[2. Accommodation] 85 Days in South Korea for less than RM 6K

April 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

Accommodation

When it comes to traveling, accommodation is definitely the most expensive things you’ll have to pay for, especially if you’re planning to stay long or moving from one place to another. Ever since I knew the existence of Couchsurfing (CS) and other useful sites such as HelpeX, I spent less (more likely none) on my accommodation expenses. I used CS mostly when i’m visiting a place for a short stay and HelpX for my longterm stay.

HOW MUCH?

The total cost of my accommodation expenses came out to be RM 136.00, which is around USD $35.14 only! Yes, for 85 days, that’s seems impossible! 😛 I could actually save more but considering i’m traveling with my travel buddy while in Jeju Island, I decided to stay at hostel with her for the 2 nights we were together.

I only had to pay these 2 place for my accommodation while in South Korea:

  1. Jimjilbang (Sauna) & locker in Mokpo for 1 night = KRW 10,500.00 (~MYR 33.60)
  2. Hostel in Jeju Island for 2 nights = KRW 32,000.00 (MYR 102.40)

TOTAL ACCOMMODATION EXPENSES = ~MYR 136.00 (USD $35.14)

*KRW 1,000.00 equals roughly to MYR 3.20
**USD $1.00 equals roughly to MYR 3.87

COUCHSURFING (CS)

Couchsurfing helped me a lot interm of accommodation.

Couchsurfing (CS) – Your stay with hosts is free. Meet travelers in other cities, or in your own city! There’s always something new to join
More/Apply: httpsa//www.couchsurfing.com/

Who knew traveling could be so easy if you rely on strangers’ kindness.

It’s a great thing to experience local’s daily life I used it for:

  • Seoul – for 2 Nights – Stayed with a pretty University student. 
  • Cheonan for 2 Nights – Stayed with a young Korean couple. 
  • Jeonju for 2 Nights – Stayed with Seoulite working as Jeonju official.
  • Gyengju for 2 Nights – Stayed with an Australian professor married to Korean girl.
  • Jeju Island for 5 Nights – Stayed with an American English teacher at day & DJ at night.

*Due to their privacy, I won’t mention their names here. But if you would like to meet them personally on your visit to South Korea, let me know! I can ask them if they are available to host you. 😛

  • Seoul – Bridge Backpackers (http://www.bridgebackpackers.com/) – Knew about this place from CS. The owner, Greg Aussie guy married to korean girl offered me about the volunteering via message on CS.
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With my awesome host, Greg & his wife from Bridge Backpackers

*Feel free to ask me about it. I can recommend you to local there or teach you how to send request if you’re new to it. 🙂

HELPX/BACKPACKERS

If you’re tired of using CS and wanted to stay longer in one place for free, you could do some volunteering at the guesthouse/hostel. For my South Korean trip, I choose to use HelpX (www.helpx.net/). HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term (minimum 2-3 weeks) in exchange for food and accommodation. It’s the same concept with Workaway (https://www.workaway.info/). invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term or long-term in exchange accommodation (minimum 1 month stay). In the typical arrangement, the helper works an average of 3 hours per day and receives free accommodation.

These are the guesthouse/hostel that I stayed in:

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View from my bed in Busan. 🙂

TEMPLE STAY

Some temples are offering free temple stay for foreigners to experience life living in a temple. Do check out their website from time to time for that. http://eng.templestay.com/

Thanks to the Buddha’s day (May 6th), I get to stay at the temple one night in Busan for free. It was a different and relaxing experience ever. I learned how to sit on my feet for a long period of time. 😛 

TRAVEL TIPS

Here’s are other website that you can try for your free accommodations.

1) GlobalFreeLoaders (www.globalfreeloaders.com/) – Same concepts as CS but not famous. 

2) Belodged (http://belodged.com/) – I never use but number of Korean use this.

*Bare in mind that this trip was exactly 2 years ago (March 2014 – June 2014) so prices might have changed over the period of time. Some of the things that I tried might as well discontinued, unavailable or closed.

(But if you found something better than what’s written here, do let me know! Would love to know about it!)*

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[1. Flights] – 85 Days in South Korea for less than USD $1400

April 18, 2016 § 1 Comment

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HOW MUCH?

