Home >> Korea,Other Travels >> Korea Travel with 11-month old Baby (Part 2): Seoul

Continued from: Korea Travel with 11-month old Baby (Part 1): Our Original Itinerary (Seoul and Jeju)

Day 1

We arrived in the morning.. But was too tired from the overnight flight to go anywhere.  So we went to our hotel (Toyoko Inn Dongdaemun) and requested for an early check-in.  The earliest they could give us the room was in about an hour’s time, so we went for brunch nearby and went back to sleep until evening!

In the evening, we met my Korean friend who brought us around Myeong Dong and had dinner at a small back-alley eatery which served fantastic food.. Unfortunately the place was not baby friendly at all: Extremely cramp and no baby chair. Hubby and I took turns to carry MF while the other ate.

 

Day 2

Went Lotte World as planned.. It was FANTASTIC! Mainly because most of the stuff were indoors and out of the bitter cold.  Hubby and I had to take turns to take the rides while the other looked after MF, so we actually didn’t cover many rides.. That is the downside of bringing a baby to a theme park, you don’t get to enjoy the rides.  But there were many interesting stuff for MF to do there, despite being less than a year old!

If you did not bring a stroller, you can rent one at Lotte World.

MF particularly enjoyed the parade at Lotte World.

And he loved riding on the kiddy rides!

Although many of the attractions had height limit and MF was not allowed on them, there were just as many attractions that were catered for very young children, which made Lotte World an excellent theme park to visit with a young toddler!  Below are the rides that MF managed to ride:

Aeronauts Balloon Ride

Boong Boong Car

Eureka

Happy Picnic

Ferris Wheel


And the best place to be when visiting Lotte World with a baby or young toddler, is definitely Lotty’s Kidstoria! It is a large area with many soft-foam characters for babies and toddlers to climb around, and also a playscape for older kids to climb around (similar to what we get an the indoor playgrounds in Singapore).

I could easily have spent two whole days at Lotte World, there was so much to do there! It is the one place I really miss about Seoul, and I wish I can bring MF here again some day.. In summer that is, so that we can enjoy the Magic Island (the outdoor area of Lotte World) more!

Day 3

It was snowing in the morning, so we decided to stay in our hotel room in the morning as it was too cold to venture out.  (MF was starting to have a flu already.)  By the time we went out in the afternoon, it was too late to join the guided tours at Changdeokugung and Changyeonggung Palaces, so we decided to go to Gyeongbokgung instead to catch the change of guard parade.  MF was utterly bored (he fell asleep, and even the loud drumming from the change of guard parade could not wake him up!) and it was SUPER cold (don’t forget it was snowing in the morning).. Can’t say we enjoyed it much.

After touring the palace, we went to stroll around the nearby Samcheong-dong which is famous for the bukchon hanok village.  The place is definitely picturesque and worth a visit, but be prepared for some exercise. There were soooo many stairs to climb, and doing so with a baby was super tiring! I suggest you leave your stroller in the hotel if you are headed this way.

The beautiful hanoks made all the climbing worth it.

In the evening, met my friend who brought us to a restaurant famous for Samgyetang (Korean ginseng chicken) which served the yummiest kimchi I have ever eaten! However, again, not much time to enjoy the free flow of delicious kimchi, because we were dining tatami-style and MF was meddling with EVERYTHING on the table.

Day 4

Went to Hello Kitty Town Restaurant and Amusement Park as planned.. Again, a fantastic place to visit with kids and babies! MF had tons of fun at the playground there, despite most of the things being pink and girly.

Hello Kitty Town, located at Western Dom near Madu station, was a bit hard to find.  However, someone has written a post with DETAILED instructions on how to get there after I came back, so you can refer to it now. 🙂

I tried to find out if MF could play for free, but everything on their website was in Korean! So I got my Korean friend to help me translate.  Here is the information, as of December 2011:

  • Hours of admission are from 11 a.m. till 9 p.m (Last orders 8 p.m)
  • An entrance fee 7000won for kids (for 2hour/ extra charge for 30min-1000won)
  • No charge for under 12months baby
  • For adults, admission is free, but anybody who wants to entrance needs to order at least a drink.

Great! So MF didn’t have to pay to play there and we could stay all afternoon!

We were given one of the really pretty rooms surrounding the toddler’s play area.

There was a TV monitor in the room for us to observe the play areas.

