 3: Bangkok, Thailand to Siem Reap, Cambodia, Pub Street and Night Market

Day 4: Angkor Wat Heritage Complex and Apsara Show

I was staring outside, people were panicking and really worried about the bus driver. It was like being in a video game minus the console and joysticks. We were swaying left and right. The bus was driving in an incomparable pace. I felt I have ridden Battlestar:Galactica in Universal Studios. The road was rough, red sands made the air blurry. It was hot.

We started our journey from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh at 7:30 in the morning. The bus driver fetched the others but there was quite a problem; some of the seats that were given to our group are non-existent (unless they rather let us sit on the toilet). The journey began at 9:00. They say “A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.”, when I opened my curtain, it was hot, but instead of just sleeping, I had a few realizations; 1) I am blessed, 2) God is great, 3) Other countries are really not that far, 4) Southeast Asia is hot, 5) the bus driver sucks, but most of all 6) Traveling is all about being alive.

Delicious waffles

Delicious waffles

The road was like the lives of many Cambodians–rough. Everything turns blurry when a car passes. Heat is undeniably unbearable. But you have got to commend the Cambodians for loving their country, and for staying true to themselves. I always admire a country not because it is rich or whatever but because it has an identity–something that we do not have. Admit it or not, having an identity is the last thing in our minds. We always settle for something westernized, patronize imported things and, comparing our government or anything to a much better country. That was what I admire most in Cambodia–identity and most of all, nationalism.

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