Saturday, July 30, 2016

Perhentian Island Vacay for RM633

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Its been quite a long time since i went for a beach vacay, and for the first time I headed over to Perhentian Island located at the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia! Reason for this trip? Its the annual high school classmates trip where we go cray cray together!

Ok for RM633 all in, its actually not that cheap as I didn't really plan this as a budget vacay and since it was a big group of us, I just followed this time :)

Here's the breakdown on how much i spent for this trip
Flight: RM150
Van to jetty (return) : RM50
Boat to island (return): RM70
Resort: RM160
Snorkeling: RM40
Food & Drinks: RM163

Transport
Starting up with the trip, we boarded an early flight to Kota Bharu at 8am. separating into 2 groups as  I was flying Mas with Tim while the rest flew with Airasia. Honestly the price diff was only RM15, so I decided Mas since i could hitch a ride with Tim (he has staff parking LOL)


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Tim & I at KLIA

upon arriving at Kota Bharu, its a 1 hour van ride to the jetty (RM25 per way), and about a 30 min speedboat ride (RM35 per way) to the island. We got our transport packages from Seven Seas Holidays where you can locate them easily at the airport itself

Do bring your motion sickness pills, as honestly the Van ride was super fast and curvy



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At the jetty


Price:
Flight: RM150
Van & Boat: RM120

Accommodation:
We stayed at Senja Bay, which is located at Coral Bay, Perhentian Small Island. One of the reasons why we chose this place is because it is located at the quieter side of the island and if you snorkel out you can see more marine life compared to Long Beach. But of course if you wanna head to Long Beach, its only a 15 minute walk away, so it ain't that far


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Coral Bay


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Senja Bay

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*Pic credit to Tripadvisor

The room we got was a family room which fits 6 + an extra bed. It comes with 2 bathrooms and has quite a large living area, so all in all it was pretty worth it for a big group

if you're adventurous enough, you can pitch a tent for RM20 per night at a nearby area alongside Coral Bay

Price: 
RM160 per pax (3D/2N)

Food:
There are plenty of restaurants around the island, so you wouldn't need to go for a full board package actually. Our hotel does provide free breakfast (which is so so as they use a lot of margarine), but still alright if you live the simple life


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One of the local beach cafe's

Tip: Bring as much snacks as possible, as the food can get a little pricey at about RM10-15 per rice dish onwards

In terms of food breakdown, my diet consisted a lot on the different types of Fried Rice LOL

1st Day

Lunch: 
Amelia's Cafe
Pattaya Fried Rice + Teh Ais (RM18)
Dinner: 
Fatimah's Cafe
BBQ Tuna, Pizza + Teh Ais (RM35)
Supper: 
Maggi Cup + Oreos & Whiskey (Brought from home)

2nd Day

Breakfast: 
Hotel buffet (included)
Lunch:
Seafood Fried Rice + Teh Ais (RM20)
Dinner: 
Ewan Cafe
Carbonara + Coconut Shake (RM30)
Drinks: 
Beach Bar
3 Tiger Beer (RM27) 
1 Shisha (RM8)
Supper:
Maggi  cup + snacks

3rd Day

Breakfast
(Hotel Buffet)
Lunch: 
Ombak Cafe
Kampung Fried Rice + Root Beer (RM25)

Total Food Expenditure: RM163


What to do at the island? Its an island! all you need to do is sit back, relax, enjoy the beach and sea. My own personal opinion is to swim is at Coral Bay, as there's more fishes over there and there's less crowd compared to Long Beach


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King of the rock

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One of the nice chillax platforms at Coral Bay


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Just keep swimming

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Long Beach


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Manliness overload

We only opted for one snorkeling trip (6 spots) which costed us RM40 per person inclusive of gear and fins!

It was pretty amazing, as we got to swim close up to turtles and sharks, which was soooo magical!!!
Cues Music: *Under the sea...Under the seaaa*

6 locations:
- Turtle Bay
- Shark Bay
- Perhentian Besar (Lunch Time)
- Lighthouse
- Coral Reef Spot
- Romantic Beach


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Swimming upclose with turtles


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Getting bromantic at the romantic beach

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Wei wen doing her thang


And of course to end the night, Long beach is the place to go as it is truly happening there! Nimesh, Chris & I headed over to Beach Bar, where we watched Ewern and her troupe perform Fire Dancing! Beers are relatively cheap at RM9 per can and a Shisha will cost RM24


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Chris & Nim


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Fire Dancing

If you're here for the dancing, come around 11pm as the dancing starts around that time when the DJ opens up the floor! You'll be able to meet loads of new faces and have a bit of fun there :)

Price: RM35

I hope this post brought you some insights of how to travel to Perhentian Island and to end this post, Grab your mates for a heck good time! Live as if there is no tomorrow!

