Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3 Sets of Personalized Itinerary for 4 Days in Korea

I remember my friend Fran pointed out that a lot of people return to Korea after their first visit to the country simply because it's one of the most "sulit" country to go to. This is contrary to other Asian countries wherein we easily feel satisfied after the first visit. My friend coined the term most “sulit” (see my Korea 2012 expenses here) to describe Seoul as a travel destination because of all the places you can visit and the things you can do there. I definitely agree with her and I am in fact one of those people who visited Korea multiple times– twice to be exact for 6 days each and I still want to return there again and again.
I know a lot of people have not visited Korea yet and others may not have the luxury of time to go to Korea multiple times so it is important for travelers to prepare the perfect Itinerary before going to Seoul. Although it’s easy to research on popular tourist attractions in Seoul, it’s definitely a challenge to prepare an itinerary that will bring the best out of your travel experience in only one visit. So here is my guide to your perfect Itinerary to Seoul.
How to start with the Itinerary?

There are a couple of questions you need to answer prior to starting your itinerary. First, what is your objective in going to Seoul? Second, who are your travel buddies?


It’s important to identify your objective because the places you will go will be based on your objective. For our first Seoul travel in 2011, we aimed to visit all the popular places that are seen in Korean dramas such as the Namsan Tower, Gyeongbokgung Palace, etc. We were such an addict for Korean dramas which made it a must for us to visit all these places. Other objectives could be to shop, explore Korean culture and heritage, or experience clubbing in Korea. You can definitely do all these in Korea, but the importance of having an objective is to identify which ones to prioritize since you will not be able to visit all the places if you’ll stay for a short amount of time.

During our first visit, we went there with a group of hardcore K-pop fanatics which made it an obvious choice for us to visit all the places in Korean series. For our second visit, I was accompanied by my complete family including kids and elderly, hence we made it a point to visit all the theme parks, the cultural places, and do some shopping for ourselves. Again, it is important to identify what your group preference is to make sure that everyone will be happy during your entire trip.

I’ve created several Itineraries below that I recommend based on my experience and some reviews which are sorted based on potential objective and travel buddies. I think that the minimum number of days you should spend to enjoy Korea should be 4 days but it will be more worth it if you can stay longer. That’s why all the itineraries below are for 4 days only but you can extend it by adding some of the places from the other itineraries such as Busan, DMZ, or enjoy snow activities on top of the mountain.
Tip: Start your date late and end it late since all stores open at around 9-10 am until midnight.
1. Suggested IT for K-pop fanatics:
Pls. click on the image to see it clearly :)
This should pretty much cover all the famous shooting sites of Korean Dramas and also some shopping places/night life to enjoy. See my Koreanobela Trip of a Lifetime and Full House blog entry for a detailed description of the places mentioned above.
2. Suggested IT for shopping and night life trip:

Please do note that Hongdae and Dongdaemun are best enjoyed starting 12 midnight. If you want the best experience here, rest prior to going there so you can still have the energy to party and shop! 
Dongdaemun is like a huge huge "Divisoria slash Greenhills tiangge" type of shopping area. Most shops here are closed in the morning so prepare your strong shot of coffee after midnight to keep you and your pals alive and kicking ;)
3. Suggested IT for Family Trips:
Please check my Everland, Lotteworld, and Hangang River Cruise experiences as well.

Although Everland and Lotteworld are both theme parks, it will be great to experience both of them because they bring a totally different experience from each other.
Some of the locations are consistently found in all three itineraries because these are must visit places since they touch a little bit of everything in order to have the total Korean experience. If you’re a sports fan, you can also visit Seoul World Cup Stadium and Olympic Stadium which brings very unique and memorable experience.
As I have emphasized earlier, there is so much to do in Korea and you can’t do everything in just one visit. But the perfect Itinerary I shared are essentially the must visit places during your first visit to Korea but if you’ve been there multiple times already, try to create more adventurous itineraries such as going to Busan instead of Seoul or visiting Seoul during the winter season (snooowww!) or during the cherry blossom festival for a more romantic vibe haha!
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8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hi check my expenses here: http://tincowashere.blogspot.com/2012/04/korea-2012-expenses-revealed.html

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  2. Hi Tinco, may i know what month did you go to Korea?

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  3. Hi Ms. Tin,
    I have been browsing your blogs about Korea all night long and it makes me more psyched about going there!!! I have few questions which I believe you surely can address based on your numerous travel experiences:
    (a) In your personal point of view, when is the best month to travel to Korea? Why?
    (b) If a first-timer would travel to Seoul in April, what Top 8 things to do or places to visit can you suggest during an 8-day trip duration?

    answers to these questions will be very helpful to your avid blog readers ^_^

    Xiami, Philippines

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    Replies
    1. Hi! awww THANK YOU for taking time to read my blog :) so happy you find my post helpful :) Anyway to answer your tough questions...

      1. Best month? Well I really can't decide because I love Korea all year round haha. I guess it depends what type of season you want. I've been to Korea 3x... twice during the month of March (patapos na yung winter but still EXTREMELY COLD and we experienced snowflakes once but no heavy snow). The other one I went during month of April (holy week). It's spring season aka CHERRY BLOSSOMS :) however, because weather is unpredictable... the cherry blossoms bloomed a week or two in advance so paubos na yung cherry blossoms nung dumating kami.... :( pero nice pa din and cold in the morning and night time.

      Winter- super duper cold!!! what's nice about it you can pile up your clothes so feel na feel ang snow at best time pumorma! ooppps hahaha :) But it's hard to go out especially if you get cold easily. Minsan hassle na yung lamig. Even without snow... Jan-March, still very very cold. Oh and if you don't have winter clothes too...you need to invest so that's additional expense for you but there's always Ukay-Ukay and Greenhills. I bought mine there ;)

      Spring- Baguio weather but 2x colder haha so jackets are okay. Romantic vibe all over too!

      Summer and Fall- haven't experience both but I know Summer is ala Baguio weather and Fall too but I personally prefer Fall because of the red, brown, and yellow trees :)

      2. Again, it depends on your travel style (chill type, adventurous, budget friendly, parteh2, koreanobela addict etc..) and depends on who you with ex: family, friends na game sa lahat, friends na mareklamo, lover, etc.. haha.

      For first timer, I suggest you explore Seoul first and visit most of the tourist spots like the places listed on this specific blog post. To maximize your 8 day trip, you may want to choose only 1 theme park as it will eat up 2 days if you visit Everland and Lotte World. Skip all other temples and visit only Gyeongbukgung because it's pretty much all the same.

      If you want to explore other cities, try Busan check out my blog post entitled "Must Visit in Dynamic City, Busan" however, it will require you to travel via bus and may need to spend overnight in that city.

      So there! hope I was able to help you decide on what to do in Korea :) Sorry couldn't give you a direct to the point answer because it really depends haha. Good luck on your trip!

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  4. nice info, i just wanna tell you that i'm doing blog walking, keep posting guys,,,and please visit my site too at http://goo.gl/mKk0is

    ReplyDelete
  5. Where we can wear the hanbok? Aside from the tourist center? I mean what temple or area?

    ReplyDelete

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