We rode on Korean Air to South Korea and it was amazing! Seriously best airline we have ever been on, thanks Korean Air! It was about a six hour flight. The people were so kind and they had amazing food, and it didn’t make me sick! That never happens, because everything usually makes me sick so that was a big win for me. The leg room was unreal, my knees weren’t touching and it was so comfortable and most importantly CLEAN!
I think South Korea was one of my all time favorites. We were only there for one day but I loved every second. We had a 17 hour layover on our way to Hawaii so we decided to make the best of it.
We landed in Seoul early in the morning and went on our way. We took the Airport Railroad Express Train (AREX) into Seoul. It is the fastest and most cost effective way to get into the City. It costs 8,000 wons per person which is about $7 US dollars per person. It was about a 40 minute ride and it was fun to be able to see the view along the way. Once we arrived into Seoul Jared told me to take charge. I had a list of places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do.
First we wanted to see the Seoul Tower so we began the HIKE I mean Hike up the hill to the tower. Every review said to take a bus to the top but I would recommend walking it, it wasn’t that bad. It was so beautiful and we were able to say hi to people on the way up as well. We got to the Tower and there was so much to do around it. There was a Bridge of Locks kinda like in Paris but way better in my opinion. There were soooooo many locks and it went for quite a period of time. Way bigger and longer than in Paris, shhhhhhh I probably shouldn’t be saying this. I love Paris too don’t get me wrong. We walked around there took tons of pictures and the views were incredible. So beautiful. It felt like we were on top of the world. It was always way overcast so it was like gloomy and just stunning. We were walking around when I saw this lady bring out these traditional costumes and I was thinking man I would love to dress up with Jared and take a picture with that guard, we started walking away and I thought I’m just going to look to see how much. It was FREE! So of course we got all dressed up and have hilarious pictures. I got probably the worst one, BRIGHT PINK AND LIME GREEN! Jared said I looked like a cute little Kiwi and we were laughing so hard. Jared looked good, of course hahaha. When we were up there we got in contact with Jared’s cousin Sanni, who is from Finland, she was in Seoul for the week and wanted to get together and go site seeing together. We didn’t want to take a taxi to save some money but it was quite a walk to the place we were meeting Sanni so we decided we would try and figure out the city buses and see if we could get over there. We couldn’t read the sign, different language, so I went up to this younger lady and asked her and she didn’t know what I was trying to say so this old lady comes up and says I can help you. She went out of her way and got on this bus with us and took us right to the place, she was the sweetest thing ever, she had a cane and a really bad limp and she went WAY out of her way just to help us. There are amazing people who really are so generous and kind. We were so grateful to her! We get to Gyeongbokgung Palace….. It was amazing. There were thousands of men and women dressed in traditional clothing, they were BEAUTIFUL. This was picture heaven for me. I was snapping pictures left and right and even asking the ladies to stop and smile for the camera, they loved it. We were in there for about 20 minutes and then I get a text from Jared’s cousin saying she was there and we looked everywhere for her, little did we know were were at the wrong place we were supposed to meet her at Changdeokgung Palace, ooopppps! We hurried and walked the 1.2 miles to meet her we finally found her and then we walked around the grounds and saw all the amazing architecture. It is so cool how much it changes based off of every culture. It was absolutely stunning. It was so cool being able to spend time with Jared’s cousin Sanni. Us from America her from Finland and we both happen to be in South Korea at the same time and the same place! So amazing how that works!
Just an FYI it does cost to get into every Palace, but there are a few options. There were some tickets where it gave you a discount and you could get into all 5 palaces, another idea is if you’re wearing traditional (which there are renting places everywhere) you get into the Palaces for free, or you can pick and choose your favorites to go to and just purchase the ticket there.
*If you purchase a book of combination tickets it is 10,000 won ($9 US) for adults and 5,000 won ($5 US) for youth and it includes the Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace – the Secret Garden included, Changgyeonggung Palace, Deoksugung Palace and Jongmyo Shrine.
*Ask the people for help if you need it. They are the nicest and are so willing to help. They speak pretty good English too so you don’t have to worry too much about a language barrier.
*MUST SEES in South Korea:
-Buckhon Hanok Village
-South Korea National Museum
-Ihwa Mural Village
*MUST EATS in South Korea:
-Dakgalbi (Pan Fried Chicken)
-Jjimdak (braised chicken)
-Patbingsu (Red Bean Shaved Ice)