Before preparing for a trip, of course you must do some research. Unless you follow tour then its a different story. You would need to decide what kind of trip you wants to go for. For example; shopping, sightseeing, food eating, etc.
For this trip of mine it would be a sightseeing, food eating, the culture and some local stuff. Of course a little shopping is a must. Since this is a winter season, it is critical that you take care of your body. Uses lotion, lip balm, moisturizers, apply some mask, wearing the appropriate outfit to cover every part of your body from head to toe to make sure that you are warm.
Mistake of mine is that I was not prepared with gloves and proper socks. I only got mine in Jeju on the second day. Fingers cracks very seriously and its painful. During this season I believe that the wounds are difficult to heal which occurs in my case. Only a week after I am back from Korea, my finger start to heal and close up the crack.
Flights: I chose the AirAsia X this round due to they have promotions. The ticket was bought about a year ago. The flight is from LCCT to Incheon Airport and cost about RM1.8K for 2. Then for the flight to Jeju I chose EASTARJET because this is the cheapest flight from Gimpo to Jeju for the month. You can search for the cheapest fare via Skyscanner or Flight Idealo. I manage get mine for 216,000 won for 2.
Accommodations: In Jeju, I booked Goodstay Nulsong Parktel via Agoda. In Seoul I booked 2 places; Namsan Guesthouse (official site) and BMyGuesthouse (official site). Although they are near to each other, but glad I did so to enjoy different feeling from each guesthouse :). In Seoul, there are actually many guesthouses around town which you can book. Probably in one row of shops, a few of it are guesthouse. So don’t need to worry. But to be safe, better book early than late. Usually those hot places might be fully booked a few months in advance.
Cash/CreditCards: Changed Korean Won, bring some Ringgit Malaysia. Regretted did not bring some USD. Be sure to bring some USD where ever you travels because most of the places does not accept Ringgit Malaysia to be exchanged. How disappointing. For accommodation payments, booked via Agoda I paid fully online and for those in Seoul I paid via cash. Most of the cases they do charge extra if you pay via credit card. I only bring 2 cards with me; Citibank and HSBC. Do remember to call your bank to inform that you are travelling overseas. Just in case when you are trying to swipe the card and it did not manage to pass through :P.
Driving in Jeju: I rent a car from HERTZ. Do look out for their promotions as it might be cheaper sometimes if you booked in advance online. I booked mine for 3 days rental at price of 113,000 won due to promotion buy 2 free 1. The car rental comes with a GPS device and a Mifi internet device from Olleh.
You are required to have an international driving permit to be allowed to drive in Jeju. For Malaysian to get the international driving permit, all you need to do is go to JPJ with; 2 passport size color photo with white background and collar shirt, photocopy & original IC & driving license, lastly fill up the RTD L1 Form. You will need to pay RM150 for validity of 1 year. Something which you need to take note when you go to JPJ for the international permit: the numbers given out for the day starts from around 8am – 10am ONLY. They only give out limited copies per day. Please go early to avoid coming the next day when the numbers are finished. For more info click here.
Another tips driving in Jeju: In Jeju, all are free way. Road condition is very good. The only thing is the road speed limits sometimes can be very low, maybe about 50km/h. the GPS device will inform you whenever there is changes to the speed limits, school areas etc. I was not able to find any maps online that could search for Jeju local places, therefore its by luck when I reached that place. Also was not able to estimate the distance or driving duration. It could be very far if you are driving from near airport area to the east area or south or west. It probably takes close to an hour.
Also be sure to write down all the information related to place that you would like to visit especially the contact number. The GPS provided by the car rental works more effectively with contact number compared to the address. This was a mistake that I have done for this trip whereby I only wrote down the address and got lost a few times. Then luckily they provided a Mifi internet device which allows us to do a quick search for contact number. So good luck with this.
Transportation in Seoul: Taking the subway in Seoul is very convenient and their intervals are quite short. From Incheon Airport to Gimpo Airport, I took the AREX (Airport railroad). In the town, I took the Seoul Metro. You can use the T-Money card which can be bought at most of the convenient store (7-11, GS25) for 5,000 won.
Links will be updated once I come back from the trip and updated the blog.
List of main visiting places:
– Manjanggul Cave (만장굴), Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak (성산일출봉), Seopjikoji (제주도), Trick Art Museum, Seongeup Folk Village
– Jeongbang Falls (정방폭포), Oedolgae, Cheonjeyeon Falls, Seonimgyo Bridge
– Nanta Show
– Namiseom Island(남이섬), Cheonggyecheon Stream (청계천)
– Mt. Sorak (설악산) (Options: Gwongeumseong Fortress (권금성), Biryong Waterfall (비룡폭포))
– Gyeongbok Palace (경복궁), Samcheongdong, Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을), Insadong Ssamziegil (인사동쌈지길)
– Bugaksan (북악산)
– Banul Knit Coffee Shop
List of visiting restaurants:
– Dongbok-ri Haenyeo-chon
– Black Pork Street
– Dongmun Everyday Market
– Seogwipo Olle Market
– Myeongdong Gyoja (명동교자)
– Myeongdong Dakhanmari
– Noryangjin Fish Market
– Sinseon Seolleongtang(신선설농탕)