South Korea Travel

Touchdown: Korea 2016

Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places

I wish I’m the kind of blogger that writes about her trips days – even weeks – after it happened, but I’m not. Here I am, more than a year after my Korea trip, and I’m just starting my backlogs. But, fret not, as I amazingly still remember everything that happened on my Korea trip last autumn.

(The sudden burst of inspiration is because I am now two months away from my ~hopefully~ next big trip. If you guys follow me on twitter, you’d know which country it is.)

There was supposed to be three of us that’ll fly out first to Korea – Sydney, Irish, and I. Then Yuna and her family will be flying out the next day. Sadly, there’s been personal and work commitments that made Sydney and Irish unable to push through with the trip.

Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places

Which left me alone for almost two days in the trip. I know it’s not a big deal for a lot of people but I get anxious a lot. This sudden change of plans left my heart pumping fast in a not-so-good way. I looked into changing flights but it was too expensive at the time. But I was sure I won’t cancel the trip. I have already pre-paid most of the activities and I did our itinerary for almost two months!

I also figured, “Might as well tick an item off my bucket list. Travel solo.” So, here I was. Heading to Korea.

Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places

I can never get used to riding (free) trains inside an airport just to reach immigration. Hong Kong and Singapore has this too. Manila obviously didn’t. I was following the crowd and was sure I automatically stand out as the tourist as I kept looking through my itinerary and phone.
Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places

First order of business is to buy a T-Money card. You can use your T-Money card to ride bus and trains, just like how Hong Kong’s Octopus card and Singapore’s EZ-link card works. I bought my T-Money card from a 7-11 store located near Exit 5 of the Arrival Hall. It costs 2500 KRW. After that, I just followed the arrows to reach the Airport Railway. I topped up my T-Money Card with 20000 KRW with a help of a kind stranger. I swear, Koreans are the most hospitable brunch I’ve met so far.

Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places

I took the AREX All-Stop Train all the way to Seoul Station. It’s the cheapest (4150 KRW) and longest way to reach the city – by only like ten-fifteen minutes. Then it’s a long, long walk to find my hotel. Seoul’s train system is effective as all but it can take a long ass walk from one exit to another and they don’t seem to fancy elevators and escalators (!!!) much. My feet didn’t like this.

I got a bit lost just on the way to the hostel. I was wearing a too-thick coat, carrying a heavy luggage, and was lost in a place I’ve only been in zero times before. I was getting anxious. I was walking through the streets of Seoul, even saw a hint of Seoul tower, and wasn’t taking a single photo. I was about to head back to the station and try it all out again before I finally saw the yellow walls of my hostel. Thank you, G!!!

Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places

I booked a room at 24 Guesthouse Seoul Station. Irish and I were supposed to share it but she let me keep the room reservation (and her share of it). Thank you, Irish! I’ll do a separate review of the hostel but  here’s a quick preview. The receptionist was so nice and welcoming. My room was thankfully just on the second floor so I just have to haul my things up for one level. This room is the smallest hostel room I’ve been in so far. I think it’d pose a problem for two people. However, it was so clean and have heated floors so I can’t complain. The bathroom was also just as big as the bed area! Haha! It costs me PHP1774.91 for one night in their bunk twin bed with private bathroom room.

I took my time to settle in since the best part about travelling solo is you have total control on your itinerary. I was also celebrating little victories at this point. I was able to get myself in one piece in my hostel just in time as is written in my itinerary! Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places Touchdown Korea - Richel Goes Places

Is this some kind of filler for my Korea posts? Maybe. But I liked documenting it and the photos I took that day. Doing this backlog makes me want to book the next flight out to Seoul. If I’m some rich spoiled kid, I would. But all my travels comes out of my own money – not my parents’. I’m spoiled by them in other things, yeah, sure. But all my travel shenanigans is on me. Just a PSA to all those who thinks differently. 😉


I already have the next installments for this trip drafted up and I can’t wait to write all about it! I’m planning on posting every Thursday now so see ya next week!

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Brandy
    December 10, 2017 at 4:04 PM

    Traveling is such a surreal experience. You’ve given me that itch. If only I had the funds to go with it. 😛

    Looks like you had a great trip. I loved your photos. 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 10, 2017 at 11:17 PM

      It definitely took me months to save up for this and it’s all worth it.

