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Your Guide to Complete Hallyu Experience in South Korea

Can you understand the following abbreviations even without checking it on Google?

If your answer is YES, then you’ve been probably hooked in the HALLYU WAVE.

Let us first define the term “Hallyu Wave”.

It refers to the global popularity of South Korean pop culture also known as “K-Wave”. With the rise of the Hallyu wave, Hallyu fans around the world are desiring to visit the country to where it all started – South Korea.

Are you one of those who want to explore South Korea and be able to see their favorite Korean stars and experience their unique culture? Are you still clueless on how are you going to do it? Let this blog guide you to a complete Hallyu experience in South Korea – K-WAVE STYLE.

K – NOW WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO

When you go to South Korea, especially if it will be your first time, make sure to have clear travel goals so you can easily decide on your itinerary. Will you go there to visit K-drama, K-Movie and K-variety locations? To see your favorite Kpop idols? To know more about their rich culture? To satisfy your cravings for authentic Korean food? If you only have a limited time to stay in Korea, you must prioritize which places do you want to go and activities that you want to experience.

When I first went to Korea in 2016, I only stayed for 5 days and was only able to visit the main tourist attractions such as Nami Island, Everland, N Seoul Tower, Myeongdong, Dongdaemun and the palaces. I spent 16,000 pesos for everything including airfare, accommodation, entrance fees, transportation and food. When I went back twice in 2017, I included some Kpop locations on my itinerary like watching a music show, visiting entertainment agencies, watching a musical, and other fan activities. And even if I have been to South Korea for several times already, there are still have a lot of places and events that I’ve never been to. I must say that squeezing everything in a short travel period could be very exhausting. What’s more important is that you’d be able to enjoy every new place that you step into.

In planning for your dream Hallyu trip to South Korea, these are some of the factors that you must consider:

Budget

Traveling to anywhere entails cost. You must know what’s your estimated budget for your travel and have a buffer in case that you will exceed (ehem! pasalubong). Is it expensive to travel to South Korea? Here are some of sample itineraries with budget breakdown that you can use as a reference.

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Duration of Stay

If you have a limited budget, sticking to your travel period is very important. You itinerary heavily depends on your duration of stay in Korea. It would be best to allot a time per location or activity so you will be guided. If you will be taking a train or bus as means of transportation, you can easily estimate your travel time per destination. Remember to download KakaoMetro app on your phone. For other must-bring things in your trip to South Korea, read more here.

Number of Companions

Traveling with more people could lessen your expenses especially in food and accommodation. Your Hallyu experience in Korea will be even more exciting if you will travel with your co-Hallyu fans!

Event Schedule

Knowing the schedule of favorite Hallyu artists is VERY IMPORTANT. If you want to attend their events to have a glimpse of them or even interact in person, you must do a research on their schedule thru official fanclubs, fancafe, or social media accounts. You can also ask your co-fans and mutuals.

Speaking of events, another way to have an amazing Hallyu trip in South Korea is to:

W – WATCH CONCERTS, MUSICALS, LIVE RADIO SHOWS, EVENTS, ETC.

Concerts

Attending a Kpop concert or Kdrama Fan Meeting in the Philippines could go as high as 20,000 pesos. In South Korea, it’s quite cheaper and the ticket price usually ranges from 500 pesos to 7,000 pesos.

Imagine a 7,000 pesos ticket for a VIP standing in a concert? So if you happen to be in South Korea and your idols have scheduled concert or fanmeet, make sure to attend even just once.

You can also take advantage of free concert like this.

Sometimes it’s being held in provinces so you only have to pay for your transpo and get a free seat. And in some cases, everything is free!

The ticketing can be intimidating because you will need a fast speed internet connection to be able to book your ticket. Remember that you will be competing with fellow fans around the globe to get the best possible seat so make sure to set your alarm once the tickets go on sale and have your details ready for the payment section. You could also register for a pre-selling period if you are a member of your group’s official fanclub which comes with a member ID.

If you are a foreigner, usually you can book your ticket thru Interpark Global, Yes24, Melon and other global ticketing sites. Those sites accept international credit card and you just have to create an account before you can book a ticket. Then tickets can be claimed at the event venue on the day itself. Just make sure that your passport is the same as your personal details on the account your created on the site.

