DIY Solo Travel to Korea on a budget

DIY Solo Travel to Korea on a budget

Who would have thought that you can travel to South Korea for 6 days in less than 15k budget?! I did, and let me share to you how I did it.

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My visa to korea

 

 

 

First of, you need a visa for travel to South Korea. Best thing is, the visa is FREE! There’s no visa fee if you apply for a tourist visa or stay less than 59 days for a single entry. I just followed all the instructions and needed visa requirements posted on their website. I will write more on tips for visa application on a different post.

AIRFARE: I booked my round trip flight to Seoul on a promo fare from Air Asia for just Php 4,873. I booked it August 2015 and my flight is Nov 2016. Talk about patience, lol! Air Asia International flights go through Kalibo International Airport. So I have to travel to Kalibo from Iloilo City by air conditioned bus which costs Php 248/per way. Travel time is 4hrs from Iloilo Ceres Terminal to Kalibo. Don’t worry, the bus has its own toilet and there’s WiFi on board. Makes travel time a lot less hustle.

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My home for 6 days

HOTEL: I booked my accommodation in Seoul through booking.com website. I was looking for the cheapest one but near a subway station for easier access when I move around. I booked Hostel Korea for 8580₩/per night for 5 nights. That’s about Php 360.36 per night! It comes with free breakfast of toast, eggs and coffee and of course, super fast free WiFi access. It’s about 500 m from Sinseol-dong Station, Exit 11. It’s a dorm style accommodation so you will be sharing with 2-3 other guests with shared bathroom as well. Yes, it’s separate dorms for girls and boys.

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Taking the airport express train going to Seoul Station from Incheon Airport

TRANSPORTATION: From Incheon Airport to Seoul, I ride the Airport Express all stop train at 3000₩ per person per way going to Seoul Station. From Seoul Station, I took subway going to Sinseol-dong Subway Station which is the station nearest my hotel. You also need to buy T-money card 4000₩. It is a reloadable card that you need to use in subway and buses. you get 100₩ discount when you ride the subway, instead of buying a single journey ticket.
TOURS: I was able to do all my trips on my itinerary through DIY. I got lost a lot of times, lol! But being lost is part of the adventure. Here’s my list of itinerary and expenses. I did not include meals, food or shopping since that depends on your taste and preference.

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Seoraksan National Park

TOUR 1: SOKCHO, SEORAKSAN NATIONAL PARK. Started my day early at 6am from Seoul. Arrived Seoraksan past 10am. Hiked all day to Mt.Seorak. I went back to Seoul on a 5pm bus. I arrived at the hotel past 9pm already.
From Hotel at Sinseol-dong Subway Station to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon Subway Station) = 1,250₩ per way
Ride bus to Sokcho from Dong Seoul Bus Terminal 3hrs = 17,300₩ per way
Upon arrival, Take another Bus #7 or #7-1 going to Seoraksan = 1,200₩ per way
Entrance fee to Seoraksan National Park = 3,500₩
Cable Car to viewing point = 10,000₩ roundtrip
Total expenses for Tour 1: 53,000₩ = Php 2,226

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Winter Sonata Photo Op, lol!

TOUR 2: NAMISEON ISLAND (WINTER SONATA TOUR) Started late at 8am from hotel since going out too early is too cold for me at 5degrees! You can bring food to Nami Island and have an all day picnic there. Although there are a lot of food shops and restaurant on the island but quite expensive. There are convenience stores at the wharf though if you want to buy food and water, Mini-Stop and GS25. You can spend all day exploring Nami Island as it is indeed a place for a lot of photo ops.
From Hotel at Sinseol-dong Subway Station to Gapyeong Subway Station = 2,150₩ per way
Take bus #33-5 from Gapyeong Subway Station to Nami Ferry Wharf = 1,200₩ per way
Ferry ticket + Entrance = 8,000₩ roundtrip
Or you can opt for Zipline + Entrance = 38,000₩ (yes, you can zipline your way going to Nami Island!)
Total expenses for Tour 2: 14,700₩ = Php 617.40

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YongPyong Ski Resort

TOUR 3: YONGPYONG SKI RESORT (SNOW AND SKI TOUR) I started out early 6am as I need to travel outside of Seoul again. Yongpyong doesn’t have entrance fee if you just want to play in the snow all day (just like I did, lol!) Or just take pictures. There is a cable car for 10,000₩ going up Dragon Peak and you can rent ski for 15,000₩. Please be aware of the bus schedules from/to Yongpyong and the bus schedules from/to Seoul. All these schedules are posted within the bus terminal.
From Hotel at Sinseol-dong Subway Station to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal (Gangbyeon Subway Station) = 1,250₩ per way
From Dong Seoul Bus Terminal, Ride bus going to Hoenggye 3hrs = 14,500₩ per way
Ride bus to Yongpyong Resort from the bus terminal (you don’t have to go out, you wait for the loop bus within the bus station) = 1200₩ per way
Total Expenses for Tour 3: 33,900₩ = Php 1423.80

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Gyeongbukgong Palace

TOUR 4: SEOUL CITY TOUR it’s going to be a lot of walking since most of the tourist spots are near each other, so better wear nice comfortable walking shoes.
From Hotel at Sinseol-dong Subway Station to Gyeongbukgong Subway Station = 1250₩ per way

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Guard Changing ceremony

First stop is the Gyeongbukgong Palace. You need to witness the Royal Guard changing ceremony at 9am (10am korea time). Your visit to korea is not complete without this. This lasts for 30 mins. It’s outside the palace square so no entrance fee needed, unless you want to go inside then its 3000₩. You can also rent and wear Hanbok for 3000₩.
Tourist spots within walking distance are:
Gwanghwamun Square
Bukchon Hanok Village
Changdeokgung Palace
Deoksugung Palace
Namdaemun Market
Myeongdong Beauty Shops
N Seoul Tower
If you don’t like to walk, you can take the nearest subway to the next station which is 1250₩ per way.
After walking for what seems like forever, I took subway from Myeongdong Market to Seoul Station so I can buy pasalubong at Lotte Mart since this is my last day in Seoul. Lotte Mart is where you find the best pasalubong goodies at affordable prices. Took subway again from Seoul Station back to hotel. I’m going back home the next day.
Total expenses for Tour 4: 1250₩ x 3 = 3750₩ = Php 157.50
So there you go, here’s a summary of my travel expenses:
Airfare: Php 4,873.00
Hotel: Php 1801.80
Tours and Transpo: Php 4781.70
TOTAL: Php 11, 456.50
Like I said earlier, I did not include food and shopping expenses since that depends on your taste and preference. This is just to give you an idea of what you can do in Korea on a very limited budget. Enjoy!

 

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