MF had his lunch in an exersaucer, since high chairs didn’t quite gel with tatami dining.

When MF got bored of the toddler’s play area, he decided to check out the rest of Hello Kitty Town.

We spotted a Singapore Hello Kitty on the wall!

The older kids’ play area totally reminded me of Singkids!

Check out the Hello Kitty themed cars and walkers!

And pretty pink kitchen.

And matching dining room.

MF ignored all the pink stuff around and played with the drum

MF didn’t mind the girlsh decoration.  It was just another indoor playground to him.

Being a Hello Kitty fan, I tried to make MF take photos with the endless Hello Kitty decorations around, but he was totally not interested and kept running away.. SIGH.  Overall, Hello Kitty Town is a great place to bring babies and kids to, definitely worth the long subway ride from Dongdaemun!

By the time we got back to Dongdaemun, it was dinner time and we decided to have Naengmyeon (which means, believe it or not, COLD NOODLES) for dinner! We were surprised that the restaurant (called Yookssam Naengmyeon) was PACKED, considering it was -4 degrees celsius outside.  But after we ate, we could understand why.. It was sooooo delicious! It is really unbelievable how comforting cold noodles can be on a winter night.

Day 5

We decided visiting one palace was more than enough, and made a last minute decision to go to Everland instead.  Turned out to be a bad decision.. We didn’t enjoy it much because it was simply too cold.

It was a long journey to Everland.. We took the subway to Jamsil station and transfered to bus 5800.  The bus didn’t come very often, and we waited almost 20 min for it.  The bus ride took about 50 min, and when we thought we had FINALLY arrived, we realized we were only at the bus terminal and still had to transfer to the resort shuttle bus to the amusement park!

The bus stop to catch bus 5800 is in the middle of the road, near Jamsil Station exit 6.

When we reached the amusement park, the first thing we did was to rent a stroller.

Next, we headed for a nice warm place to have our lunch.  While MF and I ate, hubby ran to get a ‘fast pass’ for the Safari World, only to realize that there was no ‘fast pass’ that day! So after lunch, we all headed straight for the Safari World, because we heard the queue is pretty long and we didn’t want to miss it.  To get to the Safari World, we took the chair lift (called Human Sky) down.. It was a pretty scary experience, letting MF sit on a chair lift.. I was so worried he would fall! Thank goodness he sat pretty still throughout.  One interesting thing about this chair lift was that they have a hook at the back so that you can bring the stroller down with you.

The queue for Safari World was long alright… And MF, as usual, fell asleep in the queue.  As a result? He missed most of the animals, and only woke up right at the end to see the bears.

By the time we completed the Safari World tour, it was time for the parade.  MF didn’t enjoy the parade here as much as the one at Lotte World, mainly because it was in the freezing outdoors.

After the parade, we were so frozen that we decided to just find a nice warm restaurant, sit around to defrost and have an early dinner.

By the time we finished our dinner, it was dark outside, meaning even colder.  So we decided to just go back to Seoul, especially since it was going to be a long ride back.  As we were walking to the exit, we spotted a bright carousel, and couldn’t resist riding it.

As you can tell, we hardly did anything.  I definitely wouldn’t recommend visiting Everland in Winter, for it is too cold and the sun sets too early. We probably would have had a lot more fun if it was a warm summer day!

Day 6

We decided to skip Heyri Art Valley because we didn’t want to be out in the open cold.. MF’s flu had gotten worse after the day spent at freezing Everland.  We surfed the Korean Tourism Organisation website for places to go, and decided to check out 63 City (also called 63 Building) instead.  It was a great decision, MF LOVED the aquarium there!

To get to 63 City, we followed the instruction on the KTO website:

  • Take subway to Yeouinaru Station (subway line no. 5), Exit 4.
  • Look for the bus stop with the 63 Building bus sign board to take the free shuttle. (About 80m away from exit 4.)

Yeouinaru Station to 63 City Shuttle Bus Timetable (as of December 2011)

 

At 63 City, we visited 63 Sea World.  The name ‘Sea World’ makes me think of Sea World at Gold Coast Australia, but nope, not even close.. This Sea World is just a small aquarium.. And when I say aquarium, don’t imagine something along the lines of Sydney Aquarium or S.E.A. Aquarium either… It was much smaller.  However, it was MF’s first visit to an aquarium and he LOVED it.  We had a great time going around the various tanks and watching MF squeal in delight as the fishes, penguins and seals swam past him.

