Seoul, South Korea

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Autumn in Seoul is very pretty like what you see in the Koreanovelas. The leaves are turning red while the weather is cool but not too cold. It's still easy to move around without the big winter coats and the temperature is low enough so that you won't tire easily. The only thing better than taking pictures outside is to sleep! The weather is perfect for sleeping. Anyway, we TRIED not to waste much time by doing a lot of sightseeing and walking.

Accommodations: Korea Central Backpackers, Seoul, South Korea

Temperature: ~14 deg C. max 20, min 10.

It's not that cold, as you can see I can wear short sleeves but would sometimes put a cardigan on when the wind picks up.

Rule 1: Wear comfortable shoes.
Walking is pretty much the mode of transportation in Seoul. Yes, they do have this complicated subway system which consists of more the 10 separate lines intersecting at various points around the city. But to get to a station or a specific exit of a station, you would have to do lots and lots of walking. It just so happened that most of the subway stations do not have escalators. So that's 2-4 flights of stairs up and down just to transfer to another line or find an exit.

Rule 2: Wifi gadgets are better than roaming gadgets.
Pretty much everyone in Korea is plugged to a smartphone or tablet as they have 4G everywhere. For tech-challenged people like me who still has a 2G phone, the better option is to leave that behind and just bring a wifi-compatible gadget. You can get free wifi around the city. Or if you want 4G connection as well, there is a rental at the arrivals terminal at the Incheon airport.

Rule 3: There are no more rules!

I traveled with my family this time so I had to be more prepared than my usual backpacking trips. Below is my itinerary.

Namdaemun vs. Dongdaemun Markets:
Nam has more souvenir shops while Dong has more clothing shops. Since it was autumn, what we found in Dong was hundreds of stalls of hats, caps, and scarves. They say it is open until 5am but I think you have to double check first with the locals. When we went, they closed pretty early around 10pm.

We weren't able to visit the Full House set because it rained so hard during that day. Instead, we roamed around the city some more, tried a bunch of girly shops and ate some street food.

Getting a Tmoney Unlimited Metro Pass is better than constantly lining up and returning single journey cards. You can get these at the Airport information desks for 25,500 Won for 3-days unlimited. You can also reload these metro passes so that you can use it to ride buses as well. To give some perspective, the Incheon Airport-Seoul Station single journey costs around 4600 Won already.

Also, get a free map at the airport. It's very useful to navigate around the Subway stations.

Where I've Been

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