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June 2020 trip advice

June 2020 trip advice

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Old Jul 29, 19, 1:38 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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June 2020 trip advice

Hello - US traveler (almost exclusively SWA because of Comapanion Pass). Europe for work with some frequency.

I'm going to Seoul next June for a wedding. Wondering a couple things:

1. Best time (and tips!) for buying at least business class tickets. There won't be direct flights from where I live (Kansas City), so I expect a connection. I think I'd prefer MSP/DTW/ORD so as to maximize the longest leg.

If it helps toward one of the tickets, I don't yet (but can get 120k points to sign up for) an AmEx platinum.

2. Best 2-3 night side trip to take from Seoul? I figure my wife and I probably won't be back for a long time, if ever.

Thanks in advance, and apologies for what must certainly be duplicate questions.
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Old Jul 30, 19, 6:04 am
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
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I would just use Google Flights to check and compare flights and prices - you will have a LOT of connecting options. If you can, try to connect through ORD and fly Korean Air. Personally, I am pleased with Korean Air's service and manner compared to Delta. And of course it's the local airline, always fun to try out, start your trip off right.

From Seoul - you can do a day trip to Yangsuri or Chuncheon if you want something easy. Other choices: Busan for a coastal port city with lots of nature (and totally different vibe from Seoul). Also you can visit Gyeongju which is the historical capital and also just great countryside town. Gyeongju you need at least a full day and a half and only one night. So many travelers do Seoul-Busan-Gyeongju and then back to Seoul.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 5:36 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Left Coast
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Originally Posted by jfish26 View Post
I'm going to Seoul next June for a wedding. Wondering a couple things:
[...]
2. Best 2-3 night side trip to take from Seoul? I figure my wife and I probably won't be back for a long time, if ever.
Without any idea of what you might find appealing, anything suggested is basically a shot in the dark. It will be warming up in June, which might make some outdoor activities less appealing, but here's my best shot:

You can go east, to Gangwon-Do; there are some parks on the east coast where you can stay in a reasonable hotel, do some hiking, get some seafood. Personally, it seems those itineraries they suggest (link) are waaaaay too packed; less is more, to my way of thinking. As I recall it, the hiking is pretty tame, I don't think you really need special boots... cross-trainers or regular athletic shoes should be adequate. You can get to the area by train, but will probably need to supplement it with bus/taxi on both ends.
You can go south, to Gyeongju and Busan; again, feasible by train.

I made these trips when I was younger and cared less about comfort and ease. Last year when we (Pinhead family) were there in June, our one major excursion out of Seoul was Gangneung, where we spent a day checking out their Danoje Festival. It was pretty warm while we were there, but it was a good bit of exposure to local culture that's not so easily found in Seoul these days. We took the train out and back, and used public transportation once we were off the train. It's not so hard if you have a couple of apps on your phone, and you rent a WiFi hotspot (Egg or equivalent) when you come in to ICN, but easier if you read Korean. However Naver Maps does English, so far as I recall.

My personal suggestion would be to opt for a redeye in Business class on the way over, so you can arrive as well-rested as possible.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 9:00 am
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Seoul, Korea
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Be careful, a lot of the redeye flights arrive around 4:30 in the morning which is a bit before the airport train/buses start. Asiana recently cut the ORD direct flight. Korean Air and Asiana are both good options, but the KAL flight from ORD is probably the best bet. Otherwise west coast flights would be the options LAX, SFO, SEA.

In terms of side trips while you're here, there are a lot of good options. It really comes down to what you're interested in. The country is pretty small, so basically everywhere is accessible. It's also a fairly English friendly country (especially for asia), so you shouldn't have much trouble in that department.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 12:23 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Left Coast
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Originally Posted by elliott44k View Post
Be careful, a lot of the redeye flights arrive around 4:30 in the morning which is a bit before the airport train/buses start.
Outside of hotels, Korea really doesn't have a lot of places open early for coffee or breakfast. Our (Pinhead family) habit when arriving at ICN via redeye is to grab some coffee and breakfast in the airport while we wait for the limousine busses to get rolling.



Restaurant at ICN T2 open for breakfast.



Same place in ICN T2, different entrance.



Korean breakfast at Myeoncheban (?) in ICN T2.



Korean breakfast in Myeoncheban (?), ICN T2.
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