- Merchant Quality
We all know too well, about the 1000 queries going through your mind before you click the “BUY NOW” button on these daily deal sites, especially with regards to travel deals. But fret not, if you are a lucky subscriber to All Deals Leak, because today, we are going to take our travel reviews thousand miles further, to one of the most popular destination right now — Seoul! Best of all, you get to ask questions about anything with regards to this travel deal and we will be more than glad to answer them in the comments section below! (Since this deal is bought by one of our ADL Team member!)
>>> Deal - Up to 74% Off 6D Korea Romantic Land Tour Package with 4-Star Hotel + Free Skiing + Free Skiing Equipment + Free 5D4N Shanghai or Beijing Land Tour! Only $268 NETT instead of up to $1036 (Min 2 pax) <<<
Riding on the Korean wave (commonly known as Hallyu), we decided to take the plunge and buy the oh-so-tempting $268 Korea Itinerary Deal off Deal.com.sg (Click to find out any more of such Korea Deals!). Just like you guys, even though we are the Deal Gurus, our minds were filled with uncertainty when purchasing such itineraries, especially to somewhere far. However, going to a foreign land with no knowledge of Korean and being lazy, we needed a tour. I was particularly concerned about the itinerary, not allowing any chance for the trip to be compromised due to its low price as I scrutinized all the places of attractions that we are going. E.g. Too many “Hard-sell” shops or free places
ADL TIP: Google out some of the places of attractions in the itineraries, using mainly Google Image search. Some homework need to be done if you do not want to ruin your trip with a complaining spouse/partner.
Realizing that the itinerary includes quite a few places of attractions that I know from the countless Korean variety shows that I have watched, (Myeongdong, Dongdaemun, Ski Resort, Seoul Tower, Insadong, Everland Theme Park) and some scenic places that seemed worthwhile to go, I bought the deal after making sure my schedule fits the validity period of the deal and the extra fees that I have to pay. Oh yeah, and this deal comes with a free Shanghai/Beijing Land tour as well. At this moment, I realized we need to extend the stay because we were anticipating there were not enough time for shopping and we were right. CS Travel Staff were very helpful and responsive in booking and confirming your tour. No issues at all with CS Travel, would give them a 5 star for that.
ADL TIP: Look out for any TOUR GUIDE fees/Booking surcharge/ Hotel taxes or any other fees before you buy. For mine, the only surcharge was USD $6 / pax / day that I have to pay to the tour guide. Check that you are not restricted to purchasing flight tickets only from the tour agency too if you are just buying a land tour. And CONFIRM your tour FIRST before buying the flight tickets.
Being a Deal Guru has its perks too. Knowing that a Groupon Flight tickets deal is being offered at that time, I bought a Groupon for Cheaptickets.sg (Deal is available here!) which saved S$51 off my flight tickets. The site is generally fuss-free with pretty responsive 24/7 customer service (Thanks Laura). Some hiccups here and there due to the Chinese New Year festive super peak season but eventually I managed to book my tickets at the promotional price from Cathay at S$587/ pax (After $50 Groupon Discount). SIA is offering S$697 promotional rates but the timing did not fit the tour schedule. AirAsia is about S$500/pax (Try their Flat Premium bed, it’s awesome. Use the Option Trader to buy it at discounted price).
Before departing, CS travel gave a briefing and everything was confirmed and good to go with tour guide contact number given and a last chance to enquire anything about your itinerary.
Soon, we arrived in Korea and met the rest of the tour mates. The first day was long and draggy due to other tour members’ flights being delayed. We thought that we are going to miss the itinerary that day but thankfully we got a very good tour guide and eventually the places of attractions were just shuffled and nothing was left out. However, the first day was a really long trip as we made our 2.5 hour journey to the inner part of Seoul. By then, we realized that the food quality was not that good but still acceptable. Again luck was on our side as we were isolated from the rest of the tour and we get to enjoy 4 person portion for just the both of us.
