My winter trip to South Korea made me so love the cold and winter vibes that everything I experienced just makes me smile nonstop from the moment we touched down, stayed for three days, and up until now fast forward several months later.
I got so excited when I read that I can actually experience snow in South Korea. It was an unspoken dream of the little girl inside me to experience snow one day. Living in a tropical country like the Philippines, I was curious what it was like to walk around with snow on the ground and snowflakes falling from the sky.
When I was granted a multiple entry visa for 3 years to South Korea on my first visit last March of 2017, I already resolved that if I can and if I ever get to go back, it will be on a winter season for one reason: SNOW.
When I asked my friend, April, if she wants to go with me as I plan to go back to Korea for winter and snow, she was very excited and up to save for the trip which is still around one year later.
Incheon Airport to Myeongdong
We arrived at Incheon airport late at night from Cebu to Incheon from a Cebu Pacific promo fare. Take the train from Incheon Airport Station to Seoul Station (Bluegreen Line, 12 stops) then transfer to the Blue line for Seoul to Myeongdong Station. (Total Fare: KRW4150 ~ Php190, Travel Time: approximately 1 hr and 15 minutes)
Myeongdong Station to Namsan Hostel
We took Myeongdong Station Exit 3 to make our way to our Female Capsule Dormitory at Namsan Hostel 1 booked through Airbnb. It was just a few meters away from Exit 3/4 from Myeongdong Station and around a 3-minute slightly steep walk.
We ate Bibimbap for dinner at a restaurant just a few steps away from our accommodation. We didn’t go around anymore as it was already very late.
Our detailed daily itinerary and expenses are at the end of this article. Enjoy our gallery!
Day 1. Pyeongchang Trout Festival, Snow Tubing, Snow Rafting, Ewha Women’s University, Myeongdong
Day 3. Suwon, Hwaseong Fortress, Haenggung Palace and Korean Archery
Pardon the limited photos as I lost my phone when I traveled to Taiwan a few months after this trip. Hang on, though, as I am definitely going back to experience more of Suwon if I ever get to go back to South Korea. 🙂
We had a very fun and memorable winter trip in 3 days.
It was my second time in the Land of the Morning Calm but my first time to experience winter which also meant my first snow and first of many other things.
I spent my three days visiting some of the country’s different places I haven’t been to and doing things I haven’t done and only wished I could one day.
I went back home with a renewed spirit and with minor bruises on my knees from our ski day. My best souvenirs from this trip. 🙂
|South Korea Itinerary|
|On Conversion: KRW1000 ~ Php50|
|On 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)|
|3:40 PM||ETD to Incheon from Cebu/Manila|
|9:10 PM||ETA at Incheon Airport 21:10 Korea Time. Clear immigration.|
|Buy T-money card for easy transpo transfers. Get free maps at the airport.|
|Take the train from Incheon Airport Station to Seoul Station (Bluegreen Line, 12 stops) then transfer to the Blue line for Seoul to Myeongdong Station. (Total Fare: KRW4150 ~ Php190, Travel Time: approximately 1 hr and 15 minutes)|
|11:00 PM||Check in at Namsan Gil House. Take Myeongdong station exit 3, go right at the intersection uphill|
|Dinner at Myeongdong near Airbnb house where stores close very late. (Estimated Dinner: KRW10k each)|
|Estimated Expenses: Php750|
|Day 1||Pyeongchang Trout Festival, Ewha Women’s University, Gwangjang Market, City Hall Skating Rink, Hongdae, Dongdaemun LED Flowers|
|6:00 AM||Eat free breakfast by 6am (5am PH time)|
|6:30 AM||Take the train from Myeongdong to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park (2 stops) then transfer to the Green line for Gangbyeon station (9 stops, Total Fare: KRW1350 ~ Php67, Travel Time: 24 minutes). Ride the intercity bus to Jinbu at Dong Seoul Bus Terminal beside Gangbyeon station. (KRW13200 ~ Php600, Travel time: 2.5 hours).|
|9:30 AM||Walk to Odaecheon Stream right across Jinbu Bus Terminal. (Ice Fishing: KRW13,000; Snow sledding, rafting, tubing: KRW6,000)|
|12:00 PM||Grilled/fresh fish etc for lunch at Odaecheon. Enjoy the rest of the facilities. (~KRW10k)|
|2:00 PM||Leave Jinbu for Ewha Women’s University. Ride the intercity bus from Jinbu to Dong Seoul Bus Terminal Seoul beside Gangbyeon station. (KRW13200 ~ Php600, Travel time: 2.5 hours). Take the train from Gangbyeon station to Ewha Woman’s University station (16 stops, Travel time: 32 minutes, Fare: KRW1450 ~ Php71). Take Exit 2 or 3.|
|2:45 PM||Stroll around Ewha Women’s University.|
|3:15 PM||Visit Gwangjang Market for fresh food/snacks. Take the train from Ewha Women’s University staton to Euljiro 4(sa)-ga Stn (6 stops, No transfer, Travel time: 10 minutes, Fare: KRW1250~Php57). Take Exit 4.|
|4:45 PM||Try open ice skating at Seoul City Hall (KRW2,000). Roam around. Take the train from Euljiro 4(sa)-ga Stn to Seoul City Hall Station (3 stops, No transfers, Travel time: 5 minutes, Fare: KRW1250~Php57). Take Exit 5.|