My total cost of return tickets came out to be RM 816.78, which is around USD $211.05. Direct return flight from Malyasia; Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) to South Korea; Incheon International Airport (ICN) usually cost not less than RM 1300.00. Therefore, flying via Manila saved me half of the flight ticket price.

Flight expenses for 5 flights are as follows:

  1. BKI – MNL = MYR 145.00
  2. MNL – ICN = PHP 2,890.00 (MYR 213.62)
  3. ICN – MNL = KRW 102,000.00 (MYR 310.04)
  4. MNL – BKI = PHP 461.00 (MYR 33.83)
  5. CJU – PUS = KRW 34,560.00 (~MYR 110.59)

TOTAL FLIGHT EXPENSES = ~MYR 816.78 (~USD $211.05)

*KRW 1,000.00 equals roughly to MYR 3.20
**USD $1.00 equals roughly to MYR 3.87

MANILA (MNL) – SEOUL (ICN)

I flew to South Korea (Incheon International Airport) from Philippines (Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport) via Airasia Zest (also known as Zest Airways). The return ticket only cost me RM 523.66, which is around USD $135.31. I booked the flight tickets 4 months ahead & bought it separately on different days.

  • MNL – ICN flight ticket for 11/03/14 (bought on 09/11/13) = PHP 2890.00 (RM 213.62)
  • ICN – MNL flight ticket for 03/06/14 (bought on 25/11/13) = ₩ 10,2000.00 (RM 310.04)

MNL-ICN

KK (BKI) – MANILA (MNL)

Considering i’m not staying in Manila, I need to pay another RM 178.83 (~USD $46.21) for my return flight from Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) to Philippines, Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL). My flight going back to KK from Manila only cost me RM 33.83 (~USD $8.74)! It’s cheaper than a bus ticket! 

  • BKI – MNL flight ticket for 07/03/14 (bought on 09/11/13) = RM 145.00
  • MNL – BKI flight ticket for 06/06/14 (bought on 25/11/13) = PHP 461.00 (RM33.83)

BKI-MNL

JEJU (CJU) – BUSAN (PUS)

IMG_0261

I flew from Jeju Island (Jeju International Airport Jeju) to Busan (Gimhae Internationa Airport) via Jeju Air for only KRW 34,560.00 (~MYR 110.59). I bought the flight ticket few days before departure as I figured that flying to Busan is cheaper than taking the ferry. And after the Sewol incident (I was on the similar ferry, going to Jeju as well but from Mokpo, on the same day!), it’s best to just take the flight.

TRAVEL TIPS

For cheap flight tickets, I usually check on http://www.skyscanner.com.my/ beforehand and book on the airlines website itself if I found a very good flight deals. Select the ‘Cheapest Month‘ on depart and return section if you’re not sure when to travel.

Make sure to use ‘Incognito window‘ (private browsing mode) when searching for flight tickets as (most of us knew about this already) prices increased rapidly on flight that you search for often. Clear your cookies and cache before searching will help too. And oh, do subscribe to cheap airlines newsletter (such as Airasia or Cebu pasific) to be among of those the first to know about their ticket promotions!

*Bare in mind that this trip was exactly 2 years ago (March 2014 – June 2014) so prices might have changed over the period of time. Some of the things that I tried might as well discontinued, unavailable or closed.

(But if you found something better than what’s written here, do let me know! Would love to know about it!)*

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85 Days in South Korea for less than USD $1400

April 15, 2016 § Leave a comment

IMG_1403

“Less than USD $1,400.00 for 85 days in South Korea?! No way!” For some people, that amount of money will only last them 1 or 2 weeks, depending on how many cities they want to visit or how they shop.

Exactly 2 years ago, I took the longest leave from my work and went to South Korea. The main reason why I wanted to go there at first was actually to attend Gastech Exhibition. But things got carried away and I decided to stay there for about 3 months.

Yup, it was so great to be in South Korea. One of the best moments in my life! 🙂

HOW MUCH?

Thanks to iPhone Apps Saved, I managed to record and track all of my expenses while traveling. My grand total cost of travel in South Korea for 85 days came out to be about $1,335.75, which is less than USD $1,400.00. It’s way less than what I budgeted for the trip. 🙂

My travel routes included Seoul (44 Days & 45 Nights), Cheonan (3 Days 2 Nights) Jeonju (2 Days & 2 Nights), Mokpo (1 Days & 1 Nights), Jeju Island (8 Days & 7 Nights), Busan (24 Days & 25 Nights) and Gyengju (3 Days & 2 Nights).

