Tuesday, February 16, 2016

To South Korea with Korean Air and From Seoul to Busan

Annyeong-haseyo once again!

I never thought I will going back to South Korea for the second time after my maiden trip to the "Land of The Morning Calm" back in year 2011. The reason I return was because my mom and sister who wish to go there but refused to join the organised tour guide. Therefore, they assigned me to become their personal tour guide since I've been there before. This trip is kinda last minute decision and because ran out of time, I simply amended my itinerary which I did for my previous trip.

Initially we decided to book Asiana Airlines or maybe Cathay Pacific but Asiana Airlines was relatively expensive whereas Cathay Pacific requires long transit in Hong Kong. After taking everything into account, we chosen Korean Air as our official flight to South Korea. 

Korean Air Flight KK to Seoul copy
#1: Overall, it was pleasant flight with Korean Air but slightly uncomfortable with the hard seat

The flight duration from Kota Kinabalu directly to Seoul took 5 hours, comparing from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul which took 7 and half hours. And because it was midnight flight, by the time we landed Seoul on the next morning, it was still dark and grooming when I woke up and looking outside the plane's window. 

Travel Between Incheon International Airport and Seoul Station
Upon arriving Incheon International Airport (ICN), immediately both mommy and I cleared immigration, claimed luggage bags and straightly went out the arrival hall to meet my sister and her boyfriend who arrived earlier from Singapore.

There are two types of trains operate between ICN and Seoul Station:
1) Express Train 
  • Non stop train and it takes 43 minutes
  • Runs every 30 minutes 
  • Fare 8,000 won (6,000 won for group of four people or more)
2) Commuter Train
  • Stops at 9 different stations and travel time takes 56 minutes between ICN and Seoul
  • Trains run every 23 minutes and times vary throughout the day
  • Fare and schedule are vary depending on the arriving station (click here)

Arex Express

Although the commuter train consumed lots of our time with plenty stops, but we chosen this cause it was cheaper at least by half of the express train fare.

Since I've been to Jeju Island before, for this trip I planned to visit Busan, South Korea's second largest metropolis after Seoul. In order to get to Busan from Seoul, we took KTX (Korean Train eXpress) by using Korail Pass which I booked earlier before the trip. 

Korail Pass is only available to foreign traveller, in other words only for the non-Korean with unlimited access on Standard Class seats within fixed period of time. There are 1, 3, 5 and 7 Days Passes and these passes must be used on consecutive days. As we're spending three days and two nights in Busan, we chosen the 3-Day Passes. If you are travelling in a group of 2 to 5, then you are entitled for the Saver Pass which is slightly cheaper than the standard fare. 

For more info, you can check out the type and fare here as the fare is vary from year to year. 

Korail Seoul to Busan
#2: Korean Train eXpress (KTX) - Love the ride!

How To Purchase Korail Pass
1) Book online from Korail website - Besides your own details such as full name and passport number, other passengers details are also required. 
2) Print out the voucher and remember to bring along in order to exchange Korail Passes.
3) The voucher can only be redeemed at Seoul Station. All passports and credit card used for booking are required for validation. It's crucial or else, the booking is void. 

Busan First Lunch
#3: Our first lunch in Busan

To be continued...

13 comments:

  1. I would love to go back to Korea. My maiden trip was in 2010 where we experienced winter. Maybe this round we would like to feel its spring.

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  2. Diana..i'm fall in love with Korea...after fourth time being there..yes! i will repeat! :-)

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  3. JM..let's go..for our fifth trip ha..ha
    Diana i've been there 4 times..last nov..and yet i wish to be there agaiin

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  4. JM..let's go..for our fifth trip ha..ha
    Diana i've been there 4 times..last nov..and yet i wish to be there agaiin

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  5. Korea always a place I wanna visit simply because I love Korean food!

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  6. Sounds Like Amazing Really Interesting read,i like your recipes,thanks for variety of dishes..

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  7. I really salute you as a very experienced tour guide!
    At one time I almost planned a trip to visit Busan by ferry from Japan but ended up not going as the ferry's timing was not right. I heard that it was often delayed or cancelled as it was subject to the ocean's water tides and situation. So that made me worried that my hotel and flight bookings would go haywire. I ended up touring the whole Fukuoka and Kyushu Island instead.

    I flew Korean Airlines once and had to join tour because we wanted to go skiing. My return flight was fabulous as the badminton star Lee Yong Dae sat next to me!

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  8. Looking forward to the posts on South Korea. It has been ages since the last time I was there. It was my first trip overseas, and one with my family - it was via a package tour so definitely looking forward to read the ones without ;)

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  9. Thanks a lot for the information and links, Diana. It's very helpful.

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  10. Never try Korean Air before, perhaps next time can try for it.

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