Fan Girl Tours South Korea in 3 Days

Han Gang Park South Korea
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The Land of the Morning Calm isn’t just a dream destination for a fan girl like me who has been watching Korean series and movies since high school. It is also a country with a culture so distinct that it makes a first timer’s experiences in the country so worthwhile and memorable. 
Incheon Airport to Myeongdong
We arrived at Incheon airport late at night through a Php1999 Cebu Pacific flight from Manila to Incheon. We took the train from Incheon Airport Station to Seoul Station (Bluegreen Line, 12 stops) then transfered to the Blue line for Seoul to Myeongdong Station. (Total Fare: KRW4950 ~ Php250, Travel Time: approximately 1 hr and 25 minutes)
Seoul Train Map zoomed
Zoomed South Korea Subway Map from See full train map here.
Take a look at the South Korea Subway Map.
The Airport Express train follows along the double Dark Blue line in the zoomed in train map. The Subway Korea app has the Airport Express track along a Bluegreen line. These two are the same train lines. 
Download the Subway Korea app on your mobile phone for easier navigation around South Korea. It works offline after you download the latest updates on prices.
Subway Korea app
Screenshot from the Subway Korea app

The app gives departure and arrival schedules, travel time, and fare. It even suggests which car you should be in for faster transfer and which door you should be near for faster exit.  

