My 5-day Solo Travel Experience in South Korea: Itinerary and Budget

Friday, March 16, 2018

SOLO TRAVEL - sooner than expected, I crossed this item off my bucketlist last December 2017. Few months have passed already, but I can still remember how I felt during this trip. Excited because it's every KDrama fan's dream destination. Nervous because it was my first out of the country trip, and I went there alone. I think it was one of the most courageous (char!) and happiest moment of my life! I was really doubtful at first, but I'm so proud of myself that I made it! I'll forever cherish this experience. ❤️

My 5-day Solo Travel Experience in South Korea: Itinerary and Budget


Disclaimer: This is a lengthy post. For the detailed itinerary and budget breakdown, head over to the last part of this page. 

Before the Trip


There was an instance when I almost decided not to push through with this trip - the final examinations' schedule in grad school fell on the same week as my South Korea trip. It was so toxic because I had to submit all requirements in advance. I really struggled in planning and preparing for all the things I needed - itinerary, things to be bring (e.g. winter clothes??), accommodation, pre-booked tickets, etc. Thanks to my friends who helped me with my preparations: Ella (for sharing her itinerary), Drimlab barkada (for helping me search for a budget-friendly accommodation) and Graciel (for lending me her T-money card). ❤️ 

South Korea Trip Details
Date: December 5 - 10, 2017 (6 nights, 5 days)
Season: Winter

Philippines to South Korea

PH to South Korea
Photo credits to owner

I was able to book promo flights to and from Incheon, South Korea via Air Asia and Cebu Pacific, the latter with the more sulit deal priced at Php 800 only (yep, you've read it right). It's even cheaper than a regular local airfare. 

How to get to Seoul, South Korea from MNL, Philippines:
1. MNL to Incheon: Ride an airplane from NAIA International Airport to Incheon International Airport.
2. Incheon to Seoul: 
Take Incheon airport line at the airport (AREX - express or all stop: Incheon to Seoul)
Express Train: Incheon International Airport Station → Seoul Station 05:20 (first train) - 21:50 (last train) / interval of approx. 35 minutes (14800 KRW)
All Stop Train: Incheon International Airport Station → Seoul Station 05:23 (first train) - 23:40 (last train) / interval of approx. 10 minutes (4250 KRW)

Just a tip: Download the Korea Subway App. This will save your life.

Subway Korea App
Just plot your origin and destination, and it will guide you how to get there.
Photo Source: havehalalwilltravel blog

Where to stay in Seoul?

Hostel Korea Original
Photo Source: Traveloka

A lot of blogs recommended to stay at the following districts in Seoul: Jongno-gu, Hongdae and Myeongdong. Ended up booking a private room at a hostel in Jongno-gu called Hostel Korea Original. Travellers may opt to book a dorm type of accommodation to save up, but since I was on a solo trip, I chose a private room for security purposes. 

Please check my review of Hostel Korea Original here.

Day 0: MNL to Seoul

Can't contain my excitement. Ready to leave home!
Solo na sa plane pa lang
On our way to Seoul (from airport)... Met a new friend. We planned to see each other at Myeongdong to eat sampyeopsal and drink soju!

Day 1: Jongno-gu Tour: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, Insa-dong & Goblin Filming Locations


Gyeongbokgung Palace - one of my favorite tourist spots in Seoul because I got a chance to wear a Hanbok.
This is me wearing Hanbok!
Another tip: Bring a portable tripod. I recommend the FotoMe tripod which you can purchase at Lazada

Super love this shot! It was so cold that time, but tiis ganda lang.
Feel na feel, yes??!
My favorite photo at Bukchon Hanok Village
Arteee!


Selfieeeeeeeeeee!



Pungmoon Girls' High School - It is the place where Kim Shin (Goblin) and Eun Tak (Goblin's Bride) met for the first time! It is an alley in between Duksung Girls' High School and Pungmoon Girls' High School.

Yes, kyah??
Yiee, finally a solo shot!

Another Goblin filming location: Choo Ang High School
Insa-dong!

Day 2: Gapyeong Tour: Nami Island + Petite France + Jimjilbang Experience

Rode ITX to Gapyeong.
Actual caption on my IG: "Nagkamali pa ako ng train na sinakyan. Good thing yung korean na inapproach ko super bait at mega search online.. She instructed me where to get off to catch the itx. Kahit di siya marunong magenglish and sign language lang kami, super thankful ako. Thank you, Lord I'm surviving sa kalokohan ko. 😂"
Nami Island
Another first: SNOW experience!!!
Hello Snow Woman?!


Nami Island (Winter Sonata)

Nami Island (Winter Sonata)

Petite France

Little Prince's B-612

My only friend at Petite France :p

My love from the star & Secret Garden (K-Drama)

Ended the day right with a relaxing Jimjilbang experience!
The only photo I took at the Jimjilbang :p

Day 3: Everland

Music Garden!

Wearing my cute panda headband!

Restroom selfie. Super lamig sa labas!
Same height?????


Yow, panda! 


Ferris Wheel at the background!
After exploring Everland, I went straight to Myeongdong to have dinner.
One good thing about travelling solo is you get to meet new friends. Hi Sue!

Day 4: Hongdae + Myeongdong + Namsan Tower + Legend of the Blue Sea Filiming Location



Was supposed to try Coffee Prince or Hello Kitty Cafe but both were closed that time. Ended up at A TwoSome Place.


Selfieeeeeee!
Visited Heo Joon Jae's (Lee Min Ho) house in Legend of the Blue Sea
The beautiful Namsan Tower!
Love locks!
Love locks at the background.

Day 5: Seoul to MNL

Waiting for bus 6002 heading to Incheon Airport. Thank you, South Korea!

Video

You may download my detailed itinerary with budget breakdown here.



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