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2015.11.28 (Sat)

Budget Travel : South Korea 2015 (Place of Interest : Cheonggyecheon Stream + Cheonggye Plaza)

Maybe I should start with Chenggyecheon Stream first?
It's a 10.9km long, modern public recreation space in Seoul. This massive urban renewal project is on the site of a stream that flowed before the rapid post-war economic development required it to be covered by transportation infrastructure. After opening in 2005, has become popular among city residents and tourists.
Cheonggyecheon Stream passes close to Deoksugung Palace, Seoul Plaza, the Sejong Center, Insa-dong Street, Changdeokgung Palace, and Changgyeonggung Palace, allowing visitors to easily visit major tourist sites after a leisure stroll along the stream.

Next is Chenggye Plaza.
Cheonggye Plaza roughly covers an area of 2,500 square meters, and is located at the starting point of Cheonggyecheon Stream.
Cheonggye Plaza never goes to sleep; visitors can enjoy the fantastic display of light and water even at night.

CHENGGYECHEON STREAM & CHENGGYECHEON PLAZA
Operating Hours : 24/7 (Open all year around)
Address : Taepyeong-ro 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
Directions : [Subway] Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 5

Above direction recommended cause it's the nearest subway station if you would like to start your tour from Chenggyecheon Stream.
I always love this place.
Lots of people spend their time here. You can sit beside the stream, rest your leg in the water.
And the water is so clear, you can even see fishes here, if you are walk a bit longer from the beginning of Chenggyecheon Stream.

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Chenggyecheon Stream. Dating Place for couple as well.

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This beautiful and crystal clear Chenggyecheon Stream is surrounded by lots of office buildings.

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Me.
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2015.11.28 (Sat)

Budget Travel : South Korea 2015 (Place of Interest : Gyeongbokgung)

This place is also known as Gyeongbok Palace. (Gung = Palace)
It was built in 1395 and it was the main royal palace of Joseon Dysnasty.
It's the largest of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dysnasty and it served as the home of the Kings of the Joseon Dynasty.

GYEONGBOKGUNG AKA GYEONGBOK PALACE
Operating Hours :
January-February 09:00-17:00 / March-May 09:00-18:00
June-August 09:00-18:30 / September-October 09:00-18:00
November-December 09:00-17:00
**Last admission: 1 hr before closing**
**Operating hours are subject to change depending on conditions or circumstances.**
**CLOSED ON TUESDAY**

Admission Fee :
Adults (ages 19-64): 3,000 won / Group (over 10 years): 2,400 won
Children (ages 7-18): 1,500 won / Group (over 10 years): 1,200 won

Programs & Performance details :
January 1-December 31 (Closed on Tuesdays)
Sumunjang (Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony:
10:00, 13:00, 15:00 / three times a day / 20 minutes per ceremony
Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance:
11:00, 14:00, 16:00 / three times a day / 10 minutes per ceremony
Sumungun (Gatekeeper) Military Training (outside Hyeopsaengmun Gate):
9:35 (15 minutes) / 12:35 (15 minutes) / before and after the Guard Changing Ceremony and the Guard-on-Duty Performance

Address :
161,Sajik-Ro, Jongno-Gu, Seoul
Directions :
[Subway] Gyeongbokgung (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 5

Direction is recommended if you would like to start your tour from Gyeongbok Palace. This is one of the place of interest that really nearby Gwanghwamun Plaza and you can combine these two places of interest into one.

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Sumunjang (Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony
10:00, 13:00, 15:00 / three times a day / 20 minutes per ceremony

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Gwanghwamun Gate Guard-on-Duty Performance
11:00, 14:00, 16:00 / three times a day / 10 minutes per ceremony

tag : BudgetTravel Korea Seoul gyeongbokgung

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2015.11.09 (Mon)

Budget Travel : South Korea 2015 (Place of Interest : Gwanghwamun Square)

This place also known as Gwanghwamun Plaza.
It's a public open space and it was opened on 1st August 2009, it was part of the City's plans for environmentally friendly renovation project such as Cheongyecheon Stream and Seoul Plaza.
It is also one of the historical significant as the location of royal administrative buildings.

