Annyeonghaseyo! South Korea was one of our dream destinations since Korean Drama has been very popular in the Philippines nowadays.With my 10-year-old daughter, Rochelle (K-pop fanatic) and my husband, Aris, we headed to Korean Embassy located at 122 Upper Mckinley Rd., Mckinley Town Center, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City if not familiar with the place, it is near SM Aura. Visa fee is free for 59 days or less stay and for 60 to 90 days stay, it is Php 1,800.00. Processing time is 3 working days for frequent travellers and 5 to 7 working days for the regular applicant. In our case, it took 3 working days since we already travelled to Norway, a member of OECD countries. (if the applicant has travelled to OECD countries, he/she is considered a frequent traveller) For Visa application requirements, Starting July 1, 2018, a new visa application procedure is now being implemented. Click here for an updated step by step procedure.
Upon claiming our tourist visa which is valid for 59 days, single entry, I booked a round-trip flight at Asiana Airlines (BPI credit cardholder’s promo) and booked a hotel using Booking. com app.
So here we go… Let me share the checklist I made before the flight…
- airline ticket
- winter attire (travelling on a winter season)
- travel authority (for government employees)
- camera phone
Inside Asiana Airlines: a big screen display with lots of Korean movies, of course, friendly and pretty FA, a comfortable seat and most of all, a very filling and delicious in-flight meal (mine is bibimbap, really tasty).
Upon arrival at Incheon Airport, we go directly to the Immigration Office (be ready to read their hand gestures as they hardly speak English) then claimed our luggage at the Asiana Airline baggage claim counter.
Incheon Airport is one of the largest and busiest Airports in South Korea.
We looked for an ATM afterwards to withdraw some cash (KRW).
Then had our T-money smart card borrowed from my friend, Liza reloaded at CU.
We used T-money card when paying for public transport. It can be purchased and recharged at any convenience stores like CU, 7/11, GS25, Ministop etc. It can also be used in paying other purchases. A bus ride from the airport to our hostel costs 8,000 KRW for adult and 4,000 KRW for children 11 years old and below.
Korean Superstars’ ads are everywhere even inside the bus.
Our temporary residence while in Seoul.
Here are our daily adventures…
Unhyeongung Palace is a former Korean Royal Residence.
Bukchon Hanok Village. This is a Korean traditional Village. This is a private residential area so try not to speak loudly.
We tried to grab a bite at this convenience store along the street outside Bukchon Hanok Village
Eating ramen at a local restaurant (really tasty and flaming hot).
Gyeongbokgung Palace is the main royal palace of the Joseon dynasty.
Changdeokgung Palace is the most beautiful among the palaces (in my opinion).
Deoksugung palace is famous for its elegant stone-wall road.
Changgyeonggung Palace is uniquely designed for Royal Palace in Seoul
Myeongdong shopping street at night. Best buys are here. From fashion to food even souvenir items.
Myeongdong Cathedral. A cathedral church of the Virgin Mary of the immaculate conception. A. Symbol of Korean Catholicism. This church is located along the busy street and shopping area of Myeongdong. A beautiful led light rose garden decorate alongside the church.
Myeongdong Grotto- A quiet place for prayer and worship
From Myeongdong, we prefer to take a walk instead of riding a cable car since we would like to enjoy the view along the way.
Namsan park going to the tower.
N Seoul Tower is a communication and observatory tower.
Insadong Art Street. There are lots of arty stuff here. Street vendors are alongside. The best price of souvenir items can be found here.
Inside Ssamzigil mall
Metro subway going to Jamsil Station. Seoul Metro Subway system is efficient and easy to use.
Lotte World Mall.
K-pop wall inside a fast food restaurant.
These are all I can share!
Start planning your DIY travel to Korea.