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S. Korea: A Financial Account (Week 1)

Total cost for 2 weeks: SGD$1.2k

Route: Singapore, KL, Muuido myeon, Seoul, Jeungdo myeon, Jeju, Busan, Danyang, Seoul, KL, Singapore
Flight tickets: SGD$340 round trip from KLIA2 to Incheon
Accommodation: KRW 150,000, not including an overnight ferry from Jeju to Busan, and one night in airport

D0 Wed, KL
Night bus to KL (19 sgd), arrived in KL Sentral about 2am. Waited in McDonald's til 3am, boarded bus at Puduraya (short walk in dark near homeless people) to KLIA 2 (12 myr)

D1 Thu, Incheon/Muuido island
Morning flight with airasia (round trip 340 sgd) to Incheon.

[from here on all Korean Won excludes the thousand. Ie. 1,000 krw will be written as 1 won]

Buy sim cards with data from convenience store (1gb 34.9w, lasts max 2 weeks). Comes in 2 sizes, the small sim and the micro sim, but they also sell adaptors cheap. Also comes in 500mb.

Also buy t-money card for 2w, top up with 10w

Took bus to Jamjinnaru ferry terminal, take ferry (3w), take local bus to hanagae beach, pay entrance fee (2w). Rent beach Hut (30w per night, with 10w deposit fee on top of that).

Bus taking is very uncertain, make sure you pronounce the name correctly when you ask the nearest random waiting person and the bus driver.

Beach hut does not include shower facilities (probably have to pay for that, it was locked) but there are sinks and toilets. Lovely because the area was very empty (off-season), but slightly cold. Huts fit max 4 people with 4 blankets/floor coverings, heated floors but the thermostat is quite wonky. 1 charging point (another taken by the heater).

One or two grocery stores nearby but go early before they close. Restaurants sell affordable food (ramyun) but if you want to splurge and try something out-there then go with the seafood hot pot (40w for 3 to be pretty full). (Be wary if you're not used to seafood, especially large moving snails. This was a tough meal to swallow)

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D2 Fri, Seoul

Went the same way back to the airport and took an express train direct to hongik university station. Stayed at whitetail backpacker and hostel, a long but pretty and green walk in. Breakfast is good, bread with spreads, cereal, fried egg, sausages. Cheap too, 6 bed dorm for 15w.

Went to Gyeongbok Palace (3w). Worth going just for some cultural activity.

At night we went to the playground at hongik uni, where we were lucky enough to watch a dance battle between numerous groups of young Korean dancers. Interesting that many dancers were in multiple numbers! They weren't fantastic but it was very fun to be part of it.

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D3 Sat, Seoul

Lots of shopping this day. First was far away flea market (unless you like searching through junk, don't bother), then hongdae area (good).

We climbed Ansan (from yonsei uni then out by ehwa). Took us about 1h to go up, and 45min down because we detoured. Totally worth it, the view is amazing and free! You get photos of namsan tower too, if you want it.

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Had the famous bingsu which was pretty yummy (about 7 each)

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Shopped at ehwa then (good too) and finally beer and chicken (and soju) at the moon and stars brand. We travelled for it, then realised there was an outlet near our hostel. Chicken was yummy. 33w for 1 portion of chicken (sharing), 2 bottles of beer, 1 bottle soju.

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D4 Sun, Seoul

There was a once-a-month flea market on the street right outside the hostel! It was so much fun and lots of things to buy.

Myeongdong then to buy makeup and stuff. Gogung lunch (28w for 2 portions) and some pork rib stew with potato for 25w (sharing portion).

Went to Han river to watch the fountain and lights from the bridge.

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D5 Mon, Jeungdo Myeon

21.9w for bus to jido in the morning (bought the night before) from Seoul express bus terminal (take exit 8 from the subway station, go up the stairs at big shinsegae sign on the left, look for the 3 big ball statues and enter from there)

1.5w for bus directly to jeungdo myeon (over the bridge).

Had no accom planned, met a old Korean woman on the bus, she indicated (with some Korean phrases on our part) that her daughter owns a minbak. We got a place for 50w.

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Took a cab (7w) to the salt farm, didn't pay for the tour but explored on our own, had a lot of fun for free. Bought some salted ice cream, comes in 'flavours' which are really just flavoured sprinkles on top of the standard ice cream. Really yummy. 2w.

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Very difficult to get around the island honestly. There's no written bus schedule anywhere, we had to ask the semi-english speaking receptionists at the salt farm for help. Recommended to find accom near the salt farm.

The minbak people lent us their bikes, so two of us cycled to the mud flats near the famous bridge (any mud flats are fine though) and went in to play. You'll sink to your ankles or mid shins, and will probably get a few cuts from crabs or shell fish in the mud (we disagreed on which it was but hey, we saw crabs around, and why would there be shell fish in mud). But it was SO MUCH FUN waddling around in it. Highly recommended. Of course you're likely destroying homes.... But whatever right.

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Ramyun for dinner because we were poor. Mosquitoes there are vicious and numerous so watch out, especially after dark.

D6 Tue, Jeju

Got a free ride from jeungdo myeon to jido. And a free energy drink.

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7.1w for bus to Mokpo from Jido. Taxi from Jido bus terminal to ferry terminal (6.4w by meter). Ferry to jeju 3.7w.

Cab to seogwipo 30w (supposedly by meter it wouldve been 33, and bus ticket per person is 10w)

Stayed at jeju hiking Inn, cheapest hostel there (15w, private rooms only). Gross kitchen available. Good access. Walkable to 2 waterfalls.

D7 Wed, Jeju

3.3w for bus to Seongsan, go to past bus station and ask for Seongsan. 1w for entry. Nice view, lots of people, lots of stairs.

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Then to jeongbang waterfall, the only waterfall in Asia that empties into the sea! Free admission. Beware the masses of sea roaches on the rocks below though. Walked back to hostel. Nice walk, about half an hour.

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Ate black pork. Lots of reviews on the net, we chose this one cos it was near our place, but there were a few others just opposite and they're probably similar.

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http://chasing320.com/2014/04/13/korea-jeju-black-pork/

D8 Thu, Jeju

31.4w cab to jeju ferry terminal (by meter).

Booked an overnight ferry to Busan (47w for lowest class). They might tell you it's too early to book (supposedly opens an hour before boarding), but you can do so at the office, the door on the right of the stairs on 1st level. Go in and then it's probably the 3rd door or something, ask for the company name from the information counter.

Large storage in the station costs 2w, only accepts 500-value coins.

Went to see llama light houses at Iho-dong. We took a bus to the stop from the terminal then walked all the way through the small town/village to the beach. Then went the opposite way back.

The ferry was nicer than expected. I thought we'd be sleeping on some big open floor, jostling for sleeping space with a bunch of fellow hobos. But no, it was very humane, there were little open rooms and sleeping mats, blankets and pillows. Like traditional Koreans must have slept. Hygiene doubtful but whatever. There's a charging station on the 5th floor near the exits.

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Posted by seaskimmer 11:27 Archived in South Korea

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