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Musicals

If your idol happens to be a musical actor too then you shouldn’t definitely miss watching his/her musical performance!

Imagine watching your bias for 2 to 3 hours while singing, acting and dancing on stage live. It’s a whole different experience. A VIP ticket usually ranges from 3,000 to 7,000 pesos. The ticket can usually be bought thru global ticketing sites as well.

Plus, you might have a chance to interact with your bias after the show just like this.

Live Radio Show

For Live/Open Radio Shows, check if your idols have guesting schedule on some radio shows which are open for public viewing like MBC and KBS. It’s more exciting if your bias is the main stay radio DJ because you will have more opportunities to see him/her. Just make sure to reserve your spot as the outside of the studio will surely be filled with a lot of fansites and their large cameras and stairs/chairs.

MBC Open Radio Show

Schedule: Depends on the radio program

Location: MBC Garden Studio

Directions: Digital Media City station exit 9

MBC Building also houses the MBC World where you can have an interactive Hallyu experience like taking a photo with your idols, dancing and singing with them or watch a hologram concert. You can book your discounted ticket here or get a FREE pass when you avail Seoul Discovery Pass.

KBS Open Radio Show

Schedule: Depends on the radio program

Location: KBS Hall

Directions: National Assembly station exit 4

KBS Hall also houses KBC ON Experience Hall for another Hallyu experience. It also showcases the history of KBS especially their Korean dramas. Good news is that the entrance here is for FREE!

You can also wait for your idols to finish their live recording and meet them outside like this:

Bonus: Grevin Museum which houses the wax figures of famous Hallyu stars. You can book your ticket here or get a FREE pass when you avail Seoul Discovery Pass.

A – TTEND FANSIGNS, FANMEETS, MUSIC SHOWS, ETC.

Fan Signing Event

If you want to be able to meet and greet your idols, you can also try joining their fansign events. To join a fansign event, you will have to buy their albums during comeback season or products that they are endorsing. Most of the time, winners will be determined thru a lottery. Buying more increases your chance but it doesn’t guarantee a sure win. Here are some photos from my fansigning event experience with BTOB during their ‘This Is Us’ album promotion.

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Here’s a video during Park Seo Joon’s Fan Signing event in Seoul.

For more details, also read: How to Join Fansigning Event in Korea + Frequently Asked Questions

Fan Meeting

For Fan Meeting, similar to concerts, you just have to buy for tickets online thru global ticketing sites. The ticket usually ranges from 2,000 pesos to 7,000 pesos.

Music Shows

You should be aware of the different music shows that your faves will participate in. This is where they are going showcase and promote their new songs. Entering into music show is quite difficult for foreigners because there are a lot of requirements. The requirements differ per group but the usual ones are album, official lightsick, official banner and a verified Melon account. To have a verified Melon account, you must have a Korean number.

You might also try to apply as studio audience for KBS Music Bank thru their website and SBS Inkigayo and The Show thru their app.

Or you can save a sure seat at SBS The Show like what we did, you can book it here.

If all else fails, you can just wait for your faves outside the entertainment building during the pre-recording and live recording. Just choose which music show do want to go to from Monday to Sunday.

Tip: The best music show to wait for your faves for pre-recording and live recording is KBS Music Bank.

Schedule: every Friday

Location: KBS Hall

Live Broadcast: 5:00 PM (KST)

Pre-recording: Depends on the group’s schedule

Directions: National Assembly station exit 4 (line 9)

Another Hallyu Experience in South Korea that you shouldn’t miss is to:

V – ISIT K-DRAMA, K-MOVIES AND K-VARIETY SHOWS FILMING LOCATIONS

Here are some filming locations that I’ve been to for the past years.

For more specific directions, you may check this blog:

To complete your K-WAVE Experience in South Korea, make sure to do this activity too as your schedule permits:

E – XPLORE DIFFERENT ENTERTAINMENT AGENCIES & K-STAR ROAD

For more specific directions, you may check this blog: A Guide to K-drama Filming Locations

Here’s a bonus on how you can see your favorite Korean stars!

PRAY THAT YOU BUMP INTO THEM AT THE AIRPORT!!!

Here’s a recap on how you can achieve that COMPLETE HALLYU EXPERIENCE in SOUTH KOREA:

Do you have any questions? Feel free to let me know on the comment section!

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