Myeongdong Station to Namsan Gil House
We took Myeongdong Station Exit 3 to make our way to our accommodation at Namsan Gil House booked through Airbnb. It was just a few meters away from Myeongdong Station Exit 3 or  4  and around a 5-minute slightly steep walk.
We walked around Myeongdong to find a place to eat dinner. We were able to buy keychain souveneirs at a discounted price since it was already very late at night and some street vendors are already packing up to go home. 
Chonggyecheon Stream South Korea
Chonggyecheon Stream. An 11-km stream that runs in between big buildings at the heart of Seoul. Amazing!
Day 1. Legend of the Blue Sea Filming Sites (Heo Joon Jae’s House and Han Gang / Han River), Han Gang Park, Petite France, Nami Island, Railbike Station, Garden of the Morning Calm, Dongdaemun
You might say that’s quite a number of places in one day but, believe me, we had enough time enjoying each place. Thirty minutes to a couple of hours in one place is already enough for us.
We woke up very early to visit Heo Joon Jae’s house which was just a few steps away from us before eating our free breakfast at our Airbnb house.
Heo Joon Jae's House Myeongdong
Heo Joon Jae’s House. A very familiar gate, stairs, and house to all those who watched Legend of the Blue Sea. 🙂
How to Go to Heo Joon Jae’s House
From Myeongdong Station Exit 3, turn right after Pacific Hotel and go up through Sogong-ro 4 Gil Street. The famous gate is on the left side near the pathway to Namsan Tower. 
That girl screamed like crazy and just felt so happy when she saw the gate and the familiar wooden stairs and area where many scenes of Heo Joon Jae and the cast were filmed for the series. 
Myeongdong to Han River/Han Gang Park
We visited Han River and Han Gang Park and enjoyed the trees and the water. It was still quite early in the morning on a weekday and we were the only ones there. 
Han Gang Park and Han River South Korea
A lovely and very relaxing early morning view at Han Gang Park right beside Han River
Take the train from Myeongdong to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park (2 stops) then transfer to the Purple Line to Yeouinaro Station (9 stops, Total Fare: KRW1250 ~ Php57, Travel time: 30 minutes).
Han River / Han Gang Park to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park
After enjoying the park and reminiscing how Shim Cheong and Heo Joon Jae talked and cried near the river, we made our way to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Exit 10 (Yeouinaro Station to DHCP Station, 9 stops, Fare: KRW1250 ~ Php57, Travel time: 17 minutes).
We waited for our tour shuttle bus for Petite France, Gapyeong Rail Bike, Nami Island, and Garden of the Morning Calm booked through Klook. (~Php4200 each person inclusive of roundtrip transportation, lunch, and admission fees)
Nami Island
At Nami Island. Those who watched Winter Sonata’s Endless Love will be reminded what happened here and what those ice figures are for. 🙂
Myeongdong to Gapyeong (Petite France, Gapyeong Rail Bike, Nami Island, and Garden of the Morning Calm)
We initially planned to take the hop on – hop off city tour bus around Gapyeong which costs cheaper and also covers all four destinations but we eventually booked a tour package through Klook. It can be too time consuming for first timers like us to look for the bus stops to make sure we make it to the departure time schedule for each of the four destinations. 
Gapyeong South Korea
The tourists with John, our tour guide, holding the camera. This is about everyone in our tour shuttle bus.
Getting left behind or a full bus because of a very long queue would mean at least another 30 minutes waiting time for the next bus. That would have been more costly.
The tour package was also very convenient for us as it includes transportation to and from Seoul and we were able to visit Garden of the Morning of Calm late at night for the Lights Festival which wouldn’t have been possible had we opted for the public transportation considering the last trips for both the bus and train.
Petite France
Walking around Petite France and going inside each of the themed buildings made me experience a bit of the French culture. 
I also remembered the journeys of The Little Prince as they crafted his experiences through works of art throughout the area.
Petite France
At Petite France. Sitting down right where Do Min Joon and Cheon Song Yi had their best scene in the series. 🙂
