Colours of Seoul & Busan (5 Days Itinerary)

It’s been about 5 years since my last trip to Korea. This time, I’m going by free and easy instead of a guided tour, which makes my trip more personalized and exciting.

9th Aug 2013 (Myeongdong & Dongdaemun)

Upon arriving at Incheon Airport, if you are the kind of person who likes to be connected to the world all the time, you definitely should rent the wibro egg which allows you and your friends to get connected to wi-fi at around S$10 per day (the cost can be shared among all of you who are going together). You could rent the wibro egg at the airport (Passenger Terminal 1st Floor).

However, in Seoul itself, there are many cafes which provided free wi-fi, you just need to get the password from them. Sometimes, they might even share that password on the receipt itself.

From outside the airport, we took bus no. 6015 to the hotel we are staying, PJ Hotel, alighting at Chungmuro station. After leaving our luggage at the hotel lobby, we proceeded to MyeongDong for our first day of shopping! I love Seoul so much! It’s so convenient to get to Myeongdong as there is a shuttle bus service by the hotel direct to Myeongdong or Dongdaemun. If you miss the shuttle bus timing, the Euljiro-3ga Mrt station is just 10mins walk away from the hotel.

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Our Hotel Bedroom! 3 of us shared a room. There is even a small dining area with television and coffee machine. It’s a great area for us to chill at night with some beer and chips after a long day outside.

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This is the dressing table and wardrobe

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The bathroom consisted of a bathtub towards the left side and shower room on the right side of the toilet. It’s very spacious!

PJ Hotel

73-1 Inhyeon-Dong 2-Ga, Jung-Gu, 100-282 Seoul

Tel: 02-2280-7000

Website: http://eng.hotelpj.co.kr/

Nearest Train station: Euljiro-3ga station

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Hotel shuttle bus timing and route

Arriving at Myeongdong, we almost went crazy with the Annual August hot summer sales. In Myeongdong, they sell mostly beauty products, shops like Etude House, Faceshop, Innisfree, Missha, NatureRepublic, etc are side by side. In total, we spent more than S$1000 on that day itself on beauty products and cosmetics alone. I will elaborate more on my next few posts on the things I bought from Seoul. We decided to give our tired legs some rest after the whole day of shopping by watching Nanta Cooking show at Myeongdong. The tickets could be booked online in advanced.

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The Summer sale is only held in August. Lots of freebies would be given out in Myeongdong in most of those cosmetics shops.

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Cosmetics shops line side by side in the streets of Myeongdong

After watching the show, we proceeded to eat Bulgogi dinner and more late night shopping at Dongdaemun (Exit from line 1 or 4 of Dongdaemun station). Dongdaemun sells mainly clothes and certain accessories, bags, some shoes, etc..

10th Aug 2013 (Ehwa & Hongdae)

We took the train from Euljiro-3ga station and alight at Ehwa Women’s University station (exit 2). Ehwa sells mainly clothes, accessories, bags & shoes (prices are much cheaper than Dongdaemun.) Occasionally, you will see a few shops selling beauty products. There are many cafes in Ehwa and Hongdae. You might just walk into any café for a rest before you continue your shopping spree. I will elaborate more on the cafes I went in the next post.

ehwa

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There are alot of sweet dreamy clothes and accessories shops in Ehwa. Since the prices are alot cheaper than Dongdaemun, I prefer to shop at this place.

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Rows and rows of clothes and accessories shops. There are also many cafes in Ehwa compared to Myeongdong and Dongdaemun.

After our lunch, we went to Hongdae, alighting at Hongik University Station (exit 5), Hongdae is a place with many cafes and shops selling clothes and accessories. The prices are almost as cheap as Ehwa. If you have time, you may want to visit the hair salon or do a manicure in Hongdae.

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Many cafes line the streets of Hongdae

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We came across a very special Hair salon and nail palor! Reminds me of a gingerbread house..

