For friends who are interested to know about my Seoul trip or who are going to Seoul on free and easy trips, here is my brief itinerary. Hopefully it helps. =)Day 1Touch down at Incheon International Aiport (2115 hrs). Heading to Wind Road & Flower Guest House.Address: 1F 85-5, Myeongryun-dong 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 110-812, Korea.Contact No: 02 6407-2012 ~ 3E-mail: email@example.comWebsite: http://www.backpackerkorea.net/Manager: Park HongsunRoom price: 40,000 won (RM120) per nightActivities: Cooking (free but with your own food), laundry (3,000 won per basket), water refilling (free), story time (interact with backpackers 8.30pm every night), WiFi in your room & internet access (free)Comments: Manager and her assistant are both from China, can speak fluent Mandarin and English, very friendly and helpful. But the location is a bit far. Need a lot of walking from the nearest MRT station. Recommended if you want to feel like home.Day 2Heading to Myeung-dong Fashion District. Location: Myeung-dong Station Exit 6, 7 or 8Info: The most current fashions and food culture are found in a jungle of tall buildings housing Seoul's major banks, hotels and department stores. For girls, you can go for Uniqlo or Spao (local brand) and ZARA or Forever 21 (international brand). For guys, if you're a fan of Nike, ABC Mart will be your first choice. Besides, skin care products such as The Face Shop, Skin Food, Tony Moly, Etude House, Hanskin, Missha, It's Skin, Nature Republic and Laneige can all be found here. Olive Young (similar to our Watson) is a good place to shop too.Comments: Night time is more happenings. There're a lot of events also. You can buy entrance ticket of NANTA here. James and I spend most of our time here, window shopping.In Myeung Dong, besides shopping, there's an intersting part, which I'm sure everybody will definitely love it! It's Seoul Global Culture & Tourism Center at M-Plaza. Location: 31-1, Myeung-dong 2-ga, 4th Floor, M-Plaza, Myeung-dong.Info: This center is a place which provides all kinds of services for tourists. They provides maps and promotion booklets. You can use their free internet access for 20 minutes. Tel: 02-3789-7961Website: http://www.seoulcenter.kr/Operating time: Throughout the year 10:30~22:00Activities: Everyday : Experiencing Korean Traditional Costume Mon ~ Fri : Making of crown, mask, Korean paper lamp, etc Sat & Sun : Traditional Musical Instrument Performance (12:30~13:30)Comments: One of my missions to be completed in Seoul is to put on their Korean Costumes, acting like a Korean lady. So lucky that my dream is fulfilled on the very first day. So high! And yet, these are all for FREE!!! Yipee!
First, Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Info: The main palace for the Joseon Dynasty with beautiful and relaxing grounds, including Geunjeongjeon and Gyeonghoeru. The National Museum of Korea and the National Folk Museum of Korea are located here as well.
Location: Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit 5
Operating Hours: 9:00~18:00 (Mar~Oct), 9:00~17:00 (Nov~Feb). Closed on every Tuesday.
Comments: There're actually many palaces to be visited. In person, I think it's more than enough to just visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, although Deoksugung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace are quite well-known too. They're almost the same, including their sturctures and life cultures. But, it's this hall (picture below) that mesmerized me! It's a MUST to take a picture of/with it. But due to the smoky weather that noon, I don't think the effect is good.
Next, ItaewonSpecial Tourism Zone.
Info: It is actually a street in Seoul popular with foreign tourists consisting of various markets selling garments, leather products, antiques, crafts, fur products and jewelry, as well as diverse entertainment venues.
Location: Itaewon Station, Exit 1
Comments: We're quite interested at first, but we're disappointed. It's totally a sightseeing, unless you aim for antiques and foreign food. Not really recommended.
Info: As the representative tourist attraction as well as a place for refreshment and cultural space in Seoul, it is a central brand to lead the advancement of Seoul and the center of digital culture in the 21st century.
Location: Euljiro 3-ga Station, Exit 1 or 2
Comments: To be frank, I thought there's nothing special about this man-made stream. But, it's actually a massive project done to clean up the polluted stream and make up an art and nature walkway. We reach there at dawn, but find out the view at night is awesome!!! If you're not walking along the path, you can just probably close your eyes and listen to the sound of rushing water. Couples and families can be seem everywhere. Highly recommended!
(The picture below is taken at night. I am really shocked when reviewing it)
Last, Dongdaemum Market.
Info: A famous fashion district recognized worldwide with some ten large garment buildings including Migliore, Doosan Tower and Cheongdaemoon Town.
Location: Dongdaemum Stadium Station, Exit 14.
Comments: Most of the shopping malls here inlcuding Doota, Migliore Valley, Designers' Club, Nuzzon, Gwanghee Fashion Mall, etc. open about 8pm and close at 8am or 5pm the next day. These wholesale shops sell goods in wholesale and retail, but I don't see it very cheap though. One piece also needs 25,000 won/RM75. No wonder clothes from Korea are usually sold higher in M'sia. I have to admit that the quality is really good and the pattern is very pretty also. But.. But.. I am really really really very RELUCTANT to spend my money on it. Imagine RM75 I can buy at least 3 pieces of dress in Bangkok. Sigh!!! Only recommend if you're RICH.