Most importantly, it had me get so excited to be at the filming site of my favorite scene between Do Min Joon and Cheon Song Yi of My Love From The Star near the entrance. 
Gapyeong Rail Bike
We rail-biked around Gapyeong on a 4-seater bike with a couple from the UK who were very friendly and kind to let us stop hitting the pedal to rest after a steep or difficult portion of the railpath. It was fun touring around Gapyeong this way.
Gapyeong Railbike
Railbiking our way around Gapyeong with a very friendly couple from the UK.
Nami Island
Oh, the famous tree-lined path of Nami Island which also became popular because of Endless Love’s Winter Sonata. 
Nami Island
At Nami Island’s famous tree lines
Many areas within Nami Island have the cast’s photos to make us remember what happened in which area in the movie series.
Nami Island
At Nami Island with Bae Yong-joon and Choi Ji-woo of Winter Sonata’s Endless Love
I could walk around the island and just enjoy the trees and the water the whole day. 
Nami Island
I could stand on this part of Nami Island the whole day. 🙂
Garden of the Morning Calm
We visited on the first week of March right after winter season so the best time to visit Garden of the Morning Calm was at night for the Lights Festival. 
Garden of the Morning Calm Lights Festival
Garden of the Morning Calm Lighting Festival. They replace the leaves with lights to turn the place into a magical wonderland.
The place was converted to a magical wonderland we cannot stop getting amazed as we walk from one area to another with the different themes. 
We got so excited and happy like little kids all we could do is just say “Wow!” and just smile while looking around.
Garden of the Morning Calm Lights Festival
I can’t help but be awed by this lighted tree!
Our tour shuttle bus stops at Dongdaemun and we chose to alight there to walk around Dongdaemun Market before we went back to Myeongdong. 
Dongdaemun to Myeongdong
Take the train from Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station (2 stops) or Dongdaemun Station (3 stops) to Myeongdong Station. Travel time: 4 – 6 mintues. Fare: KRW1250 ~ Php57.
Day 2. Everland and Myeongdong Nanta Theatre Show
We allotted Day 2 for Everland (Php1600 in Klook) and the Nanta theatre show in the evening (Php1200 in Klook). 
Myeongdong to Everland
Take the train from Myeongdong Station to Gangnam Station then ride Bus Number 5002 to Everland.
1.Myeongdong Station to Chungmuro Station, 1 stop, transfer to Orange Line.
2. Chungmuro station to Seoul University Station, 9 stops, transfer to Green Line.
3. Seoul University Station to Gangnam Station, 1 stop, Total fare: KRW1350 ~ Php62, Travel time: 32 minutes).
4. Take Exit 2 and walk towards the bus stop for Bus Number 5002 to Everland (KRW3200 ~ Php145). 
Everland is famous for the T-Express, the world’s fourth wooden roller coaster. 
South Korea Everland T Express
Everland’s T-Express. We rode one of the fastest and steepest wooden roller coasters in the world!
We prepared for it by doing other rides first as my friend, Keith, needed a little push to do it. She overcame her fears by closing her eyes throughout the 4-minute adrenaline-pumping steep T-Express ride with 360-degree turns. 
My favorites in Everland were the The Lost Valley Safari Adventure and Safari World in Zootopia. We rode the world’s first specialized convertible amphibian vehicle as we moved from the land to the water to see the wild animals.
Everland Safari World
I screamed like crazy when I saw very cute Timon of the Lion King, well, I mean a meerkat, at Everland! Find him near the stone. 🙂
At Everland’s Zootopia, I had close encounters with wild bears, cheetahs, a hippopotamus, pandas, elephants, a polar bear, and many other wild animals I have never seen in my life. I can’t stop myself from smiling as we explored the area.
I wanted to run around and play with the panda!
We watched a couple of shows and enjoyed other rides from each themed area before we went back to Myeongdong in the afternoon to be on time for the theater show.
Everland South Korea
My first open-air elevated ride was at Everland!
Everland to Gangnam
We took the free shuttle from Everland to the parking lot to wait for Bus Number 5002 to Gangnam. (KRW3200 ~ Php145)
Alight at Gangnam. Gangnam in South Korea is likened to New York in the United States of America. We just looked around as we walked from the bus stop to the train station to board the train back to Myeongdong.
Gangnam Neighborhood

