After months of planning, we finally pull off this travel to celebrate our 20 years of friendship! We initially just want any date during the peak of foliage until our schedules match the end of October. This means Halloween parties at night and scenic autumn tours at day.
1 Strolling around Nami Island
Nami Island is a must during autumn because of the concentration of maple and gingko trees that’d guarantee colorful fall foliage. But, this would mean sharing your photos with strangers. It’s too crowded so if you don’t mind it, then you would appreciate this tiny island accessible via ferries or zip lines.
There are activities available like biking and boating. We, however, had a limited time because we were on a tour. It costs 40USD with KKDay (11 hours) that includes Nami Island, Gapyeong and Ganchon. You can do a DIY by taking a metro to Gapyeong Station (est 3,300-4,300 KRW or 3-4USD) then take the public bus (5,000 – 6,000 KRW or 5USD) to the entrance and pay 13,000 KRW or 11USD for the ferry.
Check Nami Island photos on my separate blog entry here.
2 Halloween in Itaewon
Itaewon is the heart of Halloween in Seoul for tourists looking for a good time. Most people are wearing costumes and/or with amazing make-ups. We had our faces painted too for as low as 8,000 KRW or 7USD. Most clubs are in Hongdae (caters more to young people like university students), Gangnam (trendy/exclusive) and Itaewon (hip/touristy).
By the way, I never thought that eating in a Pojangmacha (orange tents) made famous by Korean dramas would excite me! On our way home to the hostel, the taxi driver wrongly stopped few blocks away. Good thing my friend Ramar saw this tent, so we just had to try!
3 Hiking in Seorak-san
I backpacked Busan 4 years ago and Mt Seorak seemed to me a little bit similar with Mt Geumjeongsan (I did hike this mountain!). Seorak’s Biryong falls is a bit underwhelming (again, I had seen one of the bests like Iguazu in Brazil and Mealt waterfalls in Scotland). Still, the top of the mountain offers a good view (cable car 10,000 KRW or 8.5USD), quite similar with China’s Mt Huashan.
Check Seorak-san photos on my separate blog entry here.
4 Rail Biking in Gangchon
We never thought rail biking could be fun. It was the last part of KKDay’s tour so our energy’s off and we just want to get it done and have a samgyupsal! This was actually enjoyable because there were tunnels with colorful lights, pop music and elaborate decors. Though, you had to physically pedal but given our competitive spirits, it required small efforts. There was a long, dark tunnel resembling like a rave party with light shows and electronic dance music. It was fun doing it with friends.
5 Shopping/Drinking/Eating in Myeongdong
Myeongdong is the center of shopping, drinking and eating for tourists. Buy all your souvenirs here and Korean makeup kits because it’s relatively cheaper compared to other areas. Our friend Ramar spent 320USD for face masks and other Korean cosmetics (for gifts back home).
This travel was different. I got to reconnect with my grade school / hometown friends whom I don’t regularly see. It was amazing to just be with them and take a small step back from our work lives to celebrate our friendships. I feel blessed to have them in my life. Thank you friends 😊