Annyeong-hasaeyo peeps! So, my cousin Fifiey dropped a message on my blog asking for tips since she’s going to Korea on this coming September.
She actually asked to list out the stuffs that she should bring for a week trip, and things that she should bring back to Malaysia. I say 2PM ;p
Since I don’t even know when can I get a chance to visit Korea, unless my sponsor says yes coughAbangNancough I did some research on what place to visit, how to get there, since I planned to visit Seoul last year, but canceled it at the very last minute, burned my deposit money. Well, well, well, since Korea is quite my specialty, I’ve decided to share my trip plan I did last year.
This is all originally hand-written in my plan book, I make some effort and re-type it here to share it with you guys. I also provide those places with link for you to click and read through, get the map and further information. Happy reading, and dreaming! ;)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO KNOW
Capital : Seoul
Time Difference : 1 hour ahead of Malaysia
Currency : 1 Malaysian Ringgit = 359 Korean Won (as of 11 June 2011)
Weather : There is a wet monsoon season in the middle of the year and a dry, cold winter from November to March. During the winter, the average temperature is around -2C, and begins to warm up in March. The coldest month is January.
Weather from September to November is beautiful and sunny, with mild temperatures and little rain. The spring season, during April and May is also very pleasant, but more prone to rain than autumn. Temperatures will fall between 15-27C and 10-15C at night.
Summer is particularly hot, muggy and prone to typhoons. The warmest month of the year is August. Average temperature range is 25-28C.
Checklist of things to do and bring to Korea!
1. Check out the weather, in case warmer clothes are needed.
2. Check out the time difference to prevent major jet-lag.
3. Check out the travel distance from KL to Seoul. It's about 6 hours.
4. Check out if VISA is needed. VISA is only needed in Korea if you visit more than 3 months.
5. Money of course. Bring extra money in USD in case you need to use more. At some places, RM is not accepted.
6. Passport passport passport!
7. Minimal size of liquid bottle in hand luggage. Make sure less than 100mL.
8. Perfect itinerary of places that you want to visit.
9. Camera! and handphone!
10. Ipod, Iphone, Ipad, any gadget to entertain you on plane.
11. Laptop, Iphone or anything which can be used to access internet if you need to check hotel, weather or place to visit.
12. Charger of all the gadgets!
13. Get the public transportation info in case you're planning not to waste money on paying taxi fees.
14. Notebook and pen. in case you meet artists. hehee kidding. you sure will need it, trust me.
Public Transportation Info
SUBWAY. The subway is the most efficient and convenient way for foreign travelers to get around in Seoul. Station names, ticket counters and transfer signs are clearly marked in English as well as in Korean. The different subways lines are colour-coded and all trains have announcements in English and Korean.
BUS. Three types of buses cover routes connecting every corner of the city: the Ilban bus, Jwaseok bus and Maeul bus.
Operating hour: 4.30 a.m.-1 a.m., buses arrive at stops in 5-15 minute intervals
What To Buy In Korea?
Cloth and Clothing. It's a must buy if you visit Korea. There are a lot of fancy and nice clothes sell as you seen in Korean dramas. If you're a fan of cotton clothes, you can actually get it there!
Cosmetics. Etude House is a popular Korean brand and must have. BB Cream especially being used by artists to get flawless skins. Thats why they are all look pretty!
Handicrafts and Traditional Goods. Yes yes and yes!
Kpop Goods. You can actually buy it in bundle, and sell it in Malaysia! Malaysians kpop fans sure willing to pay at any cost.
Useful Halal Restaurant Information for Muslims
India Gate, Durga, Namaste, Pooja, Usmania, Taj Mahal etc. You can check more of the restaurants here.
Shopping and Entertainment
Myeong-dong is Korea’s trendiest shopping area selling clothes, shoes, handbags, accessories and cosmetics. Day or night, young people always crowd into the numerous restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and night clubs in the area. Nice goods sell at lowest price, a must visit place!
To those who know, Insa-dong is between the modern architecture and the historic culture, on can find endless supplies of local food and traditional tea. Visitors to Korea always include Insa-dong in the shortest of itineraries. If you wanna visit ‘living museum of folk history’, this is the place.
