How to apply for a Korean Visa in Manila

•October 6, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

korea visa1

 

korea visa2

 

 

korea visa3

 

korea visa4

 

korea visa5

 

korea visa6

 

korea visa7

 

korea visa8

 

korea visa9

 

korea visa10

 
 
 
Tips from my personal experience:

- Personal appearance is not required. I applied for myself and my parents (we have valid US visas), and my friend (she didn’t have a visa from any OECD country and a first time international traveler). I was given 2 numbers (one for window 3 and another for window 1). Window 3 is for applicants with OECD visas, while windows 1 & 2 are for applicants without previous travels or valid visas to any OECD member countries.

- No appointment is needed. The embassy opens up at 9am. I came at around 10am. The commute going there was longer than the time I was inside. I was finished in less than 15 minutes. The same thing happened when I picked up our visas at around 3pm.

- While my parents’ requirements were identical, I considered their application as separate. So, I prepared two sets of the same requirements for them. Their documents were under the name of my father, hence, I also attached a photocopy of their marriage certificates.

- Since I was travelling with my parents, I also included a photocopy of our birth certificates. This was not included in the requirement, but the Korean officer didn’t appear to mind.

- My US visa was in my old passport. I just attached the old passport to my new passport with paperclips. Do not forget to remove passport jackets or covers.

- Only submit photo copies of all important documents. Nevertheless, I had the originals on hand in case they are asked.

- When filling up the fields in the application form, do not leave anything black. Write “N.A.” or “Not Applicable” where appropriate. For your address in Korea, there are a lot of hostels that allow reservations without necessarily asking for deposits. Make your reservations and use their address and contact numbers.

- Visa fee is free for those staying in Korea for 59 days (or less).

  • 60 to 90 days stay in Korea – Php 1,350
  • More than 90 days stay in Korea – not applicable for tourist visa
  • Single Entry – Php 2,250
  • Multiple Entry – Php 3,600

- Apply close to your travel dates. 1 month before is a safe period.

 
 
 

Republic of Korea Embassy in the Philippines
122 Upper McKinley Road
McKinley Town Center
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634
Telephone number: +632-856-9210

 
 
 
The infographic is courtesy of GMA Network:

http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/377626/pinoyabroad/ofwguide/infographic-how-to-apply-for-a-korean-visa

Must-Have Apps for your trip to Seoul, South Korea

•August 3, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

 

If you are planning to visit Seoul, these free apps will definitely make your trip hassle-free.

 

1. Jihachul

jihachul

- Especially useful for us, when we visited Seoul. Lucky for us, most of the tourist spots are along the area of a subway station. The extensive Seoul subway system proved to be easy to navigate, thanks to this app! It also helps that it does not need internet connectivity to operate. Just make sure your phone battery is charged up before you leave your hotel or hostel!

iPhone: Download Jihachul
Android: Download Jihachul

 

2. Seoul Bus

app_seoul_bus2-150x150

- Never got to use this app, because we heavily relied on the subway system. But it is still handy in case you end up in an area that is far from a subway station. The downside with this one, is that you need internet connection to access it.

iPhone: Download Seoul Bus
Android: Download Seoul Bus

 

3. iTour Seoul

itour seoul

- A nice app to read and scan before your actual trip and get to know the different tourist attractions that Seoul has to offer.

iPhone: Download iTour Seoul
Android: Download iTour Seoul

 

There are other apps available on the internet, but those listed above are the ones that were very helpful all throughout our trip. Very very helpful! Kudos to their developers and enjoy your trip!

 

Check this out for more apps.

