Tuesday, March 27, 2012

South Korea Trip Day 1


Finally I headed to South Korea! Its been my dream destination since I knew about K-Pop. I think it's everyone's dream who like K-Pop or K-Drama related things to be able to visit South Korea one day.  At least my friends do. I managed to went there with a friend who also like K-Pop. We decided to had an independent trip instead of joined a tour. I got a really cheap plane ticket by AirAsia. It cost me 3.3 million Rupiahs (around USD 367) return include 15 and 20 kg baggage and 1 pre-booked meal.

South Korea immigration card
South Korea visa

Couple months before the trip, I requested for Korea Travel Guide Brochure and map to KTO. They actually sent it to me! It took quite a long time though, maybe it was about a month or so, but better than nothing. Thanks KTO! They helped a lot! ^^

This map was our life!

We were there from February 20th until 25th 2012. It was a late winter season in South Korea. There was no snow but it was still cold, -3 to 5 degrees C. Some rivers and lakes were still frozen. I live in equator with everyday's temperature average is 30 degrees C, so even with almost-spring season in South Korea, it was really cold for me. When the wind blew, it was like a slap in the face.

On February 20th we headed to Kuala Lumpur first from Surabaya. We should departed at 9.20 but there was a delay. We finally departed at 9.50 (GMT + 7) and we arrived at LCCT at 13.30 (GMT + 8). Our next flight to Seoul was at 14.30, so we only got 30 minutes to boarding since the gate was closed 30 minutes before the departure time. Fortunately we didn't have to go through a usual custom which had a really long queue. Arrived at departure hall, we went downstairs to proceed our arrival at transfer flight custom. Only about 10 minutes later, the passengers were called to enter the plane.

Flight to Seoul from Kuala Lumpur took 6.5 hours by AirAsia X. It's a bigger plane than the regular one. The announcements inside the plane was spoken in 4 languages : English, Chinese, Malaysian and Korean. We had booked meal for lunch on plane. We ordered an international meal and the menu was Chicken Thigh Bulgogi. I heard so many times that meals on the plane are not tasty, but my meal was actually good.


We reached Incheon Airport at 21.45 (GMT +9). The airport is really clean and big. We have to take a shuttle train to go to departure hall.



We were supposed to buy a Seoul City Pass Plus first for our transportation card during our stay in SK. In the internet, it was said that the card is sold in convenience stores such as 7 eleven, GS 25 and Family Mart, but we couldn't find it everywhere. The convenience stores only sell the regular T-money. After wandering around, we finally asked the airport information, they said the card can be purchased in the tourist information center but since it was already so late, the place had closed. We had no choice than looking for the card the next day.

We had booked a private room for 2 in 1st Pencil Guesthouse located in Hongdae area. We went to Hongdae by AREX commuter line. AREX is located at B1 floor. The website stated that AREX commuter line last operation hour is at 00.30. When we reached the airport information booth, it was 23.05 and the officer said that the last train was at 23.20! We only had 15 minutes and we were still in 2nd floor. We ran immediately toward B1 floor dragging along our not-light-luggage. Along with us, there were some people did the same marathon trying to catch the train. Maybe you are wondering, why we didn't take the elevator instead? Yeah right, it just comes across my mind right now. Maybe because we didn't know at what floor the AREX located at that time, so we ran along the airport looking for the direction signs.

At around 23.12 we reached the ticket booth. We felt relief a little bit by then, BUT we soon found out that there was still quite a long way to reach the train! AARRGHH!! So we ran again. I think that was how it feels to join Amazing Race. Thank God we made it to the train. It left in about a minute or two after we boarded *fyuh*

It took 40 minutes to reach Hongdae from Incheon Airport. The time was couple minutes pass midnight when we reached Hongdae Station. We actually had printed the map to reach Pencil Guesthouse from Hongdae station, but we were kind of lost at that time. The street was already empty and dark. After walked couple meters, we found 2 cafe workers who were still cleaning up. We showed them the map, they were also confused at first. Luckily, after a while they figured it out and told us the direction to the guesthouse. Apparently we took the wrong turn after got out from Hongdae station -.-'

On the way to guesthouse we found a 24 hours mart. Since we haven't had our dinner yet, we bought 2 cups Kimchi Ramyeon there. At 00.30 we finally reached the guesthouse. Just like what we've seen on TV, we have to take our shoes off before enter the house. The guesthouse manager Jin and DJ were waiting for us. We paid them cash for our 5 nights stay and checked in right away. Both of them were so kind. They gave us performances brochure and Hongdae map and gave a short explanation about them.

