My second trip to Korea on May 2012 was just with my office collegue, Aini. This time, coincidentally the famous world expo will be held in Yeosu, the southerm part of Korea during our trip there, and we decided to visit the world expo.
It was a hectic day. I had a meeting in JB in the morning and tiredly driving kl-jb-kl. Luckily my flight to Seoul late night at 10. I manage to catch the plane before the gate closed. Pheww.. I slept the whole 6hour flight journey..
We reached Incheon International Airport at 6am. After clearing the immigration and collecting our luggage, we bought the t-money at the convenience mart and took the AREX line to Hongik University Station. Its still too early to check-in at the guesthouse, but we wanted to store our luggage before we proceed for our sightseeing. The guesthouse is actually located just few block from the Hongik University Station, but due to complicated address system in Seoul, we almost lost our way and took almost an hour finding our way to the guesthouse. Our first stop is to the Gyeongbokgung palace. The reenactment of changing guards show was happening at the palace compound when we reached there. We spent more than an hour to explore the huge palace compound and also took some time to visit the National Folk Museum located just outside the palace. After that, we walk to Insadong Shopping street. I really love this area, the buildings, the walkway, the ambiance.. Sweet and nice, especially the Samzegil Mall. We walked until we reached the Cheongyecheon Stream. Both sides of the stream was full with people and the stream was decorated nicely. We walked slowly until we reached the starting pount of the stream and we found out that they are having a carnival to celebrate the anniversary of Cheongyecheon stream. We took part in one of the event and manage to get ourselves a cute coin box. Then, we walk towards the Gwanghamun square, and took the subway back to Hongik University to catch the Hongik Flea market. The Hongik Flea market held only on Saturday from 2pm-5pm, where you can see the students from the Hongik University selling their artworks, and doing street performance. We walk leisurely at the streets full with people while browsing through the shops and stalls at the sideways, until we reached the Hongik Flea market area. The Hongik Flea market area was also full with students selling their cute artworks, but we didn’t buy anything here because the price was quite expensive. After that, we continue our walk to search for the Coffee Prince cafe, unfortunately, we unable to find it and decided to return back to the hostel to check-in as its already 6pm and we really need to refresh ourselves after a long walk. After short rest, we went out again towards the Hongik University Area. This time, we manage to find the Coffee Prince Cafe after googled through the net at our guesthouse. The cafe located just off the main road, but due to no english signage it was a bit difficult to find. Although i haven’t seen the drama before, Aini told me that the cafe environment was exactly the same like the one shown in the drama. I like the interior set-up but gosh !! the coffee price here was very expensive. We spent an hour here, sipping a nice cup of coffee while snapping some photos. Then, we continue walking towards the hongik shopping streets. We browse through the shops and stalls until we found the Hello Kitty Cafe. The cafe is very cute and everything inside is Hello Kitty, from the seat, meals, and even the toilet. We ordered nice hello kitty waffle and also hello kitty coffee. After an hour here, we return back to the guesthouse and have early rest for the long journey the next day.
We woke up early and check out at 5am as we need to catch the first train to Gimpo Airport for our 6.55am flight to Jeju. Luckily we stayed nearby the subway station, and it took only 15minutes by AREX line from the Hongik University Station to Gimpo Airport. The Jeju Air check-in counter was easily found through it bright orange colour. The whole process was smooth, and by 6.55am, we already on the flight ready to take off. An hour later, we landed at the Jeju International Airport. After collecting our luggage, we went to the KTKumho booth at the arrival hall to collect our booked rental car. After showing the booking receipt at the counter, we ride the KTKumho shuttle bus to the car collection center just 10minutes rides from the airport. After all documentation procedure and made the full payment, the staff showed me the nagivation system and onboard wifi that they called ‘EGG’ that come together with the booked car. The ‘Forte’ was parked just beside the collection office and I was very suprise to see the car, which is quite new and very good condition. After full check-up I signed-off and drove out the car. It was a little bit awkward to drive left-hand but after a few moment, I’ll managed to pull myself, luckily the car was fully auto. Its too early at 9am to check-in the hotel, so we decided to go for sightseeing. And off we drove to our first destination, the Yongduam Rock, located only 15minutes drive from the airport by using the GPS navigation, luckily its in english. The view of the Yongduam Rock formation by the sea cliff was beautiful. After snapping some picture here, we continue our drive to the western part of Jeju. With Jeju Map as guidance and with the help of GPS, we took the longer but scenic coastal route towards Hallim Park. We drove slowly while admiring the beautiful scenery of the seasides, even stops few times by the roadside just to snap some pictures. We also stumble upon few Hanyeo (the famous lady diver) working in the sea. We also stop for a while at the Iho Beach and one other beach before we reach Hallim Park at 1pm. We were quite dissapointed as the flowers at the park almost gone, as it already the end of spring season in Jeju, however, its Hyeopjae and Ssangyong Caves inside the park that makes us very excited. The caves was quite long, and big and beautiful. We also tried some cactus drinks and snacks here. After that, we took the inner road towards the southern part of Jeju island, this time, we could see the farms and the countryside of Jeju. We stop at the Chocolate Museum, which is not really exciting place to visit. At Jungmun area, we visit the Teddy Bear Museum and Ripleys Believe it or Not Museum before proceeding to Seogwipo area where our guesthouse located. We have difficulties to find the Jeju Hiking Inn and went round and around until we find it almost half an hour later. Its already 7pm when we check-in into our room and refresh ourselves. After a short rest, we went out again to visit the Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls which located 10minutes walk downhill from our guesthouse, nearby the Seogwipo Harbour. The view of Seogwipo Harbour at night was beautiful, and the view of Cheonjiyeon Waterfalls even more beautiful. I was surprise to see the whole place was really taken care off and clean, and very safe to visit even at night. We sat by the waterfall, eating our packed sandwich dinner, while admiring the beautifull scenery of the waterfall. By 11.30pm, we already in our bed for rest for the the next day adventure.
