Got AirAsia promo ticket (actually not that cheap coz we booked almost towards the end of the sale) to Incheon, Seoul and hoped to see cherry blossom flowers in mid April 2017.
Korea Tourism Organization Malaysia (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KoreaPlazaKL) provides a coupon booklet which has discount coupons, T-Money (Touch N Go equivalent) and useful apps on travelling in Korea for free-and-easy travellers (not applicable for tour travellers). It is really useful even though I don’t use all of the coupons.
Read about the coupon booklet & how to get it here: (image from visitkorea.com.my)
After you had registered & submitted the survey -> you’ll get two emails: 1 for the survey submitted and another for the code. You need to show the code to the staff in KTOM counter/shop, as well as hard copy flight itenerary (flight booking) and hard/soft copy of your Passport/ID card. If you forgot to bring the hardcopy, there are printing services in NU Sentral mall – in MPH Bookstore or EXPrint, QPRINT, MBE (maybe there are others). We took the opportunity to change some money as well as the currency in NU Sentral is slightly more expensive (just one or two cents) than Mid Valley & outskirts area. Compare online first before purchase. Sometimes the long queue and deliberate driving/transportation to a far place just to change currency may not be worth it.
I was going with 3 other ladies and we all wanted to go to Jeju + Nami Island besides Seoul. Our planned itinerary vs actual varied as we were too tired to walk, too far, wanted to do more shopping at cheap places (ahem, as opposed to premium outlets or branded shops), new update (demonstration/protest/political meetings on Sat), different preferences, etc.
Actual itinerary by day:
- Day 1: 19 Apr Wed: KLIA2 > Incheon Airport > Jeju Airport
- Stay in Jeju Folk Village area using Airbnb
- Pyoseon beach
- Dinner nearby
- Day 2: 20 Apr Thu: Seogwipo, South of Jeju island
- Day 3: 21 Apr Fri: Seongsan > Gimpo, Seoul
- Seongsan Illchubong, McD
- > Jeju Airport, Lotte Outlets > Seoul Airbnb
- Lotte Mart in Seoul Station
- Sat Paris Croissant (or maybe it was Sun)
- Seoul City Bus Tour: Deuksugung Palace, Namsangol Hanok Village, Changyeonggung, Changdeokgung & Huwon Secret Garden
- Sun Korean buffet 자연별곡
- Lotte World Mall & Seoul Sky Lotte Tower
- Lotte Mart haha.
- Gapyeong City Bus Tour: Nami Island, Petite France (I skipped this), Garden of Morning Calm
- 불고기브라더스 (Bulgogi Brothers, Seoul Station) and… Lotte Mart ;)
- Tue Angel-in-us
- Office, IFC 3 Mall
- Insadong arts & crafts Street
- Cheongyecheon stream
- Wed Paris Baquette, Incheon > KLIA2
Day 1: KLIA2 > Incheon
We were so excited to see cherry blossom in Gimpo International Airport, then we realized they were fake.
My friend ate stew toufu soup (seafood) and fried fish in Food On Air (airport food court). The soup was delicious but the mashed potato was heaven!
Seoul to Jeju using Eastar Airline
Good thing about Eastar Airline is they don’t check drinking water in bottles for flight to Jeju (unlike AirAsia or MAS). Not sure if it’s applicable to all local flights? It also allows 20kg check in!
As we had non-Korean phone #, there was extra time (we were told it would be 10min but it dragged longer as there were more customers to check in) required to verify our ID. No web check in for us.
Transportation in Jeju: Car Rental
Then we went to collect our rental car. Someone had to be the driver (obtain international license first and bring along the docs/proof + credit card). Lotte car rental has bus shuttle to/from airport Jeju Auto House, which is convenient for customers. The cute bus is not the bus we took:
Staffs at counter are quite fast and they speak basic English:
We rented a cartoon car for fun. Turned out to be a good decision when we park among the sea of white cars in tourist spots – so easy to spot our car! The GPS in our car is in Korean but speaks English. To search for location, key in the phone #. Problem is when there’s no phone # or phone # is not found… then we relied on Waze and Google Map.
Internet connection: Klook and free wifi egg from Airbnb host in Seoul
To get online, we rented a 4G WiFi Device (Koreans call it: Wifi egg) from Klook.
We collected the egg in Incheon and returned in Gimpo International Airport after Jeju. Problem was I didn’t realize Gimpo had International AND Local Airport, so I walked all the way till the end in Gimpo Local Airport to return the egg… and then found out I had to go back to International Airport counter. It wasn’t that far, just a few escalator belt but it took at least 10min. Klook’s counter is listed as KT Olleh (you won’t find Klook logo or counter there).
It was originally USD7 but I bought it under promo at USD3 (RM12 per day). You can choose different/same location for pickup and return. Since we used it for 3 days – RM36. There is RM6.50 off first Mobile App booking with promo code ‘mobile10’. There are other options for pickup – we got the one that’s Korea Pick Up. Pickup in Malaysia is slightly $ but not much. Since we didn’t need the wifi in Malaysia and we had time in Incheon before flight to Jeju, we opted for pickup in Korea. There are several counters in Incheon Airport – look for the one with shorter queue. It is quite fast to get the egg though – just show the document and the staff at counter will guide you how to use it. It’s certainly better service than the one I experienced for Tokyo wifi egg rental in TravelRecommends pickup point in KLIA2.
It was easy to use, fast startup and detection by smartphones, fast connection and can last about 5-6 hrs depending on usage. We had 4 phones connecting to the egg at some point though the device is recommended for 3 devices connection at a time. The staff did tell us that Jeju connection was around 70% because reception was not available in the mountains or outskirts.
To join Klook with my recommendation link: https://www.klook.com/invite/KQ70P
We pooled our $ into a separate pouch for easier payment when we share the same food, entrance tickets, petrol/diesel, etc.
Places we visited
Sunset in Pyoseon Beach, Jeju. It’s at the SouthEast of Jeju. Very quiet place.
Because of the wind?
It has exercise facilities!
Seafood dinner, sat on the floor. The fish had LOTS of tiny bones and we shouldn’t cut it into tiny pieces or the bones would be in the sauces.. Ahjummas didn’t know English but the young guy knew some. We pointed at the menu anyway.
Lotte Outlet, Jeju
My friend and I decided to find Lotte Outlet and we took bus (500 Won per person) to Lotte Hotel + Outlet (stop at Hotel Grace). Turned out there is ANOTHER Lotte Outlet WITHIN the airport. Duh! Good thing about the Outlet in Hotel is it’s not so packed. We could walk and browse the items easily and the promoters would speak in Chinese (Mandarin), Korean or English (few).
It has 2 floors for branded goods and top floor for Korean goods. We headed straight to 3rd floor. Rushed back to Incheon Airport via bus but the charges were 2400 or 2500 Won for 2 person this time (!) and took Eastar Airline to Jeju Island in the afternoon.
Will continue on other days when free to blog.