Believe it or not, berjaya juga jejakkan kaki ke Korea. Kalau tengok previous post looooong time ago, it was since in 2011 that I've been always wanted to go and visit Korea. On the downside, too bad that I didn't go with my cousin as promised.
I wanted to share it here so that I will not forget and hopefully it will help some of you who's planning to go to Korea sooner of later.
To be honest, I'm impressed with some people who managed to cut off their budget and spent RM1,000 to RM2,000 for a trip to Korea all-in! Because I tried, and it was impossible for me. Probably during their visit, our currency might have going up a bit or so. Maybe. Or maybe, I'm a bit big spender. A bit. Haha.
What to prepare beforehand?
1. Flight ticket.
I would really really suggest you to buy flight ticket during their promotion. I've bought it through Air Asia like one year before our trip, and the price was kinda cheap - RM800 untuk pergi balik, including 20kg check in baggage. Seriously, you can get much cheaper price but normally, the price will be around RM2000 so i guess it was kinda good deal.
(Flight = RM 800.00)
p.s. Economy class in a low cost flight will be like naik bas biasa-biasa. Even it's a 6 hours 20 minutes flight, never expect any usb connector, headphones or small monitor provided. So, bring your own entertainment or plan tak tidur one days before fly - so that you can sleep until you reach there.
2. Self-guide vs Tour guide?
Well, it depends. Initially we planned for tour-guided tour, but the cost doubled, so we cancelled that and make our own itinerary based on peoples' blogs and reviews and KTO website (They did such a great job on promoting Korea). Kalau malas nak fikir, malas nak pening-pening kepala, I would suggest tour-guided tour, but kalau sanggup makan minum tidur bangun fikir itinerary, pilihlah self-guide. I guarantee for more privacy, less money spent, satisfaction, no regret and more fun. Haha. (Tapi tak nak remind every night bersengkang mata edit itinerary)
But believe me, Korea is a tourist-friendly country. Even though some might have language barrier difficulty but you'll survive somehow.
3. When to visit?
We visited Korea during spring time, hujung-hujung spring so cherry blossom sume dah tak da, tapi bunga-bunga lain still blooming. Tak tau nama-nama bunga, asal berwarna selain hijau dah kira comel dah. Sebenarnya tarikh yang dipilih adalah waktu tiket paling murah so that's why la.
Some might want to experince snow (never cross my mind) - better go other place than Korea since I heard winter in Korea was really cold, some nak pergi mandi laut di Jeju - would suggest to go during summer (as they will not allow swimming during other time), some nak photoshoot ala-ala Autumn in My Heart, so pergi la waktu autumn (my plan for next visit to Korea).
Spring I believe is the best time sebab tak sejuk and tak panas sangat, the weather was so chilling, hardly sweat walau jalan berbatu-batu. Hehe. Tapi matahari masih menyinar dengan teriknya. Terima kasih kepada kulit yang banyak melanin, sunburn tahap gaban. But even though it's spring, prepare for the rain, as we went through rainy days 3 out of 9 days in Korea.
p.s. Serious bawa payung (thought of it, but was thinking nahh, not gonna rain, and regretted it) - much cheaper in Malaysia and it's better bak kata pepatah sediakan payung sebelum hujan.
4. Wi-fi vs SIM card
We rented portable Wi-fi sepanjang di Korea. You can get it from Wiyo. For 9 days, it cost RM120 (with RM200 deposit). Kiteorang berempat, so sorang RM30. Murah kan. Unlimited data. Sangat convenient. The only downside is, if berpecah time shopping, so siapa yang tak bersama 'tukang pegang wiyo' terkebil-kebil la tak de internet. Some places like in subways and bus has wi-fi so no worry much. So far, we only had some difficulty for not having a SIM card. There was one day, pintu bilik homestay tak dapat buka, we have the owner's phone number tapi time tu malam, owner takde kat rumah, dia obviously takde whatsapp, ottoke... tup2 nasib baik rupanya pintu tak tutup ketat, so that's why key in password tak dapat access.
p.s. most houses kat Korea pakai automatic access untuk pintu masuk, agak jakun di situ kejap. Bye.
