I am a cheapo. Everyone knows that. Well, at least those around me do. I’m still amazed at myself at how I managed to survive for less than USD 300 for 4D3N in Seoul for each trip few times a year. Food + accommodation + flights.
Okay let me clarify…
I did a post on my first ever trip to Seoul previously. Spent about USD 150 for 3N3D, damage mostly done at the concert I attended on the first day. Didnt really spend on food coz all I had was Iced Peach Teas (yasss twice every day for the whole trip but still costly coz I got them from cafes. 4,500krw per cup. Roughly around 4usd each.) You might say that it is still impossible since I included the flight costs together in the budget. Here comes the truth…I was an airline staff. Now, before you go ‘Ahhh, you get to fly for free thats why…’ I will let you know now that the free part is BS. I get tired explaining this to people but I paid for my tix y’all. Granted, it was still less than what normal pax had to pay for their trips but the point is I still had to pay for them.
SO…I was working for AirAsia X as part of their maintenance crew. Yeah, them people who fix the jet so that you can travel worry free, supposedly. (<- I will make a post on this one day)
I was earning around USD 300 monthly for a couple of years then USD 400 slightly before I left the company. Can you see now? What I spent each time was basically what I earned for the month. If you are in travel business you would have heard about ID travel. That is where I was advantaged. Though our ID travel is not recognized by other airlines 😂 they are still beneficial to me as I travel a lot to South Korea and Japan, mainly for concerts and food.
Lets go to accommodation. Firstly, there are plenty of backpackers hostels around South Korea. Limited, if you chose to go to non touristy parts of the nation but the ones around Seoul, Busan, Jeju, Gwangju etc are plenty and cheap. Im talking dirt cheap. The only setbacks are the locations and cleanliness. I dont mind about location when I travel in Winter, Autumn of Spring but I get choosy when I travel in Summer. Im a big girl, I sweat a lot >.< Booking.com, agoda.com and hostelworld.com are what I normally use.
Tips: You sometimes get better rates on rooms if you book directly via the hostels sites.
Favourite part and probably the main reason why I would return again and again….THE NOMSSSSS 🤤
You can get a nice filling noms for under 10,000krw at normal korean restaurant. One main dish, one bowl of rice, a small bowl of seaweed / beansprout soup (only if your main dish is ‘dry’ dish. You wont get soup if your main dish is ‘stew/soup’ based) and unlimited varieties of side dishes or 반찬 (banchan). I’m not kidding. Skip the touristy or posh looking restaurants with overcrowded foreigners and head over to your neighbourhood alleys. Chances are, you gonna find a nice 맛집/식당 (matjib/sikdang) thats frequented by the locals and you’re gonna find satisfying meals costing even lesser than 10,000krw. The servers might not speak any english, therefore I suggest you to have basic meal/korean language copied into your cellphones as reference.
**For Muslims, please be aware of the type of restaurants you are visiting. Most seafood restaurant only use fish/seafood stocks for their dishes. Ask before you sit down and order. Koreans mostly use Canola Oil and Sunflower Oil in cooking. For fried stuff, they usually use heavier based oil that sometimes contain animal fat. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!**
Halal certified places/restaurants food is more expensive than normal restaurant. It is understandable since it is not to find most Halal prepared ingredients. But as long and you are aware of what goes inside your meal it should be fine. As long as ‘waswas’ doesnt pops in your head, that is 😂
Street food. Winter is the perfect weather to enjoy street food. Spicy rice cake, the fried veges assortments, fish cake in hot broth, egg breads…the list is endless! You will be spoiled with choices. Koreans often pair them with Soju or Beer. You will be in heaven. I am already drooling 🤤
There is no end when it comes to food. All I can say is, if you have a favourite vege or seafood place in South Korea, hit me up!
As I’m writing this, I’m actually torn between a short trip to Bangkok or Seoul in 2 days time. Undecided 😞 Help me decide, juseyo 🌹