Escape Plan to South Korea & Hong Kong March 2019

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to South Korea and Hong Kong:

Total duration 18D17N
Singapore is 1hr behind of Korea and same timezone as Hong Kong.
Flight time is 4hrs 5mins on Cathay Airlines from Singapore to Hong Kong, a 50mins transit followed by a 4hrs 50mins time on Cathay Airlines from Hong Kong to Incheon Airport Seoul.

Return flight is 3hrs 55mins on Cathay Airlines from Hong Kong to Singapore.

Friday night flight on 29th Mar at 810pm and arrival in Hong Kong in the morning of the 30th Mar at 1215am followed by a flight at 105am and arrival in Korea in the same morning at 555am.

Return flight from Hong Kong on the 15th Apr at 230pm and same day arrival in Singapore at 625pm.

Day 0-1 Flying and Gamcheon Village in Busan
Day 2 Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival and arrival into Geoje
Day 3 Cruise to Oedo Island, Tong Yeong Hallyeosudo cable car and Junggang market
Day 4 Hakdong beach, Windy hill and drive to Yeosu, Odongdo island
Day 5 Yeosu Rail bike, Aqua Planet and Teddy bear museum
Day 6 Drive to Jeonju, cheese theme park and Jeonju old town
Day 7 Explore Jeonju and drive to Wolmido
Day 8 Fairytale land, Chinatown and back to Seoul
Day 9 Yeouido park, Noryanjin Market and Myeongdong
Day 10 Lotte World Adventure theme park
Day 11 Nami Island, Gangchon rail park and Garden of Morning Calm
Day 12 Dongdaemun and Lotte Outlet
Day 13 Strawberry farm, Pocheon Art Valley and Herb Island light festival
Day 14 Seoul to Hong Kong
Day 15 Sino Center and Hysan Place
Day 16 Hong Kong Space museum and shopping at CHKC
Day 17 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was the first time in donkey years that we travel with my extended family. It was not an easy itinerary to begin with, having to plan different flights for my wife, my parents, my aunt in HK and for me and my boy, as we were flying different times, for reasons such as for business, for best price and for breaking the trip. There was also trying to plan a bit of something for my parents and for the kids. Glad that everything turned out well.

Budget nature: Rather Expensive 

Costs of living in Korea was quite high especially in the cities, car rentals was expensive too. This was offset by the optimisation of squeezing into Airbnb units in Seoul and getting the better deal through Klook and utilising discount coupons from tourism book brought over from Singapore.

Complexity: High

Due to different flight times (5 different tickets) for everyone, we had to get all the dates and times right before purchasing the tickets. Travel by car outside the city was still fine but met with heavy traffic when in Busan. Thankfully for the Hyundai Sonata in-car GPS, it was a little easier to navigate as Google maps do not work, and Naver app wasn’t driver friendly. Travelling via public transport in Seoul was easy but not so in a taxi as we were easily lost in translation, and getting taxis for a big group was a challenge itself, as the taxis can only take up to a certain number of people.

Escape Plan to South Korea October 2011

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to South Korea 2011:

Total duration 13D12N
South Korea is 1hrs ahead of Singapore.
Flight time is 11hrs 50mins on Cathay Pacific with a transit at Hong Kong before arrival at Incheon Airport.

Morning flight is on Cathay Pacific on 26th October at 1:15am and arrival in Hong Kong at 5:10am and depart Hong Kong at 9:30am and arrive at Seoul at 2:05pm.
Return flight is on Cathay Pacific on the 7th November at 10:15am and arrival in Hong Kong at 1:15pm and transfer to 4pm flight and arrival at 7:45pm in Singapore on the 7th November.

Day 1 – Arrival in Seoul, Jogyesa Temple and Jonggak shopping.
Day 2 – Palace hopping, Seodaemun Prison and Shopping
Day 3 – Mt. Sorak and Sinheungsa Temple
Day 4 – Seoraksan cable car, Gwongeumseong Fortress and bus to Daegu
Day 5 – Day trip to historical town of Gyeongju
Day 6 – Beomeosa Temple, Geumjeong Fortress, Seokbul-sa Temple and Jagalchi Market
Day 7 – Yonggungsa Temple, Gwangandaegyo Bridge and Busan shopping
Day 8 – From Busan to Jeju and Mysterious Road, Miniature Land and rocks
Day 9 – Seongsan Ilchulbong, Manjanggul Lava Cave, Sangumburi Crater, Jeju Folk Museum and Haenyeo Woman Divers
Day 10 – Daepo Jusangjeolli Cliff, Teddy Bear Museum, Sanbangsan and flight from Jeju to Seoul
Day 11 – DMZ tour – world’s most heavily fortified border
Day 12 – Shopping again at Seoul
Day 13 – Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was planned to cover 2 days of public holiday consecutively to minimise the number of leave days required, so that 7 days leave yielded 13 days of holidaying.

Budget nature: Affordable outside city.

Other than the big cities where prices were expected to be higher, moving around the other areas of this big country can be pretty affordable. Take public transportation and stay at non-luxurious accommodation to bring costs down.

Complexity: Not so straightforward.

Cities and tourist places were very well connected with public transport. However, language became a barrier for communication especially outside Seoul. The hand language worked though, and the translation on Lonely Planet guide book made it easier.

Driving in Jeju helped to us to get from places to places effectively in the huge island and since traffic was light, it was not difficult to drive.