Our main purpose of going to Hongdae is to visit the 3D Trick eye Museum. This is a MUST go place in Seoul! It’s fun and interesting, anyone will love it. Look at the pictures below and you will know what I mean. Since we were there on a Saturday, the crowd is expected. However, I didn’t know that many young children and elderly also enjoyed going to this museum.

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There’s also the Ice museum just beside the 3D museum. They provided a small blanket before you enter the Ice museum. However, I suggest that you might want to wear more clothes before you enter this museum. For just around 10-15 minutes of viewing ice sculptures, the ice cold temperature in the museum wore me down physically and mentally as I was wearing sleeveless and shorts that day. But it was one of the experiences one will never forget.

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Some parts of the Ice museum are interactive, where you get to play on the slides and crawl into the igloo.

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At night, we went to one of the most well-known pub in Hongdae, Castle Praha; for our dinner and some drinks. The place is magnificent! They sell limited choices of western food but a wide variety of alcohol, beer, cocktails.

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The Magnificent Castle Praha. It looks beautiful during the day too.

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We ordered a simple mushroom and ham pizza and beer/ cocktail. The pizza tasted alright (nicer than a few that I’ve tried)

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The interior looks like a castle too

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Our dining area on the 2nd level

11th Aug 2013 (Busan)

On our third day, we decided to go for a 1 day trip to Busan. From Seoul station, we boarded the 6.40am KTX high speed railway train and had our breakfast in the train. You should reserve a 1-day KR Pass at the Korail website, have it printed and present it with your passport at the Travel Centre counter. The staff will check the reservation form against your passport and he/she will print a card with the date on it. With this card, you have to go to the ticketing counters located near the entrance of the Seoul Station to get your train ticket. It’s preferably that you get the return ticket as well unless you’re unsure about your return timing. The journey from Seoul to Busan takes around 3 hours.

The website where you can get your pass: http://www.letskorail.com/ebizbf/EbizBfIndex_eng.do

 

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KTX highspeed railway train to Busan

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I love this train! A table is available for us to have our meals on board the train.
The seats are comfortable enough for us to have a short nap.

From Busan station, we took bus no. 101 from a bus stop across the road and alight at Taejongdae (태종대). From there, we took a Danubi tram to the various stops for scenery viewing, mainly; observatory deck, lighthouse and Ji Woo Photo gallery.

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The Danubi tram which took us up to view the scenery.

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The lighthouse

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beautiful cliff

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At the Photo gallery~

After some scenic views, we had a light lunch at a café and took the subway from Busan station to Toseong station (Exit 6). From Exit 6, you will be facing an intersection. Turn right at the corner and walk straight. You will see a hospital on your right. The bus stop is right in front of the hospital. Take either Bus 2 or 2-2. This will take you to Gamcheon Culture Village at top of the steep hill. This place is perfect for people who appreciates art or love bright, colourful patterned buildings. The village is surprisingly quiet though it’s supposed to be a tourist attraction. I think it’s because people are actually living in this village, therefore visitors are supposed to be quieter in order not to disturb the peace of the people living there.

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beautiful paintings on the walls and jeans potted plants!

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I love the colorful flower steps and button house

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Birds with human faces and a very cute cafe~

After exploring the village, we had our dinner in Busan before taking the 9.30pm KTX high speed railway train from Busan back to Seoul, then took a cab back to our hotel.

12th Aug 2013 (Jongno & Anguk area)

In the morning, we took the train to Jongno 3-ga station (exit 12). The Kwangjang market (광장시장) is across the street. We went there for our breakfast. This is the first time I’ve been to a Korean wet market. A must try would be the mung bean pancake (빈대떡)& mini gimbap. This market reminds me very much of those night markets in Taiwan, where lots of food stalls could be found.

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I love the mungbean pancake! I don’t see it here in Singapore.

After our breakfast, we went to Bukchon Hanok Village (Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2. Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.

Bukchon Hanok Village is a Korean traditional village with a long history located between Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and Jongmyo Royal Shrine. The traditional village composed of many alleys allowing visitors to experience the atmosphere of the Joseon Dynasty.

