Where to Stay in Seoul: MYEONGDONG

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I’ve been getting a lot of questions about where to stay in Seoul. The thing is, there are many districts and neighborhoods in Seoul and each has its own charm. There is no single best place to stay at because there are many good options out there and the answer to the question really depends upon where you will stay, what you will do in Seoul, and how much is your budget.

I am going to do a series on this topic but I will only cover, in the meantime, the areas of Myeongdong, Samcheongdong, Hongdae, and Gangnam in Seoul, and Nampo and Seomyeon in Busan. And my series will start with Myeongdong.

In making suggestions and recommendations, I am considering my experience, i.e., whether I stayed in, visited, or have seen the place personally. Whether it is a guesthouse, a low to mid-range hotel or a luxury one, my top criteria is location in relation to distance to the shopping streets of Myeongdong and more particularly, Myeongdong Station. I am not considering their proximity to other places of interest in Jung-gu or Central Seoul. The shopping streets and Myeongdong subway station are my points of reference because those who frequently ask me about where to stay in Seoul are first time visitors and I am suggesting these places for their convenience.

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SEOULFUL ENCOUNTERS [BUSAN/SEOUL 2017] STAYING IN MYEONGDONG

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One of my favorite places to come back to whenever I am in Seoul is obviously Myeongdong. It is a paradise for shoppers and foodies and while always evolving, it is still home to some of the old-time favorites, both of the locals and tourists like me. I have written about Myeongdong for the first time in 2012 and for the second time in 2014. Despite having been to Myeongdong twice in the past, visiting Myeongdong everyday during the 5-day Seoul leg of my trip felt like it’s always the first time. There’s always something new to experience, something new to discover. Myeongdong continues to excite me (and my palate!), and if you are visiting Seoul for the first time, please make sure that you allot ample time for Myeongdong.

I have a lot to share with you so please be prepared to read a massive wall of post. I stayed in Myeongdong (right outside Exit 2 of  subway station to be precise) and I am going to write a quick review of my guesthouse. I will also update you with my foodie finds in Myeongdong and they’re all drool-worthy that just thinking about them makes me feel like I’m going to pass out from extreme craving. And as usual, I will be ending this post with a clip of our nightly walk from the guesthouse to the famous Myeongdong shopping streets.

*All references to Myeongdong in this post will be hyperlinked to www.myeongdong.org, a great reference for all things about Myeongdong.

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Seoulful Encounters [Busan/Seoul 2017] – Arrival in Seoul and KTX to Busan

I arrived in Seoul around 5 in the morning of April 17. It was still cold outside but the temperature inside Incheon International Airport was just right. I got a red eye flight from JejuAir and it’s something I probably won’t take again even if it means paying more.

I wasn’t able to get some sleep during the flight because of the turbulence and it was challenging for me to think about my transfer to Busan while sleep-deprived. For those of you who think of visiting both Busan and Seoul, I highly recommend that you don’t get lured by the cheap round-trip Incheon-Manila fares. Instead, get the multi-city fare and enter through Gimhae International Airport, then exit from Incheon. In my case, I got the round-trip fare that was on sale but I ended up paying more for KTX tickets and spending more time and energy on transfers or commute that I could’ve spent on sightseeing or sleeping.

Read more about my KTX ride, WiFi router, and first day in rainy Busan after the jump.

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Seoulful Encounters [Busan/Seoul 2017] – Family Fun Day at Everland thru Trazy.com

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Last April 24, my husband, 4 year old son, mom, dad, and I were able to visit Everland through the blogger sponsorship program of Trazy.com. It was such a great privilege to be sponsored to enjoy the world’s 4th biggest theme park – something that I have always wanted to experience along with my family.

Trazy.com, a play with the words “travel” and “crazy”, is a one-stop travel booking site where you can easily find the latest, trendiest, and newest things to do in Korea at the best price – from travel activities, tours, performance and concert tickets, and even passes to beauty make-up experiences. Everything you need to know about what you can do and enjoy in Korea is right at your fingertips through Trazy.com.

You can also avail of Q-Pass from Trazy which is like a Disneyland Fast Pass that allows you to enjoy attractions without having to queue. You can purchase Q-Pass  for only $10 per pass.

And to fully enjoy our Everland experience, I purchased round-trip Everland shuttle bus tickets for my family at a huge discount from Trazy. It’s the best value you can find if you compare it with other discount travel sites. It was such a great deal and a wise decision on my part because of the convenience it afforded us – we were picked up and dropped off near Exit 2 of Myeongdong Station which was just around the corner of where we stayed at in Myeongdong.

This whole post has tons of photos so it might take a while to load fully but I promise you, it’s going to be a visual feast because Everland is absolutely amazing. Read more to learn about our full Everland experience.

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Seoulful Encounters [Busan/Seoul 2017] – 10 Days in Busan and Seoul Spring Itinerary

Ferris wheel at Everland

About a year or two ago, when we were talking about how we wanted to celebrate our respective 40th birthdays, my husband asked if I wanted to do a Europe tour, or visit the US again, or maybe throw a party. I said I just wanted a low-key celebration and a solo trip to Seoul to spend at least 2 weeks there and enjoy the place at my own sweet pace.

Now, I finally just concluded my 10-day trip to Busan and Seoul. It’s the first time I traveled without my husband and son and while I frequently found myself being homesick and missing them during the first 6 days, I did enjoy the experience, learned a lot, and looked forward to the day that they will be joining me in Seoul. I honestly don’t think I can do this again. Maybe in the future, who knows? But right now, I have fully accepted that while there are many things that I wished I can do solo, it really is not as fun experiencing things without my family.

But before I proceed to show you a summary of the places I visited, let me share with you first the DISCOUNTED VOUCHERS that I purchased before traveling to Korea:

And with that, let me now share with you the places I visited during my spring visit to Busan and Seoul. I will be publishing separate and more detailed posts soon so please subscribe to my blog 🙂

BUSAN

It was raining the whole day when I arrived in Busan. Since it was raining and I was still tired from the flight and transfer from Seoul to Busan, I decided to just stay in Seomyeon and explore the  underground shopping mall at the Seomyeon Station. The following day, the sun went out and it was a go signal for me to start exploring Busan. I visited the following:

SEOUL

It’s my third time in Seoul and I just wanted it to be a free-and-easy-anything-goes trip for me. I stayed in Myeongdong so my day is pretty much just Myeongdong and some random place I want to check out. Here are the places that I visited:

  • Myeongdong
  • Namdaemun Market
  • Cheonggyecheon
  • Gwanghwamun Square
  • Seochon

  • Insadong
  • Dongdaemun
  • Ewha Womans University
  • Everland

I also got the privilege to be part of the blogger sponsorship program of Trazy.com where I was sponsored to experience a day tour of Everland along with my family. It was the highlight of my Seoul trip because it’s something that I enjoyed with my family so my first post will be about Everland.

I am excited to share my experience with you. Please stay tuned for my upcoming posts. Annyeong!