Sunday, August 31, 2014

How to Commute from Seoul to Busan via Bus

There are several ways for you to go to Busan from Seoul:
  • By Air from Gimpo Airpot = most expensive option so we did not explore further.
  • By Train = you can ride the KTX or Korea’s bullet train from Seoul Station to Busan. This is the second most expensive option as it costs you around 4,000 Php one way! But travel time will be around 2 and half hours and a lot of people recommend to experience riding this.
  • By Land = this is the least expensive option and you have several bus options ranging from General bus (23,000 Won or 920 Php), Excellent bus (34,200 Won or 1,370 Php), or M/V Excellent bus (37,600 Won or 1,500 Php). There are also several bus companies that you can select from and you don’t have to worry about the time as it leaves every 10-20 mins. A bus ride will take you around 4 hours to arrive Busan (check this website for more details).

Our choice: As a budget traveller, we always find ways to spend the least amount of money which is why we took the General Bus which by the way was excellent for us given that traffic is not bad in Korea and the buses were very spacious and convenient which is comparable to the premium buses we have in the Philippines.

Instructions going to Busan by Bus:

1) Ride the Subway and travel to Express Bus Terminal Station. You will see directions going there which is the 1st floor of the terminal.

2) Upon arrival to the terminal, you will need to find a ticketing station and purchase bus tickets to Busan. Research first through the website on which type of bus you will be riding and what time it will leave as the cost of bus differs per company and per type so if you want the cheapest make sure to research before going there.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Korea 2014 Expenses Breakdown

Cost of Living in Korea is high but traveling to Korea is NOT expensive as most people think. The total cost of our latest trip to Korea is Php 55,015 which is very expensive because of several reasons:

1. Booked airfare last minute and during peak season as it was holy week (18,639 Php round trip from Cebu Pac).

2. We spent total of 10 days and 9 nights which includes visit to 4 major cities (Seoul, Busan, Jeonju, Suwon).

However, the amount that we spent was only around Php 35,000 as the hotel cost were covered by my boyfriend's dad and we received allowance from his relatives. :)

If removing airfare and shopping cost, we actually spent only about Php 27,000 for 10 whole days! For you to spend less but not sacrifice the quality of travel to Korea, here are some tips that helped us which you can apply:

1. Again, stay in cheap accommodation! We took a very small guesthouse near Myeongdong MRT station. This guesthouse is NOT recommended if you have kids but okay if you're traveling along or with a friend.

2. Ride subway most of the time. The only time we rode a taxi was in Jeonju as it was cheaper there and also at night going to Dongdaemun as subway has already been closed at midnight.

3. If you want to visit the other cities on a budget, ride the cheapest bus rather than riding premium buses or the bullet train. It will add 1-2 hours more to your travel time but the cost will be cut into more than half! Bullet train costs around Php 4,000 one way to Busan but we spent only Php 1,000 for our one way bus ride.

4. Have a plan on when and where you will eat! :) We decided to eat breakfast everyday in a convenient store to grab a milk or a quick sandwich. At times we substitute a meal at a restaurant to street food to taste more variety of food with less the cost. 

You can visit my previous expenses breakdown from my 2012 Korea Trip to get to know more about the cost of traveling to Korea. It's only about Php 20,000- 25,000 for 6 days! Click here to learn more.

A Day Trip to Jeonju Hanok Village Where Old Meets New

Just when you thought that Seoul, Busan, and Jeju Island are the only popular cities you can visit in Korea, wait till you read what I'm about to share. You might want to try squeezing in some time to visit Jeonju (전주), a place where old meets new in perfect harmony...naks!

Jeonju is a small city in the mid-western part of Korea. Before, it was considered as the spiritual capital during the Joseon Dynasty but now, based on what I know about the city, they are known for 3 aspects:

1. Hanok Village- A traditional Korean house
2. Jeonju Bibimbap (a mixed rice with chili paste) and
3. Hanjeongsik (한정식)- a traditional complete Korean meal aka side dish overload as in exagge haha :)
Going to Jeonju is easy but it requires long travel via bus so I suggest you book one whole day when you visit this place.
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