I love those traditional houses! There are a few shops selling clothes, shoes and bags in this area, however, they are much more expensive compared to Ehwa and Hongdae. Shoes & bags can cost up to Sgd$100 per pair (without discount). However, I personally think that the shoes and bags here are more unique and they have some nicer designs comparing to other places.

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After the tiring long walk under the hot sun and lots of photo-taking, we decided to go to the lotte supermarket to get our foodstuff. Take Subway Line 1 or 4 to Seoul Station and come out of Exit #1 or #2.

13th Aug 2013 (back to Myeongdong for last min shopping)

As our flight is at 4pm, we need to reach the airport at 2pm, therefore, we decided to go to Myeongdong for our last minute shopping in the morning, as Myeongdong is nearest to our hotel.

We checked out at 1230pm and took the hotel shuttle bus back to the Incheon airport. Remember to return the wibro egg and collect your tax rebate from the airport before you check in.

By the way, I ate as much Krispy Kreme donuts as I could before I finally leave Korea. Hoping to visit this place again soon! That’s all for my itinerary. If there’s anything about the route you are not clear about, feel free to contact me. 🙂

Categories: Korea, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

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52 thoughts on “Colours of Seoul & Busan (5 Days Itinerary)

  1. hi there i enjoy reading your itinerary. there is something that i want to know.. what airlines did you take?

  2. Alice

    Hi hi,

    I enjoyed reading your itinerary I am planning to visit Seoul in March together with my mom and sister. I really miss Korea.

    May I know how much you spent on this hotel and air ticket per person ? 😇

  3. Hi, thnx to your itinerary, it makes me the more i wanna go there. haha. Wanna ask, how much u spend for the total of shopping and meal per person ?

    • Hello! You should start planning a trip to Korea! Well, for shopping, it depends on individuals.. I personally spent around $300 or less for the food + transport in the total of 5 days.. As for shopping alone, I spent around $2,300+.. 😀

      • Ya, is already on the planning. Will be going on August this year 😀 . I see. thanks for the info. Now i can plan carefully for my trip. Btw, is Busan trip worth to go ?

        • I feel that Busan is definitely worth going! If you appreciate arts culture and nice scenery, you should at least plan for a few days to Busan.

          • ah, i see. few days maybe cant as budget not enough. Only plan for 5 days trip. I will just follow your guide for 1 day trip there 🙂 Really thanks for your reply and your awesome itinerary ^^

  4. Oh ya, btw, which airline company that you took for the trip ?

  5. LiFang

    Hi, may I know which room u chose for Hotel PJ? I can’t found the room that you posted here =(

    • Hello Lifang,
      We booked the premier floor’s triple room. Link for your reference : http://eng.hotelpj.co.kr/room/type6.htm?category_code=PTR&img_flag=C

      • LiFang

        Hi, Thanks a lot… I am thinking to visit Korea during July or August.. I hope it’s the suitable time to visit there ^_^

        • Last year Seoul had their Hot summer sales in the month of August. Many of the cosmetics are very cheap and lots of freebies to be given away when you shop in the streets of Myeongdong. But be prepared that the weather could be hot and rainy during July and August.

          • LiFang

            OMG, then the weather there will be similar to Malaysia & Singapore @_@ And also, do you guys speak Korean or just speak English during your vacation? =)

            • Yes, in fact when we were there during August, the weather is hotter than Singapore (about 33 degrees), but it is quite dry and not humid, unlike Singapore. We spoke a mix of Korean, English and Chinese. There are many sales people in Myeongdong shops who spoke Chinese. 🙂

              • LiFang

                Wao.. they started to speak Chinese now, then it will easier for us to travel ourselves there XD Thanks a lot for your help =)

  6. Hi can u tell us something more about the tax rebate? thanks! beautiful blog!

    • Hello~ Usually certain shops will inform us when there is a tax rebate when we make payment at the cashier. My friends and I received lots of tax rebate in Myeongdong and Dongdaemun area.
      After your purchase, show the sales assistant your passport and ask him or her to issue and sign a refund form which usually comes in an envelope. Before you leave korea, you may go to Refund Counter on the departure floor at the airport to get your cash refund. The refund counter is near gate 28.
      Here is the link for more info on the tax rebate: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SH/SH_EN_7_1_4.jsp
      Hope it helps! 🙂

  7. QE

    Hello =) ,

    For the korail pass, at the korail website they did not ask us to select the timing and date for departure so means we can board the train at any date and time we prefer?

