Quickly? As in one day for each city. Well not even one whole day valued at 24hours. Well that’s what happens when one of my closest friends came to visit me from Toronto on her way back home from the Philippines. She had a total of 5 full days in Korea and she wasn’t going to be satisfied with only spending all those days in Seoul alone. Jeju Island was a must stop, another added bonus was the Jinhae Cherry Blossoms Festival happening on the same week, and that resulted in an additional stop to the second largest city in Korea, Busan, as the stopping point between the two cities and Seoul. Despite it being in early April, the weather wasn’t all too great to be happy with. It was cold (about 10 – 13 degrees celcius) and windy at times and rainfall as well. The total time we saw the sun was maybe one hour max for the 3 days there. Needless to say, I will be visiting Jeju and Busan again once warmer and sunnier weather comes.
Transportation: We booked the flights during my visit back to Toronto, about 10 days in advance, and by that time, the saver deal flights were all sold out. After going through numerous airlines in Korea, especially the low cost carriers (Jin Air, Jeju Air, Air Busan) we decided to go with Jeju Air for our flights. We booked two one-way flights, Seoul Gimpo (GMP) to Jeju (CJU) and then Jeju (CJU) to Busan (PUS), each one about 1 hour in duration but both were delayed slightly. Returning home to Seoul, we choose the KTX option from Busan Station to Seoul Station in under 3 hours). We also got to rent a car in Jeju Island for the 24 hours there. Additionally, to reach Jinhae from Busan and back, we took the airport limo bus from Busan Airport to Jinhae and back to Busan Bus Terminal.
Flight: Jeju Air 09:40 – 10:55; GMP to CJU; 71,800KRW
Flight: Jeju Air 10:40 – 11:35; CJU to PUS; 25,700KRW
Express Bus: Busan Airport to Jinhae; 8,700KRW
Express Bus: Jinhae to Busan Express Bus Terminal; 5,100KRW
KTX: Busan to Seoul 16:00 – 18:40; 58,800KRW
Car Rental: AJ Rentacar; 23,500KRW for a Chevrolet Cruze (sub-compact)
Total Transportation Cost: 181,850KRW per person.
Accommodations: For this two night trip, with one night spent in Jeju and the other in Busan, we had to find sufficient and affordable place to stay. For Jeju, we used Booking.com since there were no international chains (SPG, IHG, Accor, etc) on Jeju island which I could get a discount with, mostly just Korean hotels or guesthouses. We decided on EJ Hotel in Jeju city, about 15 minutes drive from the airport with free on-site parking as well. There were also numerous restaurants around the hotel within 5 to 10 minutes walk. The only downside was the difficulty in looking for hotel whether by car or on foot.
1 night stay in standard 1 double bed room: 70,000KRW
For Busan, I already had a budget hotel in mind and luckily the price for that hotel fit our budget well. It was the Ibis Budget Ambassador Busan Haeundae hotel. It was about 10minutes walk from the Haeundae Line 2 Subway station and about 3 minutes walk to the bus stop. We had the 2 single bed oceanview room and was satisfied with the quality of sleep, and the wifi/television options as well. The hotel seemed really new and clean upon entering it and the staff were friendly during check in. Couldn’t have asked for anything more, but it did lack food options in the evening. I guess the hotel restaurant was opened only for breakfast.
1 night stay in ocean-view 2 single beds room: 63,500KRW
Total Accommodations cost: 133,500KRW