Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Korea Trip 2014 - What to Prepare and Bring before the Trip in January / Winter

January has come and gone and even now as I am typing this,it is nearing the end of February... I returned from my much anticipated Korea trip in January just days before Chinese New Year and till now I haven't been able to muster myself to get up and post all about the trip. In fact, when I think about it, I rarely manage to complete a full trip's summary for all my vacation. I take my hats off to all the bloggers out there who so diligently listed and shared all about their trips each and every time they travel. People like me just have to click on their posts to know what to do and what to avoid. Anyway, maybe this time I will really finish telling all about my recent trip...before leaving for Darwin, Oz this March. Haha!

I think I will just start off with what to prepare before the trip before moving on to a new post on my itinery and stuff!
During my visit, it was winter and after googling for a while before going, I could hardly find a lot of useful posts on what to prepare as most people tend to go during spring or summer and other *ehem* more favorable times. You probably will too, unless you are going there to see snow, like yours truly here. Hahaha! (Jakun)

1) Beanie/Woolen Cap
2) Winter Jacket
3) Long johns (Thermal Undies) :P
4) Long sleeves (Cotton or processed fleece)
5) Light Jacket (with wool or fleece layer inside)
6) Scarfs
7) Winter Socks
8) Gloves
9) Winter boots (Or if you can't manage it, just use sports shoes)
10) Face masks (Optional)
11) Moisturising Lotion and Lip-butter

Beanie/Woolen Cap
I think beanie and woolen cap of any brand and price range is OK as they just have to cover your head so you don't feel the chill. The ones with Heat-Tech or any other heat technology are just an extra something that shops come out with to promote their products. They work as well as any without, provided the ones you bought are not those decorative beanie with lotsa hole and gaps in them. Honestly, if they look thick and feel thick enough to cover your head, they will do. PS: if you don't want to mess up your hair, I would suggest getting a winter jacket with a lined hood. ;) Then just slip off the hood before your photo shoot.

Winter Jacket
For this, most of us wanna look good without catching a cold. I think warmth is important here. Some reputable brands will have thinner looking jacket with lots of insulation layer inside so you don't look like a Michelin tyre. However, no matter how hard you try, you will still look rather lumpy especially with the choices available in Malaysia. Therefore, just get something good and of quality here, and if you are vain enough, there are much cheaper options which can keep you warm in Korea. Think fashionable winter jackets for about RM200-350 (with those really big hoods so you don't mess up your hair). Most in Malaysia cost quite a bomb and they look really....bleahhh!

Long Johns
Ok, you might think this is weird but you basically need only ONE set. Why? You are gonna wear your normal inner wear inside first before these, so they are not so dirty. If you are pedantic and wanna have more, you may purchase as many as you like but they are just gonna weigh you down. Especially if you are planning to buy as many facial products as you can carry. Shopping in winter is not very fun cos most stuff on sale are just the winter wear which is not very ideal for our hot Malaysian weather...Well, unless you work in a very cold office and you would like a light jacket, then yes, it is very very good to buy during winter. Normal qq jackets are also very cheap here as compared to Malaysia but more about that later.

Long Sleeves
Again, you only need ONE set and maybe another extra as SPARE. This is because it is so cold there you will hardly sweat. Also, nobody can see what you are wearing inside unless you plan to brace the cold and open up all your outer jacket. But be warned, you will freeze...it is about -5 to -10 degrees there in Seoul in January and about 0 to 8 degrees in Busan. The spare is basically for you to change into IF you do sweat when u walk around in the malls/trains. Believe me, I brought 4 sets for 7 days and I totally regretted it.

Light Jacket
This is to wear inside your winter jacket. This can be your average everyday jacket if you have any which is less bulky and more body hugging. Otherwise, just get another one..they are usually very cheap near the end of the year. Think RM50, or maybe up to RM80 if you plan on getting better ones.

Scarfs are important so don't scrimp. Get a good woolen one and make sure you tie it around your neck there. They should be long enough to twist around at least twice. Do NOT buy the short decorative ones we see everywhere in Malaysia. Just get ONE. If you feel like looking different in your photos there, just get them from Korea. They are cheaper (than Malaysia) and prettier there. :P

Winter Socks
I would advise getting thicker socks and make sure they are higher than your ankles. Do NOT use the usual short socks we use with our sports shoes or other sneakers. It is not advisable to try using short socks as the chills WILL get in where your long pants/ jeans do not cover. Bring at least TWO pairs. The rest will depend on whether your feet smells or not LOLOL. Anyway, Korea are famous for their cheap socks. Winter socks will cost slightly more than normal socks but why bring so many expensive ones from Malaysia when you can buy them for about RM6 each there? The normal socks are about RM1.50 (500won) there, that's the cheapest I found.

This is another issue I have before going. I got the winter gloves which are water repellent and stuff but honestly, this only serves me well when I wanna play with snow, which is only about I think 2-3 hours max throughout my whole trip. I would suggest getting a comfy thinner woolen gloves without those water repellent stuff so you can keep your hands warm and still mess around with people's shopping goods without taking them off each and every time you enter a shop. However, do get a water repellent gloves if you plan on playing with snow.

Winter Boots/Sports Shoes
Here there's some pros and cons. If you get a winter boots, you're prolly gonna use it once, maybe twice...in fact, if it happens you're gonna go to a wintery place, maybe your winter shoes is too old for you to consider using it...unless you are staying in a four seasons' country. As for sports shoes, if there are heavy snow, you WILL get wet (feet wise, of course) but if that do happen, you can either get a new pair of winter boots there (which is again, very cheap in comparison) or just stomp your feet often enough that the snow din get to melt on your sports shoes. Hahaha!

Face mask
This I would suggest buying from Malaysia itself. The surgical mask thing would suffice but if you want to look good, get one in Korea for about RM3-6. This will keep your face warm but if you would rather not, then just use your scraf~

Moisturising Lotion and Lip butter
I kenot stress how important these are but you are gonna need them. Keep yourself moisturised! Or face the cracks sooner than you think. :P


  1. Hi, thank you for your post. It is very useful for Malaysian who are going to Korea during winter for the first time. Do you know how much is the inner wear (long john/heat tech) in Korea? Do you have any place or ski tour/package to recommend? Thanks again!

  2. Hi Eugene thanks for your comment. I would suggest getting the long johns in malaysia itself as it would be very troublesome to look for it in the cold. Granted, it is cheaper there, about rm20 each. But u will be in the cold while searching for that. You can get winter jackets there if you plan to switch between your looks as the ones there are trendier and more fashionable compared to the ones in malaysia. As for the tour and skiing packages, sorry I did not know of any. Have fun!

  3. Arex Express train is the best way to access from the airport to Seoul station. It is fast(it takes only 43 mins to Seoul station) and clean. Plus, the price is also reasonable. It cost 8,000won and if you take one of these airline;Asiana,KAL,Jeju airline, you get some discount(6,900won). Arex Express train info desk is located between gate no.9 and no.8, desk no.45 on 1st floor in the airport.
    T-money card is a prepaid public transportation card which means
    you have to load some money on your T-money card before you use it
    on subway,taxi or bus. And you can purchase a T-money card ata low price
    if you head to Seoul station from Incheon airport. Find the Arex info.desk
    on 1st floor at the airport. It located between gate #9 and #8, desk no.45.
    They have a special promotion for foreigners; Express train ticket to Seoul station
    + T-money card it costs only 8,900 won. The regular price of
    the express train ticket is 8,000 won and T-money card is 3,000 won.
    So the promotion is a good deal.



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