Korea Travelogue: Day 1 - Gimpo Airport to Jeju Island
Day 1 Itinerary (Part 1)
- SG >>>> Seoul
- Incheon Airport to Gimpo Airport
- Gimpo Airport >>>> Jeju Island
Hello! Omg I'm finally blogging about my Korea trip from winter last year. It's gonna be a super duper long series because I was there for 15 days so bear with me if it gets a little too draggy. As usual, you can make use of the tags to see all my travelogue entries and if you have any questions pertaining to the places I've visited, just leave me a comment down below/email me/tweet me.
Day 1 started off with meeting the girls for our annual Christmas get-together at the airport before my flight lol. Everyone's schedule was so tight that the only free time we could squeeze out was dinner on Boxing Day which is right before my flight O.O Nevertheless still happy that we managed to meet up hehe. I also spammed my expired Christmas themed polaroids with them and made Lirong take home my gift from the gift exchange to safe keep because it was not allowed on flights (perfumed diffuser from Juyin!) together with my polaroid camera and films cos I didn't want to bring it to Korea (confirm super lazy to take one so I just didn't bother with the additional weight).
We had a red-eye flight out of Singapore to Seoul via Asiana Airlines. Wanted to take Singapore Airlines but the price was too expensive (no promotions T.T) so we decided to take Asiana Airlines. We got a pretty good deal for the airfare (around SGD740++) given that it was peak holiday season and direct flight too. My Korean friend was telling me that I made the right choice in choosing Asiana Airlines over Korean Air because it has a better reputation among the locals plus there was also the huge fiasco over Nut-Rage HAHAHA 땅콩!!
Travelled in a group of 5 this time too! I seem to always travel in groups of 5 to Korea lol but this time round was more fun because all of us are K-Pop fans so we can all fangirl together hahaha! Plus no one will judge me if I stand at the cd store opening albums to check my photocards or purposely head to a cafe owned by a K-pop idol :P
My seating partners who allocated me the seat next to a stranger -.-" Gizibes!!!! Flight was quite bad because some kid kept crying non-stop plus the dryness of the air made everything super static. It was just uncomfortable for me the entire journey but not to the fault of the airline really. My return flight was alot better. I always like how they serve Korean meals on board and I ordered the bibimbap despite feeling quite full from my ramen dinner although I barely took 2 mouthfuls cos I squeezed too much gochujang (red pepper paste) onto my rice and it was super spicy T.T
Landed at Incheon Airport at around 6am and the first thing we did after collecting our luggages was to run to K Books to collect our data sim cards. Decided on EG SIM CARD prior to departing for Korea because we all didn't want to get the portable Wifi egg plus this sim card allows the user to tap onto olleh's locked wifi network which is a lifesaver because that's how I passed the long journeys on the subway without utilising my own paid data.
All you have to do is order the sim card online before your trip and pay via credit card. You can choose to collect it at the airport upon landing or at designated tourist spots around Korea etc, just go and read the website to learn more. We chose to get it upon arrival because we
are bloody anti-social and need to be constantly connected to our social media as usual. Went to the K Books located near Exit No. 7 and collected our sim cards. Just remember to present a print-out of your confirmation or screenshot of the confirmation on your phone to allow the staff to find your designated sim cards easily. (Note also the opening hours of the K Books here. If your flight arrives during the time when it is not open you can choose to get it at other areas or have it delivered to your hotel/home.)
I ordered a nano sim card and charged it with 1GB data to use the entire 15 days. This cost me KRW29,000 which is about SGD35 based on the exchange rate in December 2014. The sim card is very easy to set up, just pluck it out of the card and then place it in your unlocked phone. I didn't have to do anything after placing the sim card in my phone and a message was sent to me that the 1GB data has been activated and what my balance was. The basic charge is KRW20,000 so after deducting the fees for 1GB of data I had KRW3,500 left to use for phone calls or sms or to save it for future top-ups.
You have to log on to their website to register for the free olleh wi-fi (Read about it here) and it's good to go! One thing though, not all of us managed to get connected to the free olleh wi-fi (only 3 out of 5 managed to do so) so I'm also not sure what you can do if yours is unable to connect. Perhaps you can seek help from any EG SIM stores/distributors because it was weird how some of us could connect but some couldn't despite all registering for the free olleh wi-fi online.
Oh and I actually had to recharge an additional 500MB because by Day 11 the data was completely depleted despite me using it very sparingly and connecting to wifi when available -.-" Not sure how they counted the data but it was used up super fast T.T So please utilise the data carefully! Try and use the free olleh wifi if it is available and save the data for times when the free olleh wifi is not within range.
After settling the data sim cards, we made our way down to Basement 1 to take the AREX to Gimpo Airport. There are 2 types of trains, an express one that goes direct to Seoul Station without stopping at the other stations and one that stops at the other stations in between. After charging our T-money, we boarded the latter one because our destination was Gimpo Airport to catch our flight to Jeju Island. I've talked about T-money cards before in my old entries so you can read about them there and there are certain discounts available if you are boarding the express train to Seoul from Incheon Airport which you can find out here under the Express Train Ticket Discount section too.
Managed to reach Gimpo Airport at around 8am after leaving Incheon Airport slightly after 7am. Journey took us around 45 mins and we had to walk towards the domestic terminal after tapping out of the AREX station. I remember being super exhausted then because I couldn't rest well on the flight from Singapore. Our flight to Jeju via Easter Jet was scheduled at 11.05am. I was super kiasee when booking the tickets to Jeju because I was afraid of a flight delay from Singapore to Seoul so I went for a flight that was around 11am. But the timing was just nice because we were all able to freshen up in the toilet at the airport plus grab breakfast at the Angel-in-us Coffee without having to rush before boarding the plane.
Husband Tabi is endorsing syrup hehehe xD
The flight to Jeju was a short one, about 50 mins so I managed to catch some shut-eye on the flight. Pleasantly surprised that Easter Jet served us drinks on the flight because I always thought that you had to pay for food and beverages on budget airlines lol. Check out my Yoo Jae Suk paper cup below haha!
There are several airlines that fly domestically from Gimpo Airport to Jeju Island (Jeju Intl Airport) including Asiana Airlines, Korean Air, Jeju Air and Easter Jet to name a few. When I checked for the fares online, Easter Jet was the cheapest which was why we settled for this airline. Do note that the airline only allows up to 15kg per luggage, anything beyond that is chargeable at KRW2,000/kg! I had to tell the girls to pack as lightly as possible to avoid any additional charges.
Hello Jeju-do! :D Exited the airport and we took cabs to our accommodation which I will blog in the next entry together with what we did on our first day in Jeju Island.
Till then, annyeong and stay tuned!
(UPDATE: Part 2 of my Day 1 activities are up here!)