Without batting an eyelash, let's talk about public (land) transportation system of this country and why it is whole lot better than in the Philippines. Here are the reasons why:
|Old train model on display which is just right in front of Seoul Museum.|
There are two train systems in Korea- the KTX and Korail which are managed by Korail company I guess you can say.
If you are into long distance, slow travel with a little bit of country sight seeing, then Korea Light Rail or Korail is for you.It runs on a regular speed (pretty much like our train system in the Philippines, only that SK's look absolutely much much better). I and my husband took a ride once together when we went to Gumi. The tickets can be purchased online or if you are not a tech savvy, you can simply get it from the station itself. Our tickets altogether cost about 8k (4k a piece) for a one way ride. The receipts we got (which is also true as with any other Korail passengers) bear the train number and ride schedule. The trains here are very precise so you'll need to wait at the designated platform area otherwise, you'd miss the ride and say goodbye to your won.
|Korail station and a lot of walk in passengers purchasing KTX tickets|
On the other hand, if you just want to cut the long hours of travel short, then you should take the KTX. Like with Korail, you can make reservations online or purchase it at the station. My husband got ours online and we boarded the train from Seoul to Chilgok.
Both KTX and Korail have information bulletin board which let you know your train number's arrival and departure. There are also plenty of benches and vendo machined installed within the station and on the platforms. There is also a number of small fast food and some classy restaurants in case you really want to have a heavy set of meal.
Here are some snippets of our KTX from Seoul to place of destination (not Busan though).
|I demanded to sit by the window (lol). There are still no other passengers yet.|
In case you have to take two bus rides in order to get to your point of destination while at the same try as much to save money, just be sure you swipe the card before you get off the bus. Doing so will allow you to ride the next bus for free. You would have to do this within the limited time (more or less 15 minutes) otherwise, you would have to pay another 1100 won for the fare.
The subways i also popular among the natives and foreigners alike. Like buses and trains, they are very convenient and easy to use. They have bulletin boards which let you know which bus to take. You can also do connecting trips quite easily. The subway station is equipped with almost everything from bazaar, fast food shops, music, parlor... everything!
If you still can't get the hang of these transportation systems, you can just might as well use taxis. Taxis in SK are classy in a sense that their very clean, drivers dressed nicely and there is a meter to guarantee the exact fare you ought to pay. The flag down rate is 2500 won (I think) and that is for good for the first 5 (10? I'll have to check that again) or so minutes. Since most Korean taxi drivers don't speak English, be sure you have printed out the address both in English and Korean as well. That will help you get a smoother and comfortable ride rather than motioning your arms and hands to driver just to spell out where you are suppose to go.
(there's always room for editing.. will update soon)