Wednesday, 2 July 2014

11 Days Itinerary in Seoul & Jeju

It took me about 2 months for all the research and planning for our 11 days Seoul & Jeju Trip. It turned out to be an amazing trip. Well, our itinerary is not too ambitious, from what I see. But we somehow ended up returning to our pension with aching body and legs EVERYDAY. Duh... too much walking to do in Seoul!

We were so excited knowing that Yeouido Hangang Spring Flower Festival (Cherry Blossom) will fall on the period when we are traveling there. Happily, I emailed the owner of our pension to ask for some information.

My email to check out the status of cherry blossom at Yeouido park

And here is the reply. 11 Days Itinerary in Seoul & Jeju

A heartbreaking reply

My heart dropped.  o(╥﹏╥)o  We are too late!!!!! *wipe wipe*

Alright, all things aside. Dah dah... here you are! Our 11 Days Itinerary in Seoul and Jeju. Please click on links below for individual posting.

Day 1
Arrive Incheon Airport - Check in Wonderhouse

Day 2
Yeouido Park - Noryanjin Seafood Market - Hongdae - Trick Eye Museum

Day 3
Ewha Women University - Edae - Nanta Wedding Show

Day 4
Gimpo Aiport - Jeju International Airport - Check in Dreaming Forest Pension, Jungmun Tourist Complex

Day 5
Seongsan Ilchubong Peak - Udo Island - Seopjikoji - Pyoseon Haebichi Beach - Jeju Folk Village Museum

Day 6
Jeongbang falls - Yakcheongsa Temple - Jusangjeollidae Cliff -  1100 Rest Area - Mysterious Road -  Love Land - Check in W Hotel

Day 7
Jeju International Airport - Gimpo - Check in Jenn's Residence Y -  Myeongdong - Namsan N Seoul Tower

Day 8
Insadong - Samcheongdong - Bukchon Hanok Village - Gyeongbokgung Palace - To Sok Chon

Day 9
Everland - Gangnam Underground Shopping

Day 10
Namiseon Island - Petite France - Dongdaemun

Day 11
Siloam Sauna - Home sweet home

Seoul & Jeju Day 11: Siloam Sauna, Home sweet home

Day 11  
Siloam Sauna > Home sweet home

Body aching after CHIONG-ing for 10 days! Let's get ourselves a retreat before heading back to Singapore. The Koerean Sauna, Jjimhilbang. Besides being a sauna, Jjimjilbang is one of the cheapest and most unique Korean place to sleepover. There are primarily used by families escaping/outing, travelers who couldn't find a place to stay or teenagers having a safe night out together. After reading some reviews online, we headed to Siloam Sauna, which have plenty of good comments. 

You won't have the chance to get lost! Siloam Sauna is so popular that almost all the locals know it! Just bring along a picture of Siloam Sauna and I am sure that friendly Koreans will lead you there!

Subway: Seoul Station Exit 1 or Chungjeongno Station Exit 5

Admission fee is 10,000 won during the day and 13,000 won during the night. Siloam has 5 levels.

First floor are gender segregated locker rooms and where place all your belonging in the lockers. I got a culture shock initially, naked ajummas were everywhere... But not to worry, no one will bother you because everyone is concentrating doing their own stuff. For hygiene purpose, each and everyone are required to bath before entering to pools. The pools sues natural Germanium water from 300m that has an excellent water quality. There have a few pools with different medication purpose (different temperature) to choose from. The sauna room temperature is so high, I almost fainted inside after 5 minutes. Quickly, I ran out and submerge myself into the ice water pool...

Second floor is a resting area where you can rest in different medication rooms, watch TV. For second level or above, it is unisex. Everybody is required to wear a orange pajamas. There is a Korean restaurant where you can take your lunch or dinner too. Hubby was so excited, describing his experience with the sauna pool... (>.<)

Third floor is an entertainment room where they have all sorts of entertainment facilities such as karaoke, games, mini gym etc. There are certain charges for using their entertainment facilities.

Fourth floor is the Fomentation rooms. These rooms offer different themes with therapeutic purpose. Me and Jeff chosen the wooden charcoal room which offered purifying and oxygenating properties. We had a good half and hour sleep in this soothing environment.

Fifth floor is a sleeping area offerring more than 300 bunk beds for overstay. Rooms are divided by gender.

Overall, we have a great 3-4 hours in Siloam Sauna! Very refreshing! Hubby claimed that his body aches were soothen. *好神奇* A place not to be missed when you are in Seoul!

This more or less wrap up our whole trip to Seoul & Jeju. *Sob sob* 


I hope all the posts helped a little for those who are planning your own trip to Seoul & Jeju. Please do not hesitate to drop me a message if you have any enquiries!


Seoul & Jeju Day 10: Namiseon Island, Petite France, Dongdaemun

Day 10 
Namiseon Island > Petite France > Dongdaemun 

Remember the famous Korean Hit Drama "Winter Sonata"? It causes the second Korean wave throughout Asia. The series yielded more than US$27 billion when taking into account the profit contributed to tourism. 

And we were heading there today! The number of visitors to Namiseon grew 3 times since the series was aired. 

There are a few ways travelling to Namiseon Island.