There is one special activity that is available nearby here, it's an outdoor free Hanbok fitting!
It's outdoor but it's really fun, you just need to provide your passport and some of your details and you are able to try on various types of Hanbok costume.
It just nearby Gwanghwamun Station Exit 02. When you come out from Exit 02, you will see a little shop on your right before you see the statue of King Sejong.

If you are going to visit this place, you basically can combine some other places of interest together and make it one day trip.
This I shall provide more information in next few entries. Each place of interest under one entry. :)

GWANGHWAMUN SQUARE AKA GWANGHWAMUN PLAZA
Opening Date : 01 August 2009
Operating Hours : 24/7 (Open all year around)
Address : Sejong-Ro, Jongno-Gu, Seoul
Directions : [Subway] Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 2 OR 4

Above direction is the one I recommended if you would like to start your day tour from Gwanghwamun Square.
When you see the statue of King Sejong, please turn your body to the back and you will see Statue of Admiral Yi Sun Shin. He was one of Korea's greatest military leaders.
If you come out from Exit 04, I think you will be seeing Statue of Admital Yi Sun Shin follow by statue of King Sejong.

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That's the shop that I mentioned earlier. You can try on hanbok costume there and it's FOC.

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Me.

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This is the statue of King Sejong. During his reign, he consolidated the basis for ruling the Joseon Dynasty by incorporating Confucian philosophy of politics. Furthermore, he led the nation's great strides in agriculture, literature, science and technology.

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Statue of Admiral Yi Sun Shin. He was one of Korea's greatest military leaders.

tag : Korea Seoul BudgetTravel Gwanghwamun

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2015.11.03 (Tue)

Budget Travel : South Korea 2015 (Accommodation : Lyndon Hostel & Guesthouse Jeju Island)

Now, we have come to accommodation in Jeju Island.
There are a lot of hostels available in Jeju Island, however I just simply fall for this newly rebranded hostel.
Why? Cause this year was my third visit in this hostel!!!!!
Previously, this hostel known as Yeha Guesthouse Cityhall. Effective from 01 June 2015, they came out with a new name :
LYNDON HOSTEL & GUESTHOUSE
Alright, let we start with our... Q&A Section again!

QUESTION 01 : WHY LYNDON HOSTEL & GUESTHOUSE?
I think most of the reasons are the same.
A. LOCATION
This hostel is just 7 minutes away from Jeju International Airport and you can reach this hostel by taking public bus and bus station is just located right in front the building where hostel located.
B. RATE
Of course, hostel rate in Jeju Island is more expensive than Seoul. But if you are looking for budget travel, hostel rate is always cheaper than a decent hotel rate.
C. NEARBY AREA
Youngster street is just located nearby, walking distance of 3-5 minutes only. And you can do your shopping there as well.

QUESTION 02 : HOW YOU BOOK YOUR ROOMS STAY?
I used to book thru their website, but then after they rebranded to Lyndon Hostel & Guesthouse, it seems like you only able to hotel booking agent : Agoda // Booking.com // Expedia // Hostelworld
But I have a good news here!! I got their email address : hostellyndon@gmail.com
Send them an email if you feel more secure to book and get confirmation from them.

QUESTION 03 : WHAT MAKES THIS HOSTEL SO SPECIAL?

Other than Location and rates, one of the best thing about this hostel is their FREE SERVICES & SPECIAL SERVICE FOR MUSLIM GUESTS!!!!!

Below are the following :
 photo Screen Shot 11-04-15 at 07.48 PM.jpg
 photo Screen Shot 11-04-15 at 07.49 PM.jpg

QUESTION NO.4 : IS THE HOSTEL CLEAN? HOW ABOUT THE AMENITIES?
Yes, the hostel is clean.
If you choose to stay in a share dorm then you will have to use the share bathroom which located outside your dorm. If it's a private room, mostly all of them have bathroom in the room itself.
This hostel does have community hall, so you can meet some new people and the kitchen is just located right beside community hall.
Just like above information, breakfast is FREE!!!! But it's SELF-SERVICE BREAKFAST. Toast, cheese slices, eggs, jam, coffee, tea, juices and etc are provided for their guest.
Kimchi is FREE as well!!! You gonna love local Kimchi, it's just taste so nice compare the one in Malaysia.

