It was eight months ago when Yan and I (together with our supposed travel buddies) booked for our flight to Seoul. We started doing our research from then but it was not until at most a week (read: a few days) from our flight that we came up with an itinerary.
(Tip: If you have all the time in your hands, try to create your own travel itinerary. It will enable you to make the most out of your time and do several adjustments to where you want to go to. A lot of resources are available online and a lot of travelers are very much willing to share their experiences and help you.)
Then came October 19. Our flight is at 0100H and earlier that day, I did some rush shopping. Too bad I was not able to get some dried mangoes or pastillas as planned which I was to give the guesthouse owner or people whom we might have met during the trip or my friends who I plan meeting. I was struggling whether I should wear shorts or not since it’s autumn. But my friend encouraged me to proceed with my original plan since I’ll have “I’m a foreigner” as an excuse. Yan, on the other hand, will come pretty early in the airport because she will go straight from the office. We met two hours prior to our flight. The works. We’re both excited! But I was sleepy. =.=
After a good four hours of travel (AKA sleeping time), we landed to Seoul! Yay! My neck hurts but my glee is greater than my pain. This time, same as what happened to me in 2010, we had some issues with the Immigration Officer in Korea. Not really issues per se but he was probably curious why Yan and I’s travels were almost the same (coz we’re travel buddies, right?)
(Side note: Last year, when I traveled with Nics, we were held in the Immigration Office. Two reasons we can think of: 1) G20 Summit is a few weeks to go and they were really more strict with travelers, or; 2) We are attending a professional event but we look like kids. Good thing I remembered to get Christine’s number which they called and they let us out.)
After the immigration and baggage check-out, we got our T-Money cards from a convenience store and are off to the next adventure: getting into the the airport railway.
I love how integrated the Korean subway system is. I can go about it so easily. After just one line transfer (but well, loads of walking, mehehe), we were nearing our guesthouse.
With minimal sleep, the feeling is exhausting when we were trying to carry our heavy luggage to creep our way out such tall stairs. But as we are about to take a step further, a kind-hearted ahjussi helped us on our way out. Probably realizing our struggles, it was indeed a good way to start our Seoul week! After which, as we were trying to find the guesthouse where we are about to stay, a couple came to the rescue and pointed to the right direction. I’m not complaining at all after receiving such kindness even as our day hasn’t formally commenced yet.
Minutes of struggling in the cold and hiking on slopes, we got into the house together with two Thai visitors who came almost the same time as us. (Too bad we weren’t able to take a photo or got their Skype details which we were talking about after breaking the ice. )
Since we’re already cold and we needed to get something, Yan and I have to leave them and go to start discovering Seoul. And it is to officially greeting 안녕하세요, 서울!