Honestly, South Korea is not in my bucket list. It is one of those destinations I got drawn into because of a CebuPacific seat sale which is too cheap to resist. My friend actually saw the seat sale and did the booking for me on this one. She booked the tickets while I was waiting for my flight to Amsterdam. Scored a round trip ticket to Incheon for Php 5,240.31 – with 15kg baggage allowance both ways. Now I immediately had something to look forward to when I get back from Europe.
Also, Korea was the “cheaper” option to see the cherry blossoms. Japan is my ideal destination to experience cherry blossoms (blame it on watching Boys Be and other anime) but Japan is expensive – and the time frame to catch the cherry blossoms season was just a week or two.
I probably slept for 2.5 hours during our 5-hour flight. I was kinda excited; it was my first plane ride and first international trip for 2012. We landed in Incheon Airport at around 6:00am. *Yawn*.
|Good morning Korea!|
Made our way towards Immigration. Incheon is the World’s Best Airport in 2011. I can understand why.
|Had to ride a shuttle train to the main airport|
They get your thumbprints upon arrival. No questions from the IO. I think they are quite strict if you have a cold/cough. I noticed some kids brought in the Health Check/ Quarantine area.
Did the ATM withdrawal. There was a charge of 3,000 won. Although the BSP’s website reflected 1 won = Php 0.038, it amounted to 1 won = 0.040. There is a forex counter beside the ATM machine. The rates were pretty much the same. The conversion rate for this trip: KRW 1,000 = PHP 40.
Since there were 5 of us in the group, we decided to have someone pick us up. Anyway, there’s 5 of us in the group. It was an hour’s drive from Incheon Airport to Zaza Backpackers. It was a good decision to have a car drive us because the place was in the inner streets – and we were able to catch some zzzzz on the way.
|I was asleep 80% of the time. Didn't get to really appreciate the view.|
We dropped off our luggages in Zaza Backpackers and freshened ourselves in the ladies’ room in the subway. Breakfast in the first open eating place we could find.
|That's the bill for toast and coffee for breakfast|
Puzzling that some of the establishments were still closed although it was already 7am. Aren’t they supposed to serve breakfast?
We studied the map from the hostel over breakfast.
Found our way in Myeongdong station. There were these vending machines that sold the Seoul City Pass and the T-money. We opted to buy the T-money. There was this Mr. Assistance with a sash that helps the lost tourists, provided that you understand each other.
We got the Seoul City Pass which cost ₩ 3,000 which is non-refundable. Moving on to the next machine, we had the pass loaded with ₩ 10,000 as a starter. The one-way fares in the subway were just around the ₩ 1,050++ range. We can just reload when needed.
Armed with the map and the Seoul City Pass, we were off to Konquer Korea!