Budget Travel South Korea with Only MYR1,000

Tour Seoul with a budget

This is something that I have been proud of since returning from Korea. Despite people telling me how expensive Korea is, we did a budget travel South Korea with less than RM1,000. I share with you my itinerary and the list of item we had spent money on. Not included in the list are snacks, wine and fruits that we savour along the way and the beauty care products I bought ( I spent RM300 on them :p).

budget travel Korea

Day 1 :

Arrival at Incheon International Airport.
AREX commuter (not the express) to Seoul Station. 3,700 Won.
Seoul Station -> Jongno-3-ga station (our hotel). 900
Sleep.

Day 2 :

Bukchon Hanok Village (subway from Jongno-3-ga to Anguk station). 900 Won
Gwanghwamun
Lunch at Tosokchon. 14,000 Won.
Gyeongbokgung. 3,000 Won.
Namsan Park (subway to Chungmuro station = 900Won, transfer shuttle bus to Namsan Park is free.
Walk 30 minutes downhill to Myeongdong (not recommended unless you’re fit and wearing a good walking shoes.)
Shopping in Myeongdong and claim my free T-money.
Dinner at Two Two Chicken. 30,000 Won (2 person).
Subway back to hotel. 900 Won.

Day 3 :

Subway. 900 Won.
Entrance for National Museum of Korea – Free.
Subway. 900 Won
Lunch at Noryangjin. 61,000 Won (2 person)
Subway. 900 Won
Walk along Cheongyecheon Stream. Free.
Window shopping in Dongdaemun.
Street food at Dongdaemun. 5,000 Won.
Abaisundae and Mung Bean Pancake at Gwangjang Market. 3,000 + 3,000 Won. (2 person)
Subway back to hotel. 900 Won.

Day 4 :

Subway. 900 Won.
Namdaemun Market.
Pastries from Namdaemun. 3,000 Won (2 person share)
Sinsaegae Shopping Center (Korea’s version of Harrods).
Subway to Sinchon. 900 Won.
BBQ all-you-can-eat in Sinchon. 8,000 Won.
Subway. 900 Won.
Shopping in Myeongdong (again!).
Subway back to hotel. 900 Won.

Day 5 :

Shuttle bus + Ferry ticket to Nami Island. 23,000 Won.
Explore Nami Island on foot.
Lunch : mandu that we bought from Nakwon dong in the morning. 6,000 Won (2 person)
Back to Seoul.
Subway to Namdaemun. 900 Won.
Dinner : Galchi Jorim in Namdaemun Market. 18,000 Won (2 person)
Subway back to hotel. 900 Won.

Day 6 :

Walk from hotel to explore Insadong.
Brunch at Sadong Myeonok, Insadong. 5,000 Won.
Jogyesa temple.
Dinner: Spicy BBQ Squids in Nakwon dong. 9,000 Won.
Subway to Seoul station. 900 Won.
Change to AREX commuter to Seoul International Airport. 3,700 Won.
Return T-money at GS5 for refund of remaining credits.

Summary of Spending :

Food + Transport + Entrance Fees = 149,900 (RM419.72, with my exchange rate of RM2.80)
Return ticket to Seoul (Airasia) = RM255 per person (include airport tax but exclude check in baggage, in flight meal and insurance)
Accommodation = 200,000 Won (RM550 with my credit card exchange rate RM2.75) for twin sharing.
TOTAL = RM899.72!

Where to get Cheap Accommodations :

Booking.com and Asiaroom.com had been very useful to me for my previous trip but I can’t say the same when it comes to Korea. Instead, I use Innostel which is solely specialize on Korea hotels, and recommended by Korea Tourism website. It has plenty of hotels, guesthouse, motel and hostel to choose from and runs promotion from time to time. I booked Kara Motel and was given 2 free T-money card loaded with free 7,000 Won credit inside!

Never book your hotel in the last minute. If possible, let yourself have a few months lapse time to wait until the booking website has offers and the exchange rate is at your advantage. Trust me, you’ll see the difference!

Air Flight to South Korea :

I’m sorry to break this to you, but Airasia has just started charging fuel surcharge again. So, you can forget about getting return ticket for RM255 per person. Airasia ticket is cheapest when they’re doing launching for new destination only. The last best price that I surveyed was around RM800++ per person. Still, added in together, RM1,500 per person doesn’t sound like a bad idea too. You might want to survey other airlines for comparison.

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5 Comments

  1. Hi, been reading ur blog and it really interesting. May i know from ur personal experience; is it difficult to do ur own tour around seoul?

  2. Hi Tash, sorry for the late reply. Been busy with moving to new house. I would say, it's quite challenging to tour Seoul by our own especially when we don't know how to speak Korean. Some Koreans are patient and friendly but some are not. However, in the end we enjoy the tour a lot and probably going to do it again next year 😉

  3. hi.. stumble upon ur blog while searching info about Noryangjin fish market. hehe
    agreed with you on this.. coz it only cost me less than rm1.5k to cover Seoul, Gyeongju, Busan and Gwangju for 10 days last year. all u need to do is.. plan ur trip wisely hahaha