South Korea 2015 – Wrap-Up

This is part of an ongoing travelogue, to start at the beginning click here.

So its been over two months since we came back from Korea, and the memories are still fresh in our minds.

As far as family holidays, ever since we started going back in 2006 (wow, its been 10 years…!) this is no doubt the best and most ambitious one. It helped that we had a year to do planning and research, and good friends who had just gone before us to give us tips and itineraries to follow.

Would we return to Korea? Of course, and very soon. Next time, maybe we’ll visit Busan. But we’ll definitely return to beautiful Jeju. And if we are going for a longer holiday, we’ll come back to Seoul as a base to visit some of the places we missed, especially those that need to travel a bit. For example, Nami island. We decided to skip Nami this trip as we heard it involved a lot of travelling and walking. Another destination we wanted to go was Seoraksan. At the we were in Korea, the autumn colours were still in bloom, albeit a little late in the season. But we didn’t have time for a trip, so maybe the next time.

So since my trip, some friends and readers have asked me some questions, I’ll answer them here:

Where to stay? All things Myeongdong is still the best place to stay if this is your first trip and you are mainly sightseeing. You can also stay in the areas surrounding Myeongdong like Namsan (quite popular with Malaysians, judging from the blogs), Namdaemun or around Seoul Station. It all depends on the hotel deal you get. But remember, the most important criteria is it must be near a subway station. Trust me, you will not regret it.

How long to stay? I’m tempted to say ‘as many days as you can afford’, but I actually asked my friend this question. My trip for 8 days was just nice, so I would say 4-5 days is enough just for Seoul. If going to Jeju, allow for at least 2 full days. But then again, give me a week in Jeju and I can still fill it up with meaningful things to do and places to go on the island.

When to go? Well, I didn’t have a choice in the timing, but autumn is pretty good a time as any to go. The colours are beautiful, the weather just nice. Spring is very nice, too. Summer can get hot and stuffy, and there are a lot more tourists than any other time of the year. Winter is great to see snow, my younger kid is averse to cold so we went in autumn instead. But in recent years due to global warming, the winters can be sudden and harsh causing flights to be cancelled (like in Jeju recently) so there’s a risk there.

How much to bring? With our currency falling like bricks, this is a serious consideration. It depends on your spending habits. A decent meal in the restaurant like BBQ or noodles will cost somewhere between KRW 5,000 to KRW 6,000. If you stick to street food, you can save half of that. As for travelling and entrance fees, you can plan beforehand by doing some internet research beforehand.

Any way, that wraps up my write-up on my trip. Until my next trip in March to Macau, bye!

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