Good things to know upon your arrival in South-Korea

Traveling to foreign countries you can see a lot of new interesting things, check in in many awesome locations, meet new great people, enjoy new kind of food and gain a lot of new experiences. That‘s why I really love traveling. But before you get to the destination of your trip, you need to organise many other things, too, e.g. apply for a visa, think about how to get cash, purchasing a sim card, take a cab, etc.

In this post, I’m gonna share with you some good things to know upon your arrival, that might be helpful for you first visit to South-Korea.

1. Visa for Korea

You may need a visa, maybe not to enter South-Korea depending on your nationality, purpose and length of stay. The best information about that is available on the official page of Visa Korea Portal .

Please check it before you plan to come.

2. Immigration and Customs 👮🏼‍

2.1 Filling the forms

So, now everything is booked and you’re on the airplane ✈️ to Korea. Before landing, you may receive an Arrival card as well as a Traveler declaration form (one per group) from the flight attendants. They both need to be filled out and handed to officers when you pass the immigration.

Korea, Immigration, Incheon International Airport
Forms

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Nami island – one summer day in country Nami – 나미나라

The Nami island – 나미섬 (Namiseom) or 나미나라 (Naminara – Country Nami) is a very popular destination for a half-day or whole-day trip from Seoul for tourists as well as loving couples.

On a “half-moon” island, which is about 42km2 large, you can enjoy the beautiful nature, have a romantic walk or ride couple bicycle with your beloved through tree avenues, have a picknick or do a lot of activities on the fresh and clean water.

It is also said, that the Nami island has four different “coats”. In spring it wears a rose – purple coat of the cherry blossoms. In summer, it changes to the green one. In autumn, the golden and red coat will cover it. And in winter, the white one.

Actually this island is very famous in Asia, because one of the most well known K-Drama from the 90’ was flimed here – Winter Sonata. All the snowman ⛄ figures you can find on the whole island were made as memories for that beautiful love story. Now a day, you can still meet a lot of its fans on the island.

I visited the Nami island on a very hot summer day. Under the sun it was almost 40 degrees. However, on the island it was really cool and very enjoyable.

Gingko-avenue 

For more pictures please visit mydaysinkorea.de.

How to get to the Nami island?

The island is about 60km away from Seoul in North-East direction.

If you go by car, you can drive and park your car directly at the pier, which would take around 1-1,5hs from the city center.

There are also possibilities to go there with public transportation, due to Naver Map. Or you can book a day tour from a traveling agency.

When you’re at the pier, you can take the ferry or zip line to enter the island.

For more details, please check the Visit Korea homepage.

Here are some tips for your trip to Nami island

  • In case you would like to take the ferry to the island on weekend or holiday, try to get to the pier before 9am to avoid the crowd and reduce the queing time
  • There are a lot of nice resting areas, alos near the water. If you have time, bring a picnic mat, drinks and some snacks with you
  • Around the island, you can enjoy a lot of water activities. Don’t forget your swimsuit

Have fun!

Travel through Korea with the high-speed train KTX

When travel in South Korea, you may have seen the high-speed train KTX – Korean Train eXpress. This is a very convenient, safe and super fast way to travel on long distance that you would love.

KTX is operated by the Korean Railroad Corporation, designed and working based on the French technology that is applied for the TGV and can drive up to 350km/h. So for such a long route as from Seoul to Busan, which is around 400km with car, it only need about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Additionally, for this connection, you can choose any of the 60 (!) different trains that go per day. Super convenient!

The ticket price depends on the departure time, but is quite affordable. The price for a economy class is some what between 50.000~60.000₩ (~40-50€) from Seoul to Busan incl. Seat reservation. Children under 13 years old will have discount.

Foreign tourists, who want to travel a lot through the country, can purchase a Korail Pass to save more money.

The train cabinet is clean, equipped with Air Conditioner and is despite the high speed, relatively quiet.

KTX, Train to Busan

Here are some more tips for you before traveling with KTX.
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Buyeo Lotus festival 2018 – 부여

Earlier (around 2nd c. BC till mid. 4th c. AC) Buyeo was a small Kingdom in the west of Korea. Later on (538-660 AC) it became the capital of Baekje – one of the there Korean Kingdoms. Today, Buyeo is a county in South-Chungcheong-Province, which locates approx. 300km in the south of Seoul.

In every July, a Lotus festival is held here, at the Gungnamji pond. Beside the pretty flowers, wonderful smell, you will find a lot of interesting activities as well as tasty food here.

Buyeo Lotus Festival 2018, Lotus, July's festival
Lotus ponds are everywhere
Buyeo Lotus Festival 2018, Lotus, July's festival
Lotus
Buyeo Lotus Festival 2018, Lotus, July's festival
Wonderful lotus
Buyeo Lotus Festival 2018, Lotus, July's festival
Also sunflowers…
Buyeo Lotus Festival 2018, Lotus, July's festival
and water lilies

More pics can be found at

For further information please visit the Visit Korea Homepage.

Watch a game in Jamsil baseball field

Baseball is one of the most popular sports in Korea. It seems to be more popular than soccer. Kids learn to play baseball very early. Only for highs chools, there are already five (!) huge national tournaments a year to show their skills and get attention.

The ten professional baseball teams play in KBO League. Two of them come from Seoul and their Home field is the Jamsil stadium – LG and Doosan Bears (두산) Team.

During the weekend I went to see a game between Doosan and Samsung – Bears vs. Lions, with some friends. Actually I don’t really know much about baseball, it was still a great experience.

yagu, baseball, jimsil stadion, doosan, samsung
Doosan vs. Samsung in Jamsil Stadion

Beside the giant stadium, that can hold more than 25.500 people, good teams and player, I think the Korean fans were really amazing. All wore team uniform and hats, ate chicken and beer in between (치맥 – chi-mek), and cheer their teams (almost) non-stop. They sang the team theme, songs for each batter, danced, shouted…

Das Team anfeuern
Doosan’s fans

Even when the team they cheered could not win, they still show their support until the end.

yagu, baseball, jimsil stadion, doosan, samsung
Cheer until the end

Definitely worth a try!

How to get to Jamsil stadium?

The closest subway station is the “Sports Complex” station – 종합운동장역. You can take the line 2 or line 9 to get here. Ticket booths can be reached through exit #5, while the fastest way to the main entrance is exit #6.

The Han-River – 한강 (Hangang)

한강 – Hangang is the main river of Seoul that flows through the city and divides it in two main parts Gangbuk (northern part of the river) and Gangnam (southern part).

On the river banks there are in total 12 parks that were built since 1982 and are maintained regularly until today. Thanks to that, the citizens as well as visitors can enjoy a beautiful green environment for more than 41km along the river in many different ways. It can simply be going for a walk, taking some nice pictures, or doing exercises, jogging, riding bicycle, playing basket ball, go fishing… or even camping and partying with family and friends.

Seoul, Hangang Park
Pedestrian bridge to Yeouido park
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