Going to SOUTH KOREA from the PHILIPPINES

Sunday, July 06, 2014

For this year, my second out of the country trip was in South Korea! It is home of BB Creams, Kimchi & K-Pop. South Korea had been on my travel wish list years ago as I was excited to explore the country that has a combination of hip culture and rich heritage plus I am a big fan of Korean beauty products and cuisines.

Gyeongbok Palace

This trip is what I called Seoul Searching in South Korea mainly because I traveled without the usual people I travel with kumbaga traveling out of your comfort zone which became a good thing for me to reflect and value the people I love. So yes, I survived (even with crazy weather) so for those of you who want to travel alone or even with friends and loved ones here is a quick guide before going to the Land of the Morning Calm.

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE GOING TO SOUTH KOREA

1. South Korea is located at the upper region of Asia
South Korea is just beside Japan. If you are traveling from the Philippines it is just a quick airplane ride that takes about 3 1/5 hours of travel.

Asia Map

2. Korea Visa is required for Philippine Passport Holders

multiple entry for 3 years! :)

3. There are a number of airlines that services direct flights from Manila-South Korea and vice versa
Anyone who reads my blog knows that I always fly cheap. I've been a Cebu Pacific passenger ever since because it always excites me to find discounted flights. But for this particular trip I booked a different airline- Air Asia (cost P14,000 ++ back and forth), which was much cheaper compared to a regular Cebu Pacific flight. Other airlines also offer direct flights to and from South Korea like Philippine Airlines & Jeju Air.

Incheon Airport

4. Philippines is an hour behind

5. South Korea experiences four seasons
I always envy countries that has four seasons and yes South Korea is one of them. I came in the month of July (one of the few months that is not advisable to travel). It rained a lot during my stay, well because from June- early September they experience Summer/Wet Monsoon. Autumn lasts from September to November which is the best season to visit Korea it is during this time the country experiences wonderful foliage. Winter occurs during December to March where heavy snows can be experienced perfect for those winter sports activities. It is also nice to visit during Spring from late March- May where you can see various flowers including cherry blossoms. 


Raining cats & dogs

And because I have multiple entries to South Korea, I would love to to visit it again [and again] but I'll surely go there during Autumn or Winter--- Hello Mike! Hope you are reading this... hihihi


6. Currency in Korea is Korean Won
As of this writing the exchange is Php 1= 23.19

7. Note down the Philippine Consulate in South Korea 
Address: #5-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Telephone Number: 010-9385-0535 for passport services
                              for other concerns visit www.philembassy-seoul.com/contact_us.asp
Website: www.philembassy-seoul.com

WHAT TO EXPECT IN SOUTH KOREA
1. They have one of the most modern subways in Asia
I always enjoy riding trains in a foreign land and South Korea subway is one of the most modern subways I tried in Asia. Their ticket machine dispenser is user friendly, the subway is clean and looks very new. You will notice that when you buy a ticket there is always a W 500 (Php 22) deposit fee as you can redeem it after you use your card via ticket deposit machines. You can also opt not to return the card if you want a souvenir.

Single Journey Ticket Machine- with W 500 deposit

Single Journey Ticket

Tickets are tapped not inserted

their train is clean and so efficient

2. Leave your shoes behind
Even though South Korea is very modern in most aspects, they preserved if not most but some of their traditions. Like in most of their local restaurants it is necessary to remove your shoes before entering. 


Please leave your shoes outside

Other tradition includes bowing when greeting someone. Hugging/cheek to cheek/Beso is not really their thing. Trust me, I tried  twice. Didn't work.

3. Koreans are very conscious with their appearance
I wouldn't be surprised because some of the most well known beauty products and shops in the Philippines (and maybe in other countries) are from Korea. Even I am a certified Korean product user. I've been using BB Creams from Korea for years already because I love what it does to my face. 

Korean Beauty Products along Myeong Dong

More Korean products

They say that Missha BB Creams is one of the best. So I bought 1 for myself

Because Koreans are very conscious of their outer appearance, they go beyond what their beauty products can offer so they even settle with surgery. A friend told me that in Korea plastic surgery is very acceptable unlike in the Philippines that it considered a taboo.

5. Korean Cuisines has a lot of side dishes
It is very normal for Koreans to serve complimentary side dishes even if you didn't order any. What's even better is that most of the side dishes are refillable (You know we love bottomless!)

Side dishes!!! Yum!!!


6. You will find free WiFi almost everywhere 
I even had an opportunity to FaceTime Mike in the middle of the road. I found a number of WiFi signals in most of the busy/touristy areas. According to wikipedia "South Korea is the world leader in Internet connectivity, having the world's fastest average internet connection speed" - taray!

Cellphone everywhere

For more information in Seoul you can check this site- www.seoulistic.com everything a tourist needs to know about Seoul is consolidated here. It's very helpful :)

You Might Also Like

2 comments

  1. Airline companies in the Philippines Insider Travel Guide offered in cheap flight rates today.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, I agree. There are so many travel deals you can avail right now. travel guide coron

    ReplyDelete

Like us on Facebook

RIO DE JANEIRO BRAZIL