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If you're wondering how i take those 360 photos, you can do so with a Ricoh Theta S camera:)

Check out my other budget travel posts here: 
Seoul - www.seraphsam.com/2016/07/7d-budget-seoul-trip-with-rm2k.html
Melbourne - www.seraphsam.com/2015/11/melbourne-on-budget.html
Sydney - www.seraphsam.com/2016/02/sydney-on-budget.html

Monday, July 11, 2016

7D Budget Seoul Trip with RM2k

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Hi Everyone, Its been a while from my last update, but here it is finally! Today I'm gonna write about my budget Seoul Trip and how you can do it with RM2k! 


This was an impromptu trip actually, as my sister invited me over since she's heading there as well. So definitely you can actually do it cheaper than me, but I definitely had a great stay for a week in Korea :) The exchange rate that I had was RM3.50 to 1000 Won, and I shall calculate all of it in Won for this post aite?


Starting up, 


Transport



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Flights

Getting to Korea is pretty easy, and the cheapest flights you can get is normally by Airasia. My return flights costed me RM1,000 (I booked my flight about 1 week before the trip) but you can get it cheaper about RM700 if you purchase it in advance. 

A key thing you can save is if you just bring your hand carry (Saving RM135 of check in baggage per way) and also if you already have travel insurance (Saving RM50) so you wouldn't need to purchase these additional things from Airasia



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Public Transport

Public transport in Korea is so complex, that when you see their train map itself, it makes our KTM/LRT look like child's play. Also the Subway map is designed to fit the actual Seoul map, so it is much easier for you to navigate around Seoul

Getting on public transport in Korea is pretty easy when you purchase a T-Money card from any convenience store at the airport. The card costs 4000 Won and I reloaded about 15,000 Won into it for the whole week. It is definitely better than buying single tickets


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T-Money Line cards are so kiuutt, who won't wanna have one?
Pic credit to @Sherlyamelia_n

Also at the end of the trip, if you have any remaining balance, you can refund it with just a 500 Won fee.

Cost: 

RM1,000 flight
19,000 Won Public Transport

Accommodation 

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In Korea, I stayed at a nice backpackers hostel called The Seoul Base Camp Hostel at Hapjeong.

I stayed in a room of 4, which costed me RM200 for the entire week. You can also opt to stay in their Honeycomb rooms (like a capsule hotel which fits 8 per room) for a cheaper rate.

For long travelers, They also have programs where you can work in the hostel for 3 days, and get the entire week's stay for free! (You have to do an online interview before hand)

Perks of staying at this hostel

- FREE BREAKFAST! (They have waffles and toast in the morning, and free coffee/tea the entire day) Save $$
- Its a 2 minute walk from the train exit of Hapjeong
- It is really homey, and you get to meet lots of new faces
- They provide free towels and shampoo/soap at the bathrooms (less packing for the trip)
- There is a 7 Eleven downstairs, if you needa get them midnight snacks or booze
- Its a 5-10 minute walk from all the party streets
- They have a balcony overlooking Hapjeong, and a pet pig over there! Yes you heard me, Haramss!! LOL

Cost: RM200


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The interior of the hostel with Quraisya and Sukmawati from Singapore

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With Sophie, Mason, Nathan & Branson

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Hapjeong Area

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Getting em midnight drinks at 7-Eleven

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The balcony

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and of course, HAMLET THE PET PIG!



Food in Korea
Korea has pretty a lot of nice food available everywhere. Mostly are served with refillable kim chi and condiments, and that is a good way to fill your stomachs! Btw, Tap water is safe to be consumed in Korea, so you can just bring your water bottle to fill up and save on drinks.

Always remember, Beef is more expensive compared to Pork & Chicken there!

Breakfast

I always had my morning coffee and waffles at the hostel, which made me save on breakfast. There were 2 days which I ate out, by getting a sachet of coffee from 7 Eleven (1500 Won) and having a bun at Paris Baguette & Tous Les Jours. (2500 Won)

Cost: 8,000 Won

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Paris Baguette

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7 Eleven Coffee's for 1,500 Won



Lunchies
I mainly headed to Korean restaurants and cafe's for this trip, with an average of 8,000 Won per meal. Other than that I also opted for their Kimbab's which are like a japanese maki with cooked meat inside which costs about 3,000 - 5,000 won each

We also had a treat in between such as the Spring Chicken Ginseng Soup.

