Back from South Korea: Summary Highlights

As I write up the detailed itinerary post for our recent South Korea Trip, here’s a summary highlights post of what we had visited and experienced for 7 days 6 nights in South Korea’s Seoul and Jeju Island.

So did we have a good South Korea trip?

Well, this was the first trip we didn’t complete visiting what we had planned and there were plenty of ups and downs.

OUR SUMMARY SOUTH KOREA ITINERARY –

(SEOUL 3 DAYS JEJU ISLAND 4 DAYS)

Day 1 Seoul

Boarded Korean Air Red-eye Flight to Seoul at 1.10am.

Checked in Guesthouse – ROinhome

Lunch at Hongik University Area -Hongdae

Changdeokgung Palace and Secret Garden

Dongdaemum Toy Market

N-Seoul Tower

Day 2 Seoul

Seoul Grand Park – Flower Festival in Themed Garden and Seoul Zoo

Lotte World Tower – Seoul Sky

Bukchon Hanok Village -Baek In-Je house museum

Tosokchon Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup)

Day 3 Seoul

Checked in Guesthouse – 88 Guesthouse

Korean Folk Village

Myeongdong Street Food

Places We did not manage to visit in our Planned Itinerary:

  1. Gyeongbokgung Palace 
  2. Insadong
  3. National Museum of Korea

Day 4 Jeju Island

Took a flight from Gimpo Domestic Airport to Jeju Island

Lotte-Rent-A-Car ( Read our “Jeju Island Driving Tips and Experience )

Lunch at Seaside Restaurant near Manjanggul Lave Tube – Abalone Hot Stone Pot Rice

Manjanggul Lave TubeChecked in AirBNB Home for 3 Nights – Blossom Jungmun

Day 5 Jeju Island

Sunrise Peak

Songaksan Mountain Coastal Walk

Seogwipo Maeil Olle Market for Dinner

Day 6 Jeju Island

Hallasan National Park Yeongsil Trail

Jeongbang Waterfall

World Automobile Jeju Museum

Day 7 Jeju Island

Osulloc Tea Museum

Flight to Gimpo Airport, Transfer Incheon International Airport

Korean Air Flight back to Singapore

Places We did not manage to visit in Jeju Island, in our Planned Itinerary:

  1. Halim Park
  2. Cheongjiyeon  Waterfall
  3. One of the Beaches

Travelling with extended family

This was the first trip we took by plane with my parents (Catherine’s side) to a faraway place. There were pros and cons as we had to slow down our pace to accommodate their energy levels, my dad is 69 and my mum is 61. Also, my mum love to shop for eats from the small stalls we encountered along the way, so we had to stop pretty often instead of rushing to our destinations. I was pretty upset at first because whenever I go on a trip, I switch on the mode of “want to see as many places as I can” which could only be accomplished by following planned itinerary timing. When people in the group do not stick to the timing, all plans get thrown off.

In the end however, we benefited from the foodstuff she brought because the long walks often made us hungry, even after we had eaten full meals. We snacked a lot on the go, sight-seeing, even before we reached a food place for proper meals. My parents were also a great help in carrying Ling sometimes and pacifying her when she acts up. However, they also indulged her too much that she behaved quite badly at times, crying when her demands were not met.

Travelling with a toddler in South Korea

South Korea was quite baby-friendly as we were able to find changing tables in female toilets or fully equipped baby rooms (nursing facilities, hot/cold water) in some places of attraction suitable for children. There was even a baby room in the subway with nursing facilities. When we couldn’t find those, we just changed her in the handicapped toilets (very clean) as she wears pull-up diapers.

We were able to stroll her around in our small compact GB Pockit Stroller while in Seoul, although it was not always easy to find escalators to use. Sometimes, they were too far away or non-existent. Hence. we carried her up on the 2-3 flights of stairs with the stroller many times (which made us really tired).

There were times when we had to defy the sign that no strollers are allowed on escalators and pushed it easily through the metal bars at the entrance of the escalators, but don’t worry, it was only the heavy diaper bag sitting on it. I would carry her on escalators for safety. We didn’t want the hassle to fold the stroller and open again when we exit the subway. A bigger normal stroller would not be able to pass through the metal bars.

Travelling with a toddler who has a mind of her own

Ling was not a good traveller on our South Korea trip. At 19-months-old, she was fussy and demanding and it grew worse when the grandparents acceded to her demands because they couldn’t stand her crying. I couldn’t discipline her much on the trip as we were busy sight-seeing and tired after one whole day of walking. Even though I’m her main caregiver and my parents seldom see her, we got into petty arguments over caring or disciplining her, which affected my positive feelings during travel. Therefore, it was not an easy trip and I’m not able to say we totally enjoyed the trip with her this time, unlike our Kuala Lumpur Trip and Phuket Trip