Outside Seoul

Old Apr 25th, 2016, 10:24 AM
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Outside Seoul

My husband and I will be in Seoul for the 2016 Rotary International Convention May 28-April 1. We fly out on Saturday April 4. I would like to get out of the city on Thursday and Friday. Suggestions for how to spend two days near Seoul with the aim of getting outdoors would be very welcome. We would enjoy hiking at Bukjansan. Suggestions for accommodations? And logistical advice needed: should we spend Friday night near the airport for a 10 am departure, or is everything within easy travel distance.

Thanks.
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Old Apr 25th, 2016, 10:39 AM
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Needless to say, we are in Seoul from May 28 to JUNE 4, not April. Basic questions still apply ;-)
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Old Apr 25th, 2016, 06:19 PM
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Please see my trip report (just click on my name to find it) -- I traveled extensively in the area and provided a great deal of detail to help those of you who go after I did.
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Old Apr 25th, 2016, 06:56 PM
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Staying near the airport is an option if you are not sure if transfers are easy from where ever you end up the last day. There is the "airport town" (not Incheon itself) nearby to service the airport with lots of basic hotels and restaurants. Most hotels do a shuttle service and there are cabs. By the airport is also a 5 star hotel. I've used the town square hotels a few times for 11.00am flights when I've been on my own and didn't want to struggle with very early morning buses from Seoul ( that bus can take 90 minutes or more) or more so when staying our of the city and trying to get regular express buses in time.

Its not a very interesting place to stay so really only a bed for the night and the ease in the morning.

I'm about to go back but this time will be in Seoul the last night before another 11am flight. We will have to catch a very early bus or taxi (expensive for that distance) but want to be in town that night.

Recent reports indicate the queue for getting through emigration can be long - my last trip it took a good hour after check-in but earlier ones were fairly quick. So you need to factor that in just in case.

Its well worth getting out of Seoul if you can and do read Kja's wonderful report. There is so much really good information there.
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Old Apr 25th, 2016, 07:01 PM
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By the way, June 6th is Memorial Day which is a public holiday so could make traffic on the weekend (and therefore the Saturday morning you fly) busier than usual.
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Old Apr 25th, 2016, 07:25 PM
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@ MaryW -- thanks!
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Old Apr 26th, 2016, 04:13 AM
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Don't forget the airport train service - both express and non-express trains:

http://www.exploringkorea.com/arex-a...express-train/

It's relatively new but very fast and inexpensive. Your t-money card works for the non-express and when we visited, the express tickets were half-price as part of a "get to know us" promotion.
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Old Apr 26th, 2016, 02:49 PM
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@MaryW - Hi! I'm headed back to SK too, but not until the end of September. You said: "Recent reports indicate the queue for getting through emigration can be long" - is that inbound as well as outbound? I'll probably fly out of Busan, but will fly into Seoul.
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Old Apr 26th, 2016, 04:52 PM
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Hi Thursdaysd,

The recent ones have been about outbound but I know it can be very mixed inbound too.

In 4 trips inbound I've had 2 that I have got through very quickly, 1 at about 40 minutes and 1 in October 14 well over a hour. Outbound the first 3 were quick but the last in October 14 took more than an hour through passport control despite the check-in themselves being clear. Maybe its just greater security but didn't seem any different - just masses of people everywhere.

These trips have all arrived around 7.30 - 8.30am and departures usually 11.00am. Different days of the week and different seasons.

I will be going back through this Sunday morning and back later in May so will let you know.
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Old Apr 26th, 2016, 05:28 PM
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Thanks, Mary. My flight lands at 8:50 local, so I'll be at the back of the line...

Hope you have a good trip. Any places you specially recommend these days?
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Old Apr 26th, 2016, 06:22 PM
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I will see where we get to this time. We are winging it but will spend time with the family of my mentor in Icheon which is a ceramics town south east of Seoul. They want to take a holiday with us so dont know where we will end up. I have Andong and Danyang on the list as I haven't seen much in that area.

I promise a report of sorts.
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Old May 6th, 2016, 09:06 PM
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I was browsing online and found a 100+ year old hanok guest house called Ogamul very close to the airport. I'd love to stay there.

I'd think Bukhansan is close enough to Seoul that you probably don't need to find other accommodations for that.
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Old May 6th, 2016, 09:42 PM
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@ HelenaJ -- I trust you are aware that there are hanok right in Seoul, and that many of them are very convenient to key sites in Seoul? Unless you have a particular reason for staying near the airport, you might want to look at one of them instead.... Just a thought.
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Old May 7th, 2016, 07:04 AM
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Oh, I just thought of it when I read "should we spend Friday night near the airport for a 10 am departure?"

I know there are hanoks in Seoul, but this one's out in the country, which makes it much more desirable from my point of view. I'm thinking about this place for our family trip that I'm planning, because we'll likely be arriving in the evening and after going through customs with two cranky kids it would be lovely to have someplace close by. And I was immediately charmed by the house and the setting. Jumping into Korea with both feet, so to speak.
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Old May 7th, 2016, 07:09 AM
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That makes sense, HelenaJ!
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Old May 13th, 2016, 07:14 AM
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Bukhansan is an easy subway ride from Seoul. No reason to stay there. See my trip report for info about my hike at Bukhansan -- and my other adventures .
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