We checked into Daemyung Resort Aqua World for the first night and to our delight, all our rooms were being upgraded to family suites. Korean rooms were generally household style meaning there are living room area and kitchen area. And this room is HUGE and offered a spectacular view from your balcony. There are also Sauna and many other water facilities which you will get to enjoy at night. Particularly enjoyable is the outdoor springs which is an incredible feeling when you dip it in cold winter. The rooms are all equipped with heated floors and you get to sleep like true authentic Koreans on the floor! Below is the image of the room:
The rest of the itinerary proceeded as plans with visit to the scenic areas and both the shopping areas. However, it was more of a touch-and-go pace, and we generally feel kind of rushed in the tour. Some of the notable areas in the trip:
Skiing: Many are concerned about the extra fees and duration of the Ski System in Korea. I would clarify it here. The tour ONLY includes the fees for the stick, the sled and the shoes. All the extra accessories and apparel have to be rented from the shops there which the tour guide will bring you. All in all, it cost about S$20-30 to rent the jacket, pants and the goggles. In my opinion, the goggles are not necessary. This is because this free ski session included is merely a practice session at the flattest slope area which last only for an hour. Do not imagine it to be sitting in gondola and having unlimited go at the sports because first, the sports is not easy to pick up and second, the tickets to gondola will not be worthwhile to be included in a S$268 trip. Nonetheless, the resort we stayed is one of the rare few to offer night skiing and we bought the gondola tickets at roughly S$45/pax for 7.30 pm to 11 pm slot. This is on your own discretion. In my opinion, it is worth it. If not, you can still ski for free…but you be dog tired the next morning because you need to climb the slopes MANUALLY ON FOOT. We had 8 rounds of it before conceding defeat to the cold bitter winter wind.
Shopping: The tour includes all of the famous shopping districts however it is simply not enough for shopaholic. You definitely have to extend if you wanna grab more of The Face Shop or Laneige beauty products or some of Korean Fashion back. We were brought to Lotte Duty- free Shopping centre and boy, were the facial products cheap here. Heed the tour guide instructions and you get to save more than 50% on many of the beauty products. AND, realize the full potential of GROUP BUYING here with your fellow tour mates. Group buying goes a long way in this mall, as you get to buy beauty products at dirt cheap prices (E.g. Laneige Water Pack at US$15, retailing S$45 here).
Everland Theme Park: Seemingly an attraction that we were looking forward to before the trip, but it turn out to be a disappointment. It is worsened by the lack of time here as queues here often extend to 1 hour + for a single ride. It is more of a theme park for the adolescents to teenagers. We did not try the ultimate ride (as pictured above) but we did try the mild version below. Yes, look at the queue. Beat that.
Hotel: We checked into the Daeyumg Resort franchise as well on the second night and quality was assured. The third and fourth night hotel was smaller but still acceptable and clean with convenience stores and pubs nearby. Accommodation was generally great.
Food: Generally acceptable but one or two of the tour mates complained it was not enough portion. Some of the delicious meals include the Korean Ginseng Chicken and the Pan fried Beef with Rice. Some of the worse fares include Chinese Cuisine, horrid to be honest.
Sales Stop: Quite a few on the last second day, almost half a day being attributed to such sales stop. Again, it is up your discretion to buy. Ginseng, Health Supplements, Crystals, Cosmetics (Different from the Lotte Department), and Local Produce (Worthwhile to buy). Some of my tour mates bought Ginseng, quality insured by Samsung. But, well everything in Korea is Samsung related.
Itinerary: As mentioned, lots of touch and go and we thought we were visiting Seoul Tower however it was not included. In reality, we visited a park nearby and nothing spectacular about. Strongly, strongly recommend to include that in your extended days. It is one of the most romantic spots in Seoul, overseeing the whole of the capital. It cost less than S$10 entrance fees to the top, but seriously I would recommend to camp for a seat in one of the restaurants there instead. The views are spectacular with the windows seat. If you did not reserve seats like me, the waiting time would be roughly 45 mins~1 hour on a Saturday Night.
That concludes my Korea trip and I booked my 2 nights extended accomodation with Wimdu (My First Local Homestay Experience, mine’s a whole studio apartment) and I would recommend it at S$50 /room/ night. Alternatively, you can search through many others at Wimdu.com. It’s totally different experience as opposed to staying in Hotel.
Lastly, would strongly recommend any one going Korea to grab a carton of this as recommended by my tour guide. It is simply our favourite drink:
Price: 5/5 (at $268, there’s really nothing much to ask for)
Merchant Quality: 5/5 (Thanks CS Travel!)
Terms & Conditions: 4/5 (not very restrictive)
CS Travel Pte Ltd
1 Park Road
People’s Park Complex #02-06
Tel: +65 6221 1188 / +65 6534 1188
Fax: +65 6438 9938 / +65 6534 0325
AND OH, DID I MENTION IT COMES WITH A FREE SHANGHAI/BEIJING LAND TOUR FOR 2 PAX? IT CAN BE YOURS
If you are a subscriber, leave a comment below and we will choose 1 lucky winners to win the land tour for 2 pax! It is transferable and Valid for 6 months. We will announce the winner below in the comments section as well on the 25th March.
At ADL, we leak, you read.