Has anyone got an international license or permit and rented a car and driven in Jeju Island? How is it? Too congested or doable? Can you find parking? If you don’t have a car, then is there a good public transportation to go to typical tour sites and good restaurants? Is it better to stay in Jeju city or in Seogwipo area?
What is the best way to get around from one city/province to another? For example, from Jeju to Busan to Tongyoung (in Gyeongsang Province) to Jeonju (in Jeolla) to Ganwon province to Seoul, etc.
And when you are in a particular place (ex. in Busan), what’s the best way to get around? Subway? Bus? Taxi? All of above?
Any must go/do/eat places?
Any specific hotel or Airbnb recommendation?
What are good apps to download for the trip, other than Kakaotalk and subway apps.
If you get a wifi and have kakaotalk, can you call hotels and restaurants or do you need to also get a phone line (SIM card) in order to call those places?
Also, has anyone seen any concerts or been part of a show (like I see your voice or a cooking show) as an audience? If so, how did you apply for it?
re: Getting around in Busan – I used the subway which was fast and cheap
for orientation, I recommend the tour bus run by the city which is good for a general view of the area to see the lay of the land.
for phone I rented a simcard which was picked up at airport and installed in my phone – it did NOT include local phone calls out – all calls in were free. So to make calls out, I called the sim card carrier and had them deposit from my CC $20 for local calls – and that was sufficient for a two week trip – lots of local calls out, especially because I was travelling with a Korean American friend who didn’t buy a sim card for her phone. You could alternatively rent a wireless “egg” which is a hot spot for several wireless devices simultaneously.
On prior trips I’ve rented two phones – one for me and one for my family member for local calls between us – then no worry about being in a large place and getting separated in case there was no wi fi available – – wireless is really almost universal in Seoul so probably a dispensable expense now
If you are a tmobile customer there is a unlimited text and data in all of South Korea – but unfortunately at the time of my last trip I was still an ATT customer
I did go to a big Kpop concert in Busan – tickets were super cheap – as for some large concerts, one area is reserved for foreigners I guess so the TV cameras can pan the international audience – a good place to find these bargains is Trazy tours – a Korean company — they often sell really cheap packages including transportation from a subway station to the concert venue. I’m on their email list now – and for example, last year they emailed me opportunities to go to a BTS concert in Korea – to pick up the ticket which I ordered a head of time I needed to show my passport – but they don’t have time to check at the venue so I didn’t have to take passport to the concert. I think for certain famous tv music shows, there are some tickets reserved for foreigners regularly.
About renting a car in Jeju, book one way in advance. When I was there members of the group wanted to rent one but no rental had any cars left. You can buy a tourist card for Jeju so you can travel by bus but I spend more time in a bus then exploring Jeju itself. And the bus stops where sometimes quite far from the sighseeing spot. May hotel was central and close to the airport but most sighseeing stuff I wanted to see was closer or in Seogwipo. If you want to see a lot a car is a must or you can book a taxi with a guide.
When traveling from city to city we sometimes used a private bus booked by our travelagency or the KTX train which was fine.
Busan and Seoul have a good subway system can get you everywhere so I would just use that. And for gamcheon culture village there is a shuttle bus if you don’t want to walk all the way up.
I used the Subway app, Maps.me (works better then Googlemaps, works offilne and you can transfer your pins from Googlemaps into maps.me) and the Visit Korea app also had the map of Hanabank website bookmarked with a shortcut on my phone. In that map I could look for Global ATMs more easily. Visit Korea has a map of those too but that one is really a pain to use (back in 2017, maybe it’s improved now). Never put your card in a random small local bank ATM, they will eat your card and then you need to call the bank (phone at the ATM) to have them send someone to open the ATM and get your card out.
Wifi: I used free wifi everywhere, there where a few spots where I didn’t have wifi but even at the peak of mount Seorak I had wifi. I was thinking of getting a simcard but that wasn’t really needed.
I wasn’t able to get tickets for any concerts but I enjoyed watching the street performances in Hongdae and other places.
So overal for Jeju I suggest a car, for Busan, Seoul and other big cities I suggest the subway or bus. I also suggest to buy a T-money card. It’s cheaper, you don’t have to collet your ‘change’ later when using the underground and you can use it in a taxi, 7 eleven etc.
They took a recent trip to S. Korea. They got around by public transit, taxi, and walking. See their experience in this vlog. See what does not work for navigation, as it does in the USA. A little bit of history, and definitely the food, is included in their unique experience.