I visited Seoul, South Korea with 2 other friends during the December period (20th December to 12th January).
It was a pretty interesting (budget yet fun) experience that I thought you might be interested to know.
Exchange rate: 822 won : $1 SGD
Travel size: 3
Travel period: 23 days
Total: $2,881.60 ($125.30 per day)
China Eastern Airline (transit at Pu Dong International Airport)
Cost: $700.65 ($2101.95 / 3)
Flight from Changi to Pu Dong was about 5 hours, transit about 2 hours, then another 2 hours flight to Seoul.
The return flight is about the same.
We booked a little late (less than 1 month before departure).
If you booked earlier, it might be a little cheaper.
Airbnb near Mapo Station (fairly central location)
Cost: $938.16 ($2814.50 / 3)
Staying near most of the popular area like Hongdae is pretty lit and convenient.
Got a 30-day unlimited data-only plan at Seoul Airport.
Cost: $90.21 (71,500 won).
A little costly, apparently my friend told me it’ll be cheaper if I bought online.
And, depending on which mobile operator you have in Singapore, it might also be cheaper to get from them than to buy a new sim card in South Korea.
But there is an advantage in having a Korea sim card – if you want to book a cab or food delivery, but don’t want to pay for roaming charges (which can be insane), then this option of getting a sim card there is awesome.
Trust me: there will be times where you want to order food delivery (because it’s good and convenient) and times where you want to get a cab.
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I spent a total of almost $140 on transport – which can be cut down
Cost: $138.20 (113,600 won)
There are 2 types of transport cards: Normal and Concession cards.
|Used for train/bus/cab payment|
4,000 won for the card
Top up additional money for additional use
Can refund the card at the Airport to get back the remaining funds in the card + 4,000 won – 500 won fee
|Each train ride cost minimum 1,250 won|
Each bus ride cost minimum 1,200 won
|Purchase from convenience stores or vending machines|
|Used for train rides in Seoul|
2,500 won for the card
Buy the concession at the value top up machine
Concession is 55,000 won for 60 rides
|Each train ride cost minimum 1,250 won|
So (55000 + 2500)/1250 = 46 rides
If you took more than 46 rides, you already made your money worth
|Purchase from the train station’s control station|
I spent 1 week in Seoul before I discovered the availability of the concession card.
Hence I spent extra to get the concession but did not maximise the full 60 rides
I spent quite a bit topping up my normal card in the first week and used about 50 rides in the next 2 weeks.
If you are going to travel a lot, get the concession.
You probably won’t need the normal card since most places are accessible by train.
K-BBQ, Skewer, Street Food, Cafes, Restaurants, Family Shops, etc.
Cost: $893.55 (734,500 won)
Meals are generally expensive there, but the portions are fairly huge.
An average meal can cost about $10 to $15 SGD.
If it costs 5,000 won or below, it is a snack.
If it costs above $5,000, it is a main course
We went Everland, Seoul Tower, and Demilitarised Zone (DMZ)
Book the tickets online – it is a lot cheaper than buying on the spot
Nami Island, Souvenirs, Masks, Historical Korean Costume, Sauna, Dumb Stuff
Others: $463.26 (380,800 won)
Discretionary spending – really depends on what you want to buy.
I spent like 70% of the money on gifts and souvenirs.
If it has an English menu, it’s probably a tourist trap
If you speak Chinese there, you are probably going to get judged real bad
They will love you if you are a tourist but can speak their language.
It is not an English-friendly place. Most people there cannot speak English. Google Translate is your best friend there.
Reach the airport half hour earlier than check-in timing to do the GST refund process.
More details can be found HERE
The process is strange.
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This is not a food blog, but there was some food that was really great that I thought it will be good to share
K-BBQ at Chungmuro Station
Chungmuro Station Exit 1, walk straight all the way. It’s on the right
The beef is good, the pork is so-so.
More info can be found HERE.
It’s a good breakfast, and it’s available in quite a lot of places
Must try breakfast!
We ate at this place thrice – and spend $200 in just 3 visits
There’s 2 types of lamb meat there, a 10,000 won and 12,000 won.
We recommend trying both and see which you prefer.
Address: Tojeong-ro 37-gil (nearest station: Mapo Station, exit 2)
Value for money – not the nicest, but extremely value for money
Decent waffle, huge servings of softy ice cream
Address: Majo-ro 1-gil (nearest station: Wangsimni station, exit 6)
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