Pencil guesthouse is nice and clean. It's a 2 stories building with wooden floor. There are 2 bathrooms, 1 in the 1st floor and 1 in the 2nd floor. Our room was in the 1st floor. They provide clean towels. There are a lots of them put in a rack so you can take one each time you want to take a shower. They also provide toast and coffee for breakfast. Free mineral water is also provided in 1st Pencil Guesthouse. The most important of course, there is a free wi-fi and 2 public computers in the house.

Lotz of jackets. LOL!


We chose to stay in here because of its' strategic location. It's only 2.5 minutes walk from Hongdae station and there are some convenience stores nearby. Hongdae is famous for youth area. Just across the station, you can find many food and street food stalls, clothes and accessories stores, karaoke, pubs and clubs, also some street performances. The good time to visit this area is at night time.

After put the luggage in the room, we ate our noodle cup. It was spicier than the one sold in Indonesia! Thankfully, I like spicy food a lot so it didn't matter for me. After finished it, we went bed rightaway. We had 5 days to explore Seoul and some areas nearby. It wasn't too long. But for now, let the game begins!


Pencil guesthouse website : http://hostelhongdae.com/

Private room per night : KRW 50.000
AREX commuter line : KRW 3700 (3600 with transportation card)
1 cup Kimchi Ramyeon : KRW 950


63 comments:

Alic3 said...

Hi sis, seru bgt ya jalan2nya jd pingin kesana. Disana beneran aman ya? Trus org2nya helpful gak ya? Thx ya sis

Kelly An said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said...

Iya seru banget.. :)
Aman kok di sana. Waktu nyampe Hongdae tgh malem aku cuman jln berdua cewek semua, ok2 aja. Orang2nya helpful banget. Meskipun mereka rada ngga bisa Inggris, tapi mereka berusaha buat ngomong Inggris ama kita. Trus kalo kita tanya2 jalan juga mereka bantu.

Anonymous said...

Sip kalo gitu sis, soalnya ada rencana mo kesana september ini mumpung tiket ada yg murah :) oh ia btw kalo colokan listriknya kyk di Indo or kayak di sgp gitu ya yg kakinya ada 3? Thx buat infonya ya sis

Christine said...

Colokan listriknya sama ama Indo kok.
September waktu musim gugur ya? Katanya Sorak San bagus klo musim gugur. Daunnya warna warni. Blom pernah ke sana sich.. hehehe...

Alic3 said...

sip sip sis. Thank you buat infonya.....semoga gak ada aral melintang mo kesana hehehehhehe :)

Anonymous said...

sis, tanya dong dari incheon airport ke hongdae itu direct ya? apa harus ke seoul station dulu ?

Christine said...

Direct sis. Naiknya yg AREX commuter ya, jangan yg express.

ERDEM ZEYBEK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ERDEM ZEYBEK said...

Thanks very much. Very helpful information.

Christine said...

Hi, Thanks for coming by my blog. Glad to know that my blog is able to help you. If you have any question, don't hesitate to ask :)

Anonymous said...

this is very helpful
take AREX commuter right ? noted
i'll go this summer, hehe
thanks for your sharing

Lia

Christine said...

Commuter line is cheaper than express and it stops in several stations before Seoul Station. So it really depends on your destination n the money you're willing to spend. If you're heading to Hongdae then yes, commuter line it is.

And you're welcome. Glad that I can help :)

Anonymous said...

i am going to shinchon btw.
the hostel owner haven't tell me whether to use commuter or express. :(

thanks christine :))

Anonymous said...

two thumbs for the story of the blog

Christine said...

Thanks very much! :D

Anonymous said...

Hi, Christine Eonni
Thanks for the information.

I have a question.
Would you like to share with me, about How to ask/request the KTO to send us the Korea Travel Guide Brochure and Map?

thanks in advance ^_^

Christine said...

You can see the steps here : http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/GK/GK_EN_2_7_5.jsp

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot eonni.
Gomawo :)

Anonymous said...

hi christine...

btw mau nanya.... 1 malam di pencil house... it cost KRW 50,000
itu 2 orang atau hanya 1 orang yang bisa nempatin kamarnya .. thanks banget if reply :)

Christine said...

Harga segitu uda isi 2 org. Cuman utk update harganya bisa liat lsg di web nya ya :)

Anonymous said...

oke thanks banget yah... btw seoul city pass itu per hari ya?? minta detail harganya dong sist... klu pake untuk besoknya..mesti beli lagi ya?

aku mau nanya kamu dapet tiket pesawat ke seoul dgn harga brp?

apa transportasi di seoul aman & gampang?

hotel booking by email or direct visit

Thanks banget if you reply this...


:)

Christine said...

Seoul city pass ada yg harian. Klo yg aku beli ngga harian. Sama aja kyk T-money biasa cm dpt kupon diskon. Klo isinya abis tinggal top up aja, ngga perlu beli isinya lg.

