At last after more than a month, I found a way to start my Seoul searching entry. Time has not really been my blog’s friend this past month. I’m sorry. Our Seoul adventure started when my mom woke me up at midnight to book our tickets because Cebu Pacific is offering it only for 8,000 PHP round trip compared to the almost 20,000 PHP regular price. I booked it 3 months before our scheduled flight without any visa, itinerary and plans. Again, another just spontaneous decision my parents make.
Since I’m going to Seoul with my family, we applied for a family tourist visa. My parents have their respective businesses hence their higher chance of being approved and that goes with my siblings as well for they are still dependents. That leaves me, the family member from a corporate world. The only 3 things they asked for me is my ITR, certificate of employment and bank statement for 3 months. It is advised to have more than P50k-100k show money. Obviously, I don’t have that so my mom lend me some. It is also a plus point if you have already numerous passport stamps or visas from other countries (again if you’re applying for tourist visa). I have a Chinese visa before so I had my hopes high. Luckily, I was approved.
The visa application is free from 59 days or less entry days. It is also not required to have an agency in applying. You can directly submit to Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Mckinley. Also, there are no interviews so the sole basis of being granted a visa is by the documents they asked from you.
So on May 16, 2015, after a 4-hour air travel, I have set foot to the beloved country of Samsung, Etude and Gangnam Style. Please be reminded that Korea is an hour advance to Philippine time. Upon arrival, I feel like I’m in a Koreanovela, with the language and fair people surrounding me. In the airport, the cheapest way to go to the city is by AREX. If you are not in the hurry, just take the all stop train for KRW 4,250.
My mom got Summit Hotel in Dongdaemun as our hotel. It’s actually good but cost 27,000 pesos for 4 nights. Kinda pricey. We met a Filipino family on Nami Island and they told us they’re just booked in hostels around the palaces. I saw hostels around Seoul and they look clean. I advised you to get a hotel/hostel near Myeondong or Seoul station so that you can enjoy night market until dawn. No how-to-go-back-to-our-hotel worries!
Koreans invest so much in fashion and beauty that’s why they’re so well dressed and have fair healthy skin. They have 8-floor fashion malls. Imagine 8 floors of heaven for fashion girls. Make-up stores are also present in every street. So if you want good clothes better bring so many moolah, prices are not really cheap here.
Korea as well is tourist friendly, they have lots of discount vouchers available for foreigners online. I used one for Everland and Etude House. Go print these now.
Just like any other country, except the Philippines of course, their transportation system is a thumbs up. Every place in Seoul and even to the nearby cities and provinces are connected via train. You can use Subway Korea app to help you in their train system. The streets have no internet access compared to SG but most of the establishments do. And they’re really fast.
One thing I observed that the Koreans are either busy with their phones or significant other. So single travelers, be sure to be emotionally ready when coming here because they don’t mind the public display of attention.
So yeah expect my detailed blog post on every place we went!