Sunday, July 6, 2014

Travelogue Day 0: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Scoot, WIFI egg, AREX, Seoul tower Hostel and Black Hair Salon!

  • Travelogue Day 0: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Scoot, WIFI egg, AREX, Seoul tower Hostel and Black Hair Salon! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 1: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Hongdae, Trickeye Museum, Ice Museum and Dongdaemun! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 2: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Lotteworld and Myeongdong! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 3: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Gyeongbokgung Palace, COEX Aquarium and Itaewon! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 4: 안녕하세요 Seoul! All the way to Everland 에버랜드 via Yongin Ever Line! (LINK)
  • Travelogue Day 5: 안녕하세요 Seoul! Myeongdong 명동, N Seoul Tower N 서울타워, Good Bye Korea. (LINK)

It has been close to 3 weeks since i returned from my Korea trip (probably a month by the time you read this post since i always take like forever to do up my travelogues, need to get the "feel" ma, LOL) This is my 3rd trip to land of Hallyu. First trip was in 2010 where i flew for the very first time, sponsored by LG. Second time was just last September which was sponsored by KTO. (very thankful for both opportunities!) This time even though i did not have to pay for the airfare, i still had to fork out for my own accommodation and expenses - not complaining. I also had the freedom to plan my own itinerary! (the itinerary for the first 2 trips were pretty much pre-determined...) Having visited the country twice, i thought i had it at the back of my hand and i would know the country pretty well but i was so wrong...

Planning the itinerary was not as easy as i thought it would be. Took me about 2 weeks to research and finalize the plan and if you always wanted to try planning your trip but have no idea where to start, i actually did a guide on how to do it! ( This is gonna be 5 day Seoul travelogue, not counting the day i arrive as i took a Scoot flight in the afternoon and only arrived in Incheon airport at night due to a transit (which is why this post is Day 0 instead of Day 1.) My main objective for this trip would be to cover the places in Seoul that i have not been to in my previous 2 trips. Can you believe i have yet to visit any of the 2 famous theme parks! If you stumble upon my blog while searching for travelogues/ itinerary on Seoul, i hope this 5 day post would aid you in preparing for your trip! This is probably one of my more in-depth travelogues i have ever prepared! So enjoy! :D
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It's finally the day to depart for the land of Hallyu! Flight is scheduled in the noon at 1245H. If it was a direct flight to Seoul, it would probably take about 6 hours to reach Incheon Airport but Scoot included a transit stop over Taiwan for all their Seoul flight and the transit will usually take an hour so... you shall read on to see what time i arrived in Seoul.
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2nd time flying Scoot and i love how spacious the seats are compared to other budget airlines! We were assigned the first row seats of our cabin which means unlimited leg room and they are the "yellow" seats which means if we were to choose these seats online beforehand, we would have to pay an additional fee! Yay to free seat "upgrade"! #freethrill
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Mandatory window shot of the cloud formation every time i fly. Every time i see a plane take off, i can't help but be amazed at how such a heavy machine can get airborne and remain in the air for the longest time. #scienceissoamazing
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On our way to Taoyuan airport for our transit, loud music (i think is the world cup theme song) suddenly blast from overhead and the next thing you know, the air crew were dancing down the aisle in their soccer jersey in view of the World Cup opening! The screw were wearing wigs and their faces were even painted with the flag of the country they were supporting and they wore the paint on their faces and serve the passengers throughout the whole flight, so crazy.

Transited at Taiwan for about an hour before boarding the aircraft again, this time finally heading towards Seoul! So the total flight was 4 hours to Taipei + 1 hour transit + 3 hours to Seoul = 8 hours in total. By the time we reached Incheon Airport, it was already past 10pm and there were no more airport bus so the alternative would be to take the Airport Express train (AREX) to Seoul City Hall. I would say the Airport bus would be a better choice if you reach Incheon during the day because you wouldn't want to be squeezing through the crowd with your luggage during peak hour... bad idea.
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Before that, we rented the WIFI device with unlimited data and full coverage for a total of 6 days at the LG U+ Counter (exit 9-10) Total cost was 46,200 won (SGD$58 which is about $10 per day) Then again, wifi is available free almost everywhere in Seoul (especially cafes) so the only time we really need the "egg" was when traveling on public transport.
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After which we followed the sign towards the AREX (airport express) and bought the single trip ticket (4000 won) heading towards Seoul City Hall station. The trip took about 45 mins. In the train, there's a map with LED lights (like in SG) indicating where you are currently so you can use it to gauge whether you are reaching your destination or not :D
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The train ride was quite boring but luckily we had our wifi egg so we get to update our social media and i took out my selfie rod and started camwhor-ing on the train. When you are overseas, you don't really care if you are being judged.
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Arrived at Seoul City Hall and there wasn't any train heading to Myeondong because it was already so late so we took a cab to our hostel. Was quite surprised that it was cold when i stepped out of the station, turns out it was 19 degrees that night. Heng i wore my pullover! Got onto a cab and despite showing the driver the address of our hostel, he had no idea where it was so i ended up telling him to head to Myeondong station instead. Just nice when we alighted, there was a McDonalds outlet so we grabbed Macs for late dinner and headed to our hostel with the help of my iPhone's GPS.
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Seoul Tower Hostel 
27-6, Nansam-dong2ga, Jung-gu
Tel: 02-318-0055
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Just a simple room with 2 single beds, bathroom and the basics like a small fridge and TV. The WIFI was awesome (super fast!) because each room had its own dedicated router. Had to leave our shoes at the shoe cabinet on the first level and change to their slippers before heading up. All in all it was a good stay, the bed was comfortable, the counter staffs were friendly and the hostel is just a 5 mins walk to Myeondong station. Paid about $420 in total for 5 nights of stay...

Unpacked a bit, showered and went to sleep. Before i end this post, let me bring you a couple of days back where i visited BlackHairSalon to get my hair done prior to this trip! As you can see in this post, my hair is of a copper/ orange colour and it was done by the people at Black Hair Salon. It's been a long while since i got my hair coloured so i thought might as well do something to it then i can have chio photos just for the trip! Even though i would have to dye it back :(
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The whole process took close to 2 hours i think which includes cutting, washing a few times and bleaching twice. I had no preference on the colour choice but requested to keep my sides short and black so my hair stylist, Cat suggested copper for the top which would be rather striking so we went ahead with it! She was really friendly and chatted with me throughout the whole process, about bags (lol) and sharing tips on how i should ask to cut my hair in the future etc.
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The final outcome! I really love it even though it took me awhile (and my friends) to get used to it! How often do you see someone with copper/ orange hair! LOL Thank you Black Hair Salon for the sponsor and if you would are looking for a place to get your hair done, do try out Black Hair Salon. They are located near bugis at The Bencoolen, 180 Bencoolen street, #01-28 S(189646) Call 68359976 or 62423945 for an appointment! Stay tuned for my Day 1 Seoul Travelogue!