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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Essential Tips To Travel In Korea As A Solo Traveler

Annyeonghaseyo!



Haven't write anything in this blog for quite a while.  Sorry for keep you waiting! For those who love Korea like me, I'm sure recently you had came across with the news of AirAsiaX is now offering direct flight from KL to Jeju right? Hands up if you're as excited like me!  For your information, I went to Korea for the third time early of this year and well, it was a solo trip.


"Being alone but not feeling lonely" - it is my thought for solo trip in Korea.  Perhaps I was surrounded by many kind people and I was truly enjoyed the time to be alone? However I frequently received the questions and doubts to travel alone in Korea - language barrier, accommodation, food and etc.  Thus, I had the idea to come out with this blog post and hope it will be useful for those who would like to travel in Korea alone! I GONNA TELL YOU THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO TRAVEL ALONE IN JEJU-DO!




FLIGHT TICKET

Only three airlines: Korean Air, AirasiaX and Malaysian Airlines offer the direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul (Incheon International Airport) . Whereas direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Busan (Gimhae Airport), only available with AirasiaX.  If you're interested to visit Jeju island, you may take domestic flight from Seoul (Gimpo airport) or Busan (Gimhae airport) to Jeju International airport with Busan Air, Jeju Air, Asiana, Jin Air and etc. Or, now you can take direct flight to Jeju island with AirAsiaX!

For the latest trip I had, I traveled from KL➪Busan➪Jeju➪Seoul➪KL.  For your reference, here are the expenses on flight ticket.

KL - Busan (AirAsiaX): ~RM500
Busan - Jeju (Jeju air): 31000won (about RM120)
Jeju - Seoul (Busan air): 36150won (about RM140)
Seoul - KL (AirasiaX): ~RM750


ACCOMODATION
Since I traveled alone with nobody to share room fee, usually I would just stay in dorm or single room from Airbnb.

Little tips for choosing accomodation:

  1. Pick somewhere near to subway station. This is important especially if you're carrying a big and heavy luggage. Staying near to subway station will let you to get around much easier and safer too (especially ladies). 
  2. Read review from different sources. There are so many room booking website nowadays, yet the photos shown might be completely different from your actual room.  I experienced once where the room I booked was a 4-bed female dorm but I got a 8-bed female dorm upon check in.  The reason I got from the reception was the room I booked is no longer available. So, to whom should I put the blame on?
What I booked


What I get

Accomodation in Seoul:
I had stayed at Seoul station and Hongdae previously. Here are the pros and cons of both places:

Other choices: Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Gangnam, Jamsil and etc


Accomodation in Busan:
I had stayed at Jagalchi, Gwangalli and Haeundae previously.  Here are the pros and cons of those places:

Other choices: Seomyeong, Nampodong


Accomodation in Jeju:
I had only been to Jeju-do for once and I was staying in Jeju-si.  It was an airbnb single room offered by two cool korean guys. It is about 30 minutes from Jeju international airport and about 10 minutes from bus stop. Read my review here.



INTERNET
Being a solo traveler, stay connected to internet is so important especially when you're lost at somewhere.  Besides, who would go travel without uploading a single photo to social media network?

Honestly, it is not difficult to get free WiFi at most cafes or eatery places in Korea.  And yet, it is troublesome in finding free WiFi especially when you're in hurry in finding direction.

There are two modes of internet available:SIM card or pocket WiFi (WiFi egg)
Being a lonely solo traveler, I had chosen SIM card as it is slightly cheaper compared to WiFi egg.

The price I get offered at Gimhae airport in March 2017:
SIM card: 38500won for unlimited data for 10 days
Pocket WiFi: 5000won per day

Pocket WiFi would be a better choice if you're sharing with other people 😈
(P.s.: Price may vary with time)


GETTING AROUND + ESSENTIAL PHONE APP
I used public transport at most of the time when I was traveling in Korea.  Basically in big cities such as Seoul and Busan, it is very easy to go around with subway even if you couldn't understand a single Korean word.  The name of each subway station will be announced and displayed in both English and Korean upon arriving.

Transport card: T-money (it is widely available in most convenience stores at price of 2500won)

How about traveling in Jeju Island which has no subway?
First option: rent a car (I don't recommend this for solo traveler as nobody can share the rental with you and it can be quite scary. LOL)
Second option: take a taxi (easy but expensive)
Third option: take bus (this is what I did)

Honestly, I thought it will be difficult to take bus in Korea because of the language barrier.  Yet, I made it successfully with the help of the following app:

KakaoMap (Playstore)





This app is just like Google Map but more accurate to be used in Korea.  What you need to do is just key in your destination and it will tell you step by step e.g. bus number, where to take bus, where to get off, waiting time for the next bus and etc! Another similar app is Daum Map, you can just choose either one.

Other useful apps including:

For subway

For taxi

For bus



FOOD
The only question that I was frequently being asked is: "Is it difficult to have meal alone in Korea?"
The answer is NO.  Basically other than Korean barbecue, you can eat almost everything in Korea even though you're alone.  I had been to different cafes, noodles shops, gukbap (rice with soup) shops, fast food restaurants, convenient stores, road side stalls, food trucks and etc to have meal all by myself.  Basically you don't have to worry much for the language because most of the time their menus are available in two languages.



