girl, holiday, Journeying Japan, solo, solotravel, Southkorea, tourist, travel, travelasia, travelling, traveltheworld, vacation, wanderlust

Why I travel solo…& why you should too!

Yes! it’s true. You’re no longer seen as a recluse loner to adventure by yourself! 

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I must admit, my first solo trip wasn’t voluntary. I made plans with a friend to travel to Japan, all tickets booked, when she realized last minute that she could no longer come. But that was the spark which ignited the flame. The beginning of my never ending adventure. Solo travel may be the selfish man’s journey (and i’ll explain why) and that is probably why it is so addictive.

According to  a recent study by booking.com, 50% of women participating in the study are more like to travel solo now than 5  years ago and 65% of women say they feel more confident when travelling by themselves.  With social media also playing a big role, 1 in 2 women participating in the survey stated that: “social media allows them to unearth unusual places to go, thus fuelling their confidence to visit destinations on their own.”

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If you’re toying with the idea of travelling solo but need some more justification, here it is:

You can do what YOU want

Forget the fact your boyfriend hates Japanese food and you’re in Japan. Your best friend is afraid of heights but you’re at Tokyo tower. You’re by yourself and YOU can do what YOU want. This may just be your one chance to be indulgent, to be  a little bit selfish and think about everything you would like to accomplish in this trip without being deterred by the opinions of others. Enjoy it while it lasts!

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Immersing yourself in the culture

I’m not sure what you like to do on your holidays, But i really hate being that arrogant tourist among arrogant tourists. The ones who stand out because they only want to embrace a few parts of the culture which suit them. Solo travel really allows you to uncover the depths of a specific culture to a new level. Plus, you’re more approachable. My last trip to South Korea was incredible. I was approached by locals to join them for dinner and then we went from there. They showed me things I would never have seen if it was not for them. I doubt I would have been approached if I was with a group of my own friends.

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Building confidence, independence and re awakening your sense of adventure

As i mentioned before, I didn’t have intentions to ever travel alone. It just happened. Talk about a confidence booster. Talk about thinking, “wow, I can really do this, by myself!”. And that confidence will flow through to other areas of life. It is so important to have positive self confidence and also to be independent. To not totally depend on others is the beginning of an adventure in itself. So book that ticket, pack that bag and go!

The world is waiting for you and is ready to show you all it has to offer. So get out there! 

snooow

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girl, holiday, solo, solotravel, Southkorea, tourist, travel, travelling, vacation, wanderlust

Namsan Seoul Tower

As you may have seen in my last post, I am staying in an apartment in Cheonggyecheon. Which according to google maps, is about a 30 minute walk away from the Namsan Cable Car. I screen shotted my journey on google maps and off I went!

The weather being -10. And after a night of snowing, the journey seemed to take forever. If you think you have enough layers on, you don’t. Always wear more!

I took the cable car up to Namsan Tower which cost around $9 AUS dollars for a return ticket.

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Once you arrive you can marvel at the magnificent views, add your own locks to the love lock bridge and enjoy the live entertainment at the base of the tower.

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Now it’s time to venture to the top of Seoul Tower! Once you enter there will be a ticket desk to your right. A ticket to the top will set you back around $9 AUS dollars. Totally worth it, the tower is 236m high and offering breathtaking views of Seoul.

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For more information on how to get there, what to do and when to go click here to be directed to the South Korea Tourism Website

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girl, holiday, solo, solotravel, Southkorea, tourist, travel, travelling, vacation, wanderlust

My apartment in Seoul

I was lucky enough to find an incredible apartment which is hosted by a lady named Wendy. The entire apartment is for rent and is located just a short walk from Jonggak Station.

Within close proximity to main attractions such as: Myeongdong cathedral, Myeongdong shopping district, Dongdaemun shopping town, Insadong cultural district and much more!

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At $73 AUD per night, this apartment is a bargain in the heart of Seoul.

Use referral link – www.airbnb.com.au/c/schallenor for $31 off your booking worldwide!

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All standard electrical appliances such as microwave, kettle, tv, air-conditioner, heater, washing machine, stove.

FREE wifi in room

2x beds, toilet, shower.

Here is the link to Wendy’s room available for rent in South Korea:

https://airbnb.com/rooms/1871152?s=8

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First night in Seoul, South Korea!

I arrived into Seoul at 8pm and began the long (freezing) journey to my apartment in Jongno-gu, Seoul. I arrived at my apartment at around 10pm and thought it was a must to go out and explore! I quickly found myself at Youth Avenue. An avenue filled with food vendors and restaurants. I stumbled across what looked like a great fried chicken restaurant (which South Korea is famous for) So i made my way in!

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By the time my food arrived. A customer from another table approached me, introduced herself and invited me to join her table of friends!

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After trying to finish the spiciest wings I had ever tasted, my new friends and I then made our way out into the freezing cold to drink where the locals drink. In one of these tents:

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We had Soju, one of South Korea’s most popular alcoholic drinks. Which is consumed like water!

Drinking etiquette in South Korea is very different from Australia. Here are a few basic rules:

1. Always accept alcohol from someone who is offering it to you. It can be seen as disrespectful not to

2. Lift your glass up if they are pouring you a drink

3. Pour and receive drinks with two hands

4. Offer alcohol to the oldest person first

5. Pour alcohol for others, not for yourself

These rules are just second nature for people living in South Korea but don’t worry, they won’t expect you to know all the rules! Just give it your best go and have a fun night!

They also have hangover cures down pat with drinks you can purchase from any convenience store to help rid yourself of that awful hungover feeling.

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After a full night of great food and drinks, I walked the distance home in below zero temperatures as the trains had stopped and there were no taxis available! All worth it though! An amazing night making new friends and experiencing local culture.

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Shop till you drop in Shenzhen

Shenzhen is the place to go to grab a bargain! Locals from Hong Kong will cross the border into China for a day of retail therapy!

How to get there from Hong Kong-
For me, staying in Mongkok, I get on at Mongkok East station (closest to my hotel) and from there get on the east rail line towards Lo Wu station. Get off at Lo Wu. You are now at the border between mainland china and Hong Kong. Here you will have to obtain a visa to cross into shenzhen. For one day it costs around $15 australian dollars and is very easy to obtain. The whole journey from Hong Kong should take around 1.5 hours including the time to obtain a visa and cross the border.

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Once you find your way out of the station, on your right will be a giant shopping centre. Enter it. That’s where you will find yourself bargaining with the locals for handbags, shoes, hats, electronics. Anything you can think of!

It’s not a typical ‘market’ as it’s set in a multilevel shopping centre. Here are a few photos

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Wherever you walk people will hand you business cards and want to escort you into their shops. Shenzhen is not a place for the impatient or easily aggregated person. Prepare to haggle your heart out!

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Hong Kong: trip to Victoria peak

Victoria peak is 396 metres above sea level and is located on Hong Kong Island. Offering incredible 360 degree views of the city/ harbour. Foggy days, however, offer little in the way of views. Plan ahead and pick a day with good weather and as little fog as possible!

You can have your photo taken professionally at the sky terrace 428 like I did. It was an extremely cloudy day so the talented staff photoshopped a night time background in.

Here are the results :

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How to get there:
The tram is located at Victoria gap and directly connected to the city centre by the peak tram, which runs between the peak tram terminus on Garden Road. The peak tram terminus is just a short walk from the central MTR station.

When to go:
I recommend going on a week day to avoid the crowds. The line up for the peak tram can take over two hours + at peak time.

ENJOY

If you have anymore questions please feel free to ask

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