My second Korean Travel Tip is actually something that I mentioned back in my Imagination Trip, but I think it’s one of the most important made-such-a-difference-to-my-trip pointers that it deserves its own post as well!
Seoul is pretty much a wonderland of free wifi- in Subway stations, coffee shops, other shops, randomly on the street… But, there are always occasions when you are out of range of one of these and you find yourself desperately needing that Google Map or that Subway timetable or that email where you had all your reservation information… And so it’s always better to be safer than sorry! Or in this case connected rather than… unconnected! 😀
This was actually a hand-me-down tip that I learnt from my very good friend Juli, whom I travelled with on my first trip in Seoul. She rented one from the airport for all 5 of us! Yes! You can share the Egg between multiple people! Of course this does get tricky if you plan on spending some time touring around solo (which did happen for us on the occasional day), so depending on your plans I’d consider perhaps renting individually anyway.
And why wouldn’t you, they’re so affordable! On average they cost around 8,000 won a day (or ~AUD$8) which is well worth the insurance of having a constant reliable internet connection in my opinion.
The Egg is essentially a little device that you keep with you that emits WiFi! Each one has a unique code and a jumbled password so only you (or whoever else you share it with) can use it. The charge seems to last for a full 7hr day, but if you know you’re not going to use it for a little bit (you’re watching a musical for example) than save the battery and turn it off. A wise decision would also be to carry around your charger in your bag. Most cafes will have powerpoints available, or the staff will be more than happy to use one of theirs to charge it for you. And of course, this is Korea, so no one would even think of stealing it if you leave it over in a corner charging.
The best way to rent your Egg is to reserve before you travel and then pick up at Incheon Airport on your arrival! All the provider kiosks are located within easy distance and the whole process takes less than 5mins- super easy!
1. Reserve online
There are a few different options for you to choose from, but I have used Olleh and everything worked perfectly so I’m sticking with them.
(Although the KTO in Seoul gave us one of these Pocket WiFis to use on our Tour Imagination trip and it also seemed quite good (perhaps ever so slightly less reliable in terms of connection and charge)).
To reserve head on over to Olleh here, and select WiFi Router.
Don’t be put off by the lack of any feedback on the form- they will get your reservation even if there is not much messaging and you receive a blank email from them… ha.
2. Pick up on arrival at Incheon Airport
When you arrive head on over to your closest kiosk (you’ll see them, trust me) and grab a ticket from the machine. When they call your number let them know you have an Egg reservation and they’ll request your passport and credit card.
3. Testing Your Egg
They’ll then go grab you your Egg (they all vary ever so slightly, but do essentially the same thing) and then they’ll ask you to test it with your mobile while you’re still there to make sure it all works ok. Add it like you would any normal wifi connection-
- Turn on the Egg
- Search for a WiFi network on your phone or PC or tablet or whatever device you happen to have handy
- Select searched SSID (they’ll give you this)
- Enter KEY (the network password) and attached it to the SSID so you don’t have to type the password everytime
- Bam! You’re the internet!
4. Using your Egg in the Seoulworld
Your Egg should then just connect to your phone whenever you turn it on (unless you’re out of coverage, which I never encountered).
5. Returning Your Egg
When you’re leaving make sure to gather everything (don’t forget the charger!) and locate a kiosk again (incidentally they directed me to return it to the Arrivals kiosk where I picked it up from, rather than the one at the Departures- not sure if this is all the time but worthwhile taking note of to plan your journey anyway). They’ll take the Egg back and charge you for however many days you’ve had it for. Eaaasy!
It’s a weird feeling then, as you’re walking around without your Egg. Each time I thought to myself- “I wish I had an Egg all the time!” before I realised that would be superfluous because we obviously just have our normal cellular internet connections at home… >.>
Anyway, you’ll become attached and definitely think that this was one of the most worthwhile pre-planned pointers before your trip! Stay calm, cool and connected! ^.^