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Thread: Seoul

  1. #1

    Default Seoul

    I will be on a biz trip to seoul. Thought of going to DMZ and shoot some pics.

    Any one can recommend on how to go there myself? I know there are tour packages. But if I can go there myself, can save money.

    And also any recommendation on cheap hotel? I will be alone, so I don't mind any kind of hotel. Hostel type also can.

    Besides DMZ, any other location worth a day trip for picture taking??

    Thanks

  2. #2

    Default Re: Seoul

    I just came back from seoul mate, and happens to see your thread. Your lucky =D

    My trip to korea took me from Seoul - Daejeon (nothing to see there, seriously) - Busan - Seoul. I can tell you you'll be definately wow'ed by the sceneries there.

    Air Tix, 698SGD (China Eastern) Booked on Zuji. Look our for Air Asia's promo, they offers 300++SGD sometimes

    Hotel totalled approx 600k won for 9 nights. I booked through Koreahotel.com and Zuji. Check KTO's website Visitkorea :The Official Korea Tourism Guide Site This site is your holy land (Korea really know how to make tourism there a breeze).

    Once you reach Korea, GET T-MONEY ASAP!!! T-money is their form of ez-link, but much much better - you'll know why. Comes in card form (3000W) or cell phone jewels (5000W) It cuts 100 won away from your subway cost if you buys single trip tickets. If you read on various websites T-money is unusable on other cities, they are outdated. As far as i knows it's acceptable in Daejeon and Busan already.

    Dude there's so much to share but let me show you what i've taken during my trip The place with the light house is called Taejongdae, and the temple is called Yongun-sa. they are both in Busan though. Accessable from Seoul via KTX (runs every 30 min, 3 hour ride)

    Going to DMZ require alot of document stuff. Yes it's exotic but the paperworks are just as 'exotic'. Why? North and South are still at war.
    Last edited by AlphaLuver; 22nd February 2012 at 08:09 PM.
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    Nokia Lumia 1020

  3. #3

    Default Re: Seoul

    Hi AlphaLuver

    Do you mind sharing your intinerary? Will be visiting Seoul in April and DMZ is one of the place im interested to go. Are we allowed to take photos at DMZ?

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mushymellow
    Hi AlphaLuver

    Do you mind sharing your intinerary? Will be visiting Seoul in April and DMZ is one of the place im interested to go. Are we allowed to take photos at DMZ?
    Sure. I stayed in seoul for 4 nights but really the earlier part of my trip in Daejeon and busan made me slept longer in my hotel in seoul so i didn't really went much places.

    Day 1 arrving to seoul from busan. It was already 5pm by the time i reached hotel and dead tired.

    Day 2 i went to dongdaemun 동대문 (line 4 or 1), myeongdong 명둉 (line 4) and namdaemun 남대문(line 4 hoehyeon station). Being not a shopholics i didnt really spend much time at each of these places but if you are, prepare two days for these places.
    Dongdaemun u can find cheap fashion, prices are talkable.
    Myeongdong is the high-end shopping with more brands than you can imagine.
    Namdaemun is the old market of korea but if you are lucky you can find really good stuff there. Take a pinch of salt if you happens to see designer goods in namdaemun - u know what i mean.

    Day 3. The war memorial of korea. Its a war museum with exhibits of korea's past wat from ancient time to korean war. The names of the deceased during the korean war are inscribed there. Very emotional when you walks pass them. They have lots of real tanks and planes on the outdoor area. If you are a warholics this is a must. Take subway to samgakji 삼가지 station exit 1 if travelling on line 4, exit 14 if on line 6. Look at the station map to be sure.

    Day 4. Hongdae 홍대. Hongik 홍긱 university station on line 2. Plan this part of the trip on weekends esp saturday when students from nearby arts uni sells their little creations. If you are lucky u might see kpop artist there. Other than that its a shopping area geared 100% at uni students (no worries, no books sold there). Clubbing area at night.

    Look up wikitravel.org . If you do not understand korean be prepared for body language. Learn how to read their words at least (for the subway station names but yes stations are announced in english too and in major stations chinese and japanese).

    I didnt go for the dmz tour but from what i know pictures yes, 90mm above are NOT allowed but depending which dmz package you take. Some dont take you to the US base for intro and briefing. Some just the JSA. Check. To play safe take your kit lens along.
    Rig: Trusty (dusty) 6 years old Sony A350, Sony 16-105 lens, Sony Flash unit
    Nokia Lumia 1020

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Seoul

    hi,

    I stay in Myeongdong area whenever I'm in Seoul. It's 5 mins walk to subway. Lots of places to visit in seoul alone. There's palaces, royal garden in Seoul alone, which will take 1~2 days to finish. All hotels offer day trips using local tour companies. Most offer pickup at the hotel. Good spots for photo taking.

    Hit Seoul Tower at sunset if you are in Myeongdong area. Another nice spot for shots.

    I usually go during Winter season for snowboarding. Yongpyeong (Winter Sonata) and Pheonix resort are one of the places to go to ski. Great packages at reasonable rates, powdery snow and long ski runs.

    If you into hot spring, hop onto KTX (bullet trains) at Seoul Stn, and alight at Onyangoncheong. Locals go there for the hot spring. $10 per visit. $10-$12 train fares.

    Dongdaemun is open till wee hours so you can go visit the area if you can't sleep and cover the rest of the touristy spots during the day. I'm not into haggling and most clothing can be found in Myeongdong without the hassle.

    Visit Lotte World if you have spare time.

    Ulsan or Busan (outside of Seoul) are some spots to visit if you have time. Travel via KTX would be the most economical method.

    As AlphaLuver said, you can pretty much get around Seoul via Metro and KTX within the country.

