South Korea Winter Trip 7D 6N Itinerary and Expenses

South Korea Winter Trip 7D 6N Itinerary and Expenses

We just can’t get enough of South Korea. So much that after just a year, we returned to this beautiful country. This time, we wanted to experience winter or should we just say – a super cold weather. Unfortunately, the plan to see snow didn’t work out. On our 7 days of stay there, we didn’t even see a single snow flake. We missed the snow on the day of our arrival as the Hotel receptionist told us that it snowed that morning. We arrived in the afternoon! Bummer. That’s ok because we still enjoyed our second visit there! I even tried to ski (just in an artificial snow) and wipe out several times, eat hot winter foods, enjoyed beer and makgeolli, went to DMZ and saw North Korea, had funny pictures in the Trick Eye and Love Museum, went soul searching in Haneul Park and reflected in the amazing temples of Bongeunsa and Jogyesa.

This post includes our Itinerary, expenses summary and some additional guide on our Winter trip to Korea. For our trip last 2015, you can check it here. If you don’t have a VISA or planning to get one, check my VISA guide here on how we got 3 yrs multiple entry to South Korea.

Our Itinerary

Day 1 (Dec. 7)

12:10PM – Arrive Incheon Airport

2PM – Arrive/Check-in Hotel Maui

3PM – Late lunch

4PM – Dongdaemun/Dongmyo market shopping and Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon stream

Cheonggyecheon stream

Day 2 (Dec. 8)

9AM – Hotel Breakfast

10AM – Go to Bears Town Ski Resort

11:30AM – Ski in Bears Town Resort

3:30PM – Go back to Seoul

Day 3 (Dec. 9)

9AM – Hotel breakfast

10AM – Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

Bukchon Hanok Village

11AM – Insadong

12PM – Jogyesa Temple

1PM – Late lunch

2PM – Myeongdong

3:30PM – Lotte Mart

7:30PM – Two Two Chicken take out

Day 4 (Dec. 10)

7:30AM – VIP Travel picked us up at City Hall station for the DMZ Tour

9AM – Start of half day DMZ Tour

2PM – Late lunch

5PM – Dongmyo Park and flea market

Dongmyo park

Dongmyo park

6:30PM – Gimbap and Beer party in Hotel Maui with other guests

Day 5 (Dec. 11)

9AM – Hotel breakfast

10:30AM – Trick Eye Museum, Carnival Street, Ice Museum and Love Museum

1PM – Stroll and late lunch in Hongdae

3PM – Haneul Park

Haneul Park

Haneul Park

6PM – Army Stew Dinner in Dongmyo

Day 6 (Dec. 12)

9AM – Hotel breakfast

10AM – Go to Bongeunsa Temple

11AM – Bongeunsa Temple

Bongeunsa temple

Bongeunsa temple

1PM – Gwangjang Market and Lotte Mart

6:30PM – Dinner at Kyochon

Day 7 (Dec. 13)

12:55PM – Flight back to Manila


Transportation

Our transportation is the same with what we used on our first trip. Bus from Incheon to Dongmyo, train and bus around Seoul then all-stop train from Seoul station to Incheon Airport.

For more details, refer to the Transportation part in this post.

You can also download the app ‘Subway Korea’ in Android. Just not sure if they have it in iOS. I didn’t get to use Kakao Map and Naver coz it’s all in Korean, no English. ‘Visit Korea: Official Guide’ is also great and useful.

Wifi Connectivity

We didn’t bother getting a pocket wifi this time but if you want to stay connected all the time, Klook is offering an affordable and fast 4G Pocket wifi! Click here to book.

If you need a 4G LTE Sim card in Korea, you can buy one here from KKDay.

Accommodation

We had an amazing stay in Hotel Maui and cheaper too! Just for 42000 won a night for a double room with complete amenities, clean room, heated floor, gimbap and beer party, short distance to bus/train stations/markets and friendly staffs!

Check out our complete review here.

Book your stay here in Agoda! Or compare prices here

Book your stay here through Agoda!

Lobby

You can also check out Zaza backpackers hostel. That’s where we stayed last 2015.

For a list of top recommended accommodations in Seoul by travelers, check this post or search here for more stays in Hotels combined.

Sights

As usual, all are DIY except our half day DMZ Tour. Please note that you cannot DIY DMZ, so you need a legit and trusted tour agency. Our tour agency of choice is VIP Travel. Check out our experience and guide in our DMZ post here.