Some of the greatest bargains can be found in Dongdaemun Market, a large area packed with small shops and big malls. Popular items are fabrics, clothing, leather goods, women and children’s costumes, bedding, house ware, footwear and sporting goods.
The nation’s wholesale center and virtually anything you want can be found here: clothing, house ware, food, flowers, tools, wigs, glasses and accessories of every kind.
This area is often referred to as Korea’s Rodeo Street, with glittering businesses ranging from expensive designer stores to unique vintage clothing shops. The young and fashionable gather here, and you can enjoy the simple pleasure of people-watching. Korean celebrities are seen frequently in Apgujeong-dong as well. A great spot for Kpop fans! Who knows you might spot 2PM members walking around.. yikes!
Coex Mall caters to overseas visitors and Korean nationals who seek a little of everything. The aquarium, the Kimchi Museum, the convention halls, the exhibitions, the shopping mall, the food court and the largest Megabox theather in Asia make the center a hotspot for general entertainment.
Lotte World consists of a large indoor theme park, an outdoor amusement park, an island linked by monorail, shopping malls, a hotel, a Korean folk museum, sports facilities and movie theatres in one area. The Lotte World indoor theme part is one of the largest indoor amusement parks in the world. If you watch Stairway to Heaven, you will simply recognize this place.
Originating on two mountains, one in South Korea and the other in the North, the Hangang. Best scenery during night!
Originally constructed in1395 under the reign of King Taejo, Gyeongbokgung offers a different experience for different people. Also called Northern Palace because of its location.
Changdeokgung is one of the “Five Grand Palaces” built by the kings of the Joseon Dynasty, also referred to as the East Palace.
Also known as Namsan Tower or Seoul Tower, is a communication and observation tower located in Namsan Mountain. Built in 1969, the tower has been a symbol of Seoul. And yes, come with your beloved one and lock your love here!
If you are a fan of Korean drama series The First Shop of Coffee Prince, this café is a must visit! It brings back memories of each scenery from the drama. I would love to visit here one day if I have that chance. If you’re planning to make me full of jealousy, this is the place y’all! How to get here? Here's the map.1. Take subway Line 2 to Hongik University station. It's marked in green on the map. 2. Go out through Exit 4. 3. Turn right at Seven Springs corner. Walk for around two blocks. 4. When you reach the end of the road, turn left. 5. Turn right on the first right turn you see. (Once you turn you will see a Family Mart to your left.) 6. Walk straight for about 500 meters, the street will go uphill midway. At the end of the road you will find the coffee shop on the right side. Keep your eyes peeled because the shop is surrounded by trees. Tips taken from here.
And for better tips, visit blogger Dieya. She went there. Envy her! hehee
To visit all these places, I think I might need more than 2 weeks to visit, plus Nami Island, an attraction from Korean drama Winter Sonata, and Jeju Island which I always love in Spring Waltz!
Useful Korean Phrases
These are simple greetings that you might need during your visit.
1.Good morning/ afternoon/ evening: Annyeong-haseyo
2. How do you do?: Cheo-eum boepgetseoyo
3. Nice to meet you: Mannaseo bangawoyo
4.Yes, there is: Yae, isseoyo
5.No, there isn’t: Aniyo, eopseoyo
6. Thank you: Kamsa-hamnida
7.You're welcome: Cheonmanaeyo
8.Excuse me: Sillyae-hamnida
9. I’m sorry: Mian-hamnida
10. Please help me: Dowa-jusaeyo
Other basic things: uncle (ajusshi), aunty (ajuhmma) if you want to bargain with sellers.
Ok.. Fifiey, I want a hanbok if I win! Hehee ok kidding. That is way too expensive, but if you can buy it for me, that would be lovely! And yea, I really want you to bring back 2PM for me.. pleaseeeeeeee.
And lastly, we want 1 fridge magnet to put it on our peti sejuk buruk ni. Tak malu request sendiri Hehee
So to my cousin Fifiey, have a nice trip in Korea! For all of us, lets save up a lot of money to make our dream comes true, yeayy!