The penguins were particularly memorable.  We were able to get so close to them that one of them started chewing on MF’s sweater as we were taking photos!

And check out the giant crabs, they were even longer than MF.

But then again, MF was even shorter than an otter.

MF clearly enjoyed his first aquarium visit!

After that, we headed up to 63 Sky Art, which is an observatory cum art gallery.  Which was clearly not MF’s cup of tea as he dozed right off.

For dinner, we decided to head back to our hotel and try the famous Jangchung Jokbal nearby.

And saying good night to N Seoul Tower, which we never got to visit and saw every night from our hotel window, for the last time.

On hindsight, if I were to visit Seoul again with a baby or kid, some of the things I would do differently would be to:

  • Go in summer.  The winter in Seoul is extremely harsh and daylight hours are too short.
  • Stay at a hotel near Jamsil Station for easy access to Lotte World and Everland.

Continue reading: Korea Travel with 11-month old Baby (Part 3): Self-drive in Jeju

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Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.

43Comments

  1. oopiez says:

    Hello! Did you book Double A or Double B room at Toyoko Inn? Am wondering which I should book. 🙂

    • bumblebeemum says:

      We booked Double A.. The room is tiny, but we’re used to it because we stayed in Toyoko Inn often in Japan. There isn’t much space to walk or stow your luggage, so our big luggage was kept under the bed and we had to keep dragging it in and out whenever we need to take something, that was the only hassle. If you want more space, go for Double B.

      Just a tip if you’re staying at Toyoko Inn, they have washing machine and dryer which is free to use at the lobby.. I used it quite a bit when I was there.. But bring your own detergent. 🙂

      • oopiez says:

        Thanks! Do you know which exit is thd one with the escalator? 3 or 4? Luggage will be heavy! :

        • bumblebeemum says:

          Not sure about escalators because we took the airport limousine bus.. I highly recommend the airport limousine bus because it stops right at the door step of Toyoko Inn.. Don’t need to carry luggage around at all! 🙂

  2. oopiez says:

    Oh! And is the porky (Jangchung Jokbal) near the hotel? Worth trying?

    Thanks!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yup, the row of Jokbal restaurants is walkable from Toyoko Inn, not far at all. There are several Jokbal restaurants there, we went to the one with the picture of an old lady.. I felt the jokbal was a bit too rubbery for my liking.

  3. […] our room, MF was thrilled, because it was so much bigger than the tiny room we were staying at for the past 6 night in Seoul! He immediately climbed up the comfy bed and lay there to bask in the […]

  4. alyssa says:

    Hi there, I will be travelling to seoul with my 18 month old toddler next month. May I know what do you feed your baby?

  5. Wen says:

    Hi, I will be travelling with my girl in Sept, she will be 11months by then. Would like to hear your advise. Is it advisable to bring stroller? Or I should just bring carrier and rent stroller whenever is available?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Hi, I apologize for only replying now. I just shifted my blog out of wordpress.com to my personal domain and this comment only appeared after I did that!

      I know I’m too late to reply, I hope you had a great trip! Let me know if you brought your stroller in the end and how was your experience. I personally found Seoul to be very stroller unfriendly.

  6. Div says:

    Hi
    May i know why u didnt bring the stroller for baby??Is the subways stroller friendly ?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Hi, I apologize for only replying now. I just shifted my blog out of wordpress.com to my personal domain and this comment only appeared after I did that!

      I found Seoul very unfriendly for stroller. The subways stations had lots of staircases. Not just that, the streets of Seoul were also full of staircases. We were perpetually climbing stairs everywhere. >_<

  7. Vandy says:

    Thanks mummies for your blog, I am bringing my 15mos old to Korea next yr march 🙂

  8. Alex Looi says:

    Hi, I am bringing my 15 months toddler to Korea next Month. Do you buy those food for toddler over in Korea or you bought them in Singapore and bring them over to korea ? how do you heat up those food ? Do you know if there are food suitable for toddler over in Korea where we can buy and feed the kid directly ? Thanks !

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Hi, I bought toddler food from Singapore. I didn’t want to buy in Korea because I don’t know Korean and would not have been able to read the labels. To heat them, I just soak the food pouch in a bowl of hot water (like how we heat up milk).

  9. Nadine says:

    Hello! I am visiting Seoul this first week of December. I am doing my research, e.g. what clothes to wear for my 23 months old baby girl or must bring items. Thank you for this post of yours, very informative!