Initially, we just planned to go sledding but unfortunately, the sledding slope in Bears Town is still closed. What to do then? I have no choice. I went skiing! I really would like to try snowboarding that time coz at least I skated and surfed back in the days but the ski rental owner told me snowboarding is much harder. Might as well take his suggestion as he is the expert.

Bears Town Ski Resort

Bears Town Ski Resort

For other Ski Resorts, you can check Yongpyong Ski Resort or choose from a number of packages here via KKDAY:

 

We also went to the Trick Eye Museum, Carnival street, Ice Museum and the famous Love Museum! We took lots of crazy pictures there that some of it I am too embarrassed to share lol. Anyway, check it out in my post here then book your tickets here.

My only regret was we didn’t get a chance to travel to Mt. Seoraksan. We planned a day trip but cancelled it coz we realize we should’ve allotted at least 2 days in Sokcho.

I’ll write some guide about our experience on some of the places we went soon so check out my site or this post from time to time as I will post the links here. In the meantime, you can check out our Itinerary above for the places we visited and here in our first trip to Seoul. Haneul Park is amazing!

Also read Top 10 Things to do in Seoul

If you want to rent a Hanbok and wear them while touring Seoul, check out the following links below:

Bukchon Oneday Hanbok Rental Experience

Hanbok Experience in Myeongdong

Hanbok Experience at Gyeongbok-gung

Food

Lots of tasty, delicious and hot winter food in Korea! It’s almost a necessity to eat a bowl of hot noodle soup (paired with Kimchi) when you go outside coz it’s too cold! Sometimes it goes down to as low as -7 C so you really need to keep your body warm inside and out. We love the black bean sauce noodles, seafood veggie soup and the Bukchon dumpling soup. We also tried Budae Jigae or Army stew in a restaurant near our Hotel.

Army Stew

Army Stew or Budae Jigae


Klook.com

For more food trip, we went to Gwangjang market and sampled some tasty and sweet Hotteok and Mayak Gimbap. Aside from that, there are lots of seafood here like the raw Octopus that you can eat alive and still wiggling. Lots of fried pancakes and noodle soups too.

Gwangjang market

Gwangjang market

Again, we take away a box of spicy Two Two Chicken because we missed it dearly. We also ate at Kyochon just to compare with the Kyochon in Manila. It’s better than the one here in Manila but Two Two Chicken is still far more superior for our taste!

Two Two Chicken Vs Kyochon

Above: Two Two Chicken
Below: Kyochon

And oh, I almost forgot… we bought some fine fresh big strawberries in a sidewalk going to Sinseol-dong station for 6000 won! It’s sweet and very delicious!

For a more detailed post about our winter food trip, click here.

For food posts on our trip last 2015, check below:

Meat-Ing Cheap BBQ Buffet Hongdae Korea

Seoul Food Trip / Two Two Chicken

Learn how to cook Korean dishes by joining a class here and Kimchi making here.

Winter clothing

We bought some Winter clothing in the Philippines beforehand like jackets (bought a jacket for P175) and bonnets in the Ukay Ukay at Olivarez, Tagaytay. Winter gloves (P195) in Surplus Shop in SM Megamall. Heat tech tights (P490) and sweatshirt (P990) in Uniqlo.

But all of these can also be bought when you are in Korea (even better). I bought a jacket again for 7K won, wife bought winter gloves for 1k won and we both bought a pair of winter shoes for 20k won each and a neck winter garment for 2k won. We bought these in Dongmyo market.

Winter shoes

Our winter shoes. It kept our feet warm.

So don’t worry about not having to bring lots of winter clothing because you can easily buy it in Korea. If you want, you can buy some here in the Philippines just enough to keep you warm when you get there and then buy the remaining ones in Korea especially the winter shoes. There are lots of winter shoes there and I think, cheaper!

Forex

If you need to exchange your PHP to KRW or vice versa in Korea, you can check out KEB bank or I think any banks there. Just check if they change it. We also saw money changers in Myeongdong that changes PHP but of course, it’s still better if you have KRW upon arrival in Korea. We exchanged ours in BDO (You need to reserve and exchange it in the branch of your account).

Expenses Summary

Here is a summary of our expenses. Please note that shopping items and souvenirs were not included as this may vary per individual preferences. Food and drinks are shared between the two of us. I converted won to peso using Xe.com current rate of 1 KRW = .041 PHP.

