Sunday, June 18, 2017

Korea Travel Seminar for Individual Travelers


Thankfully, I was able to travel in South Korea more than once and attending this travel seminar still excites me a lot!



Yes, Hallyu syndrome is what happened to the attendees who have been bitten by the travel bug.  They got addicted to the Kdramas, watched Kseries and had fun with variety shows until dawn.  Listening to Kpop during morning and have instrumental OST (soundtrack) when they sleep.

The same as the first time travelers, I was bitten by this travel bug.  And until now, I don't know how to cure this syndrome.  I've been to South Korea for six times since 2011 and thankfully I'm coming back for another autumn adventure this November.

Mr. Park said that there are almost 500K Filipino tourist who visited SK last 2016, "Yeah, I'm one of them and count it twice (July and November)!".

From an experienced traveler to first time traveler, here are my answers on the questions raised during the discussion:


Question & Answer

When to go to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (Sunrise Peak)?
-There is a website that forecasts the sunrise and sunset of a city, which can guide tourists on what time to expect the sunrise when visiting the mountain.  This same site also contains weather forecast, so you can prepare for a hot or rainy packing.

-On my experience, (or if you watch Road to the Airport), commuting in Jeju is still difficult, limited English signage and waiting time to ride a bus is long.  Better to join an East and West tour, rent a taxi or car (if you have an international driver's license).

If you are up for the commuter challenge, Naver Maps is widely use in Korea (but it's in Hangul).  So I still opt to use Google Maps.  Below are the sample results on bus routes:

From Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal to Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak


Tip: From the results you should look for the earliest arrival.  Look into the details, even if the display shows 5:00am start, the bus will still depart at 6:14am.  Look into the walking distance from your area to the bus station.

If you can read Hangul, the detailed bus schedule in Excel format on Hangul language is available on this link.



How to blog while traveling?
-My priority is to enjoy the experience!  The memory will stay in your heart.
-Followed by documentation (not necessarily the actual text, but take  a photo of those you want to highlight).  For text, you can start doing it on way back to Manila (during dull moments while waiting for the train or the plane).
-Delay the "Facebook live" if your your a text blogger, delay the Instagram update while in the middle of the mountain - so can seize the moment.
-Know what are your target topics on your blog.


What transportation card to use?
I'm using regular T-money Card which I no longer surrender at the end of my trip at the airport because I'll never know when I'm coming back.  Plus, you need to know that the value stored in the card does not expire (you just need to reactivate the card). If you are still in the midst of getting confused, read the clause for each specialty cards.

M-Pass has benefit of cheaper price based on card duration but with exclusion on Sinbundang and Gyeongchun (ITX) Lines.  What to take note for the affected Gyeongchun (ITX) Line, the impact will be on the following entry stations: Gulbongsan Station (Jade Garden), Gapyeong Station (Nami Island, Gapyeong Rail Park), Cheongpyeong Station  (Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm).



Discovery Seoul Pass - offers free/discounted entrance for 4 grand palaces and 14 more other attraction for 24 hrs/48hrs. But, have you check if with the given time you can go to all or most of the places it offered.  Or paying for commuter route and individual entrance fees would be cheaper?

-T-money - On average, you'll spend about 2000 Php for city train or bus rides (excluding KTX rides) for 5 days.  Compare if that's cheaper compare to MPass and other Tourist cards.

-Cash Bee - Highly used in Busan and Daegu.

Tip: There are instances that T-money is not accepted by the add value machines, you can go nearest convenience store (7/11, CU) to add value.  You can opt to return it at the airport. But if you're coming back, don't return it. T-money has no expiration.



Thanks to the guests who have shared their experience about Korea.



Cool to hear that there are more places to see and try for my future trip.  Apart from reservations in agoda.com and booking.com, there are affiliated to KTO of those which are found in benikea.com, goodstay.or.kr and Korea Stay.



I must commend the effort of KTO Manila Office on how they promote and bring information to the tourists.  In 2011, although there is already internet, I still have to buy my own maps and books in preparation for my travel.  But now, there is KTO Manila who shared flyers, travel books and detailed maps to tourists in advance.  




While still in Manila, you can see and feel how they care about travelers going to their country.  In preparation for the Pyeongchang Olympics 2018 event, let's go to Korea!


Other sample itineraries:
For my further sample itinerary, expense, trip reports and PDF guides, please visit links below:

Thanks to Mr. Park, Ms Jang and KTO Manila Team.

Korea Tourism Organization Manila
https://www.facebook.com/koreatourismmanila/
http://english.visitkorea.or.kr