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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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!
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!