Sunday, May 24, 2009

Planning to visit Korea? Part 1

I've had many questions over time about visiting Korea. I think many know that I have been to Korea several times and love the place very much. Anyway, my suggestion to these people has always been to avoid the tours. Tours can be tiring and stressful and imho, a holiday should be taken at one's own pace to soak in the atmosphere. So maybe, you'd wanna try going to Korea on your own?

Well if you DO want to go on a free and easy trip to Korea, my 1st suggestion is for you to focus on Seoul. The huge city (which covers roughly about the size of Singapore island and houses 18 million inhabitants), offers so much to do and see...

In this first part, I'll tell you a few things you'll need to prepare for the trip.

1) Select a season.
- It's best avoid summer (unless you want to see a lot of Korean women in bikinis at the water parks and beaches).
- Spring is beautiful for the plum blossoms and pleasant weather.
- Autumn is gorgeous for the golden brown foliage.
- Winter is my favourite... snow and skiing!

2) Select an airline.
- I prefer using Korean Air. It's coach sharing with MAS and most of the time, ticket prices are cheaper!
- Make sure you select the 1am flight from KLIA. It's perfect for arriving in Incheon at around 8am so you won't have to waste a single day.

3) Search for travel tips.
- Join a website like Virtual Tourist. It has a wonderful community that shares information on where to visit and you can even organize meetups to make new friends when you arrive there.
- Visit the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) website. It has wonderful tips and the calendar of activities in Korea. You can also find out information on public transportation (subway and buses).

4) Find a place to stay.
- Do try to find a place to stay in a convenient area in the city e.g. Gangnam, Itaewon, Insadong or Myungdong - these are all prime locations in Seoul. You can use a service like Hotels Combined or specifically click HERE to search for hotels in Seoul. With this, you can easily find a conveniently located hotel and compare prices too.

That's it for Part 1. More to come!

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