Right now, I know of at least 8 people who (are in/going to) Seoul this month. And what do I feel about it? Totally envious!! Haha.
It seems that November is our (Filipinos) favorite month to visit the beautiful South Korea since airfare is cheap during this time. And for good reason because, as we speak, it’s freezing cold over there. But who cares about a little cold when you get to strut your style and flaunt your winter boots? LOL.
But I actually do mind the cold, I’m not a huge fan of it. Brrrrr.
Since I’ve been reading blog posts, tweets, Facebook posts about Korea lately, I went back to our own pictures taken in Korea a year ago. I didn’t get to blog about the details of that trip, but it must be said: I really fell in love with Seoul.♥
Biwon (Secret) Garden
Looking through our photos got me thinking about what I liked about Seoul. And here’s what I remember from last year’s trip:
1) Transportation, accommodation, food, and other commodities are affordable!
At first I thought prices in Seoul are comparable to Singapore, Hong Kong or even Japan (i.e. really expensive you want to cry!) so I was surprised to find out that it’s just a little higher than our prices here in the Philippines. It’s only the airfare going there that’s going to hurt the pocket a bit (plus, the travel tax and terminal fee at NAIA), but once there, you’re all good!
2) They have convenient and efficient transportation systems!
As long as you have access to a subway station, you’re less likely to get lost in Seoul. And wherever you’re going, expect that there’s an easy way for you to get there, even with several train transfers.
The first time I went to Singapore and Hong Kong I was blown away by their well-structured, tourist-friendly railway systems (pfft, typical third-world reaction). But when I saw Seoul’s extensive subway map, I knew it was the WINNER. Haha!
3) There are lots of tourist spots you’ll be confused which ones to include/exclude in your IT!
We were in Seoul for 6 days, and that’s normally enough time to explore the major tourist destinations of a small Asian country. But in the itinerary that my friend Van prepared, we had to give up some items because our schedule was already packed! And every new place we went to was always better than the last. Below were my favorites:
Everland Resort/Theme Park
Seoul Lantern Festival
Shot from the Seoul N Tower
4) Internet is extremely fast! And free!
I remember our first day when we were in the bus traveling from the airport to the dorm, I switched on my phone’s wifi to see if I can connect to the Internet, lo and behold, there was a loooong list of available wireless networks! I connected to an unsecured one and omg everything loaded really fast! Okay, that’s not so surprising because South Korea is said to have the world’s fastest Internet. Iniisip mo pa lang, nagload na ang website or app. Haha!
5) Authentic Korean food is to die for!
Lunch somewhere in Bukchon Hanok Village
Prior to our Korea trip, I had little to no clue what Korean food is (except for Kimchi), and I really didn’t care about it (I was more a fan of Japanese and Chinese food). But while we were in Seoul, our Korean friend brought us to places where we could try different kinds of Korean food, and maaan, ang sarap naman pala! Due to my regular cravings since November of 2011, I’ve been a frequent visitor of the Korean restaurant chain in Don Pedro St., Poblacion, Makati City. :D
The only thing I probably disliked about Seoul is that only a few people there know how to speak English!! It was kind of frustrating. And the locals there weren’t exactly the rude kind, but they also weren’t very friendly either (kasi nga they can’t speak English). So before your trip to Seoul, make sure you’ve done your homework and prepared everything you need — itinerary, primer, map, basic Korean language phone app — so you don’t have to ask for directions all the time!
To friends who (are in/going to) Seoul soon, enjoy your own version of Seoul-searching! Hope I can also go back someday. :)