What should I do if I want to eat barbecue?
Tag along your dorm mates! It is the best time to get to know new friends ^^


LUGGAGE
Here come to the most headache part of preparation prior of going to any trip no matter where are you heading to.


  1. Clothing. Winter in Korea can be really COLD. Winter coats, heat-tech, scarf, gloves and wool cap are essential if you're travelling in winter. You need a pair of good quality shoes too because you need to walk a lot in Korea.
  2. Skincare. Compared to Malaysia, the weather in Korea can be really dry.  Don't forget to bring along moisturizer and lip balm.
  3. Money. All trades in Korea will be in korean won, 1000won = RM 3.75 (approximately).  Meanwhile, Visa and Master cards are widely accepted in Korea too.
  4. Plug adapterThe standard voltage in Korea is 220 volts at 60 Hertz with outlet as shown below: 





That's all I would like to share with you all! So what are you waiting for? Let's go to explore this wonderful country ;) ❤




Travelling alone isn't that bad at all!




xoxo



Sunday, June 11, 2017

距離上一次寫部落文已經是很久以前的事了。
時間過得很快,轉眼間今天剛踏入26歲。
過去的一年內發生的事情很多,喜悲參半。大起大落之後,最近總算平靜了不少吧?
3個月前還去了第3趟韓國,大家都說:這個女人肯定是瘋了。

別人的眼光管不了太多,跟著感覺走就對了。
自己的人生,自己做決定,沒什麼不對吧?

在去回韓國之間,多認識了幾個朋友;聆聽他們的故事,從他們的人生領悟一些道理。
從彼此不一樣的際遇找獲共同點,這就是人與人之間相處的奧妙吧?


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透過Airbnb認識了兩個思想很有一套的男人,Paul상일

兩人同樣的厭倦了如機器般的工作生活,捨棄了高薪的工作,逃到了濟州島;
상일 放棄了H汽車公司的工程師一職,來到濟州島當咖啡師;
Paul則辭去L電子公司一職,寧願在濟州島當個快樂的攝影師。

也許很多人會覺得他們倆很傻,怎麼放棄好好的一份工作,一切從零開始。
相反的,我則很羨慕他們的勇氣。

人生是自己選擇的,沒有舍棄就沒有收穫,更沒有所謂的對錯。


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MinRyeong是我第一眼見到她就很喜歡她的韓國女孩。
也許我們的感情生活際遇還蠻相似的,那一晚我們聊了很多。
彼此的感情觀,生活周遭人事物,還有很多很多。

想起她說的一句話,“喜歡一個人就別在意別人的眼光”
頓時好像明白了一些什麼。

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人生總在重複不間斷的在作選擇。
A與B之間並沒有對與錯之分,只是通往不同的人生。
既然當初選擇了與他人不同的人生,那就繼續勇敢的走下去就好了。

相比之下,作選擇並不難,堅持的勇氣比較難求可貴。


致26歲的我,勇敢的過自己要的人生吧。




寧可當個平凡人,不如當個有故事的人?



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 一個人的新加坡跨年日記



一個人旅行,真的會上癮。



朋友說:一個人旅行不寂寞嗎?
我的答案還是一樣:跟自己相處會寂寞嗎?


更何況旅程中會遇到形形色色的人,總和朋友去旅行的感覺那麼的不一樣。
聆聽和分享彼此曾經擁有的際遇,從不認識到可以打成一片的過程,有那麼的寶貴。
當然並不排斥和朋友一起結伴去旅行,只是偶爾得到可以認識新朋友的機會,好像也蠻不錯的。


2016年12月29日,展開第二次的一個人旅行。
當初單純的為了清年假而拿了一星期的假期。原本只打算留在家裡好好休息的我,結果還是耐不住想往外跑的慾望而決定一個人到新加坡跨年。很巧的,在背包客棧得知來之台灣的Lin也會到新加坡跨年,大家就約好一起去玩了。 也因為Lin而認識了來自馬來西亞的Nicholas和台灣的Helen。

Nicholas說,我們兩個馬來西亞人竟然透過一個台灣人而認識,緣分這東西很奇妙吧。


【住宿】
這次的住宿選擇了靠近克拉克碼頭(Clarke Quay)的闊德室 Quarters Hostel。由於它位於Clarke Quay站(紫線)和Raffles Place站(綠線)之間,所以交通是非常方便。我入住的是女生四人宿舍,一個床位3晚共付了馬幣278.21,還包括了簡單的早餐,感覺上還蠻值得一推的!





第一天的晚餐就跟Lin和Nicholas約好了去吃Lorong Chuan站附近的Chomp Chomp美食中心。在那裡的幾乎看不見遊客的身影,瀰漫著當地濃厚的風情。



吃飽了之後當然先到新加坡的地標:魚尾獅公園Merlion Park打卡。








從魚尾獅公園走到Marina Bay Sands飯店只需要10分鐘。到7-eleven買好啤酒,選了個好位子,Marina Bay Sands前面的燈光秀就開始了。想說的是,除了燈光秀令人覺得驚艷之外,那裡的氣氛也讓人覺得很舒服。這也跟和誰一起看有關係吧?




