Day 1 : 9 April 2012
It’s time to set off to Seoul finally! I have chosen a 8AM flight (Yeah I know it’s super early). I was literally exhausted packing my luggage the night before I set off. Slept at 12AM and woke up at 5AM, and set off to Changi Airport with my mum because she wanted to send me off.
Went straight to SIA counter at Terminal 3 to settle all the necessary procedures. And once I went into the customs, there’s still 1 hour left before the boarding time so I decided to roam around the transit lounge as I’m bored.
But the time passes by, I walked nearer to the boarding gate and finally… the boarding gate allowed passengers to enter at 7AM.
One by one, everyone handed their passport and boarding passes to the staff and entered the plane. Fastening my seat belt before the plane is about to set off, I’m ready to embark on my first journey to Seoul alone.
The flight to Seoul took about 5 hours 45 mins from Singapore Changi Airport to South Korea’s Incheon Airport. To be honest, the whole journey was really smoother as I expected. The last time I took a plane was when I was a 12 years old kid, and I suffered from airplane ear when the plane was about to land. Don’t really know why it happened to me.
It’s been 9 years since I took a plane. The in-house flight entertainment system improved a lot, I must say. Haha I was checking out SIA’s in-house flight entertainment system and they even have this for the music section.
Soon it’s brunch time! (Y) I didn’t ate anything before my flight because I knew there’ll be meals on the plane. I choose the western menu “Poached Eggs with Hollandaise Sauce, Chicken Sausage, grilled tomatos and potatos” with a fruit appetizer. SIA’s airplane meal is excellent, needless to say.
It was a pleasant flight. But before I left Seoul, I left my specs on my lap and got up because I was feeling uncomfortable sitting down at my seat. And BOOM! It’s gone and when the plane landed in Incheon, I can’t find it at all…. Sigh. Damn unlucky. I mean, I can still see because my vision isn’t like 1000 degrees so it isn’t that bad but it’s a pity i can’t view Seoul in perfect vision.
So when I landed in Seoul and got out of the plane after the immigrations and collected my luggage, I underestimated that the cost of renting a smartphone because for ST Telecom, applicants need to pay a deposit of 500,000 won. Then I was like…… how the hell I would have so much money when I brought about SGD 1000 to spend for my holiday. So I decided to just evade from the counter and survived the whole journey without any 3G/WIFI . The only time I have WIFI access in Seoul is when I entered Starbucks or other coffee cafes or at KTO itself. In my opinion, it’s really miserable to travel to overseas without data roaming, especially when it’s your first visit. It may be a little expensive, but I advise everyone to apply for it before you head out for travelling.
After that, I went to purchase my Seoul City Pass (7 Days) with unlimited rides per day and then head to the airport limousine counter to purchase ticket for Bus 6011 for my guesthouse. Airport Limousine ticket costs 10000 won.
Stepped out of Incheon Airport finally after all these ordeals! The weather was 11 degrees, which is rather cold for me because I’ve been living in an tropical country all my life. Lol I’m really muddleheaded. I stood at the wrong place to wait for my bus for around 15 mins I showed my bus ticket to the ajusshi and he brought me to the right place. After that, I was a little lost because I started to hear conversations in Korean among the people who are waiting for the airport limousine then I realized that “I’M REALLY HERE.”
Soon after that my bus is finally here. The duration took about 1 hour so I was just admiring at the barren roads of Incheon (Because it’s the airport expressway) until I saw the Mapo roadsign, there were more buildings seen. I think I’m the only foreigner in the bus other than a Singaporean family. I need to alight at the bus stop near Sungkyungkwan University, which is the 2nd last bus stop for Bus 6011 route so it will take a while before I reach my destination. Along my journey, I also saw some remarkable locations such as Yonsei University and Gwanghwamum and I’m very excited it because it’s my first time witnessing it~
Soon, i alighted at my bus stop. It’s not easy lugging a 17kg luggage alone while crossing the road and finding the location of my accommodation. I walked for almost 15 mins before I was even near the Hansung University station area!!! And I walked too far also that I didn’t realized I past by the mountainous road which will lead me to my accommodation. I was so helpless to the extent that I wanted to find WIFI but couldn’t find (but actually there is because I was standing in front of a Starbucks outlet ><) , so I started asking a random student to help me search on his handphone. He’s really kind. I showed him the phone number of Open Guesthouse, so he started talking to the staff and etc and he told me that someone from the guesthouse will come and fetch the directionless-me so I just stood there and waited outside Hansung University station Exit 5.
And then finally a lady came!! I ask her to take care of my luggage while I went into Family Mart (which is just right in front of Exit 3) to buy Banana Milk because I was damn thirsty walking from the bus stop to here. So she helped me with the luggage while we walked up to Open Guesthouse.
You can read more about Open Guesthouse review by a blogger too.
I find the instructions in their website isn’t very clear, because when I was there there isn’t a “Samhwa painting”. I was so helpless even though I know how to read Hangul. So I’m going to write a more detailed one.
Directions to Open Guesthouse :
(Pictures from Google Earth. The leaves on the trees are withered when I was there)
1 : From Hansung University Station Exit 5, you will see this shop call 아름다운 가게 (Beautiful Shop).
2. Keep walking straight to your right, you should see a lingerie shop, coffee shop and a shop that sells paints and etc. Stop when you saw this mini stall call 한국 타이어 (Korea Tire) with the following road junction.
3. On your left, you should see a road that’s facing a temple-like building call 혜화문 (Hyehwa Gate). You need to walk up this sloppy road.
4. When you walk up, you should see this small corner with benches and a shelter. You should see 2 roads. Keep to your right and walk up the road that has a stone brick wall.
5. Ta-da! You will see the Open Guesthouse signboard and ready to load your luggages before you set off to other places.
I checked in around 6.30pm, so I’m kind of tired to visit other places for the day because I have just settled down. And by the time I settled down, it’s already 7.30pm. Being hungry, I decided to explore the neighbourhood.
It’s a pity i forgot to take a picture of the neighbourhood! Once you get out of Hansung University Exit 5, you will see a row of 포장마차 (street vendors) accross the road! I got carried away with the smell of the Tteokbokki so I bought 1 serving and it’s only 3000 won? OMG and the serving was really big and certainly, it’s the most authentic tteokbookki I have ever eaten that it’s spicier than I expected.
In addition, I also bought a Chicken salad at Paris Baguette and a rather bland barley drink from E-Mart which I don’t really fancy it. So this is pretty much my first meal in Seoul. After that I was thinking where I should go on Day 2, and decided that I should change some Korean won first. So I went to ……? I shall reveal later.
This was my room in Room H, which is a single room. If you’re not that in particular about having luxurious facilities, then I think Open Guesthouse has a decent accommodation available. It’s run by a family. The owner, Danny is very helpful and speaks decent English, and likewise the rest of the staff like there were 2 ladies too. There were also an ajumma and ajusshi there. Haha I like talking to the ajusshi, he’s friendly but he only understands Korean though.
Ok this makes the end of my D-1 in Seoul.
Stay tuned for the upcoming posts~