1. Shuttle Bus - Ferry
Bus departs from either Insadong (Subway: Jonggak Station) or Jamsil Station (Subway: Jamsil Station). Bus will depart from Seoul at around 9.30am, and depart from Namiseon Island at 4pm. A round way ticket including entrance fee costs 23,000 won. Please note that advanced reservation is required for this option. We went to Nami Island Seoul Centre at Insadong to reserve the tickets 2 days before our trip to Namiseon but they were fully booked. Come on! It was a weekday!!! For those who want to opt for this option, you might want to consider telephone booking +8227531247 to reserve your tickets early!

2. Subway - Taxi or Gapyeong Tour Bus - Ferry
Take the subway and alight at Gapyeong Station (Exit 1) of KyeongChung Line. Subway cost about 2,000 won one way. After alightling at Gapyeong, you can choose to take either Gapyeong tour bus (5,000won) or taxi (5,000won) to the ferry wharf. The tour bus includes several stops including Nami Island, Petite France, Morning Calm and the nearest subway station. You can hop on and off at every stop using a single ticket. 

3. ITX - Taxi or Gapyeong Tour Bus - Ferry
Take subway to either Seoul or Cheongyanni station and purchase the ticket for ITX. ITX is a faster and more comfortable way of transporting to Gapyeong compare to normal subway.


Route of ITX is shown below: 

Seoul (Yongsan Station) → Cheongnyangni → Sangbong → Toegyewon → Sareung → Pyeongnaehopyeong → Maseok → Cheongpyeong → Gapyeong → Gangchon → Namchuncheon → Chuncheon

After alighting at Gapyeong, you can choose  to take either Gapyeong tour bus or taxi to the ferry wharf. 


We chose to travel by ITX since we couldn't reserve a place for the shuttle bus. Seriously need more rest along the journey! Ticket purchase of ITX can be done using the ticketing machine!

A very comfortable ride to Namiseon Island...

 Beautiful view through the windows too!

Finally we were here at the ferry terminal! 

The Ferry is scheduled every 30minutes starting from 7:30am. Last Ferry departs from Nami Wharf at 21:45pm.

A short and sweet 5 minutes ferry ride. We were almost there...

Such a beautiful view upon arriving Nami Island. We were blessed with good weather today.

Namiseon Island was named after General Nami, who led a great victory against the rebels in the 13th year of the 7th king of Joseon Dynasty. He died at the age of 26. In 2001, Nami Island was renovated as an art and cultural park. In 2006, it declared independence as the Naminara Republic! Many sculptures and exhibits on the island are made from recycled products.

 They have their own flag, passport, bank and even CURRENCY & CITIZENSHIP!! 

Together with the chilling weather and colorful trees, it makes Nami Island a such lovely place to be.

A teddy bear stucked on the tree. I am not sure how he managed to get himself there...

Popular site of Winter Sonata's main characters' first kiss.

The island is great for relaxing. You can rent a bike or electric car to tour the island. We however thought that walking slowly on the forest path would be the best choice. There were too many people making it difficult to cycle around. 

Since 2001, Nami Island has become one of culture tourist attractions as the number of Asian tourists increases due to the success of Korean dramas, Winter Sonata. *power of media*

The incredibly tall and straight trees are perhaps one of the signature site on Naminara. The trees were transplanted since 1977 and grew to one of the most romantic lanes in Korea.

How could I missed taking romantic pictures with Jeff beneath the tall trees?

The famous bronze couple...

It took us about 2 hours to tour Nami Island at a leisure pace.  

Yippy! Back to the mainland~

Since we were taking the Gapyeong Tour Bus, we planned to stop at Petite France and Morning Calm. However, we only managed to do Petite France. Too exhausted over the past 9 days.

Petite France is a theme park with colorful buildings designed in European style. Entrance fee is 8,000 won. The location of Petite France is secluded. I guessed I won't find my way here if I were not taking the tour bus. 

There were little tourists and many shops were not opened. Maybe it was a weekday?! 

The concept of Petite France encapsulates ‘flowers, stars, and the Little Prince. Pretty paintings were all around the place.

The founder of Petite France is a Korean who liked "The Little Prince" so much. Here, you will be able to see many drawings, museum about this famous story.

There were also many interesting shops to wander around.

Again, Petite France is a filming location for famous Korean Dramas "My Love from the Star" & "Secret Garden". This place would be crowded with tourists sooner or later...

Photos and signatures of the actors and actresses of the dramas were exhibited there too!

Puppet show. Interesting one!

It was 3pm after we finished touring Petite France. Hesitating whether to tour Morning Calm, Jeff said "Let's do some shopping at Dongdaemun".

Dongdaemun is a true shopping paradise for clothing, from head to toe. Specializing in wholesale, the market have more than 20 shopping malls! Dongdaemun is divided into 2 sections, Section 1 (blue) and Section 2 (purple). 

Section 1 (Golden triangle) mainly consist of retail shops such as Doosan Tower, Migliore, Hello APM, which mostly deal with general customers and tourists at retail prices. These malls operate from 10.30am to 5am the next day! You can do your shopping all the way till midnight! Doosan is a higher end shopping mall selling branded and quality goods. If you are looking at something like "Platinum mall" in Bangkok, Migliore is the place for you. Most of the goods are inexpensive and most importantly they are "made in Korea"!

Section 2 sell goods both in wholesale and retail, but mainly selling in bulk. Since most shops deal with wholesalers, there are no dressing rooms. Refunds and exchanges are not guaranteed.

We were so mesmerized about doing our shopping until we totally forgot about taking photos!
We got our hands full after a few hours of shopping at Dongdaemun. *Sweat*

Let's go home~

Another mamak-stall-ing night with our friendly ajumma at Jongno-3-ga.