Harga tiket AA uda aku post tuh di atas. Dpt 3.3 pp uda incl bagasi n tax.

Di Seoul aku ke mn2 naik MRT. Cuman klo ke tmp2 luar Seoul : Everland, Nami, Paju naik bis. Uda aku post semua di next posts.

Guesthouse aku book dr web nya, byrnya cash wkt nyampe sana. Lbh ama gitu si drpd booking lsg d sana klo pas ngga ada kamar kosong kan susah.

Anonymous said...

wah berarti ticket AA lagi promo ya.. :)
seru banget baca ceritamu...aku rencananya mo ke kore next year 2013 sekitar bulan april... mdh2an lancar...tapi kamu brani juga ya..cuman berdua...:)

okedeh sizt..thanks banget untuk infonya... :)
klu ada pertanyaan aku bisa tanya lagi kan??

:)))

Christine said...

Iya kmrn dpt promo. Kmu uda book tiket? Kena brp? Tmnku jg ada yg ke korea april thn dpn kena 3.5 pp.

Enak si pergi ngga banyak2 org. Soalnya klo kebanyakan org susah. Ntar yg 1 pengen ke sana, 1nya ke sini, lainnya ke sono jd ribet. Hehehe.. Kmu pergi org brp?

Iya nanya2 gpp :)

Anonymous said...

hmm aku book ticket naik garuda kenanya $ 375.80 tgl 16-21 may 13,
aku bertiga sama teman..bener juga..dikit aja orangnya spya ga ribet :))... wahhh temenmu dapat 3.5 naik apa??? aku sih klu dirupiahin kena 3.6 ....

Christine said...

Garuda 3.6 pp?? Murah ya.... Dr jkt ato sby? Tmnku naik AA. Klo selisih dikit gt mending garuda lah ya..

Anonymous said...

dari jakarta...iya neh...hehehhehehe..... skrang AA lagi mahal ga ada promo...:(

Anonymous said...

christine anyway...yang room KRW 50,000 boleh muat 3 orang gak? atw hanya boleh 2 orang??? pls reply

Thankyou...

Christine said...

Enak ya murah gitu.. Aku cek garuda dr sby 3.5 one way -.-'

Klo private room seingatku 2 org aja. Klo mau nambah org cb email aja ke orgnya. Dia inggrisnya bagus kok dan reply nya cpt. Kali aja bole nambah org cm nambah brp won gt.

Anonymous said...

ohh kamu udah cek garuda ya?? iya segitu harganya.... :D
ayo pergi lagi bareng aja kita...:))

ohh gitu yah..okedeh aku bingung mau pesan yang mana soalnya....
yang di 2nd pecil kayaknya harganya agak mahal ya....:)

Christine said...

Loh.. Kmu 3.6jt itu one way atau pp? One way kah? Tmnku 3.5 itu pp lho.. Aku pengen banget balik sono cuman thn ini udah kebykan traveling jd bankrut sudah. Hahaha.. Ntar kpn2 pengen balik sana lg wkt spring atau fall.

Pencil 2 emang lbh mahal dan ngga nyediain air mineral free. Trus jg lokasinya lbh jauh dr MRT. Mereka br buka pencil 3 sih cuman aku ngga tau ttg lokasi, fasilitas dan harganya. Klo dibandingin pencil 1 ama 2, mendingan pencil 1.

Anonymous said...

owww okedehhh..

3.6 udah PP sizt...klu one way bangkrut gw :D

iya neh..gw tahun ini juga udah full...

makanya taon depan baru jalan lagi...:D

travel bosnia said...

Clearing the bikes through South Korean customs can only be described as an absolute pleasure. A big leather sofa, multiple glasses of iced-tea, an air-conditioned office and English-speaking officers.

Anonymous said...

hello there. can i know how did you get the travel guide books as i've been thinking to go there by my own. kind of advanture isnt it ? :) thanks

Christine said...

Yoi can request it from visit korea website. The map too. All for free but it takes time to reach you :)

Traveller said...

great post! i posted one about korea as well, do give mine a read and advice me on how to improve on it(i'm really new at travel blogging!)

cheers!

Anonymous said...

hai christine, kalo mau ke myeongdong dari incheon, mnurut kamu mending pake commuter / ekspress ya? thanks before:)

Christine said...

Klo kmu ngga masalah sama harga express lbh cpt naik express sih ke seoul stationnya trus oper mrt ke myeongdong. Cuman harganya selisih byk bgt ama commuter sementara selisih waktunya ngga sebrp. Klo aku yg pilih ya commuter aja spy hemat biaya :)

aini c'narsisQuint said...

mba bisa kirimin itinnya ga? saya mao pake jejak mba aja klo kesana.. ni lg pusing masalah visa mba :)
email saya sensoria_aynay@yahoo.com

makasi mba

Christine said...