    Would love to visit DMZ if I get a chance next year when i hit the ski slopes again...

    Some convenient stores offer Toast...its a must try if you see one.

    I miss the place...hope to go back real soon.

    Hope that helps.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nikkornos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seoul

    Do you think you have time in between business trips? Seoul is a bloody mess and traffic jam can be a problem.
    Lauguage barrier will be serious.

    You do not need to buy day travel card because Soul train is MUCH cheaper than Singapore MRT. Single trip will do.
    Just remember to get your refund of the card on single trips.
    If you are in a hurry, just take the Black Taxi to save you time. They are generally ok.
    The normal taxi can take you for joy ride, and their English is hopeless. You speak Mandarin they will rip you off.

    If you have only ONE day, just goto KWAN HWA MUN area and then proceed to Kyong Bok Gong.
    (there is a Guang Hwa Mun station)

    You can see Mr. Yee Shun Shin' statue, and next to it is the KYOBO bookshop, many nice Korean food there with decent price.

    Don't bother going to DMZ. The Koreans will laugh at you and say you are SUA KOO.

    Korea is actually a very boring place. The shopping centers are the same and the buildings are the same and endless repetition of the same scene.

    If you need any information, PM me. I worked there in and out since 1997.
    MF Film user. Nikon D800 works too.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nikkornos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seoul

    In Seoul, there is no decent CHEAP hotel.

    Ritz Carton or Novotel are side by side and they are about S$250 per night.

    The Korean cheap hotels are called Motel, 'Yok Kuan', or really, 'Love Hotel'.
    Don't even ask, because men bring women there for quick and cheap sex.
    If you ask, the Koreans will laugh at you, and the cheap hotel environment can be very poor.
    Last edited by Nikkornos; 23rd February 2012 at 02:34 PM.
    MF Film user. Nikon D800 works too.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Seoul

    Thanks for all the information!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Seoul

    Quote Originally Posted by donut88 View Post
    I will be on a biz trip to seoul. Thought of going to DMZ and shoot some pics.

    Any one can recommend on how to go there myself? I know there are tour packages. But if I can go there myself, can save money.

    And also any recommendation on cheap hotel? I will be alone, so I don't mind any kind of hotel. Hostel type also can.

    Besides DMZ, any other location worth a day trip for picture taking??

    Thanks
    If I am not wrong, you won't be able to DIY DMZ. The tours are actually not that expensive, really. The tours actually runs only half day, with the last part bringing you to the local shops, which you can skip. You will be done by 1 or 2pm. When I was doing it a few years back, there were lots of procedures to follow and you have to stick to your group throughout. Every group does the same route. You will be shown the tunnels, see some models and finally, they will bring you to this balcony, whereby you can so-called see North Korea. There are strict rules however. There is this line which you are supposed to stay behind, it is about 2m from the edge of the wall. You are only allowed to take pictures from behind the line. You really cannot see much on the other side, except for lands and some small structures. Apparently, those are fake villagers built by the North Koreans. All in all, nothing much really and it is quite a chore for photo taking since you can only stand behind the line.

    As for hostels, there are many hostels in Seoul actually. Most of them of good standards. You can check up Hostels Worldwide - Online Hostel Bookings, Ratings and Reviews or Hostels, Youth Hostels & Cheap Hotels at HostelBookers for the list of hostels. You will be able to find one that is close to some subway station or some of the more famous sights. On the average, it will cost you about SGD 30 per night in these hostels.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks to all who replied with useful info.

    I have been to Seoul a few times already, but all on biz trips and hardly have time to tour around.

    This time, I may plan to extend one more day for my own tour.

    If I stay in a ulu small hostel, how do I go for the DMZ tour??

  11. #11

    Default Re: Seoul

    Quote Originally Posted by donut88 View Post
    If I stay in a ulu small hostel, how do I go for the DMZ tour??
    Don't worry about that. All hostels, big or small will be able to offer you info. Most hostels actually have a stack of brochures where you can take of which travel agency you want to go with. I picked up a few and found that almost every one had the same price and the same iti. It is one of the highlights of Seoul, so practically every hostel can provide you with info. If you are going for one of the hostels listed on the websites I provide, you can be sure you will be able to find some brochures at the hostels or the hostels will provide their own tour. All so far, all the hostels that I've stayed in, be it Seoul or different parts of Korea, all speak English. Only when you stay in local motels, then you may have language problems.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Seoul

    I've done the Panmujom and DMZ combined tour last yr from this website: ǹƮ

    You'll need to do a background check a week before your tour for Panmujom but it brings you all the way to the border. Camera focal length limited to about 60mm, if I'm not wrong.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Seoul

    I went to Seoul 2 weeks back. Their subway is cheap and I do agree that its cheaper than sg. Some of the place you can visit is their palaces and you really must go to Nami Island! A great place for photography. However I didn't have the time to visit DMZ although they provide pick up from most hotel for their tours. You can view my blog: lonelytravelog.wordpress for more info and some of the photos I had taken during the trip.

  14. #14

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    Ok, thanks

    If I only have one full day (Sunday), 11th March, and I want to take street or landscape photography, what place would you recommend?

  15. #15
    Member bananah's Avatar
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    Default Re: Seoul

    I am going seoul from 15-18 March. Great info! Saw alot of bridges. Which one is good for sunrise/sunset?

    Thanks in advance. book this solo trip just few days ago. doing my research now.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Seoul

    me going in April for solo photography trip also... Think cherry blossom out by mid-april in seoul.

    Planning to go hongdae for streetshots then Hangang park for sunset, yeouido island. Where else is nice?

    Hotel-wise, can try Toyoko Inn Dongdaemum abt. but always fully booked. In the end, booked YMCA tourist hotel 3*, near Insa-dong.

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