After 3 nights at Wind Road & Flower GH, we finally decide to move out to town area. We're lucky that there's still a room left for us. It's definitely a very strategic place to stay in, Myeung Dong Guest House.
Address: #17, Namsan-Dong 3-Ga, Jung-Gu, Seoul, Korea.
Location: Myeung-dong Station, Exit 1.
Tel: (02) 755-5437/5436 H/P: 010-5350-5394 Fax: (02) 755-5438
Room price: 40,000 won/RM120 per night.
Rules: No cooking is allowed. No laundry service as well.
Comments: The owner of the GH, Mr Bravo Park, is a retired bank manager. He can speak fluent English and Japanese to provide excellent service to foreign guests. He can speak simple Mandarin as well. Most importantly, the location is so strategic that you can just walk to Myeung-dong and the rooms offered lower price than any other accommodation in the area! Highly recommended!
Unpack our luggage, we walk to nearby Namsan district, where we spend almost one whole day at Mt. Namsan Park and N Seoul Tower.
Location: Dongguk University Station, Exit 1.
Activities: 1. View the cityscape at night from the 360 degree observatory (admission fee 9,000 won/RM27)
2. Visit Teddy Bear Musuem (admission fee 8,000 won/RM24)
3. Eat "The Best Burger in Seoul" (indeed very tasty =))
4. Thousands of padlocks are attached with love notes by young couples.
Comments: If you're like me, not going to Jeju Island but you still want to pay a visit to Teddy Bear Museum, then this is the place. It's not big, quite disappointing though. Recommend only if you're not going to Jeju Island's (origin & biggest in Korea) Teddy Bear Museum. Well, that'll be my first and the last time here. Sorry to say that, but the lover's padlock panorama is definitely amazing! Worth a look. How romantic if you're going with your partner. Make a wish! =)
At night, we walk to nearby Namdaemum Market.
Info: The epitome of a traditional market in Seoul, popular for its shopping and sightseeing attractions with visitors nationality and from abroad. The market is very crowded with retailers from every corner of Korea at 4 o'clock in the morning.
Location: Heohyeon Station, Exit 5.
Comments: We are there at night but it seems very silent. Not much people around. I guess we're going at the wrong timing, daytime should be more happenings. We end up having our dinner there, Ginseng Chicken Soup. Nice!!! (Remember to ask for Mandarin menu)
We depart to Nami Island. First, we have to take MRT to Cheongnyangni Station. Then, we take a train to Sangbong, transfer to Gyeongchun Line, heading to Gapyeong. Next, we take a bus from Gapyeong to terminal. We take a ferry across the river to Nami Island. You can see we've used up all the transportation (MRT - train - bus - ferry) to reach our destination. Only the route already takes us 2 hours time. What a torture!
Only when you touch down the island, you'll think everything is worth it! It's so scenic that you can't stop taking beautiful photos!!!
Along the railway
Bridge to where Winter Sonata's First Kiss
Enjoy fun bicycling or tricycling, etc.
Most popular spot - Scenic pine trees. (even prettier during winter!)
Another famous spot - Young lovers in Winter Sonata
We reach home later than dawn, 8pm, to be actual, due to the long journey back. Exhausted!
Comments: Nami Island is so well-known today is because of the drama Winter Sonata! If you're very into the romantic drama, then this is definitely the place you must come. Highly recommended!
We've covered most of the places in our list. But, we still have an important mission yet to accomplish - eating CRABS!!!
Location: Noryangjin Station, exit and cross the bridge to the local fish market.
Comments: You can find all kinds of seafood here, fresh and cheap! We buy a 1.32kg crab priced 29,000 won/RM90. Then, a "tauke ngiong" approaches us to offer us to enjoy our meal at her restaurant. The cooking will charge us 5,000 won/RM15 per dish. We enter the restaurant, and find out that all the customers are enjoying crabs!!! You can see how famous it is here. Now, when thinking back the taste of it, my mouth still can't stop watering... Slurpp!! This is the best meal I've ever had in Seoul. Highly recommended!
Crabs! Crabs! Crabs! I'm loving it!
The size is even bigger than my face!
It's our last day here. Since we're staying in Myeung-dong area, definitely not going to miss the Myeung-dong Catholic Church here. It's not very big but good enough for a historical spot.
After that, we start shopping (real buying) at Myeung-dong! For me, of course I'll go for skincare products. That's the best gifts for family and friends. There're so many brands but I personally prefer Nature Republic and Laneige. The Saem looks quite good also, but out of my budget. Sigh!
Our final mission is to do shopping at Lotte Mart, the best mart and only can be found in Seoul. Both James and I spend almost RM200 each here. hehe.. If I were to recommend, go for their local brands: kimchi, seaweeds, instant noodles, Market O & Dr. You biscuits, etc.
The best part is there's a corner where customers can pick their own brown box and pack their goods into boxes. Scissors and solartapes are provided. All for FREE!!!!
This is my box (skincare products & foods). So happy!!!!!!!!!!
Flying home.. I miss home, Malaysia! I'll miss you too, SEOUL!!!!