(Wi-fi = RM 30)
5. Where to visit?
Normally for a 9 days trip, some people will decide to visit Seoul-Busan-Jeju. Tapi bila fikir akan agak rush to here and there, we decided to keep Seoul-Jeju. It depends on your preference. Ada je some tourists stay in Seoul for 9 days. Banyak je tempat for visit so not a day felt wasted.
Once decided, next thing to put in mind is...
6. Domestic flight tickets
This one specific to Seoul - Jeju - Seoul trip, as from Seoul - Busan - Seoul, boleh naik KTX train (macam train to Busan tu). Jeju - Busan - Jeju also needs to think of domestic flight. Not that takde any other transportation live ferry, but if you don't mind staying in ferry for approximately 4 hours, then you may do so (Still need to travel from Seoul to southern states where ferry to Jeju available).
So for our domestic flight, the cheapest we can find is:
Incheon - Jeju: Korean Air (KRW 56,000)
Jeju - Incheon: Air Busan (KRW 95,200)
Approximately RM 585.00
Some suggested to buy 1-2 months prior, some even suggested to buy much earlier. We bought it about 4 months prior. I think is kinda pricey compared to what others has bought, but we had no other choice. Bila compare price dengan other dates, our visiting dates was the time price at peak rate. Fine.
|Our flight to Jeju island.|
7. Places to stay
Hotel sangatlah tiada dalam consideration. We chose homestay both in Seoul and Jeju. Homestay kiteorang pilih yang tak buruk2 sangat and tak mewah2 sangat. In between, asal nampak selesa.
In Jeju, we stayed at Bong's stay. Around 15 minutes from Jeju airport, slightly to the east side of Jeju-si. Recommended! Dari luar memang nampak buruk, tapi dalam tip top. Serius. We chose bilik yang ada dua queen bed, and shared toilet. Sebab time tu yang private toilet dah booked.
KRW 220,000/ 4 nights/ 4 people
Approximately RM 210/ person. So lebih kurang RM 55 per night sorang. Ok la kan.
|Masih terbayang warmer kat katil. Sedapnyaaaaa.|
|Morning view from the room. Excited pagi pertama in Jeju, angin sejuk sangat.|
Meanwhile in Seoul, we stayed at Come On Guesthouse Myeongdong. Tak ada pulak gambar. Huhu. But we booked suite room, so ada dua katil double decker, ada private toilet, tv, sofa and small kitchen - tempat masak and fridge provided. Berangan mula-mula nak masak most of the meal. Dapat la masak for most of the dinner and some lunch, breakfast dah provided, most lunch kat luar.
Price KRW290,000/ 4 nights
Approximately RM1120 so around RM280/ person.
(Accommodations = RM 490)
8. If you're visiting Jeju, next thing to think about... Transportation.
As for Seoul, dah tak perlu risau as their subways sangat advanced and easy to follow. Taxi pun tak mahal sangat, merata ada. Tapi untuk Jeju, they don't have subway. They only have taxis and buses. From people reviews, sangat tak recommend travel by bus as time interval between buses agak panjang. For taxis, untuk pergi satu ke satu tempat agak jauh which will then costs you quite a lot at the end of the trip.
Nak ambil tour guide specific di Jeju pun boleh je tapi most of the reviews I've went through claimed that self-drive was the best option and I had to agree on that too! All you need is confidence as you gotta drive on the left side.
Awal-awal memang cuak la juga, tapi lama-lama you'll get used to it and somehow enjoyed it! (I love driving and driving with best view is the best)
GPS provided speaks in English tapi words still in Korean. Therefore, it's much better if you able to read hangul (Korean words) like I do. More helpful in a way. Tak susah pun belajar words dia. Sehari dua pun boleh cover. Boleh baca tak paham pun tak pe. Haha.