|6:30 PM||Dinner and chill and stroll at Hongdae. (~KRW10k)|
|Take the train from City Hall station to Hongik University Station (5 stops, no transfer, Travel time: 10 minute, Fare: KRW1250~Php57). Take Exit 9.|
|Visit Dongdaemun Design Plaza to see the 20,000 LED flowers before going home.|
|Take the train from Hongik University Station to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station (9 stops, no transfers, Travel time: 17 minutes, Fare: KRW1250~Php57). Take Exit 1.|
|Go back to Myeongdong from DHCP station (Blue Line, 2 stops, no transfers, Travel time: 4 minutes, Fare: KRW1250~Php57)|
|Estimated Expenses: Php4,000.00|
|Day 2||SKI DAY!!! (Strawberry Picking, Yangpyeong Rail Bike, and Vivaldi Park Ski Resort Tour Package via Trazy)|
|6:00 AM||Eat free breakfast by 6:30am (5:30 am PH time)|
|7:15 AM||Take train from Myeongdong station to Chungmuro station (Blue line, 1 stop). Transfer to Orange line for Euljiro 3(sam)-ga station (1 stop). Transfer to Green line for Euljiro 1(il)-ga station (1 stop). Travel time: 14 minutes, Fare: KRW1250 ~ Php57. Take Exit 8 and walk a few meters to Lotte Hotel Seoul. Lots of buses and vehicles will be around, show voucher to look for your assigned driver.|
|10:00 AM||Arrive at the strawberry farm in Yangpyeong. Enjoy picking delicious strawberries to take home!|
|11:30 AM||Arrive at Vivaldi Park Ski Resort. Get ski clothes and gear. Lunch at Ski Park(~KRW10k)|
|1:00 PM||Take the ski lesson package (Recommended) and learn basic skiing skills before skiing by yourself on the slopes.|
|4:45 PM||Return ski equipment and clothes|
|5:15 PM||Head to the bus terminal for the free shuttle back to Myeongdong. Don’t be late.|
|8:00 PM||Arrive at Myeongdong Station. Dinner and chill and stroll around. (~KRW10k)|
|Take train from Euljiro 1(il)-ga station to Euljiro 3(sam)-ga station (1 stop). Transfer to the Orange line for Chungmuro station (1 stop). Transfer to Blue line for Myeongdong station (1 stop). Travel time: 14 minutes, Fare: KRW1250 ~ Php57.|
|Estimated Expenses: Php5500.00 (Including Trazy package promo at Php4500 each)|
|Day 3||SUWON, HWASEONG FORTRESS, HAENGGUNG PALACE and KOREAN ARCHERY|
|6:00 AM||Eat free breakfast by 6am (5am PH time) to be sure to arrive by 9 – 10 am at Suwon (The only remaining walled city in South Korea)|
|7:00 AM||Check out and leave Myeongdong. Leave things at Airbnb house lobby.|
|Take the train from Myeongdong station to Geumjeong station (Blue line, 19 stops, Travel time: 45 minutes). Transfer to the Violet Line at Geumjeong station for Suwon station (6 stops, Travel time: 19 minutes). Total Fare: KRW1950~Php100|
|8:30 AM||Take Suwon station exit 7, cross the street, go right. Take bus no. 2-2, 7-2, 60, 400-4, or 700-2. Get off at Changnyongmun Gate /Yeonmudae bus stop. (Entrance fee: KRW1,000~Php50)|
|9:00 AM||Try the traditional Korean archery (KRW2,000~Php100 for 10 arrows including basic lessons) at the Yeonmudae post.|
|9:30 AM||Roam around the fortress. Be sure to visit the Suwon Hwaseong Haenggung Palace (Jewel in the Palace and Love in the Moonlight palace shooting site). Visit the bronze statue of the late King Jeongjo and the Hwaseong Haenggung Square near the palace.|
|11:00 AM||Walk towards the Paldalmun gate in the fortress. Take lunch. (~KRW10k)|
|1:00 PM||Take the train from Suwon station to Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Violet Line, 26 stops, Travel time: 1hr 11 minutes). Transfer to the Orange line for Anguk station (1 stop, Travel time: 2 minutes, Total Fare: KRW1950~Php100). Take Exit 6.|
|2:30 PM||Stroll around Insadong.|
|4:00 PM||Head back to Airbnb house. Take the train from Anguk station to Chungmuro station (3 stops, Travel time: 5 minutes). Transfer to the Blue line for Myeongdong station (1 stop, Travel time: 1 minute, Total fare: KRW1250~Php57)|
|Rest. Leave for airport.|
|5:15 PM||Take train from Myeongdong station to Seoul sation (2 stops). Transfer to the Airport Line to Incheon Airport station (12 stops). Travel time: 1 hr 10 minutes, Discounted total fare on T-money Card: KRW4150 ~ Php190|
|7:00 PM||Check in at Incheon airport. Clear immigration. Dinner. (~KRW10k)|
|10:15 PM||ETD to Cebu Mactan Airport.|
|Estimated Expenses: P2,000.00|
Estimated Expenses for 3 Days: Php11,500.00
Estimated expenses exclude our actual booking on promotional prices and travel tax:
- Accommodation at Namsan Hostel (P650/night per person x 3 nights): Php1950 with free breakfast
- Cebu to Incheon: Php3999 via Cebu Pacific
- Incheon to Cebu: Php4499 via Cebu Pacific
- 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.
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, and tour package 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 Hostel
Tour Package on Day 2
Strawberry Picking, Yangpyeong Rail Bike, and Vivaldi Park Ski Resort Tour Package via Trazy
Cebu to Incheon to Cebu via Cebu Pacific
The following will also be essential for your DIY itinerary.
- 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
Natasha is a full-time banker who gets to take a breather when she travels. She loves being challenged. Adventures and whatever engages her logic get her excited.