Korea Travel Packages

Korean Travel Packages are quite the trend in Malaysia even more so ever since AirAsia X started flying to Seoul and recently in July 2013 to Busan. Back in the day, Korea was popular only because of the Winter Sonata but over the years, much has changed where Korean dramas and the KPOP music scene took the world over. In 2012, when Korean superstar Psy shook the world with his Gangnam Style, Korea became one of the most popular places to visit. 

In Malaysia, many locals are keen to visit Korea and the demand has even spread into the Muslim market where Muslim Korea Packages are on the rise. However, the capital of Samsung is definitely one of the must-visit places of north Asia if you have not been there before. Below is my personal experience visiting Seoul in early 2013.

Shopping in Korea

These days, with the growing budget airline industry, Korea is no longer a dream destination to visit as many travel companies are heavily promoting the destination. Many agents in Kuala Lumpur have been promoting Korea Tour Packages for ages and have now embarked on more interesting creations to their packages. 

I have personally visited Seoul in early February 2013 to personally experience the Korean culture there. From my first hand experience, language is not easy as many of the people there still do not speak English. However, the food and overall culture is something that everyone should experience. I stayed at one of the most popular areas in Seoul called Myeongdong, which is a massive shopping district. Access via subway is hassle free as everything is in dual language so moving around Seoul for me was not an issue. 

Best time to visit Korea

Most of you will be asking when is the best time to visit Korea, well since I visited in February, it is still winter there and it can get really cold. The best time to visit Korea would be in Spring or Autumn when the weather is just nice, not too hot or not too cold. Unless of course you love the cold, January and February would be a nice time to explore. Get those winter jackets ready!

Shopping in Seoul, Korea

What to do in Korea

Generally Korea offers heap loads of shopping among many other things. But for sightseeing, there are a number of unique places to visit there. If you are a city lover, Seoul and Busan is highly recommended as there are unlimited choices for shopping, food and entertainment. Korea is well known for their fashion therefore there are areas dedicated to this like Dongdaemun, Myeongdong and Nandaemun. In these three places alone, there are over a hundred shopping centers and malls that do latest Korean fashion in retail or even wholesale. There are even underground shopping malls that link the subway stations so it is shop till you drop here. You should be pleased to know that it is the Korea Grand Sale 2013 this year too and sales are just about everywhere. 

For the ladies, beauty products are a must buy when you are in Seoul. Trust me, when I say it is cheap, it is really cheap here as Korea is the land of BB Cream. You have these in almost every corner of the city including in the subways. Top brands like Misha, Nature Republic, Skin Food, Face Shop and Tony Moly dominate the skin care industry here. There are also BB Cream for men only too. Face masks are one of the top sellers here so check these out. One of the popular places for these products are at the Myeongdong Shopping District

Apart from Seoul city, one can explore out to the world renown Jeju Island. There are national parks, nature and scenic sights to explore here. So do not expect another city there. This place is more suited for the nature and adventure lover. Getting here requires either ferry or flights so one need to plan well, unless of course you are taking a tour package.

There is also the must-visit DMZ or Demilitarized Zone which borders North Korea. There are day trips here that start from around US$50 per person for a half day tour to the DMZ. Only if you have that free time, then go an visit this place. As for me, I was on a tight schedule therefore I missed the chance.

Interesting Korean Hawker Food

Eating in Korea

Korean food, who hasn't tried this before right? Well, let me just say that what you have eaten so far is nothing compared to the real thing in Korea. I kid you not when I make this statement, even speaking to a Korean lady who has been working in Kuala Lumpur, she too acknowledged that the Korean food in Malaysia, even run by Koreans is simply not the same as back home. 

Korean street food in Seoul

So, Korean food is one of the highlights here. Try the local street food which can be found at many night markets. The Korean BBQ's are a must try and as for me, I picked one of the smaller restaurants located on the first floor of a building only to rediscover the real Korean food. The bottom line, when you visit Korea, try the food and you be the judge.You will be surprised. Note that the food is not cheap though. It is slightly on the high side too. (For the Malaysians - Think of it this way, eating Nasi Lemak in America will not be the same as back home right?)

Changgyeonggung Palace in Seoul

Places to visit in Seoul

My trip in February was a pretty quick trip and in three full days, I managed to visit a number of interesting places. One of them was Namsan Hill in the heart of Seoul. A walk there took me about 15 minutes and then a cable car ride up to the hill. From the hill, the view of Seoul was spectacular while there is the Namsan Tower where you can go even higher for a view. There is also the Teddy Bear Museum located here with a collection of hundreds of classic teddy bears, only if you are into cute teddy bears. 

Exploring on foot, we took a train to visit the Changgyeonggung Palace which sort of reminded me of the palaces in China. An interesting twist, you see the strong resemblance to the Chinese styled palaces. But since it was winter, snow covered most of the area which was rather nice. A small stream by the palace was also frozen and for me, my first time seeing this so it was an eye opener. 

Gangnam Style? 

Since I was in Seoul, I made it my utmost priority to visit Gangnam. Only because Psy sold this to the world with his hit song, Gangnam Style. So what was Gangnam? On the last and final day of my stay, a 30 minute train ride to the district answered all my questions. Sorry but you will have to go there on your own to experience it as I will not disclose what I saw here. Let the mystery remain.  One tip - The coffee cafes here are not too bad. 

Planning a Korean Holiday? 

Overall, I would recommend visiting Korea now because of the simple fact that flights and packages there are getting cheaper by the month. What used to cost RM7000 those days now only cost half the price per person and this includes some decent travel deals which includes four to five star hotel stays. Tours and meals are included with English speaking guides so you will not have to buy that Korean dictionary.  

Korea Grand Sale 2013 nationwide

For the independent or adventurous traveler, there are promotional flight tickets from AirAsia where you can explore Korea on your own. As I mentioned above, moving around the country is simple as there are English notices and signs available. It is not difficult to move around while basic accommodations can be found from around RM100-RM150 a night. My February trip, I stayed a a guesthouse with air-condition and heater with attached bathroom and TV in the heart of Myeongdong for RM140 a night and for two persons!

For the group or family traveler, it is recommended you get a full board package to Korea as it will be hassle free. Also don't forget the Matta Fair Korea Packages as there may be special packages on sale during the travel fair where you can get some interesting Korea Travel Packages.

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