Travel expenses for 85 days there are as follows:

  1. Flight tickets = MYR 816.78
  2. Accommodation = ~MYR 136.00 (KRW 42,500.00)
  3. Foods & Drinks = ~MYR 1,871.14 (KRW 584,730.00)
  4. Public Transportation = ~MYR 981.60 (KRW 306,750.00)
  5. Sightseeing = ~MYR 136.00 (KRW 42,500.00)
  6. Shopping = ~MYR 935.68 (KRW 292,400.00)
  7. Entertainment = ~MYR 292.16 (KRW 91,300.00)

GRAND TOTAL = ~MYR 5,169.36, which is equivalent to ~USD $1,335.75

*KRW 1,000.00 equals roughly to MYR 3.20
**USD $1.00 equals roughly to MYR 3.87
***Travel expenses are not including my trip to Fukuoka, Japan (Went there for 4 days from Busan via ferry.)

HOW DID YOU SURVIVED?

Yup, I got that question a lot from people around me. Especially after knowing that I didn’t stay there for work or school. You know how small-minded people can be sometimes.. 😛

Well, if you’re one of them, who might as well wonder how did I survived, here’s how:

p/s: I also included the link on how to get it FREE. Do check it out & try it yourself! 🙂

*Bare in mind that this trip was exactly 2 years ago (March 2014 – June 2014) so prices might have changed over the period of time. Some of the things that I tried might as well discontinued, unavailable or closed.

(But if you found something better than what’s written here, do let me know! Would love to know about it!)

Hope you found something useful here & if you’re traveling there soon, enjoy South Korea!
You’ll love it there as much as I did & if you don’t, you’re doing it wrongly!

Feel free to ask me anything. Would love to help! 🙂

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K-Pop Dance Class

December 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Yeoksam Global Village Center will be hosting a K-pop Dance Class!! Come and have fun dancing to K-pop while learning the dances and choreography from a dance teacher. The classes will be held once a week on Fridays. This will be a fun opportunity to exercise and practice your dance moves to music by Exid, G-dragon and Taeyang, Girlsday, AOA, Beast, and Exo.

To sign up, please email or call the number below.

Details

•Date & Time: From the 6th of February to the 27th of March, Every Friday 16:00~18:00

Fees: 5,000 won (Not refundable)

•Meeting time: 15:50 pm

•Meeting place: Yeoksam 1 Culture Center Gymnasium

Seats: up to 50 people

To sign up for the class, please email yeoksam@sba.seoul.kr with your name, nationality and mobile phone number or call us at 02-3453-9038~9.

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11-hours layover

October 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Stay at the airport or go to town?

I booked my flight ticket back to Kota Kinabalu (KK) 13 hours apart from my flight from Kathmandu to Kuala Lumpur (KL).

After roaming around the airport, not knowing what to do and so damn sleepy, I decided to try the capsule room suggested by one of my travel buddy.

It’s a modern, small budget hotel designed for transit travelers.The rate is RM45 for 3 hours, RM 70 for 6 hours and RM 90 for 12 hours. The cost included towel, locker, shower, wifi and common area/library usage. Do take the candy bar at the reception counter! it’s free! The internet connection is so fast & i’m lovin’ it! 🙂

I slept in the first 2 hours and check out 1 and a half hour late. Thank god the reception guy did not charged me anything. Thanks!

Few more hours to go. Can’t wait to be back on my own bed!

10570335_10203524584327844_7337218628787003338_nCozy container.

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Library. 

BzUm-tqCYAAsRbzCapsule’s brochure. 

More info: www.capsulecontainer.com

Nepal (Day 1) [Kathmandu]

September 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

Touch down! We arrived at Kathmandu 4 and a half hours later (7:45pm, Nepal time). The flight was okay but I got the most uncomfortable seat for a girl.

I’m surrounded my Nepali’s guys that are so excited to go back to their hometown after staying abroad few months or even few years. I’m not being racist towards the Nepali’s guys but the way they look at me is like hunter waiting for their prey. No matter what I did; reading books, watching movie, sleeping, listening to music and even eating, the stares just won’t go away..

