Friday, February 21, 2014

Korea Winter Edition – Budget, Itinerary, Winter Preparation



There are only two seasons in the Philippines: Summer and the monsoon season (wet and dry season, parang market lang). I dream to see snow. I think this is a dream common to Filipinos.

My childhood inspiration to see winter: Bambi and Thumper

Japan has snow but a trip there is relatively expensive. Snow in Beijing is erratic (or so they say). Seoul is the cheapest destination to experience snow. South Korea, here I come... again. 

 I've been to Seoul in 2012 to experience spring. I'm going back for snow this time. 






The Budget and Itinerary

The main goal is to experience snow. That’s it. Petty? Yeap. I didn't plan to visit amusement parks and do loads of shopping. I definitely wanted to go to back to Nami Island again. Other than those things, my schedule had an anything-goes format.

I bought the roundtrip tickets in Cebupacific’s 50% off sale last May 2013 – for Php 7,388.37. I knew it was a way higher than my previous RT Seoul ticket: 5,240.31. Grabe, 40% increase! Korea became extremely popular.


Aside from the tickets, I spent more from this trip because I was travelling solo. I tried some authentic Korean meals that could feed a family but I had to pay the whole thing myself. I also almost mindlessly spent on streetfood (wasn’t able to try a lot during my first time). The cost of having an appetite. Aaand aaaand... I tried the Jjimjilbang! This is a Korean Bath house – I tried a relatively swanky place.

ACTIVITY
KRW
PHP
 Forex Rate

        0.04400
Day 0  - Depart MNL, Arrive Incheon.


 Cebupacific rountrip ticket - 50% sale

7,388.37
 Taxi

          330.00
 Yellow Cab pizza slice

           80.00
 Fruitas Orange and Pineapple

           70.00
 Wendy's Biggie Fries

           86.00
Travel Tax

       1,620.00
Terminal fee

          550.00
 15:20 Depart NAIA T3


 5J Gatorade

           50.00
 5J Instant Noodles

           80.00
 21:35 Arrive Incheon


Airport bus
      10,000.00

Banana Backpackers
    109,000.00

Dinner
        3,300.00




Day 1 - Bukchon Hanok Village, Myeongdong


Breakfast
        2,000.00

Water
        1,000.00

Lunch
      14,000.00

Train from Gyengbongkung to Myeongdong
        1,150.00

Magic Potato - Myeongdong street food
        2,000.00

Sausages - Myeongdong street food
        3,000.00

Train from Myeongdong to Jongsam-ga
        1,150.00

CU convenience store (Breakfast, food supplies)
        3,300.00




Day 2 - Nami Island Day


2L Water
        1,000.00

Train fare to Nami (500 refunded)
        2,050.00

Cab ride (rip-off route)
        5,600.00

Nami entrance fee
        8,000.00

Ramen bowl for lunch
        5,000.00

Cab ride back to Gapyeong (the real route)
        3,000.00

Gapyeong to Hohoyeon Station
        2,050.00

Dinner at Nandaemum
      25,000.00

Banana
        1,000.00

Fare back to Anguk
        1,150.00

Starberry milk
        1,300.00




Day 3 - Korean Bathhouse. Shopping.


Train going to Yongsam
        1,150.00

Lunch at Mc do - Bulgogi burger
        4,000.00

Dragon Hill spa entrance
      11,000.00

Dragon hill spa package
      60,000.00

Return train to Myeongdong
        1,150.00

Dinner
        8,000.00

Lotte Shopping
      41,850.00

Hair clips
        3,000.00

Ben's Cookie
        3,000.00

Gong Cha
        3,900.00

Potato Magic
        2,000.00

Banana Milk
        1,300.00




Day 4 - Relax. Random Shopping and Food Trip.


Popeye's Lunch
        4,900.00

Red Bean Latte at Tom and Toms
        5,000.00

Airport bus
      10,000.00

20:05 Depart Incheon Airport


Dinner at KFC Airport
        9,100.00

Jamba Juice
        7,400.00




Day X - February 12, 2014 - WEDNESDAY


00:25 Arrive Manila


TOTAL KRW/PHP
    381,800.00
    10,254.37
KRW to PHP

    16,799.20
TOTAL, PHP

    27,053.57

 
Getting KRW
I got my KRW via ATM withdrawal in Incheon Airport. The exchange rate was 1 KRW = Php 0.0044. Not bad. Although I knew my overseas ATM withdrawal was already activated, I called BPI’s hotline (89-100) to be sure. I also informed BPI that I will be using my credit card overseas.

Dressing up for winter
More than the itinerary, I was worried about dressing for winter. I’ve experienced being almost frozen in Nami Island and I didn’t want to be unprepared this time. I read about dressing for winter. Got some winter style ideas from Pinterest. I asked travel friends how they survived winter. I am a girl of the tropics, I love the sun and heat – but NOT the humidity.  

What worked for me:
Level 1 – underwear. Still important.
Level 2 – Upperbody: Three layers of inner wear + coat/jacket
Level 3 - Lowebody: Two layers of leggings + jeans + long socks + boots
Level 4 – Others: Scarf, gloves and hat. Do nut underestimate the value of the gloves.

I suggest that you lay off the heavy accessories. You can't really flaunt your necklaces because you'll be wearing a scarf. Your dangling earrings may get caught in your scarf too. Stud earring will be your best bet.

You’ll have to be warm enough, but still comfortable enough without dreading to go to the bathroom. 

Sunny winter. The sun is up but it is 2 degrees here.
 
Where to buy winter clothes in the Philippines?
There was no need to splurge on a branded jacket. I am not a mountaineer. The cheap option: ukay ukay/ thrift shops. I went to one big ukay ukay warehouse: Raberly – the one near MRT North Avenue station. I planned to buy three coats or heavy-duty jackets. I could’ve worn my usual Baguio jackets over thermal wear. But I wanted a bunch of new stuff (not really new, but new to me) for picture purposes. Vanity is still a factor here. Magpakatotoo tayo.

I pursued the racks and ended up with a fleece jacket, a full coat and a cape-coat (I wanna call it that). I chose those with some insulating layer. Also, choose those that would flatter your figure. Panget naman maging balot na balot.  I paid Php 700 for my loot. I knew that the goods were relatively pricey compared to the ukay-ukays in Cubao or Baguio, but I wasn’t willing to go outside of QC for a bunch of clothes I was probably gonna be wearing once.

For the thermal underwear, you can get Uniqlo's Heatech stuff - it works when you layer those. Their Heatech socks kept my toes warm. I just used normal leggings.

I packed my two heavy coats and another pair of boots.

I’m ready to build a snowman!


3 comments:

  1. So, what happen sa bath house experience mo?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! 'Twas awesome! :) Here's my experience: Hi star! Here's my complete blog post on the budget and itinerary: http://adventureaccounting.blogspot.com/2013/03/surigao-bucas-grande-islands-siargao.html

      Delete
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