Hi,

Sorry itin yg bisa diprint uda aku hapus. Kmu bisa catet aja dr sini :)

aini c'narsisQuint said...

mba bisa kirimin itinnya ga? saya mao pake jejak mba aja klo kesana.. ni lg pusing masalah visa mba :)
email saya sensoria_aynay@yahoo.com

makasi mba

Christine said...

Uda aku reply di atas ya..

Michael Frans said...

Hi christine.. thanks for this great article.. :D
btw, mau nanya nih.. maklum baru pertama x mau kesana :D
visa enaknya diajuin brp bulan sebelum keberangkatan yah?? thanks :D

Christine said...

1.5-2 bln sebelum gt aja soalnya masa berlaku visa hanya 3 bln dr tgl keluarnya. Klo aku kemarin 1.5 bln sebelum apply-nya.

Ronaldy Ongky said...

Hi, what a great information of south korea, you have inspired me to create my own blog yesterday. please have a look http://yolomates.blogspot.com.au/

cheers

btw, how do you promote your blog?

Christine said...

Hi Ronaldy,
I came by your blog and that was a good start :) Looking forward for ur next posts. I want to visit NZ someday.
FYI, I didn't do any promotion for my blog.

Luizze Oliveira said...

It is such interesting information that where to do on fist day in South Korea, where to eat and what to eat. Thank you for sharing informative detail about how to spend time in South Korea.


Lagoa Eco Resort

Koyuki said...

Your blog is so informative!

I made a post on Korea cosmetic coupons, hope it's helpful for everyone! =) http://koyukipalaceeng.blogspot.ca/2013/01/korea-coupons-cosmetics.html

jyuvee said...

hi mba kalo arex commuter itu berhentinya dimana ya? langsung bisa ke station hongdae/gmn? atau perlu pindah ke mrt dll? tolong ya mba bantuannya hehe:)

Christine said...

Klo commuter berhentinya di byk station,slh satunya Hongdae. Jd ngga perlu ganti mrt, dr airport bisa lsg turun Hongdae.

Caliara said...

Hallo sist christine, seru banget ya jalan2 nya ^^
Mau nanya sist dulu book hotel nya yg Double Deluxe ya?
Di kamarnya ada TV ga sist?
Trus itu kan cuma ada 2 kamar mandi, padahal jumlah orang yg nginep di situ banyak kan klo full sekitar 30an yah, ngantri2 ga tuh sist kamar mandi nya?
Thankss :)

Christine said...

Di Pencil 1 ngga ada yg deluxe2 gitu. Mungkin yg kamu maksud di Pencil 2 atau 3 ya?
Kebetulan waktu aku di sana lg low season. Org di hostel sedikit jadi kamar mandi ngga antri

Vanessa Fabiola Tanujaya said...

thankfully I found your blog~ hahaha
Aku Agustus ini mau jalan2 sendirian hbs ikutan summer school inha dan nginepny di daerah Hongdae juga yg ga jauh dr pencil hostel. Kalo dari hostel keluarnya jauh ya untuk ke jalanan gedenya?

Christine said...

Summer school belajar bahasa kah? Brp lama?
Ngga jauh kok. Deket banget. Paling sekitar 2-3 mnt'an aja jlnnya.

Albert Chandra said...

Hi Christine
Thanks for the nice posts, I'm planning to go to Seoul this August.

Wondering about taxi fare there, is it much more expensive than Indonesia?
Was planning to go all around with Subway, but since I brought along parents and family friends, I think along the way we'll have to hail a cab...

thanks in advance

Christine said...

Hi Albert

I didn't ride taxi at all when I was there. Sorry I don't know about the taxi fare.

Anonymous said...

vanesa kapan ke korea...ke busan city aja banyak tmpat bagus,,hehehehe....aq gaet vanesaa

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine, glad to find ur blog :)
Next Sept is my 1st time using AREX from Incheon Airport, i wanna ask where and how can i purchase the ticket for AREX?
Can i use T-money or should i buy from the counter? Thanks much for the helping.
Have a great day!

Christine said...

Hi, yes you can use T-money for AREX. If you want to buy one way ticket, you can buy it at MRT station that passed by AREX line.

Levina Chrsitie said...

Hai Ci Christine!

Aku Levina mahasiswi HUbungan Internasional Unpar.. Boleh minta tolong untuk bantu isi kuesioner tentang pariwisata Korea, untuk bahan skripsi aku.. Boleh minta emailnya ci? Thankyou :)

Christine said...

Boleh. Kirim aja ke marine_world86@yahoo.com

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