QUESTION NO. 5 : IS IT EXPENSIVE?
If you ask me, it is a bit expensive but if you are looking for a hostel which good at location, you can't complain much.
And they provided FREE breakfast and some other FREE services.
So I think this hostel is worth staying.

QUESTION NO.6 : HOW TO GET THERE?
For this year's trip, I booked a mini bus for my family so it's a private transfer from airport to hostel.
But generally, you can reach this hostel by taking public bus or taxi.
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QUESTION NO.7 : OTHER INFORMATION?
Yes, without doubt.

The only way to travel around Jeju Island is either public bus, taxi, private transfer or car rental.
If you would like to travel around by taking public bus, you can always get help from hostel staff cause they know jeju island the best.
If you would like to travel around by taking taxi, it's better if you write down your places of interest in Korean if possible as most of the taxi drivers in Jeju island don't know how to speak English or Mandarin. If you don't know how to write Korean, please get help from hostel staff.
If you would like to travel around by private arrangement or car rental, you can always look for Yeha Tour. They have private tour, seat in coach tour, car rental and etc services.

HOSTEL INFORMATION

Website : http://www.hostellyndon.com/english/
Address : 278, Seogwang-Ro, Jeju-Si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province 690-844, South Korea
Tel No. : 064-756-5506 (From Abroad : +82.64.756.5506)
Email : hostellyndon@gmail.com

PM me if you need more information.

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tag : Accommodation Korea BudgetTravel Jeju

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2015.10.29 (Thu)

Budget Travel : South Korea 2015 (Accommodation : Rio Hostel Hongdae)

As I mentioned in the previous post, I'm gonna introduce more on travel information.
I went to South Korea few times and whenever I need to re-travel the country, I found that I need to re-check the information (How to get there, itinerary and etc)
Last month, I went to South Korea with my family and I was the main organizer.
I was bringing 13 Adult (including me) + 01 Infant (my little cute niece)
And what upset during this trip was, I brought them to a place and it's far away from the place of interest.
But the funny part is, all my information are from Korean Tourism Board. -.-
Hence, I decided to write in down in this blog so that it's easier for me and also additional information for you guys.

In this Korea trip, we traveled to Seoul City and also Jeju Island.
So I will start with accommodation first. In this post, I will talk about accommodation in Seoul City.
We stayed in RIO HOUSE HONGDAE.

QUESTION NO.1 : WHY RIO HOUSE HONGDAE?
Because it's located in Hongdae? Loll. Okay, below are the list why we chose this hostel :
A. LOCATION
This hostel is located in the center of Hongdae and it's just one minute walking from Hongdae Station exit
no. 2 and few minutes away from Hongdae Station exit no. 3
B. RATE
It's a hostel, hence the rate is cheaper that you stay in a 2 star hotel in Seoul City.
C. EASY ACCESS
Hongdae Station can connect to a lot of subway line in Seoul.
D. FAMILY ROOM
We need Family Room Type as we travel as a group.

QUESTION NO.2 : HOW YOU BOOK YOUR ROOMS STAY?
I sent email to person in charge for booking. Their reply is fast and they provide travel consultation even before you meet them in hostel. They are really helpful and they will try their best to solve your problem.
Email Information : riohousehongdae@gmail.com [EN/JP] // riohousehongdaech@gmail.com [CN/EN]
Once your booking is confirmed, they will inform you how much is the total and you just need to pay the full amount upon check in!!! This is one of the best part, but it will be great if you send them a re-confirmation on your stay 2 weeks before your arrival at their hostel.