 

Seoul Accommodation: Hotel Palace Namdaemun

•August 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment

 

DSC_1035c

 

DSC_0609

 

DSC_0008b

 

DSC_0010b

 

Location
– 3min walk to Hoehyun Subway Station & 10min walk to Namdaemun Market Airport Limousine Bus Stop
– cross the street & you are at Namdaemun Market (left side) & Myeongdong Shopping St. (right side)
– right across the street is Shinsegae Main Department Store, while Lotte Mall is just a short walk away
– plenty of restaurants in the area
– safe even at night

Service
– while there is no free toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, & lotion), it is not a problem because everything is close by (there is a 7-11 & cvs convenience store nearby)
– complimentary wifi was fast
– hotel staff spoke & understood english
– a website and a working email address would be nice for guests wishing to book directly

Room
– there is no cabinet but is okay for people who travel light. room is spacious enough.
– clean room & bathroom
– there is free hot/cold water dispenser near the elevator

 

Hotel Palace Namdaemun
92-6, 1-Ka, Hoehyun-dong, Chung-ku,
Seoul, Korea
Tel: (02) 777-7731
Fax: (02) 776-8759

5 nights = $361 (year 2014 rate)

 

How to get there:

By subway, head to Hoehyun Station (Lines 1 & 2) and depart from exit 1. Walk just a few feet towards the right.

If coming from the airport, take the Airport Limousine Bus (Bus 6015) from Incheon International Airport for 10000KRW/pax and get off at Namdaemun Market. Then take a cab going to the hotel (3-5000KRW). Drop off is walking distance to the hotel, but may be difficult to navigate for first timers with heavy luggage.

 

 

 

Print and present to taxi driver (in case you get lost):

IMG_2016

IMG_2015

 

 

 

Heart & Seoul

•June 29, 2014 • 2 Comments

 

DSC_0139

 

We left Manila ready to get lost in the big city that is Seoul. Get lost, we did. But in the process of getting lost, we discovered something special – the kindness of its people, reaching out to help despite the language barrier.

On the tram at the airport when we arrived, a middle aged woman gave up her seat for one of my elderly parents. Outside the subway station on our first day, a man offered to take our photo. At the subway as I was checking the map before we head out, an old man talked to me. I didn‘t understand a word he said, but I recognized the sincerity in his smile and gesture.

 

DSC_0033

 

The Korean War devastated most of Seoul, but the Koreans were fast to recover. They built modern skyscrapers, sleek highways, and developed advanced technology. It is mind-boggling to think that it wasn‘t 50 plus years ago that most of Seoul was flattened.

 

DSC_0154

 

DSC_0560

 

While technological innovation is an important part of their lifestyle, they also understand the significance of preserving their culture and tradition. It is a city where contemporary and ancient exists in harmonious balance. Often you see temples make an interesting contrast with the modern architecture that surrounds it.

 

DSC_0609

 

DSC_0092

 

DSC_0811

 

DSC_0231DSC_0285

 

DSC_0572DSC_0597

 

DSC_0777

 

We came for the temples, but we left with the kindness of its people and the faces of the cute little kids on our minds.

 

DSC_0578

 

korea1

 

Suggested Itinerary for Seoul, South Korea (with DMZ)

•April 13, 2014 • 1 Comment

DAY 1

1. Cheonggyecheong Stream
Getting there:
– City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 4. Walk 250 m north to Cheonggye Plaza.

2. Deoksugung Palace
Getting there:
– City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, 2), Exit 2.
– Go straight 100m to arrive at Daehanmun Gate on the right.
Or
– 5 minutes walk from Cheongyecheon Stream

3. Sejong Center
Getting there:
– Gwanghwamun Station (Seoul Subway Line 5), Exit 1 or 8.
Or
– City Hall Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 or 2), Exit 3.
– Walk 10min towards Gwanghwamun Station.
Or
– 10 minutes walk from Deoksugung

4. Gyeongbokgung Palace
Getting There:
– Gyeongbokgung Station (Subway Line 3), exit 5.
Or
– Ganghwamun Station (Subway Line 5), exit 2 and walk 400 meters.
– Exit gwangwamun
Or
– 5 minutes walk from Sejong Center

