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Cherry Blossom Trip to Korea – Day1

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Date: 18th Apr 2015 (Saturday)
Flight: Cathay Pacific – Economic Class

Scheduled/Planned:

Penang International Airport → Transit at HK International Airport → Seoul Incheon International Airport → Busan Station → Studio DaRak Apartment

(1) Departed from Penang International Airport at 8:40AM
We were 40mins late departed from Penang International Airport. Understand from the front desk crews, this was due to the yesterday’s flight reached Penang Intl. Airport late at night and the pilot required to get enough rest before take off for the next flight. As well, first time we faced difficulties to check-in online ahead 48hours before departure. The reason being given was due to the flight fully booked for which airport locked the system to avoid incoming new booking. Hence, my friend and I needed to reach airport 2hours ahead to check in at the counter.

(2) Stopover & Transit at Hong Kong International Airport at 14:25PM
There was no delayed for transit flight even though we departed 40mins late from Penang International Airport. We had sufficient time to transit in HK International Airport heading to Seoul Incheon International Airport.

(3) Arrived at Seoul Incheon Intl Airport at 18:55PM
Remembered to switch your clock 1hours behind the Malaysia time. As usual, we needed to bypass quarantine gate heading to immigration checkpoints with the arrival card/immigration form that we filled while in flight then proceed to baggage claim. I am expecting that the officers will be friendly treat each of the travellers who visited to their country with smiles but it is not. I saw the officer showing dirty face, impatient and shouted to the Chinese travellers whom do not understand what they required to do at the checkpoints. This was awful even though I did not faced that treatment but it gave me an impression that I felt myself like an illegal immigrant begging for visiting Korea. Further to this, not to forget the Hong Kong immigration officers as well having the same bad attitudes. I will try to avoid stopover at both airports in near future.

T-money card
Remember to purchase & reload T-money card in Seoul Incheon International Airport to use in Busan (부산 – 釜山). I read some blog mentioned that T-money can not reload/top-up in Busan. We purchased at GS25 convenient store at arrival hall 1F. Each of us reloaded ₩40K excluded ₩2500 for the card price. Remembered to check and count your change before leaving the convenient stores, shopping centers or restaurants. We experienced few times that the cashier returned less change even though the system showing corrected amount.

More information on T-Money Url: HERE

EG Sim Card
It is recommended to purchase EG Sim Card while travelling in Korea to avoid uninterrupted connection while navigated around even though free WIFI can be found easily. It cost ₩30K for 1GB data & voice usage. I choose Hybrid SIM card for my Samsung Note3 purchased at GS25 convenient store. You are required to activate the SIM card online prior to using the card. Activated before the business hours else you may only activated by next day. Don’t forget to take photo of your passport before register online. You can save ₩500 if purchased online and collect at K Books store in Seoul Incheon Airport. Unfortunately, K Books store opened until 8PM as we need time at immigration checkpoints and baggage claimed.

More information on EG SIM Card Urls:
Link1
Link2
Free WIFI Spot & Passwords Url: HERE

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(4) Seoul (서울 – 首尔) to Busan (부산 – 釜山) via KTX departed at 20:35PM
We reached Busan at midnight and it was raining. Always be punctual as the train will depart sharp based on the datetime printed in the ticket. The speed of KTX can reached up to 300+km/h. There was free WIFI provided in the train but the signal only went strong when it reached each station. Be prepared that your ears will be discomfort along the 4hours++ long journey as the train frequently cross the mountain.

KTX – Korea Train eXpress
Normal train ticket cost ₩71,100 while Sakura peak season. Hence, we choose 1-day KR Pass (Saver for group of 2 ~ 5 people) cost ₩60,300 each. Reserved online with credit card and remembered to printout the E-ticket. You just needed to show your passport at AREX counter with your E-Ticket printout to exchange for your KTX tickets. The customer service advised us not to get lost the tickets else we will require to re-purchase. The train ticket price varied by days and time. We purchased normal train ticket online while returned to Seoul that cost us ₩47,800 for each departed at 12:40 noon.

More information on KTX url: HERE
KR Pass Price url: HERE
Check the normal train ticket here: HERE

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Luckily, the apartment we stayed just 5-10mins walks from Busan station. Very strategic location which next to convenient store that open 24 x 7 as well fast foods restaurants & Korean foods restaurants can be easily found nearby. We try the apartment stay with complete amenities provided booked through Airbnb website. It cost RM217 per night for 2 persons stayed included cleaning fees. I have to highlight here that the cleaning fees means the house only clean up after we left the apartment. So, we need to do our own cleaning within our stayed. Shame to say that we faced difficulties to sort the garbage out as we do not always did it in our own country. In conclusion, we will choose to stay in hotel in near future because it provides daily clean up. (Ha……) We were too tired after eachday outing. The house owner, Sarah was very helpful to recommend what and where to dine at & help us order the fast foods delivery through phone while both of us feel discomfort by the second day stayed in Busan due to nonstop raining day.

Studio DaRak Apartment url: HERE

~*~ PHOTOS ~*~

Penang International Airport – Cathay Pacific Flight
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In flight meal – Sausage with eggs
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In flight meal
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In flight meal – Fried Rice
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KTX – Seoul to Busan
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Busan – Studio DaRak – Downstair
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Busan – Studio DaRak – Upstair
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Busan – Studio DaRak – Kitchen
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Busan – Studio DaRak – Toilet
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Busan – Fast Foods Restaurant
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Busan – Fried Chickens
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More Day1 photos in my flickr album: Link to flickr photos

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