QUESTION NO.3 : DO THEY HAVE ANY HOUSE RULES?
YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES YES.
Below are the following :
 photo Screen Shot 10-29-15 at 05.07 PM.jpg
 photo Screen Shot 10-29-15 at 05.08 PM.jpg

QUESTION NO.4 : IS THE HOSTEL CLEAN? HOW ABOUT THE AMENITY?
Hostel is clean and they provide hot shower in the bathroom.
No need to bring toilet roll and hair dryer cause these two items are provided in the room.
The only disadvantage is they do not provide towels and mineral waters during your stay.

QUESTION NO. 5 : IS IT EXPENSIVE? DO THEY ONLY PROVIDE FAMILY ROOM?

I think... the more person staying in one room, the more you can save.
As for room type, they have Triple/Quad Sharing Room(1-3 person) // Standard Family Room(2-4 person)
// Deluxe Family Room (3-6 person)
Due to hostel room rate is subject to change without prior notice, it would be better if you check the rate online or you may send an email to them and get an accurate room rate for your stay.

QUESTION NO.6 : HOW TO GET THERE?

From Incheon International Airport :
1. Upon arrival at arrival hall, you need to make a move to B1 and follow the signboard and walk to Airport Train Station.
2. Take All-Stop Train cause Express Train service will bring to Seoul Station! It takes about 45-50 minutes journey from Incheon International Airport to Hongdae Station.
3. Upon arrival at Hongdae Station, look for exit no. 2 signboard and walk.
4. When you out from exit no.2, you need to cross the small road and you will see Samsung shop on your left. Keep on walking you will find one jewelry shop and there is a building beside the shop.
5. Building name is Magellan 21 and that's the hostel place.
6. Take the RIGHT Elevator to come up 9th floor. This building operates their elevator by stopping at even numbers floors (LEFT) and odd number floors (RIGHT).
 photo Screen Shot 10-29-15 at 05.48 PM.jpg

From Gimpo International Airport :
1. Upon arrival at arrival hall, you need to follow the signboard and walk to Airport Train Station.
2. Take All-Stop Train cause Express Train service will bring to Seoul Station! It takes about 15-20 minutes journey from Gimpo International Airport to Hongdae Station.
3. Upon arrival at Hongdae Station, look for exit no. 2 signboard and walk.
4. When you out from exit no.2, you need to cross the small road and you will see Samsung shop on your left. Keep on walking you will find one jewelry shop and there is a building beside the shop.
5. Building name is Magellan 21 and that's the hostel place.
6. Take the RIGHT Elevator to come up 9th floor. This building operates their elevator by stopping at even numbers floors (LEFT) and odd number floors (RIGHT).

QUESTION NO.7 : OTHER INFORMATION?
Yes.

First and foremost, this hostel's rooms are not located all at the same floor, basically they only have one room(408/1008/1308) at each floor and their office is at 908. So can you imagine, we book three rooms and I need to run up and down if there is any emergency. And the most sad part is two rooms at even number floors and one room at odd number floors. -.- No worries, they also have one escalator which able to access to every single floor, but to be frank, it's so troublesome. But, I have no choice and we only know this problem upon check in. (P/S : This also something they can not do and they still provide good service.)

Hostel does provide high speed WIFI. If you would like to get portable wifi, you can get it from them. It's NOT FREE, you need to pay for it. It's KRW5,000.00 per day.

If you need any help, just go for them. They will help you without doubt. When I asked for help for one of the day trip, they do provide information and option. Not only that, they provided discount to us, rooms rate and also portable WIFI usage. And one more incident, we didn't know that air conditional service is not available after 9pm, so they quickly provide us additional fan in each room, how helpful are they.

In my future trip, it's no harm to stay back at this hostel as their service is excellent, but then I would like to try to stay at other hostel to gain more travel experience.

HOSTEL INFORMATION
Website : http://www.riohousehongdae.com/
Address : 175, Yanghwaro, Mapo-gu, Donggyo-dong, Seoul, South Korea 121-816
Tel No : +82 10 8980 1444
Email : riohousehongdae@gmail.com [EN/JP] // riohousehongdaech@gmail.com [CN/EN]

PM me if you need more information.

 photo tumblr_ltuakcUtoI1qdwh7j.gif

tag : BudgetTravel Korea Seoul Hongdae Accommodation

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