We woke up early at 4am as we want to catch the sunrise at Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak. Its mild rain and it is not a good sign to start our day, and it turns to be true. It still raining when we reach Seongsan Ilchulbong area an hour later. Due to the rain, we decided not to climb and just wait at the entrance for the sunrise. Unfortunately, the peak was covered with thick cloud and we could not even see the sunrise. It is still too early to visit other tourist attraction, so we decided proceed to the Jeju Town and return back to the eastern part at noon. Again. we took the scenic coastal road route. We pass through the wind farm, stop at the Hado Beach despite the bad weather, and also the Samyang Black Sand Beach. After driving around the Jeju Town, we went to the Mysterious Road. Nothing excite us at the Jeju Town, and we decided to turn back to the eastern part to visit the attraction despite the bad weather. We stop at a convinience shop to buy raincoats and umbrella. It already 10.30 when we reached the Mangjanggul Cave and we could see the complex was full with local tourist although its raining. We gear up with our raincoat and proceed to cave. It was quite cold inside the cave with raindrops falling from the cave walls. It was 1km walk in the cave tunnel before we reach the end part of the tunnel, and 1km walk back to the surface but it is totally worth-it. The view inside the cave was very beautiful. After that, we went to the Hanyeo Museum located 15minutes drive from the cave. Almost an hour at the museum, we went back to the Seongsan Ilchubong area. Dissappointed with the bad weather, we just hang around the foothill and went down to the beachside where we found few hanyeo come out from the sea with some sea creatures that they catch. After an hour here, we proceed to find the Trick Art Museum, by unfortunately, we unable to find it as it was not captured by our GPS system. Feeling dissappointed, we drove back towards Seogwipo area. We stopped to visit the Jeongbang Waterfall, and luckily the beautifull scenery of the waterfall falling into the sea helps to reduce our dissappointed much earlier. Then, we went to the Seogwipo Olle Market for some shopping and went to the Seogwipo Harbour for evening walk crossing the sculptural bridge to an island until dawn. We drove around the town and went back early to the guesthouse for early rest, and it still raining.. haishh… We spent the rest of the night watching tv and pack our luggage.
At 7.30am, we already check-out from the guesthouse. We took the 5.16 road route, crossing Mount Halla towards Jeju City. The journey uphill and downhill the mountain was very beautiful, although there is thick cloud at some part of the area. After returning the car at the KTKumho office, we took their shuttle bus to the Jeju Airport. At 10.30am, we already on the flight on our way back to Seoul. Once we landed at Gimpo Airport, we proceed to Seoul station to collect our booked KTX 1day ticket for our upcoming trip to Yeosu Expo. The we took the subway to Namsan 3 Guesthouse at Myeongdong area. Luckily, the reception allowed us to check-in although it is still early at 12noon. After we stored our luggage and referesh ourselves, we decided to go for souvenir shopping at Namdaemun Market. We stop for lunch at Holly’s Coffee at Myeongdong Shopping street before taking the subway to Hoehyeon Station. We spent almost 3hour for souvenir shopping at the Namdaemun market. After drop the goods at the guesthouse, we walk towards the Namsan Park to take the cable car to catch the sunset from the Namsan Seoul Tower. Its still early when we reach the viewing area, so we just hang around there until the sunset at about 7.30pm. We went back to the gusthouse to refresh ourselves, before proceeding for shopping spree at the Myeongdong shopping area until the shops closed.