Cost: 56,000 Won (8000 per meal x 7 meals)

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Grilled Cuttlefish (3000 Won)

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Ginseng Spring Chicken (12,000 Won)

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Big Ass Plate of Chicken Noodles (3 Pax) for 10,000 Won per  person
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Pork Taco's (6,000 Won) - we needed a break from Korean food LOL



Dinner

For Dinner we spent a bit more on these as there is so much to eat!
A typical Korean BBQ will  cost about 10,000 Won per head at a restaurant, and if you do eat a lot, there are also Korean BBQ Buffets for about 9,000 Won! (but you must hunt em like pokemon!)

A delicacy you have to try is the Yuk Hoe which is raw beef with egg and pear. This is slightly pricey at about 12,000 Won, so its best to get a mate and share it out with you to split the cost. The famous restaurant for it is called Uke Zamezip at one of their night markets

Other than that, the Korean Fish Market is also a good place to go  if you're craving seafood. You would just need to buy what you want from the sellers, and there are restaurants nearby which will cook it for about 10,000 Won. You can also try the Sannkanji (live octopus) over there if you're daring enough

Cost:

10,000 x 5 nights = 50,000 Won
20,000 x 1 night - 20,000 Won (Fish Market Night)


Total: 70,000 Won
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Korean Fish Cakes at their Lok Lok Trucks (3 sticks for 1000 Won)
*Pic credit to cheapflights.com

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Soondae 순대 (3,000 Won)

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Kim Chi Soup (3,000 won)

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The famous shop (Uke Zamezip) at the market selling Raw Beef

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Raw Beef with Egg yolk (12,000 Won)

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The Fish Market

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Crab at 30,000 Won + 10,000 cooking fee (20,000 per pax)

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Sannkanji (Live octopus cut up) - Free when we bought the crab :) 
Power of negotiating! 


Dessert

When it comes to Korea, There is nothing better than their Bing Su. It's similar to our Ice Kacang back home, but with lots of different condiments. A bowl of Bingsu will range from 3,500 - 7,000 Won per bowl depending on which dessert shops you go to

Cost: 10,000 Won

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Bing Su with Jae Hun & Kim Ha (3,500 per bowl)

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Bing Su

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Peanut Bing Su

Drinks (Alcohol)
Believe it or not, Alcohol is pretty cheap at Korea. A bottle of Soju will cost you about 1,600 Won (RM5.60) at 7 eleven or about 3,000 Won (RM10.50) at restaurants.

Beer (Hite) costs about 3,000 Won (RM10.50) for a 1 Litre Bottle, and about 10,000 Won at a pub for a 1.75L Pitcher.

Cost: 20,000 Won

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Pitcher of Max at Junior Bar

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Party Time! 

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Drinking Areas at Hapjeong


Attractions around Seoul

There are plenty of free attractions around Seoul, and one thing that I would definitely recommend is to go on a hike, as there are plenty of mountains around Seoul.

So starting up, here are some of the things you can do during your trip:

Korean Photobooths

If you're unwilling to pay 15,000 to rent a Korean Hanbok (Traditional costume), you can always check  out these Korean photobooths around town where you can wear them on and pay 3,000 per person for a photo!

Cost: 3,000 Won


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With all them Traditional costumes


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This definitely brings out nostalgia during my secondary school days


Korean Palaces

There are quite a number of Palaces around Seoul, and I decided to go to the Gyeong Bok Gung Palace which is one of the biggest in Seoul. The Entrance Fee is 4,000 Won, or you can get in for free if you are wearing a Hanbok! 

So if you wanna feel like a real Korean, go rent the Hanbok for about 15,000 Won and get in the palace for free! You'll definitely get a lot of people requesting to take a photo with you though :P (Oh You attention seekers!)


Cost: 4,000 won

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The entrance to the palace

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Changing of the guards

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Interiors to one of the buildings

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The courtyard

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The I dunno what name is this building

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The Banquet building where they had royal dinners and dances

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Jibokjae & Vicinity (Hall of collecting Jade)

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Audrey and I

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Oh girls bathroom! =D #nonsense

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So serene.

