6 Things You Should Prepare for a South Korea Trip (Seoul & Jeju)

1 June, 2014

Planning a trip to Seoul and Jeju can be sometimes challenging as some of the tourist attractions are in Korean or there isn’t sufficient info in English to know how to get to these places. Some tours and tickets to certain performances are also usually sold out months before. Having just returned from a trip to Seoul and Jeju, let me share with you 6 tips to make the trip planning less of a hassle.

You can download our Jeju 4 Days 3 Nights trip itinerary and Seoul 5 Days 4 Nights trip itinerary here.

1. Book early online your tickets to Cookin’ Nanta and your tour to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and Joint Security Area (JSA)

If you intend to catch the Cookin’ Nanta show in Myeongdong, Seoul during your trip, there is no hope buying it over the counter as it will likely be sold out.  Furthermore, you enjoy discounts buying your Cookin’ Nanta show tickets online e.g. in our case, we were able to secure a 20% discount through a VIP Family-Get-Together online promotion.  For that promotion to work, you need to have at least 2 family members watching the show with you (simply show them a family photo as proof – they are not strict on this i.e. they will still request to see the photo but they didn’t check out IDs and birth certificates :-)).  Even without the above promotion, there are other online promotions (e.g. discounts for just liking their Facebook page!) for Cookin’ Nanta so book early and online at http://nanta.i-pmc.co.kr/Nanta/en/ticket/ticketing.aspx

The DMZ and JSA tour by Koridoor needs to be booked way in advance (at least 2-3 weeks) at http://www.koridoor.co.kr/bbs/board.php?bo_table=schedule as it is one of the fastest selling tour in Seoul to the DMZ and JSA.  It is also the cheapest option compared to other tour companies that do DMZ + JSA tours (more on the differences between a DMZ + JSA vs. a DMZ tour in a later post).

nanta-cooking-show-seoul-discount-tickets-online

2. Book your rental vehicle in Jeju early (and sign up for memberships with rental company & airlines for discounts)

If you are planning to rent a vehicle in Jeju with KT Kumho/Hertz, do so online: https://www.ktkumhorent.com/eng/main.do.  KT Kumho’s vehicles are often sold out and not available for over the counter bookings.  KT Kumho offers discounted rate of up to 60% if you rent your car during your birthday month!  There are usually discounts for members with Korean airlines and car rental companies so before you book your airfare and other forms of transportation – sign up for a membership at these companies first to see if there are offers available.

If you are planning to drive in Jeju, do get your International Driving Permit (IDP) with AAShttp://www.aas.com.sg/?show=content&showview=8&val=461.  If you need to get your IDP urgently, do so over the counter and you can get your IDP on the spot (there will be some queuing and waiting time involved of course).

car rental jeju airport kt kumho

3.  Get your hotel address written in Korean if you intend to take a taxi from the airport to your hotel

Unless you are taking an International Taxi (where the taxi drivers can understand English and fares are a bit more expensive), you should prepare the hotel name and address in Korean if you are taking any taxis from the airport to your hotel.  It is quite likely that the taxi drivers do not understand English and unless your hotel is a very well-known one (easily recognised by their logos), both you and the driver will likely have to spend a lot of time trying to understand where to go.

korean-address-written-taxi

4. Gather telephone numbers of attractions in Jeju if you intend to rent a car to drive around Jeju island (with Korean GPS)

When driving in Jeju, you can key in the phone numbers of the attractions you planned to check out and the onboard GPS (in Korean) will guide you there.  There is no need to meddle with Hangul alphabets to enter the address in Korean.  I have compiled a few phone numbers that could help you in getting around Jeju.  Do note that these are not complete phone numbers – just the last 7 digits which is sufficient to instruct the GPS to guide you there but might not be complete if you intend to call these places (if i am not wrong, you can just add a 064 in front to make the call)

++++++++++++++++++++++

Seogwipo Attractions

Cheonjiyeon Waterfall (often misspelled as Cheongjiyeon Waterfall – this is the waterfall near Seogwipo City): 7331528

Jeongbang Waterfall: 7331530

Cheonjeyeon Waterfall (often misspelled as Cheongjeyeon Waterfall – this is the waterfall at Jungmun resort): 7381529

Feliz Telcon Hotel: 7492008

Seogwipo Five Day Market: 7630965

Seogwipo Olleh Daily Market: 7621949

Alive Museum (a version of Trick Art Museum at Jungmun Resort): 8050888

Black Pork BBQ place (popular among locals): 7628588

Recommended Ginseng Chicken place near Feliz Telcon Hotel: 7623319

Jeju City Attractions

Yongduam Rock (Dragon Head Rock): 7283918

Black Pork BBQ Street (this leads you to one of the restaurants but you can check out others): 7217869

Raw Fish Street (this leads you to one of the restaurants but you can check out others): 7583945

Pork Ramen Street (also known as noodle street – i recommend the restaurant that this number goes to): 7277056

