Before you can even consider planning going to anywhere interesting, you will have to sort out on your transport. The only forms of Seoul transport that KAvenyou utilised was the Seoul Metro & taxi. The only logical reason why is because the metro is cheap, and pretty much brings you to everywhere within Seoul. If you have a T-Money card, all you need to do is “recharge” your card and you are ready to go. The lowest fare using the T-Money card is 900 won, and if you are travelling between the major shopping belt of Myeongsong & Dongdaemun, that is pretty much the damage you will incur.
In fact, some of the Taxis will also accept the T-Money card. The card top-up machines works almost identically as what is availble in Singapore, and it has the English language display to aid in understanding what options to select. Taxis are easily available in Seoul, but one should note that it can be quite costly to travel a long distance on it. Some of the taxis will spot a sticker on the window indicating the availability of “Free Interpretation”, but do not misunderstand that as the driver speaks English. The “Free Interpretation” basically means the taxi is equipped with a device for interpretation, or the driver is able to call a number on his mobile for interpretation.
Do bring along a map and address of your accomodation along at all times, as it will be useful when taking a Taxi since some of the drivers do not know where the places are. Such maps are usually available at the hotel concierge as a card or room cardkey holder.
History & Culture
This may be a little boring for some, but the KAvenyou team did visited some slightly more interesting cultural & historical landmarks. How can we possibly miss these places out totally for a country with such a rich history? Instead of a trying for wordy explainations of everything, which we are not exactly the best people to do that, we will just share some beautiful photos of the places we visited.
Changdeokgung, Secret Garden & Jongmyo Shrine
One of the most popular palaces in Seoul, this place is as huge as it can get as we spent almost the whole day there.
The tickets to the palace is sold outside the main entrance of the palace, and you will have a choice of buying either the single palace ticket, or a combo ticket that gives you access to all the palaces and the secret garden in Changdeokgung. The KAvenyou team’s advise is to go for the combo ticket if you are intending to go to Changdeokgung and also the secret garden, as it seems like the more economical choice. The price of the combo ticket adds up to about the same as what you will have to pay if you were to purchase the entrance ticket to both the Changdeokgung and the secret garden individually. For the combo tickets, the Changdeokgung and secret garden ticket has to be expanded on day of purchase, and the tickets to the other palaces valids for a month. Check out the below for the many photos of Changdeokgung.
Once you arrive at the ticketing booth for the secret garden, you will have to join the queue to the left of the booth to enter the garden. The secret garden is only permitted for entry with a guided tour, so the entry is usually blocked by a barricade. If you bought the combo ticket, you will need to exchange your voucher at the ticketing booth for an actual ticket. The secret garden tour is conducted in various languages at specific timings, so do check the timings in advance. There is no restrictions on which language tour you can join, so if you do not mind not understanding the tour guide, just join any tour. The complete tour will take about 2 hours, in which an hour and a half is the actual tour, and the last half an hour is the time you will need to walk all the way out. Below are some photos of the secret garden.
Jongmyo Shrine is another great place on the heritage map in Seoul, but sadly the KAvenyou team missed the chance to visit the place as it was closed by the time we arrived from Changdeokgung. He only pictures we obtained was that of the entrance and surroundings as below.
This sums up for the second part of the KAvenyou Korea Free & Easy coverage. Do check back often and anticipate greatly for the next part of our coverage with more exciting things to come.