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April 8, 2015

Dongmyo Shrine, Cheonggyecheon and Changdeokgung Palace

We spent our first day exploring the nearby area in Dongmyo. As we were walking around the are we passed by the Dongmyo Shrine (also known as Seoul Donggwanwangmyo) in Seoul was built in 1601. Construction began in 1599 and took two years to complete. On January 21st, 1963 Dongmyo Shrine was designated as Treasure No. 142.  The shrine was built to honour Chinese Commander Guan Yu (162 – 219). The spirit of Guan Yu is said to have appeared and helped the Koreans defeat the Japanese. The shrine was built at the request of the Ming Dynasty for their part in aiding the Koreans during the Imjin War (Japanese invasion in 1592). In China, Guan Yu was a hero and many temples and shrines were built in his honour. 

The shrine is enclosed by a stone / mud wall and and covers an area of 9,315 m². As this shrine was built to honour a Chinese Hero the style, design and shape were built following the Chinese design style.

Around the shrine you will find Dongmyo Flea Market where you can buy anything and everything. Many vendors or people sell used items from the side of the road or shops.

Cheonggyecheon  is a 10.9 km (7.0 miles) long, modern public recreation space in downtown Seoul.

The water was so clear.

 As we were walking towards the bus stop, we passed by the stalls selling street foods. Then we tasted some that looks yummy.

We rode a bus going to Changdeokgung Palace. 

Jongno 3 (sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 1, 3 or 5), Exit 6.
Walk for about 10-min to arrive at the palace entrance.
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 3.
Walk straight from the exit (towards east) for about 5-min to arrive at the palace entrance.

Take Bus No. 7025, 151, 162, 171, 172, 272 or 601 and get off at Changdeokgung Palace Bus Stop.

Ticket price: 3000

Since it's in early spring, we spotted some blossoms.

After some photo shoots we decided to end our palace tour because we were so hungry as it's past 1:00pm already.

April 6, 2015

Where to Stay in Seoul: K Hostel, Jongno-Gu, Seoul South Korea

Upon reading blogs about Seoul, I found one blogger that recommended K Hostel because of its location. On our search at AirBnB for accommodation, I found one near Seoul Station and it cost USD 500 for 5 nights (for 7 persons). I also search for hotels in Myeongdong and Dongdaemun area but it cost around Php 85, 000 to 100,000.

We chose K Hostel and it only cost Php 18,000.00 for 5 nights for the 7 of us with free breakfast and fast wifi. You can also bring take out food and eat at the community room. You can also cook your own food and use the facilities but make sure to clean your mess after.

The room is spacious and also the bed. My husband and I shared the same single bed. The bathroom is also clean and spacious with hot and cold shower.

The location of K Hostel is very convenient because it is right across the bus stop that will take us to most places and even in airport. There are also many Korean restaurant and mini mart nearby. The hostel is also walking distance to Dongdaemun Market. During weekends, there are many locals selling their second hand goods in the area.  

The hosts were friendly and they understand English too. You can get tourist maps and other stuffs at the counter. We got a magazine for free with Lee Min Ho at the cover.
The reception is located at the second floor. They don't have elevators but they have ramp for luggage. The staffs were also helpful in carrying our big luggage. 

The hostel also has a rooftop were you can have a barbeque or just sit and sip your coffee.But it's so damn freaking cold!

K Hostel Dongdaemun
200-25, Sungin-dong, Jongno-ru, Jongno-Gu, 110-825 Seoul, South Korea

April 5, 2015

6 Days Seoul, South Korea Itinerary: Visa, Travel Info, Budget, Getting Around

Because I am Korean drama fanatic, I immediately grabbed the PISO sale of Cebu Pacific to South Korea. Just like our previous out of the county travels, we waited for 9 months. It also means we have 9 months of preparing the itinerary, accommodation and the most important one is VISA.

  How to Apply and Get a Tourist Visa in South Korea


Airfare (Piso Sale from Cebu Pacific Air): Php 7,500.00
Travel Tax: Php 1,620.00
Terminal Fee:  Php 550.00
Accommodation:  Php 18,000.00 for the six of us for 5 nights
Nami Island Tour:  23,000 won or Php 920.00
Everland: 32,000 won (with discount voucher) or Php 1,280.00 
T-Money: 20,000 won for 5 days or Php 800.00
Palace Tour: 3000 won per palace or Php 120.00
Pocket Wifi: 5,000 won per day or Php 200.00

Budget for food depends on your preference. We usually eat a lot and tasted most of the street foods sold at Myeongdong. You can buy yourself a decent meal at fastfood joint for 5,500 won and 8,000 at a Korean restaurant. Samgyupsal is quite expensive. If you are a coffee lover, have an extra budget for coffee because there are many coffee shops in Seoul.


Some places have free wifi in Seoul. But if you want constant wifi, you an rent one at the airport or at your accommodation. We rented ours for 5,000 won per day that may be use by 5 gadgets. Internet connection is super fast. 


Upon clearing the Immigration and claimed our baggage, we finally entered the arrival area. Our cousins who are working in Korea welcomed us. We were so hungry we ate at McDonalds before riding the bus to Seoul.

Though it cost more, we opted to ride the bus than the train for convenience because the bus will lead us directly in front of our hostel. And we have many luggages, it might be difficult for us to take the subway. Bus ride from the airport to Dongmyo Station cost 10,000 won and the express train cost 8,000 won. There are two types of train. The express that will take you non stop at Seoul Station (43 minutes) and the all stop train (56 minutes.)

Good thing we checked the weather before we arrived. It ranges from -3 degree and 9 degree. We bought some jackets and boots for this trip. 

As for currency exchange, you can exchange money at the airport or banks in downtown. 

Local currencies in the Republic of Korea (ROK)
  1. Bills : 50,000 KRW, 10,000 KRW, 5,000 KRW, and 1,000 KRW
  2. Coins : 500 KRW, 100 KRW, 50 KRW, and 10 KRW 
Getting around Seoul is convenient and cheaper by bus. We didn't use the subway because of steep stairs. We used our cellphones GPS and maps for direction and route options. Don't bother asking locals because on our experience, they were poor in English and in telling direction. If you're having difficulty, better ask a policeman. There are also tourist information booths around the city. You better get a map.


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