Seoul Day 1.0

After maybe after 6 months of countdown and years of dreaming to go to the land of Koreanovela (what Pinoy refer to Korean dramas) aka KDrama and KPop, we finally landed SAFE in Korea, the South part that is! We arrived at Manila on the night of 12th of April and went to Korea the afternoon of the next day! Jet lag means nothing to two people yearning to go to South Korea!

As we reach Incheon International Airport, we were taking snaps from the plane window, even joking about requesting for the pilot to tilt the plane on the left to have a better view! Only upon landing a guy told us that we almost got into an accident if the pilot wasn't able to pull up the plane. And so that's explains the  brief roller coaster ride feel that I felt! whew!

I can't remember what time we landed, but it should be around 9pm. We got our T-money at the airport and followed the signage leading to the trains. We didn't take the airport express because our stop is Hongdae (Hongik University Station) and airport express train skips Hongdae and goes straight to Seoul Station.

at Incheon International Airport
inside train to Seoul
I knew we were at the right place when a drama is being shown on TV at the waiting area. Its Kdrama of course, though I don't know what it is, and pity that its not subbed.. hehehe of course! On board the train to Seoul, I heard one lady calling the man she's with, "oppa", boy, I can't help but smile! I said to myself, "INDEED I AM IN KOREA!" hahaha!

Train stations in Seoul is no joke. It has several lines and several exits.  We got off Hongik University station, and contemplated on which way to go. I got confused with "Bank" on the map, it says Hyundai Bank (at least to what I read) and the one at our back is Woo-something bank. And the Hyundai that I see across the street is a petrol station. A guy helped us, because we are so obviously "lost" bless him! I asked for his name but I can't remember anymore. Apparently, our guesthouse is 10 mins walk from the train station and as a treat for us, we passed by FNC! The studio where CNBLUE started and was the very street that CNBLUE most likely roamed around during their training days. Mr. Helpful guy commented on how excited we were (because we are squealing) and we can only answer "Yes!" I was about to explain why but I'm afraid it will be gibberish to him and might say to himself "Ugh! Fangirls". hehe!

We got into our guesthouse, still full of energy even if its already almost midnight. We stayed at Seoulwise Guesthouse. The owner, Mr. Young speaks English well so we don't have any problems communication wise. The room that we stayed is cozy and clean. We booked a 55,000 KRW/night room and we have our own bathroom. They clean the room everyday, free breakfast, till 10 am but we always fail to have it. After we put our things to our room, we head out to the convenient store for ramyun!

See some travel tips (from what I learned from our day 1 in Seoul) below.

Lessons learned... er...Travel tips!
  1. Go for a morning flight if its your first time to visit a country. Unless a friend will pick you up or the hotel will pick you up from the airport. Although, we did not feel threatened (maybe because we are over excited), still you're a foreigner and technically know nothing about the place, except from months and months of googling and reading from different blog posts, still its different when you are already there. I think you will enjoy more scenery when you will arrive during the day. 
  2. Install handy apps! Install ahead of time Seoul's or Korea's train system. As I said above, its no joke, well at least for me, who just happened to live in two countries where there are 2-3 lines of trains and just have 2-4 exits. If you don't have a smartphone, which I don't know what's stopping you to get one, have a print out of the train system and make sure its colored.
  3. Know train timings. We were appreciating Incheon International Airport when we landed and even snaps pictures, taking our sweet time, without knowing that trains don't run 24/7! Good thing we did not miss the train towards Seoul.
  4. Read the map thoroughly. Because in Korea, a petrol station/gasoline station is called an Oilbank! I actually learned it the next day, when everything is lit up. So the map is not wrong, I just failed to read the whole thing. Its Hyundai Oilbank, not Hyundai Bank, dummy! If only I read it well, We will not be standing there, debating or rather nearing to do a "eeny, meeny, miny, moe". Though it made us meet a kind person that made our impression of Seoul better.
  5. Eat on the plane. Eat whatever they offer if you booked for a night flight. We had our lunch and snack in Manila and Incheon is 4 hr flight, 1 hr train ride. You'll be hungry and the best option is a convenient store. Cebu Pacific offers decent (rice & viand) food for 300 Php. So I guess its better to have it rather than not finding anything to eat when you land.

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