Admission Fee: Adults (ages 19-64) 3,000 won
Interpretation Services (1 hour):
* English: 11:00, 13:30, 15:30
Performance Times:
January 1-December 31 (Closed on Tuesdays)
10:00-15:00(6 times a day/on the hour)

5. Namdaemun Market
Getting There:
– Hoehyeon Station (Subway Line 4), Exit 5

DAY 2

1. Shinsegae Mall
Getting There:
– Hoehyeon Station (Subway Line 4), Exit 7.

Tips:
– Mall opens at 1030am
– Food Garden at 10th Floor

2. Korean War Memorial
Getting There:
– Samgakji Station (Subway Lines 4, 6), Exit 12.
– It is 5min away from the station

Admission Fee:
– Free

Tips:
– Closed on Mondays
– Opens at 9am

3. Bukchon Hanok Village
Getting There:
– Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2.
– Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village

Tip:- Drop by Tourist Information Center and get a copy of area map

4. Changdeokgung Palace
Getting there:
– Anguk Station (Subway Line 3), Exit 3.
– Go straight for 5min.
Or
– Jongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 1, 3 or 5), Exit 7.
– Go straight along Donhwamun-ro Street for 10min.
Or
– 10 minutes walk from Bukchon Hanok Village

5. Myeongdong Shopping Street
Gettting There:
– Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 5, 6, 7, or 8.
Or
– Euljiro Il-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 5

Things to buy:
Cosmetics – watch out for freebies (note:30,000 up=tax refund)

Things to try:
a. Sausage
b. tteokboki roll
c. Dried squids
d. Egg muffin
e. Korean bread/pan cake

DAY 3

1. DMZ
Tip:
– Book via a local tour agency

2. Lotte Mart
Getting there:
– Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2)
– Lotte Department Store (Main Branch) is directly connected to the station.

Things to buy:
a. scorched rice candy
b. tteokbokkic.
c. real brownie by orion
d. seaweed snacks
e. banana flavored milk by binggrae

DAY 4

1. Tapgol Park
Getting there:
– JJongno 3(sam)-ga Station (Subway Line 1, 3, 5), Exit 1
– walk 5 minutes toward Jonggak.

2. Insa-dong / Ssamziegil mall
Getting there:
– Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
– Go 100m straight, then turn left
Or
– Jonggak Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 3.
– Go straight 300m, and turn left at the 4-way Intersection
– Go straight 100m, and take the left road towards Insadong-gil Road
Or
– 5 minutes walk from Tapgol Park

Tip:
– Starbucks is only branch in Korea where outside signage is written in hangul

3. Jogyesa Temple
Getting There:
– Jonggak Station (Subway Line 1), Exit 2.
– Go 70m forward, then cross the street.
– Go 100m more to arrive at a path to Jogyesa Temple.
Or
– Anguk Station (Subway Line 3), Exit 6.
– Go 50m forward, then cross the street in front of Dongduk Gallery.
– Go 50m more to arrive at a path to Jogyesa Temple.
Or
– Gwanghwamun Station (Subway Line 5), Exit 2.
– Go 150m forward to arrive at a path to Jogyesa Temple between YTN Parking Tower and Hana Bank
Or
– 5 minutes walk from Ssamziegil mall

4. Gwangjang Market – dinner
Getting there:
– Jongno 5-ga station (subway line 1), exit 8
Or
– Eujiro 5-ga station (subway line 2,4), exit 4

Tips:
– Best place to buy silk, fabrics
– Shops close at 6pm then food stalls open up
– 12,000 per meal (can be shared)

Things to try
a. Bindaetteok
– pancake made from ground mung beans with various meats and vegetables
– 4000-5,000 each
b. makgeolli (traditional Korean rice wine)
c. mayak gimbap, literally “drug gimbap,” bite-sized rice and dried seaweedrolls
d. Sundae, or Korean-style black pudding (made of pig’s intestines stuffed with cellophane noodles, barley and pork blood)
– 5-6,000 per serving
e. Tteokboki (chewy rice cake) and fish paste in seaweed soup