Booked a car from Lotte rent-a-car. They will charge your credit card at the counter once you arrived to get you car. We obviously chose the cheapest car available. It was KIA Morning, besar sikit from Kenari i think. Comfortable for 4 people. Rented it for a full 3 days.
That's our tiny car. Randomly berhenti tengah jalan since no other car was seen nearby.
Price: RM 660 (RM 153/ person)
Owh yes, not to forget is your IDP, international driving permit. Pergi ke JPJ, they will provide you one. Siap tak sampai sejam, all you need is your passport copy, 2 passport photos and RM 150.
(Car rental and IDP = RM 303)
9. Extra tips and tricks.
(i) Apps to download:
- 지하출 (Seoul Subway) - very helpful for subways in Seoul. We were very depending on this app.
- Seoul pass - to buy tickets at cheaper price, eg. Everland, hanbok rental and Namsan tower.
(ii) Get DKYW (Discover Korea Your Way) 2017 coupons book from KTO Malaysia.
- Every year they will give away this coupon book for free for Malaysians who wanted to visit Korea.
- All you have to do is register as a member for free, complete a survey, they will email the survey code, then you may claim the coupon book. What's even better is that they will give a T-money card for free. (T-money is like Touch N Go card, which was more useful compared to ours. Hehe.)
10. Make sure your passport is not expiring anytime soon. At least 3 months from visiting date.
11. Convert your money in Malaysia.
Now you're ready to go!
Here is the summary of our 9 days trip in Korea. Hopefully I will be able to post a more detailed itinerary once I've got the time to do so later on. Once posted, I'll make a direct link to the post from here to make it easier.
Day 1: Departure
- Arrived in Incheon airport
- transfer to Gimpo airport by bus (KRW 5,000)
- reach Jeju island
- ride taxi to Bong's stay (KRW 2,750 per person)
- check in to Bong's stay
Day 2: Jeju Island
- Ride taxi to reach Lotte rental car
- Sangumburi crater (entrance fee KRW 6,000)
- Korean Folk Village (entrance fee KRW 10,000)
- Jeongbang fall (entrance fee KRW 2,000)
- Late lunch at Mulmaegol
- Desert and coffee at Monsant Cafe
Day 3: Jeju Island
- Cheonjeyeon falls (admission fee KRW 2,500)
- Jusangjeolli cliff (admission fee KRW 2,000)
- Play K-POP (admission fee KRW 12,000)
- Lunch at Unhae restaurant
- Innisfree Jeju House (free admission)
- O' Sulloc Tea House (free admission)
Day 4: Udo Island
- To Seongsan port
- Ride ferry to Udo Island (KRW 5,500)
- Udo Sanho Beach
- Hagosudong Beach
- Udobong peak
- Lunch at Uribong Sikdang
- Seongsan Ilchubong Peak (KRW 2,000)
- Jeju Dongmun Traditional Market
- Dongduam Rock (free admission)
- Send back rental car
Day 5: Arrival in Seoul
- Check out Bong's Stay
- Arrived to Incheon airport
- Check in Come On Guesthouse
- Hanbok Rental
- Gyeongbokgung Palace
- Dinner at Busan Jib
- Namsan Tower
Day 6: Seoul
- Bit Hit Entertainment
- Gangnam Hallyu Star Road
- Seoul Central Mosque
- GOTO mall (Express Bus Terminal St. Underground Shopping Centre)
- Banpo Bridge Rainbow Fountain
Day 7: Everland
- To Everland
- Yang Good Halal Restaurant
Day 8: Nami Island
- Nami Island
- Namdaemun market
Day 9: Going back to reality
- Ewha Women University
- Reached Kuala Lumpur
That's all for now. Will update for more soon. (Entah bila nak update since every other day oncall starting next Monday. Nangis).