South Korea Trip




Before our wedding way back in 2015, my wife and I were already planning as to where would be the best place to go for honeymoon. But since my wife and I are both fans of Korean drama, we’ve decided that South Korea was the best option.

Normally, going to another country requires a lot of pocket money to pay for the entrance fees, accommodation, food, etc. In order to have enough for our travel, what we did was to create a “Travel Fund” . Every payday, we have to save a small portion of our salary (S$100 each) so that it won’t “hurt” our pockets that much!

VISA

First things first – Since I am from a country that requires VISA when travelling to South Korea, let me go through that first. Here are the steps in applying (Please take note that it might be a different case if you are applying in the Philippines). In our case, we are both working in Singapore.

  1. Fill-up the visa application form with 1 coloured passport-sized photo with white background.
  2. Provide original and photocopy of passport and work pass.
  3. Get your bank’s E-statement (recent 3 months) verified and stamped by your bank. If you can’t be present, you can authorize someone on your behalf to do it. This is what I did.
  4. Request a letter from your employer stating your name, passport number, job title, salary, date of hire, date of travel, and purpose of trip. This should be submitted to the embassy within 1 month of issuance.
  5. Go to the Korean Embassy and submit the requirements. My wife also submitted on my behalf since I am working.
  6. We didn’t pay any VISA fee as Philippine citizens are exempted from paying.
  7. Wait for the collection date.

Note: Don’t buy yet your airline ticket unless you have your VISA with you!

For more info and updates, please refer to this link.

PLACES VISITED

N-Seoul Tower / Locks of Love

Korean Tourism Org (trying a Hanbok)

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Gwanghamun Square

DMZ

Myeongdong

Nami Island

Petite France

Everland

Gangnam District

Bukchon-Hanok Village and some coffee shops

FOOD

BUDGET

Here is the summary of our expenses:

Summary of Expenses:
Accommodation Php 15,480.00
Airfare Php 31,610.00
Attractions Php 9,245.00
Meals Php 9,838.40
Pasalubong / Gifts / Souvenirs Php 10,649.38
Transportation Php 6,069.45
TOTAL Php 82,892.23
  • For accommodation, we stayed at Seoul Backpackers as recommended by a friend.
  • If you’d notice, airfare was the bulk of the expense. You can minimize this by looking for promo tickets. In our case, we already booked out tickets at a much later date as we are still trying to arrange for our work leave. My friend who managed to visit South Korea 2 weeks before us had bought their ticket that’s half the price of what we paid.
  • Getting sample itinerary from friends will help you decide where to go and plan your trip effectively.
  • Another tip is to travel to South Korea from Philippines instead of Singapore. It’s much cheaper!

See link below for an itemized cost!

2015 South Korea Budget

Got any questions or comments? Comment on the section below!




Cambodia Trip




Last August 2016, we were trying to find out where to go next and we were torn between going to Vietnam and Cambodia but upon checking that the air ticket was cheap, we decided to go to Phnom Penh.

Be prepared to have USD when you travel to Cambodia as almost all of them accept this currency over Cambodian Riels.

Below are some of the details of our travel which you might find useful.

Air ticket for 2 – S$ 427.84 (Php 15,188.32) – no check-in, via Jetstar

Hotel- Mito Hotel – 2 nights – S$75.18 (Php 2,668.89)

Review

1. Staff is courteous and friendly.
2. They will even give you welcome drinks and bring your luggage to your room.
3. Before leaving the hotel, they will keep reminding you to take care of your belongings as it might get snatched.
4. The room is cozy.
5. Free breakfast is delicious.
6. Inside the hotel, you’ll find a massage parlor (Happy Foot massage) and restaurant (M cafe).
7. Outside there are tuktuks… just negotiate the price with the driver.
8. They have a taxi pick up service (15 USD)
9. The location is near Central market and Royal Palace

Royal Palace

The Palace is not as big as the one that they have in Thailand but place is not crowded. Just be careful before you enter, some tuktuk drivers will tell you that the palace is closed and instead they will offer you to go somewhere else, of course by riding their tuktuk. Good thing we had our coffee first near the palace area, and after that we tried to find the main entrance. It is not closed after all.
Tuol Seng Genocide Museum

 

This is a great place for you to visit if you want to know the history of the S21 and Khmer Rouge. I would suggest that you take the audio tour so that you understand it better. There, you’ll see the photos of the victims, and they were identified not by their names, but by numbers. You’ll also see the victims’ skulls there.

Before you leave the place, you can see the 2 survivors detailing how they were tortured. I just felt sad for them…

National Museum of Cambodia
This place is near the Royal Palace and it’s just a walking distance. I just felt that I was not able to enjoy going to this place for 2 reasons – the place is so hot and not air-conditioned plus the fact that you cannot take photos inside.
Central Market
 
Wat Phnom