Following my previous post on my South Korea trip, some of you asked for my travel itinerary. Here it goes, as much as I can recall back from my not-the-best memory.
As I mentioned in the previous post, I joined a 7D6N ground tour organised by Apple Tour. After the tour, I extended my trip and stayed on for 2 more nights in Seoul.
Day 1: After arriving Incheon airport, we went to Sea World & Wax Museum, and then Nami island (where the infamous Korean drama “Winter Sonata” was filmed).
Day 2: We visited Mount Soraksan national park, Shinheungsa temple and Daepohaeng fish market.
Mount Soraksan national park is very peaceful and quiet. It was a nice nature retreat for us. For lunch, we went to the fish market which was an interesting experience. We selected our live seafood from the market, paid for it, and barbecued it ourselves. Seafood cannot get any fresher than this!
We also stopped by Hajodae light house.
Day 3: We did Everland theme park, and after returned to Seoul. I did the T Express, and it was so much fun! T Express is South Korea’s first wooden roller coaster, also ranked worldwide as 4th steepest, and 9th fastest roller coaster. There’s an online poll that even ranked T Express as top 3 in the world!
In the evening, we did some shopping at Dongdaemun (popular shopping district). Our tour guide also organised ginseng foot spa, massage and ginseng face mask for us. It is something different you should give it a try.
Day 4: At Seoul, we visited Gyeongbokgung Palace (largest of the Five Grand Palaces), Cheong Wa Dae (residence of the President), and in the evening, more shopping at Myeongdong.
Day 5: In the morning, we visited Gwangwhamun Plaza, to watch the Royal Guards changing ceremony (the likes of Buckingham Palace with some added martial arts flair). Check ceremony schedule in link. After lunch, we took a flight to Jeju island.
Day 6: At Jeju, we visited Seongsan Ilchulbong (don’t ask me how to pronounce it, but it translates as “Sunrise peak”. It is a giant crater formed by a hydrovolcanic eruption about 5,000 years ago. If you physically fit, you must do the hike to the top to witness the vastness of the crater, about 600 m in diameter!
After Seongsan Ilchulbong, we visited Seongeup village, orange farm (Jeju island is also famous for its oranges), and lastly Cheonjiyeon waterfall.
Day 7: We took our flight back to Seoul. Stopped by Shinchon lady street for some street shopping. Apparently, it is popular for selling socks (of all things). After parting ways with the tour group, I stayed on in Seoul for another 2 nights, just to catch up on shopping and eating!
CAUTION: Make sure to print your hotel addresses in Korean! Not all taxi drivers (and locals) can read English, let alone know their local address names in English!
What to eat
Unfortunately, I cannot recall the exact restaurant names. However, below are some of the must eats in South Korea!
- Barbecue pork (black pork if you are in Jeju island) wrapped in lettuce, you have no idea how much of these I had that! If you are worried about feeling heaty from all the barbecue, all South Korean restaurants provide free chilled water. Just make sure you hydrate yourself abundantly!
- Bibimbap, hot rice served with sauteed vegetables, and fermented soy bean paste in a hot stone bowl.
- Kimchi jjiage, kimchi soup, my favourite especially in the winter cold.
- Japchae, Korean stir fried glass noodles
- Myeoongdong dumplings, one of my best meals in this trip
- Samgyetang, ginseng chicken soup. If you are a soupy person like, this is definitely for you! The chicken is stuffed with rice, before cooked inside ginseng soup. It is served together with vermicelli in the soup.
Gyeran-ppang, a warm street food, which is essentially a whole egg inside a thick pancake dough. Perfect for the cold weather as well.