The transportation system in Korea is nothing short of excellent. Due to the relatively close proximity of cities, it is easy to get around the country transportation is fast and reliable. The number of options for travel make it easy to explore within your city and take weekend trips to anywhere in the country. Not only is transportation easy and reliable, it is very well priced and affordable on your teaching salary.
Buses are great option for getting around and are very accessible in any Korean city. They run on a constant schedule and are a very reliable and inexpensive travel option. The fee for a bus ride is 1,000 W and this can be paid either by cash or by using a refillable bus pass. Buses are mostly used by middle school and university students and can become crowded during rush hour.
Inter-city buses or Express buses are an excellent way to get around the country. Reclining seats and air-conditioning are a couple of the great amenities you can expect when traveling between cities. The schedule is extremely accommodating and popular destinations see buses leaving every 15-20 minutes. Major Express Bus terminals are located in every Korean city and are foreigner friendly for both access and information. Tickets can be purchased on-line or at the terminal and are relatively inexpensive for the great service you will learn to expect.
For more information on terminals and schedules in your city, please visit: http://www.kobus.co.kr/web/eng/index.jsp
Subways are another quick and reliable option for getting around. This option is available in the larger cities and some of the mid-sized cities will only have limited routes. In Seoul for example, taking the subway can save you on travel times during the rush hours. Comfortable, clean, and easily accessible, subways are a good way to get around.
|Base fare for 12km||19 years and older||13-18 years old||7-12 years old|
|Transportation Card||900 Won||720 Won||450 Won|
|Cash||1,000 Won||1,000 Won||450 Won|
Click here for more information.
And for more tips on using the subway system, please click here.
Taxis are a very common transportation mode for foreigners. Many teachers use taxis as their only mode of transportation, based on the inexpensive rates and reliability. In smaller cities especially, taking a taxi might make more sense than taking a subway or bus. Taxis can be hailed or called ahead of time. Dispatchers speak Korean so it is a good idea to learn how to say your address in Korean.
Here is a quick overview on the types of taxis available:
Basic Taxis: These medium-sized white or silver taxis are the most common in Korea. The fare starts at W1, 900.
Black Taxis: The drivers are more professional and might speak some English. Cars have cell phones and the drivers hand you a printed receipt at your destination. Fares are W4, 500.
*One of the most important things to remember once you are settled into your Korean apartment is to know your address with you. You can ask a Korean friend or co-teacher to write it down for you in Korean. If you every happen to get turned around, all you need to do is find a taxi and they can bring you home.
Express Trains (KTX):
Express trains are now linking most large to medium cities in Korea and offer another fantastic option for getting around the country. Express trains are a bit more expensive compared to Express buses but have many advantages. They cut down your travel time significantly, are clean, quiet, air-conditioned, offer snacks for sale, and have washrooms. An express bus from Gwangju to Seoul takes 4 hours versus 2.5 hours on the KTX. When traveling during holiday times it is best to book your ticket well in advance to ensure a free seat. The advantage of paying a little more during these times is that you will avoid delays due to congested traffic.
For schedule information, click here.
Motorbikes and Scooters:
Motorbikes may seem like the last thing you would pick as your mode of transportations, but you may find that there is a select group of foreigners who can think of no better way to travel. Motorbikes are used in Korea mostly by young people, university students, and delivery drivers. You can purchase a used motorbike ranging in price from 200,000 1,000,000 W. They are easy to upkeep and tend to be quite reliable and time saving.
For more information on motorbikes, please visit Hyosung Motors.