ExpensesPHPTOTAL (2pax)Remarks
Roundtrip Air Asia fare (MNL - ICN)556011120All in and booked via Credit Card including processing fee of P480, tax, advanced seat reservations, checked baggage
Day 1 (Flight to ICN, Check-in Hotel Maui
Dongdaemun/Dongmyo shopping
Cheonggyecheon Stream)
Philippine Travel Tax16203240Booo!
Terminal FeenanaNo Terminal Fee was charged
T-Money 1252.382504.76KRW 4k Deposit per Card and 30k Load
Bus from ICN to Myeongdong417.57835.1410K KRW Standard Limousine Bus to Dongmyo
Hotel Maui 6 Nights5265.0310530.0642k KRW per night - Double Bedroom
Food and water339.885679.77Food and drinks are shared between us:
Mineral water - 850won
Black Bean sauce chopped noodles - 4k Won
Chopped noodles - 3500 won
Steamed dumplings - 2500 won
Fried chicken gizzard - 2000 won
Bottled water - 1000 won
Strawberry and Chocolate milk for 1200 won each
Day 2 (Bears Town Ski Resort)
Food (street food)135.71271.43Food and drinks are shared between us
Gyoza - 1000 won
Spicy Chicken - 2000 won
Hotdog - 1500
Chicken BBQ - 2000
All-in Ski expenses including ski gear, attire, lift pass, safety gears, etc3300.13300.1Wife didn't ski, only me.
Day 3 (Bukchon Hanok Village, Insadong, Jogyesa Temple, Myeongdong, Lotte Mart)
Food (street food, lunch, dinner)348.57697.15Food and drinks are shared between us
Bread - 1000 won
Bulgogi with rice - 5500 won
Bibimbap - 5000 won
Jogyesa rice cake - 1000 won
Steamed Bun - 1100 won * 2
Cass Beer - 2000 won
Two Two Spicy Chicken354.87709.7517000 won
Day 4 (DMZ Half day tour, Dongmyo Park)
DMZ Tour with VIP Travel Korea2088.134176.2650000 won per pax
Dora Observatory Binoculars20.8741.74
Lunch208.73417.46Pork Cutlet - 5000 won
Seafood veggie soup - 5000 won
Day 5 (Trick Eye Museum, Hongdae, Haneul Park)
Trick Eye Museum (incl. Carnival Street & Ice Museum)501.461002.9212K won each. Originally 15k but we have discount coupons
Love Museum334.1668.28k won each
Roundtrip Shuttle Bus in Haneul Park125.22250.443k won each
Food (lunch, dinner)532.791065.58Dumpling Balls - 5000 won
Bukchon Dumpling Soup - 6500 won
Army Stew - 12000 won
Ice Cream - 2000 won
Day 6(Bongeunsa Temple, Gwangjang market, Lotte Mart, Kyochon Dinner)
Food271.92543.84Mayak Gimbap - 3000 won
Hotteok - 1500 won * 2
Strawberry - 6000 won
Bread - 1000 won
Kyochon Dinner439.085878.17Chicken combo Honey flavor - 18000 won
Wedge potato - 3000 won
Day 7 (Flight to Manila)
GRAND TOTAL23116.4242932.77

PHP 23,116.42 for a winter trip in Korea for 7 days per person. That includes the airfare, Philippine travel tax, food, drinks, transportation, hotel, tours and ski expenses. We even ate Two Two Chicken and Kyochon. Looking at our previous expenses in our 2015 trip, it’s almost the same (P23,296.39) but we only stayed there for 6 days. This time, it was 7 days and we even went skiing, toured DMZ and visited quirky museums! Nice improvement! But please note that I didn’t include the shopping expenses for the winter clothing here because as mentioned, this varies per individual preferences or you may simply have winter clothing already. We also didn’t avail a pocket wifi this time.

For more budget tips, click here.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions. Write on the comment below!

PS: 2018 Winter Olympics will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Related:

VISA

Guides

Accommodations

Sights

Food

He is a programmer by profession but has a soul of a traveler. Aside from his ultimate dream of travelling around the world, he loves to eat, drink, listen to music, talk about aliens and the occasional secret guilty pleasure of singing love songs in videoke. His favorite superpower is to teleport from one place to another. I guess you know why.