  8. Jessie

    hello! enjoyed your itinerary ^_^ can i know how much did u spent in total? airline, hotel, food and shopping ^_^

    • Hello Jessie,
      I spent estimated around $3500+ in total.. But the main bulk of it is in shopping (around $2300+).. So it depends on individuals.. 🙂

  9. TAN HK

    Hi
    Enjoyed reading your blog. Do we need to reserve the rail pass now? Can’t we get it at the station? Is it cheaper to buy it overseas?

  10. Alice

    Hi!

    Would like to ask if we reserve the KR pass, do we collect them at station and then select the timing that we want or do we state them when we are reserving?
    Also, as for the payment for the KR Pass, do we pay by credit card or pay in cash after we collect the tickets at the station?

    • Hi Alice,
      You can select the timing when u make the reservation, but even so, u can still change the timing when you are at the station. That was what we did. The payment can be done either ways i think..

      • Alice

        Thanks for your reply!

        I would like to clarify one more doubt. Is it more cheaper to reserve this KR pass or buy them on the spot?

  11. Anonymous

    How long is the bus 6015 ride from airport to PJ Hotel. Is the ride foc? We are a family of 5. Would it be possible to take taxi? Is there any surcharge departing from airport?

  12. Charlene

    Hi, just wondering if you were offered a standing ticket? I read on the korail website that during the peak season which is during the August period, seats can not be reserved. So did you manage to reserve a seat or was there little people travelling during the time that you took?

    • Hi Charlene,
      no I was not offered a standing ticket on my way to Busan.. in fact we took the early morning train to Busan, so I guess there was not many people.. I do see many empty seats. However on our way back from Busan to Seoul, it was quite crowded and there were people standing. I don’t remember having seat number though..

  13. Joanne

    Hi, to purchase KTX online I need to input the date of arrival. I am not sure to input the date of arrival in Seoul or the date I want to travel to Busan. Please advise

  14. Choo

    Hello! May i know how much you have spent for the entire trip including the air tickets? 🙂

    • Hello Choo,
      Total I spent around $959 for Hotel and Air tix .
      Hotel: $322 (for 4 nights)
      Air Tix: $637 (via Asiana)

      Shopping food and transport over there, I spent around $2600+

  15. r

    Hi I saw the rate for one night at the hotel is around 222000 won? So how is that you only spent $322 for 4 nights?

    • Hello r, I spent $322 for 4 nights, meaning per night I spent $80.50 , I share the room with another 2 friends. Therefore the hotel room per night is about $241.50 per night.

  16. HI! I chanced upon your blog while preparing the itinerary for my first solo trip to Korea. It is very useful! May I know how much generally for the taxi fare? Would it consider too expensive to travel by taxi everywhere? And also, do they have an assess card to include all public transport (mainly train and bus)?

    • Hello Zech Bianca, Thanks for visiting my site 🙂 If you want to take a taxi, before you board the cab, do ask the driver whether they go by meter or sometimes they will quote you a fixed price. You should board the cab that goes by meter which is cheaper. In my opinion, taking the taxi around Seoul should be fine depending on the distance. As for subway, you may be able to purchase a card, either for single journey or T-money card. Please refer to this website for more information 🙂
      http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TR/TR_EN_5_4.jsp

  17. Sharon

    Hi, may I know the price u paid for the 1 day KR pass is for both way or only to busan ? Thank you very much in advance.

  18. hseoyeon

    how much is the return ktx fares from seoul to busan for a day trip?
    thanks

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