Our KTX train to Yeosu is at 5.10am, too early for subway, so we took taxi from the Myeongdong area to Seoul Station. Its still early when we reach the station, so we hang around and bought a breakfast meal to be eaten during our journey to Yeosu. The train punctually left the station at 5.15am, and it was 3hour ride to Yeosu. I slept half the journey and woke up to beautiful countryside view along the way. At 8.45am, we reached Yeosu station and the Yeosu Expo was located just outside the station. We could see lots of people queing at the entrance as the Expo only opened at 9.30am. After collect our booked ticket, we join the queue and half an hour later, we already inside the expo. I was very excited as it was my first International Expo that I attend and I’ve come soo far to Korea to be part of it. We spent the whole day until night exploring every part of the expo but it was too much pavilion to cover for a day. I could say, we manage to visit 70% of the pavilion here, including most of the main pavilion especially the long-queue of aquarium pavilion. Most of the pavilion started to close when we exit the expo to catch our train back to Seoul at 9.50pm. Due to the tired whole day walking, i slept throughout the 3hour journey until we reached the Seoul station at 1am. We took the taxi back to the guesthouse and slept the rest of the night.
We overslept after the tiring day before, and only went out for sightseeing at 10am. We took the train to Nami Island, however due to some confusion, we stopped at a wrong station instead of Gapyeong Station and needed to wait for the next train to the station. At Gapyyeong station, we stumble upon two nice Malaysian girl and decided to shared the taxi to Nami area with them. We were surprised to know that they had been travelling backpacking in Korea for almost a month, traveling every part of Korea area only by two of them. Oh.. i wish i could take long holiday like them just for travelling. Once we reached the Nami Island by ferry, we separated and walked towards the center of the island. Unfortunately, half an hour later , it started to rain. We met again with the ladies when we looked for shelter. We decided have some meal at the nearby cafe while sharing and chatting about our traveling experience in Korea. It was very inspiring to hear about their backpacking experience. An hour later, the rain stops and we proceed our own way exploring the whole island. Then, we took the train back to Seoul and stop at Ehwa University Station. We walk towards the Ehwa University area until we reached the entrance of the University. It is exactly the same as what we see from the internet, the entrance was unique, grand with steps and rooftop garden at bothsides. After snap some pictures here, we continue our walk at the shopping street just in front the university until dawn. We went back to the guesthouse for short rest and went back to Myeongdong area to continue our shopping spree at Myeongdong Street. Again, we hang around until the shop closed at 10.30pm.
Due to concern on the early flight that we need to catch the next day, we decided to take the late night train to the airport and slept at the airport. Trying not the waste our last day in Seoul, we check-out early and store our luggage at the guesthouse storage until we took the night train to the airport. We went back to the Namdaemun Market for last minutes shopping spree until noon. After putting the goods at the storage area, we went back to Insadong Street area and walked until Cheongyecheon Stream. We hang around there for an hour and walked to Lotte Duty Free Mall, and Myeongdong Shopping street. We stopped for coffee break at Angel Cafe before back to the guesthouse to collect our luggage. We were glad that the guesthouse allowed us to use their pantry to have our dinner before taking the train to the airport. At 11pm, we already at the airport and we could see few people already having their spot to sleep the the airport bench. After finding our strategic spot, we take our time and slept until it almost sunrise.
After refresh ourself at the airport toilet, we check-in and have our early breakfast at the boarding area. At 8.20am, we already on the flight ready to take off. At 3pm, we landed home.
Traveling Cost : rm2600 per person (all-in)
- Return airasia flight KL – Seoul = rm750/pax
- Optitown additional fee = rm100
- Return jeju air flight, Gimpo – Jeju = rm200/pax
- 1 night accommodation at Kimchi Hongdae Hostel = rm120/room
- 2 night accommodation at Jeju Hiking Inn = rm200/room
- 3 night accommodation at Namsan Guesthouse = rm500/room
- Car rental from KT Kumho Car Rental for 2full days = rm180
- petrol for sightseeing in jeju= rm190
- 1 day pass KTX train = rm145/pax
- Yeosu World Expo 1day pass = rm85/pax
- Entrance fee in Jeju
- Hallim Park = 8000w/pax
- Chocolate Museum = 4000w/pax
- Ripley’s Museum = 8000w/pax
- Teddy Bear Museum = 7000w/pax
- Jeongbang Waterfall = 2000w/pax
- Cheonjiyeon Waterfall = 2000w/pax
- Seongsan Illchubong – 2000w/pax
- Manjanggul Cave = 2000w/pax
- Entrance fee in Seoul
- Gyeongbokgung Palace = 3000w/pax
- Namsan Tower = 7000w/pax