Gangnam to Myeongdong

1. Take Green line from Gangnam station to Seoul University Station (1 stop).
2. Transfer to the Orange line for Chungmuro station (9 stops). 
3. Transfer to the Blue line for Myeongdong station, 1 stop. Travel time: 32 minutes, Fare: KRW1350 ~ Php62
Walking around Myeongdong will bring you to a number of long streets full of street food and all kinds of stores. It is a shopping haven in South Korea. You can see tourists rolling big luggage full of shopped goods, mostly cosmetics. 
Myeongdong. That’s Kim Hyun Joong looking at the camera.
We grabbed street food for dinner while walking to the Myeondgong Nanta Theatre. Lots of tourists were also waiting for the show to start before we got entertained by the first and only culinary theater show I have watched so far. It was fun and interactive it had me smiling, and laughing, all throughout. 
Day 3. Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, Chonggyecheon Stream, Namsan Tower
We checked out after eating our last free breakfast for this trip. Namsan Gil House allowed us to leave our luggage near the reception while we go around Seoul before heading to the airport late in the afternoon.
Myeongdong to Gyeongbokgung Palace
Take the train from Myeongdong station to Chungmuro station (1 stop). Transfer to the Orange line to Gyeongbokgung station. Take Exit 5. (4 stops). Travel time: 15 minutes, Fare: KRW1250 ~ Php57.
Gyeongbokgung Palace 
Walking around the palace somehow time travels me to an era in South Korea when everyone was still wearing Hanbok and under a dynastic kingdom. It was an amazing experience walking around one of the royal palaces during the Joseon dynasty. 
Trivia from a Novice: Gung (궁) means palace in Hangeul so it’s not comfortable for me to say Gyeongbokgung Palace. That’s redundant but that’s how Gyeongbok Gung and the other palaces are popularly known so I’ll just have to make do with it. Just know that it’s not grammatically correct. 🙂
Gyeongbokgung Palaca Guards Costume
We got to wear these guards’ costumes at Gyeongbok Gung for free! It’s right beside the Gwanghamun Gate.
We made sure to be at the Gwanghamun gate on time for the Changing of the Guards ceremony at 10 am. Make sure to check the daily schedule if you want to witness the ceremony too.
We then walked around Bukchon Hanok Village for the traditional houses. The area is always flocked with tourists that some houses had to hang a sign to remind visitors to keep silent and respect the privacy of the residents.
Bukchon Hanok Village
Walking around Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional Korean village between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace.
We had lunch at Mukshidonna in Samcheongdong near the Bukchon Hanok Village. It was fun getting lost and asking the locals and a tourist information center before finally getting inside Mukshidonna.
The popular Tteokbokki restaurant didn’t have English characters on its storefront signage so it was quite an adventure looking for it. I had to remember my Hangeul self-study to be barely able to read the sign, 먹쉬돈나. 
Lunch at Mukshidonna in Samcheongdong. Another tourist on a different table had to help translate and explain to us that we need to finish that really good stew first before rice will be served.
We were rewarded with very good food after struggling with the language barrier while ordering. Thanks to the kind tourist beside our table who translated for us as we took our orders and explained to us that the stew (which was so good) is served first and has to be finished before we will be served rice and the other dishes. 
Bukchon Hanok Village to  Chonggyecheon Stream
1. Take the train from Gyeongbokgung Station (2 stops) or Anguk Station (1 stop) to Jongno 3(sam)-ga station.
2. Transfer to the Purple line to Gwanghamun station (1 stop, Total fare: KRW1250, Travel time: 13 minutes).
3. Take Gwanghamun station exit 5, walk straight and turn left on the big street. You’ll never miss the conspicuous Chonggyecheon Stream.
Chonggyecheon Stream
At the Chonggyecheon Stream. It is amazingly flowing to an 11-kilometer stretch in the heart of Seoul.
Chonggyecheon Stream to Myeongdong / N Seoul Tower or Namsan Tower
1. Take the train from Gwanghamun station to  Jongno 3(sam)-ga station (1 stop).
2. Transfer to the Orange Line for Chungmuro station. (2 stops). 
3. Transfer to the Blue line to Myeongdong station (1 stop). Travel time: 19 minutes, Total Fare: KRW1250 ~ Php57.
4. Take Myeongdong station Exit 3 and walk straight up on the right side of Pacific Hotel to the N Tower Cable Car boarding point.
N Seoul Tower / Namsan Tower
We visited the Namsan Tower, also known as N Seoul Tower, last as the cable car boarding point was just a few slightly steep steps from our Airbnb house where we left our things.
We booked the roundtrip cable car to the tower (KRW9500 ~ Php433) onsite as no online or prior bookings are allowed. The queue was significantly long that we had to manage our time well considering the long queue for the return cable car before we head back to the airport.
The park near the tower gave us a very good overlooking view of Seoul even while still riding the cable car.
Namsan Tower Love Locks
At the Namsan Tower Love Locks.
It could be accessed on foot from Myeongdong station. If I get to come back, I will allot enough time and I am so walking my way to the tower in the afternoon and leave the place at night.
I love the trees! What a nice place to cap our Korea trip which had me smiling all throughout. 
Namsan Tower
At Namsan Tower. I’m walking my way up here if I go back.
I visited as a fan. I left as an enlightened traveler with a deeper appreciation of South Korea and its culture. 

