How I Spent 15,000 PHP in South Korea

Just like many other nights when I couldn’t sleep, I got my phone and started searching for random flights. I ended up booking a roundtrip ticket to Incheon, Korea.

Traveling to the land of Kimchis and Oppas has been on my list for quite a while but I did not really think of going to South Korea alone.

I consider this trip as my “first” solo international travel. Yes, I’ve been to Singapore alone but it was just a really short side-trip, about 48 hours to be exact.

Of course, I had my doubts. I was legit scared to travel for the first time but I knew that this is something I really wanted to do.

I’ve read many articles about traveling solo, women traveling solo, it’s pros and cons, and the like. It got me scared and yet made me more excited.

My excitement intensified after going through the hurdles in getting my Korean Visa. {To know more about it you can read my experience here: Korean Tourist Visa Application Guide for Walk-ins in Cebu}. After getting a hold of my Korean Visa, I knew this trip would really push through, come what may.

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It’s already a given that when you travel solo you are most likely to spend more. After all, you have no one to share the expenses with.

Before I left for South Korea, I only changed 20,000 PHP to Korean Won. And since I was travelling alone, I had an emergency fund just in case I overspend.

I was amazed to find more or less 110,000.00 KRW (more than 5,000 if converted to Peso) left in my wallet after settling down at Incheon Airport and waiting for my flight back to Cebu.

I thought of sharing my experience by writing a full Seoul travel guide. But then I realized it would be best to break it into pieces. Reading a 2000-word blog would be tiring, don’t you think? So If you are looking for a detailed write-up about Seoul, you might not find it here. Instead, expect separate articles focusing on the different spots in Seoul. I already published my Gapyeong article weeks ago. You can check it here: Best of Gapyeong: A DIY Day Trip Guide.

I’m writing this only to share my itinerary and breakdown of expenses in the hopes of helping other travelers create their itineraries and manage their expenses for their next trip to South Korea.

Itinerary


DAY 0 – N1

  • Arrival at Incheon Airport
  • Airport to Hotel

I arrived at Incheon late at night. After completing the immigration procedure, I went to pick up my Pocket WiFi (Thanks to Klook!), then I went to the MTR station across the airport passenger terminal building to catch the train to Seoul.


Expenses (1000 KRW = 47.27 PHP, As of 6 Nov, 3:38 PM UTC)

  • T-Money Card    4,000 KRW
  • Load                   41,000 KRW
  • AREX                    4,750 KRW

Total: 49,750 KRW = 2,351.76 PHP

 

Watching the skies change its colors. Melts my heart every time.


DAY 1 – N2

  • World Cup Stadium and Sky Park 
  • Haneul Park 
  • Gangnam
  • N Seoul Tower  
  • Myeongdong 

Slow and steady, that’s what happened. I super enjoyed strolling at the park that I skipped several spots that day. I watched the sunset at Namsan Tower and ended the night in Myeongdong.

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Expenses

(1000 KRW = 47.27 PHP, As of 6 Nov, 3:38 PM UTC)

  • Breakfast           Free
  • Snacks               2,600 KRW
  • Lunch                 4,900 KRW
  • Dinner               8,000 KRW

Total: 15,500 KRW = 732.71 PHP

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DAY 2 – N3

  • DMZ Tour
  • Insadong
  • Cafe Bora
  • Anguk

At seven in the morning, I was already waiting for the bus to pick me up. We were able to explore Paju, the northernmost part of South Korea and enter the demilitarized zone. I definitely learned a lot from the tour. Korea’s history is very interesting. I really wanted to visit Panmunjom’s Joint Security Area though, but the UN decided to close it for security reasons. If you’ve watched the news recently, it was in the JSA where the North and South Korean leaders had their friendly encounter.

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Expenses

(1000 KRW = 47.27 PHP, As of 6 Nov, 3:38 PM UTC)

  • Breakfast           Free
  • Lunch                 Free
  • Snacks               3,500 KRW
  • Cafe Bora          8,000 KRW
  • Dinner               19,900 KRW

Total: 31,400 KRW = 1,484.33 PHP

 

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Does anyone know the name of this instrument? This guy played it so well!

DAY 3 – N4

  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Gwanghwamun (Changing of Guards)
  • Bukchon Hanok
  • Changdeokgung Palace and Huwon – (UNESCO World Heritage)

I decided to change my itinerary. My original plan was to visit Gapyeong County. But it was Korea’s Chuseok Day, I was worried that the opening hours of the tourist spots will be affected. Good thing about Korea’s holidays is that all palaces are open to the public, no admission fees required.

