Day 1 of 15
Annyeong! I’ve got good news for my readers. As some of you know, I and my husband have been to Korea for 15 days same time last year, I decided to take notes while traveling and share a lot of things here in my blog. I got a number of drafts already and all of them are mostly tips and personal experiences about our half month stay in Korea. These blog entries are relevant topics from transportation, money, food to accommodations of which I think will be very useful for everyone who’s planning to come and visit the land of KPop and Kdramas.
0210 – 0610 Flight to South Korea
0840– 1300 Travel time to Busan
1345 – 1400 Check in at our Hotel.
1600 ONW Dinner and a little stroll.
We arrived in Incheon around 6:10 AM, cleared immigration right away and waited for our bags for a good few minutes. Soon after, we decided to look around and check on ways on how to get to Busan safe and affordable without sacrificing comfort. Although I have a prior readings on how to get to Busan by both bus and KTX, we are still undecided until the last minute and finally gave in into taking provincial buses since KTX station is in Seoul which is about 45 minutes away from the airport. It also seems inappropriate for us to take KTX since both of our luggage weighs hefty 30kg each but for people with small luggage and if you’re in a hurry, you can take AREX to Seoul Station and hop on KTX to save on time.
Despite my insatiable cravings for breakfast that time, I have some of my US Dollar bills changed to Korean won at the airport first. I didn’t change all my USD bills because the forex rates in the airport is not your best option and at the same time credit cards are widely accepted in South Korea so using plastic money is not a problem.
We had our first meal in Korea at Jamba Juice. I ordered ham and cheese sandwich with fresh TLC and a piece of bread with bulgogi fillings along with extra large strawberry smoothies. I paid 18,000 won for this healthy set. Soon after brekky, we search for provincial bus counter. In a snap, I bought two (2) one-way ticket to Busan and chose the earliest departure time which is at 8:20am. One ticket costed us 42,400 korean won about 40 USD more or less.
The Ticket is printed in brochure/catalog type with discounts on other attractions but mostly in Hangul. The necessary details are pointed out with the cashier’s pink ink ballpen. Other particulars are printed as well – the fare, your seat no, the destination and the time of departure. Just a quick tip though, if you’re not used to Korea, don’t get confuse with P and B. Busan and Pusan is just the same.
BUS TO BUSAN – when you see the bus, there’s no need to rush in since the driver will actually help you load your luggage. Then after loading your bags check for your seat no. Before the bus depart, the driver will also ask for your ticket and will get something out of it. The seats are very comfortable and roomy. Wifi is available. You can even recline it when you want to sleep. The amount you’ve paid is really worth it.
Since the whole journey will take you at least a little closer to 5 hours. A stopover is necessary for bathroom, snack and coffee break. In this photo, we stopped at Cheonan and like what we’ve experienced from 2011 (Gwangju – Seoul), the stopover never failed to amuse me with their snacks kiosk, novelty store and clean toilet rooms. A cup of coffee seems necessary considering the weather, so we had some and boarded the bus again. A friendly old man opposite our seats gave us this sweet red bean filled bun. He’s so sweet and so kind to us the whole trip.
To sum it up it was a long journey but having someone you can talk to along the way will make the trip seem shorter and enjoyable. In case you’re traveling alone, you wont get bored because there’s free wifi on board. The seats are very spacious and comfortable as well so getting some shut-eye wont be a problem. I have a small table of comparison (that might help you) below for you to check if you’re having a hard time in choosing between the bus or the KTX. You can also get to Busan directly by air.
|Fare||42,400 KRW||Economy : Around 56,000 wonPlus the bus or the Arex to Seoul Station
You can also choose First Class seats with Entertainment and more space.
|Booking||On the Spot||Online and On the spot|
|Payment||Cash and Credit Card Accepted|
|How Long||5 Hours||2.5 or 3 Hours at Least|
|Pro||Cheaper and for those with baggage this is the best way.||Fast and On Time|
|Cons||Long Journey||Expensive than the bus. Need to Transfer to Seoul Station. Not suited for traveler with heavy luggage.|
We arrived at Busan Central Bus Station around 1 in the afternoon. From the photo above, you can tell that their terminal are clean and at the same time have some store, coffee shops and even Lotteria in it that makes it real helpful to all arriving and departing passengers. From there, we took a cab to Sunset Hotel Located in Haeundae for 16000 KRW. One More Tip : There is a Tourist information center here so in case you can ask them about Busan Itineraries.
Comfy Bed is so nice after the super long 4 hour flight plus the 4 hour bus ride. We hit the sack soon after checking in. And then we woke up around 4pm to get something to eat and end up with a nice and quaint restaurant nearby called Chicken & Hof.
The food was great and we love it. We stayed for a bit at the restaurant and then go for a short walk and head back to the hotel and sleep early as we plan to embark on a full day DIY Busan tour for the following days. So stay updated for more Busan post. 🙂
Happy Traveling and Happy Reading