South Korea Itinerary and Expenses for Budget 2019

 South Korea Itinerary for 3 Days
 Conversion: KRW1000 ~ Php50
 Time Zone: GMT + 9 (Korean Time is 1 hour advanced compared to Philippine Time, e.g. 7 am in KR is 6 am in PH)
Day 0 
12:00:00 PMHeavy Lunch. Take out snacks. Php250
03:10:00 PMETD to Incheon from NAIA 3
09:10:00 PMETA at Incheon Airport  (21:10 Korea Time)
 Buy T-money card for easy transpo transfers. Get free maps at the airport.
 Take AREX commuter train to Seoul station (12 stops, Last trip: 11:30 pm). Transfer to Blue line from Seoul to Myeongdong station (2 stops, Last trip: 12:40 am). Travel time: 1 hr 25 minutes, Discounted total fare on T-money Card: KRW4950 ~ Php250
11:00:00 PMCheck in at Namsan Gil House. Take Myeongdong station exit 3, go right at the intersection uphill
 Dinner at Myeongdong where stores close very late. (Estimated Dinner: KRW10k each)
 Estimated Expenses: Php1,000
Day 1 
06:30:00 AMVisit Heo Joon Jae’s house exterior near Airbnb House. Turn right after passing Pacific Hotel from Myeongdong Station exit 3 and walk straight up to Sogong-ro 4 Gil St. Door is near the passage way to the Namsan Tower.
07:15:00 AMGo back to Airbnb house to eat breakfast.
07:45:00 AMVisit Han Gang Park and Han River. Take train to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station (2 stops), transfer to Purple line for Yeouinaru station Exit 2 or 3 (9 stops, Total Fare: KRW1250, Travel time: 30 minutes),  and just walk towards Han Gang Park. KRW1250 (Legend of the Blue Sea filming site). 
09:00:00 AMGo back to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park (DHCP) Exit 10 (9 stops, KRW1250, 17 minutes) to wait for the bus for Klook Tour Package (Nami Island, Petite France, Gapyeong Railbike, Garden of the Morning Calm) (P4200 each).
09:45:00 AMWait for bus at Dongdaemun H and CP station exit 10 in front of APM Place. Bus departs at 10:10 am.
11:20:00 AMArrive at Petite France
12:10:00 PMLeave for Nami Island
12:20:00 PMArrive Nami Island. Lunch. Stroll around. You can rent a bike for one hour (KRW8k)
03:20:00 PMLeave for Railbike Station
03:50:00 PMArrive at Railbike station
05:30:00 PMLeave for Garden of the Morning Calm
06:10:00 PMArrive at Garden of the Morning Calm
07:40:00 PMLeave for Seoul
08:40:00 PMArrive at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park. Dinner (KRW10k). Walk around Dongdaemun Market and stores.
10:00:00 PMVisit Hakrim Coffee. Take Hyehwa station exit 2 (one station from Dongdaemun, Travel time: 2 minutes, KRW1250). Cross the traffic light and Hakrim should be in front. Open til 12mn. (My Love from the Star’s Do Min Joon tea house filming site) – Closed when we arrived at past 11 pm so we just visited its neighbor cafe. 🙂
 Go back to Myeongdong from Hyehwa Station (4 stations, KRW1250, Travel time: 8 minutes)
 Estimated Expenses: Php5400.00
Day 2 
07:30:00 AMEat free breakfast
08:00:00 AMLeave Myeongdong for Everland.  Klook Entrance Fee: ~P1500
 Myeongdong to Chungmuro (1 stop). Transfer to Orange line for Seoul University station (9 stops). Transfer to Green line for Gangnam station (1 stop). Travel time: 32 min. KRW1350. Take Exit 10 and go to the bus stop for the shuttle to Everland at KRW3200 each. Board Bus # 5002.
09:30:00 AM

Enjoy Everland. Make sure to ride the T-Express, Hurricane, Columbus Adventure, and Double Rock Spin.

Make sure to visit The Lost Valley Safari Adventure and Safari World in Zootopia. Ride the amphibious vehicle.

04:00:00 PMLeave Everland to make it in time for the Nanta Show in Myeongdong. Queue at the free shuttle from Everland to parking lot. Board Bus number 5002 to Gangnam(KRW3200). Take train back to Myeongdong (Gangnam to Seoul University to Chungmuro to Myeongdong, KRW1350, Travel time: 32 minutes)
06:30:00 PMDinner at Myeongdong Kyoja (Best kalguksu and mandu in the city). Take exit 8 at Myeongdong station, turn left immediately at first alley and walk for 5 minutes, Myeongdong Kyoja is at the right side. KRW7500 each.
07:30:00 PMHead to Myeongdong Nanta Theatre. Take Myeongdong Station Exit 6. Go straight for 300m along  Myeongdong 8 gil St. Turn left in front of Woori Bank, the theatre is 100m ahead on the left. (Klook entrance fee: ~P1200)
10:00:00 PMVisit Shinsegae Mall. Take Myeongdong Station exit 4 and walk straight for 5 minutes. (Also filming site for Legend of the Blue Sea). Stroll around Myeongdong/Dongdaemun.
 Estimated Expenses: Php4000.00
Day 3 
07:30:00 AMEat free breakfast
08:00:00 AMCheck out and leave things at Airbnb house. 
08:30:00 AMVisit Gyeongbokgung Palace. Don’t forget to take a photo wearing the Guard’s Costume for free. (Entrance: KRW3,000). Myeongdong station to Chungmuro station (1 stop). Transfer to the Orange line to Gyeongbokgung station, take Exit 5 and walk straight. (4 stops). Travel time: 15 minutes, Fare: KRW1250
09:45:00 AMWitness and never miss the Changing of the Guards at 10 am. Be at the Gwanghamun gate by 9:45 am.
11:00:00 AMVisit the traditional houses at Bukchon Hanok Village near the palaces. Walk from the palace. It’s near exit 3 of Anguk Station. KRW1250
12:00:00 PMLunch at Mukshidonna at Bukchon Hanok Village (KRW15k each). Walk and ask around. It’s near Anguk Station exit 1. Go right towards Olive Young. At the end of the street, take right to the next street next to Pungmoon Girls’ School. Go straight up the street and before CU convenience store at the end of the small alley is Mukshidonna.
12:30:00 PMVisit Chonggyecheon Stream. 