2016/12/30 (星期五)

本來想說自己一個人就不打算去環球影城 Universal Studio 了。既然剛好找到了旅遊同伴,當然就抱著不去白不去的心態,砸了整兩百馬幣,進去玩了半天。

吸取背包客棧論壇裡的建議,我們先到Chinatown的天宇旅行社買好票才到聖淘沙。票價果然有差,在天宇旅社所購的一張影城門票才60新幣,如果現場購票的話則需要付74新幣,相差14新幣!

買好票之後,趁時間還早,我們就到 Chinatown 附近的景點看看。當中包括了 Jamae Mosque詹美回教堂, Sri Mariamman 馬里安興都廟和佛牙寺 Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Musuem。



這還是第一次進印度廟呢


從chinatown只需要乘搭捷運到 Vivocity (Harbour Front)便可以乘搭接駁車(比較小型的捷運)到聖淘沙。只需要在第一站下站就可以進到環球影城啦。

來到影城當然要拍一張經典遊客照

聖誕節剛過,所以還有十分的聖誕氣氛





在環球影城裡除了排隊也應該只有排隊(囧///)。不過看了4D電影,玩了一些遊戲設施和我從來不敢玩的雲霄飛車,算值回票價了對吧?


所謂的童話並不是謊言。而是憧憬,讓人一次又一次相信世界仍然會有美好的事情發生。


和Lin道別了以後,我便獨自去到克拉克碼頭逛逛。一個人看著結伴成群的人們,不禁有一種惆悵的感覺湧上心頭。不過,很快的就因為自己一個人自由自在而感到慶幸。

下次來挑戰這個好了,誰要舉手?




一個人,安靜的,看夜景,蠻不錯的。



2016/12/31 (星期六)

這一天故意安排了一些比較輕鬆的行程,只為了節省體力以便可以支撐到午夜12點跨年(笑)。

在旅舍簡單的吃過早餐後,便出發到小印度 Little India。老實說,雖然馬來西亞有不少的印度小街,可是這還是我第一次逛印度市場,感覺十分新鮮。

穿梭在一條又一條的小巷,在不同角落發現不一樣的驚喜。空氣中瀰漫著強烈的印度香料味道,有一種身置在印度的錯覺。





帶著Lin到竹腳中心吃午餐,看著他吃印度餐後而臉有難色,不禁笑了出來。

小印度最有名的熟食中心


印度料理:Nasi Briyani


哈之巷 Haji Lane阿拉伯街 Arab Street 都是我一直和想去的地方。也許美麗的街道對我來說有一種說不出的吸引力吧?

玲瑯滿目的燈飾,散發著中東的神秘氣息


不小心還拍到購物狂上身的林先生






晚餐時間跟Lin,Nicholas和Helen約好在Vivocity見面,然後便到 No Signboard 海鮮餐館享用晚餐。雖然嘴裡說剛動完手術不能吃海鮮,可是美食當前,誰能抵擋這誘惑啊?感謝老闆Nicholas大方請客,不過要怎麼答謝你呢?

麥片蝦/ 上湯芫菜/ 肉碎豆腐/ 辣椒螃蟹 😋


進入倒數之前,大家圍在一起喝著酒,聊著彼此,很喜歡這種感覺。人生短短幾十年,可以那樣輕鬆的聊聊天,喝喝酒就是一件很幸福的事。



進行倒數前的一小時,大家都開始聚到Marina Bay 一區找好位子,準備迎接2017的到來。


當兩個女生聚在一起,當然就要自拍一下咯 ^^




重要時刻來臨,當主持人高喊 3,2,1 之後,絢麗的煙火綻放在夜空裡,當時情緒真的很激昂,有一種瞬間重新活過來了的感覺! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!



很難忘,那一群陪我度過2016年最後幾秒鐘的人。也許以後可能不會再見,也許他們只是生命裡的過客,不過曾經擁有一段美好的回憶,都是值得紀念的。

希望大家有個美好的2017年!



2017/1/1 (星期日)

旅程的最後一天睡到自然醒。沒有特別想去的地方,就到新加坡最熱鬧的購物天堂 Orchard Road 走走。不過由於馬幣的貶值,搞得我實在是沒有購物的慾望。😡


走累了,便回到 Victoria Theatre 前的草坪上坐著,聽著附近教堂傳來的鐘聲,度過一個悠閒的下午。




直到天空下起雨來,才願意離開。

大家不約而同的跑到博物館前避雨。聽著雨滴打落在磚瓦的聲音,看著孩童在雨中嬉戲玩樂的模樣,突然對這個地方有了留念。

雨停後,也是該啟程回國了。那4天3夜的旅程,雖然很短暫,卻讓人感到依依不捨。不捨的,除了對這個國家,主要的還是那幾個在旅途中認識的人吧。


期待,下一次的出走。



·新的一年,新的希望 :)