I am back again! This time round I'm going to provide a detail write up of my Korea trip. There are some things that you may need to plan, to know and to do before you even set off for your trip. Basically you need to have your trip itinerary well planned in your head, and some backup plans in your nipple or dick heads if the main plan doesn’t work. So this was what we had in mind then.
Day 01 (29 Dec) – Reach Seoul (find a 2 days 1 night accommodation)
Day 02 (30 Dec) – Travel to our Hiking area nearby accommodation
Day 03 to 05 ( 1 – 3 Oct) – Hiking at Jirisan National Park
Day 05 (3 Oct) – Return to Seoul
Day 06 (4 Oct) – Eat & Eat, to pamper our gone suffering hike
Day 07 (5 Oct) – Doing Zip Wire (flying fox), rail bike ride, ATV, gold cave & milestones cave visit
Day 08 (6 Oct) – Transfer accommodation and plan for paragliding
Day 09 (7 Oct) – Paragliding
Day 10 (8 Oct) – Everland theme park visit
Day 11 (9 Oct) – Seoul Palace visit
Day 12 to 13 (10 – 11 Oct) – Shop and eat
Day 13 (11 Oct) – Return to Sg
Let’s first talk about flight booking and accommodation. Don’t be Kiam Kana (stingy) and try to save and book a flight and reach your destination at odd hours where you have to carry big bags and luggage moving around or plain waiting for hours for your accommodation to be available for check in. The usual check in time for accommodation is 3pm (sometimes an earlier arrangement could be made, depends if you are staying in hotel or guesthouse). Taking 3pm as the guideline, the ideal time to reach Seoul Incheon International Airport is anything after 2pm (Sg to Seoul takes about 6hrs). You will need 45mins to 1 hr to reach Seoul Station if you are taking the Airport Express train. For your return flight if you are taking the late evening flight, do take note that the last airport express train timing is 10pm. If you miss that time, mean you have to cab all the way which can be costly.
For accommodation, it’s really up to your preference and depends on what is your itinerary and whether you intend to stick to the same area for entire trip or change a few different areas just to check out the happening stuff at that area. If you have no idea, the best way is to always choose your accommodation very near to Seoul Subway Station, and I mean you just need less than 5mins walk to the station for convenient purpose. Also, if your last accommodation is near to Seoul station, you can shop and pack your goodies into boxes and direct take the airport express to the airport and not having to carry too much of loads and keeps transferring different subway lines which are mostly unfriendly. When I say mostly unfriendly I mean that you have to first know where to transfer, how to walk to thelong distace of the desired transfer line and carry all your barang barang and walk staircases up and down. Yes, we are pampered with escalators in all our stations but not there. So is your choice.
To visit places that can’t be accessed by subways or buses or takes freaking half day or more to reach that destination and by the time you reach, probably the activities you intend to do will be closed by then. So you may intend to rent a car and drive there which will save you from hours of ride. Here’s the deal, you have to first convert your license into international license in Sg which takes a week to two for the collection. Then you must be familiar of left hand driving, else you will have big problems in orientation. Then Seoul traffic is basically not as friendly during morning or evening peak hours. And lastly the GPS system in English often not as accurate or smart as the one you use for your car. It is important that you left basic Korean character of left turn, right turn, etc, just for convenient sake. Try to have one more person in standby to drive.
Whatever activities you can book online please do so, not unless they only open to their locals or requires a Korean account for reservations. For cases like that either you engage a local there to help you book or can approach your accommodation owner or other means in booking.
You need to buy EG Sim card on line and collect it at the airport and get the person to help you to setup so that you can start calling and have data for net surfing. You also need to download this application called EG SIM CARD, and upon getting your Korean phone number (remember to note down the phone number, you need it as info for top up) then go to top up the voice with credit card payment. It is ok and still work if you miss the top up validity date. The top up of voice will allow you to convert to 1GB data. So once you left with minimum data, says about 50MB (can only top up data when left with 0MB, make sure you find a place with WIFI to activate the application to top up and convert to data, or borrow your friend’s phone hotspot to do the job.
Ok, that’s about it for the initial, and in my next post, will show you how to read their subway map.
To be continued….