Seoul Searching: My South Korea Solo Backpacking Day 0

Over a year in the making, I almost couldn’t believe that this trip was possible. Why? I got this thing that it is so hard for me to purchase expensive things at a single cash out! hahaha I know it’s kinda weird but yeah that is how my brain works. Some may also think that the ticket which is the most expensive part of this trip still is way too cheap, being the backpacker that I am it can never be the cheapest.

Ever since I learned to watch Koreanovelas (Korean Dramas) I have always romanticized about walking along the streets of Seoul late at night and so the wanting to travel to Seoul during fall was born.

Photo from fanpop.com

I tried to tag my friends along but the plan falter and it turned out to another one of my solo travels. I just thought that it would be lots of fun to see the city with my friends. I still think it would be.

There were lots of seat sales that came but I didn’t had enough money with me so I just had to let the opportunities pass by. After a few months I was able to buy my own ticket for 6,000 pesos, not actually bad for an airfare to Seoul since regular airfares from Manila to Incheon (airport nearest to Seoul) ranges between 15,000 to 18,000.

The Visa 

South Korea requires Filipinos a visa to be able to enter their country. You don’t have to pay anything for the visa application and may take between three to five days depending on your qualifications. You may click HERE to find out how to apply for a Korean Visa.

One thing that I wanna share with you guys is how nerve racking it was for me to apply! Hahaha! Some might say that I am over acting but this is a visa still and my plane ticket is considered worthless until I have my visa approved!

Since I have a visa from an OECD member country I should be getting my visa in about three days after I passed my application, but due to a national holiday and the weekend I had to wait for eight grueling days! Passing the requirements and having a pickup date does not guarantee you that you will be approved, actually your pickup date is the day that you would know if you are approved or not. During the time in between you may be called by the embassy to provide additional requirements and that was what I was most nervous of…. what if they ask me to provide a bank certificate!? I mean I am a constant traveler and my bank account gets drained every time that I would have enough for me to travel to a place. Thank God, for they didn’t ask me any additional documents anymore.

On the day that I was scheduled to pickup my passport, my heart just kept on pounding, yeah I was damn nervous! And it seemed that all signs were pointing and saying hey you got approved!!! So from Ayala Station I took a bus going to Market! Market! and on the bus the movie playing was a Korean Movie! Buses don’t usually play them on board but this one is, but I had to keep my self together so I brushed aside the thought making me excited coz I don’t want to be disappointed if I get denied. I got off at Market! Market! and traversed the sidewalks of C5 going south, as I walk towards the embassy I got see another premonition! I heard a plane from above and as I looked up It’s a Korean Airline plane!!! Oh my, HELL YEAH I GOT MORE NERVOUS! I mean what’s is the meaning of all of this!?

As soon as I got to the gates of the Embassy I immediately gave my ID and registered, upon entering the receiving area I had to fill up some forms by the security personnel (who happens to be from the national police) then I was given a number. I was number 21. The staff then called out numbers and people starter lining up I thought that I’d be on the second batch but I was called! My heart was pounding really hard and I couldn’t describe how nervous I was, imagine, I have a plane ticket and have reserved my accommodation already, what a tragedy would it be if I got denied! right!?

I was the last person in line, I gave my number to the staff and didn’t open my passport until I got a little farther from the window, I didn’t want to startle or something the staff…. then I slowly opened my passport and voila! I got approved! It’s now official I am going to SEOUL, South Korea!

 

This post is part of my four day backpacking trip to Seoul, South Korea series

Seoul Backpacking Guide

Part 1: Arrival, Coffee Prince and Seoul N Tower

Part 2: The Palaces and Coffee Shop Experience

Part 3: The Jimjjilbang Experience and Nandaemun

Part 4: The Epilouge: Going Home

South Korea Trip Preparations

How to Apply For A Korean Visa

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ian dela pena

iandelapena, the person behind the blog brownmantrips is a yuppie living in the metropolis who believes there is always something good to see everywhere in the world. This is his depository of travel memories for his not so good and maybe soon to fail memory, thus the travelogues in this blog.

16 Comments

  1. I’m planning a solo trip to Seoul Korea in late September 2014 .. I have some questions sir: .Where did you exchange the money ? In Philippines or in Korea?

    • Hi Zelly!
      Thank you for visiting my blog =)
      I had my money (Philippine Peso) exchanged in Korea…. I would suggest to have it exchanged before you exit to the arrival area…. I find their rates better than the one found at the waiting/arrival area.

      Thanks!
      Ian

  2. Hi, awesome blog! I have a question, did you have a hard time at the airport because you’re travelling solo?

    • Hi Lala! Great to see you here 😀

      As far as going around the airport, I didn’t really had a hard time. I only had a backpack with me and that was it. Immigration was also fast and a pleasant experience for me.

  3. Hi! Thanks for your blog. It is very encouraging. Btw, may I know if there’s an interview pa in applying a visa for Korea? If yes, what are the sample questions. Thanks! 🙂

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