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With Min Ha




Shopping Malls
There are plenty of shopping malls around Korea where you can get your nice kicks, clothes, food and make up products. Definitely I would say, the cosmetic products over here are really cheap, as they normally have a lot of promotions going on such as discounts and buy 1 free 1 kind of things. They also have a lot of freebies when you purchase any items from them

Cost: 10,000 Won for Face Masks


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With Heehyang :)


Arts & Crafts Market
Over here, This market opens once a week where students, graduates and artsy fartsy people come to display their works. If you would like to get something really Korean other than the normal souvenirs you get at the shops, here is definitely your place to be

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Vendors Displaying their artsy stuff

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Portraits from 5,000 - 15,000 won

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Handmade Items (Seals & Signature Chops)

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A street busker



Korea Street Performers Nightlife
Every night around Hapjeong free market area, plenty of street performers come out of the dark and showcase their talents in the middle of street. If you love street culture, dance, rap and singing, it is definitely a place to go as you can see many talented Koreans showcasing their talents in hope of being scouted to be the next Kpop artist

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With Black Bean Crew


Bukhansan National Park
The Bukhansan National Park is just a bus ride away from the city (around 20 min), and you can get on a public bus to get there. There are a few peaks over there which you can head to for a hike, some even requires rock climbing gear but I'm defo not trained for that!

Audrey and I headed up with Kiya (One of our hostel mates) and we got to know some new friends, Chris, Gemma and Joe there too! The hike took us 3 hours to the top and 3 hours down but the sad thing is that it was pretty misty =( So we couldn't see the city view from the peak

Cost: 6 hours of your legs

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Bukhansan National Park

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The beginning of the trail

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With Kiya

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A slightly tough climb

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The other peak where you have to rock climb up

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Audrey and I

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Enjoying a Kimbap

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Joe & Chris searching for "mountain" domesticated cats

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"Mountain" domesticated cats geddit geddit? LOL

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Audrey and I at the peak

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At the peak, it was freezing!

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The faces of tiredness after the climb




JjimJilbang Rooms (Korean Bath House & Sauna)
Get ready to get all naked and frisky with your fellow mates! The JjimJilbang is a great place to relax (especially after that crazy hike) as there are plenty of different spa pools (with different ingredients in), different kind of saunas and steam rooms, ice baths and game rooms!

The sauna and bath are separated based on male/female, and you're gonna be seeing loads of naked men/women there. Other than that, there is also body scrubs/Massages over there which is pretty interesting. You lie down on the massage and a masseuse would scrub you all over with a scrubber. It was pretty horrendous when I saw how much dirt came out of my skin LOL but my skin was smooth as a baby's bottom after that! Defo worth trying!

Cost: 
15,000 for the bath house and utility rooms upstairs
10,000 for the body scrub

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Hell Sauna at 80 Degree's Celcius

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Oxygen room where they pump in way more oxygen to increase blood flow yada yada yada

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A nice cold drink over there

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The food's pretty awesome too!


Dongdaemun Design Plaza & LED Rose Garden
This place is really great if you would like to see their exhibits during the day (requires entrance fees) and is nice to go to at night to check out the LED Rose Gardens. You'll see plenty of couples lingering around the area, overlooking the beauty of the LED Rose Garden and the city lights.

Cost: Free (LED Rose Garden)

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Dongdaemun Design Plaza

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A great place for wedding photoshoots?

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The LED rose Garden

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Roses everywhere!

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Audrey and I


Black Eye Cafe

Yeah you're so gonna get Black Eyes when you head to this cafe! This is actually a raccoon cafe where you can get to play with raccoons over here. Another great part of this cafe is that it is located near an All Girl University. So for you single men, You'll get loads of eye candy here :P Wink Wink

You can try this LOL:
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Cost: A Coffee (8,000 Won)

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Raccoons

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Audrey attempting to touch one LOL




Cheonggyecheon River

This man made river is a pretty great place to walk about, and also a great place to bring that special friend =D It goes throughout the city for about 10.9km, and you're able to walk alongside it to your next destination.

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View from the top

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So that's my take and how I did Seoul with a budget of RM2k. Lets see how I fared in the cost:

Breakdown of Cost:
RM1000 Flight
RM66.50 Public Transport (19,000 Won)
RM200 Accommodation
RM574 Food & Drinks (164,000 Won)
RM175 Attractions (50,000 Won)

Total Cost: RM2015.50

So yeah its totally doable with RM2k in your pocket as you can definitely save on flights compared to me!

Ending this post, 


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I had a random meetup with Sam Insanity at the Airport back to KL

All in all my Seoul trip was a blast, and there hasn't been a regret on it! Hope this post helps you plan your trip to Seoul!

*Photos Taken with Canon 70D, Canon 1100D, & Ricoh Theta S

Check out my other budget travel posts here:
Melbourne - www.seraphsam.com/2015/11/melbourne-on-budget.html

Sydney - www.seraphsam.com/2016/02/sydney-on-budget.html