    Cheers,
    https://twitter.com/mommymodeon

  10. […] ← Korea Travel with 11-month old Baby (Part 2): Seoul Updates for Hokey Pokey → […]

  11. […] ← Nursing (Breastfeeding) In Korea Korea Travel with 11-month old Baby (Part 2): Seoul → […]

  12. […] Continue reading: Korea Travel with 11-month old Baby (Part 2): Seoul […]

  13. […] on May 3, 2012 by bumblebeemum Continued from: Korea Travel with 11-month old Baby (Part 2): Seoul Day […]

  14. […] our room, MF was thrilled, because it was so much bigger than the tiny room we were staying at for the past 6 night in Seoul! He immediately climbed up the comfy bed and lay there to bask in the […]

  15. lynns says:

    Hi….I want to ask about hello kitty town. How to go there from dongdaemun & how long it’ll take? Thanks a lot.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Hmm.. You know, this post is really old and since then, Hello Kitty’s Town website has been shut down. So I’m not sure if they are still in operation. I have tried googling for information about it but everything available online is pretty old. You may want to skip it, unless you know someone in Korea or knows Korean who can help you dig up for more info to see if they are still in operation.

      Anyway, to answer your question, there is this youtube video on how to get there:

      But please do check if they are still around.

  16. lynns says:

    Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate it. God bless

  17. judy says:

    Thank you for sharing! We are traveling to Seoul with our 11 month and this is very useful!

  18. Ying says:

    Hi there, I will be bringing my 6 months old to Seoul in April. Do u think he will enjoy Lotte world as well?

  19. Mei says:

    Hi I’m planning a year end korea trip and my baby will be 11 months. Can I know how you dressed your 11 month old then for winter? What type of clothing and material? How should I layer my baby thanks!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      This is how I dress my kids up for very cold winters:

      For winter clothing, stock up on heat-tech inner wear from Uniqlo.

      Head: Wear a beanie that can cover the ears.
      Body: Wear a heat-tech long sleeve, followed by a layer of wool vest (something to keep the chest warm), followed by a thick sweater / cardigan and finally a waterproof winter jacket meant for sub-zero temperatures (e.g down jackets).
      Bottom: Wear a heat-tech leggings, followed by thick waterproof pants.
      Feet: Wear a pair of long socks, layered by a pair of thick short socks and high waterproof boots.
      Hands: Waterproof winter gloves

      It is important that the outermost layers are waterproof, because you really do not want to get wet in winter.

      Additional stuff: You can buy heat packs from Daiso. I especially like the sticky ones that can be stuck to clothes / under the socks. You can stick them to the your clothes to keep yourself warm.

  20. yiling says:

    Hi! Can I get your itinerary for Korea and Jeju as I am planning to bring my 20mth toddler there in Sep. Thanks!

  21. WL says:

    Hi, did u only go to Korea once when your baby was 11 months old? We just booked a trip to Seoul with a 2 year old and 7 year old, and wondering kind of food there is to feed them. Because everything seems spicy!!! Please share if you have any advice, thanks. (P.s. In comparison, we lovvvveee Japan. Feel that the food is so much more simple and refreshing and kid friendly)

    • bumblebeemum says:

      It’s true, Japanese food is more kids-friendly than Korean food! When my baby was 11 months old, I brought those baby food pouches for him and bought bread and fresh fruits along the way. For your children, they should be old enough for normal food. Just order a non-spicy soup to go with rice? Or if grilling meat, order one serving of non-spicy chicken? Or see if they have sides like steamed egg on the menu? That’s what we usually do in Korean restaurants here in Singapore.. heh.

  22. Kathleen says:

    Hi I am planning to bring my 13 month old to Seoul in October. A couple of things I wanted to ask. I noticed you said you bought bread in korea for your little one, I was wondering if you know if it’s dairy free and if the ingredients were in English? Because my baby has cow’s milk allergy so I’m a bit nervous about buying food out there for her but at the same time she’s so picky but break she usually eats.

    Also I was wondering how your baby slept? Did he have a cot? I’m struggling to find hotels to provide a cot

    • bumblebeemum says:

      The ingredients were not listed in English. My children don’t have allergy so I never checked the ingredients.

      My baby just slept with us on the double bed. Yeah, it’s not easy to find hotels with cots. So far on all our travels, we just let the kids squeeze on our bed to save money. :p

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