The guy that seat next to me kept on bumping his elbow against mine. Worst ever is that he can’t stop moving! Not sure if he’s too excited to go home or he’s nervous being inside the plane. The plane was so noisy that it sometimes make you forgot that you’re still inside the aircraft.

Most of them unbuckle their safety belt as soon as they saw the Kathmandu’s city light from up above. They even pushes people around as if they’re competing of who’s going to be the first one to be at the arrival.

The airport worker lead us to an electronic machine and scan our passport to get our details so that we don’t have to fill in the form manually and can directly queue to the arrival visa. Sadly, most of the machine are not working after few times of tries. At the end, we decided to just fill in the form.

photo 2Electronic machine to scan your details from your passport. Most of the machine are not working..

We wasted almost an hour at the airport trying to fill in the arrival form; manually and electronic, queuing to pay for the arrival visa. We paid USD$25 for 15 days visit. MAKE SURE TO BRING YOUR PASSPORT SIZE PHOTO FOR THE ARRIVAL VISA.

photo 4Exchange rate at the airport (arrival) as at 28th Sept. 2014. They charge NPR 280 for every exchange rate made.

As soon as we got out from the Tribhuvan International Airport, we were approached by 2 guys that are so friendly and giving us warm welcome. They even offer to carry our bag. But we declined.

But when we’re trying put our bag to the car, they grab our bags and help ‘organizing’ it so that we have plenty of space to sit down. At the moment we’re about to leave, they asked us for money. We’re so speechless about what just happened that time. We thought they are part of the travel agent that came to fetch us and helping us was part of their job. Sadly, they’re not.

DO NOT LET OTHER PEOPLE CARRY YOUR LUGGAGE WHEN YOU’RE AT THE AIRPORT! It’s a scam. If someone offer you to carry your luggage, just say no. They’ll ask for tips and some of them won’t leave until you give them some money. They usually ask for RM20 (~USD$ 3) if they knew you’re from Malaysia.

We arrived at Hotel Silver Home (http://hotelsilverhome.com/) around 10pm. After the check-in registration, the reception guy took us to our room which is at 5th floor. Going up the stairs with our heavy backpack was really tiring. We almost lose our breath as soon as we got to the room.

The room was so big and there’s 7 beds. We got hotel for USD$3 via www.AirasiaGo.com. The Hotel Silver Home’ normal price for the Dormitory Room is USD$3.5 per bed.

IMGP0003The bed. It’s so comfortable! I slept so well the whole night.

IMGP0005 Overall view of our dormitory.

Hotel Silver Home

Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel:  00977-1-4262986, 4249735
Cell: +977-9851071593
Email: info@hotelsilverhome.com
yogsmo85lama@gmail.com,

We were planning to go to Pokhara the next morning by bus but the cs guy that offered to get the bus ticket for us was unreachable that night. Therefore, we decided to just booked with the hotel. Sadly, there’s no more ticket available.

The reception guy told us that should have book the ticket bus earlier as it  everyone’s going back to their hometown for the festive season (Dashain) going on next week. But he asked us to just go to the tourist bus terminal tomorrow morning as early as 6:30am to try our luck on getting our seats as some people cancelled their booking last minute.

We ‘collapased’ right after that.. It was indeed a very tiring day for me carrying my backpack.

To be continue..

http://welcomenepal.com/promotional/

11 Reasons Why You Should Stay With Locals

August 27, 2014 § Leave a comment

Homestay-2
1. Because you can experience living there not just staying.

2. Because hospitality is not about sterile environments, but welcoming ones.

3. Because warmth isn’t just temperature but a feeling/an emotion.

4. Because room service also includes great conversations!

5. Because you can count on a “Roman” to tell you how and what the “Romans” do!

6. Because when restaurants sell “traditional home food”, you know they never really do.

7. Because you find out and learn about not just the city but also the people.

8. Because apart from new experiences, memories and stories you’ll also take away new friendships.

9. Because it’ll break the mould on those all too similar travels without breaking your bank balance. 

10. Because it’s a happy way to travel!

11. And Because we are giving you a chance to discover this on your own.

More : http://www.tripoto.com/blog/11-reasons-why-homestays-are-a-home-away-from-home/

p/s: Tripoto giving $25 on Airbnb. You can use it to rent unique places to stay from local hosts in 190 countries! 🙂

 

 

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