Dongmun Market: 7523001

Jeju NANTA: 7238878

Other Attractions

Hello Kitty Museum: 7926114

Loveland: 7126988

Mysterious Road: 7103314 (This number is NOT accurate – to get to the road – key in the number for Loveland: 7126988 and then when you are nearing Loveland, follow road signages saying Mysterious Road and follow big tour buses and vans – they will likely be going there)

Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak): 7830959 or 7107923

Recommended Lunch Place near Seongsan Ilchubong (Black Pork Tofu Kimchi Hotpot): 7841794

Manjanggul Lava Cave: 7834818

Gimnyeong (also spelt as Kimnyeong) Maze Park: 7829266

Ferry Terminal to Udo Island: 7825671 (This number is NOT accurate – instead, use this number 7843136 which leads to a local produce shop just beside the ferry ticket office)

Seopjikoji (All-In filming location): 7604251 (This number will NOT bring you to Seopjikoji and will bring you to the middle of nowhere so just drive in this direction and then follow the roadsigns pointing towards Seopjikoji; this number 7820080 might get you there – unverified)

We didn’t go to these attractions but if you are interested, here are the phone numbers (we have not verified their phone numbers):

Yeomiji Botanic Garden: 7351100

Jusangjeolri (Jungmun and Daepo Coast – Columnar Jointed Lava or called Jungmun Cliffs): 7381521

Mount Sanbang: 7942940

Oedolgae Rock: 7328027

Chocolate Land: 7381197 (this is located at Jungmun Resort)

Chocolate Museum: 7923121

Teddy Bear Museum: 7387600 (this is located at Jungmun Resort)

Teddy Bear Safari: 7994820 (this is NOT the Jungmun Resort Teddy Bear Museum – it is nearer to Jeju City)

Sangumburi Crater: 7839900

Hallim Park: 7960001

Jeju Folk Village: 7874501

Jeju Glass Castle: 7727777

5. Print Discount Coupons from the Visit Korea Committee

This is quite straightforward.  Every year, the Visit Korea Committee issues discount coupons for many shops in South Korea – there are quite a number of discount vouchers for skincare product shopping in Myeongdong, Seoul.  Simply download the Visit Korea Committee (VKC) discount coupons/vouchers from here: http://www.vkc.or.kr/en/benefit/coupon.asp and print them and show to the respective shops to enjoy these discounts.  Some of the vouchers are for free samples too.  There are some vouchers for discounted entry to attractions in South Korea e.g. Petite France.

Do note the locations of the shops you can use the vouchers at.  For example – for skincare product shops e.g. Missha, Face Shop, Nature Republic, there are lots of branches just within metres of each other – as you can see below – the Missha is indicated as Myeongdong 3rd Branch.  The 1st Branch and 2nd Branch vouchers cannot be used at the 3rd Branch Missha shop so do check with the shop assistants before paying with your voucher.

korean-tourism-discount-coupons-skincare

6. Get online while driving around Jeju or shopping in Seoul with Telecom Square mobile Wi-Fi device

We had earlier reviewed the travel mobile internet services of Telecom Square during our China trip last year.  This year for our Seoul and Jeju trip, we also used Telecom Square mobile Wi-Fi services on the road.  This Wi-Fi service was extremely useful while road-tripping across Jeju island – there are usually 1-1.5 hour long drives to get to different destinations on Jeju Island and having internet on the go was convenient to Instagram and Facebook out a few pictures and also to monitor our stocks movements.

In Seoul, there are lots of unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots (usually titled: iptime – the default username for most routers) so you could access Internet almost anywhere.  However, if you need to do secure transactions or even protecting your own Facebook account while surfing Facebook, it is still better to stick with your own internet services e.g. Telecom Square mobile Wi-Fi.  Configuration is simple – just turn it on and connect to this device’s Wi-Fi hotspot name and using provided username and password and you are online!  Do note that there is no internet connectivity at certain areas outside Seoul e.g. Nami Island and Petite France.

Telecom Square Singapore rents out portable Wi-Fi router equipped with international SIM cards (with mobile broadband data plan) to travellers at a flat rate of 15 Singapore dollars per day (includes GST).

telecom-square-wifi-travel-mobile-internet

This pick-up and return option for Telecom Square at the airport is no longer available.

Travellers can pick-up and return the Wi-Fi router (as well as all its accompanying accessories) at the Telecom Square booth at Changi Airport Terminals 1, 2 and 3 Arrival Hall. The Terminal 3 booth is open from 9.45am to 10pm daily.  This is what you might see if you are too late and the booth is closed.  Don’t worry, there are other 24 hour booths at other terminals.

Both Terminal 1 and 2 Telecom Square booths are open 24 hours daily. Make your order for the Telecom Square Mobile Wi-Fi service here: Telecom Square Mobile Wi-Fi Order Form.

Zhiqiang & Tingyi

Comments (21)

  • GraceReply

    27 June, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Hey guys thanks for doing what you do! Really appreciate the thoughfulness that goes into your posts, the information is always comprehensive and useful, especially for compulsive planners like me! I’ve benefitted so much from this blog for the past few years, thanks again!

