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!
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
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:
- 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).
- 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?
Accomodation in Busan:
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.
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:
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:
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 ^^
Here come to the most headache part of preparation prior of going to any trip no matter where are you heading to.
- 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.
- Skincare. Compared to Malaysia, the weather in Korea can be really dry. Don't forget to bring along moisturizer and lip balm.
- 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.
- Plug adapter. The 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!