Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you ask any question, please check if there's already an entry about it in the Site Map and in the list of questions below. If your question is not in this list, feel free to contact me.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When is the cherry blossoms season in Seoul?
Spring in Seoul starts from end of March until early May. However cherry blossoms bloom early in April and the dates vary each year. Refer to KTO Website for specific dates for every year.

2. Can I do a day trip to Nami Island?
Absolutely! Nami Island is only a 90 minutes trip from Seoul. If you take the Nami Island Shuttle Bus, you'll be back in Seoul around 5.30 PM.

3. Can I do a day trip to Mount Sorak?
Also feasible. Journey by Express bus to Sokcho city where Mount Sorak is located takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes. If you take the earliest bus around 6 AM you'll arrive there with plenty of time to take the cable car at Mount Sorak, explore around and then take the express bus back to Seoul. However if you plan to do hiking, it is better to stay overnight there.

4. Is Seoul a safe city? I am backpacking alone / only with female friends.
Yes, Seoul is one of the most safest cities in the world. At night there might be some drunks but as long as you don't directly go towards them you'll be safe. Just use some common sense and don't go using some dark lanes/provoke anyone.

5. Can I bring frozen / cooked foods into South Korea?
Yes. During our trip we actually brought frozen chicken drummets, frozen rendang, cooked mini ketupats..among other dried foods. I emailed the KTO office regarding this and they checked with Korea Food & Drug Administration. Apparently there is no exact rules for individual food so it is okay to bring them in.

6. Is the Seoul subway easy to use?
Subway in Seoul is really extensive and can literally take you everywhere in Seoul (and beyond). Station names are announced in English, and there are many English signs inside the subway stations. The only thing that may be confusing is how you may have to make transfers to other lines. But you can download subway apps that can help you with this.

7. I saw in Korean dramas that they don't pay using cash for public transportation?
Yes, Koreans usually use the transportation card: T-Money. Available in almost every convenience store, the card only costs 2,500 KRW. I highly suggest getting this card. You'll get discounted for each ride (100 KRW). But even if you don't use it 25 times to get the card's worth back, the convenience and ease-of-use makes the investment more than worth it.

8. What to do if I am lost?
Approach any Korean and ask! Most young Koreans can understand English so they are your best bet. If you can't find anyone who knows the direction of where you are heading, ask for the nearest subway station. Also bring the Korean address and telephone number of the place you are staying so you can always hail a taxi and ask them to take you back to your lodging.

9. I need someone to help me translate on-the-go when I am in Seoul, who should I call?
You can call the KTO 24 Hour Travel Hotline at 1330 (02-1330 if calling from mobile phone) or Seoul Call Center at 120 (02-120 from mobile phone). Be informed that Seoul Call Center only operates from 9AM to 5 PM only.

10. What is the weather in Seoul during January / April / ______ ?
You can easily check the weather in Seoul from this page here. Just put in the months where you want to see the weather.

11. I want to book a hotel room at a place where it is easiest to get halal food. Which area should I search?
Itaewon. The road leading to Seoul Central Mosque is filled with halal restaurants, butchers and supermarkets. Use room booking site (Agoda for example) and search for Itaewon.

12. Is (insert restaurant name) halal?
If I don't tag it as halal, use your own precautions. Also I can't possibly know what kind of cooking oil they use or whether they separate their utensils etc. Please use your own wisdom to judge.

13. Can you tell me restaurants that I can go in (insert district name) area?
Please use the district categories to check, or you can also use the Search by Two Categories feature.

14. How about adding other type of restaurants? I am bored with kebab and Indian food
South Korea is not a Muslim majority country, we can't expect various kind of permissible food like what we have in our own country. However I do think I've added a lot of choices especially if you are willing to test the Seafood and Vegetarian restaurants.

15. Really? Where are these restaurants you talk about?
Site Map is the place to go. Or check the categories.

16. What is the best preparation I can do before I go to South Korea?
Learn Hangul. It is very easy, you can actually learn it in one day. If you have an iPhone, try searching for Hangul Tap application at the App Store. Also learn some survival phrases. There are apps for basic Korean too, check the Useful Smartphone Apps tips.

17. Is your Travel Planning Service open to Malaysians only?
The service is open to all readers of this site! International customers will be issued invoice through PayPal. Read customers' testimonials here.

27 comments:

  1. hi fadzlin. do you have any contacts for you to share. like a tourguide. im going with my mum so i want to make sure she will be the happiest mum in korea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Syafiee, unfortunately I don't know much of it. But you can try checking this site here: http://www.muslimtravelbug.com/

      I find your wish to make your mum happy is very remarkable MasyaAllah. May your trip together be a joyful one InsyaAllah.

      Delete
  2. hye, fazlin,,im planning to to korea on april or may next year..but i still stuck to plan for initenary for 6d 5n..i already survey the accomodation and interested in Seoul Youth Hostel...well can u help regarding this which means the specific planning for the trip and me and my friends are KPOP lovers...tq :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, please look at the Planning Service okay.

      http://www.muslimbackpackerseoul.com/p/our-service.html

      Delete
  3. Assalammualaikum, Kindly advise what the best data prepaid sim card should I purchase for my 10 days stay. We need at least a data sim card for us to easily communicate using whatsapp, viber or skype.