  • Seoul 5 Days 4 Nights (5D4N) Itinerary – What to See, Do, Eat and Seoul Trip Planning Tips | Singapore Travel BlogReply

    12 August, 2014 at 12:16 am

    […] I recommend staying in Myeongdong – we stayed at J Hill hotel at the heart of the Myeongdong shopping district – affordable and convenient.  When in Myeongdong, buy skincare products and as a matter of fact – only buy skincare products in Myeongdong as you will get lots of samples when you buy any amount of facial masks, toner, lotions etc.  Remember to print discount coupons from the Visit Korea Committee (VKC) if you are buying skincare products at M…. […]

  • GGSReply

    25 September, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Thanks guys for the detailed information on Jeju and Seoul! I don’t have to plough through different blogs to consolidate information. Your website is a one-stop 🙂 Effort maaxxx!

  • AllaboutjejuReply

    8 October, 2014 at 12:10 am

    This really is a valuable information for the travelers of Jeju and Seoul. Good work! 🙂

  • SHReply

    11 October, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Hi,
    May I know if u get problems such as connection problem with the portable wifi device from telecom square, especially in jeju?

    Thanks!

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      12 October, 2014 at 10:20 am

      No problem with the Telecom Square portable Wi-Fi except in some parts of Jeju that are quite ulu (remote) where there will be no cellular networks anyway. But in city areas and tourist attractions as well as on the road in Jeju, I get quite good reception.

      For parts of Seoul e.g. the drive from Seoul to Nami Island – the journey passes by quite ulu parts of Korea so no reception.

      • SHReply

        13 October, 2014 at 11:41 am

        Thanks!

        I will also be using the list of phone numbers you compiled for Jeju. It is very helpful!

        • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

          13 October, 2014 at 11:45 am

          Great! 🙂 do let me know if there are any updates to the phone number GPS coordinates in Jeju. Thanks!

  • YusReply

    23 October, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Thank you so much for the useful information i gathered here in you blog…i will be going to Jeju for 5 days 4 nights and contemplating between renting a car, charter a taxi or using public transport…and after reading you blog about self drive in Jeju, i think i’m confident enough to drive in Jeju.

    Thank you again…

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      23 October, 2014 at 7:26 am

      @Yus glad that this helped you in your trip planning 🙂 thks for letting us know

  • ClarindaReply

    24 November, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    Hi Zhiqiang & Tingyi,

    Thanks for your informative post for seoul!
    I am interested to go to the Nami Island & Petite France.
    Could you advise me on booking for the private driver to go there?
    Thanks!!

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      25 November, 2014 at 10:54 am

      We engaged this driver – Mr Jang Du Suk – his number is 010-8452-692 – he speaks basic English but it might be challenging for you to explain your preferred day tour. If possible, ask for an email address to confirm booking in writing. We arranged our tour through a Korean friend so it wasnt a problem.

  • KIM JENNYReply

    12 December, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Arex Express train is the best way to access from the airport to Seoul station. It is fast(it takes only 43 mins to Seoul station) and clean. Plus, the price is also reasonable. It cost 8,000won and if you take one of these airline;Asiana,KAL,Jeju airline, you get some discount(6,900won). Arex Express train info desk is located between gate no.9 and no.8, desk no.45 on 1st floor in the airport.
    T-money card is a prepaid public transportation card which means
    you have to load some money on your T-money card before you use it
    on subway,taxi or bus. And you can purchase a T-money card ata low price
    if you head to Seoul station from Incheon airport. Find the Arex info.desk
    on 1st floor at the airport. It located between gate #9 and #8, desk no.45.
    They have a special promotion for foreigners; Express train ticket to Seoul station
    + T-money card it costs only 8,900 won. The regular price of
    the express train ticket is 8,000 won and T-money card is 3,000 won.
    So the promotion is a good deal.

  • cheabeReply

    11 March, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Hi i can’t seem to find where to download your itinerary trip. I would greatly appreciate it if you can post it here? Thank you

  • whereReply

    3 May, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Since the admin of this website is working, no doubt very
    rapidly it will be well-known, due to its quality contents.

  • MalekReply

    9 July, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Hmm. Does anybody find problem of parking the rented car at places of interest? What about parking fee?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      18 July, 2016 at 10:49 am

      For Jeju, parking is usually free and readily available outside Jeju city – in Jeju city, you need to find dedicated car parks (fee payable). For Seoul, parking will be challenging to find.

  • HudaReply

    28 July, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Hi! Thank you so much for the information! Do you know if it is okay to print just the “coupon info” parts only, and not including the informations above and below it?

    • Zhiqiang & TingyiReply

      2 August, 2016 at 10:26 am

      yes. thats fine

  • SarahReply

    16 August, 2016 at 4:11 am

    Thank you for the information! Leaving for Seoul tomorrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *