Yesterday I just came back from a week vacation in Seoul, South Korea. Just like my Tokyo vacation last year, I will share some of my thoughts and my travelling cost to my reader’s benefits 🙂
I will start with my travelling cost. My total travelling cost is about RM3,000 and here are the breakdowns:
Air ticket (including return baggage)
Accommodation (6 nights)
Nanta “Cookin” Live Show
WIFI modem rental
I changed for 510,000 Korean Won (KRW), which is equal to about RM 2,000. After the trip, about 150,000 Korean Won remain. We traveled in a group of four. So we booked Airbnb for the whole unit which has 3 rooms.
Temperature for the week range from 8-20 degree Celsius (°C) which is not bad. Better than last year in Tokyo which hit 2°C at night which is freezing cold! My travel buddy David, the main planner, also checked weather forecast to make sure our whole week got not rain. Indeed that weather forecast 10 months ago came true, thankfully!
Main itinerary: Nami Island, Gangnam city bus tour (Lotte World Tower, Floating Islands, Samsung D’light), Gyeongbokgung Palace, Gwangjang market, Insadong, Itaewon, Myeongdong, N Seoul Tower, Namdaemun market, Nanta Cookin Live Performance, War Memorial of Korea and Hongdae (Hongik University Street).
Nami Island – I will post some photos first. Photo caption to be updated soon.
Travelling Date: 10-16th March 2016
Total Expenses: about RM3,000
Accommodation (6 nights)
RM 533 (YEN 15,000)
Disney Sea Entrance
RM 245 (YEN 6,900)
Train (Metro line unlimited day pass for 6 days (2 x 3 days) + Pasmo)
RM 177 (YEN 3,000 + YEN 2,000)
Japan SIM card
RM50 (YEN 1420)
There rest are food, entrance fee and souvenirs. In order to get a cheaper air ticket, you need to buy it early. We bought the ticket about 9 months in advance. My friends got it at RM500 plus but bought it 1.5 year in advance. Accommodation is normal budget hostel for twin sharing.
For city train cost, it is recommended to buy Metro line unlimited pass. This subway (underground train) covers 14 lines which is enough for city travelling. Pasmo is like our Touch N Go card for backup.
It is also recommended to order Japan SIM card in advance (at least 3 days before the travel date). When you order it, you can set the your hostel as delivery address. This SIM card is really useful especially to find the place you want to go via GPS which needs Internet connection. You can also get free Internet access in the train station. But you need to register first. For me, I sharing the SIM card cost with my travelling buddy since we travel together.
For food, you can allocate 1000 Yen per meal. But you want to go economical, you can opt for onigiri which is only 100 Yen per piece. Take 5 pieces only cost 500 Yen per meal.
Travelling Dates – We went on winter month (March is end of winter). So it is super cold. Morning is 7-8 degree while night is 2-3 degree. If got wind, you will be freezing 🙂 So, if you opt for winter months, then do prepare enough winter wears like thick coat, thermal wear, glove, scarf and mask. Yes, mask. Otherwise, the strong dry wind will make your lip so dry that it will ‘break apart’. April is the best month because Spring season starts in April and you can see very beautiful Sakura (Cherry Blossom). But the air ticket for April will be expensive too.
Direction and Solo Travel – Tokyo is very safe for solo travel even for ladies. There was a moment I was lost Akihabara. I could not find my travel buddy. After 30 minutes waiting, I decided to go on my own (solo). I ask train officer at the train information counter for which station should I take. Bear in mind, according to wikipedia, public transport within Greater Tokyo is dominated by the world’s most extensive urban rail network (as of May 2014, the article Tokyo rail list lists 158 lines, 48 operators, 4,714.5 km of operational track and 2,210 stations [although stations recounted for each operator]). But don’t worry, you just need to show your Metro pass to the train officer and tell them where you want to go. So, if there is one location you should not forget is the place you stay 🙂 And the train officer understand basic English will guide you and even provide you a location map to the right train platform.
What I miss out – I believe there are many things I miss out but here are some. Onsen and Odaiba. There was a day that I have to decide to go to Kawaguchiko to see Mount Fuji or follow my travel buddy to Odaiba. I went for the first choice. So, for the next trip, I will go to Odaiba. Then, in Kawaguchiko, we didn’t experience onsen (hot spring bath) too because of time constraint. Next trip, I want to go to Hakone pulak to view Mount Fuji and to experience onsen.
Here are some photos taken during this vacation. Happy travelling 🙂
When we reached Penang island, we tried to go to this place called “Island Glades” as arrange by my friend. Following the Google Map GPS, we went to another “Islands Glades”. Lesson learned – Use common sense and communicate more to double-confirm the actual distance. But good also, so that we know another place in Penang.
Then, we then explore Esplanade which is just nearby and then ‘supper’ at this place below.
As I reflected today what happened that time and this trip, I felt so emotional because I didn’t realize that my parents already aging. My father is now so-called retired while my mom’s knee is weak. My parents are the persons who love me the most in my life. I am glad this I can have this trip that we can spend quality family time. I shall always remind myself to love and appreciate them more and plan more family trip while they are here and still able to walk.
You can stay a night there too. The only hotel in Penang Hill is Bellevue Hotel. Standard room is about RM 300 per night.
Next, we makan lunch in Taman Islands Glades. Suppose to makan with Darick, our brother in Christ who lead Penang church but couldn’t happen due to time limitation as we need to rush to Bukit Mertajam to visit a cancer patient.
I just came back from NHNA carnival. Thought of returning the Immunology book I borrowed from the library but it closed today. Found this interesting “Portable Home Bus” for display
The whole “Portable Home Bus” is so comfortable and it should fit at least eight person. The sales person said that this concept is common is oversea and claim that this “Portable Home Bus” is first in Malaysia. With this bus, you don’t need any ‘fixed’ home and can travel anywhere without paying anything for the accommodation. Those adventurous people surely wish to have this.
But hey, guess how much is this “Portable Home Bus”? A staggering mind-blowing of RM 800, 000 ++ If this figure is unthinkable, there is a smaller size bus which is cheaper and fully ‘customizable’ too. Otherwise, you can DIY your avanza / exora / alza – more economical. Personally, I thought this “portable-home” idea is highly achievable and so cool 🙂