    Please advice

    Wassalam.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Waalaikumsalam,

      You can refer my entry on how to get connected in Seoul: http://www.muslimbackpackerseoul.com/2012/06/staying-connected-in-seoul.html

      Delete
  4. Salam fadzlin! I plan to visit south korea next summer inchAllah. I'm a muslim who lives in germany, can I also use your planning service or is it for Malaysians only.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Waalaikumsalam,

      Yes of course. International customers will be invoiced through PayPal. Just fill up the form at the Planning Service page and I'll get back to you.

      Delete
  5. Salam,

    By any chance, do you know of any food options in Busan and Jeju?

    (isthisliyana@gmail.com)

    -Liyana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Waalaikumsalam,

      I don't know of any in Busan yet (but you can Google and I'm sure you'll find lots) but here are the addresses of two Halal Restaurants in Jeju Island.

      Bagdad: 제주특별자치도 제주시 이도2동 1188-16
      Raj Mahal: 제주특별자치도 제주시 연동 272-13번지 신제주제원사거리

      You can paste the addresses on Google Map to see their locations and also give it to your taxi driver there :)

      Delete
  6. hi saya berminat dgn Planning Service.. tapi form macam x berfungsi.. RM59/perday bermaksud berapa travel day or berapa hari kami enngage utk buat planning service ke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Arika,

      Saya baru check. Form tu okay. Cuba try sekali lagi di sini: http://www.muslimbackpackerseoul.com/p/our-service.html atau boleh email saya terus di muslimbackpackerseoul at gmail dot com. RM 59 tu untuk hari yang Cik engage service tu.

      Delete
  7. berapa agaknya kos sewa kereta sehari di seoul ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salam,

      Saya pun kurang pasti, tapi Encik Azman boleh refer link ni: http://visitkorea.or.kr/enu/TR/TR_EN_5_3_1.jsp

      Delete
  8. hye, fazlin,,im planning going to korea on may this year with my family..but i still stuck to plan for initenary for 6 days 5 night . Well can u help regarding this which means the specific planning for the trip and me and my family. Do you still provide planning service. I hope to get ur feedback as soon as possible. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salam Nuratika,

      The planning service is currently off, but it may be on again in a few weeks InsyaAllah. Watch the space and once it is on you can submit your request through the Planning Service page. Sorry for the inconvenience.

      Delete
  9. hye. still not open your planning service?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hye, it is not formally open yet but you can fill up the form already in the Planning Service page. Sorry to keep you waiting! :)

      Delete
  10. Hi, this is a great site. I was wondering, how much will the whole travel costs based on how many days staying. It may help me plan better. Also, how many days of travel will it take for a one time trip. What I meant is, travelling for just a couple days won't be enough to go around seoul, so how many days can you suggest and how much will it cost me, overall. Thank you :)

    p/s: is there any budget hotel around itaewon?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello, this is seoul station pencil hostel. We look your website by accident. And we think that our hostel can accord with your standard to hostel in your website. Our hostel open more than one year. And all the ficilities are new in our hostel. Especially every room in our hostel has a pravite kitchen. Muslim can cooking by themselves.Our hostel colse to subway station, with convenient transportation. Meanwhile our hostel near by Itaewon where has many halal restaurants . So Muslim like our hostel very much. Our pricing less than other hostels. Our hostel has high regard in the agoda.com.Therefore we hope that our hostel can be grouded in your website and cooperation with you. How can i cooperate with you?
    Our e-mail adress is pencilseoulstation@gmail.com. We are looking forward that you can reply us, and consider our suggest. Best wish for you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Salam.

    Hi, there. I notice that you've removed the link to SoulScarves. I'm your happy customer, FYI. Bought two items then and really love them! Is the site no more available? Will be pleased if it is on again. Btw, I see you've already posted my testimonial. Pleased to read it online. You deserve my appreciation for providing excellent service! :)

    ps: Miss Izzati then, Mrs Izzati now. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Izzati,

      Congrats on your wedding! I'm very very happy for you ♥ Thank you for both loving the scarves and the travel planning service. Unfortunately I am now quite busy with my day job and can only handle one other hobby (MuslimBackpackersSeoul) at a time. I pray for your continued happiness this world and next. Your kind words have really lift my spirit up.

      Lots of love,
      Fadzlin.

      Delete
  13. Hi. Assalamualaikum

    I just wondering is prayer place easily be found in seoul?

    If tengah jalan2, we need to pray (especially zohor and asar) is it possible to find a prayer place in seoul?

    Or what do u suggest? Pray in a mall, on the roadside or etc

    Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Salam,

      I am sorry for the late reply. I didn't notice this comment actually. To get faster reply you can tweet me instead. As for your question:

      Specific prayer rooms are very scarce. There's one in KTO, COEX Mall and of course Seoul Mosque. What I did instead was find any clean, quiet space.

      You can try fitting room, emergency exit/stairs, or even a park. Believe me, Koreans have seen even more weird things people do on a park. They'd look and maybe ask, you can answer "islam gido" (muslim prayer).

      Delete
  14. Assalamualaikum,

    I was wondering if there was any kind of organization that helps Muslims in Korea meet either to help new Muslims integrate or for marriage inquiries. I looked into KMF but there is no official website or contact info for them. Given that you are a Muslim and have been living in Korea for quite some time, perhaps you might have some idea as to if resources such as these exist. If not, can you give some tips to a newcomer for the best way to meet Korean Muslims? Thank you so much!

    JazakaAllahu khair

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not currently based in Seoul, but I think it would be a good idea to go to the mosque in Seoul and ask the helpful employees there. Sorry for not being more helpful.

      Delete