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Nancy
    December 10, 2017 at 1:53 PM

    Nothing wrong with sharing your trip a while after it happened! Even though you had to fly alone for the trip, at least you pulled through and gained some independent skills. Glad things worked out with the hotel accommodation too. Hope you’ll have a chance to go back to Korea soon! :).

    exquisitely.me

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 11, 2017 at 12:20 AM

      I hope so too! Planning a trip for winter next year. Fingers crossed and all! 🙂

  • Reply
    Mile High Dreamers
    December 10, 2017 at 10:21 AM

    I love that you decided to stick with the plan and travel solo! That takes a lot of guts to do. Especially tackling public transportation on your own haha. That scares me the most! And finding things… The struggle.
    I can’t wait to hear how everything else went!

    Susie | http://milehighdreamers.com

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 11, 2017 at 12:21 AM

      It was definitely something to try! I’d love to give solo travel another go since I was 40% a bundle of nerves during that time. Lol.

  • Reply
    Kasi
    December 10, 2017 at 5:52 AM

    Korea sounds like a fun country to visit! I wish I was able to make it out there but it’s just so far away. Hopefully one day 🙂 I haven’t done much solo travel but it looks like you were having a great time!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 11, 2017 at 12:32 AM

      Hopefully you get the chance to visit! It’s such a great country and I can’t wait to come back.

  • Reply
    Kya
    December 9, 2017 at 3:11 PM

    It would have been scary travelling on your own, but it’s fantastic that you decided to do it and tick another bucket list item! 😀

    Eeek. It would have been scary being lost and not sure where you were. I am glad that you finally caught sight of the hostel!

    Looking forward to hearing more. 😀

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 11, 2017 at 12:34 AM

      Next time, I’d love to start and finish a trip alone!

  • Reply
    Heather Rowland
    December 9, 2017 at 3:29 AM

    This is such a cool post – your trip sounds like so much fun. I’m loving all of the photos too!

    Heather xx
    https://www.hefafa.me.uk

  • Reply
    Audrey
    December 9, 2017 at 2:39 AM

    haha I feel you on sharing about travels in an untimely manner hehe. I also feel you about travel anxiety when traveling alone! Yay for going for it anyway! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 11, 2017 at 12:22 AM

      I’m a queen of backlogs. Have so much to go through but it’s nostalging to back to the memories more than months after it happened. <3

  • Reply
    Shellyyum
    December 9, 2017 at 12:30 AM

    I wish I could go to Korea! OMG. That’s awesome! I enjoy reading about people’s trips more than actually going. I’m too much of a homebody, honestly, plus the cost is another factor.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 11, 2017 at 12:23 AM

      I’m a homebody most of the time! But I still love taking 2-4 major trips per year. Something to look forward to. <3

  • Reply
    Sydney
    December 9, 2017 at 12:25 AM

    The hostel looks fabulous! I wanted to visit my friend in South Korea in January (a little too expensive unfortunately), and when I was looking at possible accommodation I was shocked at how cheap everything is. SO many places to stay for really cheap prices! It’s amazing.

    Your Korea trip looks like such fun, even though you did it by yourself. It can be fun traveling alone once you get used to it and open your mind up to it. There’s a lot you can see and do when you’re by yourself because you’re just responsible for you! That’s definitely nice. 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 11, 2017 at 12:34 AM

      I found the AirBNB reasonable but the hotels are a little more expensive than the usual in Asian countries.Hope you can visit your friend though!

      That’s definitely true. I can’t wait to give solo travelling another try.

  • Reply
    francinesplaceblog
    December 8, 2017 at 7:18 PM

    Korea is in my travel list too! Such a beautiful place to visit!
    xx Elisa
    http://www.francinesplaceblog.com
    DIY & LIFESTYLE BLOG

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 10, 2017 at 7:18 PM

      One of my favorite places so far!

  • Reply
    Rose
    December 7, 2017 at 4:20 PM

    Ahhh, Korea! Someday I’ll be able to visit that country although I don’t think I’d survive a solo travel like you did. Yayyy, I’ll definitely be on the lookout for future installments of this trip.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 7, 2017 at 8:30 PM

      It’s definitely a country that I would recommend. It has the right mix of everything and I can’t wait to come back to it. <3

  • Reply
    Joy Generoso
    December 1, 2017 at 3:18 AM

    Hi Rich! Congrats for having the courage to travel solo in Korea. It’s a good feeling that you did something on your own.

    I want to explore Korea talaga. I hope we can make it next summer. 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      December 1, 2017 at 9:55 PM

      Did you buy tickets na? I heard it’s really hot during their summers but I’m sure it’ll be really pretty still. 🙂

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