DAY 5

1. Bank of Korea Museum
Getting There:
– Namdaemun Market

Admission Fee:
– Free

2. Shinsegae Mall
Getting there:
– Hoehyeon Station (Subway Line 4), Exit 7

Additional Places to See:

1. Dongdaemun – shopping/ street food tripping
Tips:
Zone 2 – recommended for shopping/ best to go after 10pm
Regular top – 20-30,000
APM mall and Migliore mall – cheaper clothes

Things to Try:
a. Giant sausage coated with fries
b. Oksusu Cha (roasted corn kernel tea)

2. Nami Island
Getting There:
a. BUS – recommended*
Shuttle Bus Schedule:
– Insa-dong, Jamsil Station → Namiseom Island: 09:30
– Namiseom Island → Insa-dong, Jamsil Station: 16:00*

Bus Stop:
1) Insa-dong (Jonggak Station, Subway Line 1, Exit 3): Next to Tapgol Park
2) Jamsil Station (Subway Line 2, Exit 4): In front of Lotte Mart
Round Trip:- 23000 won for round trip ticket + entrance visa to Nami Island + ferry ticket.
– 50 minutes from port to Gapyeong wharf

b. SUBWAY – too many transfers
– go to Sangbong Station (line no.7) and take Gyeongchun Line. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Gapyeong Station (1800 won one way).
– Get off at Gapyeong Station, take a taxi to Namiseom parking lot (travel time: 10-15min, 3000 won).
– Take the ferry from Namiseom Dock to Namiseom Island. (travel time: 5-6min)

3. Tongin Market
Getting there:
– From Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) take exit 2 and contniue straight for about 700m. The market will be on your left.

NOTA BENE: This itinerary has been scheduled this way to accommodate my elderly parents’ physical limitations and interests.

Expenses for Seoul, Korea (2014)

•March 22, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Individual Expense Group of 4
Day 1
travel tax 1620
terminal fee 550
airport limo 10000
taxi to hotel 1250 5000/4
TOTAL PhP2170
KRW11250
Day 2
T card 2500
T card load 10000
bfast at pomato 2000 4000/2
snack (korean pancake) 1167 3500/3
gyeongbokgung entrance 3000
late lunch at korean resto 3000 6000/2
ref magnet 2000
winter jacket 6000
bingrae banana drink 1200
TOTAL KRW31867
Day 3
brunch at korean resto 4000 8000/2
pasalubong (daiso) 4500
bb cream 8900
cardigan 9000
dinner at outback 8800 17600/2
TOTAL KRW35200
Day 4
DMZ tour 46000
late lunch at shinsegae 3750 7500/2
grocery at Lotte Mart 22470
TOTAL KRW72220
Day 5
bfast at pomato 2750 5500
souvenir 16000
snack (sweet custard bread) 1000
taxi to gwangjang market 1000 4000/4
dinner at gwangjang market 3000 12000/4
TOTAL KRW23750
Day 6
bfast at Shinsegae 4940 9900/2
tea 5500
taxi to airport 750 3000/4
airport limo (bus) 10000
TOTAL KRW21190
RT airfare (no baggage) 6588.37 19765.11/3
hotel accommodation (5 nights) 4058.72 16234.85/4
TOTAL PhP10647.09
TOTAL (without airfare & hotel)  PhP2170 + KRW195477 (PhP8171) =   PhP10341
TOTAL EXPENSES PhP20988  (KRW1=PhP0.0418)

Visual Adventure: Siem Reap

•May 18, 2013 • 4 Comments

 

 

tuktuk

 

Angkor Wat

 

Angkor Wat

 

Angkor Wat

 

Bayon

 

Bayon

 

Ta Phrom

 

Ta Phrom

 

Apsara

 

Bakong

 

Banteay Srey

 

Angkor Wat

 

Angkor Wat

 

Angkor Wat

 

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 90 other followers

%d bloggers like this: