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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Graduation Budget Trip 2017 {17 days of Korea + Japan } ❤️ Part 3 Seoul- Daegu- Gwangju

August 15, 2017


Hi lovelies, 

Im back with Part 3 of my Graduation Trip series.





   This part is continued from this post~ 
So after spending a day in Seoul, we had to leave for Daegu as we had to leave shopping in Seoul to the back of the trip as our flight from Japan back to Seoul had a luggage limit of 15kg. It was also impractical to bring so much luggage all around. So the best way to solve our problems was to put the shopping spree at the back of our trip.

So I first went to check the timings of the KTX train leaving for Dongdaegu KTX station from this website. Its pretty easy to use. Originally I wanted to purchase the KORAIL pass for our travels in Korea but I found that it was not very sensible for us to buy it as we did not travel using KTX that much.

Having our tickets available allowed us to reach a little later. We left one of luggage ( we each had 2 ) in Seoul as we were returning to the same Airbnb when we reached Seoul again.






Seoul Station

Look at whos here ~

KTX Station




Heres our train!




Inside the train. They have wifi + separate space for your luggage. Its super warm and nice inside. Though i would later find out, Japan's trains are of a different level.





Daejeon Station. I remember texting my friend telling them that I was at the homeland of Song Joongki. Oh memories.



Daegu

After 1hr 30mins, we arrived at Sindaegu Station. Take note of the announcements before hand and alight the train! We had to walk a distance to connect to the normal subway ( take note, subways are separate systems from KTX and every region has their own different subway system) to head towards our Airbnb lodging.




Our super pretty Airbnb. Our host was a super nice guy too and he left us alone probably cos he felt we were two young girls travelling together. It costed us $48 a night.















We had lunch at a neighborhood restaurant filled with Koreans.

I remember this to be pork stew.( 7000 won?)

Durians in South Korea




Daegu's " Myeongdong"
Dongseongno Street which our Airbnb Host recommended we shop there. Almost no tourists and no cosmetics staff pestering you to buy something. Everyone spoke to us in Korean also, not in Mandarin unlike in Seoul which was a little unnerving.

So many people, one thing I  like about Daegu was that it had a variety of shops unlike in Seoul , where everything seems to be repeated alot.

Next we made our way to the famous Seomun Market which had coincidentally reopened 1/2 days after a big fire last year. They had so many stalls and the crowd was no joke. Here, no foreigners were spotted again. It had a atmosphere of Taiwanese night markets. My friend and I loved it so much!!


Cheese Bindaetteok ( really good! it was even better than i thought, i thought that Bindaetteok was gonna be filled with veggies and not really appetizing but this was so good.

We found a random closed stall to sit down and eat this and an random grandpa came and sat down too. We talked to him briefly and he was so amazed that foreigners knew about Seomun Market too. Lastly he asked if we had boyfriends lol ( rubbing salt). I told him that we were 20 this year already. He say it is the right time to date now.( Thanks grandpa, i know that fact very well) We walked down from Daeseongno ( around 25mins and 4 subway stops) to save money and to exercise as we could eat more at the night market. My friend also luckily got the last beef croquette at one stall and the entire queue behind us were so disappointed haha. They had so many different kind of food there and the quality of food there is above average, yet the prices are kept rather low.

Some stalls had crazy queues

This was kinda disappointing.

It was cold on the inside..

After soaking in the atmosphere, we decided to head back to our lodging. Note that we were lugging so many etude house masks ( we couldn't stand in to the temptation ) and other things we bought at the shopping street. Also at our Airbnb was located at Yeungnam University which had a whole row of cosmetic shops.There the staff don't bother you and they have special offers targeting the students. One thing about these cosmetic shops is that their discount differ from store to store.

Originally, I wanted to take the KTX from Daegu to our next destination, Gwangju. But my host said it was much more convenient to take the express bus as the KTX stations are often in the middle of nowhere. So I found out that from Daegu to Gwangju is only a 40min ride away from the Daegu Bus terminal. Our host graciously drove us to the bus terminal. The tickets cost 4800won.

Minimart at the bus terminal.

Buses departing for other places. They have announcements and all announcing the departure but it would require you to have some knowledge of Korean language.


We had huge luggages with us and the bus driver kindly asked if we needed to use the storage compartment below. He even taught us how to open the compartment and said we could open it after we arrived. So kind <3

Our Airbnb host gave us this for breakfast. We actually bought muffins ( oh budget life!!) from Paris Baguette the night before for breakfast but we kept it for later. This yogurt is pretty good tho.


Scenery along the way.


Gwangju

We arrived in Gwangju 40minutes later by expressway. It felt like going from Pasir Ris to Clementi. We arrived at the Express Bus Terminal and walked to our next Airbnb lodging which took us 25minutes.


It was a nice guesthouse


We chose the girls shared bedroom but we had it to ourselves. It was a nice room:) Costed us $42 a night.

Outer yard with a cute doggie.


Other rooms.

The guesthouse was a nice warm place and we met some other travelers ( all male lol) and the guesthouse owner was friendly woman:)



We wanted to go to Bulguksa Temple and we were feeling a little hungry. We stopped at a small cafe for ddeokbokki first. We took the bus there to the temple.





Look at the scenery gah!!

I remember it was a freezing cold day. Its a short walk from the bus stop.


Entrance




Tickets!


Lake inside




















Some renovations were going on.



It was a peaceful temple with a nice atmosphere.Bulguksa Temple is the representative relic of Gyeongju and was designated as a World Cultural Asset by UNESCO in 1995. The beauty of the temple itself and the artistic touch of the stone relics are known throughout the world.











Image result for scarlet heart prayer stone
Yes this, credits to Allkpop for this picture.

Legend is that if you stack these rocks and make a wish, it would come true. Remember IU in Scarlet Heart?



My friend loves meat and she said she could not stand eating vegetarian food at the temple (hence the ddeokbokki) Before we went to tour the temple, we had a look at the restaurants and they were so desperate for customers. Right in front of the bus stop there is this buffet restaurant serving different dishes for 6000won. We chose that to eat as late lunch/early dinner.They had chicken, noodles,vegetables, kimchi, curry , jajang, tofu,soup and seaweed. Pretty plenty for 6000won. The taste is good as well. 2 aunties run this place, they were friendly and cute:)

My bowl of bibimbap with doenjangguk

This is the shop front.


We made our way to the Traditional Gyochon Village in Gyeongju but it closes at 5pm. We just had a look around. It is near the Royal Tombs in Gyeongju so you might want to visit them together.









They had hanbok rentals too. Its a beautiful village though.






After we left the village, we contemplated going for night market but we were freezing cold and tired from all the walking in the day.We still had muffins from yesterday and we popped into a small minimart to buy some drinks and food. We came back to the lodging early to settle in but we found ourselves chatting with the other travelers in the guesthouse. The lodging was so warm and cosy compared to outside. As we traveled from Seoul to Daegu to Gwangju all our hosts told us that it would be warmer but ironically it only got colder and colder.
Resident doggy:)
We left for Gwangju to Busan by normal train( Mugunghwa).Its around 2hrs journey and it brought us to the center of Busan instead of the outskirts if we were to go by KTX.The tickets costed us 6600won.


Oh the rubbish bin. After i arrived in Korea, I was so conscious of the rubbish i produce on daily basis. Even in normal households they have at least 3-4 bins to sort their trash. More often than not, it was so hard to find a rubbish bin. See that black bag there? It contained all our dirty trash, unsorted. I am such an embarrassing foreigner. Seriously, Singapore has some way to go in terms of recycling or sorting trash.I was so lost when it came to sorting trash. I was so confused even on my first day when I ate instant cup noodles. Does the styrofoam go into the plastic section? Does the lid go to general waste? Food for thought!


The train station.

I will seriously remember this place for life. When we were standing at the platform waiting for the train to come, suddenly out of the blue, the station master started shouting. I was puzzled for a moment but when I looked at the sky, small flecks of snow were falling down from the sky!!! I was floored. This was the first time i saw snow falling from the sky <3. The station conductor said that it did not snow in Gwangju in winter from November to March. He said the weather was going crazy, snowing in March. I remember that morning complaining to our host at the boiler saying that it was so cold ( it was -2 in the morning) She said that the flowers were going to bloom soon, hence the cold spell.


This guy was the station conductor I mentioned about.

Inside the train. Mugunghwa is the oldest train in use in the Korean subway system but I found it better than I expected. They have some space for luggage at the last row of seats in each cabin.

Pretty right? My mum was won over by the scenery.

This concludes my trip from Seoul- Daegu- Gwangju. I will be posting the next part in the coming days! If you have any queries on how to get about/ my itinerary , please leave a comment!!

xxx,
missmiika