My #Momcation to Seoul 2017

I’ve been waiting for September 16th to come since I braved booking that round trip airfare to South Korea late January. Is it bravery or foolishness on my end to gamble my money to book tickets before I even hold a visa to Seoul?

I’ve been dropping hints to my husband that I really want to take a #Momcation sometime this year. Buti na lang, he’s so game to allow me to go. Taking care of two kids and managing a household singlehandedly has really pushed me to my limits. A cure I know against burning myself out is certainly a time-out; and I’m definitely all for it.

Why Seoul, South Korea?

Easy answer. Because I’ve been a K-drama fan since 2004. I could no longer count how many hours I’ve spent watching them since Full House days. About three years ago, I’ve already started watching Korean variety shows like Running Man and The Superman Returns. These days, I’m enjoying watching The Dragon Club and Hyori’s Bed & Breakfast. I also like Honey Lee’s “Get It Beauty,” which is a beauty show with Sandara Park.

My guesthouse in Seoul: If you’re familiar with Lee Min Ho’s recent drama, you’d easily know that this is a filming location for The Legend of the Blue Sea.

Korean shows has led me to see and experience their country for myself. South Korea is the third country I’ve been to in Asia in the last five years.

The Preps

If you are planning to go to Seoul, don’t be like me. Secure a Korean VISA first if you are holding a Philippine passport before you book your roundtrip tickets. Applying is free and you can DIY. Just remember that you cannot apply for a visa more than three (3) months before you fly.

My experience getting a visa is smooth and easy. But waiting for the visa to come out is rough and nerve-wracking. This is the reason why I recommend you to secure a visa first before you get tickets so in case you don’t get an approval, you’ve got nothing to lose.

If you’ve already submitted your requirements and you want to know the result of your application before you head to the embassy to get your passport back, you can check it at the Korea Visa Portal.

The earliest time you can check for results is at least (1) the night before your release date (2) the morning of your release date (3) the afternoon or hours after your release schedule. Some applicants are lucky to even see the results 2-3 days before especially if their release schedule falls on a Monday. Some are unfortunate not to see until they get their passports back on the scheduled release date. Anyhow, you can make use of that portal if you are curious.

Life After K-Visa

I got my passport back after waiting at the Korean Embassy in McKinley, BGC for not more than 15 minutes. Obviously, I got an approval. Now I could take my travel preparations to the next level. I will give you an overview of my schedule in Korea:

  • September 16 — Flight to Seoul
  • September 17 — City Tour (Myeondong Food Trip, Han River Park, Yeouido)
  • September 18 — Palaces / Traditional /Cultural Landmarks
  • September 19 — N Seoul Tower, Hello Kitty Island, SSentoy Museum
  • September 20 — Gapyeong County Tour  (Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of the Morning Calm)
  • September 21 — Theme Park Day (Everland)
  • September 22 — Korean Folk Village + Lotte Mart Shopping
  • September 23 — Dongdaemun + Myeongdong Shopping
  • September 24 — Korean War Memorial + Korean Buffet Lunch Experience
  • September 25 — Pyeongtaek Visit + IKEA Korea
  • September 26 — DMZ/JSA Tour
  • September 27 — Flight to Manila

 

See? I’ve got a lot of stories to tell you about my tour. But for sure, you won’t be reading 12 posts just for Korea. I feel like you’d be more interested to hear about travel tips like where to stay, where to eat, what to buy, etc. I’d also would share with you some useful Korea travel apps that were very useful during my travel.

K-Beauty Mecca: Myeongdong

On my next post, I’d tell you about my first day in Seoul. I will talk a little about Manila and Incheon Airport, currency exchange tips, where’s the best area to stay at, and more!

My blog’s sixth year anniversary is also happening next week! I will be giving out some Korean goodies to one lucky reader. So if you have questions about Korea, comment them after this post and I will try my best to answer it on my next post. Stay tuned, everyone! ♥

6 comments

  1. Chai Galapon says:

    I love your bravery in going there, are you alone in your trip? I am also planning to go there but with the family. Can you give as estimate pf how much should be per head budget for a week tour only? Are there places that a dress code should be properly observed? I am a shorts mom hehehe, no dress and no jeans for me. What are the kid friendly places? Best place to stay for a family of 4?

    I know your was exciting. Can’t wait for your other blog posts about your tour.

    • Glaiza Garcia says:

      Hi Chai! Glad to see you here. As for the budget per head, I’m afraid there’s no clear-cut answer because it’d depend on your itinerary. I will talk about this on my next post. Food in Korea is expensive; this is also another factor in your budgeting. Dress code, depende sa season of your visit. My travel period fell on autumn so I could barely wear shorts because there were times na chilly na. No problem with shorts though, marami ako nakita na locals wearing short skirts and shorts. From what I have observed, mas frown ng Korean society yung mga too much skins showed sa upper (cleavage, shoulders, back) but you can go as short as you want sa lower.

    • Glaiza Garcia says:

      Hi Manel, for family applications, I think it’ll work to show 1 bank document na lang for the principal/head of the immediate family. For example, if husband mo lang ang may work, tapos ikaw housewife and with minor kids, kaya naman na kayo i-carry ng documents ng husband mo. If both of you are working, it’ll help if you also present your bank records to prove that you can finance the tour. If may kasama naman other members of the extended family (in-laws), they need to present their documents unless senior/retirees na ang parents-in-laws.

        • Badette says:

          Hi! I just want to share our experience just last month on applying k visa (family application) im a housewife with 3 kids. We only passed my husbands’ bank cert & bank statement , his COE, ITR and our marriage contracy (1 copy each) and our children’s BC and their school cert. Luckily we were approved!! Goodluck

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