My mom and sister spent 12 days in Korea! It has always been my dream to travel abroad with my family. This time, I was only able to sponsor my mom and sis but I’m looking forward for another trip with my dad and brothers.
12 Best Days in Korea
I finally saw my mom and sister after 6 months! Yayyy! They arrived at around 9 pm. We ate dinner at VIPS. It’s not really budget friendly but it’s the nearest restaurant in Gate D.
- Food: 17,000 won (2 meals good for 3 people)
- T Money: 30,000 won (10,000 per head)
- Total Expenses: 47,000 won
I only have one class every Saturday. Good thing, my boss allowed me to go out after my class since it’s my first day with my family. To save money, I decided to bring them to a grocery store and buy some food that with last for a week. I prefer eating home cooked meals because Korean restaurants tend to have a big serving.
Originally, we planned to catch the changing of guards in Deoksugung Palace. However, the main gate was closed because there’s a victory rally about President Park Eun Hye’s impeachment. We walked around the Deoksugung Palace and found out that there’s another gate that accommodates visitors for free! On a normal day, they charge 1,000 won for the admission fee.
After exploring the palace, we took a subway going to Hongdae where you can find a lot of cool cafes! Our first stop is the Trick Eye Museum. It’s the first and only AR Museum! We really had a great time taking pictures in their exhibits. I had it sponsored for the three of us but I think the 18,000 won admission fee is worth it.
Seoul has a lot of cool themed cafes. However, some coffee shops require all the customers to order a drink before entering. I totally understand them but I think their coffee is too expensive. To be honest, people go there to take instagrammable pictures.
- Deoksugung Palace (It’s free admission on that day)
- Trick Eye Museum & Ice Museum (sponsored)
- CaFace (They have a branch inside the Trick Eye)
- One Piece Cafe (We just visited the gift shop)
- Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae (We didn’t go inside)
- Food: 33,000 won (We went to a grocery store)
- CaFace: 8,500 (We only had one drink)
- Total Expenses: 41,500 won
- Samyang Methodist Church
- N Seoul Tower
- Dog Cafe
- Cable Car: 22,500 won (Round Trip ticket costs 8,500 for adults, 5,500 for kids)
- Dog Cafe: 26,000 won (Admission fee costs 9,000 for adults, 8,000 for kids)
- Snacks: 2,000 won (We had our meals at home)
- T Money: 60,000 won (I think 20,000 won per head would be enough)
- Total Expenses: 110,500
We spent the whole in Everland! The original price of the admission fee is 52,000 won but we got a discount because we are foreigners. It may look expensive but the memories are priceless.
- Dongdaemun Design Plaza
- Everland bus: 36,000 won (12,000 per head. Reserve here)
- Everland One Day Pass: 103,000 won (37,000 for adults, 29,000 for kids)
- Lunch & Snacks: 27,900 won
- Others (Batteries/ Adaptor): 17,000 won
- Total Expenses: 183,900 won
They got so tired in Everland so they decided to stay at home all day. My mom cleaned our accommodation while my sister prepared my lunch! They made themselves busy while I was at work. Day 4 is technically a rest day for them.
- Snacks: 7,000 won
The senior pastor in our church brought us in Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) where he prays for the listeners. He has a one hour program where listeners send messages, and he gives some advice and pray for them. It was a very unique experience for a tourist to see a live broadcast.
FEBC is the only radio station that reaches North Korea. I learned a lot about there mission to share God’s Word in North Korea.
Read more: Letters from North Korea
Far East Broadcasting Company
- Food: 16,600 won
I went to work in the morning. After lunch, we went to the Children’s museum in National Museum of Korea. My sister really had a great time there.
After a long walk in the museum, we visited the most famous sauna in Seoul, Dragon Hill Spa & Resort. To be honest, I was really disappointed. I must say that it is overrated. In my opinion, Silloam Sauna is better than Dragon Hill Spa.
- Children’s Museum in National Museum of Korea (free admission)
- Dragon Hill Spa & Resort
- Dragon Hill Spa Admission Fee: 36,000 won (12,000 per head)
- Food: 32,000 won (good for 3 people)
- Total Expenses: 68,000 won
We explored different shops and markets today. I toured them around Suyu Traditional Market to see the different kinds of kimchi!
Suyu Traditional Market
- Shopping: 9,000
- Food: 34,500
- Grocery: 12,500
- Total Expenses: 56,000 won
We went to Namsangol Hanok Village where she played some Korean Traditional games. We spent an hour or two there. She didn’t appreciate the Hanok Village as much as me and my mom did. We ended up having some strawberry tiramisu bingsu in Sulbing, the most famous bingsu shop.
- Namsangol Hanok Village (free admission)
- Bingsu: 13,000
- Other snacks: 3,000
- Total Expenses: 16,000
Since it’s their last Sunday, we decided to spend the whole day in Samyang United Methodist Church. After attending the morning service, my mom volunteered to help in the kitchen. I and my sister went to my Sunday school classes.
We went around some traditional places wearing hanboks! It was tiring but we enjoyed being a celebrity for a day. There are lots of people who wants to have a picture with us.
- National Folk Museum of Korea
- Gyeongbukgung Palace
- Bukchon Hanok Village
- One Day Hanbok (sponsored, 15,000 won for 4 hours)
- Gyeongbukgung Palace (3,000 won but free admission if you are wearing a hanbok)
- Food: 8,000 won
- Shopping: 26,000 won
- Total Expenses: 34,000 won
Going to Nami Island is a dream come true for my mom who watched that drama many years ago. At first, my sister was hesitant to go there because she thinks it was boring. As soon as she saw the snow, she became so excited. It was their first time to experience snow. Well, it’s not really a snow fall but there are some snow left on the ground in some parts of the island.
I want to give them a Gapyeong Tour but due to time constraints, we only visited Nami Island. Technically, it was not my day off. I still had to attend my 7 pm class. I’m still thankful that I was able to tour them outside Seoul.
- Snacks: 10,500 won
- Food: 38,000 won
- Ferry Boat: 20,000 won (It’s 8,000 per head but I told them that my sister is 7 yrs old)
- Karlee’s allowance: 10,000 won (I gave her money to buy anything but she kept it LOL)
- Total Expenses: 78,500 won
We bought some souvenirs/pasalubong in the morning then we visited the office of my boss who sponsored our accommodation for 12 days.
After lunch, we went to Incheon International Airport, watched some traditional/ cultural shows, then bid goodbye. Those 12 days are the best days of my stay in Korea.
- Samyang Methodist Church
- Incheon International Airport
- Food: 27,000 won
- Souvenirs: 10,000 won
- TMoney: 11,000 won
- Total Expenses: 48,000 won
- Expenses in Korea: 707,000 | $630 | 32,000 PhP
- Air fare: 24,760 PhP (Mom and sister’s round trip ticket)
- Terminal Fee: 240 PhP
Total Expenses: 60,000 Pesos