November 1, 2012

South Korea : Public Transportation in Seoul

One of the important aspects that can make me fall in love with a certain city is their efficient public transportation. So it doesn't take long before I fell in love with Seoul too.

With 9 subway lines which interconnect at several stations and the commuter lines, travelling around the city is so easy. Most of the attractions in and around the city can be reached easily via this public transportation. How convenient.

The ride is made more convenient with the use of T-Money. It's a reloadable smart card that can be used to pay the subway, bus and taxi. It can even be used to pay for purchases in a some stores.

The card sells for KRW 2500, and can be purchased and reloaded at the subway ticket booths and in nearly all convenience stores. 

I bought the card as soon as I touched down in Incheon International Airport. There are a few convenience stores at the arrival hall, so you just look for the T-Money logo on the window. They will have it for sure. I bought mine at 7-Eleven, which is located near to Exit 5 at the arrival hall.  

You receive discount on the fare if you use this card on the subway and bus. And the balance inside your card is refundable with KRW 500 deduction.

So, just buy it la! 

This is the subway ticket vending machine, and you can reload the T-Money here. 

There's English instructions, dun worry. 

The subway itself is easy to use. There are English signage for the directions so you will not get lost going around. 

Hop on and just enjoy the ride!

What I like most about the subway here is that they have this information board at all stations (I think so, at least all the stations that I got off have it). 

The board highlights the neighborhood and its attractions. Whenever I wasn't sure where to head or which exit to take, just look at the boards. Super helpful ok.

The subways also interconnect with A'REX, the railway line that links the airports (Incheon International and Gimpo Airport) with Seoul.

One of the good points of staying in Hongdae is that A'REX stops here at Hongik University Station.

Though I was stupid la cos I didn't aware that it stops here before that. I read somewhere saying that the station was still under construction. Maybe I didn't look closely at the article's date. I only realized that it was already operational when my dorm mate told me she took A'REX from the airport to Hongik University Station.

"What?!? I thought it is still under construction?"

"No, silly! It was already operational since end of 2010." 


To rub salt to the wound, the fare is only KRW 3750, as compared to KRW 10000 I paid for the airport bus. haihh...

So yeah... I redeemed my silliness by taking A'REX to the airport to fly back home.

The journey took approximately 45 minutes to Incheon International Airport.

Anyway, you have two choices if you're heading to Seoul Station or vice versa. There's the express train (like our ERL I suppose), where the fare is KRW 13800. If you're not in a hurry, just take the commuter train (like our KLIA Transit), and the fare would only be KRW 3850.

Of course, there's buses and taxis to ferry you around but since the subways are already so efficient, I don't need other types of transport while I was there. Just rode the airport bus to Hongdae and took the bus back from Nami Island.

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