Korea Summer Day 1: What you need during your stay | hotel | first night!

This took forever - 3 months to be exact! >_< But I have a valid reason! I got really busy after July and usually after traveling, I ...

This took forever - 3 months to be exact! >_< But I have a valid reason! I got really busy after July and usually after traveling, I get really tired and feel like I have to catch up on REAL life haha! =P But finally writing this! Let's goooo!

I've been to South Korea once already prior to this trip, but that was last Winter/ December 2017 (READ MORE HERE) and it was with Korea Tourism Organization, so the experience was totally different. Nevertheless fun! But this time, I got to visit Seoul in summer and with my Mom!


The airline that we usually go for during our yearly summer trips are budget airlines cos the more you get to save the better! But for this trip, my mom wanted to try something different and we went for KOREAN AIR. :) We booked this trip months ago and during The Great BDO Travel Fair, that I believe happens every year? They had good deals, so we went for it. But I dreaded the fact that I didn't have my visa yet! >_< Haha!

Regarding visa application, I went to RAKSO TRAVEL AGENCY in Makati. I really like them cos they're efficient and processing was quite fast for me. I only waited for 5 days and I got my visa. :) I guess it helped that I had OECD (Japan + Korea) visas in the past, so it was faster. For visa requirements, you may visit https://www.raksotravel.com/info/visas/1021.





The many reasons why I loved Korean Air was because they have a courteous crew, Korean cuisine as airline food, and the inflight entertainment was spot-on with Kpop music and Korean shows, like Return of Superman, which I watched for a good hour! ^_^

As soon as we landed, I could already feel my Korean heart fluttering! Oh and this first image I took already indicated that I was going to fulfill my pastel feed dreams! LOL! :)




Before leaving the airport, we went around to look for a booth that was selling tourist sim cards, but most of the ones we saw were selling 5 days or 10 days, and I only needed 7. Thankfully, when we turned to 7-11, they had what we needed. :) Though this was a tad pricey - Php 1,040 for 7 days. But I really prefer sim cards over pocket WiFi for the reasons that, I don't have to charge two gadgets - my phone  and WiFi when it gets lowbatt, I don't have to worry about returning it anymore cos I can just use and throw afterwards, and it's much cheaper too! :)

After setting-up our sim card, we headed for the subway to get to our hotel. From Incheon International Airport Station, we went down at Seoul Station and traveled to Hoehyeon Station, where our hotel was. 

I highly recommend that you download SEOUL Subway app cos this was super helpful for me. It had the subway map, I could plan my route and it even showed me the best way I could take to get to my destination faster. :)


Our train from Incheon Airport to Seoul was LINE Friends themed!! :)






As soon as we arrived at Hoehyeon station, I told my mom that we should already get our T-MONEY Card, so it would be hassle-free for us every time we would ride the subway. Having T-MONEY is as good as BEEP/Stored value card in Manila. :) You can load a certain amount and if you end up not using everything, you can always refund it. 

For the place we stayed at, for the first time ever, I attempted to use AGODA. I usually go for AirBnB, but since it was pricey and they didn't have the apartments that we wanted, I tried looking for other options and I was surprised that Agoda actually had many options for hotels. So, we got a room at KPOP HOTEL for Php 1,900/night. Unlike AirBnB where you pay immediately, at Agoda, we experienced paying for our booking at the hotel itself already. :)





Out of all the places I booked in our past trips, I am fairly happy that this one was super near the train station. As soon as you get out of the subway, it's only a 2 minute-walk away. :) The only downside was, it is quite tight and small for two people. We had to side-step every time we walked around the room. If you have a lot of luggages it might be difficult. The upside though, the staff of the hotel is very friendly and accommodated all our requests and they have a TV and WiFi in the room.

After settling in our room, we decided to go around since we had time left and we didn't have dinner yet! =P We were only one station away from Myeongdong, but we actually decided to just walk from our hotel to Myeongdong on our first night since it was also possible!

Myeongdong is one of the busiest tourist spots in Seoul. Here you can enjoy shopping and food trips!






I was so happy to back in Myeongdong since during our winter trip, I wasn't really able to fully explore it. :)

I got so giddy when I spotted the LINE store! It's one of my favorite stores in Korea! I think I went in every single one that I saw in Seoul! Haha!








Of course I had to view the BT21 Merch! I really wanted a MANG Plush doll! But the price just isn't practical haha! >_< Oh well, photos will have to do!

Can I just say, everything in Korea is SO Kyeopta -cute!! It was the most pastel thing that my Instagram feed ever encountered haha! 




Couldn't leave without doing the most touristy thing - a photo with Brown! Did you know his attire changes depending on the season? ^_^ Since it was summer, he's in summer mode!

My mom and I were already feeling hungry after going around for a while, so we tried looking for a good place to eat and both of us love Samgyupsal and luckily found one!



We didn't find it hard to order since they fortunately had a staff that spoke Chinese! It was a breeze for my mom to converse with her and we ended up having an awesome first dinner in Seoul!

After dinner, we went around a bit more to see what we could bring back to our hotel...


The first of my many ice cream treats in Seoul - flower gelato!



Another favorite store of us for snacks and pasalubong is KOREA MART. This store is near Uniqlo and it has A LOT of yummy and affordable goodies that you can take home to your loved ones. :) We personally took home so many for ourselves too!




Before we headed back home, managed to take a quick snap with the N Seoul Tower behind me! This was also near our place. :) Then, I got some snacks at 7-11 to munch on and this actually ended up to be a staple for me + banana milk until we left Korea! ^_^ Faves!

Anyhoo! That concludes our Day 1! Hopefully will be able to blog the other days soon!

Artsy Ava

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2 comments♥

  1. Omgosh I miss korea!! And luckily your hotel was near Myeongdong! Can't wait to read more about your trip! :)

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  2. Wow! Ang saya naman po :) Soon, fav country po namin ng ate ko ang korea. Kaya we're really saving money for it! Thank you for sharing po, hihi. I bookmarked it dito sa lappie ko para po babasahin ko siya paulit ulit. Hehe very helpful po. At ang ganda po ng outfit at shots :) Lalo na po kayo ni mommy ang ganda niyo po :) ang bata niyo po parehas tignan :) Shared this to my friends who's going there next week. God bless po :)

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