This is another post inspired by my friend Hunnyy. You can read her post here. If you are into beauty products, and into Korean culture, please be sure to follow her blog as well. Her blog post had to do with transportation in South Korea. It got me to think about the different modes of transportation that are offered there, and what my experiences were in using them. Please keep in mind that your own experience may be different than mine. But here is my likelihood of using each method of transportation again in Korea.
The subway system in Seoul is modern, but can be intimidating when you first look at a map of it. But it has been designed to make it as easy as possible for people who do not speak Korean. Subway stops are announced in advance in Korean, English and Chinese. Maps showing the route the train is on, and Korea is known for having internet service inside of the subway system. It may not be the most scenic route, but it can be a fast way to get around. As long as you know the subway rules, you should be okay. I never feared being robbed or assaulted in the subway. You do need to know the subway rules before you ride the train, as well as being aware that you will probably have to use a lot of stairs in the subway system. That being said, I would absolutely use the subway system again. this is my favorite mode of transportation in Seoul.
While in Seoul, I got to meet a man who has his own private taxi. He spoke very good English and did not drive crazy. This is key because there are a lot of stories about taxi drivers in Seoul driving crazy, and even telling people that they are such a safe driver that they do not need to wear a seat belt. This gentleman was nothing like that at all. He took me from Dobong to Gangnam without wasting time. While private taxi cars in other countries, look at ways to increase your fare, he did no such thing. I know that not all taxi drivers, both private and public, will be as nice as him. That being said, I will have no problem getting a taxi in Seoul.
I will be referring to taking a city bus in Seoul, not to taking a bus trip from one city to another. This is probably the one mode of transportation that I would be a little nervous about. There have been stories of bus drivers taking off suddenly, even before older women have the chance to find a seat or grab on to something. If you have taken a subway before, it is a similar feeling. That being said, buses are usually on schedule, hence why they take off in a hurry sometimes. Bus drivers tend to be focused on their jobs, so don’t expect to find a driver who is talkative. And remember that if the bus is crowded, seats should go to those who are older and those with small children. While I would probably prefer to take the subway, taking the bus is not a bad option for me.
The public transportation in Seoul is top notch in my view. With so many options, and with so many things within walking distance of where people stay, there is no reason to drink and drive in Seoul. Not only is the public transportation very efficient, but it also very economical. Some Americans pay more for gas going to work one way than some do paying for to and from work on public transportation in Korea. How do you pay for your fares on public transportation? You can use a T-Money card like the one shown above. Or if you have a phone with NFC, Near Field Communication, you can use apps or your credit/debit card that is stored on your phone to pay for fares. As long as you feel comfortable and would like to get around quick and easy, you too will find your favorite mode of transportation in Seoul.