Take the train from Gyeongbokgung Station (2 stops) or Anguk Station (1 stop) to Jongno 3(sam)-ga station.
Transfer to the Purple line to Gwanghamun station (1 stop, Total fare: KRW1250, Travel time: 13 minutes).
Take Gwanghamun station exit 5, walk straight and turn left on big street. You’ll never miss the conspicuous Chonggyecheon Stream.

 You can stroll around Dongdaemun Market (walk through Ogansugyo Bridge to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park from Chonggyecheon stream for 5 min) and Myeongdong before going back to Airbnb house for N Seoul Tower
02:30:00 PM

Visit N Seoul Tower / Namsan Tower.

Take the train from Gwanghamun station to  Jongno 3(sam)-ga station (1 stop). Transfer to the Orange Line for Chungmuro station. (2 stops). Transfer to the Blue line to Myeongdong station (1 stop). Travel time: 19 minutes, Total Fare: KRW1250 ~ Php57.

Take Myeongdong station Exit 3 and turn right after passing Pacific Hotel and walk straight up to Sogong-ro 4 Gil St. for the passage way to the Namsan Tower Cable Car (Roundtrip: KRW9500).

05:15:00 PM

Leave for Incheon Airport. Dinner after check-in.


Take train from Myeongdong station to Seoul sation (2 stops). Transfer to AREX commuter train to Incheon Airport station (12 stops).  Travel time: 1 hr 25 minutes, Discounted total fare on T-money Card: KRW4150 ~ Php200

10:15:00 PM

ETD to Cebu Mactan Airport. ETA Cebu Next Day 1:40 AM

 Estimated Expenses:  P2,000.00

Estimated Expenses for 3 Days: Php12,400

  • Estimated expenses exclude our actual booking on promotional prices and travel tax:
  1. Accommodation (P650/night per person x 3 nights): Php1950
  2. Manila to Incheon: Php1999 via Cebu Pacific
  3. Incheon to Cebu: Php3499 via Cebu Pacific
  4. Travel tax: Php1,620
  • This excludes all other expenses not specified in this itinerary.
  • Expenses on food is also just an estimate and will vary depending on what and where you choose to eat.
  • Actual prices may also have changed.
  • Spend frugally!

South Korea Trip Notes

Navigate easily around South Korea using their subway by downloading the Subway Korea app

We already paid for our air fare, accommodation, tour package and admission tickets before we traveled for this trip. See complete list below. Click each highlighted item to book or know the details.



3 nights in Myeongdong, Seoul at Namsan Gil House


Tour Package on Day 2

Nami Island, Petite France, Gapyeong Railbike, and Garden of the Morning Calm


Theater Show on Day 2

Myeongdong Nanta Theater Show


Plane Tickets

Manila to Incheon via Cebu Pacific

Incheon to Cebu via Cebu Pacific


The following will also be essential for your DIY itinerary.

T-Money Card

Pocket WiFi


  • Google Maps for real time navigation would be very useful.
  • You’ll be surprised how easy it is to learn Hangeul (a self-study will do!). No frills, one character – one pronunciation (just like Tagalog and so unlike English). The exciting part is familiarizing the characters and their matching pronunciations.
  • That said, it would be more helpful if you at least know how to read Hangeul to be able to read the signs. Well, even if you don’t, you’ll still surely enjoy South Korea. 🙂

Travel Tips From Yours Truly

Travel Tips from a Frugal Traveler

8 Travel Tips from A Frugal Traveler

Keep these travel tips in mind to help you make the most of your travels.

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