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Read more about Chuseok here: Celebrating Chuseok: A Korean Holiday.

 


Expenses

(1000 KRW = 47.27 PHP, As of 6 Nov, 3:38 PM UTC)

  • Breakfast           Free
  • Hanbok            18,000 KRW
  • Snacks               4,000 KRW
  • Lunch                 7,000 KRW
  • Snacks               3,700 KRW
  • Dinner             10,000 KRW

Total: 42,700 KRW = 2,018.50 PHP

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DAY 4 – N5

I tried my best to catch the first train out of Seoul to Chuncheon. I was able to arrive in Nami Island just in time before the swarm of tour groups arrived. I met two friends, Ming and Xing.

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Know more about this day here: Best of Gapyeong: A DIY Day Trip Guide

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Expenses

(1000 KRW = 47.27 PHP, As of 6 Nov, 3:38 PM UTC)

  • Breakfast           Free
  • Fixed Bus          6,000 KRW
  • Nami Island    13,000 KRW
  • Petite France    8,000 KRW
  • Garden               9,000 KRW
  • Lunch                12,000 KRW
  • Snacks               3,000 KRW
  • Dinner               11,000 KRW

Total: 62,000 KRW = 2,930.84 PHP

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DAY 5

  • Seoul City Hall
  • Ewha Women’s University 
  • Korea World Trade Center
  • Lotte Tower

I was not sure if I had enough time to visit more spots. I still went out anyway. I left my bags at the hotel and claimed it before heading to the airport. It was a tiring yet fun experience.

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Expenses

(1000 KRW = 47.27 PHP, As of 6 Nov, 3:38 PM UTC)

  • Brunch              4,600 KRW
  • Snacks              3,900 KRW

Total: 8,500 KRW = 401.81 PHP

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SUMMARY OF EXPENSES

Daily Expenses


Day 0 – 2,351.76 PHP


Day 1 – 732.71 PHP


Day 2 – 1,484.33 PHP


Day 3 – 2,018.50 PHP


Day 4 – 2,930.84 PHP


Day 5 – 401.81 PHP


Total: 9,919.95


Other Expenses


Pocket WiFi           708.00 (Klook)


DMZ Tour           2,893.70 (Klook)


N Seoul Tower      268.00 (Klook)


Terminal Fee        850.00


Total: 4,719.70


GRAND TOTAL:                                                                      14,639.65 PHP


Disclaimer: Airfare, accommodation fees, and other fees not stated (e.g. baggage, Philippine Travel Tax) are not included in this computation. I decided not to include these since you can pay before your travel date. These particular fees are not part of my “pocket” money during the trip.


FRIENDLY TIPS:

  • The Google Maps App works in South Korea. If you get confused, try using Naver Map or KakaoMap.
  • Download the Subway App and Korea Subway Bus App for public transportation reference.
  • A lot of hotels and hostels provide free breakfast meals or buffets. Try to book one of them.
  • Myeongdong’s skin care products are more expensive. Explore other places like Insadong. You’ll end up finding cheaper stuff.
  • Bring an adaptor and an extension wire/sockets. At some point, you’re going to need them.
  • Wearing a Hanbok allows you to enter the palaces free of charge.

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KOREA TRAVEL QUICK LINKS

Korean Tourist Visa Application Guide for Walk-ins in Cebu

Celebrating Chuseok: A Korean Holiday

Best of Gapyeong: A DIY Day Trip Guide

How I Spent 15,000 PHP in South Korea


Feel free to leave comments or message via e-mail if you have any questions. If you like this article and want to see or know more about my #goSeoulo trip, or other trips and tips, follow me on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

xo,

dee signature text

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Bona says:

    Hello,

    Thank you for sharing this blog. It’s going to be a big help for my Korea trip. Just a question, how do you edit your pictures, and what camera are you using? If you don’t mind? XD

    Like

    1. deetoxify says:

      Hi, Bona! Thank you for the kind words. I edit my photos using Lightroom. I either use my mobile (iPhone) or my XT10 to take photos, whichever is in my hand. ☺️

      Like

  2. Peachy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. This will definitely help me for my 6-day trip to Seoul next week. One question, who takes your photos when you travel alone? 😀 It’s one of my problems when traveling alone.

    Like

    1. deetoxify says:

      Hi! Thanks for the kind words. As for your question, refer to this post http://deetoxify.com/2018/11/12/travelers-guide-how-to-take-solo-photos/ I learn to take it myself.

      Like

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